November 02, 2012
First we build tools, then they build us.
There’s a famous phrase from Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan that gets a regular workout in media columns. "The medium is the message" has been quoted so many times that using it is almost a cliché. Media aficionados attempt to interpret this phrase in a number of different ways, and it even has its own Wikipedia article that explains the meaning: "McLuhan describes the content of a medium as a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind." Looking past the florid writing style and larceny metaphors, McLuhan's point that while we get distracted by content, we can miss the changes and developments that are instigated by the medium itself. This is never more accurate than when applied to mobile. We've had mobile handsets in our pockets for 30 years, and in that time we've been so absorbed with what content we could push onto our handsets, it's only relatively recently that people have started to pay attention to the multi-screen world we now find ourselves in.
McLuhan first used his famous phrase back in 1964, and here we are, almost 50 years later, using our mobiles to consume and experience more media than ever before. We now spend vast amounts of time on the mobile Internet, playing games, streaming media and using apps. The initial discussions about the impact of mobile screens on more traditional media, such as TV, seem to have been put to bed. It turns out that viewers didn't swap on
25 Spectacular Movies You (Probably) Haven’t Seen
Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen’s latest places starving writer Owen Wilson in Paris with his fiancée, Rachel McAdams. Searching for inspiration for his incomplete novel, Owen begins taking strolls around the city at night where he discovers an unexpected group of people. I wish I could be more specific, but it would ruin the surprise. Know that it is brilliant, witty and full of mystique. 92% on Rotten Tomatoes (RT).
Let the Right One In
The best vampire movie ever made in my opinion. Let the Right One In is a truly unique story about a young boy and his new blood-sucking friend from next door. This film is a heart-warming love story with sprees of gory violence, which the director pulls off brilliantly. To say this movie blows ‘Twilight’ out of the water is a terrible understatement. 98% RT. Note: This film also has an American counterpart called Let Me In that is almost as good.
The Man From Earth
Holy &#%@ this film’s plot is fascinating! A professor gathers his academic friends and confesses that he is a caveman who has been alive since prehistoric times thanks to a gene mutation allowing his cells to replicate without error. This claim is of course met with much skepticism, resulting in some very intriguing conversation about mortality and the history of mankind.
This is my absolute favorite film. Garden State is the story of an actor who goes back to his hometown for his mother’s funeral and starts figuring out what he wants in life. It’s chock-full of quirky humor, funny characters and ruminations on life. Not to mention the soundtrack is phenomenal. I recommend Garden State to every person I talk to about movies and have yet to hear a bad review :)
It’s impossible for you to grasp Waking Life without actually watching it, but I’ll do my best to explain it. The ‘plot’ centers around lucid dreaming with the main character floating around dreamscapes having incredibly interesting conversations with strangers about a variety of topics. Each conversation concerns something I would write about for the Mind-Blowing Concepts category of this site. Plus it’s all presented in trippy animated sequences. See it for free (legally) here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7583894250854515095
This film is a rather dark, yet comedic story about the twisted relationships between Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. Instead of going with