Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Links from the Weekend

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  1. “we can enhance our physical and psychic abilities through interventions into the genome, right up to the techno-gnostic dream of achieving immortality by transforming our identity into a software program” — um, I know he’s a grand thinker, but you’d hope Žižek would know that scifi movies aren’t actually real

    Alex Chaffee

    October 11, 2011 at 1:03 am

    • I took that part as happening entirely within the realm of ideology. We think technology can perform all sorts of impossible miracles, but we don’t think there is any other possible way for us to organize society…


      October 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

      • “you may say I’m a techno-gnostic dreamer / but I’m not the only one / I hope one day you will upload / and the singularity will be as one”

        Alex Chaffee

        October 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

  2. Re: Breaking Bad, we just watched it. Best show in television history?


    October 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

    • I was really disappointed how they made the show conclude in a parallel universe where Walter never had cancer in the first place, plus if Jesse was really a cylon all along, wouldn’t he be smarter?

      Alex Chaffee

      October 11, 2011 at 11:52 am

      • I heard both of those are explained in the video game.


        October 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

    • My early impression is that I was let down by the last two episodes of season 4. It seems like the show was in a very different style than the previous 44 hours, where there were logical gaps and where crucial information about the main character was withheld from the viewer. It doesn’t seem to be a popular opinion, though, and if you suspend your disbelief I can’t deny that the resulting scenes were executed well.


      October 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      • I’ve seen that criticism elsewhere and I can’t dispute it, though other people have pointed out that they have done this sort of thing before (the third season finale hides Jesse’s whereabouts and his current relationship with Walt and Saul, for instance). There’s also a shot at the start of episode 412 that spells the resulting two episodes out, if you haven’t gone back to watch it yet. Walt is sitting by his pool, spinning a gun, but the barrel always lands on him — suggesting either the hopelessness of his situation or that he sees only one way out, suicide. But the third time he spins the gun it doesn’t land on him; it lands on the lillies. And everything follows from there.

        I do agree that there’s something of a style break in this one, but I think it’s intentional. We have to be able to believe Walt’s denials so that when the final reveal comes it codes FOR US as a “break” as well. They want this to be Walt’s moment of no-return.

        I wonder if this will be reflected in the next season formally, as many have speculated that in the next seasons of Mad Men the POV will shift from Don to Peggy. As Walt becomes Gus 2.0 / Scarface, we may find our point of identification tied more and more to the people around him: Jesse especially, but also Skylar and Hank. To some extent this is already happening.

        The only logical gap I’m aware of is how Walt actually got physical access to Brock to poison him. I’m assuming we’ll either see that eventually, or else they’ll just leave it to our imaginations.

        Are there other things you’re thinking of?


        October 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

  3. Re: letting six-year-olds wander around in 1979. As recently as 1999, this was still happening in my neighborhood… I walked to school every day, even in kindergarten. On Saturdays, I’d pack myself a lunch and romp around in the forest with a friend all day, and wander back home before it got dark. I think my parents would do the same even today, except that they’d probably give me a cell phone and track it via GPS if I was late for dinner.


    October 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

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