Posts tagged economy

Misc. links Jan 15th - Feb 15th

This article, The Rise of the New Groupthink, does much to explain why I need my own office, and why I hate brainstorming meetings.

Slavoj Zizek writes about The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie.

The Scale of the Universe 2 is an interactive Powers of Ten.

EUscreen is an archive of free videos from a number of Europe’s public TV broadcasters. Portuguese RTP is conspicously absent — after all, our state broadcaster is notorious for its expensive and thoroughly copyrighted archives, despite being funded by taxpayers (our government does intend to fix this, though, by privatizing all this publicly-funded heritage as prescribed by the neoliberal zeitgeist, rather than giving free access to the archives to those who paid for them — for that would be Socialism, and therefore evil).

It seems an English plainclothes police officer was running after himself for a while after being mistaken for a burglar by the CCTV operator. The whole incident has ‘idea for short film’ written all over it.

Here are recipes for ‘old-school Instagram filters’. Meaning: how to take analog photos that look like those digital photos that look analog… I think I’ll have an headache. No wonder I’m more interested in messing with JPEGs.

GIF: A Technical History is quite an interesting and accessible post about that nasty but cute, little image format that won’t go away.

David Bordwell’s analysis of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is something I recommend you read if you’ve seen the film. I’ve found it great and demanding like a very fragile but precise piece of clockwork. It’s unfortunate we spectators aren’t used to stories this intricate told in such an economical fashion. I’d like more of this, please.

Lists of Note lists lists. Of note.

Rob Bechizza’s Mixtape of the Lost Decade. A pop history of the phantom decade between the 1970s and the 1980s. Which explains a lot, even if it’d mean I would now be on my forties.

On Goals Scored, a blog about great football (soccer) infographics. Football for nerds, yay!

musicForProgramming(); has a few cool ambient mixtapes that are quite good for all kinds of work that require focus (and not just computer programming).

Misc. links Dec 13th - 31st

Metafilter’s Year in Writing has given me much to read in the past and coming weeks…

Our Unpaid, Shadow Work: you know that last time you bought a ticket online? Or yesterday when you filled your car with gasoline yourself? Or when you went to the supermarket and scanned your own groceries’ barcodes? You are doing someone else’s job, for free. Sure, you get cheaper tickets, gasoline or groceries because of that (do you really?), but that’s no way to run a proper economy.

Makimizing shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. This is a headline on Forbes!, not The Communist Workers’ Union Monthly or something like that.

Two interesting articles about fighting cognitive biases and other kinds of self-delusion: Steven Pinker would ban the idealization of the past if he happened to rule the world, while Freeman Dyson reviews Daniel Kahneman’s statistical approach to psychology.

Umberto Eco’s guide to identifying fascists, written in 1995, makes the future look rather bleak.

Roger Ebert tells us why movie revenue is falling. I’d say what’s surprising is that movie revenue is holding so well, at least here in Portugal. Mini-rant: Even though I’m rather able to concentrate when I go to the movies and cope rather well with other patrons’ poor civics, I find it anoying that going to the movies means quite often driving to a shopping mall in the suburbs, eating overpriced mall food, standing in line for too long to buy tickets, etecetra, the alternative being a couple of inner-city theatres that offer nothing else but waiting out in the cold, or an extremely overpriced and unconfortable bar. Please make the theatres places where people would actually enjoy hanging out, else they’ll be downloading movies off the internet and watching them at home — not because it’s cheaper but because it is better.

Peyton’s Place: An interesting essay about what it’s like to lend one’s house to a TV series’ production. It didn’t go well.

KidsRuby seems like an interesting tool to teach programming. And not just to kids. Similar tools using Ruby (which, from my very shallow knowledge of it, really seems the general-purpose language with the simplest syntax) include Hackety Hack and the very cool Shoes.

Aaron Koblin’s The Single Lane Super Highway. I felt like twelve again, drawing badly pimped-out cars.

Misc. links Oct 15th - Nov 24th

The Internet as Hyperbole — A Critical Exhamination of Adoption Rates by Gisle Hannemyr is a paper with compelling arguments against the popular perception that people adopted the Internet much faster than other new communication technologies such as radio or television. The demonstration much ICT policy is based on a meme-ified anedocte makes this a compelling read.

Neal Stephenson on Innovation Starvation. That’s what happens to nations full of Nixons.

Charlie Stross writes about the existential quagmire of the ultra-rich, the ways most of us are richer than the ultra-rich of past generations, and the ways the ultra-rich are not rich at all.

George Monbiot on how the elites became destroyers of wealth. Much is made clear by xkcd’s crushing, epic Money infographic.

A short guide to lazy EU journalism. Granted, as even though I consider myself a literate European I do have a lot of trouble understanding how the EU institutions work. These lazy journalists won’t help. Please do your job already!

Christian Thorne’s two-part essay (part one, part two) on Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds is one of the best pieces of film criticism I have ever read.

It appears a Russian filmmaker called Ilya Khrzhanovsky took over a large part from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov and turned it into a 24/7 film set. And that has been going on for five years. Almost resembles a real-life Synecdoche, New York.

Stu Maschwitz’s totally inconclusive guide to choosing a pro video camera. We live in a glorious era of wonderful and affordable imaging technology, but in a depressing age of nitpicky trade-offs and difficult choices.

Misc. links Aug 30th - Sep 11th

Free online courses by famous philosophers. Since I’m really getting into watching OpenCourseWare videos (at least until the fifth season of Mad Men starts), perhaps I’ll put some of these on my watchlist.

Was Marx Right? A very relevant article, published not in some Pravda but in the Harvard Business Review. Mind you, I think the fact that the author spends the first three paragraphs in apologies and explaining he isn’t a communist is quite revealing about our societies’ mindset. Even if the communist remedies tried in the past were catastrophic failures, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Marxist diagnostic is wrong. For the most part, it is not.

Ikea Heights is a soap opera filmed in Ikea stores. While open. And without the staff noticing. Good job!

License plate SQL injection for the win! Could this be real? I guess someone read this.

Codecademy is a good (and fun!) place to learn yourself some Javascript. The interactive tutorial is still pretty short, but hopefully it’ll grow.

3D computer graphics done in 1972, by one of the founders of Pixar. As impressive as it may be, I still find it short of the awesomeness of Ian Sutherland’s Sketchpad demonstration from nine years earlier. I mean, that one still is pretty awesome today.

What People Don’t Get About My Job — from A(rmy Soldier) to Z(ookeeper). An interesting set of testimonials.

The evolution of the Web. A cool visualization of the evolution of web browsers and technologies since 1990. Things really got out of hand in the last few years…