Monthly Archives: February 2003

Attention Deficit Cinema

Waldman advocates tearing a century of movie culture into bleeding chunks and playing the whole lot back in no particular order – a sort of Attention Deficit Cinema. Personally, I think he’s onto something. I blogged the effect of iTunes on my music listening habits a few months ago. The effect on narrative cinema of the arrival of a generation of rippers and burners is difficult to predict, of course…

Drive-through zoo

What’s the latest thinking on Safari Parks? A beautiful sunny Winter’s day, lots of entertaining animals (and a diverting attempt to eat our car by the giraffes) made for a very happy half term day out yesterday but there is something surreal about an artificial traffic jam in a fenced enclosure – engines all running, windows sealed (apart from the crazy people in the Cavalier hanging out the sunroof in the bear enclosure). Are these drive-through zoos an eco-anachronism or the future for captive nature?

Power laws

Guardian.jpgBloggers are fixating on ‘power laws’. I’ve read all the stuff (including Clay’s perfectly sane starting point) and it’s obviously useful stuff with plenty of predictive power but it’s dry as dust. Now this dreary economic concept is going to be rattling round the blogosphere for months and we’re going to have to get used to listening to a thousand second-rate interpreters flattening it out and applying it way outside its useful scope. Nothing inherantly reductive about the concept – but something very human and inevitable about its cooption to a simplified mechanical worldview. The reductivists are a bit like the ‘pub Darwinists ‘ I mentioned earlier – expending way too much energy shoe-horning reality into their favourite model. There’s something autistic about this obsessive focus on one of the many factors that produce a web site’s popularity, currency, connectedness, influence, personality…

I wrote about this ? and Richard Sennet’s excellent the Formation of Character in a World of Inequality – in my column for today’s Guardian.

Golf War

Peace marchers in London 15 February 2003golfsale.jpg
Watching the anti-war march on the TV the other day we noticed that two of the most prominent placards in the throng at Piccadilly Circus were advertising a Golf Sale.