Further Monday Notes
A few other things:
- Speaking of movies, another one I saw last week was a French film from the early 30s, À Nous la Liberté. I liked it quite well. Lots of good avant-garde design, and kind of a mixed message about the costs and benefits of capitalism and technology. I had not seen it before, and my first thought was, "Man, this is a lot like Modern Times" and sure enough, in one of the extras they described how the owners of ANLL eventually sued Chaplin for supposedly ripping off their idea, even though he said that he had never seen the film. Note that it was the copyright owners, not director René Clair, who sued. Clair said that he had no idea whether or not it was a copy, but that even if it was, any director ought to be honored to have inspired Chaplin.
- Via A&LD, here's an interesting L.A. Times article on the demise of mainstream mass culture. They quote John Battelle, whose book I am about 2/3 of the way done with. Excerpt: A decade into the Age of the Graphic Browser Interface, Americans seldom are focused on the same event or activity at the same moment. But they're congregating in enormous numbers on websites and other high-tech portals that function much like the institutions they've nudged aside. The culture's being boutiqued or, as the expression goes, "unbundled." Broadcast has given way to a proliferation of narrowcasts.
- Award for cleverest use of relating pre-WWI Austria-Hungary imagery to the blogosphere goes to The Politburo Diktat.
- Via Search Engine Watch, here is the (new) blog of this guy named Tim Berners-Lee. Here is a newsgroup post from August, 1991, that summarizes a little project he'd been working on. Excerpt: The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system. The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups. The WWW world consists of documents, and links. Indexes are special documents which, rather than being read, may be searched. The result of such a search is another ("virtual") document containing links to the documents found. A simple protocol ("HTTP") is used to allow a browser program to request a keyword search by a remote information server. The web contains documents in many formats. Those documents which are hypertext, (real or virtual) contain links to other documents, or places within documents. All documents, whether real, virtual or indexes, look similar to the reader and are contained within the same addressing scheme. To follow a link, a reader clicks with a mouse (or types in a number if he or she has no mouse). To search and index, a reader gives keywords (or other search criteria). These are the only operations necessary to access the entire world of data.