Links for 5th July 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Michael Jackson Turning Points

    "Don’t load your band’s website with an entrance page and tons of Flash. That’s good for people who go once! But true fans go multiple times and are frustrated by the delay. Make your site fast, with a constant stream of new information displayed, so people will come back and get what they want. This is how labels blew it on the web. They didn’t exploit their own sites, and the public went elsewhere. As for labels, are they that different from newspapers? Is there really a need for one company which releases product in a multitude of genres? It made sense in the era of physical distribution, when terrestrial radio was king. But haven’t we seen that trying to be all things to all people in the internet era is a failed strategy? If you’re going to consolidate acts, have a pop label, or a metal label, get people to be fans of your label the same way those interested in gossip are fans of TMZ."

    Tagged with: musicmediabusinessuniquestrategymarketingfandom

  2. GM rice makes allergies easy to stomach

    "The rice is designed to block symptoms of runny noses and sneezing in people allergic to Japanese cedar pollen, who account for 20 per cent of the Japanese population. It is genetically modified to contain the seven proteins within cedar pollen that provoke the most serious allergic reactions in people.

    Once in the intestine, the proteins damp down allergic responses through so-called "oral tolerance". This is a process, controlled by lymph nodes, by which the immune system "learns" not to overreact to harmless foreign material such as food."

    Tagged with: healthallergiespollenoral-tolerance

  3. Neither a Contract Nor a Promise: Five Movements To Watch Out For

    "As Steampunk wheezes and clanks exhausted into the buffers, dragging an increasingly huge load of books behind it, the hunt for the next great somethingpunk is over. The orgy of para-Victoriana has been impressively tenacious, but it has its limits, and rather than yet another reclamation of an earlier mode of production–steam, dust, stone, diesel–the punk aesthetic of DIY, cobbling-together, contrariness, discordance and disrespect for the past will go meta. It will investigate not imaginary branchline points in a timeline (an understandable if rather plaintive discomfort with the idea that such a line was actually teleological, and ended with this bloody mess) but history itself as always-already a bricolage, and what we do about that." China Mieville.

    Tagged with: genrefictionwritingliteratureeschatologysalvage-fictionnew-southseaChina-Mievillecriticismhumour

  4. Emotional robots: Will we love them or hate them?

    "Picard raises another concern – that emotion-sensing technologies might be used covertly. Security services could use face and posture-reading systems to sense stress in people from a distance (a common indicator a person may be lying), even when they're unaware of it. Imagine if an unsavoury regime got hold of such technology and used it to identify citizens who opposed it, says Picard. There has already been progress towards stress detectors. For instance, research by Ioannis Pavlidis at the University of Houston, Texas, has shown that thermal imaging of people's faces can sense stress-induced increases in blood flow around the eyes."

    Tagged with: machineempathyemotionsensingtechnologyprofiling

  5. Chris Beckett interview

    "Writing is a process of discovery. Factual knowledge is 'out there' knowledge, separate from you. Understanding is when you imaginatively grasp a thing and it is no longer just 'out there', so you abolish the distinction between 'out there' and inside yourself. One of the really magical things about being a writer is when you spot something in one of your own stories that you didn't know was there. I'm sure other writers will agree with me. Often I don't know what stories are really 'about' until later."

    Tagged with: writingfictionimaginationstoryscienceChris-Beckett

  6. Beyond Life Inc: Talking with Douglas Rushkoff

    "So by now, as Borges would say, we've mistaken the map for the territory. We've mistaken our jobs for work. We've mistaken our bank accounts for savings. We've mistaken our 401k investments for our future. We've mistaken our property for assets, and our assets for the world. We have these places where we live, then they become property that we own, then they become mortgages that we owe, then they become mortgage-backed loans that our pensions finance, then they become packages of debt, and so on and so on. We've been living in a world where the further up the chain of abstraction you operate, the wealthier you are."

    Tagged with: rushkoffcapitalismalternativeeconomicshistoryculturemoneycurrencywealth

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