On Minimalism and Breakout | vextro
Leeroy Lewin: "Acknowledging the history and constraints of game’s production is important, but it should not consume our reflection. Instead of contrasting Breakout as a relic of time gladly past, I want to see games like it reclaimed and retrofitted with a new kind of meaning, in terms of being compassionate game design that easily fits in a person’s life. To recast “simplicity” as minimalism. To acknowledge that not everything this shambling culture moved away from points to some kind of necessary, futuristic improvement."
game_commentary  minimalism 
4 days ago
The Road Movie - Official U.S. Trailer - Oscilloscope Laboratories - YouTube
A mosaic of asphalt adventures, landscape photography, and some of the craziest shit you’ve ever seen, Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s THE ROAD MOVIE is a stunning compilation of video footage shot exclusively via the deluge of dashboard cameras that populate Russian roads. The epitome of a you-have- to-see- it-to- believe-it documentary, THE ROAD MOVIE captures a wide range of spectacles through the windshield—including a comet crashing down to Earth, an epic forest fire, and no shortage of angry motorists taking road rage to wholly new and unexpected levels—all accompanied by bemused commentary from unseen and often stoic drivers and passengers
road  russia  to_see 
4 days ago
Speak, Memory - The Verge - Pocket
What would happen if you made a chatbot out of your dead friend's corpus of text messages?
death  communication  technology 
4 days ago
It's Nice That | Sandy Skoglund's very contemporary 1970s foodie still life photography
Sandy Skoglund's early photography projects: contrasting patterns in food with patterns of the environment the food is placed in
photography  food  patterning 
5 days ago
Bad Images – Midboss (Em) – Medium
"[S]o many games want to 'look good' in general, and do, with glossier upgraded graphics and more detailed character designs, but [...] rarely produce good compositions on their own." Why?
game_commentary  patterning 
5 days ago
Thor Ragnarok Proves Sex Is Missing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe | IndieWire
"[T]he same frivolousness that allows parts of the movie to be so much fun also exposes what its franchise lacks. Namely, the qualities that might allow its characters to feel human, the qualities that might track with them between films or result in actual consequences. Memory. Love. Commitment to anything other than civic arguments and the status quo. All these superheroes want to do is protect this place, stop that person. Those goals are invariably pursued through the most plastic kind of action. It’s enough to sustain a three-act structure, but it’s been more than a decade since Nick Fury paid his first visit to Tony Stark, and there’s only so long you can play with action figures before it gets boring."
sexuality  media_commentary 
5 days ago
The Mythical Whiteness of Trump Country | Boston Review
"When protesters at Middlebury College, for instance, prevented the conservative intellectual and white supremacist Charles Murray from speaking on campus, columnist Louis Shucker wrote in the Reading Eagle that, 'Perhaps a better selection would have been J. D. Vance, author of the bestselling Hillbilly Elegy.' The implication is that while the two share similar beliefs about poverty and race, Vance is baggage-free in a way that Murray is not. Let us give him some baggage, then."
race  politics  bad_reviews  america 
5 days ago
Introducing Diplomacy
For teaching the game to newcomers
9 days ago
Autocracy: Rules for Survival | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Probably the first important piece published in 2016 on Trump's victory: "I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now"
2017_mixbook_contender  politics  power  advice 
11 days ago
Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle – Medium
Bridle's essay is partially wrong, in my estimation, but well worth reading: "This is a deeply dark time, in which the structures we have built to sustain ourselves are being used against us — all of us — in systematic and automated ways. It is hard to keep faith with the network when it produces horrors such as these. While it is tempting to dismiss the wilder examples as trolling, of which a significant number certainly are, that fails to account for the sheer volume of content weighted in a particularly grotesque direction. ... What concerns me is not just the violence being done to children here, although that concerns me deeply. What concerns me is that this is just one aspect of a kind of infrastructural violence being done to all of us, all of the time, and we’re still struggling to find a way to even talk about it, to describe its mechanisms and its actions and its effects."
internet  infrastructure  violence  children 
12 days ago
‘A Nasty Name for a Nasty Thing’: A History of Cunt
Kate Lister (of Whores of Yore) takes a tour of the history of cunt
sexuality  body  language  2017_mixbook_contender 
16 days ago
The Pollution Is Coming from Inside the Stomach – Mask Magazine
Erin Prinz Schwartz: "deciding where waste goes follows the fault lines of pre-existing power structures, damaging public health with the justification of cleaning up pollution"
power  infrastructure  2017_mixbook_contender 
16 days ago
Trolley Remnants - Boston Streetcars
"Wherever a streetcar once ran, there is a high probability that its tracks were simply paved over when it was converted to buses or trackless trolleys. When a main road is being resurfaced or beginning to show signs of wear, look closely and you may very well see track remnants!"
the_past  boston_area 
20 days ago
Boston Elevated Railway - Wikipedia
Boston has 1550 electrical street cars by 1904 (long before the power grid as we understand it was invented)
the_past  boston_area 
20 days ago
The Growth of Boston Rapid Transit - Boston Streetcars
In-depth article covering 100 years of Boston subway tunnels
the_past  boston_area 
20 days ago
Chicago Style for the Singular "They" | CMOS Shop Talk
"A writer (or speaker) may also use they to refer to a specific, known person who does not identify with a gender-specific pronoun such as he or she. ... CMOS 17 will advise that 'a person’s stated preference for a specific pronoun should be respected.' This usage is still not widespread either in speech or in writing, but Chicago accepts it even in formal writing."
language  transgender 
21 days ago
XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen review | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"Where once XCOM’s arms race had specific weapon/armour tech requirements needed to reach or survive certain elements, now it’s a freeform dash in multiple directions, to the point that each and every soldier on your roster is materially different in ability to all the others. A Ranger is not a ranger is not a ranger, no two snipers are quite the same and, again, there are all these skills and items I’ve not even had the chance to research or use. [...] I’ve got guys who drag enemies towards them with grappling hooks, I’ve got snipers who live in perpetual stealth, I’ve got a new class of warrior/psychic hybrids who dance around the map with psionic blades and can swap places with friends or foes, I’ve got swordsmen who cannot miss, I’ve got medics with rifles that never seem to run out of ammo, I’ve got people who can make cars explode remotely, I’ve got weapons with more upgrade slots than I could possibly fill, I’ve got, basically, the Power Rangers."
21 days ago
'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia | Technology | The Guardian
Various Silicon Valley luminaries who have changed course and are now ringing the alarm bell (Tristan Harris, etc.)
internet  social_networking 
25 days ago
External Memory — Real Life
Madeleine Monson-Rosen on the Space Jam website as an archive of the "material fabrication" of the internet
25 days ago
Cyberpunk Cities Fetishize Asian Culture But Have No Asians - Motherboard
Sarah Emerson: "Together, Blade Runner and 2049 represent the best of cyberpunk film. But imagine how much better, richer they could've been with a cast that looked the way the real world does, now and in the future."
science_fiction  race  media_commentary 
25 days ago
Norms and Cliffs in Trump’s America | The New Yorker
Adam Gopnik on the important distinction between "norms" and "premises": "This difference is neither merely verbal nor philosophical; it is vital. For deflecting the discourse into one about norms, when we are really talking about premises and principles, is one more way of, well, normalizing Trump’s assault on democratic government. It turns what is really subversion into mere behavior. It’s one form of the frightened levelling-off that Trump has intimidated too many pundits and reporters into accepting. Every totalitarian country has a constitution—the Soviet constitution was a mockery not because its “norms” were not respected but because the ruling party had complete contempt for the premises it was based on. What mattered were not the norms of its enforcement but the social compact that was understood to underlie it and the mutual respect people showed for it. That Trump’s hard-core followers delight in his transgressions—even if such followers were a majority, which they are not—does not make them normative. It is exactly the point of a democratic government to say that, though norms may change, the premises aren’t directly or easily subject to a majority vote, even by the gleefully vengeful. Some of the rules are unwritten because if you had to write them down it would be an admission that there were people not ready to play."
government  america  language  politics 
7 weeks ago
Derek Beaulieu: ABC – An ABeCeDarium – Timglaset
A nice looking book from the great visual poet Derek Beaulieu
visual_poetry  to_read  wishlist 
7 weeks ago
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? - The Atlantic
"The Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and designed to be nationally representative, has asked 12th-graders more than 1,000 questions every year since 1975 and queried eighth- and 10th-graders since 1991. The survey asks teens how happy they are and also how much of their leisure time they spend on various activities, including nonscreen activities such as in-person social interaction and exercise, and, in recent years, screen activities such as using social media, texting, and browsing the web. The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy. There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness. "
happiness  2017_mixbook_contender  technology  adolescents  communications_devices  communication_technology 
7 weeks ago
Touch Screen — Real Life
Navneet Alang's appreciation of his old Windows Phone becomes a meditation on interface more broadly: "The interface is thus a proxy self, the mediating layer between a body and a set of information, into which we project a simple, intuitive understanding of how we relate to the world through a screen."
interface  communications_devices 
7 weeks ago
Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate
A useful and in-depth analysis of the credibility of a selected set of hyperpartisan sites
news  teaching  information  infowar 
7 weeks ago
How to Fight ‘Fake News’ (Warning: It Isn’t Easy) - The New York Times
"In a report published last week in Psychological Science, a team of academics reviewed two decades of research to better understand how to effectively debunk misinformation. In the end, they found eight worthwhile studies, with more than 6,800 participants."
crap_detection  psychology  news 
8 weeks ago
"How Not to Talk to Your Kids" -- New York Magazine
Po Bronson, in 2007, summarizing Carol Dweck's research into the difference between praising students for intelligence ("You must be smart at this") and praising students for effort ("You must have worked really hard"). I read this a long time ago (and summarized the findings as "smart kid disease") but never bookmarked it.
education  parenting 
8 weeks ago
Why Handwriting Is Still Essential in the Keyboard Age - The New York Times
Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington and the lead author on the study, told me that evidence from this and other studies suggests that “handwriting — forming letters — engages the mind, and that can help children pay attention to written language.”
education  language  notetaking 
8 weeks ago
"At some dances, raffles are conducted, apparently with the idea that they will add to the popularity of the dance; the articles raffled embrace almost everything from chocolates to a goat; in one instance, the latter was won by a policeman who had been attending the dance in his official capacity." (1910)
8 weeks ago
The Marks of a Sailor - Maritime History from Aloft
"Although tattoo designs became more intricate with the invention of modern tattoo technology at the end of the nineteenth century, the subjects depicted in seamen's tattoos from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the start of the twentieth century changed little. Words and numbers continued to be the primary depiction in sailor's tattoos by 1900, with patriotic, love, and religious symbols remaining prominent. The number of female figures increased dramatically, likely due to the advent of the electric tattoo machine (Dye 533). Additionally, tattoos associated with sailor's superstitions and traditions grew in number during the nineteenth century. Tattoos of pig and a rooster were thought to protect a sailor from drowning. The words "HOLD FAST" were often tattooed on the knuckles of seamen in order to protect them from falling while aloft (Spilman). A cross tattooed on one's back was thought to protect a sailor from flogging (Dye 547). Bird tattoos grew in popularity to symbolize the completion of a voyage or a sailing milestone, such as the 5,000th mile sailed (Spilman)."
8 weeks ago
Ready Player One Finds The Bleak Limits Of Nostalgia
Jeb Lund: "At times, you can almost sense a muffled scream trying to escape the page, the unthinkable recognition that memorizing movies and videogame speed-runs and every beat of a standup routine contains only the memory space required to store it—that it builds to nothing, achieves nothing, signifies nothing more than the story of somebody else. "
9 weeks ago
Top 50 Literary Magazines -Every Writer - Every Writer
It is what it says, basically. May be worth sharing with the Publication Arts class
9 weeks ago
Annie Dillard's Classic Essay 'Total Eclipse' - The Atlantic
On seeing a total eclipse, but [more importantly] on the terror of the uncanny. "I turned back to the sun. It was going. The sun was going, and the world was wrong. The grasses were wrong; they were platinum. Their every detail of stem, head, and blade shone lightless and artificially distinct as an art photographer’s platinum print. This color has never been seen on Earth. The hues were metallic; their finish was matte. The hillside was a 19th-century tinted photograph from which the tints had faded. All the people you see in the photograph, distinct and detailed as their faces look, are now dead. "
fear  nature  death  essays 
9 weeks ago
‘I Love Winds’: David Lynch on the Sound of ‘Twin Peaks’ - The New York Times
David Lynch talks sound design. "Alan Splet, when he was in Findhorn, in northern Scotland ... was recording winds in the ’70s." <3
sound  media_commentary 
9 weeks ago
how to do nothing – Jenny Odell – Medium
A talk on "the practice of doing nothing, but also the architecture of nothing, the importance of public space, and an ethics of care and maintenance. And also, birds"
architecture  spaces  2017_mixbook_contender  art  attention  perception  work  time  women 
10 weeks ago
The American Model – The New Inquiry
Jack Gross' examination of historian James Q. Whitman's thesis: that "America and Nazi Germany are two instantiations of a single history of white supremacist rule"
race  america  2017_mixbook_contender 
10 weeks ago
The Eclipse as Dark Omen - The Atlantic
"Kings are right to fear the blotting out of the sun. If you stake your political legitimacy on divine right—on the idea that your dominion was written, by god, into the very laws of nature—you have a big problem when the natural order begins to unwind, right before your subjects’ eyes, in the most dramatic way possible, such that it cannot be denied by royal proclamation—or by tweet. This is what gives eclipses their Dionysian edge, this sense, drawn from our collective cultural memory, that back in the mists of prehistory, a vanishing sun could unleash something primal and violent."
10 weeks ago
Disturbances #15: The Flavour of Los Angeles
@hautepop on California air quality, global logistics, photography, mythology, throbs, smears, and curves
california  ecology  infrastructure  2017_mixbook_contender 
10 weeks ago
Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays | Science | The Guardian
There's a metaphor here: "what we consider corrosion processes can actually produce extremely beneficial mineral cement and lead to continued resilience, in fact, enhanced perhaps resilience over time"
10 weeks ago
Trump’s Executive Orders Are Mostly Theater - POLITICO Magazine
"Trump’s first 30 executive orders will create a lot of federal reviews and reports, along with some new task forces and commissions, but not a lot of substantive change. So far, they’ve been more about messaging than governing, proclaiming his priorities without really advancing his priorities."
politics  law 
10 weeks ago
"The New Writing"
César Aira on actions, "procedures," and the avant garde
writing  generative_art 
10 weeks ago
The Styrofoam Presidency | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Masha Gessen on Trump, the Inauguration, and what happens when a culture is ambitious but not aspirational: "In his small-mindedness and lack of aspiration, Trump curiously resembles Putin, though the origins of the two men’s stubborn mediocrity could not be more different. Aspiration should not be confused with ambition—both men want to be ever more powerful and wealthier, but neither wants to be or even appear better. ... American political pageantry is aspirational. The extended ritual of the inauguration conveys an understanding of the importance of the office of president and awe and pride in the miracle of the repeated peaceful transfer of power. The ceremony, the concert, the lunch, the parade, the balls, and more—all of this serves to create a nationwide mood of celebration and self-congratulation. ... Trump had no use for any of it: the magnanimity, the generosity, the awe (unless it’s inspired by him personally), the pride (unless it’s his own), the aspiration. Indeed, the single quality he displayed repeatedly was his lack of aspiration. Take his speech. Better yet, take the cake."
politics  culture 
10 weeks ago
Transition Adviser Peter Thiel Could Directly Profit From Mass Deportations
Interesting examination of Palantir's system FALCON, "which allows ICE to store, search, and analyze troves of data that include family relationships, employment information, immigration history, criminal records, and home and work addresses."
crypto  surveillance  politics  capitalism 
10 weeks ago
How Donald Trump's Business Ties Are Already Jeopardizing U.S. Interests
An early (December 2016) report on Trump's conflicts of interest. Slightly out of date (note the appearance of Michael Flynn)
politics  capitalism 
10 weeks ago
Octopuses Do Something Really Strange to Their Genes - The Atlantic
"[O]ctopuses and their relatives—the cephalopods—practice a type of genetic alteration called RNA editing that’s very rare in the rest of the animal kingdom. They use it to fine-tune the information encoded by their genes without altering the genes themselves. And they do so extensively, to a far greater degree than any other animal group."
biology  genetics 
10 weeks ago
Robots Reading Vogue : Vreeland Memos
"This generator uses the text of over 200 memos written by Diana Vreeland while she was editor-in-chief of American Vogue, published in Memos: The Vogue Years, 1962-1971. Each memo is randomly generated using Markov chains from words Vreeland often used"
algorithmic_writing  fashion 
12 weeks ago
Content Curation: The Ultimate Guide to Discovering and Curating Content Online
A simple Discover > Read > Share metric, but from that simple beginning it can lead into some fruitful exercises for students (find "go-to content sources"; "follow interesting people")
teaching  curation 
12 weeks ago
Massachusetts City and Town Directory Guide
Before the White and Yellow Pages, there were these
the_past  boston_area 
august 2017
The Contradiction of Nuclear Democracy | Boston Review
In this interview, Elaine Scarry discusses both nuclear arms and our individual moral responsibility to direct our "own small, little packet of force," making it a piece that provides context for either Charlottesville or North Korea, even though it was published in 2014.
military  warfare  weaponry  ethics  government  2017_mixbook_contender 
august 2017
The District Attorney: A Comedy Drama in Three Acts ... - Orrin E. Wilkins - Google Books
Little plays from the era (in Google Books) are helping me to identify when I've got the general cadence of dialogue right
august 2017
No, America is not heading for new a civil war
A (convincing) retort to the New Yorker piece bookmarked below
america  warfare  government 
august 2017
Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?
Foreign policy expert Keith Mines "cited five conditions that support [a] prediction [of civil war]: entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution; increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows; weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary; a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership; and the legitimization of violence as the “in” way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes."
2017_mixbook_contender  warfare  america  government  depressing 
august 2017
A Fuck It Tapes Discography
A pretty great cross-section of the Aughts' psych underground (Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice, Magik Markers, Axolotl, Skaters, Dead Machines, Hair Police, Raccoo-oo-oon, Sword Heaven, etc etc etc)
discographies  record_labels 
august 2017
Instagram is pushing restaurants to be kitschy, colorful, and irresistible to photographers - The Verge
"Last year, a friend told me she suspected that Instagram was behind the resurgence of tiki bars in New York City. We were drinking boozy red slushies out of ceramic shark heads at an East Village joint named Mother of Pearl. The server set them down in front of us and then bloodied their mouths with red food coloring. (The drink, the Shark Eye, would go on to be named the Most Instagram-Worthy Cocktail of 2016 by Time Out New York.)"
zeitgeist  photography  city  design_commentary  2017_mixbook_contender 
august 2017
Noita - Reveal Trailer - YouTube
@upstreamism: This looks like “what if Loom was Doom as a Metroidvania running on the Lemmings engine?”
videogames  to_play 
august 2017
40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read | Literary Hub
Focusing specifically on work published in the last 10 years
bibliographies  feminism  to_read  lists 
august 2017
Skull – AOK by Frank Chimero
I don't really need more T-shirts, but
august 2017
What the Enron E-mails Say About Us | The New Yorker
Data analysis of emails: "We learn as much about our social selves in the act of interpreting the Enron corpus as we do in the e-mails themselves." We also learn a lot about genre, tone, and medium, which may make this an interesting piece to teach to students.
teaching  writing  2017_mixbook_contender 
august 2017
Create a simple, free, text-driven Twitterbot
If you ever want to make something that runs a little differently than the bots that Cheap Bots, Done Quick can accomodate, there's this--it's more technical, but seems masterable
august 2017
Can Real Life Compete With an Instagram Playground? - The Ringer
on the "demand for scenery that is at once accessible to the masses but malleable in an Instagram feed"
photography  experience  art  2017_mixbook_contender 
august 2017
Why was Russian money-laundering case settled? House Dems want answers - Business Insider
Key names: lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (who offered damaging Clinton information to Trump Jr.), Pyotr Katsyv (Veselnitskaya client; vice govenor of the Moscow region), Denis Katsyv (Veselnitskaya client; owner of Prevezon, a real estate firm accused of money laundering), Sergei Magnitsky (suspicious death related to the Prevezon case, see also Magnitsky Act), AG Jeff Sessions (who abruptly settled the money-laundering case against Prevezon to "save taxpayers the expense of a trial")
crime  russia 
august 2017
Cassandra Plays the Stock Market | Quiet Babylon
Tim Maly on being right about the future (but ignored) and about feeling like your political opponents are the unbelieving victims of fraud. Possibly dispiriting? "[I]f it’s true that vast swaths of the voting populace are unbelieving victims of fraud, that there’s not much we can do for them. That we may need instead to work to invigorate our allies, discourage our enemies, and save the persuasion for people right on the edge."
politics  rhetoric  future 
august 2017
In Our Midst — Real Life
Elisa Gabbert: "Maybe we can care about nearby minor injustices, like a sexist commercial or racist casting in a Hollywood movie, and faraway great injustices like the bombings of civilians in Syria at the same time. But can we meaningfully, not just nominally, care about Sudan and Syria at the same time, or does this stretch the capacity of human understanding? We’re not rational robots who always give our money and time to the best causes in order. Maybe Obama is capable of caring, because he knows much more about both situations: comprehension as compassion. But how is the average, ignorant citizen supposed to conjure or ration this level of empathy, and do they have any moral responsibility to?"
2017_mixbook_contender  empathy  ethics  other  relationships  evil 
august 2017
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