Do you like Ranma 1/2? Ok well, do you like Rosario + Vampire? Hm, not heard of either, but like humorous action stories? Well if you like any of those (but especially the humor part) then this is a great story for you! Let’s see what the author has to say about this:
Ranma gets booted out of Furinkan after dealing with Saffron, and ends up on the bus to a new school called Youkai Academy, meeting a rather timid guy named Tsukune on the way. At least this place can't be worse than Furinkan, right?
Crossover - Ranma & Rosario + Vampire - Fiction Rated: M - English - Humor/Supernatural - Chapters: 13 - Words: 240,064 - Reviews: 983 - Updated: 12-24-11 - Published: 9-17-09
It’s still in production, meaning that it’s not done yet. However! Don’t let that stop you, give it a chance and join me in awaiting the next update eagerly.
In the last few years, a few dedicated mathematicians have begun to study the computational complexity of video games. Their goal is to determine the inherent difficulty of the games and how they might be related to each other and other problems.
Mashups, which have been repeatedly attacked by the entertainment industry, are by no means a new art form; they’ve been central to creativity for years (related examples are embedded below). Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” incorporate a number of popular songs of the era, including the always popular “Cabbages and Beets drove me away from you,” in its entirety, along with “Get closer to me, baby” (that’s what the German really means, except the “baby” part). So did Beethoven’s sonatas, particularly the second movement of the magnificent Opus 110 piano sonata (“Our cat had kittens” and ” I’m a slob, you’re a slob”). I could list examples for pages; musicologists spend entire careers searching for this stuff. The complexity with which these songs are woven into a much greater piece is amazing, but they’re there, they’ve obviously there once you know what to look for, and they go way beyond what would survive “fair use” and the DMCA, let alone SOPA and PIPA.
Even more fundamentally, there is no such thing as creativity that doesn’t rely on the past. Sometimes the links are very subtle and hidden; sometimes they’re out in the open, and we don’t notice them only because we’ve declared Bach and Beethoven “great composers” and forgotten the popular music of their day. Our peculiar post-Romantic notion that all real artists somehow create their works out of nothing is partly to blame. Nothing could be further from the truth. And it’s not just art. In a very rare moment of humility, Isaac Newton said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
So the notion that creativity can be owned, and that any use of someone else’s ideas requires compensation, is nothing but an attempt to steal all of creativity. Whoever can pay their lawyers the most wins. Anyone smell pirates in the room? I am not willing to sacrifice this generation’s great artists on the altar of Hollywood. I’m not willing to have the next Bach, Beethoven, or Shakespeare post their work online, only to have it taken down because they haven’t paid off a bunch of executives who think they own creativity.
There’s a common theme: all of us placed bets on Apple at a time when it wasn’t particularly sexy to do so. Some of these bets may have been with money in terms of stock purchases (for the record, I don’t own any Apple stock). Some of these bets may have been with money in terms of Apple purchases (guilty). But the biggest bet we all made was with our most precious commodity: time.
I’ve devoted so much time to learning about, thinking about, and writing about this one company, that I’ll be honest: it’s gratifying to see the company achieve the level of success that it has. I’m not (quite) arrogant enough to think that I’ve had a meaningful impact on that success, but it still matters to me. It’s a bit like the sports team you root for — long a prohibitive underdog — win it all.
This. Though I’ve not been doing much gloating myself aloud/online (not being around people who care much at all about it right now), I’m gloating inside.
The fallout from the failure of SOPA and PIPA is just as interesting as the main topics themselves. First, many on the web with loud voices are finally waking up to how corrupt the lobbying/political system is in this country. Second, directly-related, there’s a quickly growing anti-Hollywood sentiment.
The most forceful stance has to be Y Combinator putting out a new RFS (Request for Startups) will one goal: Kill Hollywood.
It’s an important statement and message given the bullshit the MPAA is up to. But it’s also important to separate film, the artform, from Hollywood, the industry.
“Quick thought experiment – if you were to substitute “needs improvement” for every instance where the word “failing” is used in the public conversation to describe school accountability efforts wouldn’t the dialogue sound a lot different? Eg – “Under No Child Left Behind 48 percent of schools have been identified as failing” or “Under No Child Left Behind 48 percent of schools have been identified as needing improvement” are two very different things in practice and also sound different. One sounds intuitively implausible and the other quite reasonable given our educational outcomes. It’s not an academic point because federal law doesn’t use the term failing for schools and does actually use the phrase needing improvement…”—
This is the whole posting, but click through to support them please.
“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”—
In one soundbite, he’s both threatening any and all U.S. politicians and implying that they’re corruptible. It’s a statement that so egregious, it’s hard to think of anything worse he could have said. Maybe: “if these guys don’t start supporting whatever we say, I’m going to hire some goons to fucking kneecap the bastards”.
But actually, that’s not worse. Because that doesn’t imply the politicians accept bribes (in the form of lobbying money) to support issues.
Amazingly, this discussion is morphing beyond the destruction of the fabric of the Internet and into the underlying notion that our political system is fundamentally corrupt.
The MPAA should fire Chris Dodd immediately. Of course, they won’t — because in a year (when he’ll be far enough removed from his Senate term to officially lobby) he’ll be the best lobbyist ever. At that point, he’ll be able to do it behind the scenes (with people he served alongsides for decades), and not with fucked up statements like this.
So maybe, instead of waiting for the MPAA’s next law and changing our Twitter avatars for a few days in protest, it would be more productive to significantly reduce or eliminate our support of the MPAA member companies starting today, and start supporting campaign finance reform.
“To harness the energy that fuels both these drives, we need to move beyond the New Groupthink and embrace a more nuanced approach to creativity and learning. Our offices should encourage casual, cafe-style interactions, but allow people to disappear into personalized, private spaces when they want to be alone. Our schools should teach children to work with others, but also to work on their own for sustained periods of time. And we must recognize that introverts like Steve Wozniak need extra quiet and privacy to do their best work. Before Mr. Wozniak started Apple, he designed calculators at Hewlett-Packard, a job he loved partly because HP made it easy to chat with his colleagues. Every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., management wheeled in doughnuts and coffee, and people could socialize and swap ideas. What distinguished these interactions was how low-key they were. For Mr. Wozniak, collaboration meant the ability to share a doughnut and a brainwave with his laid-back, poorly dressed colleagues — who minded not a whit when he disappeared into his cubicle to get the real work done.”—A really cool piece on the rise of group-thinking as a methodology for everything.
(Via Library JuiceThe Rise of the New Groupthink - NYTimes.com
If the US market is so competitive, why doesn’t Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, or even T-Mobile offer unlimited texts, minutes, MMS, and 3G/4G internet for $25/month? There are some limitations that Free places, but they seem reasonable. Besides, with 0.1% churn rate per month they seem to be doing quite well - not to mention their regular broadband service (20-30Mbps internet + free landline calls to 100 countries + TV service w/HD DVR for $45/month).
This is not good news at all. Things in the public domain should remain there. It all goes back to the point of the copyright system. And keeping works freely available to the public that granted the creators a limited monopoly once that has expired was the payment for that ability. Now that people can just bring it back into copyright, the people really get no lasting benefit out of granting that ability. Now it will still inspire the short-term benefit of spurring the creating of new works of culture, but that’s short sighted given the length of copyright these days.
Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”
The top court was ruling on a petition by a group of orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers and film archivists who urged the justices to reverse an appellate court that ruled against the group, which has relied on artistic works in the public domain for their livelihoods.
They claimed that re-copyrighting public works would breach the speech rights of those who are now using those works without needing a license. There are millions of decades-old works at issue. Some of the well-known ones include H.G. Wells’ Things to Come; Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and the musical compositions of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky.
Publishers have stopped referring to their products as journalism, writing, literature, photography, or art. Today, everything is simply “content”.
Those working in media, especially digital media, can attest to the word’s popularity. Quantitatively we can observe this trend in the chart above: over the last ten years, annual financial reports from The New York Times have leaned more and more heavily on the word “content” when describing their business. The share of “journalism” has remained relatively flat.
The NYT and other publishers rely on the word “content” to help them understand the breadth of their output. But by reducing their writing, photography, videos and more to a single, nondescript term they’re setting themselves up for failure.
The Rise of “Content”
“Content” emerged with the rise of the Internet, which detached pieces of work from their primary media. Before the web, we referred to works by the media format which delivered them: as newspapers, magazines, paintings, photographs, records, CDs, and so on. As digital representations grew in popularity these monikers became increasingly awkward. Is a newspaper still a “paper” when the majority of its readers view it on screens? To abate this awkwardness, we began to search for a more apt term. We landed on “content”, a bucket term which we ask to describe anything a publisher could publish, from the most revelatory art to the most hackneyed rags.
At this point, “content” was an innocent, sloppy fix. A stopgap until the Internet settled down and a proper term could be coined. Unfortunately, the pace of innovation quickened and today language is unable to keep pace with rapidly emerging new ideas, art1, and businesses.
So we’ve stuck with “content”.
The Assumptions & Allure of Content
To achieve its representative breadth, the word “content” makes two assumptions:
Each piece of “content” is equal and is therefore interchangeable: As stated earlier, “content” is used to represent a wide breadth of works. A Pulitzer winning report and a Business Insider slideshow are both single instances of “content.” The word must remain formless, devoid of emotion, and of indefinite form and quality. Any characteristic which might differentiate two works must be ignored. This rhetoric categorization gives rise to the second assumption.
“Content” production is trivial: Since each bit of “content” is interchangeable, “content” is only as hard to create as the easiest instance.
Publishers buy into these two assumptions because “content” allows them to easily measure and analyze their output. Messy qualitative measures are hidden so output fits neatly within Excel cells. This is the allure of “content”: it allows comforting, structured data which simplifies the complexity of a large business and makes decisions less intimidating. Executives aren’t making qualitative picks regarding art or an artist, they’re merely signing off on whichever “content” produces more valuable metrics.
At The New York Times it’s conceivable that editors and executives have a handle on their output. But businesses with strategies dependent on massive levels of “content” production cannot know the quality of everything that ships. Think YouTube, where users upload more than an hour of video every hour. Or content farms like Demand Media, which claims to have created 2 million articles and 200,000 videos as of June 2010.
I’m currently reading a number of blogs. I had the thought that it might be interesting to others to know just what I’m reading at the moment. The majority of what I link to from here are also derived from these blogs, with occasional extras that friends recommend to me. I follow blogs in two places, tumblr and RSS via Reeder. I’ll cover the two groups in separate segments.
Reeder RSS Feeds
I keep my Reeder RSS feeds in six categories. Oh, Reeder uses a google reader account to do sync, just FYI. The categories are:
Video Game News
Odds and Ends
Apple and Computer News
Grad School Things
For Education, I follow three sites mainly:
The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP)
I read them because they are an education reform blog with an economic slant and I also know several of the people working there. They tend to propose traditionally conservative viewpoints on economic issues.
Eduwonk is another education reform blog, but it covers different sets of issues and serves to round out some of CCAP’s biases.
Higher Ed Watch
More Education reform work is done here. I tend to read them a bit less than the others.
Video Game News
I don’t actually follow much video game news these days. I used to read IGN and other major news sites, but these days I can get the info I want from some forums I frequent as well as Twitter. So I’ve tended to read more critical work done on video games.
Four Player Co-Op
They tend to be on the slower side of things (at this moment, not having updated since December 2011) but I enjoy their take on games and gaming.
The Brainy Gamer
This guy does really thoughtful analysis on the community in general. Also a slow on the output, but worth it once he does publish something.
I really like these guys. They also publish a print magazine that’s aiming to be something like Rolling Stones, but for video games. They publish a free news feed as well and I find myself really enjoying what they find.
Nothing else I’m reading is updating though…
Ahh! So many! I think I might skip the blurb on these and just link dump. But that would defeat the point of this post, so here goes.
Library Juice is a library policy blog, focusing on political issues. Updates come slowly like most of these, but worth a read.
This is where blogs that really don’t fit the other categories go. They’re an eclectic bunch, but I actually enjoy some of these the most for making me think.
Desu Ex Machina.
Currently my one anime blog. It does rankings of the currently airing shows, and also has some analysis on the state of the industry.
A blog by John Scalzi, the science fiction author. Features sunsets, cats, scifi news, and generally whatever he feels like.
CNN Money Tech tumblr
This one is a tumblr blog, but I follow it via RSS rather than through tumblr… I don’t know. But it’s a fun blog where they are clearly putting their fun stories, rather than their coldly serious analysis.
This blog is one of my current favorite blogs, yet it covers things in a dense manner. However, once you engage with it there is plenty to engage with on a very macro-scale level. His latest post (right now) was on text density as relating to technological changes and the role of modern scribe-bloggers in a world of gonzo blogging. Cool stuff.
The TOF Spot
Another one of my favorite thinking blogs, The TOF Spot is by a catholic scifi author, and he covers matters of philosophical intent. He’s quite well read on ancient authors as well as grappling with modern science-philosophy.
Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed
To round out my odds and ends, this blog covers some economic matters of business and the sort. His twitter digests almost always link to interesting articles around the web, but he doesn’t strike me as a terribly optimistic person.
Apple and Computer News
Another category with many links in it, here is where I keep up on my favorite sports teams, I mean tech companies and how they’re doing. Obviously, there is going to be a slight to major Apple slant in coverage here based off of my own preferences and interests.
One of the finer tech news sites, not too much needs to be said here about them. I tend to follow the Apple and Law and Disorder subsections.
Asymco is a data oriented site focusing primarily on the mobile sector. Filled with wonderful graphs and thoughts on where mobile is going, he’s (it’s a one man show) got some great insight on the shape of things.
The premier apple link site and commentary blog. John Gruber’s site delivers.
I read this one for the patent coverage. It’s either hit or miss, so this is a browse site.
For more generic news reporting and not opinion focused on Apple products. The more useful feature that they’ve been offering is their daily roundup (not a universal one) of deals for apple products and apps.
A blog by the creator of Instapaper. He adds to the coverage of all things Apple, coffee, and random other things, like humidifiers.
Yet more apple coverage as well as developers and other randomness.
By tech writer Dan Frommer, with more apple and computing industry news and opinion.
“Well, let’s see. We’re back to black-box rules of thumb. People will take the outputs of the oracle-computers without understanding what they really mean, and apply them successfully or not. But causal principles that are not known are called “occult.” (Remember, occult meant “hidden,” not supernatural.) And the attempt to manipulate physical matter by use of occult powers was called “magic.” It’s not just that the technological fruits of the advanced science are mirabilia (“marvels,” “miracles”) it’s that the scientist-priests do not understand the principles behind them, either. So perhaps Arthur C. Clarke was far more right than he knew when he said that a sufficiently advanced science would be indistinguishable from magic.”—
A scifi author describes how science could die, but high technology remain.
“In recent days, the museum [the Guggenheim] has made 65 art catalogues available online, all free of charge. The catalogues offer an intellectual and visual introduction to the work of Alexander Calder, Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, Gustav Klimt & Egon Schiele, and Kandinsky. Plus there are other texts (e.g., Masterpieces of Modern Art and Abstract Expressionists Imagists) that tackle meta movements and themes.”—Some more cool free ebook resources. This time it’s art!
Free: The Guggenheim Puts 65 Modern Art Books Online | Open Culture