Sunday, June 12, 2016

For Future Reference

"'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens"
—Recurring story in "The Onion"

Self-focusing Eyeglasses

A tech startup in Israel is using technology from smart-phone cameras to develop eyeglasses that can auto focus on whatever you are looking at. It is several years out in development, but as someone who recently went to progressive lenses, I believe the proper meme in this case is shut up and take my money. Of course that does mean that some years down the road, I will have to recharge my glasses every night...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

An Unusual Narrative: The Interface Series

For those that follow high weirdness on the Internet, a new thing has appeared. A series of posts on reddit in a variety of different forums weaves a disturbing narrative. Like Fringe, the writings take the CIA LSD experiments of MKUltra and use it as a jumping off point, but these vignettes are of a significantly darker tone. They touch on geopolitical events, from WWII through the Vietnam War and the Korean War and into a future, and cultural events from Charlie Manson to Michael Jackson to, of course, the Internet itself. All have a heavy conspiracy theory flavor. Altogether, a good horror mythology. It is known as The Interface Series, referring to recurring "flesh interface" objects.

Horror is often a metaphor for something else. My interpretation of the obvious through-line here would be addiction, but there is likely enough that other things may suggest themselves. Perhaps some social commentary, or mental illness. And I suppose it would be best to say that this is not for children or those sensitive to disturbing imagery. It remains to be seen whether the tales will end like Fringe (directionless and far past its point of natural resolution), like Lost (bogged down by its own unanswerable questions until it became exactly what it was promised not to be), or Battlestar Galactica (the 2004 version, adrift without internal consistency, undermining its own prior material), or simply peter out as the Internet's attention moves on. And no, I do not think it will come to a satisfying conclusion. Such things don't, it is part of the pattern, part of the metaphor. Perhaps the metaphor self-actualizing.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quote of the Moment

"'Where must we go… we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?' The First History Man"
–George Miller, Mad Max Fury Road