FROM THE ARCHIVE: Derek Miller is dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that—because Miller himself told us. His final words, uploaded posthumously by a close friend on May 4, 2011, were both pithy and poignant: “Here it is. I’m dead, and this is the last post to my blog.” He was 41.
Whether in sci-fi television shows, novels, or films, the manner in which we travel from one place to another seems to epitomize technological innovation. From jet packs to spaceships, no futuristic vision is complete without a unique mode of transport.
Bread. Cabbage. Dough. Green. Moolah. Scratch. Call it what you will—it makes the world go round. But the day is rapidly nearing when consumers need never get their hands sullied by filthy lucre again—mostly because they will never see it.
Have and have-not: in the post-industrial age, the border between the two will not be defined by wealth or bloodline, but by education—by what initials you’re entitled to put behind your name, and what income you’re able to extract from them.
When Josh Holmes closes his eyes, he sees other worlds and the alien beings that populate them. “I dream Halo right now,” he admits. It’s to be expected, given that he’s spent the last four years thinking about and playing Halo 4, the video game he helped create.
It was all such a noble idea: the ability to talk to, learn from, and work with people from all over the world. The liberty to exchange opinions, to explore bold new ideas. But in practice, the freedom offered by the Internet has proven to be something of a double-edged sword.
Confession time: when was the last time you actually paid for music? As in, visited a record store (either bricks-and-mortar or virtual) and anted up for the latest and/or greatest from Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Ladytron, or whoever sits at the top of your favourite playlist. Been a while? You’re not alone.
A wide cesspool, the flotsam and jetsam of a thousand cities half-submerged in its moss-green water. Garbage piled in haphazard heaps. Fires belching acrid, jet-black smoke into the pale blue sky. A mob of grubby, half-dressed children poking a burning pile of plastic with charred sticks. All that’s missing are the Four Horsemen.
The anything-goes scripto-anarchy of online culture has made electronic censorship a rather elusive goal. Short of pulling the plug on the entire Internet (and accepting the resultant economic consequences), it’s difficult for state-controlled agencies to monitor an ever-increasing mountain of user-generated blogs, articles, video, comments, and tweets. As fast as it’s taken down, it goes right back up.