robertogreco + popculture   37

After Authenticity
"Meanwhile, years of semantic slippage had happened without me noticing. Suddenly the surging interest in fashion, the dad hats, the stupid pin companies, the lack of sellouts, it all made sense. Authenticity has expanded to the point that people don’t even believe in it anymore. And why should we? Our friends work at SSENSE, they work at Need Supply. They are starting dystopian lifestyle brands. Should we judge them for just getting by? A Generation-Z-focused trend report I read last year clumsily posed that “the concept of authenticity is increasingly deemed inauthentic.” It goes further than that. What we are witnessing is the disappearance of authenticity as a cultural need altogether.

Under authenticity, the value of a thing decreases as the number of people to whom it is meaningful increases. This is clearly no longer the case. Take memes for example. “Meme” circa 2005 meant lolcats, the Y U NO guy and grimy neckbeards on 4chan. Within 10 years “meme” transitioned from this one specific subculture to a generic medium in which collective participation is seen as amplifying rather than detracting from value.

In a strange turn of events, the mass media technologies built out during the heady authenticity days have had a huge part in facilitating this new mass media culture. The hashtag, like, upvote, and retweet are UX patterns that systematize endorsement and quantify shared value. The meme stock market jokers are more right than they know; memes are information commodities. But unlike indie music 10 years ago the value of a meme is based on its publicly shared recognition. From mix CDs to nationwide Spotify playlists. With information effortlessly transferable at zero marginal cost and social platforms that blast content to the top of everyone’s feed, it’s difficult to for an ethics based on scarcity to sustain itself.

K-HOLE and Box1824 captured the new landscape in their breakthrough 2014 report “Youth Mode.” They described an era of “mass indie” where the search for meaning is premised on differentiation and uniqueness, and proposed a solution in “Normcore.” Humorously, nearly everyone mistook Normcore for being about bland fashion choices rather than the greater cultural shift toward accepting shared meanings. It turns out that the aesthetics of authenticity-less culture are less about acting basic and more about playing up the genericness of the commodity as an aesthetic category. LOT2046’s delightfully industrial-supply-chain-default aesthetics are the most beautiful and powerful rendering of this. But almost everyone is capitalizing on the same basic trend, from Vetements and Virgil Abloh (enormous logos placed for visibility in Instagram photos are now the norm in fashion) to the horribly corporate Brandless. Even the names of boring basics companies like “Common Threads” and “Universal Standard” reflect the the popularity of genericness, writes Alanna Okunn at Racked. Put it this way: Supreme bricks can only sell in an era where it’s totally fine to like commodities.

Crucially, this doesn’t mean that people don’t continue to seek individuation. As I’ve argued elsewhere exclusivity is fundamental to any meaning-amplifying strategy. Nor is this to delegitimize some of the recognizable advancements popularized alongside the first wave of mass authenticity aesthetics. Farmer’s markets, the permaculture movement, and the trend of supporting local businesses are valuable cultural innovations and are here to stay.

Nevertheless, now that authenticity is obsolete it’s become difficult to remember why we were suspicious of brands and commodities to begin with. Maintaining criticality is a fundamental challenge in this new era of trust. Unfortunately, much of what we know about being critical is based on authenticity ethics. Carles blamed the Contemporary Conformist phenomenon on a culture industry hard-set on mining “youth culture dollars.” This very common yet extraordinarily reductive argument, which makes out commodity capitalism to be an all-powerful, intrinsically evil force, is typical of authenticity believers. It assumes a one-way influence of a brand’s actions on consumers, as do the field of semiotics and the hopeless, authenticity-craving philosophies of Baudrillard and Debord.

Yet now, as Dena Yago says, “you can like both Dimes and Doritos, sincerely and without irony.” If we no longer see brands and commodity capitalism as something to be resisted, we need more nuanced forms of critique that address how brands participate in society as creators and collaborators with real agency. Interest in working with brands, creating brands, and being brands is at an all-time high. Brands and commodities therefore need to be considered and critiqued on the basis of the specific cultural and economic contributions they make to society. People co-create their identities with brands just as they do with religions, communities, and other other systems of meaning. This constructivist view is incompatible with popular forms of postmodern critique but it also opens up new critical opportunities. We live in a time where brands are expected to not just reflect our values but act on them. Trust in business can no longer be based on visual signals of authenticity, only on proof of work."
tobyshorin  2018  authenticity  culture  anthropology  hispters  sellouts  sellingout  commercialism  kanyewest  yeezy  yeezysupply  consumerism  commercialization  commodification  personalbranding  branding  capitalism  shepardfairey  obeygiant  tourism  sarahperry  identity  critique  ethics  mainstream  rjaymagill  popculture  aesthetics  commentary  conformism  scale  scalability  venkateshrao  premiummediocre  brooklyn  airbnb  wework  local  handmade  artisinal  economics  toms  redwings  davidmuggleton  josephpine  jamesgilmore  exclusivity  denayago  systems  sytemsofmeaning  meaning  commodities  k-hole 
april 2018 by robertogreco
OCCULTURE: 67. Carl Abrahamsson & Mitch Horowitz in “Occulture (Meta)” // Anton LaVey, Real Magic & the Nature of the Mind
"Look, I’m not gonna lie to you - we have a pretty badass show this time around. Carl Abrahamsson and Mitch Horowitz are in the house.

Carl Abrahamsson is a Swedish freelance writer, lecturer, filmmaker and photographer specializing in material about the arts & entertainment, esoteric history and occulture. Carl is the author of several books, including a forthcoming title from Inner Traditions called Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward.

Mitch Horowitz is the author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; Occult America, which received the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence; and Mind As Builder: The Positive-Mind Metaphysics of Edgar Cayce. Mitch has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Salon, Time.com, and Politico. Mitch is currently in the midst of publishing a series of articles on Medium called "Real Magic".

And it is that series paired with Carl’s book that lays the foundation for our conversation here."
carlabrahamsson  mitchhorowitz  occult  culture  occulture  magic  belief  mind  ouijaboard  astrology  mindfulness  buddhism  religion  academia  antonlavey  materialism  mainstream  intellectualism  elitism  mindbodyspirit  2018  esotericism  authority  norms  nuance  change  enlightenment  popculture  science  humanities  socialsciences  medicine  conservatism  churches  newage  cosmology  migration  california  hippies  meaning  psychology  siliconvalley  ingenuity  human  humans  humannature  spirituality  openmindedness  nature  urbanization  urban  nyc  us  society  santería  vodou  voodoo  voudoun  climate  light  davidlynch  innovation  population  environment  meaningmaking  mikenesmith  californianideology  thought  thinking  philosophy  hoodoo  blackmetal  norway  beauty  survival  wholeperson  churchofsatan  satanism  agency  ambition  mysticism  self  stories  storytelling  mythology  humanism  beinghuman  surrealism  cv  repetition  radicalism  myths  history  renaissance  fiction  fantasy  reenchantment  counterculture  consciousness  highered  highereducation  cynicism  inquiry  realitytele 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Why Teachers on TV Have to Be Incompetent or Inspiring - The New York Times
"Yet when fictional classrooms are filled with lower-income minority children, the teachers tend to be superheroes who triumph over poverty and racism by sheer force of personality and perseverance. If pedagogy has anything to do with it, these teachers come off as renegades who deploy tactics never before tried by their colleagues. (Cue “Freedom Writers,” “Dangerous Minds” and “Stand and Deliver.”)

Such archetypes tap into fierce debates in education today. Efforts to overturn public school job protections like tenure, for example, stem from the argument that ineffective teachers can stay in classrooms indefinitely. And policies tethering teacher evaluations to student test scores are based on studies that link high-performing teachers to long-term improvements in the lives of students, particularly the most disadvantaged.

“We’re trying to constantly play the top 2 percent off of the bottom 2 percent in different political ways,” said Roxanna Elden, a high school English teacher in Miami and the author of “See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers.”"



"Movies and television rarely show teachers, well, teaching. All kinds of professions, from police work to law to medicine, are routinely distorted in popular culture. But for the most part, competence rather than charisma is seen as a prerequisite for success in those fields. While journalists applauded the accurate portrayal of investigative reporting in “Spotlight,” this year’s Oscar winner, movies or television series tend to avoid the intellectual side of teaching. At least on shows like “The Good Wife” or “C.S.I.” you get to see the characters doing their jobs.

But in films and shows about teachers, the focus is on the teacher’s “connecting on an individual level with the students,” said James E. Ryan, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “and not so much about the craft of teaching.” Teachers more typically serve as emotional mentors than instructional guides: Tina Fey’s character in “Mean Girls” is a math teacher, but her main role is as social conscience of the school.

For young people considering future careers, the generally negative view of teachers in pop culture can add to more tangible concerns about pay and working conditions. When Aubrey Gray, 18, a senior at Pickerington High School Central near Columbus, Ohio, told her brother of her plans to go into teaching, he responded, “Why in the world would you want to do that?”

Ms. Gray, who is a national vice president in Educators Rising, a student organization for teenagers who want to pursue teaching careers, said she recently watched a couple of episodes of “Teachers” and rolled her eyes. “I really feel like I have a great chance to change the way that people see teachers,” she said.

There is a chicken-and-egg question about whether popular culture can change how teaching is perceived. Dan Brown, a co-director of Educators Rising, said complex portrayals of doctors, for example, came long after an overhaul of standards for training and medical residencies helped cement doctors as respected experts.

“Right now teaching doesn’t have the status of other professions,” said Mr. Brown, “and that’s reflected exponentially in media.”

I asked one of my favorite middle school teachers, Dennis Cardwell, who retired from Kenilworth Junior High School in Petaluma, Calif., after 30 years of teaching English, what he thought of how his profession appeared in pop culture. “All of those tropes definitely exist,” he said. “And I worked with all of them.”

But more realist depictions, he added, could have a downside. “If a film could actually show how hard teaching is,” he wrote, “no one would become a teacher.”"
teaching  film  society  culture  movies  2016  via:lukeneff  motokorich  popculture  teachers 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong? - The New York Times
"It’s a truth only selectively acknowledged that all cultures are mongrel. One of the first Indian words to be brought into English was the Hindi ‘‘loot’’ — ‘‘plunder.’’ Some of the Ku Klux Klan's 19th-century costumes were, of all things, inspired in part by the festival wear of West African slaves; the traditional wax-print designs we associate with West Africa are apparently Indonesian — by way of the Netherlands. Gandhi cribbed nonviolence from the Sermon on the Mount.

We sometimes describe this mingling as ‘‘cross-pollination’’ or ‘‘cross-fertilization’’ — benign, bucolic metaphors that obscure the force of these encounters. When we wish to speak more plainly, we talk of ‘‘appropriation’’ — a word now associated with the white Western world’s co-opting of minority cultures. And this year — these past several months alone — there has been plenty of talk. In film, there was the outcry over the casting of the blonde Emma Stone as the part-Chinese Hawaiian heroine of Cameron Crowe’s ‘‘Aloha.’’ In music, Miley Cyrus wore dreadlock extensions while hosting the V.M.A.s and drew accusations of essentially performing in blackface — and not for the first time. In literature, there was the discovery that Michael Derrick Hudson, a white poet, had been published in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology under a Chinese pseudonym. In fashion, there was the odd attempt to rebrand cornrows as a Caucasian style — a ‘‘favorite resort hair look,’’ according to Elle. And floating above it all has been Rachel Dolezal, the presiding spirit of the phenomenon, the white former N.A.A.C.P. chapter president who remains serenely and implacably convinced of her blackness.

Questions about the right to your creation and labor, the right to your identity, emerge out of old wounds in America, and they provoke familiar battle stances. The same arguments are trotted out (It’s just hair! Stop being so sensitive! It’s not always about race!) to be met by the same quotes from Bell Hooks, whose essays from the early ’90s on pop culture, and specifically on Madonna, have been a template for discussions of how white people ‘‘colonize’’ black identity to feel transgressive: ‘‘Ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.’’ It’s a seasonal contro­versy that attends awards shows, music festivals, Halloween: In a country whose beginnings are so bound up in theft, conversations about appropriation are like a ceremonial staging of the nation’s original sins.

It can feel like such a poignantly stalled conversation that we’re occasionally tempted to believe we’ve moved past it. A 2013 NPR story on America’s changing demographics and the evolution of hip-hop made a case that the genre has lost its identification with race, and that young people aren’t burdened by anxieties about authenticity. ‘‘The melding of cultures we’re seeing now may have Generation X and Generation Y shaking in their boots with claims of racial ‘appropriation,’ ’’ the rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco said in an online discussion about fashion’s debt to ‘‘urban culture.’’ ‘‘To Generation Z, I would clearly think it all seems ‘normal.’ ’’ Hip-hop culture is global culture, according to this wisdom: People of Korean descent have dominated the largest international b-boy championships; twerking is a full-blown obsession in Russia. ‘‘We as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture,’’ Questlove, the drummer and co-founder of the Roots, said last year in an interview with Time magazine in which he defended Iggy Azalea, the white Australian rapper derided for (among other things) affecting a ‘‘Southern’’ accent. ‘‘If you love something, you gotta set it free.’’

But many of the most dogged critics of cultural appropriation are turning out to be the very people who were supposed to be indifferent to it. Members of supposedly easygoing Generation Z object — in droves — to Lena Dunham’s posting a photograph of herself in a mock hijab. Others argue that the cultural devaluation of black people paves the way for violence against them. ‘‘What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we loved black culture?’’ Amandla Stenberg, the 16-year-old star of ‘‘The Hunger Games,’’ asked, in her video message ‘‘Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,’’ which criticized pop stars like Katy Perry for borrowing from black style ‘‘as a way of being edgy.’’ In June, young Asian-Americans protested when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as an accompaniment to a lecture called ‘‘Claude Monet: Flirting With the Exotic,’’ invited visitors to pose next to Monet’s ‘‘La Japonaise’’ while wearing a matching kimono. And South Asian women, objecting to the fad for ‘‘ethnic’’ wear at music festivals like Coachella, continued a social-media campaign to ‘‘reclaim the bindi,’’ sharing photographs of themselves, their mothers and grandmothers wearing bindis, with captions like ‘‘My culture is not a costume.’’’

Is this just the latest flowering of ‘‘outrage culture’’? Not necessarily. ‘‘The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred,’’ Stenberg acknowledges in her video. But it has never been easier to proceed with good faith and Google, to seek out and respect context. Social media, these critics suggest, allow us too much access to other people’s lives and other people’s opinions to plead ignorance when it comes to causing offense. When Allure magazine offers tips on achieving a ‘‘loose Afro’’ accompanied by a photograph of a white woman, we can’t overlook how actual black women have been penalized for the hairstyle — that two years ago it was widely reported that a 12-year-old black girl in Florida was threatened with expulsion because of her ‘‘distracting’’ natural hair, and that schools in Oklahoma and Ohio have tried to ban Afros outright. We can’t forget that South Asian bindis became trendy in the mid-’90s, not long after South Asians in New Jersey were being targeted by a hate group that called itself Dotbusters, referencing the bindi, which some South Asian women stopped wearing out of fear of being attacked.

Seen in this light, ‘‘appropriation’’ seems less provocative than pitiably uninformed and stale. It seems possible that we might, someday, learn to keep our hands to ourselves where other people’s cultures are concerned. But then that might do another kind of harm. In an essay in the magazine Guernica, the Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie called for more, not less, imaginative engagement with her country: ‘‘The moment you say a male American writer can’t write about a female Pakistani, you are saying, Don’t tell those stories. Worse, you’re saying: As an American male you can’t understand a Pakistani woman. She is enigmatic, inscrutable, unknowable. She’s other. Leave her and her nation to its Otherness. Write them out of your history.’’

Can some kinds of appropriation shatter stereotypes? This has been literature’s implicit promise: that entering into another’s consciousness enlarges our own. Reviewing ‘‘Green on Blue,’’ Elliot Ackerman’s new novel that looks at America’s war in Afghanistan from the perspective of a young Afghan, the writer Tom Bissell said ‘‘there would be fewer wars’’ if more novelists allowed themselves to imagine themselves into other cultures. It’s a seductive if utterly unverifiable claim. But what cannot be disputed is how profoundly we exist in one another’s imaginations. And what conversations about appropriation make clear is that our imaginations are unruly kingdoms governed by fears and fantasies. They are never neutral."
appropriation  culturalappropriation  2015  parulsehgal  colonialism  decolonization  hiphop  music  fashion  generationz  amandlastenberg  popculture  questlove  culture  mileycyrus  casting  film  bindis  kamilashamsie  otherness  othering  nuance  stereotypes  elliotackerman  tombissell  cosmicrace  larazacósmica  mykkiblanco  genx  generationx  geny  generationy  millennials  michaelderrickhudson  hair  clothing  bellhooks  madonna  context  genz 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Abandon hope (summer is coming) | k-punk
"So it was to be a re-run of 1992, after all. It seems that even elections are subject to retromania, now. Except, this time, it is 1992 without Jungle. It’s Ed Sheeran and Rudimental rather than Rufige Kru. Always ignore the polls, wrote Jeremy Gilbert late on election night. “You get a better sense of what’s going on in the electorate by sniffing the wind, sensing the affective shifts, the molecular currents, the alterations in the structures of feeling. Listen to the music, watch the TV, go to the the pubs and ride the tube. Cultural Studies trumps psephology every time.”

Contemporary English popular culture, with its superannuated PoMo laddishness, its smirking blokishness (anyone fancy a pint with Nigel?), its poverty porn, its craven cult of big business, has become like some gigantic Poundbury Village simulation, in which nothing new happens, forever … while ubiquitous “Keep Calm” messages, ostensibly quirky-ironic, actually function as They Live commands, containing the panic and the desperation …

England is a country in which every last space where conviviality might flourish has been colonised by a commercial imperative …. supermarket check-out operatives replaced by crap robots… unexpected item in bagging area… every surface plastered with corporate graffiti and haranguing hashtags … no trick missed to screw every last penny out of people… exorbitant parking charges in NHS hospitals (exact amount only, no change given), all the profits going to private providers …

Everything seen through a downer haze… “Mostly you self-medicate” … comfort eating and bitter drinking …. What’s your poison?"



"Blogs and social media have allowed us to talk to ourselves (but not to reach out beyond the left bubbles); they have also generated pathological behaviours and forms of subjectivity which not only generate misery and anger – they waste time and energy, our most crucial resources. Email and handhelds, meanwhile, have produced new forms of isolation and loneliness: the fact that we can receive communications from work anywhere and anytime means we are exposed to work’s order-words when we are alone, without the possibility of support from fellow workers.

In sum, the obsession with the web, its monopolisation of any idea of the new, has served capitalist realism rather than undermined it. Which does not mean, naturally, that we should abandon the web, only that we should find out how to develop a more instrumental relationship with it. Put simply, we should use it – as a means of dissemination, communication and distribution – but not live inside it. The problem is that this goes against the tendencies of handhelds. We all recognise the by now cliched image of a train carriage full of people pecking at their tiny screens, but have we really registered how miserable this really is, and how much it suits capital for these pockets of socialisation to be closed down?"



"The problem is that, in order to struggle against time poverty, the main resource we require is time – a nasty vicious circle that capital, with its malevolent genius, now has … This problem is absolutely immanent – writing this and the other posts I have completed this week has meant that I have fallen enormously behind on my work, which is storing up stress for the next week or so.

The first thing we must do in response to all this is to put into practice what I outlined above: try not to blame ourselves. #it’snotyourfault We must try to do everything we can to politicise time poverty rather than accept blame as individuals for failing to complete our work on time. The reason we feel overwhelmed is that we are overwhelmed – it isn’t an individual failing of ours; it isn’t because we haven’t “managed our time” properly. However, we can use the scarce resources we already have more effectively if we work together to codify practices of collective re-habituation (setting new rules for our engagement with social media and capitalist cyberspace in general for example).

Any way, here goes:

1. Talk to fellow workers about how we feel This will re-introduce care and affection into spaces where we are supposed to be competitive and isolated. It will also start to break down the difference between (paid) work and social reproduction on which capitalism depends.

2. Talk to opponents Most people who vote Tory and UKIP are not monsters, much as we might like to think they are. It’s important that we understand why they voted as they did. Also, they may not have been exposed to an alternative view. Remember that people are more likely to be persuaded if defensive character armour is not triggered.

3. Create knowledge exchange labs This follows from what I argued a few days ago. Lack of knowledge about economics seems to me an especially pressing problem to address, but we could also do with more of us knowing about law, I suspect.

4. Create social spaces Create times and spaces specifically dedicated to attending to one another: not (yet more) conferences, but sessions where people can share their feelings and ideas. I would suggest restricting use of handhelds in these spaces: not everything has to be live tweeted or archived! Those with access to educational or art spaces could open these up for this purpose.

5. Use social media pro-actively, not reactively Use social media to publicise, to spread memes, and to constitute a counter-media. Social media can provide emotional support during miserable events like Thursday. But we should try to use social media as resource rather than living inside it at all times. Facebook can be useful for discussions and trying out new ideas, but attempting to debate on Twitter is absurd and makes us feel more stressed. (He says, thinking of the time when, sitting on a National Express coach, perched over his handheld, he tried to intervene in an intricate discussion about Spinoza’s philosophy – all conducted in 140 characters.)

6. Generate new figures of loathing in our propaganda Again, this follows up from what I argued in the Communist Realism post. Capitalist realism was established by constituting the figure of the lazy, feckless scrounger as a populist scapegoat. We must float a new figure of the parasite: landlords milking the state through housing benefit, “entrepreneurs” exploring cheap labour, etc.

7. Engage in forms of activism aimed at logistical disruption Capital has to be seriously inconvenienced and to fear before it yields any territory or resources. It can just wait out most protests,but it will take notice when its logistical operations are threatened. We must be prepared for them cutting up very rough once we start doing this – using anti-terrorist legislation to justify practically any form of repression. They won’t play fair, but it’s not a game of cricket – they know it’s class war, and we should never forget it either.

8. Develop Hub struggles Some struggles will be more strategically and symbolically significant than others – for instance, the Miners’ Strike was a hub struggle for capitalist realism. We might not be able to identify in advance what these struggles are, but we must be ready to swarm in and intensify them when they do occur.

Summer is coming

The Lannisters won on Thursday, but their gold has already run out, and summer is coming. What we saw in the debates dominated by Nicola Sturgeon was not a mirage – it is a rising tide, an international movement, a movement of history, which has not yet reached an England sandbagged in misery and mediocrity. Comrades, I hope (ha!) for the sake of your mental health and your blood pressures that you didn’t see the right wing tabloids over the weekend (tw for class hatred): middle England crowing over its “humiliation” of “Red” Ed. Well if they think Ed was Red, wait until they see the coming Red Swarm. Outer England has been sedated, but it is waking from its long slumber, carrying new weapons …."

[via: http://stml.tumblr.com/post/118858720560/contemporary-english-popular-culture-with-its ]
uk  politics  2015  1992  care  activism  labor  government  money  capitalism  communism  resistance  conviviality  affection  time  timepoverty  work  neoliberalism  collectivism  popculture  media  power  humanity  humanism  socialization  social  society  k-punk  commercialism  automation  malaise  blogs  socialmedia  behavior  behavio  subjectivity  filterbibbles  markfisher 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — …elementary school and high school students should...
"
…elementary school and high school students should treat Wikipedia as a dangerous place, exactly as they treat Internet chat rooms. Students should be warned to avoid contributing to the encyclopedia and, if they do contribute, to prepare for harassment that may well spill over into email and even physical encounters. College students may have more latitude, but even then, they should understand that any significant editing about their favorite game, YouTube personality, or historical event might bring the Army of Mordor down upon them. —Mark Bernstein (via azspot)

That’s messed up.

We always said that the guiding principle of knowyourmeme contributions was to Be Not Wikipedia and value experience over expertise and it was because of culture like this. If someone says that they first saw a certain meme was on genmay in 1998, we’d say “great! thanks for the tip!” and hope that the positive feedback would lead to more contributions and leveling up. Meanwhile, the burden was on us to track down proof. While there are still negative elements of the community and folks who want to yell “deadpool!” with every new entry, none of those users had the power to chase a Brand New Member off the site just for trying to contribute.

Now at ea1, we’re using this same principle when thinking about the new user experience in fandoms: how do you make their first interaction a positive one and how do you build paths for leveling up?"
kenyattacheese  wikipedia  knowyourmeme  community  newbs  debate  experience  expertise  popculture  culture  cultureproduction  meta  inclusion  fandom  ea1  everybodyatonce  inlcusivity  inclusivity 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Matt Jones: Jumping to the End -- Practical Design Fiction on Vimeo
[Matt says (http://magicalnihilism.com/2015/03/06/my-ixd15-conference-talk-jumping-to-the-end/ ):

"This talk summarizes a lot of the approaches that we used in the studio at BERG, and some of those that have carried on in my work with the gang at Google Creative Lab in NYC.

Unfortunately, I can’t show a lot of that work in public, so many of the examples are from BERG days…

Many thanks to Catherine Nygaard and Ben Fullerton for inviting me (and especially to Catherine for putting up with me clowning around behind here while she was introducing me…)"]

[At ~35:00:
“[(Copy)Writers] are the fastest designers in the world. They are amazing… They are just amazing at that kind of boiling down of incredibly abstract concepts into tiny packages of cognition, language. Working with writers has been my favorite thing of the last two years.”
mattjones  berg  berglondon  google  googlecreativelab  interactiondesign  scifi  sciencefiction  designfiction  futurism  speculativefiction  julianbleecker  howwework  1970s  comics  marvel  marvelcomics  2001aspaceodyssey  fiction  speculation  technology  history  umbertoeco  design  wernerherzog  dansaffer  storytelling  stories  microinteractions  signaturemoments  worldbuilding  stanleykubrick  details  grain  grammars  computervision  ai  artificialintelligence  ui  personofinterest  culture  popculture  surveillance  networks  productdesign  canon  communication  johnthackara  macroscopes  howethink  thinking  context  patternsensing  systemsthinking  systems  mattrolandson  objects  buckminsterfuller  normanfoster  brianarthur  advertising  experiencedesign  ux  copywriting  writing  film  filmmaking  prototyping  posters  video  howwewrite  cognition  language  ara  openstudioproject  transdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  sketching  time  change  seams  seamlessness 
march 2015 by robertogreco
barbara bestor interview
"DB: what’s been the biggest singular influence on your work?
BB: I’d have to say popular culture. I like to think that I have a pretty good historical knowledge of architecture and am always surrounded by it. I keep myself up to date on what’s happening – so to pick a reference from the ‘architecture world’ is hard, it all filters through.

what I’m interested in is seeing how architecture can stay relevant and relate to the issues of today and how people live today, where our minds are at. keeping an open mind and an eye on popular culture is how I try to do that. I love contemporary art, music, music videos, films – seeing how those mediums push technology and seeing how ideas from those fields can become part of what we do.

for example, I would never play the video game grand theft auto, but the way that the fictional city ‘los santos’ (based on LA) is depicted in that game is incredible. thousands of hours have gone into achieving that level of detail and it will probably shape a lot of people’s perceptions of how los angeles is – even though it’s wildly distorted. what I get from that is comparing it to my reality; how does that version of LA compare to the city where I live? those ‘outside’ influences are what stimulate me the most."



"DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs?
BB: I’m not superstitious but I do avoid certain things regarding my work. I don’t like things that are too slick and I don’t like to be too ‘architecty’ – I want our studio to be non-conformist. I don’t want us to tow the party line of any movement or follow trends that are promoted by magazines. sometimes you notice that what you are doing has become the norm and then it’s time to change. if you think of it like music, you wouldn’t start a project and find any reason to use autotune – because it’s already been done to death.

DB: what’s your most prized possession?
BB: if I have to name one I would say it’s a bright and brilliant artwork I own, which illustrates the cycle of life and the encroaching forces. the message of the piece is to have a good time, ‘make hey while the sun shines’ so to speak.

DB: what’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
BB: if you get stuck on something go for a long walk. sometimes I can get very intense and obsessive and in those situations it’s best to take a moment and breathe. for me taking a walk helps me to breathe and gather my thoughts.

DB: what’s the worst advice you have been given?
BB: wear a suit."
2014  interviews  design  architecture  barbarabestor  losangeles  grandtheftauto  gta  popculture  srg  art  education  technology  solviturambulando  walking 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Constance Steinkuehler
"I research cognition and learning in online games. I’m especially interested in the forms of science, literacy, and sociocultural skills that young adults learn from online play. I am currently a Senior Policy Analyst at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President where I advise on policy related to games and learning/impact. I am currently on leave from my position as Assistant Professor [vita] at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I teach courses on videogames, research methods, and the “smart” side of pop culture.

My research lab named PopCosmo investigates the forms of cognition & culture that arise in online games such as RuneScape, World of Warcraft, and Dragon Age Legends. Our current team consists of 8 doctoral students and 2 undergrads, each specializing in their own interest area. Studies and publications include: science reasoning, digital & print literacy, computational literacy, collective problem solving, distributed apprenticeship, and pop cosmopolitanism.

This work is part of a larger UW-Madison program Games+Learning+Society (GLS) that designs and studies interactive digital media ranging from console games to mobile devices to fantasy baseball to YouTube to 3D virtual worlds. We total over 30 doctoral students, half a dozen faculty, and an emerging undergrad course of study. As part of this initiative, I chair the annual GLS Conference, hosted every summer here in Madison WI."
constancesteinkuehler  games  gaming  videogames  literacy  reading  writing  boys  science  play  popculture  sciencereasoning  problemsolving  collectiveproblemsolving  research  apprenticeships  distributedapprenticeship  cosmpolitanism  popcosmpolitanism  pocosmo  youtube  learning  society  mmo 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Not So Hot for Teacher - NYTimes.com
"look closely, and you’ll find they all, to some extent, use the teaching profession as a shorthand for a character’s dysfunction or even cosmic disenfranchisement."

"This trend is especially surprising given that Hollywood has historically been very nice to teachers — maybe too nice."

"More recently, we’ve seen less reverential takes on the inspirational-teacher trope: comedies like “School of Rock” or “Bad Teacher,”"

"in pop culture, there are so many lawyers, cops and doctors — many more than teachers, and these portrayals benefit from quantity as much as quality."

"the fact that we see teachers in such extreme terms — as angelically good, as horrifyingly bad — may in fact be an indication that we don’t see them at all."

"Once teachers were turned into objects of fun, it was apparently not hard to devolve them still further"

"What’s strange is that, while we’ve seen a lot of teachers, we still see very little teaching."
2012  badteacher  breakingbad  tonydanza  mattdamon  pr  publicimage  robertkolker  popculture  perception  caricatures  television  tv  fil  portrayal  media  respect  teachers  teaching  elizabethalsop  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Rediscovering Literacy [Way too much here, quotes are from only the beginning]
"Literacy used to be a very subtle concept that meant linguistic sophistication. It used to denote a skill that could be developed to arbitrary levels of refinement through practice.  Literacy meant using mastery over language — both form and content — to sustain a relentless and increasingly sophisticated pursuit of greater meaning. It was about an appreciative, rather than instrumental use of language. Language as a means of seeing rather than as a means of doing…

The written form itself was merely a convenience…

Before Gutenberg, you demonstrated true literacy not by reading a text out aloud and taking down dictation accurately, but through exposition and condensation.

You were considered literate if you could take a classic verse and expound upon it at length (exposition) and take an ambiguous idea and distill its essence into a terse verbal composition (condensation)…

the fundamental learned behaviors that constitute literacy, not reading and writing…"

[Update: Adding the final portion to this bookmark]

"This might sound like engineering elitism, but I find that the only large classes of people who appear to actually think in clearly literate ways today are mathematicians and programmers. But they typically only do so in very narrow domains.

To learn to think with language, to become literate in the sense of linguistically sophisticated, you must work hard to unlearn everything built on the foundation of literacy-as-reading-and-writing.

Because modern education is not designed to produce literate people. It is designed to produce programmable people. And this programmability requires less real literacy with every passing year. Today, genuinely literate reading and writing are specialized arts. Increasingly, even narrowly instrumental read-write literacy is becoming unnecessary (computers can do both very well).

These are not stupid people. You only have to listen to a child delightedly reciting supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or indulging in other childish forms of word-play to realize that raw skill with language is a native capability in the human brain. It must be repressed by industrial education since it seeks natural expression.

So these are not stupid people. These are merely ordinary people who have been lobotomized via the consumerization of language, delivered via modern education.

We dimly realize that we have lost something. But appreciation for the sophistication of oral cultures mostly manifests itself as mindless reverence for traditional wisdom. We look back at the works of ancients and deep down, wonder if humans have gotten fundamentally stupider over the centuries.

We haven’t. We’ve just had some crucial meme-processing software removed from our brains.

Towards a Literacy Renaissance

This is one of the few subjects about which I am not a pessimist. I believe that something strange is happening. Genuine literacy is seeing a precarious rebirth.

The best of today’s tweets seem to rise above the level of mere bon mots (“gamification is the high-fructose corn syrup of user engagement”) and achieve some of the cryptic depth of esoteric verse forms of earlier ages.

The recombinant madness that is the fate of a new piece of Internet content, as it travels, has some of the characteristics of the deliberate forms of recombinant recitation practiced by oral culture.

The comments section of any half-decent blog is a meaning factory.

Sites like tvtropes.org are sustaining basic literacy skills.

The best of today’s stand-up comics are preserving ancient wordplay skills.

But something is still missing: the idea that literacy is a cultivable skill. That dense, terse thoughts are not just serendipitous finds on the discursive journeys of our brains, but the product of learnable exposition and condensation skills.

I suppose paying attention to these things, and actually attempting to work with archaic forms like maxims and aphorisms in 2012 is something of a quixotic undertaking. When you can store a terbayte of information (about 130,000 books, or about 50% larger than a typical local public library) on a single hard-disk words can seem cheap.

But try reading some La Rochefoucauld, or even late hold outs like Oliver Wendell Holmes and J. B. S. Haldane, and you begin to understand what literacy is really about. The cost of words is not the cost of storing them or distributing, but the cost of producing them. Words are cheap today because we put little effort into their production, not because we can store and transmit as much as we like.

It is as yet too early to declare a literacy renaissance, but one can hope."
production  jbshaldane  oliverwendellholmes  larochefoucauld  words  aphorisms  comprehension  jargon  wisdom  knowledge  banter  citation  correspondence  conversation  self-indulgence  technology  printing  web  content  composition  civilization  memorization  oralculture  creativedestruction  recitation  history  highculture  popculture  culture  internet  education  2012  gutenberg  text  understanding  condensation  exposition  literacy  communication  language  writing  reading  venkateshrao  unschooling  deschooling  moderneducation  schools 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Tavi Gevinson: A teen just trying to figure it out | Video on TED.com
"Fifteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson had a hard time finding strong female, teenage role models -- so she built a space where they could find each other. At TEDxTeen, she illustrates how the conversations on sites like Rookie, her wildly popular web magazine for and by teen girls, are putting a new, unapologetically uncertain and richly complex face on modern feminism.

Tavi Gevinson is a fashion blogger and a feminist who encourages everyone to embrace their complexity and look cool doing it."
youth  flipforlessonplans  feminism  female  tavigevinson  popculture  teens  gender  girls  complexity  human  via:lukeneff  freaksandgeeks  myso-calledlife  fashion 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Tomorrow’s World: The Near Future Of Pop
"Not that my sixteen year old daughter knows anything about that. The thing about an early-stage networked culture where everything is available on demand means that you have to know about it to demand it. It’s why companies like last.fm, and most social networks, have always put “music discovery” towards the top of their priorities. They know that common culture has been fractured by the internet and the remains bought and paid for by scum. But my daughter has a t-shirt that reads OF COURSE I’M NOT ON FUCKING FACEBOOK. She uses YouTube playlists, and her friends’ tastes, and even music magazines, and plots her own course through pop.

And she doesn’t know, or care to be told, what her favourite pop bands owe to the Pixies or Bowie or Velvet Underground. Atemporality means nothing to her. This is hers, and that’s how it should be. And pop, in relation to the wreckage of mainstream media, has gone underground, and perhaps that’s how it should be too. Underground and everywhere, at the speed of light."
warrenellis  music  spacetime  whosonfirst  popculture  atemporality  nearfuture  adolescence  film  youtube  facebook  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  via:straup  2011  last.fm  discovery  lastfm 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Gopher Hole | Popular Culture Across Borders
"A collaboration between aberrant architecture and Beatrice Galilee, our agenda is to explore new ways of curating ideas in popular culture and to provide a forum for critical debate on the arts and society"
lcproject  thegopherhole  aberrantarchitecture  design  education  galleries  glvo  curating  art  london  uk  beatricegalilee  popculture  discourse  debate  society  arts  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
winesburg, ohio - Jesse Bernstein was a writer, performance artist,...
"Jesse Bernstein was a writer, performance artist, genuine wacko, and “highly provocative underground celebrity,” who is renowned for his spoken word recordings (released with Sub Pop), and widely glamorized for his rampant drug use, mental illness, and (natch) close personal relationship with William S. Burroughs.

I Am Secretly An Important Man is a documentary about his life, directed by Pete Sillen. The film traces the evolution of his influence on popular culture, but never falters in keeping an inquisitive, steady eye on the nature of its troubled protagonist: “…he was not only inventing colorful background for himself, but I think he was trying out different storylines.” This looks lovely, can’t wait for it."
jessebernstein  williamsburroughs  petesillens  documentary  underground  spokenword  mentalillness  popculture  mentalhealth  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
PICKED: Influencers | Brain Pickings
"If you can get past the truisms and borderline fluff, the film offers a good dose of inspiration through a handful of case studies, stitched together with meticulous art direction, beautiful cinematography and a wonderfully curated soundtrack."
influencers  glvo  creativity  film  documentary  influence  davisjohnson  paulrojanathara  nyc  culture  popculture  yearoff  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Game Based Learning .:: Video Games, Social Media & Learning ::. - Public Pedagogy through Video Games:
"So our argument so far: today’s complex popular culture involves a characteristic form of teaching and constitutes a public pedagogy. That form of teaching involves good design (which makes meaning situated and language lucidly functional), resources, and affinity spaces. In fact, we see much popular culture today as a form of competition for schools and schooling. Much popular culture teaches 21st-century skills, like collaboration, producing and not just consuming knowledge, technology skills, innovation, design and system thinking, and so forth, while school often does not. And, further, we see no reason (other than institutional forces) why teaching in school ought not to be primarily about good design, resourcing learners, and creating efficacious affinity spaces."
education  learning  informallearning  jamespaulgee  simulations  videogames  games  gaming  schools  schooling  formal  stevenjohnson  television  tv  criticalthinking  yu-gi-oh  ageofmythology  thesims  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  tcsnmy  edg  srg  glvo  consumption  production  content  technology  21stcenturyskills  popculture  innovation  design  systemsthinking  complexity  pedagogy 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Raph’s Website » The perfect geek age?
"Was being born in 1971 the perfect time to be born a geek? ... [long list of examples here] ... Looking back on it, it makes me feel a bit sorry for those born ten years later. And I can’t judge ten years earlier, but so much of that seemed to hit at the right age. Looking back at history, it seems like the last big waves of popular invention like this were decades ago. Teens with hot rods? Engineering in the 20s? I see my kids now, and they are so clearly getting the finished products of so much, not the products in the process of invention… Am I wrong?"
1971  cv  history  childhood  transformation  videogames  dungeonsanddragons  libraries  internet  web  online  wikipedia  computers  programming  geek  via:blackbeltjones  raphkoster  mac  education  learning  culture  popculture  gamechanging  flux  google  sciencefiction  futureshock  starwars  comics 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Japan cracking US pop culture hegemony | csmonitor.com
"Japan is quietly emerging as a global trendsetter in pop culture, as well as in green technology and environmental practices." ... "a nuanced Japanese aesthetic that has infiltrated global sensibilities – a sort of new "soft power" for Japan. In the process, they're challenging delineations of good and evil from the world's main purveyor of pop culture, Hollywood, as well as American ideals of the lone action-hero." "The American 20th-century ideal of the individual superhero is wearing thin," says Roland Kelts, professor at the University of Tokyo and author of "Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S." "The Japanese model is of self-denial and the sublimation of selfish desires for the sake of group harmony. This is becoming a multipolar world. The desire to be a part of something harmonious rather than the leader of a pack is growing."
japan  globe  culture  trends  influence  environment  technology  green  popculture 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Timeline twins, music and movies
"Listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller today is equivalent to listening to Elvis Presley's first album (1956) at the time of Thriller's release in 1982. Elvis singles in 1956 included Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, and Love Me Tender.

If you're around my age, how old do you feel right now? Here are some other examples of timeline twins:

Watching Star Wars today is like watching It's a Wonderful Life (1946) in 1977. It's a Wonderful Life was nominated for an Oscar the following year along with Ethel Barrymore (b. 1879) and Lilian Gish (b. 1893).

Listening to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit today is equivalent to playing Terry Jack's Seasons In The Sun (1974) in 1991."
time  history  music  film  movies  age  aging  popculture  culture  timelines  memory  perception  childhood 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Design Observer: Would It Kill You To Smile?
"The spirit of bershon is pretty much how you feel when you’re 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture, and you could not possibly summon one more ounce of disgust, but you’re also way too cool to re
words  teens  adolescence  youth  popculture  sociology  bershon  life  design  emotion  language  culture  photography 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Retroactive continuity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Retroactive continuity (or informally retcon) is the deliberate changing of previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. The change itself is informally referred to as a "retcon", and the act of writing and publishing a retcon is called "ret
fiction  writing  comics  television  tv  narrative  popculture  rhetoric 
march 2008 by robertogreco
The Morning News - The Laptop Club
"project shows how far concepts behind virtual world have penetrated real life. Even with little exposure to computers, children have absorbed ideas about shopping online, interacting socially, even media convergence"
children  glvo  drawing  design  computers  laptops  notebooks  technology  imagination  learning  kids  keyboard  interface  culture  humor  illustration  literacy  education  elementary  drawings  ux  usability  computing  popculture  prototyping 
november 2007 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Marvel launches digital archive
"Comic book giant Marvel has made 2,500 of its back issues available online in an attempt to introduce its characters to a younger, computer-savvy audience."
comics  marvel  internet  archives  online  popculture  digital 
november 2007 by robertogreco
A kid's-eye view of laptop design | Tech news blog - CNET News.com
"A group of kids from one of our local elementary schools has formed a "mini-laptop club." They don't use electronic machines. Instead, these first-, second- and third-graders draw their own laptops on construction paper and pretend to e-mail each other."
children  glvo  drawing  design  computers  laptops  notebooks  technology  imagination  learning  kids  keyboard  interface  culture  humor  illustration  literacy  education  elementary  drawings  ux  usability  computing  popculture  prototyping 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Reason Magazine - Wikipedia and Beyond: Jimmy Wales' sprawling vision
"Wales, whose wife Christine teaches their 5-year-old daughter Kira at home, says he is disappointed by the "factory nature" of American education: "There's something significantly broken about the whole concept of school."
jimmywales  homeschool  unschooling  education  schools  learning  wikipedia  freesom  optimism  democracy  reference  users  content  wiki  liberalism  smallpieceslooselyjoined  society  philosophy  politics  popculture  reason  collaborative  economics  journalism  search  web  wikis 
may 2007 by robertogreco
NPR : Study Sees Rise in Narcissism Among Students
"Study psychologists worry the trend, attributable to the influences of schools, media and parents, could be harmful to personal relationships and American society. The study says narcissists are more likely to have short-lived romantic relationships and
narcissism  self-esteem  studies  youth  millennials  psychology  relationships  media  parenting  schools  society  education  teens  children  npr  popculture 
march 2007 by robertogreco
The Ecstasy of Influence (Harpers.org)
"Today, when we can eat Tex-Mex with chopsticks while listening to reggae and watching a YouTube rebroadcast of the Berlin Wall's fall—i.e., when damn near everything presents itself as familiar—it's not a surprise that some of today's most ambitious art is going about trying to make the familiar strange. In so doing, in reimagining what human life might truly be like over there across the chasms of illusion, mediation, demographics, marketing, imago, and appearance, artists are paradoxically trying to restore what's taken for “real” to three whole dimensions, to reconstruct a univocally round world out of disparate streams of flat sights."
toread  plagiarism  creativecommons  writing  literature  modernism  culture  remix  reuse  content  copyright  collaboration  citation  teaching  popculture  democracy  creativity  creative  criticism  mashup  media  music  news  online  originality  libraries  ethics  research  science  reading  property 
february 2007 by robertogreco
Ironic Sans: Idea: A building shaped like Godzilla
"The people of Tokyo should construct a giant building shaped like Godzilla. Imagine what it would do to the city’s skyline, and to the tourism industry."
architecture  art  cities  design  japan  tokyo  scifi  urban  tourism  movies  film  fiction  culture  popculture  humor 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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