second person view

Detail from a promotional screenshot for ‘Max Payne’ (Remedy 2001), forcing the viewer to look down the bore of Mr. Payne’s gun while he is shooting at the onlooker. There are ↑first-person shooters (FPS) and ↑third-person shooters (TPS)—what about the second person’s vantage point? Imagine a game where you always are looking through the eyes of the non-player character (NPC) with which your avatar currently interacts. In the case of e.g. a ↑shooter game you may see your actions from the perspective of the character you are about to shoot … from the perspective of your victim.     Wikipedia … Continue reading

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virtualism

The thing that’s going to be quaint about “cyberspace” (that already is, really) is the inherent assumption that it’s a realm unto itself; that it’s in any way elsewhere or other. —↑William Gibson According to Edward Said Orientalism is the notion, that “[…] as much as the West itself, the Orient is an idea that has a history and a tradition of thought, imagery, and vocabulary that have given it reality and presence in and for the West.” (Said 1978:5) For this condition he blamed a distinctive body of academic work which rose under the shield and by the force … Continue reading

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conversation

It is a profound belief of mine that if you can induce a person to talk to you for long enough, on any subject whatever! sooner or later they will give themselves away. Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s “After the Funeral” (1953) In one form or another this opinion is voiced nearly in every single one of ↑Agatha Christie‘s Poirot-novels. Obviously it is something Mrs Christie deemed important to communicate to her readership. Although I ↵already stated that anthropologists are not criminal investigators, compare Poirot’s wisdom to the points stressed by ↑Gerd Spittler in respect to the method of Thick … Continue reading

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hard rock phylum

  Neal Stephenson’s second generation cyberpunk masterpiece “↵The Diamond Age“ (1995) is set in a time when the political system of nation states long has collapsed. Tribal organizational forms have taken the latters place. Maybe to clearly distinguish his literary extrapolation from negative, colonial, exoticizing, or romanticizing notions, Stephenson didn’t choose the word “tribe”, but the more highbrow “phylum”, as used in biological taxonomy. The phyla of the diamond age—there are the Neo-Victorians, the Neo-Confucians, the Ashanti, and many more—are in possession of own territorium, but this is dispersed over the globe and mostly embedded into other territorial legislations. In … Continue reading

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domestic intelligence brazil style?

  Heinz Fromm, since June 2000 head of the ↑Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz [“Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution,” Germany’s domestic intelligence agency] voiced some ↑notable statements during the last days, from which—quite inexplicably—it was deduced that Fromm is perfectly at ease with his service using information stemming from torture-interrogations: “Für die Aufklärungsarbeit der Nachrichtendienste muss gelten, dass allen Gefährdungshinweisen, die wir bekommen, auch nachgegangen wird. […] Man sieht den Informationen im Übrigen nicht an, woher sie stammen, und wie sie gewonnen wurden. Die Möglichkeit, dass sie nicht nach unseren rechtstaatlichen Grundsätzen erlangt worden sein könnten, darf nicht dazu führen, … Continue reading

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accelerated transit

  Being in the midst of ↵“Accelerando” by Charles Stross the above amazing picture immediately strung a chord when I first saw it. The picture shows “the solar transit of the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle Atlantis (50 minutes after undocking from the ISS, before return to Earth), taken from the area of Mamers (Normandie, France) on september 17th 2006 at 13h 38min 50s UT.” See the pic in full ↑at astrophoto.fr.  via entry at infocult … Continue reading

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french connection

  I couldn’t yet find the full ↑Gibson-interview or a copy of the October 1992 issue of “Details” magazine—where the quote I preyed on for ↵feedback stems from—but ↑The Blade Runner FAQ ↑helped out and furnished one more paragraph:  Years later, I was having lunch with Ridley [Scott], and when the conversation turned to inspiration, we were both very clear about our debt to the ↑Metal Hurlant [the original ↑Heavy Metal magazine] school of the ’70s—↑Moebius and the others. But it was also obvious that Scott understood the importance of information density to perceptual overload. When ↑Blade Runner works best, … Continue reading

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zeiss ikon eyes

A discussion-thread at ↑williamgibsonboard, broaching the issue of the ↑actual looks of synthetical eyes within ↑Gibson‘s ↑sprawl trilogy inspired the man himself to write a blog-entry on ↑Molly’s mirrorshades and Zeiss-Ikon eyes. The entry is particularly interesting in respect to precision of description and “the hyperspecificity of the cyberpunk style”. Then Gibson finally comes to the “Zeiss-Ikon eyes”: With the “Zeiss-Ikon eyes”, from “Burning Chrome” [↵Gibson 1987 [1982]], which some readers evidently invision as (gack) German camera lenses, there was a “really”. I assumed they were vat-grown, genetically optically perfect organs, perhaps further tweaked to maximize them as, in effect, … Continue reading

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kitsch guns

antonio riello’s ladies weapons    This is definitely not street tech, but an artist appropriating the aesthetical appropriation of weapons for his own expressive ends. Italian artist Antonio Riello [of whom I couldn’t find an own site on the Web, but about whom I have read at diverse pages that he was born in Kabul, Rio de Janeiro, and Marostica, Italy] has peculiar interests: “Since the beginning of his artistic career,” ↑Hoard Magazine wrote in 2001, “he wanted to be a social reporter investigating his immediate environment. He is particularly interested in the “dark sides” of Italian contemporary life.”    … Continue reading

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golden guns

Because of current events—namely Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti since today facing court again—and because I just discovered something different on which I will report later, I felt the urge to rewrite and revive an old entry I ↑originally posted over at ethno::log:    ↑Bruce Sterling received the above picture from ↑William Gibson, ↑posted it at his weblog and commented: “Wow, a custom-detailed, one of a kind, post-consumer-altered MP5!” [Nitpick: a Heckler&Koch MP5k] Ain’t that a fine example of aesthetic technology adaption? Envision an exhibition in an ethnographical museum, showing weapons like the above one—and of course the gold-plated AK-47s … Continue reading

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