Tag Archives: hi culture


@chriscolin3000 critiques the “Culture of Critique” in #wired. works best read post-ironically. try it.

Our ever more sophisticated arsenal of stars and thumbs will eventually serve to curtail serendipity, adventure, and idiotic floundering. But more immediate is the simple problem of contamination. When the voices of hundreds of strangers, or even just three shrill ones, enter our heads, a tiny but vital part of ourselves is diminished. Suddenly we’re breached, denied the pleasure of articulating our own judgment on this professor, or that meal, or this city. It’s a fundamental bit of humanness to discover, say, the Velvet Underground for the first time—to rifle through that box of records at 13 and to reach an unbiased and wholly personal verdict on those strange sounds. Is it pretty? Ugly? Why are they out of tune?

Especially like the comment dialogue between Peter Mosher and ElyasM. Mosher’s points are well-made in an easily-comprehensible prose stlyle. I give him a solid 4 out of 5. ElyasM — having had the benefit of Mosher’s response on which to draw and the class to acknowledge his wisdom out of the gate — presents in even loftier (yet still lucid) style her interpretation of the author’s piece. Ultimately, having found the article of enough interest to note myself, ElyasM earns additional consideration from this reviewer. Call it the “birds-of-a-feather” bonus. I found her review more helpful, thank you very much. 5 out of 5.

My immediate response to Baba Brinkman’s “Performance Feedback Revision” (not even spellchecked)

I received this embedded. I submit it to you embedded (but just in case, ). I do not know/care how many views it’s received. I do not know if a YouTube commenter has already responded there the way I’m about to respond here. We (the hypothetical commenter and I) are temporally and geographically dislocated, and tapping my keys here with you — instead of there to digest his/her/its feedback — is somehow more exciting. Here. Now. I’m keeping in spirit.

  1. Who did he sample? Or was that an original loop?
  2. Revision is synthesis. A new entity emerging from a tweak to the old. Create or die.
  3. Importantly, Add value, Even if it’s only in your small pocket of the cosmos. Even if it’s only your mind. Parroting is feedback, but it’s of no use to Performer or Reviser. So platinum props to Baba Brinkman. Radio intentionally.

‘A Skin Too Few: Nick Drake’ on Sundance


More notes, furiously thumbed while watching, but I’d like to hang on to these:

  • Brief appearance by Paul Weller at the opening.
  • The songs of mother Molly Drake, as played by siseter Gabrielle on homemeade cassette, are quite haunting.
  • Long sepia shots of the streets of Cambridge, where he studied the poets.
  • Much discussion of the purity and preciseness of his guitar playing.
  •  Didn’t perform live after a brief club tour in which audiences wouldn’t shut up.
  • Moved back home with his parents, took some antidepressants, determined the world was harsh and futile. He felt a failure.
  • Last four tracks on last album he could not sing and play guitar at once.
  • Overdosed on tryptizol in his parents home one night. Did not wake the next morning.
  • Now AT&T and others are ripping him (and others) quite despicably. I don’t know, maybe the estate is making out nicely. But I’m swept in the irony of a company whose mission it is to connect people using the music of one who felt so alone. At least the VW ad had a creative iconoclastic feel.
  • Once told his mother that if only he knew his music had helped someone it would have all been worth it.

“I think we live in an incomprehensible present, and what I’m actually trying to do is illuminate the moment.” William Gibson


That line of thought is so much more interesting to me than Gibson’s dutiful recounting of his first book and his casual invention of the nonsense word ‘cyberspace.’ But it’s true he couldn’t get where he his but for that earlier exercise.

Bill, as he’s called in Mark Neale’s 2000 documentary No Maps for these Territories, describes his early work as "3 chord" for his lack of skill mixed with energy (If so how did Neuromancer win the triple crown?). It’s not often the punks get accolades synchronous with their malfeasance. Following are the notes I furiously Blackberried while watching.

It’s interesting seeing this film on the eve of the release of Bill’s newest novel, (which should be in my mailbox about now). Title came from bill’s lost prose poem Memory Palace. Interviews and music by Bono and The Edge. Neale says in some way the film was a direct descendent of My Dinner with Andre.

Parts of the documentary can be hard to watch at first because of Gibson’s chalky staccato — like Bob Woodward or Keroac with a terrible headcold. But it gets comfortable. Interesting to watch him speak, his diction is so measured, and he’ll pause then repeat entire clauses unchanged before completing the thought. He’s composing as he goes and you can watch it happen in the intimacy of that backseat.

A segment called ‘The Gernsback Conversation’ begins with Jack Womack reading the piece that Bill claimed to have written in the summer of ’80. (this reading, Womack’s twang, reminds me a bit of DeLillo’s “most photographed barn” piece from White Noise.) They then launch into a discussion of the attitudes they held against a scifi community of the time that was being systematically doped through its own insularity. To be welcomed to yesterday’s tomorrow’s parties as "nephews" breathing "fresh air" seems a surprise to Bill and Jack, and to Bruce Stirling. An ironic surprise. An historic one.

Idoru (in which Gibson introduced the celebrity-destroying SlitScan) was published September 4, 1996. TMZ.com launched November 8, 2005.

There’s an interesting insight on his writing process at the 1h07m mark. Bruce Stirling describes the "Gibson Box" as his gift to the genre.

Mentions his fascination with history as fiction, and the fact that we’re constantly rewriting it. He would appreciate Not Written in Stone, as I’m intrigued by it and historiography in principle.

Interesting that Neale’s secondary motivation was to make a Great American Road Movie. Yet the bulk of the driving was done in LA and Vancouver. Bill spoke of his childhood in Virginia and SC (particularly interesting was his recollection of turning in the tv and being in 1961 then stepping outside and into 1921), but there’s no footage of Nebraska or Indiana or Kansas or any heartland states one thinks of when one thinks of GARM’s — these of course being places that perhaps don’t play into Gibson’s books and perhaps being where he sells quite few.

Jim Gemmell, co-author of “Total Recall” has just redefined for me just what ‘What are you doing?’ means


My thoughts turn to the Alzheimer’s patient. The system would have to record not just the “stuff” of his life, but his emotional response to it as well. It would need an invisible interface — voice recognition maybe to respond to inquiries — and a nearly instantaneous method of communicating back meaningful context. Otherwise he’s Guy Pearce in tats.

Hopefully we’re closer to beating Alzheimer’s than we are to ubiquitous tech-enabled recollection. Hopefully this is academic. (And by the way, Gemmell’s section on MyHealthBits — and Shirky’s popularization of ideas around crowdsourced health records, for that matter — will get us much of the way there.)

Secondly, I wonder about the convergence of the Total Recall to come with the Total Access that’s already with us. The potential for interconnectedness between anyone’s and everyone’s lifestreams and the only-slightly-more-objective data cache of unfolding history — in the palm of your hand no less — is, well, paralyzing.

So what are you doing?