If you want to read about myth don’t read Joseph Campbell, read about convulsive religion, read about voodoo and the Millerites and the Munster Anabaptists. There are hundreds of years of extremities, there are vast legacies of mutants. There have always been geeks. There will always be geeks. Become the apotheosis of geek. Learn who your spiritual ancestors were. You didn’t come here from nowhere. There are reasons why you’re here. Learn those reasons. Learn about the stuff that was buried because it was too experimental or embarrassing or inexplicable or uncomfortable or dangerous.
But the thing about the new literary theory that’s remarkable, is that it makes a really violent break with the past…. These guys don’t take the books of the past on their own cultural terms. When you’re deconstructing a book it’s like you’re psychoanalyzing it, you’re not studying it for what it says, you’re studying it for the assumptions it makes and the cultural reasons for its assemblage…. What this essentially means is that you’re not letting it touch you, you’re very careful not to let it get its message through or affect you deeply or emotionally in any way. You’re in a position of complete psychological and technical superiority to the book and its author… This is a way for modern literateurs to handle this vast legacy of the past without actually getting any of the sticky stuff on you. It’s like it’s dead. It’s like the next best thing to not having literature at all. For some reason this feels really good to people nowadays.
I don’t think you can last by meeting the contemporary public taste, the taste from the last quarterly report. I don’t think you can last by following demographics and carefully meeting expectations. I don’t know many works of art that last that are condescending. I don’t know many works of art that last that are deliberately stupid. You may be a geek, you may have geek written all over you; you should aim to be one geek they’ll never forget. Don’t aim to be civilized. Don’t hope that straight people will keep you on as some kind of pet. To hell with them; they put you here. You should fully realize what society has made of you and take a terrible revenge. Get weird. Get way weird. Get dangerously weird. Get sophisticatedly, thoroughly weird and don’t do it halfway, put every ounce of horsepower you have behind it. Have the artistic *courage* to recognize your own significance in culture!
— Bruce Sterling, "The Wonderful Power of Storytelling" (1991), on how computer game designers might hope to achieve a lasting impact beyond the temporal boundary of their obsolescing platforms (via notational)

(Source: allenhjohnson)

Reblogged from Rafael Fajardo
The conditions of labor must always be obscured,” she said. “Work is good, work is noble, work is disciplining, work is what gives you social meaning in your life, so you can’t say, ‘Oh, this job is killing me.’ And they certainly don’t ever want you to talk to other people and realize this is structural, this is planned, we are the effects of other people’s choices and perhaps we should have a bigger voice here.
I saw one really amazing game at GDC that stood out from the rest. It had all the players instantly smiling and laughing. It was fun for kids and adults. It created a feeling of group affinity. Everyone around wanted to join in. It was even beneficial to the body. It was an inflatable ball.
Charles Bloom, Some GDC Observations (via maxistentialist)
Reblogged from Not Even Sure Why
When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them,” Musk wrote. “And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors.
A profitable DIS might not do much to hasten the demise of capitalism, but it could have a salutary effect on the art world. If we take the magazine at its word, part of the purpose of creating consumer-facing “diffusion lines” is to liberate emerging artists from hyper-rich collectors. While many take for granted the entanglement of the art world with the ultra-elite, there was a time not all that long ago when close association with the very wealthy was a source of embarrassment for respected artists. The promise of the diffusion line is that it could allow artists to trade an alliance with the .01 percent for an art practice supported by the middle class. The idea is that artists could become a little more like Red Bull, which makes its money from the masses.
You have to find it now. And so really, the aim of education is to teach people to live inthe present, to be all here. As it is, our educational system is pretty abstract. It neglects the absolutely fundamentals of life, teaching us all to the bureaucrats, bankers clerks,accountants and insurance salesmen; all cerebral. It entirely neglects our relationships to the material world. There are five fundamental relationships to the material world: farming, cooking, clothing, housing and lovemaking. And these are grossly overlooked.
Because in this country college fulfills a different role. Even if those peaceful campus quadrangles were originally laid out by Quakers or by the egalitarian Thomas Jefferson, we all know what they signify today: They are the central symbolic device for explaining inequality. College is where money and merit meet; where the privileged learn that they are not only smarter than everyone else but that they are more virtuous, too. They are better people with better test scores, better taste, better politics. College itself is the biggest lesson of them all, the thing that teaches us where we stand in a world that is very rapidly coming apart.