Media 2009-01-18 06:11

Skip the Rigmarole, and Instead Get Right To It

Media 2008-10-31 02:11

Today I opened a new book (Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody) and was shocked when the fifth physical page (not by page numbers, but by actual pages I had to turn after opening the cover) proclaimed: Chapter 1.

What, no preface? No introduction? No acknowledgements? (Without the acknowledgements, I’ll have no way of knowing that this book wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of many great people!) No preface to the second edition, or notes from the author, or a table of contents that spans a thumb’s-thickness worth of pages?

Yes, amazingly: this book Got Right To It. I wish we’d skip all the build-up rigmarole, and get right to it, a bit more often. Not only books, but everything. Like DVDs with their FBI warning, Interpol warning, intro to the menu, menu transitions, and questions about whether I want to play with commentary on or off. Or software and websites with splash screens. Or video games with long intros. (Special props to Braid for dropping you into the gameplay approximately 100ms after launching the game.)

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

The Destruction of Sennacherib

Art, Media 2008-09-17 01:38

The Destruction of Sennacherib is a short story on the Variant Frequencies podcast. I found its overall production striking: use of sounds, music (some of which I recognized as Abney Park), and multiple voices combine to produce a fiction podcast episode not quite like anything I’ve heard before. Good stuff.

Sidebar: this story is steampunk to the gills. A year ago I called steampunk “a rising genre.” Aparently I underestimated that by quite a bit, since the New York Times is writing about it now.

Tonight at 11: Evening News is Dead

Media 2008-06-03 01:40