Link Dump

As per usual, interesting links from the depths of the internets:

  • How Far Was Rocky’s Famous Run in Rocky II? – Spoiler: 30.61 miles. And I think that’s a pretty conservative number. Dude is ping-ponging all over the city. Still good detective work here.
  • Back to the Blog – Apparently there are some social-media-addled users who are attempting to “re-decentralize” the web, something that is easier said than done, and yet somehow already here (and always has been). I mean, nothing forces you to spend all your time on Facebook and Twitter but yourself.

    It is psychological gravity, not technical inertia, however, that is the greater force against the open web. Human beings are social animals and centralized social media like Twitter and Facebook provide a powerful sense of ambient humanity—the feeling that “others are here”—that is often missing when one writes on one’s own site. Facebook has a whole team of Ph.D.s in social psychology finding ways to increase that feeling of ambient humanity and thus increase your usage of their service.

    A lot of the things that blogging relied on have disappeared or fractured though, so there’ll need to be something else to help us along…

  • The Platform is the Message (.pdf) – James Grimmelman’s essay starts with Tide Pods and ends with Fake News, with stops at kayfabe and Peppa Pig along the way, and is well worth reading.

    All of these videos, and all of these links, everything going back to the

    Onion is both a joke and not a joke. It’s easy to find videos of people holding

    up Tide Pods, sympathetically noting how tasty they look, and then giving

    a finger-wagging speech about not eating them because they’re dangerous.

    Are these sincere anti-pod-eating public service announcements? Or are they

    surfing the wave of interest in pod-eating by superficially claiming to denounce

    it? Both at once? Are these part of the detergent-eating phenomenon

    (forbidden), or are they critical commentary on it (acceptable)? Online

    culture is awash in layers of irony; there is a sense in which there is no such

    thing as a pure exemplar of eating a Tide Pod unironically or a critique of

    the practice that is not also in part an advertisement for it. All one can say is

    that the Tide Pod cluster of memes and practices attract attention: the controversy

    only adds to the attention.

    The difficulty of distinguishing between a practice, a parody of the practice,

    and a commentary on the practice is bad news for any legal doctrines that try to distinguish among them,18 and for any moderation guidelines or

    ethical principles that try to draw similar distinctions. I cannot think of any

    Tide Pod content that could not make a colorable claim to be a transformative

    use; I cannot think of any Tide Pod content that would not be at least

    marginally newsworthy.

    Great essay, a little on the pessimistic side, but I can’t dispute anything either…

  • The Battle of New York: An ‘Avengers’ Oral History – There’s a lot of sloppy stuff in the first Avengers movie that I don’t like very much, but I still love that movie and rewatch it often because of the finale, one of the great extended action sequences of our time, and it really sends you away on a high that most movies cannot manage.
  • Jones BBQ and foot massage – It’s so disappointing that this isn’t a real establishment.

That’s all for now…

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