And so Apple’s decree in Lion is as it was on the original Macintosh in 1984, and as it is on iOS today: the machine must serve the human, not the other way around. (via Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: the Ars Technica review)
As it turns out, the U.S. got a goal in a much more elegant and satisfying way. But I mention this here as we look ahead to the semi-final game against France because I see it as one of the truest signs of how terrific and skilled this team is. They used all the tools at their disposal yesterday, brilliantly and victoriously. Football is a full spectrum sport: it takes as much mental as physical agility, as much tactical sense as athleticism, and as much theatricality as forthrightness. It is notoriously, even constitutively, unfair. With glaring and frustrating consistency, referees make a huge and often decisive difference in a game, as Jacqui Melksham did yesterday. That is how the sport is structured, and it means that any decent team is constantly directing a certain amount of their energy towards influencing the referee in their favor, through words or performance. You can lament this fact about football, as many occasional viewers of the sport in the U.S. do, dreaming up some different game in which none of this would be the case. But football as it is has, over the course of the past century, conquered the world. It’s international competitions are the largest theater that has ever existed in human history. If that is true it is precisely because it’s form — with all its infuriating unfairness — is precisely what allows the kind of unforgettable drama we watched yesterday to unfold and take hold of our imaginations. (via Soccer Politics / The Politics of Football)
‘Emotion Engine’? I Don’t Think So.
Why can’t these game wizards be satisfied with their ingenuity, their $7 billion (and rising) in sales, their capture of a huge chunk of youth around the world? Why must they claim that what they are doing is “art”? And should anyone care whether this emerging medium is art or not? The point is, the game designers care. They lust after the title of Artist. You might think these cutting-edge, post-post-everything guys would scorn such an ancient calling. Not so; you don’t hear them boasting, “We’ve gone beyond art. Art is moldy old stuff for moldy old people.” No, they need art, because, being very intelligent, they know that art is crucial, that human beings and art have had a–what’s that buzzword?–synergistic relationship from the beginning, from the prehistoric cave paintings to Homer to Shakespeare to Mozart to Tolstoy to Charlie Chaplin to Picasso to Robert Frost to Louis Armstrong to Balanchine to Fred Astaire. Phil Harrison, vice president of research and development for PlayStation, foresees “a game designer in the future who can have thesocial impact of a great movie director, author or musician.” Game masters like Harrison know all about the history of art, which is the history of humankind’s ceaseless attempts to grasp and express the meaning of the world and their own nature.
Products must appeal to human beings, and a rigorously cultivated humanistic sensibility is a valued asset for this challenge. That is perhaps why a technology leader of the highest status—Steve Jobs—recently credited an appreciation for the liberal arts as key to his company’s tremendous success with their various i-gadgets. It is a convenient truth: You go into the humanities to pursue your intellectual passion; and it just so happens, as a by-product, that you emerge as a desired commodity for industry. Such is the halo of human flourishing. Damon Horowitz is currently in-house philosopher at Google. This essay is an excerpt of a keynote address he gave in the spring at the BiblioTech conference at Stanford University.
Bollen: Do you ever feel weird about fame? It does allow you to meet amazing people on this planet and do unimaginable things. Stipe: I love it. With the difficult parts of fame, that alone makes it so worthwhile, because of the doors it’s opened for me. I’ve worked really, really, really hard at what I do. I give the best I can possibly give at whatever moment in time. But it’s exciting to have been able to meet my heroes-being able to sit down with William S. Burroughs and have a conversation.
Stipe: The idea was to present a 21st-century version of an album. What does an album mean in the year 2011, especially to generations of people for whom the word album is an archaic term. An album for me as a teenager in the ‘70s was a fully formed concept. It was a body of work from an artist I liked or trusted or who excited me. Maybe one of the songs is really poppy and you listen to it on the radio as a hit single and then more of the world is about to find out about this artist by buying the record. Then you realize, “Wow, they’re not one-dimensional. They’ve got all these other things that they’re capable of and interested in writing about.” But now we’re in an age of singles. It’s actually always been more about singles for most of music history. But I wanted to reexamine the idea of the album for generations of people who are not my age, who love music or learning about music or are finding this band called R.E.M. or have just previously heard “Losing My Religion” and “Everybody Hurts” as their elevator music. I wanted to present an idea of what an album could be in the age of YouTube and the Internet. Not from Kanye West, not from Lady Gaga, not from Beyoncé-they’ve got their place. This is what we do. We put together and sequenced the strongest body of work that we could possibly come up with in this moment in time and put it onto this record. I then went to people we’ve worked with in the past, visually, or artists we admire, and had them collaborate on a film. We have Sophie Calle, James Franco, Jim Herbert-who was my art professor in college-Sam Taylor-Wood, Jim McKay, Tom Gilroy …
but you have to be able to move the shipping containers around, and so you need to have two tractors, or be in a state/municipality that allows double length trailers. Oh, and you’ll need a crane that can lift the second container. Visually, though, it’s an attractive and provocative idea.