You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts
is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials
, heartbreaking eulogies
, and agonizing run-ins with fascists
) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting
science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed
2006 novel Blindsight [full text]
-- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room
, the Philosophical Zombie
, Chernoff faces
, and the myriad quirks and blind spots
that haunt the human mind.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Aug 25, 2014 -
One Hour Per Second
- "In 1 minute 50 seconds of uploads to YouTube, an unlucky person falling through a bottomless pit travels 12,000 miles."
posted by Memo
on Jan 23, 2012 -
Steal This Presentation.
"Right now someone is out there dying from a boring presentation. Hopefully, it's not yours." A crash course in getting the fugly out of your slides.
posted by storybored
on Sep 30, 2010 -
Plainview is a free full-screen web browser
for your mac.
Until now, you had two options for showing Internet work: capture it all to Quicktime and throw it into Powerpoint or Keynote (looks nice but no interactivity as everything has to be canned) or show it in your browser (interactive but with ugly chrome distracting people from your beautiful sites).
So here's a third option. Fire up your full-screen browser and let your audience focus on the work. [more inside]
posted by krautland
on Oct 27, 2008 -
If you had HBO in the 80's, you saw this
every night at 8pm. HBO put together a brief behind-the-scenes featurette
showing everything from the construction of the models to the composition of the music.
posted by dr_dank
on Mar 15, 2008 -
Decoding Visual Language Elements in News Content
is an MFA thesis examining how layout, cropping, image selection et al. influence the way the content is perceived. The interactive demo
is especially interesting; you can take some TV and magazine layouts and switch out pictures and other elements. It's fascinating to see how different cropping and tints affect your impressions of the content. Media literacy -- especially right now -- is a good thing. (Link via Stan Chin.)
posted by Vidiot
on Mar 21, 2003 -