robertogreco + netflix   31

The New Spiritual Consumerism - The New York Times
"How did you spend your summer vacation? I spent mine in a dissociative fugue of materialist excess, lying prone on my couch and watching all four seasons of “Queer Eye,” the Netflix makeover show reboot. Once an hour, I briefly regained consciousness to feverishly click the “next episode” button so that I wouldn’t have to wait five seconds for it to play automatically. Even when I closed my laptop, the theme song played on endless loop as Jonathan Van Ness vogued through my subconscious. The show is a triumph of consumer spectacle, and now it has consumed me, too.

Every episode is the same. Five queer experts in various aesthetic practices conspire to make over some helpless individual. Tan France (fashion) teaches him to tuck the front of his shirt into his pants; Bobby Berk (design) paints his walls black and plants a fiddle-leaf fig; Antoni Porowski (food) shows him how to cut an avocado; Jonathan Van Ness (grooming) shouts personal affirmations while shaping his beard; and Karamo Brown (“culture”) stages some kind of trust-building exercise that doubles as an amateur therapy session. Then, they retreat to a chic loft, pass around celebratory cocktails and watch a video of their subject attempting to maintain his new and superior lifestyle. The makeover squad cries, and if you are human, you cry too.

Because “Queer Eye” is not just a makeover. As its gurus lead the men (and occasionally, women) in dabbing on eye cream, selecting West Elm furniture, preparing squid-ink risotto and acquiring gym memberships, they are building the metaphorical framework for an internal transformation. Their salves penetrate the skin barrier to soothe loneliness, anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, absentee parenting and hoarding tendencies. The makeover is styled as an almost spiritual conversion. It’s the meaning of life as divined through upgraded consumer choices.

Just a few years ago, American culture was embracing its surface delights with a nihilistic zeal. Its reality queens were the Kardashians, a family that became rich and famous through branding its own wealth and fame. “Generation Wealth,” Lauren Greenfield’s 2018 documentary on American excess, captured portraits of people who crave luxury, beauty and cash as ends in and of themselves. Donald Trump, the king of 1980s extravagance, was elected president.

But lately American materialism is debuting a new look. Shopping, decorating, grooming and sculpting are now jumping with meaning. And a purchase need not have any explicit social byproduct — the materials eco-friendly, or the proceeds donated to charity — to be weighted with significance. Pampering itself has taken on a spiritual urgency.

Practitioners of this new style often locate its intellectual underpinnings in the work of Audre Lorde. But when Lorde wrote, in her 1988 essay “A Burst of Light,” that “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” she was speaking in the context of managing her liver cancer — and doing it as a black lesbian whose health and well-being were not prioritized in America.

Now the ethos of “self-care” has infiltrated every consumer category. The logic of GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxury brand that sells skin serums infused with the branding of intuition, karma and healing, is being reproduced on an enormous scale.

Women’s shoes, bras, razors, tampons and exclusive private clubs are stamped with the language of empowerment. SoulCycle and Equinox conceive of exercise as not just a lifestyle but a closely held identity, which backfired when some members were aggrieved by the news that the chairman of the brands’ parent company is a financial supporter of President Trump. Therapy memes imagine mental health professionals prescribing consumerist fixes, which are then repurposed by beauty brands. Even Kim Kardashian West is pivoting to the soul: Her latest project is launching a celebrity church with her husband, Kanye West.

[embedded tweet by Benefit Cosmetics US (@BenefitBeauty):

"Therapist: and what do we do when we feel sad?

Me: go to @Sephora

Therapist:

Me:

Therapist: I’ll drive"]

And through the cleaning guru Marie Kondo, who also became a Netflix personality this year, even tidying objects can be considered a spiritual calling. Her work suggests that objects don’t just make us feel good — objects feel things, too. She writes of old books that must be woken up with a brush of the fingertips and socks that sigh with relief at being properly folded.

“Queer Eye” has further elevated material comforts into an almost political stance. When the reboot of the original — which ran on Bravo from 2003 to 2007, as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” — debuted last year, Netflix announced that it intended to “make America fabulous again” by sending its crew deep into the red states to “turn them pink.” By preaching self-care to the men of Middle America — it has so far plucked its makeover subjects from Georgia, Missouri and Kansas — the show would heal the nation itself through the power of stuff.

Is “Queer Eye” a political show? In a sense, yes. Van Ness, the show’s profoundly magnetic grooming expert, rocks a signature look of a Jesus beard, mermaid hair, painted nails and high-heeled booties. His fashion and grooming choices have an obvious political valence; he recently came out as non-binary. When he makes over some straight dude, it is as if he is imbuing the process with his own transgressive identity, even if he’s grooming the guy into a standard-issue cool dad.

Anyway, it’s wonderful to watch. In contrast, the original “Queer Eye” no longer goes down so easy. The show’s exclusive focus on providing men with physical upgrades now plays as cynical. The Fab Five ridicule their marks as much as they help them. More than a decade before same-sex marriage would be legalized across the United States, these five out gay men were quite obviously punching up.

But in the new version, the power dynamic has flipped. The difference between the Fab Five and their charges is no longer chiefly one of sexual orientation or gender identity. (This “Queer Eye” also provides makeovers to gay men and to women.) The clear but unspoken distinction is a class one.

Marie Kondo in “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”CreditDenise Crew/Netflix
The “Queer Eye” cast may come from humble beginnings, but they now reside in coastal cultural centers and hold fulfilling and lucrative jobs. Their makeover subjects are lower- and middle-class people who are, though it is rarely put this way, struggling financially. This “Queer Eye” handles them gently. As Van Ness puts it in one episode: “We’re nonjudgmental queens.”

It’s a little bit curious that as our political discourse is concerned with economic inequality — and the soaring costs of health care, education and homes — the cultural conversation is fixated on the healing powers of luxury items. What does it mean, that materialism is now so meaningful? “Generation Wealth” posits that extreme spending is a symptom of a civilization in decline. Americans may not have what they need, but at least they can get what they want, even if it’s on credit.

The writer and performer Amanda-Faye Jimenez recently posted a meme to Instagram of a child swinging blithely on the playground as a fire rages in the forest behind him. The forest is tagged: “My personal life and career.” The child: “The skincare routine.”

[embeded IG post]

Material comforts are comforting: cooking a nice and interesting meal; living in a tidy and beautiful space; soothing tired eyes with a cool mask. And money helps you get money: The subjects of “Queer Eye” are typically made over in a standard professional style, as if they are being retrofitted for the work force. Surreptitiously, “Queer Eye” provides vacation time, too: Its subjects somehow receive a week off from work to focus on themselves.

The trouble is that when “Queer Eye” offers these comforts, the show implies that its subjects have previously lacked them because of some personal failure. They have been insufficiently confident, skilled, self-aware, dedicated or emotionally vulnerable. The spiritual conversion of the show occurs when the subject pledges a personal commitment to maintaining a new lifestyle going forward. But what these people need is not a new perspective. They need money, and they need time, which is money.

“Queer Eye” offers a kind of simulation of wealth redistribution. But every time the Fab Five retreats from the scene, I imagine the freshly-painted homes slowly falling into disrepair, the beards growing shaggy again, the refrigerators emptying.

In the fourth season, which dropped last month, the team makes over a single dad from Kansas City who is known as “the cat suit guy” because he wears feline print onesies to local sporting events. By the end, he gets a new corporate casual wardrobe, and a pop-up support network for his depression — he struggled to discuss it with anyone until the cast of “Queer Eye” broke through his shell.

As they prepare to leave, he tells them that he really needs them to stay in touch. “You’ve got to check on me,” he says. Absolutely, one of them says: “On Instagram.”"
consumerism  consumption  amandahess  capitalism  wellness  2019  class  queereye  classism  inequality  materialism  netflix  television  tv  latecapitalism  makeovers  audrelorde  self-care  gwynethpaltrow  goop  soulcycle  equinox  fitness  kimkardashian  mariekondo  therapy  mentalhealth  politics  economics  instagram  isolation  loneliness  comfort  wellness-industrialcomplex 
august 2019 by robertogreco
LLN [Language Learning with Netflix]
"LLN is a Chrome extension that gives you superpowers over Netflix. It makes studying languages with films/series more effective and enjoyable."
languages  learning  netflix  chrome  extensions  subtitles  srg  onlinetoolkit  glvo 
may 2019 by robertogreco
ROMA | Teaser Trailer [HD] | Netflix - YouTube
[https://www.netflix.com/title/80240715 ]

[See also:

"Alfonso Cuaron Had to Abandon His Safety Net to Make ‘Roma’ — IndieWire Honors
The filmmaker spoke to IndieWire about how his relationship to cinema has evolved over the years."
https://www.indiewire.com/2018/11/alfonso-cuaron-indiewire-honors-roma-1202017271/

"‘Roma’ Drives Netflix to Break Its Own Rules About Theatrical Release
It took a foreign-language Oscar entry from Alfonso Cuarón to push the giant streaming service to embrace a platform theatrical release strategy."
https://www.indiewire.com/2018/10/roma-netflix-rules-theatrical-release-oscars-1202016876/

"Alfonso Cuarón Movies Ranked from Worst to Best
From Harry Potter to "Roma," Alfonso Cuarón has forged one of the most unpredictable and uncompromising careers in all of modern cinema."
https://www.indiewire.com/2018/09/alfonso-cuaron-movies-ranked-worst-best-roma-children-of-men-y-tu-mama-tambien-1202004900/
https://www.indiewire.com/2018/09/alfonso-cuaron-movies-ranked-worst-best-roma-children-of-men-y-tu-mama-tambien-1202004900/2/ ]
alfonsocuarón  film  towatch  netflix 
november 2018 by robertogreco
The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America’s Schools - The New York Times
"The involvement by some of the wealthiest and most influential titans of the 21st century amounts to a singular experiment in education, with millions of students serving as de facto beta testers for their ideas. Some tech leaders believe that applying an engineering mind-set can improve just about any system, and that their business acumen qualifies them to rethink American education.

“They are experimenting collectively and individually in what kinds of models can produce better results,” said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which manages donor funds for Mr. Hastings, Mr. Zuckerberg and others. “Given the changes in innovation that are underway with artificial intelligence and automation, we need to try everything we can to find which pathways work.”

But the philanthropic efforts are taking hold so rapidly that there has been little public scrutiny."



"But many parents and educators said in interviews that they were unaware of the Silicon Valley personalities and money influencing their schools. Among them was Rafranz Davis, executive director of professional and digital learning at Lufkin Independent School District, a public school system in Lufkin, Tex., where students regularly use DreamBox Learning, the math program that Mr. Hastings subsidized, and have tried Code.org’s coding lessons.

“We should be asking a lot more questions about who is behind the curtain,” Ms. Davis said."
automation  education  personalization  facebook  summitpublicschools  markzuckerberg  publicschools  edtech  data  chaters  culture  2017  marcbenioff  influence  democracy  siliconvalley  hourofcode  netflix  algorithms  larrycuban  rafranzdavis  salesforce  reedhastings  dreamboxlearning  dreambox  jessiewoolley-wilson  surveillance  dianetavenner 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Has the Internet Really Changed Everything? — Backchannel
[See also: http://kottke.org/16/04/on-technology-culture-and-growing-up-in-a-small-town ]

"How have decades of mass media and technology changed us? A writer returns to his remote hometown — once isolated, now connected. And finds unexpected answers."



"In the Napoleon of the 1980s, where I memorized the alphabet and mangled my first kiss, distractions were few. There were no malls to loiter, no drags to cruise. With no newsstand or bookstore, information was sparse. The only source of outside knowledge was the high school library, a room the size of a modest apartment, which had subscriptions to exactly five magazines: Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and People. As a teenager, these five magazines were my only connection to the outside world.

Of course, there was no internet yet. Cable television was available to blessed souls in far-off cities, or so we heard, but it did not arrive in Napoleon until my teens, and even then, in a miniaturized grid of 12 UHF channels. (The coax would transmit oddities like WGN and CBN, but not cultural staples like HBO or Nickelodeon. I wanted my MTV in vain.) Before that, only the staticky reception of the big three — ABC, CBS, NBC — arrived via a tangle of rabbit ears. By the time the PBS tower boosted its broadcast reach to Napoleon, I was too old to enjoy Sesame Street.

Out on the prairie, pop culture existed only in the vaguest sense. Not only did I never hear the Talking Heads or Public Enemy or The Cure, I could never have heard of them. With a radio receiver only able to catch a couple FM stations, cranking out classic rock, AC/DC to Aerosmith, the music counterculture of the ’80s would have been a different universe to me. (The edgiest band I heard in high school was The Cars. “My Best Friend’s Girl” was my avant-garde.)

Is this portrait sufficiently remote? Perhaps one more stat: I didn’t meet a black person until I was 16, at a summer basketball camp. I didn’t meet a Jewish person until I was 18, in college.

This was the Deep Midwest in the 1980s. I was a pretty clueless kid."



"“Basically, this story is a controlled experiment,” I continue. “Napoleon is a place that has remained static for decades. The economics, demographics, politics, and geography are the same as when I lived here. In the past twenty-five years, only one thing has changed: technology.”

Photog2 begins to fiddle with an unlit Camel Light, which he clearly wants to go smoke, even if it is 8 degrees below zero outside. But I am finding the rhythm of my pitch.

“All scientific experiments require two conditions: a static environment and a control — a testable variable that changes. Napoleon is the static environment; technology, the control. With all else being equal, this place is the perfect environment to explore societal questions like, What are the effects of mass communications? How has technology transformed the way we form ideas? Does access to information alone make us smarter?”

“How am I supposed to photograph that?” asks Photog2."



"As we discuss other apps on his home screen — YouTube, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo — I realize that my line of questions are really just attempts to prove or disprove a sentence that I read on the flight to Dakota. The sentence appears on page 20 of Danah Boyd’s book, It’s Complicated, a study of the social lives of networked teens:
What the drive-in was to teens in the 1950s and the mall was in the 1980s, Facebook, texting, Twitter, instant messaging, and other social media are to teens now.

I cannot shake the sentence, which seems to contain between its simple words a secret key, a cipher to crack my inquiries into technology and change. Napoleon didn’t have a drive-in in the 1950s, or a mall in the 1980s, but today it definitely has the same social communications tools used by every kid in the country. By that fact alone, the lives of teenagers in Napoleon must be wildly different than they were 20 years ago. But I lack the social research finesse of Boyd, who could probably interrogate my thesis about technology beyond anecdote. So I change the topic to something I know much better: television."



"Whether with sanguine fondness or sallow regret, all writers remember their first publishing experience — that moment when an unseen audience of undifferentiated proportion absorbs their words from unknown locales.
I remember my first three.

Napoleon had no school newspaper, and minimal access to outside media, so I had no conception of “the publishing process.” Pitching an idea, assigning a story, editing and rewriting — all of that would have baffled me. I had only ever seen a couple of newspapers and a handful of magazines, and none offered a window into its production. (If asked, I would have been unsure if writers were even paid, which now seems prescient.) Without training or access, but a vague desire to participate, boredom would prove my only edge. While listlessly paging through the same few magazines over and over, I eventually discovered a semi-concealed backdoor for sneaking words onto the hallowed pages of print publications: user-generated content.

That’s the ghastly term we use (or avoid using) today for non-professional writing submitted by readers. What was once a letter to the editor has become a comment; editorials, now posts. The basic unit persists, but the quantity and facility have matured. Unlike that conspicuous “What’s on your mind?” input box atop Facebook, newspapers and magazines concealed interaction with readers, reluctant of the opinions of randos. But if you were diligent enough to find the mailing address, often sequestered deep in the back pages, you could submit letters of opinion and other ephemera.

This was publishing to me. My collected works were UGC."



"“What are your favorite apps?”

This time my corny question is fielded by Katelyn, another student who my mother suggests will make a good subject for my harebrained experiment. During her study hall break, we discuss the hectic life of a millennial teenager on the plains. She is already taking college-level courses, lettering in three varsity sports, and the president of the local FFA chapter. (That’s Future Farmers of America, an agricultural youth organization with highly competitive livestock judging and grain grading contests. It’s actually a huge deal in deep rural America, bigger than the Boy and Girl Scouts. Katelyn won the state competition in Farm Business Management category.)

To the app question, she recites the universals of any contemporary young woman: Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest. She mentions The Skimm as a daily news source, which is intriguing, but not as provocative as her next remark: “I don’t have Facebook.”

Whoa, why?

“My parents don’t support social media,” says the 18-year-old. “They didn’t want me to get Facebook when I was younger, so I just never signed up.” This is closer to the isolationist Napoleon that I remember. They might not ban books anymore, but parents can still be very protective.

“How do you survive without Facebook?” I ask. “Do you wish you had it?”

“I go back and forth,” she avers. “It would be easier to connect with people I’ve met through FFA and sports. But I’m also glad I don’t have it, because it’s time-consuming and there’s drama over it.”

She talks like a 35-year-old. So I ask who she will vote for.

“I’m not sure. I like how Bernie Sanders is sounding.”

I tell her a story about a moment in my junior civics class where the teacher asked everyone who was Republican to raise their hand. Twenty-five kids lifted their palms to the sky. The remaining two students called themselves Independents. “My school either had zero Democrats or a few closeted ones,” I conclude.

She is indifferent to my anecdote, so I change the topic to music.

“I listen to older country,” she says. “Garth Brooks, George Strait.” The term “older country” amuses me, but I resist the urge to ask her opinion of Jimmie Rodgers. “I’m not a big fan of hardcore rap or heavy metal,” she continues. “I don’t understand heavy metal. I don’t know why you would want to listen to it.”

So no interest in driving three hours in the snow to see AC/DC at the Fargodome last night?

“No, I just watched a couple Snapchat stories of it.”

Of course she did.

While we talk, a scratchy announcement is broadcast over the school-wide intercom. A raffle drawing ticket is being randomly selected. I hear Jaden’s name announced as the winner of the gigantic teddy bear in my mother’s office.
I ask Katelyn what novel she read as a sophomore, the class year that The Catcher in the Rye was banned from my school. When she says Fahrenheit 451, I feel like the universe has realigned for me in some cosmic perfection.

But my time is running out, and again I begin to wonder whether she is proving or disproving my theories of media and technology. It’s difficult to compare her life to mine at that age. Katelyn is undoubtedly more focused and mature than any teenager I knew in the ’80s, but this is the stereotype of all millennials today. Despite her many accomplishments, she seems to suppress the hallmark characteristic of her ambitious generation: fanatic self-regard. Finally, I ask her what she thinks her life will be like in 25 years.

“I hope I’ll be married, and probably have kids,” she says decisively. “I see myself in a rural area. Maybe a little bit closer to Bismarck or Fargo. But I’m definitely in North Dakota.”

I tell her that Jaden gave essentially the same answer to the question. Why do you think that is?

“The sense of a small community,” she says, using that word again. “Everyone knows each other. It’s a big family.”"
internet  technology  rexsorgatz  2016  isolation  cv  web  online  culture  distraction  media  film  music  quietude  publishing  writing  worldliness  rural  howwelive  thenandnow  change  community  smalltowns  schools  education  journalism  books  censorship  fahrenheit451  raybradbury  thecatcherintherye  jdsalinger  newspapers  communication  socialmedia  snapchat  facebook  instagram  pinterest  theskimm  news  danahboyd  youtube  ebay  yahoo  twitter  videogames  gaming  subcultures  netflix  teens  youth  connectivity  childhood  college  universities  highered  highereducation  midwest  television  tv  cable  cabletv  cosmopolitanism  urban  urbanism  interneturbanism  1980s  northdakota  homogeneity  diversity  apclasses  aps  religion  ethnicity  race  exposure 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The Future of Video Is a Wonderful Mess -- Following: How We Live Online
"As video — and livestreaming in particular — grows in popularity on the web, we can expect to see more of this: people becoming their own professional broadcasting operations, warping and tweaking the aesthetic of their stream to fit their brand in a way similar to a cable news channel, and piling loads of extraneous information into the frame. This is exciting! The idea that users want a tidy, uniform experience across a service is mostly an idea clung to by technologists — the average social-media user doesn’t care about cleanliness. If they did, we wouldn’t be seeing an astonishing amount of compression rot in the multimedia passed around on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Tumblr.

Twitch is, as of now, the best indication yet that the web is ebbing back toward Myspace on the Myspace-Facebook spectrum. The reasons for this are both technological — rendering and processing video is expensive — and cultural. As more and more people come of age using the web and using technology, uniformity in design and aesthetic isn’t as necessary. Facebook emerged as a service friendly to people who had never used a social network before, and that population is rapidly dwindling. We’re moving toward visual cacophony because we now have the ability to parse that mess easily. That beautiful mess is something to look forward to."
video  web  online  future  messiness  myspace  aesthetics  facebook  gifs  geocities  webrococo  snapchat  twitter  socialmedia  netflix  hulu  twitch  minecraft  ui  hud  annotations  tumblr  instagram  brainfeldman  multiliteracies 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Showgoers - Showgoers
"Showgoers is a Chrome extension that allows you link up your Netflix player with a friend's so that you can watch the same Netflix movie together over the internet. With Showgoers installed, watching a Netflix movie with friends online is as easy as sharing a URL.

When you're in a Showgoers watching party, clicking play/pause or seeking to a specific spot in the movie will cause the Netflix player of everyone else in the watching party to do the same thing. With your Netflix players automatically connected together, you can focus on just sharing the experience together in real-time."
netflix  chrome  extensions  social  synchronization 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Can You Hear What I’m SayingPeri Himsel | Interfictions Online
"Spotlight 1

In 1988, Gallaudet University elected another hearing president. The students of Gallaudet believed that the time had come for a deaf person to run the university for the deaf and hard of hearing—they created the Deaf President Now protest movement. The DPN movement eventually received national recognition and support, becoming the first time the struggles of the deaf community had been acknowledged on such a massive scale.

It changed the way the hearing looked at the deaf. In the years following, it urged an increase of new laws and bills that promoted rights for the deaf and disabled."



"Breaking Bad

Though he got comparatively little screen time on Breaking Bad, Walter (Flynn) White Junior was a complex character with cerebral palsy. He had thoughts, feelings and storylines that did not revolve around his disability. He suffered to be seen as cool by his peers and later from the emotional turmoil and anger over the reveal that his father was a psychotic meth king all along.

The actor, R.J. Mitte, also has cerebral palsy, though a milder case."



"Passing

I took off my hearing aids around the age of thirteen. Just before I stopped going to the audiologist, there was some talk of me being a good candidate for the cochlear implant. I considered but in the end, I didn’t want to them to slice my head open. I didn’t want to be shackled to a piece of metal and plastic I could never take off. I didn’t want to be always stuck in a weird limbo of just barely hearing things. I could never be fully hearing and I didn’t want to pretend.

Pity

Marlee Matlin won an Academy Award and Golden Globe in 1987 for her role as Sarah Norman in Children of a Lesser God. In the movie, her boyfriend, James Leeds (played by William Hurt), is listening to music then shuts it off. He tells Matlin’s character, who is deaf, that he feels bad listening to this music because she can’t. This is one of the few scenes in which Matlin’s character does not express rage and resentment towards this hearing man with all his assumptions of the deaf that he has carried throughout the entire film. Rather, she nods and smiles placidly.

This is the point in the movie where I stopped caring for her character."



"Accessibility

When I started watching Doctor Who, like anyone, I wanted to become the Doctor’s companion and travel around in the TARDIS. In retrospect, I’m not really sure how that would work out. The TARDIS is supposed to translate all known languages for the Doctor and his companions but there’s never been a deaf companion (or a deaf character for that matter). Would the TARDIS make it look like everyone around me was signing? Would she put captions that would float in the air above them? Would she translate their words and just implant them in my head? What about other sounds for that matter? At this point, does the TARDIS just become a glorified, advanced technology interpreter?

Labeling

I don’t really consider myself disabled. To me, I am deaf. But then I have to tell them I need an interpreter for this class, captions for this movie, a script for this radio show. That I need something that these other people don’t. Then I must say, yes, I am disabled."



"Lucky

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me “you’re lucky you’re deaf right now,” I would have paid off my college loans years ago.

Inspiration

August 30, 2012: S.E Smith, a woman with a disability, publishes an article concerning the Paralympics and perceptions of disabilities called “Disabled People Are Not Your Inspiration.” In this piece, she discusses how disabled people, especially Paralympics competitors, are used too often as “inspiration porn”: there’s an assumption that disabled people live horrible lives, which makes their basic everyday actions inspiring to others. It’s a harmful attitude because “people who insist that we’re so inspiring are turning us into objects, not people…you’re saying we need to be singled out as remarkable because of our disabilities, and it pushes us further to the margins.” 4

Naïve

There was this girl in my sociology class in my sophomore year in college. One day, towards the end of the semester, as I was leaving class, she stopped me and handed me a note. I read it as I walked down the hallway. She told me, in this note, that she found me inspiring because I woke up every day, came to class, and functioned with my disability. Attached to it, she had taped a candy bar, the way one would try to bribe a three year old. For the rest of the semester, I never looked at her again.

Experience

I made the mistake of reading the comments on S.E. Smith’s article. Most were angry, either annoyed at feeling they were “not being allowed to be inspired” because they had never been disabled themselves, or enraged, listing people they had known who had “faced and overcome adversity” as if this somehow made them a better person.

Maybe we didn’t read the same article."



"Censorship

After being sued by the National Association of the Deaf in 2011, Netflix releases a statement in 2012 that they will caption all of their content by 20145. However, they don’t take into account the accuracy of their captions. In an open letter to Netflix in 2013, Sam Wildman, hard-of-hearing, weighs in on the problem of censorship within captions:

“But if someone says “Kill that motherfucker!” then shouldn’t everyone be able to have the same shocked reaction to the word ‘motherfucker’ as anyone else? Why should people using subtitles be spared? Alternatively, why should they be deprived?” 6

Half Life

Half-Life 1, a science-fiction first person shooter video game, came out in 1998. I used to watch my brother play, controlling the main character Gordon Freeman as he attempts to survive the fallout of a bad science experiment in the Black Mesa facility. When I finally got a chance to play, I knew how to beat every level. Half-Life 1 didn’t have captions. I had a fragmented idea of the story for the most part, until I managed to find the script online. Towards the middle of the game, deep in the tunnels of Black Mesa, the Hazardous Combat Unit soldiers fighting Gordon scrawled a message on the wall.

It reads: Give Up, Freeman."
perihimsel  deafness  deaf  disability  2015  accessibility  labeling  closedcaptions  netflix  videogames  gaming  disabilities  closedcaptioning 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Find the best movies on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and more | Leanflix
"Leanflix is the easiest way to find movies worth watching on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and HBO (and it's free).

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netflix  amazonprime  amazon  hbo  movies  film  filtering  streaming  leanflix  itunes  search 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Media Hint - Unblock the Web - Easy to Use Proxy
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chrome  extension  netflix  proxy  tv  television  firefox  proxies  hulu  amazonprime  music  video  socialmedia  extensions 
october 2014 by robertogreco
sprout & co :: Rendering Learners Legible
"Educators talk a lot about ‘personalization.’ Is the animating purpose of “personalization” in to render students legible? If it is, could Sal Khan take the Hippocratic oath?"
alecresnick  education  legibility  jamescscott  2013  salkhan  ethics  unschooling  deschooling  personalization  individualization  sprout&co  data  inbloom  schools  facebook  google  khanacademy  netflix  sprout  salmankhan 
june 2014 by robertogreco
On Reverse Engineering — Anthropology and Algorithms — Medium
"As a cultural anthropologist in the middle of a long-term research project on algorithmic filtering systems, I am very interested in how people think about companies like Netflix, which take engineering practices and apply them to cultural materials. In the popular imagination, these do not go well together: engineering is about universalizable things like effectiveness, rationality, and algorithms, while culture is about subjective and particular things, like taste, creativity, and artistic expression. Technology and culture, we suppose, make an uneasy mix. When Felix Salmon, in his response to Madrigal’s feature, complains about “the systematization of the ineffable,” he is drawing on this common sense: engineers who try to wrangle with culture inevitably botch it up.

Yet, in spite of their reputations, we always seem to find technology and culture intertwined. The culturally-oriented engineering of companies like Netflix is a quite explicit case, but there are many others. Movies, for example, are a cultural form dependent on a complicated system of technical devices — cameras, editing equipment, distribution systems, and so on. Technologies that seem strictly practical — like the Māori eel trap pictured above—are influenced by ideas about effectiveness, desired outcomes, and interpretations of the natural world, all of which vary cross-culturally. We may talk about technology and culture as though they were independent domains, but in practice, they never stay where they belong. Technology’s straightforwardness and culture’s contingency bleed into each other.

This can make it hard to talk about what happens when engineers take on cultural objects. We might suppose that it is a kind of invasion: The rationalizers and quantifiers are over the ridge! They’re coming for our sensitive expressions of the human condition! But if technology and culture are already mixed up with each other, then this doesn’t make much sense. Aren’t the rationalizers expressing their own cultural ideas? Aren’t our sensitive expressions dependent on our tools? In the present moment, as companies like Netflix proliferate, stories trying to make sense of the relationship between culture and technology also proliferate. In my own research, I examine these stories, as told by people from a variety of positions relative to the technology in question. There are many such stories, and they can have far-reaching consequences for how technical systems are designed, built, evaluated, and understood."



"So what does “reverse engineering” mean? What kind of things can be reverse engineered? What assumptions does reverse engineering make about its objects? Like any frame, reverse engineering constrains as well as enables the presentation of certain stories. I want to suggest here that, while reverse engineering might be a useful strategy for figuring out how an existing technology works, it is less useful for telling us how it came to work that way. Because reverse engineering starts from a finished technical object, it misses the accidents that happened along the way — the abandoned paths, the unusual stories behind features that made it to release, moments of interpretation, arbitrary choice, and failure. Decisions that seemed rather uncertain and subjective as they were being made come to appear necessary in retrospect. Engineering looks a lot different in reverse."



"All engineering mixes culture and technology. Even Madrigal’s “reverse engineering” does not stay put in technical bounds: he supplements the work of his bot by talking with people, drawing on their interpretations and offering his own, reading the altgenres, populated with serendipitous algorithmic accidents, as “a window unto the American soul.” Engineers, reverse and otherwise, have cultural lives, and these lives inform their technical work. To see these effects, we need to get beyond the idea that the technical and the cultural are necessarily distinct. But if we want to understand the work of companies like Netflix, it is not enough to simply conclude that culture and technology — humans and computers — are mixed. The question we need to answer is how."
algorithms  culture  engineering  netflix  nickseaver  anthropology  reverseengineering  alexismadrigal  nicholasdiakopoulos  technology  invention  2014 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world | Video on TED.com
"Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control."
kevinslavin  algorithms  complexity  coding  ted  data  finance  art  architecture  math  mathematics  control  2011  netflix  markets  bots  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Software Studies: digital humanities, cultural analytics, software studies
"Cultural Analytics is the term we coined to describe computational analysis of massive cultural and social data sets and data flows. Over last 15-10 years, cultural analytics came to structure contemporary media universe, cultural production and consumption, and cultural memory. Search engines, spam detection, Netflix and Amazon recommendations, Last.fm, Flickr "interesting" photo rankings, movie success predictions, tools such as Google n-gram viewer, Trends, Insights for Search, content-based image search, and and numerous other applications and services all rely on cultural analytics. This work is carried out in media industries and in academia by researchers in data mining, social computing, media computing, music information retrieval, computational linguistics, and other areas of computer science."
datagriotism  datagriots  digitalhumanities  humanities  data  levmanovich  lastfm  netflix  amazon  ngram  ngramviewer  trends  media  culture  computing  computation  computationallinguistics  culturalanalytics  2011  ucsd  last.fm  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Setup: Frank Chimero
"I’d like a more flexible, faster all-in-one inbox for my digital detritus. For some reason, DevonThink, Yojimbo, & Evernote aren’t cutting it for me. Tumblr is close, but not quite it. I’d like something that successfully handles images in tandem w/ text, because that’s how my brain works. I have this dream of having a management interface very similar to a hybrid of LittleSnapper & Yojimbo, & then a “serendipity engine” application for iPad. It’d be a bit like Flipboard where things are served up at random from your collection for browsing. That’s the flaw of all of these things, in my mind: they encourage you to get things in, but aren’t optimized for revisiting it in a way that lacks linearity or classification. If you’re looking to make constellations of content, I think the way your collection is presented back to you matters. I guess what I’m asking for is a digital rendition of the commonplace book, & serious rethinking of what advantages digital could provide…"
frankchimero  hardware  software  thesetup  tools  howwework  commonplacebooks  dropbox  devonthink  yojimbo  evernote  macbookair  photoshop  illustrator  muji  notebooks  tumblr  serendipity  discovery  iphone  kindle  lumixgf1  appletv  netflix  texteditor  gmail  instapaper  simplenote  rdio  itunes  reeder  2011  usesthis  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Technium: The Satisfaction Paradox
"Let's say that after all is said and done, in the history of the world there are 2,000 theatrical movies, 500 documentaries, 200 TV shows, 100,000 songs, and 10,000 books that I would be crazy about. I don't have enough time to absorb them all, even if I were a full time fan. But what if our tools could deliver to me only those items to choose from? How would I -- or you -- choose from those select choices?"
kevinkelly  serendipity  choice  paradox  paradoxofchoice  satisfaction  satisfactionparadox  netflix  amazon  scarcity  abundance  google  spotify  music  film  curation  filters  filtering  discovery  recommendations  psychology  economics  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Technium: Simultanology
"Right now simulatnology is rampant on the web. Anything that can be communicated can be communicated instantly. Thats' good news for intangible goods and services. But it wasn't always that way. In the pre-web days of internet, documents used to be stored in public at ftp sites. There was a period of several years when folks would go to a ftp site & download all the files, because like books, you never knew when you might need them. It took a while to realize that having continuous immediate access to the files was better than downloading them before hand. You only downloaded them when you were ready to.

While the media has been very well served by simultanology, there's much in the rest of our lives that has yet to become real time. Medicine…Why the delay in diagonstics, test results, & applying remedies? Education is not real time enough, although that is changing (see Khan Academy). Most of governance & politics…And we need more simmultanology in science and discovery."
technology  web  realitime  justintimeju  justinintimelearning  netflix  instantgratification  instantplay  business  amazon  kindle  books  ebooks  immediacy  kevinkelly  medicine  education  learning  change  schools  online  internet  kindlewishlist  media  intangibles  2011  consumption  reading  watching  film  khanacademy  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin on Lift 11: Geneva - live streaming video powered by Livestream
Quotes transcribed by David Smith: "things we write but can no longer read"; "three problems … opacity, inscrutability … The third one is darker and a little bit harder to describe — I don't even know what to call it yet"; flash crash; dark pools; 60% of all movies rented on Netflix are rented because Netflix recommended them; 70% of current Wall St trades are algorithms trying to be invisible or other algorithms trying to find the invisible algorithms"
kevinslavin  technology  algorithms  evolution  wallstreet  cities  darkpools  netflix  trading  finance  invisibilealgorithms  financialservices  realestate  nyc  manhattan  songs  film  television  tv  opacity  inscrutability  elevators  lift11  roomba  robots  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: A culture of testing [Adapted version by Josie Holford: http://www.pdscompasspoint.com/a-culture-of-testing]
"Netflix tests everything. They're very proud that they A/B test interactions, offerings, pricing, everything. It's almost enough to get you to believe that rigorous testing is the key to success.

Except they didn't test the model of renting DVDs by mail for a monthly fee.

And they didn't test the model of having an innovative corporate culture.

And they didn't test the idea of betting the company on a switch to online delivery.

The three biggest assets of the company weren't tested, because they couldn't be.

Sure, go ahead and test what's testable. But the real victories come when you have the guts to launch the untestable."
testing  innovation  netflix  strategy  sethgodin  quantification  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  learning  lcproject  culture  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Film History 101 (via Netflix Watch Instantly) « Snarkmarket
"Robin is absolutely right: I like lists, I remember everything I’ve ever seen or read, and I’ve been making course syllabi for over a decade, so I’m often finding myself saying “If you really want to understand [topic], these are the [number of objects] you need to check out.” Half the fun is the constraint of it, especially since we all now know (or should know) that constraints = creativity."

[See also Matt Penniman's "Sci-fi Film History 101" list: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6492 ]
film  netflix  history  cinema  movies  timcarmody  snarkmarket  teaching  curation  curating  constraints  lists  creativity  forbeginners  thecanon  pairing  sharing  expertise  experience  education  learning  online  2010  frankchimero  surveycourses  surveys  web  internet  perspective  organization  succinct  focus  design  the101  robinsloan  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  reference  pacing  goldcoins  surveycasts  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Awesome Greasemonkey Netflix Queue Sorter for Apple Safari 5.0 - Noise & More
" I decided to take the excellent open source Netflix Queue Sorter script for Greasemonkey done by Maarten van Egmond and see if I could re-package it into a Safari Extension. Which I was able to do without modifying much of his code.<br />
<br />
Here is the Apple Safari 5 Netflix Queue Sorter. Latest Version is (1.7)"
extensions  netflix  safari  plugins  greasemonkey  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
The making of the NYT’s Netflix graphic – The Society for News Design
"One of The Times’ recent graphics, “A Peek Into Netflix Queues,” ended up being one of our more popular graphics of the past few months. (A good roundup of what people wrote is here). Since then, there have been a few questions about the how the graphic was made and Tyson Evans, a friend and colleague, thought it might interest SND members. (I bother Tyson with questions about CSS and Ruby pretty regularly, so I owe him a few favors.)"
visualization  howto  infographics  nytimes  gis  maps  design  information  mapping  netflix  journalism  graphics  interactive  data 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Streaming Soon on Netflix Instant Watch
"In 2009, Netflix began providing thorough data for upcoming Instant Watch releases. On the Roku Forums (Creators of the Roku Digital Video Player - originally a Netflix-only player), forum member Matthew (aka MCWHAMMER) began tracking this data with help from other members of the Roku community.
netflix  glvo  streaming  streams  directory  reference  comingsoon  tv  media  film  movies  entertainment  video  online  internet 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Chris Heathcote: anti-mega: cheer up it's Archigram
"I’ve been particularly taken with the Botteries: The World’s Last Hardware Event by David Greene & Mike Myers ... a vision of returning to the English countryside, with everything you require brought by bots of all sorts: communication, rooms, walls, even pets. ... we’ve actually reached a place very similar ... rapidly seeing a world of use as needed, rather than purchase & storage. Blu-Ray is the world’s last media hardware event, it’s download from now on. Netflix & Lovefilm ... Spotify ... We’re starting to live in a world that would have been unimaginable 5 years ago, where ownership is severely debased as a good quality. We’re even seeing the world’s last physical retailers disappear. ... Russell ... was talking about how everyone has a junk room. What if you could ship that to Amazon or someone & pull bits back as you need them? We don’t want cloud computing, we want Big Yellow Internet Storage. & then you could have a smaller house or flat. It struck me as very Archigram-ish."
archigram  chrisheathcote  storage  postmaterialism  netflix  cloudcomputing  amazon  postownership  ownership  stuff  things  gamechanging  spotify  delivery  architecture  books 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Maghound: Like Netflix for Magazine Subscriptions - ReadWriteWeb
"Time Inc. launched its much anticipated magazine meta-subscription service Maghound today. The idea is that for a small fee, starting at three titles for $4.95 a month, you can swap out magazine subscriptions every month. It's like Netflix for magazine subscriptions, but unlike Netflix the selection is awful. We like the idea a lot though and we hope it will improve."
magazines  netflix  subscriptions  services  reading 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Datawocky: More data usually beats better algorithms
"To sum up, if you have limited resources, add more data rather than fine-tuning the weights on your fancy machine-learning algorithm. Of course, you have to be judicious in your choice of the data to add to your data set."
algorithms  code  computers  computing  database  databases  datamining  efficiency  statistics  semanticweb  programming  netflix  research  metadata  learning  search 
april 2008 by robertogreco

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