If I look at a picture of it backlit by sunlight, it looks white-and-gold. If I look at it under artificial light or sunlit from the front, it is clearly a washed-out blue-and-black.
I feel better at having the illusion be systematic.
If I look at a picture of it backlit by sunlight, it looks white-and-gold. If I look at it under artificial light or sunlit from the front, it is clearly a washed-out blue-and-black.
I feel better at having the illusion be systematic.
Fine. I’m internet meming. Sue me.
Yesterday I said that the dress looked blue-and-black and then switched to white-and-gold within seconds, where it remained. I had the television on while I worked yesterday — I am a child of the second half of the 20th century, it helps me concentrate — and the dress still looked white-and-gold. In the afternoon I went down to the hotel gym. Of course, one of the televisions in the gym was showing the dress. (Along with a pair of llamas, the dress appears to be dominating the news across the English-speaking world. I was in a place that could be loosely-defined as English-speaking.) I glanced up ...
... and it looked blue-and-black.
It still looks blue-and-black. I can’t make myself see it as white-and-gold. Yet until late yesterday afternoon it was clearly white-and-gold.
Jesus. I am sure the reason is because I now know that it is blue-and-black, but why did it take half a day to have my brain’s visual center make the switch?
OK, here is what happened to me. I called up the picture, not knowing anything other than that it was some sort of trick question about the color of the dress. It looked blue-and-black at first and then in a manner of seconds turned white and gold. I stared at it waiting for it to change back, figuring that was the illusion. When it didn’t, I figured that I was immune.
Apparently not. What seems to have happened is that my brain registered the true colors but took a moment to adjust to what it thought the ambient light was like in the photo. At which point it settled on an interpretation that my conscious mind could not undo, even when I saw the truth.
I would be curious to re-run the experiment. If I had known that it was really blue and black, would I have seen that bizarre color shift a few seconds into my stare regardless?
Ah well. The metaphysics are perturbing, so I am going to go back to working on Ecuadorian finances now. Happy viral meme.
But this post is not to tell you to stay off my lawn. (Right now, with two young kids, I am very happy for neighborhood children to come over and play on our lawn uninvited.) This post is to tell you all to go read the thread! Even if Will isn’t currently still active on it, it’s fascinating. Go, read.
There are a lot of questions about how modern technology is transforming society and social interactions. (For modern technology, read smartphones mediated by social media software.) What is remarkable, however, is how little we really know about how older technologies affected society and social interaction.
For example, television. How much do we really know?
This paper investigates the impact of television and radio on social capital in Indonesia. I use two sources of variation in signal reception — one based on Indonesia’s mountainous terrain, and a second based on the differential introduction of private television throughout Indonesia. I find that increased signal reception, which leads to more time watching television and listening to the radio, is associated with less participation in social organizations and with lower self-reported trust. Improved reception does not affect village governance, at least as measured by discussions in village meetings and by corruption in village road projects.
That does not seem good. Maybe my Luddism does not go a far enough.
Elisabeth, I should add, has a neat paper on the effect of free rural mail service on politics in the early 20th century. From its abstract:
The rollout of Rural Free Delivery (RFD) in the early twentieth century dramatically increased the frequency with which rural voters received information. This paper examines the effect of RFD on voters’ and Representatives’ behavior using a panel dataset and instrumental variables. Communities receiving more routes experienced higher voter turnout and spread their votes to more parties. RFD shifted positions taken by Representatives to ones in line with rural communities, including increasing support for pro-temperance and anti-immigration policies. Our results are stronger in counties with newspapers, supporting the hypothesis that information flows play a crucial role in the political process
It is fascinating stuff.
So there is a report out that “Digital savviness peaks sometime between the ages of 14 and 15, and then drops gradually throughout adulthood, before falling rapidly in old age.”
Your alarm bells should immediately start going off. Do people just suddenly start forgetting how to push buttons (or yell at their machines) once they reach a certain age? Is using simple information technology a skill more akin to catching a fastball, in that if you don’t develop it by the time you’re a teenager you’ll never get good at it?
So that has to rank up there as a highly highly misleading sentence. Moreover, the tech-savviness that they’re measuring has to do the use of digital applications deliberately designed to be workable by a total idiot. Like, say, myself. It isn’t coding, or fixing a busted keyboard, or chip-design skillz what they’re measuring; it’s knowledge of Kik and Snapchat and Vine and all that.
My father, who really could be called digitally-savvy in that he not only used the for-morons applications like Skype but learned to program in his sixties, he would not have been amused by this article.
Thumbs down from Lenny, may he rest in peace.
I wish that Typepad had a “blogroll” function that I could put on the sidebar. Because you all should check into the Dragon’s Tales ever so often.
Two cool links today. Link #1: proof that I am not complete Luddite. Yeah, I worry about the robots. And I worry about the panopticon. But I do not worry about the flying cars and it is serious awesome that Advanced Tactics of El Segundo, California, is trying to build one for the U.S. armed forces.
Link #2: By age 23, 49% of black, 44 % of Hispanic & 38 % of white males have been arrested. That is fucking amazing. I came close to being arrested on two occasions, but it did not happen. My friend Guy can say the same, only more so. It is a good thing to be white in this country ... so I am surprised that the disparity in arrest records is as small as eleven percentage points.
What I am curious about is the result of the arrests. My null hypothesis would be that the consequences are far more serious for black arrestees than for white ones, but I do not know that for certain. Does anyone know of research?
I would also like to know if anyone has looked into how cumulative cohort arrest rates have varied over time. Were men who turned 23 in 1953 or 1973 or 1993 as likely to have been arrested as those who turned 23 in 2013?
I think a good social science history of crime in America is sorely needed.
American presidents are fairly weak as these things go. Really, he can do three things without Congress. First, use the military outside the United States. Second, issue executive orders ... as long as said orders do not include unilaterally sequestering funds or overturning existing regulations. (The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 greatly limited presidential power in this regard.) Third, administer the executive branch.
And in this respect, the Obama administration has fallen down on the job. The damn website is an own-goal. More so since Obamacare is working fine in states that did the job themselves.
The wrong lesson to take away from this is that state governments do things better than the feds. There is no evidence for that, beyond vague small-is-beautiful prejudices.
The right lesson is that President Obama right messed this up for no particularly good reason.
Sadly, however, it is not true that presidents with administrative experience turn out to be good managers (viz James Earl Carter) or that ones without it turn out to be bad ones (hey hey LBJ). So there seems to not be an easy metric to judge how well somebody will do as an administrator before they actually need to administrate. Worse yet, overseeing the creation new stuff is a very different thing from managing an existing operation.
But ex post, even though Obamacare going to work out in the medium run (my apologies, Republicans, but liberalism is not over and a defective website gets nobody killed) the unnecessary mess seems to me to have shown the President to be deficient in one key skill for an executive: project management. The historical record should reflect that.
Am I being too harsh?
“If you wanna know how not secure you are, just take a look around. Nothing’s secure. Nothing’s safe. I don’t hate technology, I don’t hate hackers, because that’s just what comes with it, without those hackers we wouldn’t solve the problems we need to solve.”
— Fred Durst
Well, sort of. In 1964, Isaac Asimov in speculated about the World’s Fair of 2014. How did he do?
Well, we didn’t have a nuclear war. Check.
We have not landed people on Mars. Check.
“Robots [are] neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they [are] in existence” and driverless cars are beginning to be feasible. Check.
Communications are dirt cheap and “the screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth.” Check.
No mention of wireless phones, but that was already a trope of near-future science fiction. Heinlein had a thing for startling his mid-century readers by having characters pick up their phone in the middle of the desert or use “I left my phone in my other coat” as an excuse for not being in contact. It probably just did not occur to Asimov to add ubiquitous mobile. The essay did not include the myriad knock-on effects of cheap computers and the Internet, but it predicted them. So, with a caveat, check.
Wall screens will have replaced cathode-ray tubes for television. Check.
He worries about technological unemployment caused by automation, which is not here yet ... but we may be seeing it cause drops in wages. Give him points. ¾ check.
The rest, though? Ugh. First, he extrapolates his own odd agoraphobia onto the population. Yes, we could be building underground cities in 2014, but with the partial exception of Singapore (which is in sort of a unique position) we ain’t. People like, you know, sunlight and views. Plus it is expensive. Maybe ¼ check, and that only because of the plans in Singapore. ¾ fail.
His kitchen of the future could be built, but mostly has not. People like to cook. And it is easy enough to pop a prepared mean in the microwave; why fancy it up with a conveyor from the fridge? Fail.
He predicted that robots would still be bad, but they are even worse than he predicted. If you think we will have robot maids and gardeners by 2024, then I will give it to him on credit. Otherwise, fail. (Will? Carlos? Anyone else?)
Commonplace radioisotope batteries. Nuclear fission providing half of all electricity. (Asimov saw the future and it turned out to be Belgium!) Moving sidewalks in urban downtowns. No on-street parking in central cities. Compressed air tubes carrying intra-city cargoes. And moon colonies, of course. Fail, fail, fail, fail and fail.
Plus, 3-D holographic cubes and all high-schoolers learning to code. Fail, although itis probably our own failing that we do not teach all high-schoolers to code.
Alright then. He got the big stuff, but missed the implications, and added on a bunch of other big stuff that did not happen. (Most of which show little sign of happening.)
So what’s the right grade?
And will we still have World’s Fairs in 2064?
Computers have made some startling advances lately in things like voice and object recognition. Put it together, and we are beginning to see some signs that our glorified typewriters-cun-filing cabinets are turning into the robots and computers of classical science fiction. Which brings us to the obvious question: what will they do to the labor market?
A recent paper tries to answer a more limited question: what percentage of jobs are susceptible to computerization? If that number is small, then there is nothing to worry about. If that number is large, then we have to hope that new human-only jobs will emerge that most humans can do ... or watch income inequality expand to unseen levels.
To make this analysis useful, you need to do three things. First, you need to estimate the limit capability of computers. That is, what will they be able to do once Moore’s Law comes to an end. (For the nerds: Koomey’s Law is just as important in this context. After all, a robot that consumed $500 per hour worth of electricity would not be very valuable.)
Second, you need to identify the current jobs that these hypothetical future computers will be able to replace.
Third, you need a methodology that provides you with an upper bound. Why an upper bound? Because the second thing above pushes your estimates upwards. After all, jobs change ... but any reasonable identification strategy will have to identify computer-susceptible jobs as they are and not as they could be. That already implies significant upwards bias, so in order to get a useful estimate one should run with it. That won’t help much if the percentage of computerizable jobs that you come up with is 98%, but it will help if it is, say, 60% or 40% or 25% ... it will provide a useful ceiling.
OK, so how does the paper stack up?
In terms of the raw theory, not too bad. They take a well-worn Cobb-Douglas production functionand replace labor with three labor inputs: perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks, and social intelligence tasks.
In terms of its time horizon, it goes out about two decades, to 2035. “The main challenges to robotic computerisation, perception and manipulation, thus largely remain and are unlikely to be fully resolved in the next decade or two.” (Page 25.) This makes me vaguely unhappy: the big challenges are what happens after that, at the limit. After all, my boy will be my age in 2055 ... and if I live as long as my father did, I will also still be around.
The results is that restaurant cooks and models wind up in the same easily-computerizable category as radio operators and cashiers. Down on the hard-to-computerize side, we have logisticians ranked with the guys who work in boiler rooms. (The latter is probably not what you think.) Both are hard to computerize ... but the latter is much harder. (I should add that I have worked in both fields, albeit very briefly and in one courtesy of the Army.)
Is there a non-intuitive way to test the plausibility of the rankings? Carlos Yu and I think we might have one. The less-computerizable jobs should also be the jobs where employees have more leverage over employers. Technically, you could use the the negative log of computerizability as a measure of bargaining power regarding future earnings. In Carlos’ words: “That works fine for data entry and telemarketers, who have -log(.99) ~ zero bargaining power, but given the weight of teaching, counseling, and nursing professions on the low-computerizability end of the scale, it suggests other factors are in play.”
In short, an intriguing paper, with what looks like the right methodology ... but not one that gives a useful roadmap to 2035, let along 2055 or 2100.
I have been beating the robot drum since around 2006, as Will Baird and Carlos Yu will attest. In fact, I have been worrying about it for a long time, ever since I asked myself, riding a number 6 train back in the 1980s, “Why do we need people running this thing at all?” A decade later, in the 1990s, I had an impassioned discussion with my (Texan) then-girlfriend about the terrible effect automated taxis would have on the Mexican middle class. I stopped reading most science fiction (Charlie Stross excepted, and I am wondering if this Blue Remembered Earth is worth it) because too much either bounced between “Singularity! Wild wow whoo-hoo! The humans are dead!” and completely ignoring the effect of automation. There was this science-fiction noir series set in San Francisco that dealt with some of the issues (I cannot remember the name, dammit!) but even it had a scene with a human truck driver that just did not make any sense.
All this is a lead-in to getting you to click this link. It is a conversation between two Navy pilots upon watching an unmanned X-47B perform touch-and-go landings on an aircraft carrier. It is awesome. Read!
Robert Gordon just published a paper that is very pessimistic about long-term economic growth. It essentially argues that the big wave of innovation from IT is over. Infotech may radically reorder our lives in the coming decades, but it won’t allow us to make more stuff. Moreover, the big important inventions have been made. His example: would you rather give up all the electronic and IT stuff invented after 1975, or keep all that but have to abandon indoor plumbing?
As a metaphor for the state of play, that nails it. If it doesn’t for you, that is because you have never had to live without indoor plumbing. At night. In the rain.
There are three ripostes to this thesis. The first is that Moore’s Law ain’t over yet. (More to the point, Koomey’s Law ain’t over yet: it states that the energy efficiency of computers doubles every 18 months.) If Moore and Koomey hold for another decade or two, then there is the possibility that AI will emerge seemingly out of nowhere, sometime in the 2030s. Economic growth will surge, but prepare yourself for the robot riots. (I will be joining the rioters, and training my young son to lead them.)
There are reasons to think this will not happen, possibly ever. (I can hope!)
The second riposte, then, is that even without singularian magic, better computers will improve productivity the old-fashioned way. Consider construction robots. My co-blogger and I went back-and-forth on this with our friends Will Baird and Carlos Yu. We concluded that construction is a super-conservative fragmented industry, so there will be no revolution (or robot riots) ... but there will be a slow trickle out of construction (and vehicle operation) just as there was out of agricultural labor, elevator operation, and telegraph delivery. That could keep growth going for a while yet. (Matt Yglesias points out some other sectors ripe for growth here.)
But there is an even more convincing riposte than the above two. It comes from Carlos Yu, and it is based on work by Alexander Field, an economic historian who has pointed out that the Depression-wracked 1930s were likely the most technologically-productive decade of the past century.
What then is the third riposte?
SHORT VERSION: Stop focusing on the damn computers!
LONGER VERSION: “After reading Alexander Field’s book, I distrust the simple correlation in timing between technological improvements and productivity growth. In any case, Gordon is over-focused on the immediate implications of information technology, and he’s missed the one under his nose: biotechnology.
“The Green Revolution doesn’t show up much in American productivity statistics, since our crops had already been improved through a hundred-plus years of scientific selective breeding, but it does show up in global productivity. (Though biotechnology is probably keeping our crop yields high in the biological arms race against disease and pests, but that’s hard to quantify with typical productivity measurements.)
“Cheap effective medicines is another. For many health issues, we can actually buy a few more years of life — or more than a few — at prices far below the break-even point. If we take his question about toilets versus computers and switch it to toilets versus postwar improvements in the applied biological sciences, I think we’d be carrying our chamberpots to the outhouse.
“And now we’re entering the second wave of improvements in biotechnology, ones based on the information technology revolution. It might be a dud. I strongly suspect not.”
Not unexpectedly, the protests over the recent Mexican election (which will go nowhere) have led to bloviations about Twitter and Facebook and the blogosphere yadda yadda. My skepticism about the political effect of the Internet is well-known. Here I pointed out that the Egyptian government readily shut it down during the rebellion. Here I mentioned that revolutionary activity spread further and just as fast in the mid-nineteenth century. And here I presented evidence that most revolutionary mobilization in Egypt took place via ... printed leaflets.
“If I had known that you would be a cowardly Mexican, then I would’ve stuck to taking care of my cows. I didn’t have the Internet or Facebook, and I made a revolution. You, you’re too lazy to march for your rights. But hey, ‘Viva México,’ right?”
Right. I actually don’t think the recent Mexican election was fraudulent, and I still say right. The internet has made political mobilization easier — but only for those who were going to mobilize without it.
There seems to be some evidence that the Egyptian protests have been organized the old-fashioned way.
Thursday, January 27: Anonymous leaflets circulating in Cairo also provide practical and tactical advice for mass demonstrations, confronting riot police, and besieging and taking control of government offices. Signed “long live Egypt”, the slickly produced 26-page document calls on demonstrators to begin with peaceful protests, carrying roses but no banners, and march on official buildings while persuading policemen and soldiers to join their ranks.
The leaflet asks recipients to redistribute it by email and photocopy, but not to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which are being monitored by the security forces.
Charlie Stross suggested recently: “If I was in charge of organizing communications within a mass insurgency today, I would have an iron rule for comsec: With the exception of tools for real-time communication in the field during tactical engagements, no communication technology invented after 1945 may be used. Yes, microdots. Yes, dead letter drops. Yes, invisible ink made at the kitchen sink out of household ingredients. Yes, human couriers. Make the f--kers work to intercept our communications and hunt us down.”
It is still unclear to me that the internet had much effect on organizing the Egyptian revolt. It is fairly clear that it made it easier for the Iranian government to suppress the demonstrations in 2009. Malcolm Gladwell still stands.
Now, as far as validating a pet theory, conscription may be playing a key role in why the Egyptian army has not acted against the rioters ... or it may not. Thoughts?
Enough, already! Now Steven Walt has joined the ranks of the people stunned by the effect of the internets. “A combination of modern mass media (Al Jazeera, the Internet, email, Twitter, etc.) has clearly played a major role in driving the pace of events.” I could handle this kind of thing from 20-somethings who don’t remember when you had to wait for a letter to arrive in the mail. But Steven Walt?
I am at a loss as to why people keep coming back to the Internets. Here is a chronology of recent events:
Dec. 17 - Mohamed Bouazizi sets fire to himself in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia.
Jan. 04 - Bouazizi dies of his burns.
Jan. 14 - After days of riots, President Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia.
Jan. 22 - Protests in Algeria.
Jan. 23 - Protests in Yemen.
Jan. 25 - Protests in Cairo.
And here is an even more impressive and more rapid chain of events:
Feb. 22 - French government bans protest meetings. Riots break out.
Feb. 23 - Prime Minister Guizot resigns.
Feb. 26 - King flees to Britain.
Feb. 27 - Protest marches in Germany. Governments give into demands.
Mar. 13 - Riots flare in Vienna. Metternich resigns.
Mar. 15 - Mass demonstrations in Budapest.
Mar. 18 - Demonstrations in Berlin.
Mar. 20 - Uprising in Poland.
Mar. 31 - Constitution drafted for Germany.
Apr. 08 - Revolt in Moldava.
The difference? The first group happened in 2010-11, and the second in 1848. But somehow that has gone right into the memory hole. I am flabbergasted that the Brazilian, Philippine, and Chinese events of my living memory seem to have been forgotten. I am surprised that nobody seems to mention 1968. But I really stunned that 1848 has been lost in the frenzy to declare how super marvelicious the internet is for freedom.
I am making a strong argument here: if the internet had been magically shut down on December 17th, events would have proceeded in much the same way. News travels and people organize in ways that do not involve modern electronic communication.
I hate internet triumphalism. The new communications technology of the last two decades is clearly changing society. Those changes are probably for the better. But the recent political upheaval has led to triumphalism of the worst sort, with all sorts of blather about Twitter revolutions and the like. It really drives me crazy, as if people have suddenly forgotten that spontaneous mass political mobilizations happened all the time back in the day. If the events in the links are too obscure, well, they are other, more famous ones. In short, there is no reason to believe that social networking or cell phones played any sort of irreplaceable role in the current unrest besetting Egypt and Yemen.
Moreover, the internet actually requires real-world infrastructure. Which governments can shut down. Through the expedient of making a phone call. The Egyptian government appears to have made just such a call. From the link:
We have examined the takedown event more closely, looking at the sequence in which Egyptian service providers removed themselves from the Internet. The following plot shows the number of available networks for each of the significant providers, between 22:00 and 23:00 UTC last night (midnight to 1am Cairo time). Our new observation is that this was not an instantaneous event on the front end; each service provider approached the task of shutting down its part of the Egyptian Internet separately.
Telecom Egypt (AS8452), the national incumbent, starts at 22:12:43.
Raya joins in a minute later, at 22:13:26.
Link Egypt (AS24863) begins 4 minutes later, at 22:17:10.
Etisalat Misr (AS32992) goes two minutes later, at 22:19:02
Internet Egypt (AS5536) goes six minutes later, at 22:25:10.
First impressions: this sequencing looks like people getting phone calls, one at a time, telling them to take themselves off the air. Not an automated system that takes all providers down at once; instead, the incumbent leads and other providers follow meekly one by one until Egypt is silenced.
The Egyptian government may fall. Or it may not. But it won’t be because of the Internet.
That is something that I have always wondered. And lo, Doug Muir answers:
Much better than you’d think. Not clear why. But it’s providing good, real-time information for both weather predictions and best-guess seasonal stuff.
Tanzania has 95% mobile coverage. So almost every community — every dusty little plains village, every wandering band of Masai — now has at least one guy with a cell phone who can get regular text updates on when the rains are coming and how long they’re likely to be.
Satellite data is cheap or free, basic forecasting techniques are known and easily taught. So why don’t other African countries have good weather services too? I’m not sure, but I think this is another positive-legacy-of-socialism thing: lots of little local weather stations, plus a good tradition of a strong government weather service. Apparently the weather guys are something that’s all too rare in Africa: an educated elite who aren’t afraid to spend time out in the villages or get their hands dirty.
Anyway, good weather service = huge, huge difference in quality of life. If nothing else, it dramatically reduces the uncertainty.
I don't do a lot of random observing on this blog. It may be time to start. So here are few. As always, comments and long involved arguments are desired.
(1) The internet and social networking are overrated. (I'm looking at you, Randy.) Way way overrated. Had computer technology been four decades more advanced, we would be pinning all the tumult of the sixties and seventies on the internet. Weather Underground, blame it on Facebook! Had it been six decades more advanced, we would have been bored. You know, like anyone surfing the net in the UAE can get bored. Click the link and tell me why I'm wrong. (That one goes to Charlie Stross. But how the hell did he manage to erase my post about meeting him in a bad bar in Boston?)
(2) Lay off my man from St. Lucia Saint Kitts! Alexander Hamilton is the hero of every muscular patriotic American pinko. He is why you can be a lefty Big Government type (with all respect to Alex Harrowell, I will have to disavow the term socialist, since it's become a curse word in my country) and still evoke the founding fathers. I will give props to libertarians (hey! Guy Tower! Why you don't read this, G?) but I will not let Dick Armey lie about the founding father of the nationalist American left.
(3) Basta with the Massa puns. (Scott? I haven't heard any from you, but I know you thinking 'em.) Seriously, people. Funny once. No more emails, please.
(4) You should all read more Alex Harrowell.
(5) I write this in Paris. Paris has a lot of white people. Really, the city is surprisingly chock full of 'em. But a major figure at a well-funded think tank says it ain't! Am I confused? So I looked up the figures. I was only able to find the 1999 results, which told me that 17.6% of the city's population was foreign born. Of those, 14% were Algerian-born, 13% from Portugal, 10% from Morocco, 6% from Tunisia, 4% from the madre patria, another 4% from the country that I often think really should be the madre patria, and 3% from Turkey. That comes to 54% of the foreign-born. Speaking as somebody who mistook the Moroccan fellow who drove him from the airport for an Eastern European and then asked his equally-Moroccan barber if he was from Italy, I leave any conclusions about Charles Murray's character (or my ability to identify accents in a foreign language) as an exercise for the reader. I do of course assume that Mr. Murray realized that people from Martinique, Guadaloupe, Guyana, Reunion, and (very soon) Mayotte are indeed as French as any blond German-speaking dude from Alsace.
(6) Man, there were a lot of cigarette butts in the gutter this morning when I took the metro in to the office. I ... like that.
I like France. I can't help it.
Crazy busy these days. Will try to post more, promise!
In the meantime, two things. First, I watched the first episode of Flashforward on ABC yesterday. Not bad! Despite being a little overly “cinematic,” my wife liked it too. To her surprise. The best thing? They had “Quiet Dog” by Mos Def playing when everyone blacked out. Awesome.
Second, this is old, but kinda cool. I think. Libby Dole and Lebed as the presidents? Huh.
I have never played an MMORG. I think ... no, I know that I would have loved them when I was twelve, but all we had back then was Compuserve. Thank God. I am sort of glad that I became an adult and lost interest before the technology came of age. These days, the only gaming I do is on an old Atari emulator. Viva Missile Command!
My lack of experience may, in fact, be why I find this hysterical:
The webisodes are even funnier. At least to somebody who has never actually played a MMORG, and probably never will. YMMV, so reviews are desired!
OK, everyone in America who hits the interwebs has probably heard about Senator Grassley's totally awesome imitation of Cher Horowitz by now. But on the off chance that there is somebody out there reading this blog who hasn't, be you from elsewhere in the English-speaking world or beyond, click this link right now. All indications are that this is not a hoax.
That is a U.S. Senator talking. Yup. Dude, is there a word for when something intended to be ironic turns out to be accurate? Twitter, indeed. I previously had no desire to try using it, let alone read the results: now I have an active aversion. Reverse marketing indeed, ironic in its lack of irony.
Somehow I seem to have found deep meaning in such gems as “My carbon footprint is abt 25per cent of Al Gore. I'm greener than Al Gore. Is that enuf?” and “Comfort America worried abt hyperinflation Reafirm ACCORD of1951” or even “Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said 'time to delivr on healthcare' When you are a "hammer" u think evrything is NAIL I'm no NAIL.”
Or ... well, click the link.