Rogueish

04/18/14

What a coincidence, that’s just how i feel about your hotel’s cutesy signage.

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04/05/14

The new Cher Lloyd song isn’t not a drum and bass version of Avril’s “What the Hell”, and (or, rather, therefore) it’s pretty great.

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Lucifer Dethroned - by William and Sharon Schnoebelen

04/05/14

You cannot imagine what it’s like to drive through the moist and midnight streets of a city praying that you would find a lone woman upon whom you might feed… and yet another part of you praying that you would NOT find such a woman, for fear of what you might really do.

OMG I had no idea Jack Chick was publishing Twilight erotic fanfiction now.

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Generic structures

04/03/14

Larry Sultan’s series The Valley gives us a well-worn set-up for a confrontation between reality and illusion. With a series of photographs taken between takes on the sets of porn films, we might expect Sultan to expose a gap between the glamorous fantasy of pornography and the grim reality. But that is not what we get, the signifiers of “grim” are not represented here. The films Sultan documents were shot in rented suburban houses, and what we see is the minor opulence, the banal glamor of these mass-produced detatched mini-mansions.

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04/03/14

Each building will be what our age calls a megastructure, containing apartments, industrial workshops, communal eating and recreational facilities (Chernyshevsky describes the ballrooms, and the festivals to be held there, in elaborate loving detail), and enhanced by aluminum furniture, sliding walls (to facilitate household rearrangements), and an early form of air conditioning. Each megastructure will contain a community of several thousand people satisfying all their material needs through a collectivized, technologically advanced agriculture and industry, and satisfied sexually and emotionally through the social policies of a benign, sophisticated, and rational administration. The ‘new Russia,’ as Chernyshevsky calls it, will be utterly devoid of tension, personal or political; even the dream of trouble is absent from this new world….

Thus the Crystal Palace is conceived as the antithesis of the city. Chernyshevsky’s dream, we can see now, is a dream of modernization without urbanism. The new antithesis to the city is no longer the primitive countryside, but a highly developed, super-technological, self-contained exurban world, comprehensively planned and organized—because created ex nihilo on virgin soil—more thoroughly controlled and administered, and hence ‘more pleasant and advantageous’ than any modern metropolis could be.

― Marshall Berman, All that is Solid Melts into Air

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04/01/14

unrational:

theolduvaigorge:

According to one study, which was presumably read by more than three people, half of all academic papers are read by no more than three people. At one of the first academic conferences I ever attended, I heard an economist joke that dissertations are only read by three people: the author, their advisor, and the committee chair. It’s funny in the way that academic jokes are funny: not actually funny but it gets listeners to nod along with the central truth. This specific central truth must resonate with established academics, since I heard versions of this same joke at nearly every conference I attended thereafter.

Like many jokes, this particular one turns out to be half true. A burgeoning field of academic study called citation analysis (it’s exactly what it sounds like) has found that this joke holds true for not just dissertations, but many academic papers. A study at Indiana University found that “as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.” That same study concluded that “some 90% of papers that have been published in academic journals are never cited.” That is, nine out of 10 academic papers—which both often take years to research, compile, submit, and get published, and are a major component by which a scholar’s output is measured—contribute little to the academic conversation.

Personally, I have witnessed paper presentations on 17th-century Scottish coins, obscure political parties in countries that no longer exist, and the definition of the word “capitalist.” I distinctly remember focusing not so much on the hyper-specific nature of these research topics, but how it must feel as an academic to spend so much time on a topic so far on the periphery of human interest. It’s not just a few academics, either; these esoteric topics are the rule in academia, not the exception. These topics get researched, presented, published, and, somewhat tragically, immediately dispatched to the far reaches of the JSTOR archives, a digital library consisting of over 2,000 journals.

In an effort to unearth some of these projects, I used a random word generator to search JSTOR and see what results appeared on the first page. What has been ignored?” (read more).

(Source: Pacific Standard)

To be fair this is one reason i left my masters program.

So, what I got from this post is that, if you do a JSTOR search for random words, you’ll find a bunch of really interesting articles.

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03/30/14

Dave Eggers always prided himself on his musical taste – and wouldn’t have minded being called a snob. So what happened when he found himself watching a 70s revival band in a casino shaped like a wolf’s den in the Connecticut woods?

― My goodness, that is not the standfirst of an article I want to read.

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03/30/14

If Harry is in the habit of picking up Starbucks for the band, it’s just a matter of time before he runs into Britney, right? Mid-morning, he’s kind of shagged out after an industry party the night before, she’s stealing a few moments for herself after dropping the kids off at school. Harry notices Britney and can’t help telling her how beautiful she is; she’s surprised because she’s just, like, in sweatpants with her hair tied back with an elastic band, but she’s charmed, of course, and, what I’m saying is, the fic writes itself.

(Source: fuckyesharry)

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Introducing Michael Abrash, Oculus Chief Scientist

03/29/14

The new “chief scientist” of virtual reality company Oculus explains his enthusiasm for his new job:

Sometime in 1993 or 1994, I read Snow Crash, and for the first time thought something like the Metaverse might be possible in my lifetime.

What he doesn’t explain, though, is why you would actually want something like the Metaverse, why that vision of “virtual reality” is in any way interesting (as an actual project, rather than as a neat fictional conceit). The radical changes that technology has produced in our lives involve radically reshaping us, producing things like the bizarre animal/keyboard/animated GIF assemblage that is Tumblr. Virtual reality, on the other hand, is about reproducing our conventional model of a human being as an individual body, but simple re-creating that on a computer. The unique feature of virtual reality is precisely its closeness to reality as it currently exists, its  closeness to the categories we already use to understand reality. It’s a fundamentally conservative technology.

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Shakira - Chasing Shadows

03/25/14

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I’m not sure what the LD50 for eightiesness is, but Shakira’s got to be getting close to it here.

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