P3rsp3ctiv3 (Perspective)

May 6, 2011

Movie Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2011

Written and Directed by: Mehmet Can Koçak

Watch on Vimeo (NSFW Version) or YouTube (Safe Version)

Check ‘em on Facebook

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Hobo: Mehmet Can Koçak
  • Shell 001: Ilhan Şen
  • Cyber Pimp: Nazım Çınar
  • Redhed: Piper fawn
  • Rating: 7 out of 10

    Perspective opening

    Overview: Billed as a “Tribute to the cyberpunk genre,” Perspective gives us a rather unique… perspective… of a cyberpunked future, where VR is the drug of choice to escape the harsh reality of… well, reality. Mehmet Can Koçak shows us one person’s escape to a VR fantasy by not just following him with a camera, but with the person AS the camera as we look through the hobo’s eyes. It’s perfectly understandable if you suddenly feel like hunting shamblers, cyberdemons, or zombies with roast-turkey headgear…

    Perspective - Hobo Jacks In

    After all, it’s called “Perspective” for a reason.

    We “watch” as the hobo purchases a cartridge from a shady dealer then heads into a wreck of a building where he jacks into his Commodore 64T…

    64 Terrabyte Commodore

    64 Terabytes of RAM… on a Commodore 64… it can happen.

    … and dives into a fantasy encounter with a redhead girl. Until an apparent glitch causes more than a program crash.

     

    There once was a girl named Alice… At a running length of only ten minutes, Perspective doesn’t have much time to present in-depth themes. The one main theme is the mirror; How we see ourselves in reality and fantasy, and how the two can suddenly become fused together to cause no end of confusion. Or as Friedrich Nietzsche put it, when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

     

    Conclusion: Short-n-sweet. ‘Bout all I can really say. Koçak’s piece shows some potential for something more like, let’s say, a whole series of first-person movies; Short, interwoven films showing life in this future, and the viewer gets to choose what character’s eyes they would like to experience it. Might be a challenge to make, but it would a radical new way to “watch” movies.

    William Gibson on Google’s Earth

    September 2, 2010

    Source: New York Times

    “I ACTUALLY think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” said the search giant’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, in a recent and controversial interview. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

    “G” as in God? Whether you found it online yesterday (31-Aug-2010) or in today’s dead tree edition (or just hearing about it now), cyberpunk’s godfather William Gibson gives his op-ed about Google’s want of playing god in telling us what to do.

    OK, it’s not because of Google’s want of telling us what to do, but the apparent need of anyone who uses the big “G” to decide what they want to do. Those who use G’s services actually contribute to the search giant’s ability to make decisions for us. Gibson likens G to a genie that can grant our wishes:

    We would all very much like to be sagely and reliably advised by our own private genie; we would like the genie to make the world more transparent, more easily navigable. Google does that for us: it makes everything in the world accessible to everyone, and everyone accessible to the world.

    Of course, the “everyone accessible to the world” part is what some balk at as we find our personal information being more and more exposed online.

     

    The inmates run the prison. The idea of Google being a sort of panopticon prison, with G as the proverbial omnipotent warden and us as the inmates, but Gibson argues that is only half-true:

    In Google, we are at once the surveilled and the individual retinal cells of the surveillant, however many millions of us, constantly if unconsciously participatory. We are part of a post-geographical, post-national super-state, one that handily says no to China. Or yes, depending on profit considerations and strategy. But we do not participate in Google on that level. We’re citizens, but without rights.

    As said before, it’s the people who use Google’s services who actually contribute to the building of the panopticon, and the real problem comes in when those people (over)expose themselves on social network sites. Gibson sees possibilities in a fake identity industry for such carelessness since Google doesn’t seem interested in protecting users from their own stupidity.

     

    Don’t blame the government. It would be easy to do so IF the advances in technology wasn’t so quick. But when the only law Google follows is Moore’s Law, technology will always stomp a mud hole in legislation’s face and walk it dry:

    We also seldom imagined (in spite of ample evidence) that emergent technologies would leave legislation in the dust, yet they do. In a world characterized by technologically driven change, we necessarily legislate after the fact, perpetually scrambling to catch up, while the core architectures of the future, increasingly, are erected by entities like Google.

    Then again, Google is “a very large and powerful corporation to boot.” Too big to fail, and far too big to give a fuck.

    This post has been filed under Internet Find, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.

    Paul Buchheit on Applied Philosophy (aka “Hacking”)

    October 21, 2009

    Source: Paul Buchheit’s Blog

    Paul Buchheit

    Paul Buchheit is the mastermind behind Google’s Gmail and AdSense, and founder of FriendFeed (now part of Facebook). Click the pic to read the post being described.

    A familiar storyline? Computer programming genius Paul Buchheit has his own blog (who doesn’t these days?), and while most of his posts have been geared to the techno-geeks, a post from last week has a certain, eerily familiar ring to it:

    Sometimes we catch a glimpse of the truth, and discover the actual rules of a system. Once the actual rules are known, it may be possible to perform “miracles” — things which violate the perceived rules.

     

    Shortcuts and Loopholes. Paul describes how he feels that hacking fits this description of violating perceived rules, and gives his work with AdSense as an example. Hacking these days goes beyond the computer:

    Hacking isn’t limited to computers though. Wherever there are systems, there is the potential for hacking, and there are systems everywhere. Our entire reality is systems of systems, all the way down.

    This hacking of systems results from a certain mindset… the “hacker mindset”… that breaks from the “straight and narrow” path in favor of “shortcuts and loopholes”; That there are always undiscovered areas of opportunity, and those who can exploit them become incredibly successful at the expense of others (an old obsolete system or innocent victims). Of course, these hacks can result in a vast improvement of something (Google’s rise as the predominant search engine) or an apocalyptic failure (bailouts).

     

    Hack the future. Most don’t bother about finding the truth or even care if someone else does. Some people are content with just finding the truth about reality, but hackers try to bend that truth to see if it breaks or if it holds up. Those are the people, Paul says, who will make the future for us:

    To discover great hacks, we must always be searching for the true nature of our reality, while acknowledging that we do not currently possess the truth, and never will. Hacking is much bigger and more important than clever bits of code in a computer — it’s how we create the future.

    This post has been filed under Internet Find by Mr. Roboto.

    Web Science: Because “We no longer fully understand the web.”

    June 9, 2009

    Sources: NewScientist, Web Science Research Initiative

    Tim Berners-Lee

    Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is now concerned that the net has become more powerful than even he believed possible. Now, he wants to put it under a microscope so he/we can understand why.

    The Web is God? When Tim Berners-Lee first created what would be the foundations for the Web (not the Net, WEB. Let’s get our usage right.), he could not have predicted the explosive growth seen in the 1990s through today. In fact, the Web is now so ingrained into our cultures that humanity is practically fused to it. This fusion is causing its own problems.

    That is giving Berners-Lee some cause for alarm. To study the effects that the Web is now having on humanity, he has founded the Web Science Research Initiative and came up with the term Web Science to describe what the WSRI is studying:

    When we discuss an agenda for a science of the Web, we use the term “science” in two ways. Physical and biological science analyzes the natural world, and tries to find microscopic laws that, extrapolated to the macroscopic realm, would generate the behavior observed. Computer science, by contrast, though partly analytic, is principally synthetic: It is concerned with the construction of new languages and algorithms in order to produce novel desired computer behaviors. Web science is a combination of these two features. The Web is an engineered space created through formally specified languages and protocols. However, because humans are the creators of Web pages and links between them, their interactions form emergent patterns in the Web at a macroscopic scale. These human interactions are, in turn, governed by social conventions and laws. Web science, therefore, must be inherently interdisciplinary; its goal is to both understand the growth of the Web and to create approaches that allow new powerful and more beneficial patterns to occur.

    Web Science Collision map

    As you can see by this ’simple’ map, the Web affects many aspects of society, so there are many aspects to Web Science to consider. It’s even possible that the Singularity may be lurking in here, with SHODAN and Skynet.

     

    Weird Science, or necessary discipline?

    (From NewScientist) How does understanding these emergent systems affect society?

    Because if you get it right, you can create a new social phenomenon that changes how people operate. Take designing an online market for second-hand goods: if you get the website’s balance of social and technical wrong, or mess up its trust and reputation model, it won’t work. But if you get it right, you create a market for used goods internationally that can affect the price of products around the world because it provides the price of the second-hand alternative. It is a web phenomenon that changed the way society works, and we need a science to understand it.

    Web Science sounds like something that people who work with the Web need to know, not just for designing sites, but for security and privacy as well. But is it something worth getting a PhD for? The biggest test will be when… or if… they are able to but the science into actual use for everyday people. Remember: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

    This post has been filed under Internet Find, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.

    Machines Have No Conscience: Sadistical Fiction

    March 28, 2009

    Review By: Mr. Roboto

    Author: Sadistical

    Year: ????

    Read it online.

    A bit of online prose for you to peruse.

    A familiar story. Every so often I do random web searches for some of my favorite songs/moves/etc. When I used Yahoo! to look for info on Queensryche’s classic track “NM 156,” I decided to use the opening line “machines have no conscience.” The very first result was this page; A bit of science fiction verse. Not exactly what I was looking for, but as I read it I had the feeling that I was reading some cyberpunk poetry… and what could very well be a story from the Terminator universe set in the future.

     

    It Could Be An “Album.” The poem is divided into seven parts that tell a story of one person’s fight against the “Metal Gods,” the machines of the future:

    1. Machines Have No Conscience
    2. Metal Gods
    3. Revolution
    4. Terminate 156
    5. My Mission
    6. Next Action
    7. Stand Proud

    As you read, you might get the feeling of deja vu. Not because of the storyline itself, but some of the lines come straight from Queensryche (Sadistical lists them as one of his favorite bands).

    I have to give him cred, Sadistical has put together a short but sweet verse that could very well become a concept album given the right music and musicians.

    This post has been filed under Internet Find by Mr. Roboto.