Category Archives: research

Complexity and ambiguity

“The majority of essays in the humanities have as their primary methodological orientation an interest in complexity and ambiguity. A plurality of texts describe cultural locations, practices, identities, and objects as hybrid, mixed, impure, marginal, dislocated, disoriented, Creole, Pidgin, transcultural, liminal, meta-, para-, quasi-, or otherwise complex and ambiguous. The pleasure of the text is […]

Science fiction as revolution

It is possible then to think about SF not in the bourgeois terms of the novel, but as an experimental science. The object of study is not the ideological reproduction of SF, but a philosophical self-reflection upon these conditions of ideological reproduction. To read is to discover the absolute difference a novel has from its […]

Literary forms that fed into sf

Literary forms that helped create the preconditions for the appearance of science fiction as a singular phenomenon in the late 19th century: * utopian fictions * fairy tales * classical myths * earthly paradises * folk stories about cockaigne * extraordinary voyages * millenarian fantasies * philosophical dialogues * technological blueprints * political manifestos and […]

Anamorphosis

[Anamorphosis] is a philosophy of false reality, or, more precisely, a poetics of alternative realities. An anamorphic image posits the coded presence of an almost unimaginable reality that momentarily obtrudes on ideologically constituted reality, thereby rendering it arbitrary, ontologically inconsistent [. . .] The effect of anamorphosis, philosophically speaking, is therefore that of extreme relativisation. […]

Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory

Pt. I, Ch. 2, “L.A. Noir and Forgetting” “there are noir and apocalyptic scenarios that continually repeat in literature, film and the visual arts from Los Angeles. By the mid sixties, they take on an increasingly disengaged spirit, like a nightmare one watches through the windshield of a car” (81). Pt. V, Ch. 12, “Suburban […]

Lektura obowiazkowa

My contribution to the ongoing discussion “O co toczy sie gra” in Dziennika/Kultura. PDF here. Polish only

Myself

Listen. I’m going to try one more time. I don’t promise anything will come of it, or that I won’t try to put it off for as long as possible, or that in the meantime I may not have to do something sensible first, like find Viv for instance. I don’t promise that the deep […]

Ebola

White cobras tangled among themselves, like the hair of Medusa. They were the face of Nature herself, the obscene goddess revealed naked. This like form thing was breathtakingly beautiful. As he stared at it, he found himself being pulled out of the human world into a world where moral boundaries blur and finally dissolve completely. […]

Paleo-futures

The Paleo-Future blog was started by Matt Novak in January of 2007. Matt has since become an accidental expert on past visions of the future, and has amassed the world’s largest (only?) library of media related to the study of paleo-futurism. Very interesting.

Google Earth launches online Prado art gallery

Not news anymore but I only checked “Las Meninas” last night – amazing.

William Vollmann reading at the Village Voice Bookshop, Paris, 12 June 2007

My feeling is that the main characteristic of reality is that it is infinitely dense and infinitely expansive; it’s always going to be greater than an ability to perceive it. And so the job of an artist is to make something that seems to be greater than you are, that has some kind of depth, […]

Gamers Are Fitter (and Sadder) Than You Think

Interesting findings about MMORPG gamers – here.

Gaming good for you

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that game playing provides a “significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement.” 97% of teens responding to the survey said they played games (75% played weekly or more often), and roughly two-thirds of teens use games as a social experience. The full report […]

Researchers Find Racial Bias In Virtual Worlds

schliz at Slashdot.org writes “Real-world behaviours and racial biases could carry forward into virtual worlds such as Second Life, social psychologists say. According to a study that was conducted in There.com, virtual world avatars respond to social cues in the same ways that people do in the real world. Users, who were unaware that they […]

Charles Stross – Halting State

A brilliant novel by a brilliant writer. Unlike a number of his recent pre- and post-Singularity narratives (Singularity Sky, Iron Sunrise, Accelerando, Glasshouse) that Stross has been unleashing upon the now suspecting masses, in terms of its timelines Halting State is a much more humble affair. It is set in 2017, primarily in Edinburgh and […]

MMORPG Gamers and Social Media Junkies More Alike Than You’d Think

There are two major pursuits that lead people to plant their butts in front of computer screens and pound on keyboards for hours without pay. One group of people loves social media in all forms, shapes, and sizes: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, FriendFeed, blogging, etc. The other group loves to play around in massively multiplayer fantasy […]

Make us a single

Before releasing their new album, Deerhoof (who, I must say, I have no clue what they sound like) has made available on their website files with sheet music for their new single “Fresh Born” – the viewers/musicians are supposed to download it, record the track and send it back to the band.

Making Statements With Video Games

You may have heard about the recent controversy at the Leipzig Games Conference over a modification of Space Invaders in which the invaders are slowly demolishing the World Trade Center. The creator intended it as an artistic expression, but has since removed the game, saying, “it was never created to merely provoke controversy for controversy’s […]

The Future of Persistent Worlds In MMOs

Zonk did an interesting interview with Ed Stark and Dave Williams, employees for an MMO developer named Red 5 (and experienced tabletop game designers). They talk about their ideas and plans to bring about the next step in MMO gaming: increased persistence in online worlds, where an objective, once completed, stays completed. Williams said, “Right […]

In-Game Gold Farming a $500M Industry

SpuriousLogic brings us this excerpt from a BBC report: “Prof. Heeks said very accurate figures for the size of the gold farming sector were hard to come by, but his work suggested that in 2008 it employs 400,000 people who earn an average of $145 (ÂŁ77) per month creating a global market worth about $500m. […]