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July, 2008:


We went to see Wall-e last week, the tale of a humble garbage-collecting robot that finds love and a bigger purpose. It’s very good: good story, great jokes and animation, and the most amazing CG-rendered images—with some minor subliminal promotion for Apple. I especially recommend seeing it if you’re near a cinema with digital projection.

So, am I only the person who is disoriented that a film against consumerist waste and dumbed-down resort culture was produced by the Disney corporation? And that I’m watching it surrounded by empty popcorn buckets?

This sounds like what the Situationist International called “Recuperation”

To survive, the spectacle must have social control. It can recuperate a potentially threatening situation by shifting ground, creating dazzling alternatives–or by embracing the threat, making it safe and then selling it back to us. — Larry Law, The Spectacle—The Skeleton Keys

Still worth seeing, though

The scariest headline?

Is it just me, or is this the scariest possible news story?

“[…] we were profoundly shocked to read that zooplankton abundance has declined by about 73% since 1960 and about 50% since 1990. This is a biodiversity disaster of enormous proportions.”

The comment is based on data from DEFRA’s Marine Programme Plan, see the graph on page 9.

It puts a 20% drop in the markets into perspective…

"Air Guitar" education

From a remarkable discussion on Mark Guzdial’s blog, in the comments to this post, Alan Kay (the original Grumpy Old Man) writes:

But I think the principle is clear and simple: there are thresholds that have to be achieved before one can enter various conversations and processes. “Air guitar and attitude” won’t do.

“Air guitar” is a metaphor for choosing too tiny a subset of a process and fooling oneself that it is the whole thing.