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Ideas for software that will change the world for better/worse.
March 12, 2013 4:14 AM   Subscribe

Blackmailr. Super Goodinator. Two new apps that will transform your life.

Blackmailr: Only the most tedious nazi finds it easy to complete chores without some kind of sword of Damocles hanging over them. What everyday slackers require is an app that lends a sense of instant, palpable personal crisis to almost any task they wish to complete.

Super Goodinator: Super Goodinator wipes away that inherent sense of futility and replaces it with a feelgood philanthropic glow.

Charlie Brooker has also created Black Mirror (previously). Series Two is now available in the UK.
posted by dubold (31 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
His concluding paragraph is hilarious, too: "I'd just like to point out that I own the full intellectual property rights to both these ideas, and that simply by reading them, you've just 'run' my software on the 'operating system' that is your mind, which puts you in breach of copyright. You're a thief – a common thief – and you disgust me. Now get out. Go."
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:22 AM on March 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: you either give in or begrudgingly accept your new life as an online laughing/wanking stock
posted by yoHighness at 4:38 AM on March 12, 2013


Blackmailr sounds an awful lot like Gym Shamer.
posted by nertzy at 4:54 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd pay for Blackmailr.

In a similar vein, I've always wanted an app (or online keychain service?) that would allow me to log into various social networks only once per diem (or less) for a limited period of time. Because the problem with Facebook or whatever is not visiting them, particularly, but revisiting them thirty times a day.
posted by distorte at 5:13 AM on March 12, 2013


Blackmailr is too hardcore for me. I forget things too often. The punishment would feel arbitrary despite being self-inflicted.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:24 AM on March 12, 2013


So Super Goodinator is Guitar Hero for development work? I like it.

(OK, so far I like just about everything Brooker does, so who am I to comment, really?)
posted by pompomtom at 5:24 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does this make anyone else think of Quitters, Inc?
posted by octothorpe at 5:58 AM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd just like to point out that I own the full intellectual property rights to both these ideas, and that simply by reading them, you've just 'run' my software on the 'operating system' that is your mind, which puts you in breach of copyright. You're a thief – a common thief – and you disgust me. Now get out. Go.

You get out! You stole the idea for Blackmailr from Douglas Adams!
posted by loquacious at 6:04 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


WHY DID NO-ONE TELL ME BLACK MIRROR 2 WAS OUT?

frantically sets emotion chips for socio-existential bleakwank laughcry
posted by lalochezia at 6:06 AM on March 12, 2013


Oh, wait, they're always set to that setting

Another useful product along the same lines.
posted by lalochezia at 6:12 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charlie Booker is a very clever fellow.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:24 AM on March 12, 2013


loved this article. Instant fan of Charlie Booker.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:40 AM on March 12, 2013


My love for Charlie Booker is well-documented around these parts, so it should come as no surprise that I wrote an app of my own called Spellfixr which I have just let loose on the post tags. Carry on.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:49 AM on March 12, 2013


Charlie Booker's shtick on Screenwipe can be kind of grating, but the first story of Black Mirror 1 was the best take on the internet I've ever seen come out of TV or film.
posted by postcommunism at 6:52 AM on March 12, 2013


In a similar vein, I've always wanted an app (or online keychain service?) that would allow me to log into various social networks only once per diem (or less) for a limited period of time. Because the problem with Facebook or whatever is not visiting them, particularly, but revisiting them thirty times a day.

Leechblock on firefox can do this for you. Until you disable it like everyone does.
posted by srboisvert at 7:00 AM on March 12, 2013


WHY DID NO-ONE TELL ME BLACK MIRROR 2 WAS OUT?

Dude, I'm still waiting for Black Mirror 1 to come out in the US. Legally, anyways.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:06 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh yes, let's talk about Black Mirror! Mild spoilers ahead.



I felt the Series 2 episodes broke down along roughly the same genre lines as Series 1, although not necessarily in the same order:

• Political farce
• Dystopian sci-fi
• Techno romance (for lack of a better term)

I didn't care much for "15 Million Merits", the dystopian/SF-ish episode of S1: I thought it was just too far removed from our present society (compared to the other episodes) to be very engaging to me personally.

But to my surprise I found "White Bear", which seems to me to fall in the same genre slot for S2 and arguably also presents the most "alien" worldview of the series, absobloodylutely exhilarating. Not too give too much away, but it relies heavily on a massive plot twist that would have been a Shyamalanesque suspension-of-disbelief-killer if it weren't for the fact that every damn minute of the story up to that point is so claustrophobic and so breathless that you basically don't have time to form any critical thoughts on the plot. It's a sort of using the action as a blunt instrument to beat the viewer into submission with, which I thought was brilliant if exhausting television (and suddenly leaves you with two questions of social commentary to ponder, as those who've seen it will recognise).

Conversely I thought the political episode this time around was vapid and pointless, so it all evens out. I gushed about "The National Anthem" (the pig-fucking one from S1) and I still evangelise it heavily, and every repeated viewing is a delight, because it's so darkly funny and absurdly believable (Brooker at his best in a nutshell really).

Strangely, while I rank "White Bear" up there along with it as a Great Moment in Television, I have no desire whatsoever to watch that episode again, and feel that if I did it would be an immense disappointment.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:27 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


These softwares were designed by Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc?
posted by padraigin at 7:48 AM on March 12, 2013


His concluding paragraph is hilarious, too: "I'd just like to point out that I own the full intellectual property rights to both these ideas, and that simply by reading them, you've just 'run' my software on the 'operating system' that is your mind, which puts you in breach of copyright. You're a thief – a common thief – and you disgust me. Now get out. Go."
Too bad for the doogoodererator thing he just pirated Jane McGonigal's binaries* and hacked out all the annoying earnestness and patched them with sarcasm.

(*meme... aries?)
posted by delmoi at 7:59 AM on March 12, 2013


I wonder when someone will come out with a system where you control a robot using that actually operates in the real world - people could actually build schools and water treatment plants and stuff sitting at home with a game controller in the future.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 AM on March 12, 2013


Charlie Booker is a very clever fellow.
loved this article. Instant fan of Charlie Booker.
(OK, so far I like just about everything Brooker does, so who am I to comment, really?)


This was my first introduction to Charlie Brooker. As if you needed more reasons to love the man.
posted by phunniemee at 8:02 AM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


> people could actually build schools and water treatment plants and stuff sitting at home with a game controller in the future.

I can see it now.
posted by postcommunism at 8:18 AM on March 12, 2013


I wonder when someone will come out with a system where you control a robot using that actually operates in the real world - people could actually build schools and water treatment plants and stuff sitting at home with a game controller in the future.

(Some) people can already kill other people remotely so I guess only a couple of decades left before someone finds a way to make things instead of destroying them.
posted by Memo at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2013


DISCUSSION OF BLACK MIRROR SPOILERS AHEAD


Not too give too much away, but it relies heavily on a massive plot twist that would have been a Shyamalanesque suspension-of-disbelief-killer if it weren't for the fact that every damn minute of the story up to that point is so claustrophobic and so breathless that you basically don't have time to form any critical thoughts on the plot.


I really wanted to talk about Black Mirror Season 2, but as I watched White Bear first and was COMPLETELY blindsided by this bit, I don't think there's much of a way to talk about it without detracting from that moment. In fact, I think even knowing it's there is a spoiler.

I've said too much.
posted by dubold at 9:11 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doktor Zed: His concluding paragraph is hilarious, too: "I'd just like to point out that I own the full intellectual property rights to both these ideas, and that simply by reading them, you've just 'run' my software on the 'operating system' that is your mind, which puts you in breach of copyright. You're a thief – a common thief – and you disgust me. Now get out. Go."
Pity he used the word "ideas" (which are explicitly not patentable). Otherwise, he'd be making an interesting claim (even if only hypothetically).

Serious question: Could a piece of "software" involving only the actions of human beings be patented? Such as a therapy model, or a specific technique for making X by hand?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2013


Yeah, delmoi, I was going to say that "Super Goodinator" is a nice try but fails to be as cringe-inducingly terrible a name as as Jane McGonigal's "SuperBetter."
posted by straight at 9:33 AM on March 12, 2013


In a similar vein, I've always wanted an app (or online keychain service?) that would allow me to log into various social networks only once per diem (or less) for a limited period of time. Because the problem with Facebook or whatever is not visiting them, particularly, but revisiting them thirty times a day.

There's Stayfocusd, which is a browser plugin rather than an app, and allots a limited amount of time to specified sites, rather than X minutes to each of several sites, but the idea is there...
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:37 AM on March 12, 2013


lalochezia: Oh, wait, they're always set to that setting

Another useful product along the same lines.
There's a website that I can't recall right now that does this sort of thing to reinforce good behavior. Essentially, you set up the charity, the goals, the referees (your friends), and put money into the website's account.

If you don't meet your goal (by agreement of your referees, which could be you, but ideally is an objective friend), your money goes to charity. Otherwise, it's returned to you. (And it's fairly obvious how the website makes its money.)

I've considered it for overcoming some of my obstinate behaviors. Worst case, Brothers Brother or Planned Parenthood gets a donation.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:12 AM on March 12, 2013


as Jane McGonigal's "SuperBetter."

Su-paa BETTAAAR (Su-paa betaaaa-ar!!)

(It's a Jet Set Radio reference. Don't look at me like that, someone will get it, they've got to!)
posted by JHarris at 1:22 PM on March 12, 2013


every damn minute of the story up to that point is so claustrophobic and so breathless that you basically don't have time to form any critical thoughts on the plot.

I was just forming the thought "I think this episode's a bit of a dud. It has stopped making sense, and BM is normally so clever", when the reveal occured.

So, yay.
posted by pompomtom at 4:39 PM on March 12, 2013


Worst case, Brothers Brother or Planned Parenthood gets a donation.
My boss did this, but with NAMBLA and Westboro Baptists. He lost the weight.
posted by bystander at 10:39 PM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


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