Oct 20
gifovea:

Hominid

Source: gifovea

chipsandbeermag:

Warning Signs of Satanic Behavior. Training video for police, 1990

Oct 19

The point of any art is to make you feel some irreducible, numinous, complicated emotion. The characters in a story are inconsequential, literally (Romeo and Juliet never lived, never died, and are less worthy of our sympathy and care than the bacterial culture in my yogurt this morning, because at least that was a real, living thing). Insofar as imaginary people matter, it’s because their made-up, not-real adventures make you feel those complicated and interesting emotions. But it’s a very roundabout way of getting people to feel stuff. Novels do it by tricking your limbic system into mistaking the adventures of not-real people for things happening to real people.

Games and comics do it differently — there’s some of that “caring about not-real people” stuff, but there’s also a lot more of the “here’s a visual image that, because of its own formal characteristics, its colors and composition, makes you feel a thing just by looking at it.” The relationship between words about made-up people and pictures is like the relationship between talk-therapy and SSRIs — the former is supposed to get your brain to generate interesting psychological effects, the latter just imposes the effects right on your brain by altering its chemical makeup.

Games have other mechanics, of course, that are inaccessible to comics. They make you physically engage with the art, using your body (or at least your fingers) to make the art-thing happen. I think that recruiting more senses and modes probably makes the effect more immediate and possibly more profound, inasmuch as there are more mechanisms at play with which to evoke that inchoate and irreducible etcetera. There’s just stuff that you probably can’t feel (or not as readily) by reading about stuff, that’s accessible when you’re moving your body. Psychologically, of course, but physiologically too: things that happen to your brain and your thought processes when you are directing movement, as opposed to when you’re imagining it.

Games also engage a different kind of puzzle-solving mental apparatus; Raph Koster calls games something like, “NP-hard problems that can only be solved through the iterative application of heuristics.” Which is fancy math talk, but it means that games are interesting in part because they present puzzles whose ideal solutions are indeterminate — for example, there are more possible games of chess than there are hydrogen atoms in the universe, so you can’t “solve” chess the way you can tic-tac-toe, by mapping out every possible chess game and ensuring that you always play towards a non-losing outcome.

Because you can’t solve these puzzles with pure logic, you have to apply heuristics — rules of thumb — that you develop through a combination of intuition and reasoned thinking, and that you refine by trying them and varying them, more or less systematically, in order to improve your performance in the game. This variation and retrying is what Koster means by “iteration.”

This has a lot in common with “reality.” There’s no optimal way to be alive and human in the world, no Plato’s Republic course of “right action” that will reliably produce a happy outcome for you. All you can do is try your best, developing theories of how to conduct your life and refining them as time goes by.

Games, then, are microcosmic versions of life. It’s not surprising that they engage our attention and our fascination, because the reason our ancestors survived to have the children that we became is that they were reasonably good at this process. When processes like this emerge, they give us both satisfaction from mastery, and an almost irresistible urge to play on. They’re rehearsal for the only “life skill” that matters — figuring out how to come up with rules of thumb for hard problems, and how to refine them or discard them if they don’t work.

Ink wash Xenomorphs

Ink wash Xenomorphs

asylum-art:

Sculptures-animation by Milos Rajkovic aka Sholim

Artist on Tumblr

Oct 18
He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.
Jean-Luc Godard
Oct 16
For the next week, Sandman Slim 1-5 and DEAD SET are on sale: $4.99 for trade PB and $2.99 for ebook.
http://www.harpercollins.com/backlistpromotion

For the next week, Sandman Slim 1-5 and DEAD SET are on sale: $4.99 for trade PB and $2.99 for ebook.

http://www.harpercollins.com/backlistpromotion

Oct 14

Dead Set: Richard Kadrey's young adult horror novel

mostlysignssomeportents:

image

Richard Kadrey’s brilliant young adult horror novel, in paperback just in time for All Hallow’s. From my original review:

Just in time for Hallowe’en, Richard “Sandman Slim" Kadrey’s publishers have released Dead Set, a young adult novel about a San Francisco teenager who ventures…

People talk about books that write themselves, and it’s a lie. Books don’t write themselves. It takes thought and research and backache and notes and more time and more work than you’d believe.
Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors (via maxkirin)
ianference:

It is truly a strange thing when a steam pipe bursts under an abandoned building in the dead of winter, but that’s exactly what happened under the Clinic Building at Greystone Park State Hospital in 2007, a month before the building was unceremoniously knocked down.  The steam congregated near the ceiling of the abandoned asylum infirmary, condensing on the pipes and dripping down in regular patterns - and creating these ice stalagmites.  An hour after taking this photograph, demolition workers came into the building and chased us through the tunnels; we had to hide in an attic in 0 degree weather for hours while cops searched for us.  The next time I drove out there, there was no trace that a building had ever stood in this spot.
Prints available here.

ianference:

It is truly a strange thing when a steam pipe bursts under an abandoned building in the dead of winter, but that’s exactly what happened under the Clinic Building at Greystone Park State Hospital in 2007, a month before the building was unceremoniously knocked down.  The steam congregated near the ceiling of the abandoned asylum infirmary, condensing on the pipes and dripping down in regular patterns - and creating these ice stalagmites.  An hour after taking this photograph, demolition workers came into the building and chased us through the tunnels; we had to hide in an attic in 0 degree weather for hours while cops searched for us.  The next time I drove out there, there was no trace that a building had ever stood in this spot.

Prints available here.

Source: ianference

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