robertogreco + reviews   118

SYNONYMS FOR CHURLISH by Megan Vaughan - Whether you whine or twine He shake it up, right...
"Whether you whine or twine
He shake it up, right on time

I’ve had a go at reviewing The Privileged by Jamal Harewood in Twine because, frankly, I’ve no idea how else to even begin talking about a show so totally rattling.

Apols that it’s just got the default formatting on it. CSS coding is like ?????? to me. (That Facebook blue gets fucking everywhere these days innit.)

Have a go here [ ], and please shout if anything doesn’t work, or there are typos. My campaign to bring spellcheck to Twine starts now."
twine  via:tealtan  meganvaughan  jamalharewood  reviews  if  interactivefiction  theater  performance  gaming  theprivileged 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Findery | Javier Arbona -
"In sum, what makes Findery’s approach compelling is a deeply modern cartographic sensibility—a Cartesian map—that undergirds the represented com munity, which then clusters around a shared sense of place. If Findery presents places as a seamless, fluid, and utterly comprehensible environment, however, it glosses over the reality of place as a jumble of conflicting geographies. Put differently, Findery facilitates the combination of a modern cartographic sensibility with a community that shares a passion of—and for—a mediated place.

The peril of this powerful fusion is that although geography is not destiny, a community can come to believe it is, especially when the aerial viewpoint of maps is involved. What will the community end up doing to attain its presumed destiny if it involves, for example, land clearance or privatization? Or, in another sense, how much can a social network based on geography—and owned by a handful of founders and investors—popularize a given geographic destiny if it comes to be exploited by a territorial agency, colonial government, or larger corporation? And yet a geographical app can also work in the hands of communities struggling to free themselves from imposed destinies— whether it is used to document neglected public schools or illegal settlements."

Two final points will serve to navigate these opposing tensions.

First, the visual imagination of place-based communities along the imperceptible lines of vast and abstract electronic networks has a much longer trajectory than the contemporary web. Mark Wigley has written about the confraternity among Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, and Constantinos Doxiadis. Findery is at the tail end of the network “echoes” (as Wigley calls these) predating the web that enmesh places into a lattice of tele-connected temporal frames for efficient spatial labor-production coordination. As far back as 1938, Fuller envisioned buildings giving way to what he called a “world wide dwelling services network,” and Findery contains the code to further such a vision. But Fuller hardly imagined the forms of totalizing governance, not to mention surveillance, that would thrive on today’s networks.

Second, the cartographic web has many roots, not the least of which is military (i.e., for targeting), and it also happens to depend on the military domination of the aerial and astral surveying spaces themselves. In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency’s director, John McCone, instituted the agency’s science and technology branch to satisfy his lust for advanced aerial photography and U-2 spy planes. Sociogeographical apps echo this visual craving for information (and related information-gathering government and business enterprises) that intensified during the Cold War.

Fuller and McCone come together as two faces of the same coin to suggest that the view from above has a history not only of being monodirectional but also of serving as an infrastructure of control from afar. Geographic social media contribute to a subjectivity that remains ambivalent toward this uneven distribution of power and produces knowledge from an ultimately untenable standpoint: close-up at a distance. One can thus be misled by the false impression that one has godlike capabilities, simultaneously possessing a detached, celestial view and having an effective mode of up-close agency or contestation—literally—in one’s hands. These are, in other words, tools that are fundamentally disorienting in space and time—and they demand to be exploited as such.
javierarbona  maps  mapping  socialmedia  findery  2015  reviews  cartography  surveillance  place  geography  buckminsterfuller  marshallmcluhan  constantinosdoxiadis  markwigley  johnmccone  power  legibiity  community  destiny 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Issue No. 1 - January 2015 — THE IMPROBABLE
"Welcome to our inaugural issue of The Improbable, a monthly collection of little reviews written by booksellers for booksellers (and readers, too) about unusual and wondrous books that live at the intersection of art and literature.

In this first issue, booksellers from some of the most vibrant and lovingly curated bookstores in the U.S. have delved into books by Claudia Rankine, Ray Johnson, Susan Howe, Amarnath Ravva, Dorothy Iannone and Ed Sanders. As you might deduce from that list, we care deeply about writers and artists who obey no boundaries, pay no fealty to trends and invite readers to see the world anew by reading word and image in provocative, unfamiliar ways. We hope that with this and subsequent issues, our commitment to eclecticism will be embodied in an ever-expanding collection of books in which you might discover other, unexpected shared territory.

Here's how this works. Each month we'll post 5-7 reviews on one day. Scroll down for the whole issue. The reviews are short—they're intended as a thoughtful starting place, an instigation to pick the book up yourself and share it with others. We'll often have a little excerpt from the book, too. Sometimes we've got snapshots of the books in the stores where the reviewers are writing from—it's always a delight to see what's on the shelves next to them.

While we have answered a number of possible questions on the FAQ page, please don't hesitate to write us with any suggestions or ideas. You can also sign up to receive an email when each new issue is posted and/or you can keep in touch (eventually) with Twitter.

Finally, a big thank you to all the reviewers, but particularly to Stephen Sparks and the staff at Green Apple Books in San Francisco whose collective enthusiasm for this project has propelled it forward—and on schedule!

—Lisa Pearson & Anna Gaissert"
reviews  books  art  literature  bookreviews  booksellers 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Welcome To The New York Review of Video Games — Matter — Medium
"Welcome to The New York Review of Video Games. If that name conjures for you an anachronistic, elbow-patched editor sitting at a dimly lit desk amid piles of plastic Atari 2600 cartridges and Sega Dreamcast discs, then good. It has done its job.

If not, then let me try this:

Video games are almost a $100 billion industry, sure. But video games do not matter only because they are large. They are also a new popular art, the kind of thing that comes along once a century. Two intertwined forces, computers and interactivity, have changed the world radically over the past 50-odd years. What is a video game? It’s a creative work — a competition, a story, an experience — that exploits the intersection of those two forces.

It may have been hard to tell in 2014 — what with “GamerGate,” the silly name for both a Twitter argument as well as a serious, orchestrated campaign of harassment of women — but video games are our most experimental medium, and the one art form in popular culture that feels alive, rather than embalmed. Video games are broad enough to encompass interactive short stories written in HTML, shooters that resemble 1980s action movies, robust simulations of everything from sports to all of human history, idiosyncratic personal statements, and Flappy Bird.

Games create joy and laughter — not to mention the thrills of tension and fright — where there had been none, and that is not insignificant. But they are also carriers of ideas, both explicit and unspoken. Video games have asked me to empathize with — no, become — a soldier, a superhero, a murderer, a transgender woman beginning hormone replacement therapy, a border-control agent trying to follow both the law and his conscience, a child who loves yet fears his monstrous, alcoholic father. Video games have also asked me to place falling blocks into neat rows in order to make them disappear.

I’m pushing 40, and I’ve been playing video games for basically my entire life. Even so, games never felt like a lifestyle. They were just there, solid and immovable. Like your parents. You wouldn’t go out of your way to tell people that you have parents.

Video games are a permanent fixture of culture, and not just youth culture, one that these days competes for our attention with Netflix and Hulu, with HBO Go and Serial, with The Americans and Station Eleven and Birdman. That’s why it’s wrong to think of video games as a victory to be celebrated, or a curiosity to marvel over, or a threat that you ought to fear, or the organizing principle of a tribe with narrow interests and cloistered rituals.

Still, just because video games are here to stay doesn’t mean that their trajectory is inevitable, or that we can’t help shape their future. The medium—our least respected, most misunderstood art form—deserves more from us. It’s possible to think that video game criticism is better than it has ever been and yet still find it wanting. I am arrogant enough to think that we can do better. The New York Review of Video Games* (*possibly this week only) will highlight some of the strongest critics of video games, including podcasters and YouTube critics. We will ask game designers, and not just players, to write for a broad audience, just as novelists have long been willing to do in literary journals, or filmmakers in Cahiers du cinema.

And like a great book review, we will seek to create interesting collisions between writers and subjects. Can some of the finest video games of 2014 survive the scrutiny of a former New York Times television critic? A book critic? A Tonight Show writer? One of America’s best young writers of literary nonfiction?

Press start to play. [ ]"
games  gaming  videogames  reviews  criticism  2014  art  charlessuellentrop  ianbogost  simonparkin  kerryhowley  kenlevine  lauramiller  idelthumbs  anitasarkeesian  carolynpetit  timmcdonagh  jenniferdaniel  mimileung  stevegaynor  virginiaheffernan  mikedrucker  rachelsyme 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Vernacular Criticism – The New Inquiry
"There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not social media can measure artistic merit—or any merit—through likes, favorites, reblogs, retweets and so on. But the conversation tends to be limited to the potential of these metrics to measure quality, without acknowledging that such a process of measuring constitutes an attempt to merely “democratize” the meritocracy. This totally misses the potential of social media to account for the plurality of tastes found in the world. And so the counting of social-media attention is always ­unsatisfying—these metrics give a unified count of everything whose sums mean nothing.

Yelp—as well as Amazon and other review sites—shoehorn taste into metered ratings, but they also demand a first-person expression of taste. They ask the user to be a critic without demanding the past labor of cultivation or the other social abstractions imposed by the public sphere.

Meanwhile, the public sphere regularly produces editorials bemoaning the death of expertise—its own slow death. Food and movie critics are catching up with art critics, who have been talking about the crisis of their profession for about a half century. The crisis of art criticism, however, did not originally come from the encroaching masses—the hostile arcana of the avant-garde held them off long enough—but rather because of a hypertrophied art market, whose monetary consensus renders criticism moot, and the professionalization of the art world, the MFA programs that teach artists to develop critical appraisals of their work for marketing purposes, so that it appears in public with an already determined historical significance. That seems like sufficient indication that criticism’s problems stem from its own professionalization.

The early art critic “retained something of the amateur,” writes Jürgen Habermas in The Social Transformation of the Public Sphere. “Lay judgment was organized in it without becoming, by way of specialization, anything else than the judgment of one private person among all others who ultimately were not to be obligated by any judgment except their own.”

Yelp is not the answer to criticism’s problems. On its own it can’t transform criticism, or museums, for the better. The reviews of museums there may eschew the academic jargon of art writing and bourgeois biases of taste, but they tend to replace them with the clichés of marketing and advertising—the register of a commercialized public sphere—found in Yelp reviews of restaurants, strip clubs, or salons.

And yet Yelp could help reset the terms of art criticism, as an environment where the judgment of one among others not obligated by any judgment except their own is newly fresh, and where this judgment is honestly subjective and contingent, as tasted by unobligated bodies."
art  criticism  yelp  museums  socialmedia  reviews  2014  briandroitcour 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Three Percent
"Three Percent launched in the summer of 2007 with the lofty goal of becoming a destination for readers, editors, and translators interested in finding out about modern and contemporary international literature.

The motivating force behind the website is the view that reading literature from other countries is vital to maintaining a vibrant book culture and to increasing the exchange of ideas among cultures. In this age of globalization, one of the best ways to preserve the uniqueness of cultures is through the translation and appreciation of international literary works. To remain among the world’s best educated readers, English speakers must have access to the world’s great literatures. It is a historical truism and will always remain the case that some of the best books ever written were written in a language other than English.

Unfortunately, only about 3% of all books published in the United States are works in translation. That is why we have chosen the name…"
threepercent  reviews  reading  blogs  publishing  international  translation  literature  books  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
The Ethics of the Negative Review by Jan Zwicky | CWILA: Canadian Women In The Literary Arts
"The discipline of the appreciative review is, I believe, among the great unsung arts of our culture. I suspect it remains unsung because, appearances to the contrary, it is not actually a species of speaking, but a species of listening; and our culture tends to regard listening as a passive activity. But listening — real listening — requires that we give over our attention fully to the other, that we stop worrying about who’s noticing us, that we let the ego go. As such, it is an activity requiring much more effort than the activity of proclaiming our selves through speaking our views. For we are a culture, perhaps a species, drunk on a narrow notion of assertiveness and virility. We are also a culture, perhaps a species, many of whose individuals are obsessed with rank — to the extent that knowing one is on the bottom rung is felt to be preferable to there being no rungs at all. …"

[via ]
ethics  2012  reallistening  attention  power  ranking  rank  virility  assertiveness  cv  art  reviews  janzwicky  hierarchy  society  culture  listening  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Designing Design – Kenya Hara — The Designer's Review of Books
"If you are a designer involved in the making of objects, it is certainly up there with Papanek’s Design for the Real World as a book that should make you think deeply about your profession. If you are in the digital design world or graphic design or branding, it will make you yearn for materiality and ask yourself how you can bring a stillness of the senses back into an area that feels perpetually hyperactive. You won’t agree with everything Hara has to say, but you will enjoy the journey he takes you on and be wiser for it."
mediocrity  adequacy  muji  tangibility  technology  sustainability  japan  designingdesign  2009  graphicdesign  interactiondesign  reviews  books  design  kenyahara  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Kill Screen - Infinity Blade Review
[Not really sure how to describe this sort of writing. Don't miss the button at the end, which initiates an animation/alteration of the text, then reappears multiple times for additional iterations.]

"How to read a game that never ends.

Infinity Blade is a game about iteration, about retreading old ground, about the small changes that surface across endless repetitions."

[Referenced here: ]

[Update 23 July 2012: See these two also: AND (now here: ) for a new genre.]
glvo  edg  srg  fantasy  generations  swords  design  philosophy  art  via:meetar  infinityblade  animatedwriting  evolutionarywriting  iterative  iterativewriting  wcydwt  classideas  storytelling  jnicholasgeist  web  writing  games  moreofthisplease  evolvingtext  iteration  futureoftext  evolvingbook  killscreen  experimental  reviews  videogames  gaming  tickletext  digitalsertão  telescopictext  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Video game journalism - Wikipedia [URL points to the section on "New Games Journalism"]
"New Games Journalism (NGJ) is a video game journalism term, coined in 2004 by journalist Kieron Gillen, in which personal anecdotes, references to other media, and creative analyses are used to explore game design, play, and culture.[19] It is a model of New Journalism applied to video game journalism. Gillen's NGJ manifesto was first published on the now defunct state forum/website, a community of videogame players often engaged in discussion and analysis of their hobby, from which an anecdotal piece, Bow Nigger,[20] had appeared. Gillen cites the work as a major inspiration for and example of what NGJ should achieve and the piece was later republished in the UK edition of PC gamer, a magazine with which Gillen has close professional ties."

[See also: ]
storytelling  personal  experience  subjectivity  traveljournalism  travel  2004  gaming  culture  play  cross-mediareferences  anecdote  kierongillen  reviews  writing  videogames  games  newgamesjournalism  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Wacom Inkling | The Ministry of Type
"The upshot
The Inkling feels very much like a tool for designers more than illustrators. If you sketch rough ideas – layouts, lettering, schematics and the like, you’ll find it very useful. If you want to record your sketchbook of illustrations, you certainly could, but it might cramp your style having to use that pen - Wacom themselves say it’s good for preparatory drawings, and I agree. I don’t use ballpoints very often for a couple of reasons – I don’t particularly like the quality of line they offer, and the ink smells bad. For the sheer convenience of this tool though, I could live with both.

Too long: didn’t read
It’s a fantastic thing which has the potential to be very useful. You are drawing with a biro though so adjust your expectations accordingly. The software is awful, but not so bad as to make the device useless. Just make sure you export as SVG.

Far too long: didn’t read
If you sketch a lot and need a digital copy of your sketches, get one. I’m glad I did."
wacom  wacominkling  drawing  2011  reviews  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Beach Beneath the Street by McKenzie Wark – review | Books | The Guardian
"British situationists of late 60s thought Debord & others had taken a wrong turn. SI apostate Christopher Gray, whose band of London-based provocateurs King Mob included future Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, opined: "What they [Debord et al] gained in intellectual power & scope they had lost in terms of the richness & verve of their own everyday lives." The SI, Gray argued, "turned inward". "Cultural sabotage" & "drunken exuberance" had been replaced by theoretical austerity.

But that turning inward didn't prevent the Parisian situationists from exerting the most profound influence on the French student movement in May 1968. More than 300,000 copies were printed of a pamphlet, On the Poverty of Student Life, written by an SI cadre named Mustapha Khayati. & it was a protégé of Debord's, René Viénet, who was responsible for some of the more memorable of the graffiti that appeared all over Paris during that tumultuous month – including one Wark has taken for title of book."
situationist  guydebord  malcolmmclaren  doing  psychogeography  france  1968  uk  marxism  ralphrumney  books  reviews  alexandertrocchi  attilakotányi  dérive  détournement  art  latecapitalism  capitalism  spectacle  class  willself  derive  mckenziewark  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Favorite Books of the Secretly Jerky | The Hairpin
"Secretly Planning to Cheat on You: On the Road, Jack Kerouac.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This book is straight up terrible. It's a bunch of rambling about eating some sandwiches and driving around while eating sandwiches, and driving around, and then making some more sandwiches, which you will then eat while driving around. It is the universal favorite book of commitment-phobes. And please don't quote me that paragraph about how the only people for you are the mad ones who pop like roman candles. You know what’s better than a dude who pops like a roman candle? A dude who can keep it in his pants, rent his own apartment, and cook you something other than a sandwich once in a while."
books  humor  reviews  classics  catcherintherye  ontheroad  jackkerouac  jdsalinger  atlasshrugged  aynrand  huntersthompson  fearandloathinginlasvegas  americanpsycho  breteastonellis  literature  via:timcarmody  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Video games for Xbox and Playstation : The New Yorker
"The second thing I learned about video games is that they are long…not like watching one ninety-minute movie…like watching one whole season of a TV show…in a state of staring, jaw-clenched concentration…

On the other hand, the games can be beautiful."

"The good thing about Halo 3: ODST is…I don’t know. If I was fonder of 1970s cast-concrete architecture, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the experience more…game seemed to me to be both desolate & repetitive, w/ incomprehensible Biblical & race-war undermeanings."

"…best time I had w/ Uncharted 2 was while eating a submarine sandwich & watching the making-of videos that came w/ the game disk, fantasizing about what it would be like to work for Naughty Dog as a late-afternoon-lighting designer or a stony-ledge-placement specialist. These people know how to have fun."

"This list…made w/ my son’s help. He reads video-game Web sites & listens every week…Giant Bombcast…like “Car Talk” but with 4 vastly knowledgeable gamers."
videogames  gaming  games  nicholsonbaker  reviews  gamedesign  2010  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Thinking the Impossible: French Philosophy Since 1960 by Gary Gutting – review | Books | The Observer
"The theories of Derrida and Foucault are revisited in this fair-minded history of French deconstructionism, and guess what? It wasn't all bunkum…"

"Because, so the theory goes, you don't speak language. Language speaks you. You might think of speech or writing as ways of expressing what's on your mind or in your heart but all you're really doing is mouthing the cliches that linguistic structures (and strictures) permit. Marx said man was alienated from his nature. Freud said man was alienated from his desires. But for the post-structuralists, the very idea of man was itself alienating. Had Descartes really had a self, he'd have been kidding it when he said, "I think, therefore I am". "I think, therefore I am being thought" is nearer to the deconstructionist mark. Or as Derrida more famously put it, "There is nothing outside the text"."
philosophy  foucault  deconstruction  deconstructionist  language  post-structuralism  karlmarx  linguistics  speech  writing  2011  books  reviews  france  theory  jacquesderrida  michelfoucault  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
John Jeremiah Sullivan Reviews David Foster Wallace's Last Novel, 'The Pale King': Books: GQ
When they say that he was a generational writer, that he "spoke for a generation," there's a sense in which it's almost scientifically true. Everything we know about the way literature gets made suggests there's some connection between the individual talent and the society that produces it, the social organism. … I remember well enough to know it's not a trick of hindsight, hearing about and reading Infinite Jest for the first time, as a 20-year-old, and the immediate sense of: This is it. One of us is going to try it. The "it" being all of it, to capture the sensation of being alive in a fractured superpower at the end of the twentieth century. Someone had come along with an intellect potentially strong enough to mirror the spectacle and a moral seriousness deep enough to want to in the first place. About none of his contemporaries—even those who in terms of ability could compete with him—can one say that they risked as great a failure as Wallace did."
davidfosterwallace  literature  writing  books  culture  thepaleking  johnjeremiahsullivan  reviews  via:timcarmody  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Review: The Pale King - Look-Listen - March 2011 - St. Louis MO
"You've heard that this is a book about boredom, and the potential for transcendence that exists beyond the featureless horizon of boredom's endless Midwestern field. That if we fight our instincts to distract ourselves from the reality of our adult lives, which are not by nature "fun," and instead pay complete and focused attention to that reality, boredom might reveal to the most focused of us a kind of heaven, a constant atomic bliss."

"Nor will you be surprised that The Pale King is about America and our hyper-advanced economic system. About the paradox of our nation, a unit proudly singular, united and indivisible, and yet premised on a religion of individual freedom. How our deification of independence has opened moral and legal gateways to acts of grotesque selfishness."
via:coldbrain  davidfosterwallace  thepaleking  books  reviews  boredom  selfishness  economics  us  society  freedom  independence  capitalism  adulthood  psychology  2011  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » Creative Corporate Cultures
"* Creative reviews, even for stuff you’re not working on. Oftentimes a company gets to a size in which no one knows everything that is going on elsewhere, which results in overlap, duplication, inefficiencies and just plain bad organizational structures... * People before ideas. Creative individuals trump project ideas. Bring in creative talent and allow the ideas to come from that... * Constructive post-mortems on projects. I think this is crucial. The time to consider what was done and what went right and wrong is a requirement if a team/company/studio is to learn from what it spent so much time and energy to create."
creativity  pixar  process  projects  reviews  work  tcsnmy  reflection  hr  hiring  leadership  culture  values  management  julianbleecker 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The new rules for reviewing media
"Compare this with traditional reviewers who focus almost exclusively on the content/plot, an approach that ignores much about how people make buying decisions about media today. Packaging is important. We judge books by their covers & even by how much they weigh...Format matters...Newspaper & magazine reviewers pretty much ignore this stuff. There's little mention of whether a book would be good to read on a Kindle, if you should buy the audiobook version instead of the hardcover because John Hodgman has a delightful voice, if a magazine is good for reading on the toilet...Or, as the above reviewers hammer home, if the book is available to read on the Kindle/iPad/Nook or if it's better to wait until the director's cut comes out. In the end, people don't buy content or plots, they buy physical or digital pieces of media for use on specific devices & within certain contexts. That citizen reviewers have keyed into this more quickly than traditional media reviewers is not a surprise."
books  design  amazon  format  kottke  newmedia  journalism  media  reviews 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Daily Kos: State of the Nation: Ravitch: The Death and Life of the Great American School System
"I hope in this review I have convinced you of the importance and the power of this book. It is yet another book about which I can say that anyone concerned about public schools should read - or in this case, devour. It is that good, that rich, that important.
dianeravitch  publiceducation  schools  schooling  learning  policy  politics  books  reviews 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator
"Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,500 of America's largest charities."
charity  philanthropy  charities  reference  nonprofit  reviews  activism  nonprofits 
february 2010 by robertogreco
the hose drawer (tecznotes)
"The pattern we see here is to keep crises small and frequent, as Ed Catmull of Pixar says in an excellent recent talk. When describing the difficulty Pixar's artists had with reviews ("it's not ready for you to look at"), he realized that the only way to break through resistance to reviews was to increase the frequency until no one could reasonably expect to be finished in time for theirs. The point was to gauge work in motion, not work at rest. "So often that you won't even notice it," said Elwood Blues."
michalmigurski  design  twitter  flow  progress  datamining  measurement  data  iteration  learning  improvement  sharing  glvo  criticism  reviews  stamen  process  work  unproduct 
february 2010 by robertogreco
"Monk liked to wear a formidable ring bearing his name when he played, an encumbrance that no pianist in his right mind would want to burden a hand with. While he was flashing his ring for the world to see, from his own perspective he saw something else. "KNOW" said the ring, more or less, to the audience. "MONK" was the reply when he saw it himself."
theloniousmonk  biography  reviews  music  jazz  books  history 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Show Some Character! -- Character Corner: Annabel Scheme by Robin Sloan
"Robin Sloan is a wickedly smart, inventive writer who will be great someday. He’s rough around the edges now (and I’m happy to make him that same offer on his next book), but he’ll get over that. He has a wonderful flair for inventive leaps that feel perfectly natural. I hope he continues writing in a similar cyber-punkish vein, because he has a great grasp on technology and what I feel are very incisive views on future-tech."
annabelscheme  robinsloan  reviews  books  characters 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Watch This: 70-Minute Video Review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace | /Film
"Chances are you probably didn’t like Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. You might be a Star Wars fan, or at least a fan of the original trilogy. After waiting in line for hours, days, weeks, you may have even written a mini 200-400 word review on an internet message board somewhere. If you were a working movie critic, you might have even written a 1,000-2,000 word review of the film for some newspaper or magazine. All of this exists in the realm of possibility…but what about a 70-minute video review? Some guy named Mike from Milwaukee, WI put together a 70-minute video review discussing the many reasons why the movie was horrible. And this isn’t your usual fanboy rant, this is an epic, well-edited well-constructed piece of geek film criticism. In fact, the way I learned about the video was from Lost co-creator and Star Trek producer Damon Lindelof, who said “Your life is about to change. This is astounding filmmaking. Watch ALL of it.”"
filmmaking  georgelucas  critique  humor  film  scifi  comedy  starwars  movies  reviews  criticism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Panasonic Lumix GF1 Field Test — 16 Days in the Himalayas [video here:]
It should come as no surprise that I am in love with this little camera. Something about it has gotten me to take more photos in the last three months than I have in the last two years combined. In fact, this camera was one of the impetuses that led me to Nepal — I wanted a great subject on which to use it.
photography  panasonic  lumix  gf1  lumixgf1  cameras  reviews  travel  glvo 
december 2009 by robertogreco
O’DonnellWeb - College without High School: The review
"lays out action plan for how HS age kid can have amazingly good time unschooling through HS years while building a dynamite college resume at same time...starts w/ knowing what you want...process of dream mapping. Starting w/ big picture things you want to do (become an astronaut, bike across the US, etc) & narrowing it down to short term (as in this week!) & longer goals that will get where you want to be...ends with picking 1 action item for each dream that can be accomplished in the next 5 exercise a lot of us older folk could benefit from!...real gem in book is how he breaks down college admissions process...colleges looking for a few things, intellectual passion, leadership, logical reasoning skills, ability to handle structured learning environment, & background knowledge...exhibiting a lot of these attributes is actually easier outside of traditional HS schedule...takes the reader through each 1, showing examples of how unschooler can show all this on college app"
books  unschooling  glvo  deschooling  colleges  universities  highschool  alternative  tcsnmy  reviews 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Bobbie Johnson meets Douglas Rushkoff, who helped to shape the internet in the early 90s | Books | The Guardian
"Rushkoff says he started working on the book more than four years ago (although getting mugged brought the project into sharper focus). Back then, friends and acquaintances scoffed at his predictions that the housing bubble was going to hurt a lot further down the line. "It's a little sad," he says. "I wrote the book in the future tense, and then when I was editing I had to put it in the present, and then - in the last draft - I had to put it in the past.""
douglasrushkoff  housingbubble  bubbles  economics  books  reviews  individualism  consumption  consumerism  technology  society  culture  interviews  activism  corporations  business  ideology 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Pinkwater's EDUCATION OF ROBERT NIFKIN: zany and inspiring tale of taking charge of your own education - Boing Boing
"The first half of Robert Nifkin is your everyday Pinkwater: convulsively funny, zany, biting. There's plenty of biting, zany and funny in the second half, too, but what distinguishes it is the slow, delightful realization on Nifkin's part that learning -- especially eclectic, self-directed learning undertaken with your peers and with engaged teachers -- is incredibly fun.

This section sings. It vividly recalls my own alternative school history, which consisted of a fairly long period of horsing around and goofing off, followed by an equally long period of dedicated, intense, serious study inspired by all the exciting things I learned by horsing around."
danielpinkwater  novels  books  corydoctorow  reviews  unschooling  deschooling  homeschool  alternative  education  tcsnmy  learning  geek  nerd  passion  lcproject  self-directedlearning  self-directed  autodidacts 
may 2009 by robertogreco
A Baker’s Dozen Of My Feelings About David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest - The
"Reading IJ is like forging a spiritual connection with a man who expresses my feelings better than I do. As someone who writes, I've often felt that language is so poor an instrument for communication or expression. I find it unyieldingly difficult to write an honest sentence. DFW exhibits otherwise. George Saunders, in his remarks at David Foster Wallace's memorial service, called Wallace "a wake-up artist." Yes. DFW's words, beyond creating solid smart sentences and solid smart stories, reach this part of you that you thought no one could reach, saying everything you've been wanting to say and hear, everything you've been thinking on your own but haven't been able to share with anyone else."
davidfosterwallace  writing  books  infinitejest  via:kottke  reading  reviews  criticism  georgesaunders 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Review: Flickr apps for iPhone | iPhone Central | Macworld
"If you’re a Flickr user, an iPhone app that connects to the photo site is natural extension. Here are three of the most popular apps, all of which let you log into your Flickr account, view you photos and those of friends and other users, take advantage of the iPhone’s location services, and even upload images directly to your Flickr photostream."
iphone  applications  flickr  reviews  photography  ios 
january 2009 by robertogreco
cityofsound: The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2007)
"Partly thanks to the breadth of Taleb’s erudition, the more interesting passages here concern our psychological makeup, with advantages and disadvantages endowed by the process of evolution as much as anything. You’ll find much here to aid understanding of how people think - and how people act on instinct, for that matter. Beyond that, our almost subconscious attraction to finding confirmation of one’s notions through active construction of data to support that notion is particularly interesting, and worrying."
blackswans  nassimtaleb  economics  history  danhill  cityofsound  psychology  books  reviews 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The Infrastructural City - Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles - we make money not art
"the one city on this planet i should be averse to. The first time i was there i saw creatures that freaked me out: Chupa-Chup ladies -heavy and round on top, super slim on the rest of the body- and all sort of people walking around with some rather stunning attributes that had been recently implanted. I could not accept that no one ever 'walks around the city center' to do some shopping, have a drink and sit down in a park. And where was the city center anyway? I realized i would never survive in L.A. without a driving license. The skyscrapers were tiny Lego structures thrown in a heap by the highway. And the river. Even that poor repudiated and alien river looked fake! I should never have liked LA. I tend to measure every city to a European one. I manage that tour de force almost everywhere but in LA the attempt is more preposterous than ever. That's what charmed me so much. That and many other things. Los Angeles is the only city in the USA where i would be tempted to live."
losangeles  urbanism  wmmna  infrastructure  architecture  books  kazysvarnelis  reviews  sprawl  urban 
january 2009 by robertogreco's December 2008 Trend Briefing, covering half a dozen consumer trends for 2009
Nichetributs, Luxyoury, Feedback 3.0, Econcierge, Mapmania (see quote), and Happy Endings. "As the Googles, Nokias (who expect half of their handsets to be GPS enabled by 2010-2012), MapQuests, Navteqs, Openstreetmap.orgs, Apples and TomToms of this world continue to build the necessary infrastructure, devices and apps, any consumer-focused brand would be stupid not to be partnering or experimenting with map-based services. Why? Geography is about everything that is (literally) close to consumers, and it's a universally familiar method of organizing, finding and tracking relevant information on objects, events and people. And now that superior geographical information is accessible on-the-go, from in-car navigation to iPhones, the sky is the limit."
technology  branding  trendwatching  geoweb  maps  mapping  location  geography  trends  2009  mobile  marketing  participation  feedback  forums  luxury  consumers  consumption  recession  savings  green  ecology  simplicity  frugality  identity  transparency  reviews 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The Triumph of Roberto Bolaño - The New York Review of Books
"Like Borges—whom he loved and from whom he learned much—Bolaño was attracted to the idea of literature that could speak to the Americas.[2] He introduced a Spanish edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and elsewhere suggested that The Savage Detectives had been his stab at an adventure tale in the spirit of Twain. He hinted at another model worth thinking about: Melville, tackling the overwhelming subject of evil in Moby-Dick. Writing a brief note on a book by the Mexican reporter Sergio González Rodríguez, Bolaño sounded a similar theme. In 2002, González Rodríguez published his reportage on hundreds of unsolved murders of women and girls in Ciudad Juárez, just south of the Texas border. The murders had begun to accelerate in the early 1990s, in tandem with the drug trade and a proliferation of new assembly plants for exports."
robertobolaño  borges  2666  literature  chile  autodidacts  selfeducated  nomads  poetry  marktwain  hermanmelville  mobydick  reviews  books  moby-dick 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Wrong-Thinking, Ill-Feeling | n+1
"El Malpensante has a few kindred spirits in other Latin American countries: Peru's Etiqueta Negra, Argentina's La Mujer de mi Vida, and Mexico's Reverso, to name a few, evince the same affinity for literary cosmopolitanism as a means to interpret culture at large. Most of these countries are, like Colombia, plagued by instability—in Mexico, an escalating, grisly war between drug traffickers and the military; in Peru, a tenuous state of peace achieved by an ex-president who is now undergoing trials for corruption and human rights abuses. In such contexts, magazines like El Malpensante and Etiqueta Negra act as bunkers for literary culture; they protect our enjoyment of the more refined pleasures from the hostility of the elements."
elmalpensante  colombia  magazines  reviews  art  culture  politics  literature  criticism  argentina  latinamerica  mexico  perú 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Daring Fireball: The iPhone 3G
"If I could travel back 20 years and show my then 15-year-old self just one thing the future of today, it would be the iPhone. It is our flying cars. Star Trek-style wireless long-distance voice communicator. The content of every major newspaper and magazine in the world. An encyclopedia. Video games. TV. Etc.
daringfireball  iphone3g  iphone  reviews  trends  future  apple  hardware  technology  mobile  software 
october 2008 by robertogreco
"Unigo is the world’s largest platform for college students to share reviews, photos, videos, documents, and more with students on their campus and across the country. It’s also the best place for high school students to find out what life is really like at America’s colleges, and to make friends to help them find the school that’s right for them. Unigo is the result of a nationwide grassroots movement to get the truth out about college life, and it’s growing bigger every day. Want to join?"

[via: ]
crowdsourcing  colleges  universities  reviews  students  admissions  reference  rankings 
september 2008 by robertogreco
The Tell-All Campus Tour -
"This month his Web site, called — a free, gigantic, student-generated guide to North American colleges for prospective applicants and their families — went live for the benefit of tens of thousands of trepidatious high-school students as they try to figure out where and how to go to college. Not coincidentally, it also aims to siphon away a few million dollars from the slow-adapting publishers of those elephantine college guidebooks that have been a staple of the high-school experience for decades. A lot of the classic narratives about a young man’s coming of age may seem fatally old-fashioned in the new century, but apparently, Horatio Alger still lives."
ungo  crowdsourcing  colleges  universities  ratings  students  reviews  business 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Children's Books - Book Review - 'Little Brother,' by Cory Doctorow - Review -
"It's a stirring call to arms when Doctorow writes: "Even if you only write code for one day, one afternoon, you have to do it. Computers can control you or they can lighten your work — if you want to be in charge of your machines, you have to learn to write code." The framers of the American Constitution were in a sense a bunch of political science nerds too, pulling all-nighters to hack together the code for a government without tyranny. "Little Brother" argues that unless you're passably technically literate, you're not fully in command of those constitutionally guaranteed freedoms — that in fact it’s your patriotic duty as an American to be a little more nerdy. "
corydoctorow  littlebrother  reviews  books  tcsnmy 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Fred Benenson’s Blog » Spore losing the DRM Fight [the numbers have jumped substantially as of this bookmarking]
"Spore, the long awaited evolved version of Sim City by game genius Will Wright has a DRM problem. As of this post, there are 14 “1 Star” reviews versus six 4 and 5 star reviews, by people who said that they won’t buy it because it has DRM...The moment concentrated actions like protests lead to dis-organized collective action and rebellion en masse is very exciting. If these are actual consumers acting in concert but without prompting from a centrally organized campaign then it means that our efforts at establishing DRM as an anti-feature have been successful."
spore  drm  flashmobs  collective  protests  activism  amazon  reviews  ratings  videogames 
september 2008 by robertogreco
4 Great iPhone App Review Sites - ReadWriteWeb
"While the iTunes App Store features reviews from others, sometimes you just want a second opinion. Today, ReadWriteWeb brings you 4 iPhone/iPod app review sites."
iphone  applications  reviews  csiap  ios 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Finding It at the Movies - The New York Review of Books - ""The New Yorker made it possible to feel that being an anti-sophisticate was the mark of true sophistication,...
"...and that any culture worth having could be had without special aesthetic equipment or intellectual gymnastics. Pauline Kael made it possible for people to feel this way about the movies"
paulinekael  via:preoccupations  art  criticism  film  pleasure  entertainment  culture  reviews  writing 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Second Coming: Ars goes in-depth with the iPhone 3G: Page 1
"In this review, we take a long, hard look at the iPhone 3G, both as a consumer device and as an enterprise device. After all, part of the appeal of the new device is that a number of software improvements have finally made it enterprise-ready, or so clai
iphone  reviews  iphone3g 
july 2008 by robertogreco
8 Cool Things You Can Do With Your iPhone 2DOT0 - Webmonkey
"Here’s our list of eight cool things your iPhone 2.0 can do for you. All of the apps we’ve highlighted are available in the App Store, and many of them are free. We’ve excluded games (check Game|Life) and e-books (boring!) from the list."
iphone  applications  mobile  reviews  ios 
july 2008 by robertogreco
PLURIBO: Instant summaries of Amazon user reviews.
"Amazon is a great place for product reviews, But who has time to read through them all? Our Firefox plugin can scan the text for you...And generate a summary automatically! "
amazon  aggregator  reviews  extensions  firefox  addons 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Incredible Hulk | | Arts
"What Hulk smash most? Hulk smash all hope of interesting time in cinema. Hulk take all effort of cinema, effort getting babysitter, effort finding parking, and Hulk put great green fist right through it. Hulk crush all hopes of entertainment. Hulk in bor
humor  film  reviews  hulk  comics  via:kottke 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Yelp plans splashy debut in location-aware mobile market | The Social - CNET
"This will be Yelp's first foray into location-aware services, which are a hot and developing niche of the social Web. Some services, like Loopt and Brightkite, focus on charting your friends on a map; others, like Buzzd and Socialight (in the U.K.) run s
location  location-based  mobile  applications  maps  mapping  consumer  reviews 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Guys Lit Wire
"Guys Lit Wire exists solely to bring literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. We are more than happy to welcome female readers - but our main goal is to bring the attention of good books to guys who m
boys  books  reading  literature  blogs  classideas  recommendations  reviews 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Rands In Repose: Sweet Decay
"halfway through those pages of horrible cursive, I stopped expecting to be graded and started writing for myself...primary goal of a notebook is to get out of the way...I needed lines in 3rd grade when I was learning how to write. I’m good now, thanks.
writing  notebooks  moleskine  productivity  paper  journals  reviews  tools  notes  notetaking  process  howwework  children  schooliness  deschooling  unschooling  homeschool  creativity  gifts  srg  glvo 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Archinect : Features : Archinect Reviews: Design and the Elastic Mind
"One of the greatest pleasures watching people outside those discourses discover these things for the first time. The show is complete sensory overload...the civilians were literally freaking out because they had no idea any of this existed"
designandtheelasticmind  archinect  moma  design  reviews  future  biomimicry  architecture  paolaantonelli  art  exhibitions  biomimetics 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Literary Review - Dominic Sandbrook on The 60s Unplugged by Gerard DeGroot
"Books celebrating the youthful idealism of the late Sixties are ten a penny, particularly across the Atlantic, so it is refreshing to read one that takes a mercifully clear-sighted view of the decade"
culture  history  myth  memory  60s  sixties  books  reviews 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Games Without Frontiers: 'Grand Theft Auto IV' Delivers Deft Satire of Street Life
"I may never finish the game. In a city this vibrant, it's hard to stop getting distracted. At one point, I finished a mission on top floor of decrepit apartment...started to head back downstairs to my car, then wondered: "Hey, what's up on the roof?"
immersion  games  gaming  gta  clivethompson  nyc  detail  exploration  gamedesign  reviews  simulations  openplay  open-endedplay  grandtheftauto 
may 2008 by robertogreco
New York Press - MATT TAIBBI - Flathead: The peculiar genius of Thomas L. Friedman.
"Like George Bush, he's in reality-making business. In the new flat world, argument is no longer a two-way street for people like the president and country's most important columnist. You no longer have to worry about actually convincing anyone; the proce
thomasfriedman  economics  globalization  humor  globalism  politics  journalism  books  reviews  us  world  criticism 
april 2008 by robertogreco
defective yeti: The Perverse Appeal of LOST
"Like the creators of World of Warcraft, the writers of LOST have managed to throw a saddle on the addictive lure of leveling and ride it to success. And bully for them."
lost  television  gaming  culture  tv  wow  reviews 
april 2008 by robertogreco
The Craftsman - Richard Sennett - Book Review - New York Times
"what is it that such persons know? to negotiate between autonomy & authority; to work not against but with resistant forces...above all how to play, for it is in play that we find "origin of dialogue the craftsman conducts with materials like clay
make  craft  creativity  learning  material  thinking  design  books  reviews  glvo 
april 2008 by robertogreco
The Myth of the Media Myth: Games and Non-Gamers | MetaFilter [via:]
"On the whole, Outside is overrated, and many gamers will find themselves forced by friends and family to play it against their will, but it still deserves a high rating. I give it 7/10, and look forward to improvements in future patches."
games  gaming  play  humor  parody  reviews  videogames  outdoors  via:kottke 
april 2008 by robertogreco
When Cool turns Cold - artnet Magazine: "The 2008 Whitney Biennial is a deeply transitional, studiously pious, blandly brainy, somewhat compromised exhibition...
...Call it the Art School Biennial. Not because the art in it is immature or because the artists all went to art school -- although I bet they did -- but because it centers on a very narrow slice of highly educated artistic activity and features a lot of
art  whitneybiennial  reviews  criticism  2008  artschool  academia  artschools 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Six-Word Reviews of 763 SXSW Mp3s by Paul Ford - The Morning News
[Dead link, so try this: ]

"For brevity, I kept each to exactly six words. Clicking on a band’s name takes you to its web site; clicking on the ▶ button takes you to the SXSW page for the band where you can listen to or download the song.

I realize that I have potentially hurt the feelings of nearly 3,000 musicians, for which I apologize. By no means should you ever stop writing and recording music."

[Wayback link: ]
criticism  sxsw  music  reviews  humor  mp3  paulford 
march 2008 by robertogreco
The Charms of Wikipedia - The New York Review of Books
"point of convergence for self-taught and expensively educated...cranks had to consort with mainstreamers & hash it all out—and nobody knew who really knew what he/she was talking about...everyone's identity was hidden behind jokey username."
wikipedia  books  encyclopedias  reviews  culture  history  via:russelldavies  education  knowledge  nicholsonbaker  collaboration  writing  language  encyclopedia 
march 2008 by robertogreco
OLPC XO: Background and Review on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"Having now lived with an XO for about three weeks, this is our preliminary review of the software and hardware including the story of why we bought our children a computer and how we decided on the XO over other options."
olpc  reviews  glvo  family 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Virginia Heffernan -Children's Crusade [on the OLPC XO] - New York Times
"consider the chief virtue of the XO laptop: its lights and sounds. Even Western kids, whose toys flash and squeal, are drawn with primitive wonderment to the peculiar phenomena of this computer — the distinctive hums and blinks that seem like evidence
olpc  reviews  virginiaheffernan 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Generation YES Blog » Blog Archive » OLPC XO - Top Ten Checklist for G1G1 Reviews
"it’s important to remember that the intended 3rd world audience is very different than the lives of most of the G1G1 users. Here’s my public service attempt to create a reminder checklist for potential XO reviewers."
olpc  reviews 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Science fiction Dinah Birch TLS
"has always asked frighteningly big some of its early projections become facts of our everyday lives (organ transplants, climate change, genetic engineering), it is developing ways for those questions to be addressed in a more human context
scifi  sciencefiction  books  reviews  future  society 
january 2008 by robertogreco Trees Reviewed
"Trees. It seems like you see them everywhere these days. But are trees viable in the long-term, or just another flash-in-the-pan fad for the under-30 crowd?"
reviews  trees  writing  satire  via:kottke 
january 2008 by robertogreco
ABC News: Low-Cast Laptops Don't Compare to High-Tech Cousins
"Review: Low-Cost Laptops for Children in Developing Countries Are Buggy, Slow"
olpc  reviews  classmatepc 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Tech.view | One clunky laptop per child |
"Ultimately the OLPC initiative will be remembered less for what it produced than the products it spawned. The initiative is like running the four-minute mile: no one could do it, until someone actually did it. Then many people did."
olpc  reviews 
january 2008 by robertogreco
OLPC and the Kindle
"The bottom line: Both of these devices are going to be around for along time. I hope that Amazon sees the potential of their device and realizes that OPEN is going to get it more consumers laying down $399 than a closed proprietary device. It will also e
olpc  kindle  ebooks  reviews  usability 
january 2008 by robertogreco
OLPC XO Review and Teardown
"In this review I will cover both the internal hardware aspect of this notebook, along with a comparison of it against more common consumer notebooks."
olpc  hardware  electronics  reviews 
january 2008 by robertogreco
bunnie’s blog » Blog Archive » OLPC XO-1
"its mechanical design is brilliant...fairly clean-sheet redesign of traditional notebook PC mechanics around the goal of survivability, serviceability, and robustness"
olpc  laptops  analysis  unboxing  hacking  hardware  design  reviews  technology 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman's Journal: Changing planes.
"Cory is one of the Explainers. The people who see what's going on, or what they perceive to be going on, and then turn around and tell everyone else, and once you've heard it their way you can't ever see it the old way again."
corydoctorow  fiction  sciencefiction  scifi  books  neilgaiman  liberty  freedom  writing  reviews  malcolmgladwell  music  williamgibson  brucesterling  douglasadams 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Powell's Books - Review-a-Day - Ulysses (Vintage International) by James Joyce, reviewed by The Atlantic Monthly
"This review -- which first ran in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly, December, 1946 -- covers three books, Ulysses; Finnegan's Wake; and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
literature  books  jamesjoyce  ulysses  finneganswake  reviews  1946  history  theatlantic 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Review: OLPC XO Laptop — The Eagle Has Landed | Gadget Lab from
"in an unprecedented split decision, we have two separate ratings for this laptop. One for the grown-ups and one for the kids"
olpc  $100  laptops  reviews  hardware 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Home - Spinebreakers
" is Penguin's pioneering online book community for teenagers, run by teenagers themselves. Editorial control of the site is in the hands of a core editorial team of nine teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years, supported by a large netw
books  youth  teens  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  reviews  culture  networking  penguin  publishing  aggregator 
november 2007 by robertogreco
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