Category: the opiate of the masses

  • Middlemen

    Thirty-four years ago today I got off a bus in the middle of the night and stood on yellow footprints at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to begin boot camp. It was a different world. The Berlin Wall had come down, the Soviet Union had effectively surrendered (though it would take another year or so…

  • Portability

    Played Cyberpunk 2077 for five hours yesterday (because I’m an adult, 😛 ) and all I have to show for it is this: AAA video games that don’t let me save+clone+version+re-hydrate+share character state like skill trees, point allocations, and gear are starting to feel like a missed opportunity. We’re talking about the digital version of…

  • why VR?

    The “high-tech, low-life” aesthetic that makes cyberpunk cool is the only setting where VR/AR doesn’t seem out of place as “consumer tech”. The problem for Apple is that they are a luxury goods brand that is out of place in the aesthetic. It’s like if the child soldier in Africa was using a Louis Vuitton…

  • Re-thinking Genre

    Thinking that we’re at that place where franchises are each their own genre – MCU, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. are well-built worlds in which you can tell any story. And that’s what I want, stories that aren’t MCU stories but just regular stories told in-universe. Imagining stories and characters like Fargo, The Devil Wears…

  • Mitigating gun violence versus controlling gun access

    Gun control is decisive.  Guns salve fear.  Fear is increasingly pervasive, mostly because it is an effective tool for manipulating the market or the masses, occasionally because it is warranted. Fear-of-direct-bodily-harm-driven gun violence is most hazardous in places with higher population density.  More people in smaller spaces increases the opportunity for both ad hoc violence,…

  • Price premium for time sensitive video

    Watching NFL games live on television incurs a 1912% price premium over the same game time-shifted from Sunday to Tuesday.

  • On the Internet no one ever forgets…

    This is completely wrong in so many ways, beginning with the utter falsehood in the first sentence (* see below for why I think so), which is why I discount this. Yes, time has passed and perhaps Kevin Smith has acquired something to temper his nerdgasmic reaction to all things Star Wars, but there is…

  • The basics of a “slow demand” video service

    Several years ago – call it 2004-ish – I spent a fleeting amount of time thinking about how to design a really good set top box that would facilitate a “slow demand” video service. This was around the time that I had permitted four things to enter my life – Netflix’s DVD by mail service,…

  • No, the X-Men continuity is not broken

    This Io9 article makes a claim that the X-Men franchise is still continuity bound by the movies that have come before X-Men: Days of Future Past. I disagree.

  • How to make a DC universe movie franchise

    Marvel has always been my favorite of the two major comic book producers, and I think part of the reason for it’s success at the theaters has been related to why I liked them best – their characters and stories had more gray areas than DC’s “lawful good” pantheon – post Frank Miller Batman not…