Monday, May 9, 2011

The Nose Knows

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Does a sane person do this?
  • Does a sane person do this?

I ran across this nose-stylus on Wired.

For some reason, this thing seems to be a perfectly absurd totem for the present moment. It's a mechanical solution to a digital problem. It's a device that's inherently connected to a certain kind of lifestyle. It's flippant and vaguely sexual. And deeply weird.

The idea of it is appealing on all levels, save one: only an insane person straps on a prosthetic nose in order to use their iPhone in the tub.

I'm not sure what it says about our society. I'm even less sure what my fascination says about me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

App-ostolic Succession

Posted By on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 10:14 AM

There is now an app for Catholics who don't make it to the confessional booth as much as they'd like. That's right, a confession app. [via CNN]

A practical concern: if the app functions at all like a confessional booth, users will presumably enter their "sins" into the app in some way. And apps store user data. Even if it's password protected, PASSWORDS GET HACKED. (Google "celebrity sex tape" and tell me they don't.*)

According to the blog CNN cites, this is the first imprimatur (permission given by the church for publication) for a digital application.

On some level, I understand why the church would think this is a good idea - Kids love apps, right?

In the constantly expanding realm of digital technologies, every business/brand/entity has had to find where they fit in. But in some cases, those efforts to fit in only serve to highlight the total irrelevance of the business/brand/entity in the lives of the people they're trying to reach.

The idea that a sheet of plastic with flashing pixels can somehow absolve your mortal soul because a particular bit of code was sanctioned by the church is just silly. It's a collision of science and superstition that confronts our common sense.

When I see certain institutions fighting to maintain relevance, I think back to this bit from Bill Hicks:

Will the Confession App help the Catholic Church recapture that oh-so-coveted 18-24 demographic? I doubt it.

But then again, religion survived the printing press and the shift from manuscripts illuminated by the hands of cloistered monks to mass-produced Bibles (which I'm sure at least one monk called heresy).

* don't actually Google that. You'll get in trouble at work and end up knowing more than you want to about something called a Kardashian.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

3-D Everything

Posted By on Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Last night I was watching TV with my girlfriend when a commercial for Tron: Legacy came on. We were wondering if the Pink Palace IMAX theater would be showing it. (For the record, it doesn't look like it.)

Anyway, this led to a conversation about how ubiquitous 3-D entertainment is becoming. Avatar — the highest grossing film of all time — was largely seen in 3-D, stores have 3-D TVs on display for holiday shoppers, and sports in 3-D is now a reality.

It occurred to me that the shift to 3-D over 2-D is similar to the shift from mono to stereo in audio reproduction.

There are some obvious parallels: Stereo sound seeks to reproduce how we hear in the natural world — our ears hear things slightly differently and we can therefore determine a sense of distance and direction. Our eyes determine depth and distance the same way. 3-D technology gives each eye a separate "channel" of information to replicate the slightly different points-of-view our eyes see in the natural world. (Which is why 3-D stuff looks weird without the glasses and even weirder if you have the glasses and close one eye.)


Will 3-D reproduction become the standard the way stereo audio is?


And just for fun...

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