Link Dump

Just the usual collection of links dumped from the depths of ye olde internets:

  • It can be annoying to be online – Bijan Stephen responds to a viral article declaring that “We are a generation of adult babies,” which is, of course, based mostly on what people do online (and, more specifically, on social media). Which, as those of us who’ve been on the internets for a while know, is not the same thing as real life.

The thing about this that I really don’t like, other than its childish universalizing, is that it doesn’t actually describe offline behavior. The internet is a place where people post things — and, crucially at this juncture, where people know what it means to post things. In other words: at this point, posting is performance. You do it with an awareness that other people can see what you’re doing; everyone knows that anything posted online can go viral and change the poster’s life. …

A better piece might have asked: why do the algorithms that govern online popularity incentivize people posting infantile sensory content? For my own part I’d guess the answer is some combination of “it’s inoffensive and therefore appealing to many different kinds of people” and “people have very strong reactions to it” — which is a different way of saying that it boosts engagement and therefore increases a site’s all-important growth metrics.

  • In The Age Of Streaming, TV Preservation Matters More Than Ever – Streaming continues to take hits on all fronts. It’s so convenient that it’ll never go away or anything, but the promise of streaming continues to disappoint. As usual, the physical media dorks were right.
  • Astronomers still scratching their heads over population of ocean-world exoplanets – The notion that earth-like water worlds might be rare is certainly a valid conjecture, but there’s nothing head-scratching about this. As per usual, the details of exoplanet detection are the confounding factor, not the results. Still, the idea that water worlds are rare could represent a great filter would be good news, I guess. If we could ever confirm it (which would be difficult).
  • The Stunt Awards – I meant to mention this last week: After decades of fruitless lobbying to the Academy Awards, which still doesn’t have a Best Stunt Oscar, Vulture writers (led by Bilge Ebiri and Brandon Streussnig) decided to just do their own. And it’s good! Folks like Scott Adkins and Albert Pyun garnered awards, which is fantastic (and exactly the sort of thing the Oscars might get some mileage out of if they ever get their act together).
  • It’s Evil and Someone is Going to Make It – March is rife with jokey March Madness style brackets for goofy stuff, but I do kinda love this one, which is about fictional companies with evil products. OCP, Cyberdyne Systems, etc… Fun!
  • Bad Projection Is Ruining the Movie Theater Experience – If streaming isn’t doing so great… well, neither are theaters. I’m lucky in that my local suburban cadre of Regal theaters seem to be pretty well run (in that I don’t get a lot of the issues described in this article), but if theaters can get their act together, maybe they can scrape back some share from the streamers (so far, so good this year, at least).
  • Roundball Rock – It’s always funny when you see an old SNL sketch and you suddenly recognize Tim Robinson (who clearly had a hand writing this sketch).
  • “2001: A Space Odyssey” directed by George Lucas? – Perfect. Also of note: 2001: A TikTok Odyssey

And that’s all for now…

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