Philip K. Dick after see­ing parts of Blade Runner:

…this indeed is not sci­ence fic­tion; it is not fan­ta­sy; it is exact­ly what Har­ri­son said: futur­ism. The impact of Blade Run­ner is sim­ply going to be over­whelm­ing, both on the pub­lic and on cre­ative peo­ple — and, I believe, on sci­ence fic­tion as a field.”

Just fin­ished read­ing Alain de Botton’s The Archi­tec­ture of Hap­pi­ness. It is chock­full of worth­while bits but towards the end are a few that I’ll just high­light. These offer a nice way of think­ing about cul­ture and how it can be active­ly changed.

Con­trary to the Roman­tic belief that we each set­tle nat­u­ral­ly on a fit­ting idea of beau­ty, it seems that our visu­al and emo­tion­al fac­ul­ties in fact need con­stant exter­nal guid­ance to help them decide what they should take note of and appre­ci­ate. ‘Cul­ture’ is the word we have assigned to the force that assists us in iden­ti­fy­ing which of our many sen­sa­tions we should focus on and appor­tion val­ue to.

(Empha­sis mine.) And fur­ther on, some notes on how cul­tur­al works can legit­imize tastes oth­er­wise kept private:

For all that we mock those fake aes­thet­ic enthu­si­asms in hopes of gain­ing respect, the oppo­site ten­den­cy is the more poignant, where­by we repress our true pas­sions in order not to seem pecu­liar. […] It is books, poems and paint­ings which often give us the con­fi­dence to take seri­ous­ly feel­ings in our­selves that we might oth­er­wise nev­er have thought to acknowledge.

I like the encour­age­ment to be pub­lic about the things you like but feel self con­scious about. Those are prob­a­bly the most inter­est­ing things. That might actu­al­ly a good guide­line for what to post here.

And to Botton’s list I’d add games and oth­er con­tem­po­rary aes­thet­ic forms of course.

I real­ly enjoyed read­ing this while at the same time see­ing the whole New Aes­thet­ic thing real­ly take off. De Bot­ton points out not much is need­ed to kick off a new movement:

A few build­ings and a book have usu­al­ly been suf­fi­cient to pro­vide viable mod­els for oth­ers to follow.

Or, you know, a tum­blr and a few hacks. You don’t need a lot of cash to make a cul­tur­al move­ment hap­pen. But you do need to be persistent.

In all of these tec­ton­ic shifts, the tenac­i­ty of the prime movers was every bit as impor­tant as the resources at their disposal.

So, per­sist.

This idea of labour being hid­den in things, and the val­ue of things aris­ing from the labour con­gealed inside them, is an unex­pect­ed­ly pow­er­ful explana­to­ry tool in the dig­i­tal world. … When you start look­ing for this mech­a­nism at work in the con­tem­po­rary world you see it every­where, often in the form of sur­plus val­ue being cre­at­ed by you, the cus­tomer or client of a com­pa­ny. Online check-in and bag drop at air­ports, for example.

Marx at 193 ( 2 Apr., 2012, at Interconnected)

This reminds me a lot of Tesler’s Law which states that the com­plex­i­ty inher­ent in a sys­tem is con­stant and can only be shift­ed from prod­uct to user or back.

Also found in this week’s Groene: amus­ing com­men­tary from a Syr­i­an woman on amuse­ment park the Eftel­ing. “You West­ern­ers must be bored.”

Inter­est­ing piece in this week’s Groene on John Berger’s book Why Look at Ani­mals. The quote refers to the seem­ing­ly con­tra­dic­to­ry atti­tude farm­ers have to their ani­mals: they appre­ci­ate them for the live beings they are as well as for the prod­uct they become. Some­thing I can relate to, despite being an urban­ite who accord­ing to Berg­er can’t real­ly understand.

retro ’80s graph­ics are sen­ti­men­tal fluff for mod­ern adults who grew up in front of 1980s game-con­sole machines. Eight-bit graph­ics are pret­ty easy to carve out of sty­ro­foam. There’s a low bar­ri­er-to-entry in mak­ing sculp­ture from 8‑bit, so that you can “rup­ture the inter­face between the dig­i­tal and the phys­i­cal.” How­ev­er 8‑bit sculp­tures are a cute, back­ward-look­ing rupture.

An Essay on the New Aes­thet­ic | Beyond The Beyond |

Which is also what I find so tire­some about much of indie game aes­thet­ics today.

New Fashion Aesthetic

New Fash­ion Aesthetic