linkmachinego.com
August 8, 2022
[comics] The 100 Most Influential Pages in Comic Book History … A wide ranging look at 100 pages that changed comics. ‘Hawkeye No. 11 (2013): The highlight of the run came in Hawkeye No. 11, an issue told through the eyes of Lucky, a dog that Hawkeye adopted in the first issue of the series. Lucky (or Pizza Dog, as he thinks of himself, due to his taste for pizza) sees the world through a series of nonverbal signifiers (the book’s letterer, Chris Eliopoulos is credited as “production” for the issue, as he delivers a lot more than just lettering in the issue). It’s Chris Ware–esque diagram artwork, but with a great deal more heart behind the experiences of Lucky. This was one of the most acclaimed single issues of the past decade, winning an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue.’
August 5, 2022
>> I don’t know who needs this today but here’s an acapella version of ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ by the Beach Boys. [via]

August 2, 2022
[ai] The Kubrick Times 🚨📰 … Using an AI to generate newspaper articles from NYT Headlines used by Kubrick’s 2001. ‘World Population Passes 6 Billion Mark – The world’s population has officially reached 6 billion people, according to the United Nations. This milestone has been both celebrated and met with trepidation, as it highlights the enormous pressure that our planet is under. The population is now evenly split between the northern and southern hemispheres, with 3 billion people living north of the equator and 3 billion living south of it.’
August 1, 2022
[comics] John Wagner and Alan Grant Interviewed in 1988 … I was very saddened to hear of Alan Grant’s passing last week – below is a funny story from him in the linked interview. ‘A freight company hired me to find out where a million and a quarter pounds missing from the books had gone, and I’d not got the slightest idea where it had gone and didn’t even know where to start looking. So I compromised by burning the books. By the time I’d finished they’d no idea what they had or what they didn’t have. The funniest thing about it was that when I eventually told them I couldn’t take it any more and I was leaving to go back to Scotland immediately because my granny had died or something, they said “That’s a great shame. You were doing so well we were going to give you our Heathrow account. There’s 5,000,000 pounds missing there.” And I was travelling home from Tilbury at night ripping up the books and throwing them out of the train window. IPC did eventually take me on for a partwork called “Birds of the World,” and I was there until it closed down after six months.’
July 28, 2022
[movies] ‘Blade Runner’ at 40: Why It’s Still the Greatest Sci-Fi of All-Time‘Working from a formula he perfected in 1979’s Alien, Scott brought his world of grimy industry and neon-lit shadows, rogue androids and put-upon protagonists to California, swapping Alien’s body horror for the police procedural. Granted, Deckard isn’t Ellen Ripley, but in its portrayal of the battered and bruised detective battling against the system, Blade Runner is a Chinatown of the future. That it was only Scott’s third film as director makes it all the more impressive.’
July 27, 2022
[movies] Revisiting the L.A. of ‘Heat’ 24 Years Later with the Iconic Crime Drama’s Location Manager … Visiting the locations of Michael Mann’s Heat in 2019. ‘Though the view from the house that was eventually chosen had an incredible, panoramic view, Balton felt it didn’t seem authentic. “I said to him, ‘You know, Michael, it’s L.A. Not everybody lives in an incredible apartment with a great view. I mean, you know that, right?’ and he looked at me and said, ‘Yeah, I know that. Now go out and find what I told you to find,’” she said, laughing.’
July 11, 2022
[akira] A Collection of Every Akira Video Game Ever Made‘Akira was one of my favorite films as a teen and I remember hearing rumors of a video game version, but I could never find it. Eventually, I just filed it away as a myth, like the supposed Akira live action film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Not only are these games real though, you can even be able to play them thanks to ROM archivists…’
July 7, 2022
[books] Eric Clapton’s Bookshelf … An amusing forensic examination of Clapton’s bookshelves and what they say about his character.

July 4, 2022
[books] Holmes’ sweet home … A literary search for the real 221B Baker Street. ‘Where Holmes and Watson lived was surely in the midst of the grime and bustle of late Victorian London, much closer to Oxford Street. And so it proves. Baker Street in the 1890’s was much shorter than its modern version, and ran south from the junction with Paddington St. The modern section north from Paddington Street to the Marylebone Road was then named York Place. So “221B” – one should discount the actual number, however resonant it has become – was situated on Baker Street somewhere between Paddington Street and Portman Square. The evidence for its whereabouts is secreted in one of the best Holmes short stories…’
July 1, 2022
[google] Is Google Dying? Or Did the Web Grow Up? … The Atlantic takes a look at where Google Search is at in 2022. ‘The AI attempts to understand not just what the searcher is typing, but what the searcher is trying to get at,” Haynes told me. “It’s trying to understand the content inside pages and inside queries, and that will change the type of result people get.” Google’s focus on searcher intent could mean that when people type in keywords, they’re not getting as many direct word matches. Instead, Google is trying to scan the query, make meaning from it, and surface pages that it thinks match that meaning. Despite being a bit sci-fi and creepy, the shift might feel like a loss of agency for searchers.’
June 29, 2022
[watergate] Woodward and Bernstein’s Forgotten Editor … Barry Sussman – the man who got written out of Watergate. ‘[A] stripped-down morality tale, mano a mano, doesn’t leave much narrative space for other characters. The Post’s work required not just creative and dogged reporting by Woodward and Bernstein—it required editors, it required news librarians, it required lawyers, it required an owner, all willing to do their part and able to do it skillfully. It required an institution that could both commit the resources and then stand its ground against Nixon’s threats.’
June 28, 2022
[comics] The Crisis Generation … Garth Ennis, John McCrea and Sean Phillips interviewed about their work on Crisis.

June 27, 2022
[books] AIs named by AIs … How good is an AI at naming Iain M. Banks Culture Ships? … ‘Absently Tilting To One Side. ASS FEDERATION. A Small Note Of Disrespect. Third Letter of The Week. Well Done and Thank You. Just As Bad As Your Florist. What Exactly Is It With You? Let Me Just Post This. Protip: Don’t Ask’
June 23, 2022
[speccy] Celebrating 40 years of ZX Spectrum ❤️ 💛 💚 💙 … A look at what’s happening with the ZX Spectrum forty years after it’s creation. ‘Can you believe it still has a large and active community creating new content, archiving old content, and hacking on all sorts of hardware?’
June 20, 2022
[life] Why City Life Has Gotten Way More Expensive … A look at why things like Uber are starting to cost more. ‘It was as if Silicon Valley had made a secret pact to subsidize the lifestyles of urban Millennials. As I pointed out three years ago, if you woke up on a Casper mattress, worked out with a Peloton, Ubered to a WeWork, ordered on DoorDash for lunch, took a Lyft home, and ordered dinner through Postmates only to realize your partner had already started on a Blue Apron meal, your household had, in one day, interacted with eight unprofitable companies that collectively lost about $15 billion in one year.’
June 17, 2022
[crypto] The Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto Crashing — a quick map of where we are and what’s ahead‘Whales breaking ranks — Monday’s price collapse looks very like one crypto whale decided to get out while there was any chance of getting some of the ever-dwindling actual dollars out from the cryptosystem. Expect the knives to be out. Who’s jumping next?’
June 15, 2022
[tech] I’ve locked myself out of my digital life … A cautionary tale about digital identities. ‘In the boring analogue world – I am pretty sure that I’d be able to convince a human that I am who I say I am. And, thus, get access to my accounts. I may have to go to court to force a company to give me access back, but it is possible. But when things are secured by an unassailable algorithm – I am out of luck. No amount of pleading will let me without the correct credentials. The company which provides my password manager simply doesn’t have access to my passwords. There is no-one to convince. Code is law.’
June 14, 2022
[gaming] Inside the $100K+ forgery scandal that’s roiling PC game collecting … Fascinating forgery story within the world of retro computer game collecting. ‘When Racle made a disk image of his rare find for preservation purposes, that excitement quickly turned to disgust and distrust. With the help of an Apple II preservation expert going by the handle “4am,” Racle found that the disk he received contained a cracked version of the game, complete with a loading screen sporting the message “Presented by the Data Killer.” Needless to say, that message would not appear on an authentic 1981 version of the disk with its original copy protection intact. It does, however, appear on cracked copies of the game that have been floating around the Internet for years.’
June 10, 2022
[life] Study: Most Americans Now Believe Society Has Gotten Dystopian Enough to Start Adding “Neo” to Names of Cities‘“Most participants also mentioned that they were disappointed that we reached dystopian status without having flying cars, murderous replicants or the ability to have katanas pop out of your arms,” said research assistant Daniel Matthews. “People were pleasantly surprised by a few dystopian traits that are present, such as the plentiful amount of synthwave and neon colored mesh tank tops. Other than that, though, the cyberpunk genre did not prepare Americans for how much scrolling through Reddit they would be doing in the dystopia.”’
June 9, 2022
[truecrime] I Think I’m Done with True Crime For Now … Moving On from the True Crime Genre. ‘I remember YouTube’s parodically evil algorithm recommending me far too many ‘body language expert’ reaction videos of Carole Baskin, all of which seemed keen to write her off as a true sociopath. The same thing happened with lawyers (or a bunch of people in suits claiming to have law degrees) offering their own advice on the crimes of the day. TikTok, of course, joined in. This was all familiar stuff when Amber Heard was put on trial for defaming her ex-husband who she accused of domestic abuse. Soon, it was truly impossible to avoid the splurge of ‘true crime’ smearing Heard in the name of justice and journalism. Suddenly, everyone was a body language expert, a psychiatrist, a cop, a lawyer, a domestic abuse expert.’
June 8, 2022
[comics] Ed Brubaker on the Reckless series, L.A. 1980s pulp fiction‘With a slew of Eisner Awards to his name and a reputation as one of the industry’s most popular storytellers, Brubaker set out to do something new not by choice but out of necessity. Comics are created on a tight schedule. When the pandemic hit, not only did comic book shops around the country shut down — so did the printers and distributors. It was a bleak time for the business. “Everybody in comics panicked,” Brubaker said. “How are we going to be able to keep making comics? Are all the stores going to go out of business?”’
June 7, 2022
[zuck] The Only Good Thing Left About Facebook … A look at Facebook Groups – It’s best feature? ‘Several Facebook-group administrators and members described to me the conundrum of relying on an imperfect platform to create strong, and for many people invaluable, communities. They understand that their groups exist on a controversial site, but they also say that not many alternatives have the capacity to build fellowship the way that Facebook does. “As someone who really tries to live the most harm-reduced life possible, there’s this almost defeat I find when I think about using Facebook,” Alexx Duvall, a co-founder of “NYC Plant Friends Hangout,” told me over the phone. Even though the group, which plans real-life and virtual events for plant lovers, has an Instagram account and an email listserv, Duvall finds that the community it cultivates on Facebook is ultimately more active.’
June 3, 2022
[brand] Russell Brand’s latest addiction … Tanya Gold on Russell Brand. ‘At the end, when he has hugged everyone who waited, I listen to them praise him. “You can’t have control over what’s going on in the world, but you can have control over yourself,” says one. It’s a doctrine of renewal, but so atomised as to be meaningless. “He’s got that attention to the working class,” says another. “He is like us,” says the third, “a free thinker [who] cares about everyone in the world, not ground down by politicians and big corporate companies. He cares about individual people.” But does he? I think he is using them, and, worse, they let him. Brand is another symptom of our alienation: of the fracturing of the institutions that we need. We will see more, and different Brands in future, as the centre falls away. They will blow in on the wind. His doctrine of disengagement will change nothing for them.’
June 1, 2022
[life] Your Personality, Explained by Your Annoying Household Habits‘Soaking Dishes in the Sink – Your ability to make life more difficult is unmatchable. If an easy solution is available—and I mean a mind-numbingly obvious one—you decide that maybe the fix can’t be so simple and that you’d better let things marinate for a few days, at which point, yes, they’ve now become the nasty thing that you imagined, seeped in a rancid cesspool of indecision and procrastination (and, literally, rotting food).’
May 26, 2022
May 25, 2022
[media] Pop Culture Has Become an Oligopoly‘So why might people be more open to experiencing the same thing over and over again? As options multiply, choosing gets harder. You can’t possibly evaluate everything, so you start relying on cues like “this movie has Tom Hanks in it” or “I liked Red Dead Redemption, so I’ll probably like Red Dead Redemption II,” which makes you less and less likely to pick something unfamiliar.’
May 24, 2022
[moore] Alan Moore On ‘From Hell’ – Interviewed In 2002 … Future biographers of Moore, please take note of this quote: ‘I do get some funny phone calls. Nicolas Cage phoned me up a few times because he likes my stuff. He seems nice enough, but he phoned me once to ask for advice on his love life. It must be a lonely existence being a film star…’
May 23, 2022
[comics] Garth Ennis and Kevin O’Neill on Reviving the Infamous Kids Rule OK! for Battle Action Special … Wonderful interview, with lots of British 70s comics history from O’Neill. ‘I was often asked to change little small things in my artwork for ludicrous reasons later on. But the fallout from Action, which the Garth story is built around, was massive at the time because you cannot underestimate the power of the tabloid newspapers when they turned on comics. I believe Action was torn up on a BBC show called Nationwide with Frank Bough, who was disgraced years later for various misdemeanors, but he tore up a copy of Action on-screen as worthless trash. That was the atmosphere. I don’t think 2000 AD could have been canceled before it was launched because too much time and money had been spent developing it, but by God, it probably came close. And nobody knew what was happening.’
May 18, 2022
[web] I’m a fucking webmaster‘People would come to us with a problem, and we would figure out a solution. We couldn’t just search the web because the web was still being written. And you couldn’t just punt a hard question to the engineer in the desk next to you. Why? Because you were sitting alone in a utility closet packed with floppy disks and old tape drives.’
May 17, 2022
[covid] Michael Lewis: ‘We were incentivised to have a bad pandemic response’ … An update with Michael Lewis from last year about his latest book on Covid-19. ‘Each December, Dean would write her new year resolutions on the back of a photograph of her grandmother. On 20 December 2019, she wrote down two things. “1) Stay sober. 2) It has started.” She had a kind of sixth sense that the viral pandemic she had long been expecting had begun. By coincidence, and rather oddly, at about the same time, Lewis put forward the idea, in a conversation with the Observer, that the only thing that could wake America up to Donald Trump’s governmental negligence was a pandemic. He now plays down his clairvoyance, explaining that he gave that example simply because it was a situation that would affect everybody. “Rich white people would be scared too,” he says. In the event, many Americans followed Trump’s lead in denying the danger of Covid-19 and the virus has remained a highly divisive and contested subject. “If it had killed twice as many people and killed kids,” says Lewis, “you wouldn’t be seeing these revolts in Oklahoma. You’d be seeing the New Deal.”’