node created 2012/06/17
last changed 2012/06/17
 6 m ago

"they're slopping the trough for you"

Now the police dreams that one look at the gigantic map on the office wall should suffice at any given moment to establish who is related to whom and in what degree of intimacy; and, theoretically, this dream is not unrealizable although its technical execution is bound to be somewhat difficult. If this map really did exist, not even memory would stand in the way of the totalitarian claim to domination; such a map might make it possible to obliterate people without any traces, as if they had never existed at all.
"The Origins of Totalitarianism"

Virtual reality, the computer science that brings artificial worlds to life, is in its infancy. Today, it allows adventure-seekers wearing stereoscopic headgear to fly on the backs of pre-historic birds, but in the future, with the use of stereo TV cameras and robots, it could allow surgeons to operate on patients who are one hundred miles away.
 7 m ago

Confidence, est. 1979

Original dateJune 10th 2007, 13:25

Original dateMarch 5th 2009, 12:23

Original dateSeptember 2nd 2007, 07:41

Original dateMarch 5th 2009, 14:14

Original dateMarch 5th 2009, 12:31
 8 m ago

"content creators"

Older guys "acting cool" in front of people so young it would be incredibly awkward, creepy and sad in anything but a virtual context, people calling other people "creator" for basically mumbling nonsense and padding it out endlessly with more nonsense.. so "make sure to leave a like" and "smash that subscribe button". If you think you already did that, please double check and "make sure".

Stream viewers get "paid attention" to by the streamer, if not for chat messages, then for donations. That's the dynamic. "Thanks for the support, you guys are awesome". That's what the viewers need to be told, that they're awesome for being unable to stand silence, and liking none of the valuable things it could be filled with.
 8 m ago

the beauty and the beast

Haha, what garbage did I just read?

The same principle is at work in verbal wit. The English film director Anthony Asquith, for example, once introduced Jean Harlow, the platinum-blond 1930s Hollywood star, to his mother, Lady Margot Asquith, the author and wife of the longtime British prime minister Herbert Henry Asquith. Harlow mispronounced Lady Margot’s first name, sounding the final t, as in forgot. “The t is silent, my dear,” Asquith snipped, “as in Harlow.” Lady Margot isolated and exaggerated the significance of the simple t, just as Tinbergen isolated and exaggerated the herring gull’s orange spot, thereby dramatically enhancing its impact.

Is that a way of saying "she called her a harlot" that went over my head, or did the author not catch that she called her a harlot? Be that as it may, that "quotation" is apparently widely considered to be witty, and I'm not seeing it. An intelligent (nevermind witty) person wouldn't betray their pettyness, cruelty and insecurity like that at "hello". A more sensible world would have long forgotten it as a weak moment of a person who probably had a lot on their plate.

In that article I noticed the setup that could not be cheaper: "platinum-blonde" vs "the author and wife of longtime prime minister".

she accused her shell-shocked stepson Herbert of being drunk.

I see. "The author and wife of longtime prime minister" certainly has a different ring to it than, say, "the kind of person that would accuse her shell-shocked stepson of being drunk", even though the later might actually help explain the anecdote, instead of juxtaposing a supposed sophistication with graceless nastyness and as such serving only to further mystify the issue.


... yeah. So let's try this again:

A totally different principle is at work in psychological abuse. The English film director Anthony Asquith, for example, once introduced Jean Harlow, the young, beautiful and warmhearted 1930s Hollywood star, to his mother, Lady Margot Asquith, a woman of a remarkable lack of any endearing features, who had developed an especially cruel looking mouth. Harlow mispronounced Lady Margot’s first name, sounding the final t, as in forgot, though she meant nothing by it. “The t is silent, my dear,” Asquith snipped, “as in Harlow.”, marking the beginning of an evening that to the young people felt like trying to have a picnic while being harrassed by a flock of old sea gulls that seemed more intent on shitting on the food than stealing any of it.

They didn't talk back, laughed politely, because it seemed clear Margot was not just unhappy, she didn't even remember happiness, and this was her way to get back at all what that had broken her heart when she was younger. Harlow knew Margot think she meant her, but that she didn't, didn't even see her, couldn't see her, saw only the light playing on her hatred for herself... so Jean came to feel deep compassion for this poor person.

To use the picnic analogy again, she simply decided that they weren't going to get to eat a bite anyway, and that they may as well watch the acrobatics of the shitting birds. For even the ugliest human is beautiful, if you look at them careful enough, listen well enough. What seems ugly, what seems like chaos, is just as causally ordered, that order is just hidden from casual glance. Beauty is symmetric, and that's sublime, but uglyness is complex, and that is sublime too; and sneaking these kind of bald claims into stories is probably what makes writing them so fun.

Later that night, when they were alone, Harlow looked into Anthony's eyes for a long time, finally whispered "Oh Anthony, you told me it was bad, and I did believe you.. but I still had no idea just how bad it was", and made sweet pity love to him all night long, which totally blew his mind.

P.S.: Looking at his bio I realized he was homosexual, which makes that ending unlikely, but also potentially gives the scene a whole other level of oppressive atmosphere. His mother calling a person she literally just met a harlot for being pretty and an actress makes it seem unlikely she would have approved of his homosexuality, so maybe they were relieved she called her harlot, since that meant she had no clue of his homosexuality, and gladly played along. If she accepted her son, why be such a bitch to Harlow... wit? Pff.
 8 m ago
A picture may say more than a thousand words, the trouble is that often enough the words are along the lines of "leh lah da da da de de de, ra ra ra bleh blah blih".
 9 m ago

bullshit-introducing clichés

  • at the end of the day..
  • any reasonable person would agree that..
  • I'm not entirely sure that I'm convinced I fully agree that..
 9 m ago

spooky thought of the day

The attack on general purpose computing is just a means, the attack on general purpose thinking is the end.
 9 m ago
That's what turned me off from most gaming was the soullessness on many levels. But just looking at youtubers, 99% of their "discussions" of games make me want to throw up, too, and that includes most supposed "serious" ones, too. Even when they're going by a script, if you reduced what they said to the actual meanings, there would be little to nothing left except misused phrases.

I used to despise show wrestling as a kid, but yesterday I saw 5 minutes of a Star Craft world championship finals game, and the announcers made me insane with hatred within 15 seconds. "What an epic moment", oh, how those units come out of the base "*so* instantly". Consider Bill Hicks' imitation of Jay Leno, then consider how much worse than Jay Leno "gaming" shills have become.

My theory is that this has to do with a shift from games being about something, even if that's just silly fun or violence, to them being about escaping from facing reality. People say shit that doesn't mean anything, and the people they say it to don't bother to ask "what does that even mean", because one hand washes the other, and they are in an unconscious conspiracy of pretending what they clobber together are sentences.