what is spilled?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #34 What kind of liquid is spilled on that floor?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE (05 July 2012): Meanwhile Alexander Rabitsch ↵correctly guessed that … Continue reading

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what is searched?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #33 What are those two hands searching for in the drawer?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.] … Continue reading

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star wars 1313

Somewhen I read a quote by George Lucas which I can’t find again—little wonder in the face of the tons of quotes of him published. It might have been in connection to the ephemeral sequel trilogy or the then upcoming ‘The Clone Wars.’ Anyway, if I remember correctly he stated that he wanted further material in the franchise to follow darker, grittier storylines. Immediately I thought that finally ‘the ↵mellow fairy tale mythology of this space operas disguised as science fiction’ are subjected to the cyberpunk discourse, too. Well, now it indeed may happen—at E3 LucasArts demonstrated a new Star … Continue reading

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relational reality revisited

Having ↵mentioned Alex ‘↑Rex‘ ↑Golub‘s ‘↓Being in the World (of Warcraft)‘ (2010), I allow myself to point you to my ‘The Stability of Cyberspace’ which I first presented at the Cyberspace 2005 International Conference, and which subsequently was published in the conference’s proceedings (2006).     In order to grapple with the problem of reality, Rex draws on ↑Alfred Schütz and ↑William James (Golub 2010: 24, 33, 39, 40)—the same choice I made in ‘↓The Stability of Cyberspace‘ [just uploaded the thing for your convenience]—here is the, somewhat preposterous, abstract: The lack of a suitable understanding of reality experienced by … Continue reading

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engine john’s goggles

Just last week I had my students discuss in class Alex ‘↑Rex‘ ↑Golub‘s excellent ethnography-based article ‘↓Being in the World (of Warcraft)‘ (2010). One of the points Rex powerfully makes is that it isn’t ever more realistic (or: naturalistic) graphics and supposedly intuitive interfaces that guarantee deep immersion into computer games and so-called ‘virtual worlds,’ but social relationships (a point that I do second fully). Hence the vision of ↑VR pioneers/evangelists like ↑Jaron Lanier and the prospects fostered by cyberpunk were somewhat misleading: No sooner had text only worlds blossomed before it appeared they would be replaced by immersive “virtual … Continue reading

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difference engine day

From the ↑Charles Babbage biography at ↑The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive (University of St Andrews, Scotland): Babbage is without doubt the originator of the concepts behind the present day computer. The computation of logarithms had made him aware of the inaccuracy of human calculation around 1812. He wrote in [C Babbage, Passages from the life of a philosopher (London, 1864).]:-     … I was sitting in the rooms of the Analytical Society, at Cambridge, my head leaning forward on the table in a kind of dreamy mood, with a table of logarithms lying open before me. Another member, … Continue reading

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to and fro

Just stumbled over the following snippets from ↑Info on German Expressionist Films: German expressionist films were prevalent in the 1920s. Amongst the most well remembered are films such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Weiner, 1920), Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922), Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) and Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927). These films were united by highly stylized visuals, strange asymmetrical camera angles, atmospheric lighting and harsh contrasts between dark and light. Shadows and silhouettes were an important feature of expressionism, to the extent that they were actually painted on to the sets in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. [...]   … Continue reading

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why so depressed?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #32 Why does the man sitting on the bed within that vast space seem to be so depressed?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.] … Continue reading

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