The Uncensored Library #

In many countries, websites, social media and blogs are controlled by oppressive leaders. Young people, in particular, are forced to grow up in systems where their opinion is heavily manipulated by governmental disinformation campaigns.

But even where almost all media is blocked or controlled, the world’s most successful computer game is still accessible. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) uses this loophole to bypass internet censorship to bring back the truth – within Minecraft.

Via Rock Paper Shotgun.

Peaceful Walking Tour of The Division’s New York City #

A short film discussing some of the city’s history, architecture and politics.

Our first stop on our tour: The Projects, a residential settlement built between 1943 and 1945. An important figure in 20th century urban planning, Le Corbusier was a revolutionary architect. His vision: Old structures need to be replaced. His plan: Greatly destroy New York, and rebuilt it, according to his, “Great Vision.”

Oh. Just ignore the bullets, and, keep going. Listen to Django Reinhardt’s version of You’re Driving Me Crazy.

One point of criticism of the UN building is that the defining shape is the Secretariat — the big monolith — and not the assembly hall, seeming to indicate that administration dominates, rather than international understanding.

The Final Frontier #

Michael Chabon, Picard Star Trek series writer, in a New Yorker personal history piece about his father:

The episode rises above the banality of a premise as old as Grendel, and some creature effects that are truly risible—even to a ten-year-old in 1973, the homicidal Horta looked like an ambulatory slice of Stouffer’s French-bread pizza—by making an honest effort to imagine nonorganic life and then, in the characteristic turn that gives the “Star Trek” franchise its enduring beauty and power, by insisting that fear and prejudice were no match for curiosity and an open mind, that where there was consciousness there could be communication, and that even a rock, if sentient, had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Lego International Space Station #

The orbiting laboratory, which for almost 20 years has hosted a continuous human presence in Earth orbit, is being released by LEGO as a toy model. The 864-piece set shrinks the football-field-long space station to the size of desktop display, while still preserving details such as its rotating solar arrays and robotic arm.

Manually Cleaning Boeing 737 Windshield in Flight #

The crew went around, climbed to 8500 feet, depressurized the aircraft, opened the cockpit side window and cleaned the windscreen by hand. The same happened on second approach to Dire Dawa. The crew again climbed to 8500 feet, cleaned the windscreen by hand again and diverted to Addis Ababa.

Quindar Tones #

The beeps you hear in NASA communications such as Apollo 11.

Greta Thunberg: Time’s 2019 Person of the Year #

Greta won’t care, but dictators and wannabe dictators around the world will be upset.

Ad Astra #

David Ehrlich writing about James Gray’s new film, Ad Astra:

In “Ad Astra,” strength isn’t the opposite of weakness — strength is the acceptance of weakness. It’s easier to build a wall than it is to construct a bridge, but only the latter will ever get you anywhere. Gray took that idea and expanded it into a vaguely Oedipal space-age myth about the fait accompli of a man becoming his own father, and the heroism required to set coordinates for a new destination.

It is a moving film, with understated music and wonderful cinematography, starring Brad Pitt in top form as a cool-headed astronaut.

I liked it better than Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

    o´   `o

Dawn Ride

Riding at the break of dawn with my Red Dead Redemption avatar, Joan Rambo. ¶ She has a revolver and a rifle, but thanks to the graphics, animations and sound quality, spends most of her time slowly riding her horse, listening to the wild.

    o´   `o
Death Stranding Communication #

Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid’s creator, speaking to the Washington Post about his new game, Death Stranding:

20 years ago when I wrote Metal Gear Solid, the Internet wasn’t in full bloom. Back then, I was just predicting what the negative consequences of the Internet could be.

Today, we’re so close together on social media. It’s 24 hours a day, in real time. It may be too close. We’re so close on social media nowadays that people are wearing a mask, saying whatever they want. Because we’ve become so close, people are saying negative things easily. We communicate without considering others, and a lot of that has to do with new technology.

The original meaning of communication is to care and feel for others. Technology and the Internet has sort of carried us in the wrong direction. So in “Death Stranding,” with the indirect connections that the player has, I want people to rethink what communication — and to think about others — is.

But I don’t want the players to just feel like, “Oh, that was fun.” I want them to feel something more, because I feel obliged to do so since I’m taking up so much of their time. So what they learn and feel in the game world, I want them to use in the real world as well.

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