The internet gives us so much, but with everything it gives, it takes something away (or gives us something we don’t want). Today I’m going to complain about the term on the internet I might hate the most, tl;dr (for those who don’t know it means: too long didn’t read). I have always been annoyed by this phrase, mostly because after I take a lot of time to collect thoughts and write something intelligent people will simply respond “tl;dr” as a way to tell me, “You talk too much, and I’m not going to be bothered to read what you wrote.” Sometimes tl;dr is used in a less toxic way. Sometimes people ask for a tl;dr version of things or sometimes people just offer it after a rant to summarize. Honestly I worry that people more and more are looking for tl;dr versions and that people’s attention spans are shrinking. We have to stop looking for shortcuts to everything, especially with information and knowledge. We have to stop reading headlines or thing that people send to us that sum up some small point. We have to actually read articles and we should probably read multiple ones if it’s about something we care about to make sure we clearly understand what’s going on. Many times people will tell me that they understand an issue or a fact fully, but after a brief conversation I realize many people only have the broad strokes, which is good for impressionist paintings, but not so good for knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, at times I’m guilty of this and I aim to be better at this. So let’s do it together.
It’s funny/sad because I thought about writing tl;dr for a few weeks now and I drew the cartoon above about a week ago (because I thought it was possible Trump might sign an Executive Order without reading and just getting a shortened version), and now there have been several news stories about how Trump is apparently angry because he wasn’t fully briefed about the Executive Order he signed did not know he promoted Steve Bannon to the National Security Council. Some people might blame his team, but why didn’t he just read it himself? So this may be an extreme example but it’s fitting. We must read, we must listen, and we can’t skip over the gruesome parts to get to stuff we like or perhaps those little details will start to take over. And those details, they often have the devil in them.
Please read above, it’s only 420 words
Pokémon Go launched earlier this week and already I am declaring it will end society, or save it. I don’t know yet but it’s definitely one or the other.
For those who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a new app which allows players to play a new Pokémon game on their phones. What’s different is that players now collect Pokémon out in the real world. In order to play, you have to actually get up and walk around town to find Pokémon, and go into stores to “buy” in game items. You could be walking down the street and through your phone see one of the 150 creatures standing in your neighborhood, and you can capture the virtual animal. This idea intrigues me. Players have to get up and explore their city, walk for miles to complete objectives, and get to meet others in the real world through special events. I’ll admit while I played the first Pokémon games, I really don’t keep up with the Pokémon series and didn’t think I’d download the app. But then it started breaking my idea of what a game could do in such a short time. Many of the great features are causing tons of problems around the world. People are starting to loiter and trespass on private property looking for Pokémon. A police station in Australia had to start warning citizens to stop trying to catch Sandshrews that are appearing in their offices. There was also the story about the person who went down to a river looking for water Pokémon, but instead she found a dead body. What? I have to download this game now!!! On my test drive, I didn’t find any dead bodies but I found myself wanting to wander down weird unfamiliar streets and for the first time in my life wanting to go to the Los Angeles River (which is basically a ditch). Many players are training while driving – in fact there are already reports of car crashes caused by players of the app. Guys, don’t Pokémon and drive!!! But also don’t be like the 26 year old in Massachusetts who caused a wreck because he stopped his car in the middle of the highway to catch a Pikachu. My advice, do what I did: toss your phone to your girlfriend in the passenger seat and say, “Hey baby, there’s a Cubone to the right of us can you catch it for me.”
It ended up getting away, I guess we can’t all be master trainers on the first day, at least she caught me that Graveler earlier.
See what I mean? It might break this world. I mean, police have started using the app just to know where people are flocking to in town. But, like I mentioned there are positives. People in LA are walking for once instead of driving. I discovered a new walking path, and in the right light, I guess the story of the 19 year old finding the dead body could be positive, maybe it helped solved a missing person case. These are stories all within four days of the app’s launch. I’m curious what the next stories will contain. In any case, stay safe trainers.
Go Team Blue!
I like making lists. I’m referring mostly to “best of” lists, but I think I even am starting to coming around to making “to-do” lists (In fact, making this cartoon was on my to-do list today… talk about meta). I have recently joined the social media app li.st co-created by B.J. Novak in which you… well make lists. You make them, you share them. Finally all those weird lists I make, like “Best Pranks from The Office” finally have a voice. I wonder how popular this app will get. On one hand, why would I care what stranger Jeremy in Kansas’s favorite topping are? (Do I even care what my friend Jeremy in NY’s favorite pizza topppings are? hmm… maybe.) On the other hand, people already like Buzzfeed and sometimes I look for best songs by “x” lists whenever I discover a new band and wonder what people like. (Note by “x” I just meant insert band name here, it was not a misspelling of dream pop band The xx, whose best song is “Basic Space“)
What’s interesting about li.st is that it is a creative social media in which people can be earnest about their feeling and create thought provoking ideas. People can create lists that help people find new art, movies, or games. But also people will use it to share things that are racist, sexist, or just plain uninteresting and pointless. Let’s hope that the former is the one that wins out in the end.
Marty McFly comes to the future in 11 days and while we’re not all zipping around in flying cars and lawyers haven’t been abolished there are some really interesting things I thought about while watching the film yesterday. Other than the fact that they were spot on with the prediction that Crispin Glover would be totally creepy in the future. Now I realize that I’m not the only person writing about this topic, especially with the Chicago Cubs currently in the MLB Playoff, the internet has been filled with articles like this, but hopefully you still find some entertainment in this article. Plus I’ll reference some other movies so you don’t get bored.
First off, okay I get it, so what. There have been other great predictions in films: 2001 A Space Odyssey invented tablets and Total Recall had driverless cars, but to be fair Total Recall also had that dumb window scenery channel which is a dumb prediction (side note: I know that the scenic station was also in Back to the Future 2 and it was dumb there too. Also if we discover that Kubrick was a time traveler who came back to make some of the most iconic films that wouldn’t surprise me either.) Look don’t get me wrong, other movies have gotten things right, but what’s amazing to me is how many of those things came true BECAUSE people liked the movies so much. I don’t think Lexus would be trying so hard to make hover boards a thing if it wasn’t for this movie. Nike released the iconic shoes from the movie and Pepsi is releasing those weird bottles from the movie. I also believe people are wishing extra hard that the Cubs win the World Series just to further cement the importance of this film. I know that it’s the only reasons I call people Lo-Bo and Zipheads.
Now let’s talk about some of the accuracies that I feel like most people miss. Let me preface by saying that I honestly believe the writers weren’t trying to accurately predict the future, and I’m sure some of the ideas were meant as a joke, but some things seem like fair predictions that they were making. In the film we see Marty talking to slick punk Needles over what is presumably a Skype like device on a flatscreen television. This combined with the kids using wearable electronics, and the big movies are all sequels in 3D and already we have some spot on accuracies to modern times. Back to the Future 2 also references doors that open with fingerprints, camera drones, and video games you play without your hands. Now you have to look abstractly on some of these. Sure they don’t look exactly like the products now a days but they function similar and seem like they are worth mentioning even if they aren’t exactly part of everyday life. Well, except for the fact I refuse to unlock my iPhone any way BUT with my fingerprint.
The weirdest and perhaps most accurate prediction isn’t actually part of the 2015 portion of film, but rather in the alternate 1985 timeline. In this part of the motion picture Biff has gotten a hold of the Sports Almanac and has become a powerful billionaire. Not only that but Biff owns his own hotel/casino with his name on it, but he also has a terrible hairdo that is even more eerily similar than some 3D shark. Let’s put it this way. I hope some of Back to the Future’s predictions are correct, but there are some that I hope are completely wrong. And I’m not talking about the television windows.