“It’s very strange how electronic music formatted itself and forgot that its roots are about the surprise, freedom, and the acceptance of every race, gender, and style of music into this big party.”
— Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk cover story on pitchfork.com)
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”" — Patton Oswalt (via deantrippe)
I wrote a few hundred words on Roger.
I came back from the Toronto Film Festival with the card on my mind. I called Chaz and invited her to attend the Lyric Opera, which I’d subscribed to a year earlier because Danny Newman, the Lyric’s press agent, had stood in my office door and said, “A man like you not going go the Lyric, you should be ashamed.” Chaz, who later told me she never expected to hear from me again, said, “Actually, I’m on the women’s board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.” I said I loved the Symphony, but I had, cough, subscription seats at the Lyric for Monday night. The opera was “Tosca.” She said it was her favorite. “Does that scare you?” “No,” I said, “why should it?” At the time I knew nothing about “Tosca.”
We went to dinner afterwards at a restaurant in Greek Town. Something happened. She had a particular quality. She didn’t seem to be a “date” but an equal. She knew where she stood, and I found that attractive. I was going out to Los Angeles a few days later, and I asked her to come along. We formed a serious bond rather quickly. It was an understood thing. I was in love, I was serious, I was ready for my life to change. I had been on hold too long. She lived on the 82nd floor of the Hancock Center and started sending me daily e-mails, even after we’d seen each other earlier the same evening. Her love letters were poetic, idealistic and often passionate. I responded as a man and a lover. As a newspaperman, I observed she never, ever, made a copy-reading error. I saved every one of her letters along with my own, and have them encrypted on my computer, locked inside a file where I can’t reach them because the program and the operating system are now 20 years out of date. But they’re in there. I’m not about to entrust them to anyone at the Apple Genius Counter.
Our lives grew together. One day in May at the Cannes Film Festival we rented a car and drove over to San Remo in Italy to visit the grave of Edward Lear, and on the way back we stopped in Monte Carlo and in a cafe over coffee I proposed marriage. Why did I choose Monte Carlo, a place I have no desire to ever see again? I should have chosen London or Venice or for that matter Chicago. I wasn’t thinking in those terms. We were sitting there talking in a little cafe at the end of a happy day and I became overwhelmed with the desire to propose marriage. Chaz filled my mind. She excited me physically. She was funny. She made a reading of my life rather quickly, understood what I did and how I had to do it, and after I proposed marriage she resigned as a lawyer because I wanted her to travel more than she would otherwise be able to.
We had times together I will always remember. Right after our first Christmas together, we flew to Venice, where I promised Chaz it would be rainy, cold, deserted, and we would have it all to ourselves. That was how I’d first seen Venice in 1966, and it was the same. It was romantic, sleeping late in the Royal Danelli and then waking up and making love and looking out across the Grand Canal. The hotel was half empty, the rooms a fraction of the summer cost. The city was shrouded in mist and always haunting. Romance in the winter in Venice is intimate and private, almost hushed. One night we went to the Municipal Casino, carefully taking only as much money as we were ready to lose, and we lost it. In a little restaurant we had enough left for spaghetti with two plates, and then lacked even the fare for the canal waterbus. We walked the long way back through the night and cold, our arms around each other, figures appearing out of the fog, lights traced on the wet stones, pausing now and again to kiss and be solemn. It was one of those experiences that seals a marriage." —
Roger Ebert, on his partner of 20 years, Chaz.
Samhita Mukhopadhyay (via wretchedoftheearth)
I’m 100% grossed out by white gays who only date white gays. It’s not even cute.
Razer: “Do you believe robots can have souls?”
Saint Walker: “I believe we are all robots, of a sort. Each of us is programmed in our special way.”
Humanism 101. If you don’t know what that is, check it out. You might agree with it but never knew there was a term for it that exists, but it does, and realize you’ve been one your whole life. :) Thanks SW, it’s cool to have that represented in not just media but in a cartoon kids can learn from, too.
There were a lot of things in the “Blue Hope” episode that were positively brilliant, but this (and the theme running through the episode that it was a part of) was one of the biggest stand out moments for me.
The sci fi genre loves to explore the idea of “what measure makes a human”, especially when they have robots or androids as part of the cast of characters. They present so much information in the form of anecdotes and little moments of humanity, but ultimately, most storytellers will shy away from giving you an answer. The “almost human” character remains open-ended and forever undefined as to whether they are just a machine or a fully-fledged person, because we are never given a stick against which to measure it. They don’t want to take the extra step to purport at a collection of parts, of wires and electrical impulses could be human. But the world we live in grows ever closer to “real Artificial Intelligence”, not just passing the Turing test, but something capable of learning and growing as Aya does, and we have to start thinking about answering the question instead of just proposing it.
So when “Blue Hope” presented a measuring stick of what differentiated Aya from the ManHunters, a sentient person from just a machine operating on a program — and on top of that they approach concepts of Humanism(the idea that human virtue could be created by
humanreason alone) and PostHumanism — the writers once again have blown me away.
“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and the general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” - Alan Turing, 1937