Links: Blade Runner 2049, Nostalgia as External Memory, The Zuck-Mag, Arab Typography on Viking Clothes

🤖 The Real and Unreal in Blade Runner 2049: The film wrestles with ideas of artificial consciousness in exciting new ways while still paying homage to Ridley Scott’s classic. This story contains spoilers for Blade Runner 2049.

🤖 Blade Runner 2049 and the Role of Joi in a Joyless World: This article contains major Blade Runner 2049 spoilers. Rain flashes across her luminous face with the kind of relentless oppression only reserved for noir and the sci-fi films that appropriate its nihilism.

🤖 Blade Runner 2049: But to me the more profound suspicion at the core of his work concerns not the world at large but rather the inner self. The soul of his work is the sense that there is no soul. The greatest illusion of all is the self and it is out of this miasma of mirages that all other delusions flow.

🤖 Psychology and behaviorism in *Blade Runner 2049*: From my email, by Jason N. Doctor: 2) On the door to his apartment, some graffiti reads “F*** off Skinner”.  This seems odd in its prominence.  B.F. Skinner developed, to an extreme, John Watson’s radical suggestion that behavior does not have mental states.

☝️ External Memory — Real Life: In 2010, the internet discovered Space Jam, although you could also say it was Space Jam that had earlier discovered the internet. Released in 1996, the film boasted one of the first movie marketing websites, and perhaps the first to actually take advantage of the technology of the web.

😱 Peak Zuckerberg: There’s a new digital magazine coming that only analyzes photos of Mark Zuckerberg: When Tim Hwang first came up with the idea for a Mark Zuckerberg-inspired digital magazine, he thought it was pretty funny.

🤔 The Spirit of Centrism: Centrism is a decidedly wimpy word, but it is a powerful political idea. Over the last few weeks, many commentators and critics have compelled me to contemplate centrism more carefully.

😯 ‘Allah’ Is Found on Viking Funeral Clothes: ENKOPING, Sweden — The discovery of Arabic characters that spell “Allah” and “Ali” on Viking funeral costumes in boat graves in Sweden has raised questions about the influence of Islam in Scandinavia.

💧 The great thaw of America’s north is coming: Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost.

📖 Rushdie’s New York Bubble: Whether by design, chance, or oracular divination, Salman Rushdie has managed, within a year of the 2016 election, to publish the first novel of the Trumpian Era.

🤔 Were There Dark Ages? & Highlights from the Comments on Dark Ages: I worry that as usual, this corrective to an overblown narrative of darkness has itself been overblown. People are now talking about how you’re a gullible rube if you still believe in a so-called “Dark Age”, and how all the real intellectuals know that this was a time of flourishing civilization every bit as good as the Romans or the Renaissance.
Bulls**t. The period from about 500 to about 1000 in Christian Western Europe was marked by profound economic and intellectual decline and stagnation relative to the periods that came before and after it. This is incompatible with the “no such thing as the Dark Ages” claim except by a bunch of tortured logic, isolated demands for rigor, and historical ignorance.