September 22, 2017
Wild Wild West is a American steampunk western action comedy film from 1999, featuring Will Smith as U.S. Army Captain James West and Kevin Kline as U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon, who together face off against a giant robotic spider and other mechanical menaces. But did you know the movie wasn't (just) an attempt to blend nostalgia for rollicking westerns and a more contemporary fascination with steampunk, but a remake of a TV series that was intended to capitalize on the then-contemporary 1960s spy thriller trend? It's true. Behold: The Wild Wild West, a western series with gadgets that ran on the CBS television network for four seasons, with 104 episodes that aired from September 17, 1965 to April 4, 1969. [more inside]
Note that the company’s knowledge about its users isn’t used merely to target ads but to shape the flow of news to them. Since there is so much content posted on the site, the algorithms used to filter and direct that content are the thing that determines what you see: people think their news feed is largely to do with their friends and interests, and it sort of is, with the crucial proviso that it is their friends and interests as mediated by the commercial interests of Facebook. Your eyes are directed towards the place where they are most valuable for Facebook.-You Are the Product, John Lanchester for the London Review of Books
Hllary Clinton's book What Happened set sales records amid a mass fake review campaign. She's on tour to support her book. So what did happen? "I understood that there were many Americans who, because of the financial crash, there was anger. And there was resentment. I knew that. But I believed that it was my responsibility to try to offer answers to it, not to fan it. I think, Jane, that it was a mistake because a lot of people didn't want to hear my plans. They wanted me to share their anger. And I should've done a better job of demonstrating 'I get it.'" [more inside]
The Linguistics of AAVE - Linguist enthusiast Xidnaf breaks down why African American people (sometimes) have a very different accent from non-African American people, despite growing up in the same area. Note that this accent is not always the same everywhere you go.
The Sorrow and the Shame of the Accidental Killer. How do you live after unintentionally causing a death? There are no self-help books for anyone who has accidentally killed another person. An exhaustive search yielded no research on such people, and nothing in the way of therapeutic protocols, publicly listed support groups, or therapists who specialize in their treatment. But there is AccidentalImpacts.org, a support group site started by social psychologist and educator Maryann Gray, who at age 22 struck and killed a child with her car.
But the real gem of the library, in Lannon’s view, is the stuff that you can find only in boxes like the ones now strewn across the table. “You can get a book anywhere,” he said. “An archive exists in one location.”
Echo Is A Terrifying Game Where You Teach Enemies How To Kill You by Riley MacLeod [Kotaku] “The Palace is populated by beings En calls Echoes. They are copies of her who form from some black muck in the beginning of the game. As En moves through the Palace, picking up keys or orbs to unlock doors, the Echoes start learning. The Palace moves on a light-dark cycle; when it’s light, anything En does is recorded by the station. Vault over a low wall, for instance, and you’ll leave a brief, blurry ghost behind you that means the Palace has logged your actions. After you’ve performed a few actions, the Palace goes dark, and then reboots. On this round, the Echoes can do anything you did during the last light cycle until another reboot wipes the slate. Between the light and the reboot is a brief period of darkness.” [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer] [more inside]
US Trade Publishing by the Numbers. An intensive dissection of the book industry with breakdowns by digital vs print, traditional vs indie, price-points and genre. Bonus: A Definitive Study of Amazon Author Earnings (2016). [more inside]
THREAD: My dispute with a billionaire Texan GOP donor, the exotic dancer he nearly killed, and the photo he does not want people to see.Single link twitter thread from @RespectableLaw. Some descriptions of sexual violence. Sorta previously on mefi.
With Star Trek: Discovery, CBS Discovers That TV Ain't Easy Anymore - CBS All Access is about to have it's most important day ever this Sunday. As for the show itself, a review embargo has raised fears of a stinker, but reportedly early reactions are good.
Activist investors are everywhere. [pdf] This is a parody powerpoint deck, with jokes about finance and parenting. You have been warned.
It makes your “we encourage diverse voices” statement utter bull** You say you want diversity, which means POC, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and folks without MFAs living paycheck to paycheck in tiny rooms…but you want money to read their work? You’re a hypocrite. (Warning, curse words used. Many.)
Australia's parliament is in the grip of the world's most ridiculous constitutional crisis. The situation threatens the country's democratic process, which is reason enough for politicians and courts to work to unpick it. More importantly, though, it raises questions the rest of the world would do well to ponder. [more inside]
The Tui is an endemic passerine bird of New Zealand. It is one of the largest members of the diverse honeyeater family. What many people don’t know is that the Tui has a remarkable facility for mimicry. [more inside]
In a statement today TfL said it has concluded that Uber is “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”. Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision. [more inside]