Tag Archives | Pop Culture

Tin Foil Hats

Tin Foil

High noon:
I’m coming up on a red at 7th, heading west on Market. The Tenderloin.

There’s an empty Yellow just ahead of me at the light and an historic F line street car just letting off on the platform to our left. As the passengers pour out onto the island dividing the two westbound lanes here, I note one dude  – a bit frantic – check out Yellow, and then come running back to me. Dunno why dude would be getting off a train and then immediately try to hail a cab, or why he didn’t go for the empty Yellow in front, but I wave him in…

Although a bit edgy, a skinny 30-ish Pryor is wearing a clean white T nicely tucked-in that complements his chocolate skin, stylish jeans, and a large diamond earring in his left ear – presumably fake, he seems like he may be rational.… Read the rest

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Esoteric Symbolism and Hidden Meaning Uncovered in the Matrix Film

Jay Dyer via Waking Times:

The Matrix, as I’ve joked many times, is one of those perennial topics in philosophy 101 classes that tends to evoke the most inane and mindless “philosophizing” by the mind-warped morass of modern morlocks. Yet still, it is a film that is packed with esoteric symbolism, philosophy, “predictive programming,” and all other manner of poppy culture engineering. In this analysis, we are going to go elucidate themes, motifs and symbols missed by other sites, as we consider one of the system’s principal works of self-flattery. Interestingly, of all films to analyze in the way sites like mine do, this the most obvious seems forgotten in the haze of the now umpteen hundred Eyes Wide Shut analyses.

matrix

The Matrix begins with a computerized image of the Warner Bros. logo, a phone ring, and a conversation between Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) about watching “him” (Neo, Keanu Reeves), and whether the line is secure.

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A Transcendental Ride

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It was a dark and stormy, clear summer’s day around high noon, as I rolled through the Elysian Fields that is the Mission District of San Francisco, when,

“Cha-ching! – 186 Liberty. Quigley. Dispatch.”

I ‘Accept’.

And I zoom across 20th Street, passing that majestic view of the city over Dolores Park, before turning a quick right onto Dolores proper, and then an immediate left up high on Liberty. As I pull up to 186, I witness what I believe to be my “Quigley” wrestling out in front of a florally manicured Victorian with several large Hefty bags.

I veer to a stop and yell out of my taxi’s shotgun window to the middle-aged woman all caked in layers of vibrant make-up and adorned with large ornate brass earrings that dangle down over her flowing, paisley-patterned robes. She’s huffing up a storm and wincing with each limping tug at her bags, as multiple necklaces of various lengths of colorful concentric rings of turquoise, crystal and earth-toned wood beads repeatedly flop against them, failing in their collective work to hold down the fort that is my potential passenger’s more than ample chest.

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Vibrant online communities? Or cesspools of abuse? Have comments had their day?

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via BBC:

Vibrant online communities? Or cesspools of abuse? Have comments had their day?

The debate about comment sections on news sites is often as divisive as the comments themselves. Recently outlets such as The Verge and The Daily Dothave closed their comments sections because they’ve become too hard to manage. And they’re far from alone. Moderating comments is a full-time job (or several full-time jobs) at many news organisations. Officiating comments on a BBC News story requires knowledge of more than a dozen different disqualifying categories. Alongside shouting, swearing and incivility, comment sections can also attract racism and sexism. BBC Trending recently found evidence of the latter when looking at live streaming app Periscope.

That’s the downside. But it’s also worth remembering that many news organisations – including the BBC – have used comments sections to make real connections with audiences, find stories, and turn what was once a one-way street into a multi-headed conversation.

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How Muzak Shaped A Conformist America

Tonya Riley via All That is Interesting:

Although it might be easier to ignore in an age where nearly ever American carries thousands of songs in their pocket, the unmistakable sound of Muzak still haunts us all. An estimated 100 million people (nearly a third of America’s population) are exposed to Muzak’s background music each day, whether in an elevator, on hold with the cable company or elsewhere. Although the Muzak brand technically went bankrupt in 2009 and lost its name in 2013 after new owners moved in, its technology set the stage for almost a century of bland, instrumental music that became the soundtrack to postwar America and continues to this day.

Muzak was founded in 1934 by former Army General George O. Squier, who had led the U.S. Army’s communication efforts during World War I. Squier was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1919 after his patented multiplexing system allowed for multiple signals to be transferred over one phone line.

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the nAiL

There’s a nail in the wall.
Well, no. Actually, it’s in a beam.
Across the alley on my neighbor’s roof.

I always liked that nail.
Sticks out about three inches.
It’s just so straight. So carefully hammered. With Love.

Sometimes, you can see its shadow on the beam, as the sun creeps across the sky over our roofs.
A jealous sundial.

Except, it’s not jealous.
It’s a nail.

www.AlexSacK.com

Check out Alex’s book San Francisco TAXI: A 1st Week in the ZEN Life…
And Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for your non-practicing Buddhist one-offs. 

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The Future of Work: We Have Been Here Before

Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Saffo via Pacific Standard:

The latest entry in a special project in which business and labor leaders, social scientists, technology visionaries, activists, and journalists weigh in on the most consequential changes in the workplace.

This is not the first time society has fretted over the impact of ever-smarter machines on jobs and work—and not the first time we have overreacted. In the Depression-beset 1930s, labor Jeremiahs warned that robots would decimate American factory jobs. Three decades later, mid-1960s prognosticators offered a hopeful silver lining to an otherwise apocalyptic assessment of automation’s dark cloud: the displacement of work and workers would usher in a new “leisure society.”

Reality stubbornly ignored 1930s and 1960s expectations. The robots of extravagant imagination never arrived. There was ample job turbulence but as Keynes forecast in 1930, machines created more jobs than they destroyed. Boosted by a World War, unemployment dropped from a high of 25 percent in 1933 to under two percent in 1944.

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The Indigestible Fleshy Sculptures of Cao Hui

I’m a big fan of grotesque art and I suspect that many of you Disinfonauts out there in interwebsland are as well.

“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.” Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

Six of one, half a dozen of the other…

‘visual temperature — sofa no.2′ (image courtesy of lin & lin gallery)

‘visual temperature — sofa no.2′
(image courtesy of lin & lin gallery)

Chinese artist Cao Hui has created a horrifying vision of a world gone meat in fibre and resin that scratches that itch as it were over at DesignBoom.com:

the work of cao hui could be considered indigestible for some viewers.

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TAXI Driver 2: San Francisco (VIDEO)

We take a break from our regularly-scheduled ride to bring you Taxi Driver 2: San Francisco
With cool narration and music by Alex SacK…

* Visit Paris
* See Christian
* Don’t get shot in bed

Sit back, relax & enjoy the ride!

I know a shortcut…

Tuesday

3:45am:
“I know that I know, and that I don’t know.”

My Ram Dass alarm-tone wakes me early. I’m on the schedule today, but with no assigned medallion. So, I call-in to Citizen’s to let ‘em know to hold a cab.

But Barn-the-Stoner’s working the office and my alarm-tone has proven all too apt.  At the lot, Barney looks at me and bloodshot-eyes go wide as he turns to stare blankly at the peg-board of keys and medallions, then drawls,

“Uhh. Shit… I for-got yu were co-ming.”

 

4:25am:
I’m out in the lot sterilizing an Escape spare Barn dug up when I get a dispatch to the bowels of the Mission.… Read the rest

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