hello matakichi

A picture book entitled Namennayo! (Don’t Mess Around with Me!) and commercial goods modeled on those in the book are caricatures of ↑bosozoku symbolism and display a crucial aspect of such symbols and the commercial exploitation of them. This work, which was published in 1981, and had a sales of about 335,000 copies by the summer of 1983, features a cat called ↑Matakichi. Throughout the book there are numerous pictures of cats who stand upright wearing human clothes. miniature props (auch as motorcycles, cars, and buildings) are also provided. The plot concerns Matakichi’s youthful experimentation with several expressive styles including … Continue reading

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a murder of quality

The cold was crisp and sharp like flint. (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     For a moment Fielding thought of Hecht pasturing in that thick body: it was a scene redolent of Lautrec. Yes, that was it! (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     It was from us they learnt the secret of life: that we grow old without growing wise. (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     I used to think it was clever to confuse comedy with tragedy. Now I wish I could distinguish them. (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     Being alone was like being … Continue reading

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call for the dead

[…] academic excursions into the mystery of human behaviour, disciplined by the practical application of his own deductions. (Le Carré 1961: chpt. 1)     This part of him was bloodless and inhuman—Smiley in this role was the international mercenary of his trade, amoral and without motive beyond that of personal gratification. (Le Carré 1961: chpt. 1)     By the strength of his intellect, he forced himself to observe humanity with clinical objectivity, and because he was neither immortal nor infallible he hated and feared the falseness of life. (Le Carré 1961: chpt. 1)     For four years … Continue reading

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commodifying bodies

At one level, then, the commodification of the body is a new discourse, linked to the incredible expansion of possibilities through recent advances in biomedicine, transplant surgery, experimental genetic medicine, biotechnology and the science of genomics in tandem with the spread of global capitalism and the consequent speed at which patients, technologies, capital, bodies and organs can now move across the globe. But on another level the commodification of bodies is continuous with earlier discourses on the desire, need and scarcity of human bodies and body parts for religious edification, healing, dissection, recreation and sports, and for medical experimentation and … Continue reading

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corpse companionship

‘Knew him personally at all, did you, sir?’ the Detective Chief Superintendent of Police asked respectfully in a voice kept deliberately low. ‘Or perhaps I shouldn’t enquire.’     The two men had been together for fifteen minutes but this was the Superintendent’s first question. For a while Smiley did not seem to hear it, but his silence was not offensive, he had the gift of quiet. Besides, there is a companionship about two men contemplating a corpse. (Le Carré 1979: chpt. 3) LE CARRÉ, JOHN [aka CORNWELL, DAVID JOHN MOORE]. 1979. Smiley’s people. London: Hodder & Stoughton. … Continue reading

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rogue states

It’s 20 years ago that Bruce Sterling drew a connection between ↑cyberpunk in the nineties and Jules Verne: ‘↑Captain Nemo was a technical anarcho-terrorist.’ (Sterling 1991: 39) By chance last night I stumbled over a passage in Verne’s ‘↓20,000 leagues under the sea‘ I had marked some time. It is part of a conversation between Ned Land [picture Kirk Douglas] and Professor Arronax. Together with Arronax’ trusty servant Conseil they in effect are prisoners aboard Nemo’s submarine ‘Nautilus’ and now speculate about their jailors’ origin: “My opinion is formed,” replied Ned Land, sharply. “They are rascals.” “Good! and from what … Continue reading

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watson

More water on my mills, this time from an Op-Ed out of yesterday’s New York Times on Watson, IBM’s AI which will compete in Jeopardy! on Valentine’s day: It’s remarkable how much of the digital revolution has been driven by games and entertainment. (Powers 2011: WK 10)     The machine’s one great edge: Watson has no idea that he should be panicking. (Powers 2011: WK 10)     This raises the question of whether Watson is really answering questions at all or is just noticing statistical correlations in vast amounts of data. But the mere act of building has … Continue reading

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final problem

‘Of late I have been tempted to look into the problems furnished by Nature rather than those more superficial ones for which our artificial state of society is responsible.’ (Doyle 1893) DOYLE, Sir ARTHUR IGNATIUS CONAN. 1893. The adventure of the final problem. The Strand Magazine 6(36) [December 1893]. … Continue reading

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games spillovers

Spillovers from the computer game industry include technological spillovers from games into other industries, impacts on education and impacts on learning and social interaction. It provides an ongoing example of the development of new business and payment models which may have applications in other content sectors […]     Technology originally developed for games is increasingly used in other applications. Games developments in computer images, graphics resolution, high-speed interactivity, and touch feedback are used in other applications. Many of these technologies had theirs origins in defence (e.g. flight simulators, pilot helmets, etc.) and medical imaging where virtual modelling developed for … Continue reading

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