Driving Blind: Fake Geeks and a Dying Middle Class

And we’re back.

Friday afternoon I got sidetracked trying to buy a car, but that fell through because the one I was looking at had already been sold. That’s what happens when you take a break from aggregating Internet links.

The market for Internet access is a mess, but Karma might make it a little bit better.

The Believer excerpts from its extended interview with Alan Moore (Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta).

Elizabeth Simins’s amazing water color comic series on girls and video games.

What exactly is there to ruin on Twitter?

Day dreaming about houses the way men salivate over cars (also, I wonder what exactly the price breakdown is for the glut of housing right now?)

On how the idea of being a “geek” was fake from the start.

SubZero is better than many of the live action Batman movies, but still nowhere near as good as the Mr. Freeze episodes from the Animated Series or Batman Beyond.

The 101 best written TV shows—anyone else think this list is stretched a bit thin?

A better list: the Millions top ten reads for May,

Apple begins its trial over colluding with publishers to fix the price of ebooks.

David Barnett explores why HP Lovecraft has become more popular than ever.

Robert Reich is worried about an economy that can sustain middle class wage growth.

Tim Bajarin explains why even though demand for PCs is in decline, they are still relevant, at least for now.

Sony joins Lego to produce plastic toy bricks that perform like mini-Mind Storms.

If you have an iPad you can now play Knights of the Old Republic on it. Do so. Now.

Ben Kuchera calls The Swapper a mix of Portal and Braid by way of 2001: a Space Odyssey.

Securities Analyst Michael Pachter predicts that next-generation video game consoles will be cheaper than expected.

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14 thoughts on “Driving Blind: Fake Geeks and a Dying Middle Class

  1. I know that Knights of the Old Republic was celebrated and I’m intrigued. Does anyone have an idea of how the gameplay will be in an iPad? I’m thinking particularly of the limitations of tablet based play (no mouse, keyboard, or controller).

    I’m one of those people who really adores Lovecraft’s stories. I have to admit that his racism pops up fairly often, though not every story. To some extent, I find them interesting as historical science fiction/horror. Part of what draws me is that they are of their time. Not only do I get a sense of this one man’s particular (and interesting) mythos, but it’s all happening during a 1910s and 1920s that is otherwise not very accessible to someone almost a hundred years later. It’s a very parochial, insular, and indeed racist and classist perspective, but it’s still pretty fascinating. I think Elizabeth Bear has it right at the end of the cited article.

    The fact that Lovecraft’s stories spawned the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which is really well-done, also plays a role in my admiration.

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        • The unhelpful curator of the Special Collections at Miskatonic U. got very snippy with me, pointing out That Which Ought Not Be Named ought not be copyrighted, either.

          Thereafter the trail goes cold. Dark and slimy, too.

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          • Heh…I’m picturing polite little placards on the display cases indicating to visitors “That Which Ought Not Be Photographed”.

            Lovecraft is cool because, IMO, it’s a new sort of mythology (or maybe the return of an extremely, extremely old one), and one explicitly pitted against the Age of Science/Reason. In the old myths and horror stories, monsters and gods are usually more or less comprehensible – Zeus wants to sleep with a human woman; Grendel/Dracula is hungry.

            Lovecraftian monsters are incomprehensible – not even evil as we normally think of it, just massively powerful and in opposition to (or at least outside of) what we see as “order/causality” (that is, our only frame of reference as rational beings); they may in fact be no more aware of our existence, than we are aware of ants.

            That is why they are so resonant – they represent the complete untethering of rationality.

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  2. It may be thin, it could be a lot shorter, but I do like they went off the beaten path for some picks (like Sesame Street)

    The Shield and Oz are way underrated on that list, Roseanne criminally so. Longer running shows (>5 seasons) are all overrated except maybe the Sopranos (and Sesame St.)

    Most of the list is filled with either stuff that found a formula that worked and stuck to it well (Friends and pretty much every other sitcom*), or had some moments of brilliance, but was wildly uneven (Star Trek (either one) & LA Law come to mind). There’s very little on that list that had consistent taut high caliber writing. And it seems to me the only way to keep high standards is limited seasons the way HBO and now PBS** do it.

    *I Love Lucy and to a lesser extent, Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore, because each invented the formula they used.
    **via UK, so throw BBCA in with them to do it.

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    • “It may be thin, it could be a lot shorter…”

      I dunno… it seemed like it had the perfect number of entries for a list of 101 shows.

      They didn’t say all of these were great and simply include every show ever. They ranked the top 101 and, necessarily, had 101 shows. My hunch is they did this because doing a list of only the top 10 would have led to fans of shows 11-101 to wonder where their show was. At least now they know, so instead of saying, “What? No ‘Will & Grace’?” they can say, “Why’d you have “Will & Grace” at 98?” You end up with much better conversation that way.

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  3. Robert Reich predicts economic storm clouds ahead. There’s a great surprise…

    Of course this economy is in the doldrums. Of course it’s only the financial sector which is making any headway. Until the world economy gains some confidence, only a few speculators will do well.

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