So, no, I fail to be moved by Lanier’s horror of “Anonymous,” apparently the epitome of nerd ideology, whose most fearsome member charged to-date with Wikileaks-related attacks is a 16-year-old Dutch kid. Anonymous’ support for Wikileaks hardly makes Wikileaks a leading proponent of nerd ideology by association any more than Wikileaks is Kevin Bacon, but Lanier wants to write about Nerd Ideology. The actions by Anonymous were barely the equivalent of virtual sit-ins, and had very little effect. Jaron Lanier should know better how to judge the true impact of these small-scale DDoS attacks, regardless of the brief media hysteria.

Source The Atlantic

Dr. van Hensbergen said: “‘The Cabinet’ is unusual because it shows us that people read pornographic writing directly alongside the verse of major poets. This raises interesting questions about what counts as literature and where the boundaries between high and low culture lie. These ideas were much more fluid in the 18th century than they are today.”


With such diverse influences, the crime novel is in some ways the richest of forms. At the same time, paradoxically, it has over the years become the most codified and conventional, with its numerous sub-genres, each with its own sets of rules and traditions, which writers challenge only at the risk of alienating reader and publisher alike. The result is that crime fiction is no longer the revolutionary medium it once was, but rather propaganda for the status quo. It has, in other words, become almost as conventional as the mainstream literary novel, with its insistence upon character development and the profundities of spiritual transformation.


Though it’s usually rendered as TUMBLR IS DOWN AGAIN


Submitted by telos707.

All maps of Queensland are deceptive. They show inland plains crossed by rivers, always colored blue. It’s tempting to imagine riverboats hauling freight, green fields stretching out from either bank, industrial towns and cities drawing water for their factories.

Source The New York Times

"You bitch. You’re like a terrorist, aren’t you?"

The look of disgust curled the corners of her mouth as she spat out the words at the startled foreign woman sitting across from her. Her short haircut was as crude as her attitude. Her body sat rigidly, overflowing in the seat facing the belly of the bus. Her gaze met the tops of heads and turned cheeks as the other passengers averted their eyes to avoid the awkwardness of the moment.

An unsuspecting flurry of new passengers spilled down the bus and as one woman prepared to take the empty seat a dozen voices screamed a warning at her in the thoughts of those watching in vain. As she squeezed into the space the voice squeaked at her with surprise, “you’re too fat to sit there!” and she experienced a trinity of emotions within mere seconds - disbelief, confusion and humiliation.

The ramblings continued with agonising momentum as the bus lurched around corners, weaving through morning traffic. The victims willed every green light and brows furrowed in pity from the silent bystanders. As I watched on from my own safe seat I thought of the donations to Beyond Blue and Headspace; of the “nobility” of giving a voice to the darkness that is depression. I also thought of a life with an unforgiving soundtrack of taunts and insults with no volume control or pause button.

There’s nothing glamorous about mental illness. And we’re nowhere near prepared for the epidemic they say is just around the corner.

The crowd is our domain « Overland literary journal: “In her article ‘Driven to distraction’ (Overland 199), Cate Kennedy critiques contemporary internet culture from the perspective of the creative writer. While not opposed to the internet as such, Kennedy seeks to demonstrate that Web 2.0 technologies and the activities they facilitate (such as social networking, blogging and video-sharing) are rendering us permanently impatient, disinhibited yet isolated and unable to concentrate. Kennedy finds these effects, which centre on the pursuit of immediacy at the cost of profundity, and the conquest of time and space at the expense of substance, to be the inverse of the disposition required for creative activity.”

The man in charge of the sound system was from an eco-farm, he told me, and had been trying to play “politically right on reggae”; however a crowd in which the oldest person was maybe seventeen took over the crucial jack plug, inserted it into a Blackberry, (iPhones are out for this demographic) and pumped out the dubstep.

Young men, mainly black, grabbed each other around the head and formed a surging dance to the digital beat lit, as the light failed, by the distinctly analog light of a bench they had set on fire.

Any idea that you are dealing with Lacan-reading hipsters from Spitalfields on this demo is mistaken.

I’ve long had a gear fetishist streak. I spent a five grand inheritance on a miniDV camera when I was at uni, and it’s still sitting on my desk 6 years later. I’ve had various boxes running Linux, Windows and OS X at different times, and I only recently threw out a shoe box full of mini disks from when I used to do community radio. That said, I’ve recently been trying to cut my kit down to the minimum necessary to get by.

Part of it is a desire to be able to pack my life into a bag and hit the road, part of it is a desire to have everything I need in one place. It’s a paring down of my identity to its core, a sense that I’m not function of where I live and what I own, I’m a function of what I can do right now, with the tools I’m carrying. Anyone can own 50 pairs of sneakers, the challenge is to own exactly the right pair. Anyone can own a towering computer, but you have to know yourself well to be able to do your work / writing / film making / art with something that’s exactly the right size.

In the 50s and 60s, there are five people at the centre working very hard, miserably trying to write a book and around them there are 95 people more or less having fun,” Greif explains. “In the hipster culture the people at that centre aren’t necessarily producing art, they’re actually working in advertising, marketing and product placement. These were once embarrassing jobs. Now it’s meaningful in this world to say that you sell sneakers, at a high level. Why do people hate hipsters?

I’ve just finished Zero History and I’m still coming to terms with how I feel about it. Being about advertising and fashion, it is of course a commentary about the need for capitalism to co-opt every new thing.The brilliance of Zero History is not in its storyline, which feels a little formulaic, or in its characters, which feel bland. It’s in its identification of the changing relationship between subcultures, consumption, fashion and advertising, and its refusal to fall into a simplistic sell-out / stay true dichotomy.

Other commentators have noted the difficulty to create a subculture in the age of the internet - subcultures get co-opted incredibly rapidly. Or, increasingly, collaborate in their co-optation from the beginning. I suspect the backlash against hipsters was not really a response to it being an empty, meaningless subculture. Most subcultures at their core are more about shared tastes and boundary policing than any deep meaning, and they all have their base in shared consumption. That consumption may be ritualised (buy nothing day, retro fashion), fetishised (fairtrade, veganism, freeganism) or politicised (DIY) or ironic (take your pick), but a subculture can’t exist without shared consumption patterns. Rather, the backlash against hipsters is likely motivated by the fact it is/was a global subculture taking place in public view, arousing all of the usual passions and responses against things that are run by young people.

As a new generation comes of age, it’s likely that their subcultures will figure out ways to resist co-optation even while interacting online. 4chan may be viewed as an exercise in protecting a subculture that exists online. By forcing participants to understand a complex set of acceptable behaviours (call and response, memes), initiations (raids, DDOS) and repelling outsiders (porn, gore), 4chan have, for the time being, created an online subculture that’s resisted being sold out and dissipated.

The central plot point of Zero History is about how subcultures may avoid selling out in a post-geographical world. The designer of the Gabriel Hounds clothing is a closely guarded secret — clothes are sold in small batches and they are sold at pop-up events that are invitation only. This creates scarcity in a post-scarcity world (or at least, exclusivity in a post-exclusivity world). This, naturally, drives the master-coolhunter Bigend insane, driving him to employ someone closer to subculture status to find the designer. Hollis Henry - cult musician, music shop owner, journalist - epitomises obscurity cool. Her band was a cult band, her music shop sold records and her magazine was never actually published. She forms the bridge between the advertising world and the new subculture, and she is thoroughly conflicted about this role. It’s a conflict many creatives in advertising feel, with a foot in both worlds.

By the time Hollis Henry finds the creator of the Gabriel Hounds, the creator has already decided it’s time to go public. Once advertisers have found you, there’s a limited time for you to cash in before it gets done for you - so she does it on her own terms. As hipsters and the generations that follow become more comfortable with this, the more we’ll see niche market producers and subcultural figures selling out on their own terms.