79 Theses on Technology. For Disuptation
Alan Jacobs wrote seventy-nine theses on technology and how it affects and informs our world.
- Everything begins with attention.
- It is vital to ask, “What must I pay attention to?”
- It is vital to ask, “What may I pay attention to?”
- It is vital to ask, “What must I refuse attention to?”
- To “pay” attention is not a metaphor: Attending to something is an economic exercise, an exchange with uncertain returns.
The whole thing is wonderful. But just as wonderful are some of the responses they have invited. And the responses to the responses. Oh listen, just go read the whole thing, will you?
Photos from the Blade Runner Model Shop
It may not be a great film, but these photos at least give you some idea of why it’s such an amazing achievement. The amount of care and craft that went into something that would appear on screen for a second or two. So impressive.
I am a nerd.
I spent an entire weekend migrating my blog from WordPress to Jekyll and I fucking loved it. I have a board game collection that’s out of control. And just this week, I’ve had not one, but two arguments about the ending of Battlestar Galactica (one of these turned into a standing-up, shouting kind of argument)1.
In fact, I’m going to revise up and describe myself as a huge nerd.
Despite this, I have not enjoyed a single Terry Pratchett book that I’ve read.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve asked my nerd friends where I should start and I’ve gotten different suggestions from each of them. And I’ve tried each one that’s been suggested. Even Metafilter, the closest we’ll get to an internet version of a Borg hive-mind can’t settle on any one starting point. The closest I’ve come has been Good Omens, but I’m dismissing this because of Neil Gaiman. Oh, and I played a lot of The Colour of Magic on the Commodore 64. But again, I’m not counting this because it’s, you know, not a book.
All the same, I’m going to pour one out for Terry Pratchett for two reasons.
First, even though I can only handle him in small doses, even I can recognise he was capable of some beautiful writing. Like this passage from Wings
‘Come to think of it,’ he said. ‘it wasn’t frogs exactly. It was the idea of frogs. She said there’s these hills where it’s hot and rains all the time, and in the rain forests there are these very tall trees and right in the top branches of the trees there are these like great big flowers called … bromeliads, I think, and water gets into the flowers and makes little pools and there’s a type of frog that lays eggs in the pools and tadpoles hatch and grow into new frogs and these little frogs live their whole lives in the flowers right at the top of the trees and don’t even know about the ground and once you know the world is full of things like that your life is never the same.’
He took a deep breath.
‘Something like that, anyway,’ he said.
I mean, wow. This is just marvellous. (For the record, I gave up on Wings after 50-odd pages.)
But I’ll mostly be pouring one out because even though he’s not my cup of tea, his writing touched – deeply touched – a lot of my friends. His writing, his irreverence, his entire outlook on life – these had a profound influence on an entire subculture. A subculture I count myself part of.
Godspeed, Sir Terry.
“DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING,” said Death. “JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”
- For the record, I think the ending to Battlestar Galactica is totally fine. I have no problem at all mixing spiritualism with sci-fi.
Everyday Carry interviews Jason Rohrer
This is so good. I could use any one of his answers as a pull-quote here, but this answer hit one of my weak spots:
Why do you EDC?
I like the idea of finding the very best version of some otherwise mundane object, settling on it, having that problem solved well, and then using that object for the rest of my life. This is my watch. This is my pen. This is my wallet.