Author Archives: Pastabagel

Codebreaking: AT&T tries for authenticity

Codebreaking: AT&T tries for authenticity

I’ve written before about the previously dominant postmodern cultural modes are yielding to a new cultural attitude that based in “our grandparents” generation, one that seeks authenticity, purpose, and meaning.
Advertisers and the commercial semioticians they employ, are of course among the first to pick up on this, dissect it, and attempt to exploit it. Here is a… Read the rest

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Blind – a cautionary tale

Blind – a cautionary tale

Blind is a very short film about man living in a radioactive Tokyo, haunted by a little girl.

The film compactly delivers its warning about ignoring the dangers of radiation like a well landed punch. And in Japan, the film is part of a growing popular backlash against corporate cover-up and government dissembling over the extent and ongoing dangers… Read the rest

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When your son asks to dress as a girl, it means you failed as a parent.

You read that right.
A question posed on one of the stupidest websites on the internet, Today.com, asks “Is it OK for little boys to dress up as girls?” This is the answer that ends the article:

“I applaud you for letting your child be unique, imaginative and free from the constraints of our closed society,” one poster

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Steve Jobs, and the Insanely Great

Steve Jobs steps down as Apple CEO, so the news reflects on his career. Best CEO in American business history? Maybe. Most visionary? Probably. But his contribution is hard to pin down. What makes him so great when other very successful people aren’t? Jobs was never a great engineer or programmer. Did Apple invent personal computing? No. Did they… Read the rest

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The Spectacle of 9/11, the “Mother of All Events”

The Internet Archive has released “The 9/11 Television News Archive” over 3,000 hours of news footage from 9-11 through 9-16-2001 from all major worldwide news outlets. Considering that most people experienced 9-11 through television, rather than in person, it seems like a monument to how people experience history–mediated in real-time, rather than directly or through reflective, after-the-fact accounts.… Read the rest

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What Comes After Postmodernism?

What Comes After Postmodernism?

An article in Prospect Magazine (UK) declares “Postmodernism is dead,” and then attempts to discern what cultural trend, or philosophical modes comes after.
This topic is of particular interest to me, the question of what comes next was largely the impetus for starting this blog. It is very clear that postmodernism isn’t dead, just like modernism or classicism… Read the rest

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Walt Disney CTO: Movies are about “visual spectacle,” not story

Walt Disney Animation Studios chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson, describes thinking behind the studio’s film strategy:

“People say ‘It’s all about the story,’” Hendrickson said. “When you’re making tentpole films, bullshit.” Hendrickson showed a chart of the top 12 all-time domestic grossers, and noted every one is a spectacle film. Of his own studio’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which is

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Warren Buffett wants to be taxed on this, so you won’t tax him on that.

Warren Buffett wants us to stop coddling the super-rich. He argues for superlatively higher taxes on those with incomes greater than $1 million a year.

Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal

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What if Male Superheroes Posed Like Female Superheroes?

I like how Superman's hand is wider than Wonder woman's waist.

This is the cover of Justice League #1. If you are shocked and appalled by this, I should point out that this is what comic book covers have looked like for most of the last ninety billion years:
Then someone decided to point out how stupid Wonder woman looked by drawing all the male character in similarRead the rest

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Credit Ratings, Market Crashes, and the Cover Story

Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US government’s credit from “Supermassively Awesome” to “Slightly Less Supermassively Awesome But Still Totally Great”. Markets responded as you’d expect, with a blind irrational panic, selling out of stocks and corporate debt and buying US Treasuries. One of the lesser known underlying assumptions of the Efficient Market Hypothesis is that under no circumstances do… Read the rest

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“Medium chill” is maximum wrong.

Add this to the ever-growing list of incredibly bad ideas. The article proposes a way of life called “the medium chill.” Medium chill is a lifestyle in which once you decide that you’ll never win the rat race, never get all the best stuff or even more than your neighbors, then there is no point in working hard,… Read the rest

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Deus ex Machina: if there is no God, Heaven, or afterlife, could we create them?

The New Statesman asks prominent atheists why they don’t believe. The answers are insightful but unsurprising, and around the internet it has generated the usual debates where people dig in their heels and yield no quarter on the issue.
I propose examining the question backwards. Let’s say there is no God, no afterlife, etc. Assume the atheist’s positions… Read the rest

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Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life is one of the greatest films ever made.

Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life is one of the greatest films ever made.

And if you walked out, I hate to break it to you, but you’re closed-minded. And that’s what this post is about. It’s not a review of the film (that’s coming later). Rather, this is a review of the rather large class of people who walked out of it.*
First, an endorsement. Go see this. Now. In the theater.… Read the rest

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Exactly the wrong response to the Norway bombings

By now you’ve all heard the terrible news. A “a blonde blue-eyed Norwegian with reported Christian fundamentalist, anti-Muslim views” went on a bombing and shooting spree in Norway killing 92 people, many of them children.
The hand-wringing started almost immediately. how could this have happened in civilized Norway, where multiculturalism and tolerance are a part of children’s education from… Read the rest

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Why do victims of abuse return to their abusers?

This blog lists the twenty most common reasons women return to the men who abuse them so brutally that they end up in the hospital. But the list, while poignant, misses the point
Pervocracy highlights the reasons most commonly heard in an emergency room, but these reasons are more verbalizations of symptoms not problems.
The reason victims return… Read the rest

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Did Kurt Russell Rape Goldie Hawn in Overboard?

Did Kurt Russell Rape Goldie Hawn in Overboard?

Does Hollywood condition audiences to consider certain kinds of non-consensual sex as harmless? In 1987 they did. And audiences bought it hook, line, and sinker. Would you?

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Why Scott Adams is fed up with Jezebel, Salon, and me and you.

Scott Adams is annoyed. At you.
I. Scott Adams Hates You
Adams, the creator of Dilbert, also has a blog. The blog is where Adams tosses out random thoughts he has in his head unrelated to the comic.
Adams wrote a post called “Pegs and Holes” that pissed off all the wrong people. That is to say, it… Read the rest

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They never get you on the crime, they get you on the cover-up

Casey Anthony is not guilty of the murder of her daughter Caylee Anthony.
However, she is guilty of “providing false information to law enforcement officer“.
It’s something of a cliche that high profile people never go down for their crimes, they go down for the cover up. It was the cover-up of the Watergate break-in that destroyed Nixon’s… Read the rest

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What Will Be A Luxury in the Future? Everything Except Final Cut Pro.

Apple blew it. But to appreciate just how they blew it, we need a little context. Here’s a good place to start: BBC News Magazine asks “What Will Be A Luxury in the Future?” Their answer is wrong. The correct answer is “everything.” Everything, with the exception of Final Cut Pro X.
We used to think of luxuries… Read the rest

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The things you put into your head are there forever

Amber_Isabel_01

“The things you put into your head are there forever.”
Discuss.
Click to enlarge.
(Quote and artwork by Dutch artist and photographer Amber Isabel.)

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