Link Dump

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

  • The Problem Solving of Filmmaking – Great video made by David F. Sandberg, the director of Shazam!, explaining the multitude of problems to be solved in even the most trivial of scenes. It reminded me of a great anecdote about Kurosawa that I cannot find anymore, but went something like this: An interviewer praised the composition of a shot in one of Kurosawa’s period movies, and asked him what inspired the shot. Kurosawa answered that if the camera was pointed just a little more to one side, then you would have seen a busy highway with lots of cars. If it was just a little more to the other side, then you would have seen a big factory. He pointed the camera where he did not just because it looked good, but because he couldn’t really point it anywhere else…
  • My many years of reading dangerously – whether Twitter likes it or not – Andy Miller reads a ton of books and thus made the reasonable decision to talk about it on social media. This, of course, is a disaster:

    I really love reading. The thing that drives me crazy about social media – about life, in fact – is the presumption of bad faith where none exists. Motives attributed to me for regularly posting, and it’s hard to emphasise this enough, A PHOTO OF A PILE OF BOOKS ON A KITCHEN DRESSER include: lying; boasting; publicity-seeking; ego-boosting; product-shilling; cultural-gatekeeping; trying to make individual correspondents feel guilty about the quantity and/or quality of their reading; and, of course, reminding hard-working, family-loving men of the pleasures they have sacrificed by working hard and loving their damn families, one of which is the reading of books. When they discover I have a job and a family too, that only makes it worse.

    It’s important to recognize that Twitter is not the real world.

  • Kim Stanley Robinson on Infodumps – He’s not a fan of the term:

    Someone once described your Mars books as an infodump tunneled by narrative moles. I think it was a compliment. What do you think?

    No, not a compliment. I reject the word “infodump” categorically — that’s a smartass word out of the cyberpunks’ workshop culture, them thinking that they knew how fiction works, as if it were a tinker toy they could disassemble and label superciliously, as if they knew what they were doing. Not true in any way. I reject “expository lump” also, which is another way of saying it. All these are attacks on the idea that fiction can have any kind of writing included in it. It’s an attempt to say “fiction can only be stage business” which is a stupid position I abhor and find all too common in responses on and the like. All these people who think they know what fiction is, where do they come from? I’ve been writing it for thirty years and I don’t know what it is, but what I do know is that the novel in particular is a very big and flexible form, and I say, or sing: Don’t fence me in!

    To me, infodumps are just a part of SF and thus not inherently a bad thing. As Robinson goes on to say (there’s more to the quote at the link), SF needs science, and science is expository. So he certainly has a point here, but on the other hand, exposition and infodumps can be done poorly. It’s all subjective and I’d argue that SF needs to make room for this sort of thing, but it’s possible to go too far.

  • Quantum Physics, the Mandela Effect and perceived changes to your NECS entrée data – So this company that creates food distribution software made this video talking about how the names of foods are changing (i.e. Haas vs Hass Avocado) and how it’s all due to Quantum Physics, the Mandela effect, and alternate universes and what the hell am I watching? Is this some sort of elaborate hoax? YouTube is filled with videos like this, to be sure, but not from the CEO of a software company. Maybe it’s just because I’m reading Neal Stephenson’s Fall, or Dodge in Hell (which has a lot to say about false information on the internet), but this feels like the truth is slipping away from the internet.
  • Iguana Chased by Snakes – I mean, yeah, pretty great chase scene, better than most Hollywood versions…

That’s all for now…

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