linkmachinego.com
July 5, 2019
[tech] How to speak Silicon Valley: 53 essential tech-bro terms explained‘Revolutionize (v) – To change something that does not need to be changed in order to charge money for its replacement.’
July 4, 2019
[life] Why Are Octopuses So Smart?‘Losing their shells also made the cephalopods exquisitely vulnerable. One scientist described their soft, unprotected bodies as the equivalent of “rump steak, swimming around.” The rest of the ocean seemingly agrees: Almost every major group of predators eats cephalopods, including dolphins, seals, fish, seabirds, and even other cephalopods. This gauntlet of threats might have fueled the evolution of the cephalopods’ amazing color-changing skin, their short lifespans, and their large brains.’
July 3, 2019
[comics] Made In The USA report: Fantagraphics Comics … The BBC’s Made in the USA visits Fantagraphics in 1992 and meets Peter Bagge, Roberta Gregory, Dennis Eichhorn & others. [via Comics Reporter]

July 2, 2019
[books] Occult Connections: The Strange Case of Ian Fleming, World War II, and Aleister Crowley … A fascinating conspiracy theory that reads like a chapter of Moore and O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. ‘[Rudolf] Hess took off in an airplane at 17:45 on May 10, 1941. His intended target was the Duke of Hamilton, whom Hess incorrectly believed was opposed to British involvement in the war. Captured by a Home Guard unit near Eaglesham, Hess was soon made a prisoner of war and was interrogated for further information about his failed mission. At this point, Lieutenant Commander Fleming and the spymaster Maxwell Knight, who is reportedly the inspiration for M in Fleming’s later novels, supposedly concocted a plan that would involve Crowley as an interrogator. Fleming and Knight believed that Crowley could easily exploit Hess’s interest in the occult for Great Britain’s advantage. The plan is believed to have been scrapped by higher ups, but that doesn’t mean that Crowley and Hess did not cross paths. Rumor has it that Crowley, who was known for cooking his guests spicy curries laced with drugs, was the cook responsible for Hess’s many food complaints while under captivity in Scotland.’
July 1, 2019
[tv] Streaming TV is about to get very expensive – here’s why … Stuart Heritage on trends in streaming TV. ‘Netflix didn’t become a monster because people wanted to watch a specific show; it became a monster because people wanted to watch everything. When its streaming platform launched, people were spending more than £15 just to watch a single season of a show on DVD. So to be able to watch every season of a show – and every season of hundreds of others of shows – for a fiver a month was revolutionary. The whole point of Netflix was that it was a relatively affordable bucket that contained an awful lot of television. That’s why people liked it. That’s why so many people subscribed and continue to subscribe. To pretend otherwise is to miss the point. That will be a memory soon. The Netflix model was great for viewers, but it couldn’t last…’
June 28, 2019
[shining] Screenwriter Todd Alcott’s Analysis of the Shining Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

…this is why, I think, Jack is shown writing when he really should be murdering — because Kubrick had an idea for a great scene, one of the greatest in horror-movie history, where Wendy finds Jack’s “work” and discovers that it’s complete gibberish. Actually, it’s worse than complete gibberish, because complete gibberish could still be published. Rather, it’s the work of an obsessive-compulsive maniac. (Nicholson, who had just won an Oscar for playing crazy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, would later go on to play an OCD guy in As Good As It Gets.) This is brilliant stuff, and, again, dramatizes the essentially psychological nature of the horror in The Shining — the really scary stuff is going on in Jack’s mind, not in the corridors of the Overlook.

(One of my favorite factoids regarding the movie is that Kubrick didn’t just have a ream of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed up, no — he had reams and reams typed up, in different languages, one for every major territory the movie would play in — Spanish, Italian, French, German, etc., all with a regional phrase specific to the territory. Production Assistant on a Kubrick movie must have been the worst job available in show business.)

June 27, 2019
[comics] How ‘This is Fine’ Dog Creator KC Green Made Money From Meme … How a comic creator made lemonade when one of his creations became a popular meme. ‘But most of all, Green has stolen from the people who stole from him. “I can write to Redbubble, or Etsy, or any other place, to ask them to take something down, but I think the best way to try and take it back yourself is to steal other people’s ideas,” he says with a laugh. “Like, Oh, they wanted a tote bag with this on it? Then I’ll make a tote bag with that on it. I’ll stop them. Like, they want a shirt print with just the two panels on it, so they go to Etsy to make a dumb version of the print. Then here” — that is, on his site and on his store at creator-friendly merch site TopatoCo — “we offer a print with just the two panels, or we offer a shirt with just the two panels, because that’s all people fucking want.” Turnabout’s fair play, after all.’
June 26, 2019
[comics] The story of Mad Love’s AARGH! (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) anthology comic‘Alan Moore half-jokingly told a college classroom in Northampton that because he “had access to a lot of famous comic book people [he] could . . . morally blackmail most of them” into contributing something to an anthology. The artists and writers who contributed were myriad, including, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar, Howard Cruse, Dave Sim, Robert Crumb, Mark Buckingham, Dave McKean, David Lloyd, Dave Gibbons, and many, many more. The pieces range from comic strips to bizarre dreams illustrated, from poetry to rhyming couplets of verse mimicking the cautionary tales for children popular in the late 19th century, and countless more forms of art and prose.’
June 25, 2019
[tv] The Max Headroom TV Series was really on point about the future back in 1987… ‘Adults, kids, everyone addicted to their screens.’

June 24, 2019
[comics] Wallace Wood’s Official Shit List … File under Ancient Comics Gossip. ‘Rick Stoner, who visited Wood’s home in Derby, Connecticut, on the 14th and 15th of April 1978 then went with him to Niagara Falls on the 16th, would give no clues. “I won’t name any names from this list of about twenty or so,” he wrote in his article Remembering Wally Wood, printed in issue 11 of The Journal of Madness in June 2001, “I’m just glad I wasn’t on that one”. Thankfully for us, Stoner took plenty of photographs of Wood’s home on Saturday the 15th April 1978, some of which were reprinted in that same issue of The Journal of Madness, and one of them features a very clear shot of Wood’s Official Shit List. Twenty-one names of important and well-respected members of the comics industry…’
June 21, 2019
[distractions] How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks‘Sometimes they accused demons of making their minds wander. Sometimes they blamed the body’s base instincts. But the mind was the root problem: it is an inherently jumpy thing. John Cassian, whose thoughts about thinking influenced centuries of monks, knew this problem all too well. He complained that the mind ‘seems driven by random incursions’. It ‘wanders around like it were drunk’. It would think about something else while it prayed and sang. It would meander into its future plans or past regrets in the middle of its reading. It couldn’t even stay focused on its own entertainment – let alone the difficult ideas that called for serious concentration. That was in the late 420s…’
June 20, 2019
[aircrash] Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Where Is It? … William Langewiesche on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. ‘By the time the airplane dropped from the view of secondary—transponder-enhanced—radar, it is likely, given the implausibility of two pilots acting in concert, that one of them was incapacitated or dead, or had been locked out of the cockpit. Primary-radar records—both military and civilian—later indicated that whoever was flying MH370 must have switched off the autopilot, because the turn the airplane then made to the southwest was so tight that it had to have been flown by hand. Circumstances suggest that whoever was at the controls deliberately depressurized the airplane. At about the same time, much if not all of the electrical system was deliberately shut down. The reasons for that shutdown are not known. But one of its effects was to temporarily sever the satellite link.’
June 19, 2019
[twitter] Cold War Steve: satire is my antidote to a scary world… Profile of the Twitter artist and satirist. ‘Over the years, depression and alcoholism took a hold, and in 2016 he had a “complete breakdown” and attempted suicide. After a period in hospital, he began to make collages on his phone and sharing them on Twitter. “It was a coping mechanism. If I was creating things, I could focus my mind on that rather than crashing anxiety attacks.” Cold War Steve – a series of images of Phil Mitchell/Steve McFadden superimposed into cold war scenes – “definitely helped my recovery”. He has not touched alcohol for more than three years.’
June 18, 2019
[comics] The Bristol Board’s Forgotten Comics Masterpieces … The Bristol Board has a huge list of brilliant over-looked comics. Below, Harvey Kurtzman’s Big If from 1952.

June 17, 2019
[lost] What Lost Treasure Would You Most Like to Find?‘The original high-resolution recordings of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. The footage of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the lunar surface is effectively a kinescope recording—made via a camera pointed at a video screen. NASA’s tapes of the original transmissions were likely erased and reused in the 1980s. Only a few people in July 1969 have ever seen the historic moonwalk in its full resolution.’
June 14, 2019
[tech] What It’s Like to Work on a 30-Year-Old Macintosh … Ian Bogost on the joy of using old Tech. ‘On my modern MacBook Pro, a million things are happening at once. Mail retrieves email, sounding regular dings as it arrives. Dispatches fire off, too, in Messages, in Skype, in Slack. Attention-seeking ads flash in the background of web pages, while nagging reminders of Microsoft Office updates bounce in the dock. News notifications spurt out from the screen’s edge, along with every other manner of notices about what’s happening on and off the machine. Computing is a Times Square of urge and stimulus. By contrast, the Macintosh SE just can’t do much. It boots to a simple file manager, where I face but a few windows and menu options. I can manage files, configure the interface, or run programs. It feels quiet here, despite the whirring noise.’
June 13, 2019
[truecrime] The Queasy Verdict of ‘The Staircase’ … A spoiler filled analysis of the true-crime series The Staircase. ‘The series is clear about how much of a problem the eccentric, bisexual, erudite Peterson is for the jurors. The Staircase isn’t interested in theorizing who actually killed Kathleen (and includes only one offhand reference to the actually quite credible theory that an owl did) because its focus isn’t solving a mystery. It’s illuminating how flawed and naïve the concept of blind justice is. The jurors in Peterson’s case can no more put away their own preconceptions than they can realistically isolate themselves from TV news and the firestorm surrounding the case.’
June 12, 2019
[web] Screenshots of Despair … a amusing Tumblr capturing some Herzogian computer messages.

June 11, 2019
[crime] The bizarre world of the true crime YouTube influencers‘It’s hard to explain the current trend towards lifestyle/true crime crossovers without acknowledging a disconcerting fact; that what seems at surface level to be a wild mismatch, has a perfectly sound internal logic lurking under the surface. Both rely on the marketing of a product in a wildly oversaturated marketplace. The required skills are readily interchangeable: a ‘relatable’ manner, the ability to spin a compelling yarn and an on-the-nose sincerity. And, most importantly, the savviness to seize an opportunity. And while the traditional avenues of online lifestyle revenue begin to shift and change, crime remains conventionally big traffic business. ‘
June 7, 2019
[comics] Gaiman & Buckingham Have Worked On New Miracleman Stories … Neil Gaiman updates on progress with publishing the final books of his Miracleman stories. ‘CBR spoke with Gaiman as part of the writer’s press tour for his new Amazon TV series Good Omens, and when asked about the status of the groundbreaking superhero series he and Buckingham inherited from Alan Moore nearly 20 years ago, Gaiman cautiously explained that all hurdles seem to be clear. In fact, the pair have in fact begun creating new Miracleman stories.’
June 6, 2019
[tv] Toast star Matt Berry: ‘Nobody wants to hear about my psychic wound’ … Profiling Matt Berry and his new TV show Year of the Rabbit. ‘One lovely moment has Rabbit explaining his beat. “This city is a rat eating its own babies, babies made of shit, and once it eats its own shit babies, it shits them out again, and then it noshes them, and that goes on and on until the sun turns cold and the sea goes back into the sky.” Which is of course exactly the sort of briefing Met boss Cressida Dick wishes she could make. Year of the Rabbit could be the unexpected comedy delight of 2019. Equally welcome news is the fact that Berry is planning a fourth series of Toast of London…’
June 5, 2019
[books] Since so many of you asked, I’m the guy who’s spent the last 6 years reading NOTHING but science fiction. Here’s my top 15 list‘The Forever War (Joe Haldeman) – I believe this was the first military sci-fi book I read. I didn’t know much about military sci-fi and was doubtful that I would like it, especially since it sounded like a parallel of the Vietnam War. Again, dead wrong. This book has a lot to say, and it says it extremely eloquently. Humanity is in an interstellar war against the Taurens, and the soldiers who visit home (because of time dilation) visit after huge periods of time, so it’s a good take on where humanity will be in 500, 1000, and 10000 years from now. Again, this one was hard to put down.’
June 4, 2019
[tech] Science less than a decade away from fully operational printer‘Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: “If printer design continues to advance at the current rate, it’s likely we’ll see a machine that isn’t fundamentally incompatible with plain white A4 paper by the year 2029. “Then we’re just a few years away from something that isn’t a shit-sucking bastard fucker with the sheer brass balls to describe itself as a printer.”’
June 3, 2019
[books] James Ellroy says film adaptation of LA Confidential was ‘as deep as a tortilla’“Whether you like it or not, I live in the past,” he said. As far as he was concerned, history ended – as did his 2009 book Blood’s a Rover – in May 1972. He was only interested in what came before. “That is the period of my emotional and intellectual curiosity. Nothing after May of 72 vibrates my vindaloo.” He said he had always been the same. “In 1956, when I was eight years old, I alerted my mother to the fact that I believed that world war two was still going on.” It ended before he was born, she replied. “I didn’t believe her then, I don’t believe her now.”
May 31, 2019
[pizza] I Staked Out My Local Domino’s to See Just How Accurate Its Pizza Tracker Is … Some quality journalism on an important issue. ‘7:08 p.m. — “PERFECTION CHECK COMPLETE” No, there’s no perfection check. You just put it in the oven ONE MINUTE AGO!!! 7:12 p.m. — The Domino’s Employees Grow Suspicious of Me…’
May 30, 2019
[tech] What I Learned Trying To Secure Congressional Campaigns … Maciej Cegłowski looks at how to improve tech security on high-risk political campaigns. ‘We told people to use Signal, iPhones/iPads, Google docs, and to buy the blue Yubikey. If any of that posed a problem, we found other products to recommend. The goal was not to score those sweet affilliate sales, but to remove decision points and cognitive overhead by standardizing on a known good set of products.’
May 29, 2019
[comics] Universe B – The Unpublished Grant Morrison … a comprehensive list of Grant Morrison’s unstarted and unfinished projects. ‘SICK BUILDINGS (1989) – A forthcoming graphic novel mentioned in the author bio in Arkham Asylum, Sick Buldings was a Situationist prank, a story that not only was never published but never existed, and was never intended to exist, in the first place.’
May 28, 2019
[last] Experience: I manage the last Blockbuster in the world… A poignent check-in with the last Blockbuster video rental store in the world. ‘The final store closures happened so fast. At the end of 2017, there were seven Blockbusters left in the US, but by early 2019 it was just us and one other store in Perth, Australia, in the world. When they closed in March it was bittersweet. We were happy to be the last store, but sad that we were one step closer to Blockbuster ceasing to exist. They called us from Australia on their last night and wished us all the best. That was very sweet. Since then, things have been crazy. The local community has been incredibly supportive, and people have come from all over the world to rent movies: we’ve set up close to 5,000 new memberships…’
May 24, 2019
[internet] Why People Fake Cancer Online … A look at why people fake illness on the Internet. ‘This condition of faking illness online has a name: “Munchausen by internet,” or MBI. It’s a form of factitious disorder, the mental disorder formerly known as Munchausen syndrome, in which people feign illness or actually make themselves sick for sympathy and attention. According to Marc Feldman, the psychiatrist at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa who coined the term MBI back in 2000, people with the condition are often motivated to lie by a need to control the reactions of others, particularly if they feel out of control in their own lives. He believes that the veil of the internet makes MBI much more common among Americans than the 1 percent in hospitals who are estimated to have factitious disorder.’
May 23, 2019
[movies] Burning desire: John Wick and the undying appeal of the revenge thriller‘Though John Wick primarily attracts audiences for its simplicity of gun-fu action ecstasy, the film-makers clearly have more universal existential ideas on their mind. Sure, John Wick as played by Keanu Reeves is an ex-assassin left broken by his wife’s death and only capable of exorcising his pain through mass murder and vengeance. But he’s also an individual trapped in the system that created him, desperate to live freely and “retired” on his own terms, without the need to kill again.’