“CBS CEO Les Moonves explained that Colbert would not host the show as his blustering character. “What you’re going to get is the real Stephen Colbert,” he said. “He said it’s time to do something different. If he’s going to be on our air for 20 years, as we all hope, it’s not humanly possible to keep that character going.””—
I'm predicting some heavy reformatting of The Late Show
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Colbert will need to leave politics behind him in order to appeal to The Late Show's audience. We're all so familiar with the satirical character he plays on The Colbert Report that it is difficult to imagine how he could host “as himself.” I think the possibility that he will cease the majority of his schtick is unlikely.
When The Late Late Show (the one that comes on after The Late Show) began under its original host Tom Snyder, it felt more like 60 Minutes, Dateline, or 20/20 than it did Letterman. But upon Snyder’s retirement then-host of The Daily Show Craig Kilborn took over. But Kilborn didn’t host Late Late by doing his best Tom Snyder impression. They completely reformatted the show to feel much more like Letterman and Leno’s shows. And Kilborn even took some of his Daily Show creations with him, such as his “Five Questions” segment. Other creations he passed on to Jon Stewart back at The Daily Show, such as “your moment of zen.”
I’m predicting that a Colbert-hosted Late Show will probably look a lot more like The Colbert Report than it does Letterman.
Ever since Facebook bought Oculus VR, I’ve been on a non-stop VR info binge. On all the VR boards I’ve been browsing, there are two books that come highly recommended. Ready Player One, and Snow Crash. I’ve read neither, but I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Snow Crash.
Snow Crash was published in 1992, and it shows in every way. The cyberpunk dystopian future described in Snow Crash is immediately familiar to anyone who’s seen The Matrix. Summaries of the cyberpunk genre often mention Snow Crash as a primary example. So if anything in the novel comes across as cliche or banal, it’s because it was born out of a more naive time.
Stephenson is very careful to never mention what year it is in the novel, as though he’s concerned with it remaining fresh well into the future. But there are also enough historic cultural references made to significantly mark the context. One character mentions that they could “just barely” recall when Bell was split up into the baby Bells. This character is also said to be in her 20s. The Bell breakup happened the year I was born, 1984, and I will be 30 in a little under two months. If she actually remembers (even “just barely) the Bell breakup, then Snow Crash can take place no later than 2012.
The next glaring issue that comes from reading Snow Crash from a 2014 mindset is the complete and total absence of post-9/11 terror paranoia and the complete absence of the 2008 economic recession. I realize that no one could foresee these things in 1992, but you can’t get from our present to Stephenson’s future. I cannot force my mind into imagining that Snow Crash is a possible future. It only scans as an alternate and inexplicable past.
The convoluted plot about Sumerian language and Babel feels a little like if Dan Brown got together with the makers of Zeitgeist: The Movie to produce a reboot of Ancient Aliens… also The Matrix.
And then there’s the race stuff. I think Stephenson’s intention was to make a statement about the fact that racism exists and is bad, but so many of his characters replicate a bunch of weird 90s-tinged racism that the book feels regressive. The white-sounding narrator’s impressions of what other ethnicities sound like don’t help. I have no idea when this audiobook was recorded (the video titles are labeled as tapes with sides A and B). When Sushi K, the Nipponese rapper is, um, rapping… It’s like Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, if it had been made in 1992 and his character also rapped.
I’m almost finished. I can see why this would have been really imaginative when it came out. But it’s also like the literary equivalent of recovered home movies of people in shopping malls in the 80s.
“Thus, when an Asian student does not get an A, and his fellow students respond with a mock shock, he may overlook the stereotype. This should be treated as the kind of bantering that is normal and tolerable.”—
“The basic idea is that young alternative types had devoted so much energy to trying to define themselves as individuals, through ever-quirkier style flourishes like handlebar mustaches or esoteric pursuits like artisanal pickling…”—
Now that Facebook/Oculus has hired Abrash away from Steam, I’m really psyched!
After reading through Abrash’s Steam Dev Days presentation “What VR could, should, and almost definitely will be in two years,” I think we’re about to start seeing “presence experiences” becoming a huge new media market. Yes there will still be first person shooters, mmos, flight sims, and all kinds of games. And yes there will be Second Life style metaverse things. And of course there will be crazy amounts of porn. But I think there’s going to be a market for stuff like a simulator of walking along a trail in a wildlife preserve, or laying on a beach somewhere. I think virtual vacations are going to be huge.
This is about a hell of a lot more than Facebook on your face. This technology is built entirely around the goal of making you feel like you’re present in an environment, not just surrounded by it. The primary design focus is to make you feel like you’re there. And they’ve done it. And we’re about to get a consumer-ready version of that very soon.
“if this situation nags at you, you might on some level be more critical of getting the masses to think seriously about important issues than you are of a web-media status quo that on certain days seems to be 90 percent rage-bait essays and side-boob slideshows. Which would make you the cynic, nitpicker, hypocrite, or elitist.”—Are You Cynical Enough to Hate Upworthy? — Daily Intelligencer
“Before yesterday, The Oculus Rift was technofetish gear. It ceased to be so in an instant. If you want to know how you get to the future described in books, any of the futures, it happens when technology has broad social meaning. I’m not going to tell you it’s not fucking weird. I’m as surprised as anybody. I don’t like the idea of a fully three dimensional banner ad anymore than you do. But do you want to live in a society where telepresence and virtual reality are… normalized? This is how that happens. I used the shitty, old Rift, and I thought I was underwater. Think of every corner they had to cut because they were trying to make this thing in the finite realm of men. Now imagine the corners restored, and the corner cutting machine in ruins.”—
I think the conversations about Kickstarter and Facebook are worthwhile, but I’m far less interested in that side of it than I am in the fact that good VR is finally about to happen for the consumer for real.
“I’m not saying give up the battle. Just know that, sometimes, it’s okay to flip off the cold, indifferent universe. The universe is not “The Force” from Star Wars. The universe is an endless cosmic ocean of fire and ice and violence and suffocating nothing.”—New York Doesn’t Love You — New York City — Medium
Sometimes people try to give me reassurance by saying things about “the universe” and I don’t say anything back because I don’t want to be an ungrateful dick about it, but I kind of agree with what this guy said.
“A reminder, again and I’m sure not for the last time: Weev is absolute human scum and I don’t know why he wasn’t in prison already for repeated criminal harassment, death/rape threats, etc. (Well, I do know, it’s because none of his victims want to risk pressing charges and attracting his and his friends’ attention again.) The hammer was dropped on him for this AT&T business because he needs to be put away and this is the only thing they could pin on him, kinda like Al Capone going down for tax evasion.”—