Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tv Series: The Game

Over a year ago, I wrote about the gamechanger. It was the first part of a series of posts of me explaining my views on tv series theory, which I came up with without any prior knowledge of existing theory. Today, I'm finally writing the second part of that series. To recap the previous installment, a gamechanger is when something happens in a tv series that changes it entirely. A good example would be how in the beginning of Voyager's season 4, Kes left and was replaced by Seven of Nine. Today, I am going to discuss another piece of theory I came up with.

The very existence of a gamechanger suggests that there is a game. The game is what I am going to talk about today. I should add that I don't completely know what the game looks like. However, I would like to share my current view of things.

Basically, the game is a collection of properties that hold for the entire series (or at least part of it, as we know that gamechangers may change the game). It is, in a way, the context in which episodes are written. It's the things we know about a series.

I don't exactly know what the game consists of just yet, but there will be a number of things. Examples of things that will likely be part of the game are the goal or drive and the obstacle. The goal of a show is what the characters are trying to achieve and thus what keeps the show moving. The obstacle is the thing that makes sure the characters don't simply achieve their goal and end the series.

One thing I am pretty sure of is part of the game is the group of characters, from recurring upwards. I'll call them the "Family" and I'll leave the discussion of the family for my next topic on tv series theory.

It is an important thing to be noted that the game can change without a gamechanger. As mentioned in the gamechanger piece, there are also gradual changes. However, a change that is in fact minor, isn't a gamechanger either, even when it is sudden. An example would be when a recurring is introduced, which changes the family and thus the game, but may have so little influence on the show that it can't be called a gamechanger.

That's it for today. See you around!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Copyright Debate

Today, I read up for a bit on how the case of MegaUpload was going. As it turns out, they are working on a new service to be released a year after MegaUpload being taken offline. The few details disclosed about the new service are a good example of one of the points in the copyright debate. It inspired me to do a piece on the whole debate.

Basically, the copyright debate takes place in two areas. There's the practical area and the ideological one. I'll start with the practical part because, well, it's more practical.

The whole piracy play is a cat and mouse game. Once a certain way of piracy gets closed down, piracy evolves to its next form that isn't blocked. This effect can be seen when looking at the history of file sharing, like when you look at the stories of Napster and Kazaa.
However, it can also be seen in more recent developments. When The Pirate Bay was facing legal consequences in a number of countries, it started adopting a new technique (magnet links) through which the legal processes against them would become invalid. When you release a new sophisticated form of DRM, it may take a couple of days longer before it has been cracked. And now there's the new mega site is planning to use a technique that makes them unaware of the content of what is uploaded to them, making sure they can't be held responsible for ignoring illegal content on their network. Basically, the copyright industry will never be able to catch up with the pirates.

The proponents of the copyright system as it is right now are eager to come up with a way to more fundamentally tackle the problem. That's basically what the proposals like SOPA and PIPA were all about. They were meant to give more powerful tools to the copyright owners to shut down piracy and also defined piracy in terms very loose as to also encapsulate future forms.
However, there are some serious problems with it. The problems specific to systems mentioned above is that they put amazing amounts of power into the hands of the copyright owners, had systems in which the mere allegation of copyright infringement would be punished very harshly without substantial evidence or the possibility of a defense and finally that it held websites fully responsible for anything posted by users, meaning that it would have become impossible to have user contributions that aren't all moderated by hand before publicizing them.

However, there is a more substantial problem with the whole idea of tackling the copyright defense in any fundamental way that circumvents the whole cat and mouse game. Basically, it's about how bits and bytes don't have a meaning all by them selves. This is what the new mega site is such a good example of. Basically, what it does is that you will create a key and encrypt the data you upload to them with it. As such, the data stored by Mega does not have a meaning without the key. Neither does the key have a meaning without the data. However, a user receiving the key and the data through separate channels will be able to decrypt the data and assign a meaning to it again. In this example, never did any one service ever share copyrighted data and yet the data came from one person and ended up at another person.

This is basically the big problem. The lesser version of this problem is that you would have to inspect everything a user does - like reading personal mails - in order to make sure he doesn't send copyrighted materials. And the bigger version is that even then you can never reliably check what is copyrighted material and what is not as shown with the Mega system. The only thing one could do is put systems in place that invade our privacy by checking everything we do and at the same time taking down any websites that might facilitate piracy, which is nothing short of a full-fledged censorship system.

If there are so many practical problems with copyright then you might wonder why it is defended so doggedly. And that's when you come to the ideological part of the debate. Often copyright is taken for granted, but in fact it's very much a artificial construct. Something made by man that should not be taken at face value but instead carefully inspected for its advantages and disadvantages.

Looking at the history of copyright we'll actually see that it is an ancient system created in England centuries ago and having undergone many revisions since. What also springs out is that from the very start it was mostly used to the profit of not those who made the copyrighted material but those who distributed it. That's also who currently profit from it right now, the big music and video companies. The fact that those companies have insane amounts of money is not only a testimony to the unnatural distribution of money the copyright laws cause, but also something that greatly eschews the entire debate, as much of it is fought in courtrooms and through lobbying.


When we look at the arguments against the current copyright system you'll quickly stumble upon the one about shoulders of giants. We stand on those shoulders when doing just about anything. When the field of physics is advanced through new theories, for example, we build upon what previous physicists have done, perhaps most notably Newton and Einstein. This goes for the creation of culture as well. For example, story telling is just about never done without drawing inspiration from other works. Oftentimes, authors state their sources of inspiration or their "influences". Other times, trhe story is even stated to be a retelling of another story. Notable examples include the way the Grimm brothers became the authority on folk tales by publishing them and the Walt Disney becoming big by making films out of fairy tales. Copyright is a construct that limits us in basing our work off of other works and thus can be said to have a negative effect on the development of our cultural heritage.

We have to look a little harder to find the arguments defending the copyright system. This is because it is so often taken for granted and the battle is often fought through implications rather than arguments. There's always the ads we have been given over the past decade or so that say piracy is equal to stealing, but there isn't any argument to be found in that. This is because these ads do not try to substantiate that claim in any way and instead work by trying to instill a sense of right and wrong in people based on emotional value. On top of that, this argument usually completely skips the distinction between software and a car, which is the same as the reason why one is shared through piracy and the other isn't: software can be copied with barely any cost to it, while a car can't be.

The one argument that does sometimes come up is what we stand to lose by abolishing copyright. And there is most definitely some truth to this. There is little doubt about it that some artists would disappear in a world without copyright. However, this can be countered by the sentiment that music or art or writing as a whole won't and other artists that won't show up on people's radars in the current system would be able to flourish in a copyrightless system. In fact, the way some artists are already coping with the fact that piracy is so common these days proves that there are profitable models for - for example - making music in a world without copyright.
Once again, there is no doubt that the current situation would change radically. One example I think it often left out of this debate is the one of single player computer games. It's pretty clear that the landscape of single player games would radically change if there wasn't copyright to protect it. Big companies making lots of money off games created by large teams define what is possible in those realms and those seem likely to be hurt the worst by such a change. The argument goes, though, that we shouldn't judge the current system to be better than the one that we would end up with if copyright is abolished.
The things that we know up front are that the fields where copyright currently exists wouldn't disappear if there no longer were such a thing as copyright and that it is quite probable that distributors won't be making quite as much money. Unless you are in the distribution business, neither of those sounds like a bad thing.

That's the copyright discussion as far as I know it. I have tried to give a good and objective perspective on this all, but I have probably failed considerable since I am a human and I do have an opinion on the matter. I also might be unaware of some of the arguments in this discussion. However, I do think it's a decent overview, even if a bit tainted by my personal view of the matter.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Internet Generation

Every title has its stories. The most important story is often the one that follows it, but for this one I also want to give the hi-story. (Sorry for the bad pun.)

This title started off as a comment on facebook. It was formatted for that medium (it had only a single capital letter, and it had a smiley trailing it). I meant it as a funny comment relating to the fact that someone had made a note about having (better) internet access, but it also got me thinking. And that thinking is what this blogpost stems from. As such, it's going to be the more serious discussion of the title.

So.. the internet generation. It's the generation I believe I am a part of. It's the generation that grew up with the internet. Well, that's not entirely true. There may be many more generations (it depends a bit on how long the internet is going to live (which is looking like a very long time right now) and what direction the internet is going to take from where it is now), but I still believe that we are the internet generation. That's because we are the first generation that grew up with the internet.

Defining a generation is never an exact science and even the question "how old can you be while still having grown up with the internet" can lead to many different answers. Nevertheless, there is clearly one thing that defines a generation: the differences between it and the generation that went before it. That's why I say the first generation that grew up with the internet is the internet generation.
(And perhaps it should be interpreted as "the people who grew up with the internet while their parents did not".)

Of course there is more to it than just that. We are also the first to massively adopt things like wikipedia, despite the early claims of it not being very factual. We are also a generation of which the larger part is on facebook. (Well, in the West anyway, but I suppose we were talking about the West anyway.) We are also the first generation to have gotten used to having the internet in our pocket through our smartphones. And we are also the generation that hates not to have the internet at our finger tops (or even just a little less at our fingertops than usual).

There is a number of properties we can ascribe to our generation (again, compared to the previous generations, future generations may well follow in our footsteps in a number of those). One of the most interesting of those properties - in my eyes anyway - would be how we handle information. We are very good scanning and picking out the useful bits of information, as we do whenever we arrive on a website. We are also very good at separating what we are looking for from distractions (well, some anyway) as we read completely around advertisement (the ones that aren't annoying anyway) and barely even notice they are there. And like no other, we can look at a summary like the ones on Google and decide if this is what we are looking for or not.

Another property would be how we handle multitasking. I don't exactly know how much better humans are at "actual multitasking" (doing different things at exactly the same time), but wouldn't be surprised if we aren't able to do that or do it much. However, there is still the fact where fact that we can do different things at the same time by actually just switching between them quickly, which I think we as a generation are pretty good at (and which computers are way better at, even). However, I that's not where we make the big difference in my opinion. The real difference is how we can switch between things consciously almost effortlessly. Tabbed browsing is a good example of this, and not being able to do multiple things at the same thing easily makes us feel restricted.
(And to make a circle out of my whole story again, that's also one of the things the post I responded to on Facebook was about).

If you got this far, I hope you enjoyed my rambling!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Open Source: LZMA

A while back I wrote a single post about the era I believe we are at the doorstep of. At the time, it was more of a crazy theory of which I wasn't sure I believed it myself. It was more of a feeling than anything. Recently I have come to believe it more and more. For those who have missed the installment in question, let me summarize it. I feel that we're on the edge of a new era. Technological progress is slowing down (with computers being one of the notable example). Instead, we now have to go find out what we do with the technology we do have. The new advances will be mostly social, in the way we use our technology. A major battle that will be fought at the beginning of this era is the one for freedom of information and it will shape the entire era.

Now that that is behind us, let me get to talking about the subject of the day: Open Source. This is usually mentioned in the context of software, as that's where it originated and still is the place where it is the biggest by far. However, one could argue it applies to just about anything copyright governs. It is about the freedom to duplicate, spread and modify the content you receive. The thing that relates this to the fight I described above is that very copyright. It is heavily involved in this battle, though mostly as a weapon or a subject, it isn't the wrong-doer itself. Open Source is in fact voluntarily giving up copyright.

Today I saw what I consider on of the biggest victories for Open Source I have ever seen. It is not all that long ago that open source was a thing for nerds who ran this mystic thing known as Linux. This has been changing, and one of the most telling signs may be that current poster boy for linux is barely any harder to use than Windows. (Not everyone may like Ubuntu, especially not all the nerds. Still, it is hard to deny it is currently the poster boy.) However, that is just one aspect of the whole story. I think one of the earlier big victories was FireFox, the browser that dethroned Internet Explorer, who was sitting back while it thought it had won the browser war already.

Since that victory, we have also seem what I would personally dub "semi-Open Source", which was a number of companies (most notably Google) who release their software under an Open Source license because their business strategy wasn't based on selling their software. The most notable example might be yet another example, Google's Chrome. It is clear that one of the major driving forces behind releasing this under an open source was that they wanted to be able to incorporate improvements made by the community into their own product and they do wait before releasing new features under an open source license to make sure they don't lose their "competitive edge". However, it still continued to promote open source. On top of that, it also showed that open source and profit-based companies aren't necessarily incompatible.

From there, I want to talk about the latest victory I have seen lately: LZMA.

I don't blame you if you just scratched your head and wondered what that abbreviation meant. However, the meaning isn't the important thing. The important thing is what it is the name of: the successor to rar. Besides zip - because of its integration in Windows - rar has been the leader in compressed archives. The open source communities have always used alternatives to it, but never did those other options make the cross over to Windows users.

LZMA has already become somewhat of a new standard in the open source world, where an important reason is just that its compression rates are really good. Of course, there it also met the hard requirement of being open source itself. Slowly, I have seen it seep into the more nerdy communities of Windows users as well. However, today I saw mention of it by a "software cracker". Oh, don't get me wrong, that's still a nerdy bunch, but they are making software for the uninitiated in the arts of computerfare (well, the technical part anyway, these people are good at playing games). And yes, he was merely talking about the next version of something and he was still going to hide lzma archives behind an "auto-extractor" so the end user would not even get to see it was there, but I still think that slowly but surely lzma is moving into a a really good position in the non-open source world. From that position, I think it will be able to take over this hill from rar and become king of it.

Imagine downloading a file from the internet that is compressed. Without spending a second thought, you open the lzma file it came in. Without even realizing, you just use open source in your normal usage. If getting that deep under the skin of the non-open source user isn't a major victory for open source, I don't know anymore.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Opaqueness

Seeing my newfound consistency on my blog, I felt I had to continue that trend and write again today. Following The Rule of Three*, I also knew that I would have to write about the website project one more time. I won't make it such a long read again, though.

I had a little trouble coming up what to write about this time that involved the website project, but then something I had thought about yesterday after writing my post came to mind again and I knew I had my topic. You see, after I had written yesterday I wondered why I had decided not to post the name of or link to the website just yet and whether I had made the right choice in doing so. What better topic is there than for me to explain my reasoning.

A bit back when I was on my most active period on twitter so far (which means that I wrote maybe a dozen tweets over a two month period but moreover that I actually followed some people in the actual sense of the word rather than the technical one twitter has made it out to be) I read a tweet about transparency. I think it may even have been a link to an article. The article explained how a startup should be as transparent as possible, to its employees as well as to the world. This would mean that it was going to be obvious when falling apart (to the employees as well as to business partners) which would mean that there was a lot more hat one could do about it than when it only became known much later. On top of that, the fact that the transparency would allow business partners to see that things weren't falling apart, which would give them confidence in your startup.

I am not starting a startup, so the story wasn't quite the same for me. However, I did try to take that lesson to heart as I saw the truth that was in it. So, from then on I tried to be more open about my own projects. And yet, what I am doing here is the exact opposite.

The key in here is in the fact that what people want to see through such transparency is progress. The one fact that shows things aren't falling apart  is the fact that you are making progress. And in the website project, I am not making any project. I mean, I didn't return to the project all the way, I just made the front page with the plan to shelve the project when I was done. On top of that, I have long ago decided that I am going to build this website on top of another piece of software I am developing. As such, returning to this project would mean working on that software, and that would mean that the website for the website project would not show any progress even if there was some.

As such, I decided not to give you guys the name of the project just yet. Or at least, that's my rationale for it, I made the choice before I made up the reason why I did, but that's just human nature. Let me also say that I have no doubt that there will be a day when the website is showing a lot of progress, then I will want as much exposure as possible. I will make the promise that when that time comes, this will be the first place where I publicly post the address and name of the site. Of course, I am keeping the option open to publish those details earlier here, so it may also just be that by that time I already have published the name and url here.

See you around, guys!

*Let me apologize to anyone who I got trapped on tvtropes. The site just is too awesome not to link to, though..

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Website Project

After writing my post yesterday, I added tags. After adding tags, I checked the tags I had added. One of those tags was "website project". The thing with it was, that I talked about not knowing the name because I didn't have a domain in one post and then the next post with the tag I briefly mention having had the domain for the project for some time now. I felt this needed some explanation, so this is how this post got to be.

First off, let me confirm that using the same tag was because this is about the very same project. So, the two stories are actually contradicting. However, upon closer inspection one can see how this was possible. The thing is, the two posts were made with almost two years between them. So, I'm not really here to resolve some contradicting posts, I am here to fill in some of the gaps.

So, to get the story complete I need to start quite a bit before I made that first post. You see, I have walked around with the idea for this project for quite some time now. I think the first idea for the website was somewhere in 2008 or 2009.

Over the years the ideas have fleshed themselves out a lot, but the principals are the same and they are still the thing that make the website. One of the things I did early on was - obviously - to think about a name for the project. However, I wanted a name that could be represented by a domain name, clearly it had to be one that didn't have an owner yet. While in my early concepts the original focus of the website was much stronger (right now, it's more like the first component I will be building with a clear intention to build more components from the start) I already knew that I wanted to at least be able to go beyond that original focus, so I needed a name and a matching domain that was able to do the same. It took me a while, but in the end I came up with a name that I liked. Its .net domain wasn't owned by anyone yet, so that was a possibility as well.

Nevertheless, I didn't act on buying the domain, but instead just shelved the project to be retrieved on a later date. This was clearly a mistake, considering we are now going to flash forward to 2010, when I wrote that post and we already know the gist of what problem I had at that point. Obviously, by that time someone had bought the domain. At first, I tried to come up with a new name. Unfortunately, I was unable to come up with anything that I liked anywhere near as much as the name I had previously.

Then, I looked into buying domains for the original name. I also inquired about the .com equivalent of the domain, but that was owned by a stupid company while focusing on selling domains, didn't have any price categories mentioned and didn't respond to my email. When I then made an international call about this, I finally got to hear an opening bid. That was all I wanted to know, and I told them that if that was the opening bid, I didn't much care for haggling, as they clearly weren't going to go quite as low as I could afford. Nevertheless, the company sent my emails for years whenever they had a 20% discount, despite the fact that I needed more like a 99% discount to be interested and they should have known this. I replied a couple of times about how preposterous them sending me such emails was, but they kept sending me those email. I should add that I haven't seen any of the kind lately, so probably they finally have stopped, but this took way too long.

I decided I really wanted either the .net or the .com domain and didn't really want any alternatives. This meant that with the .com out of the picture, I just had the .net to look into. The thing was that it was used only for advertisement purposes and it didn't look to be doing too well as such. I also found a listing on a site that could be use to discuss selling domain names and estimated that it was going to cost me about $100 to get the domain. It was an acceptable price for this domain and that if I was serious about this project, I would just have to pay up. However, in the end I ended up shelving the project again instead of inquiring about the price of the domain. I am glad I never contacted him, as that could have changed things from the way they turned out.

We flash forward again to last summer. I was starting up Project CoreBot and as such, I needed to buy a domain for it. Out of sheer interest I looked up the status of the .net for the web project. It turned out this was a good thing, considering it no longer had an owner. Not wanting to repeat the sequence of events from before and realizing how little it would cost me this time, I just bought the domain this time. I didn't have much time for the project as I was working on Project CoreBot, but I didn't care. I just wanted to have the domain in my possession so nothing could go wrong again and then I would make a simple front page for the website some time. I never ended up making that front page.

Until now, that is. It all started with a random moment when I grabbed a permanent marker and starting doodling with it. What I ended up with was the naming (/"logo") scheme I talked about last time. This was without my first doodles even being about the project. These events are what basically unshelved the project for me. I then started working on finally making that front page, but as I mentioned last time, I wanted to do so with a bit of a look into the future. I am not planning to do much more work on the project at the moment, but for now, I have made some big steps and I still believe that this website is going to exist one day. What's more, I think when it is going to, I think it's going to be a popular website at that. It most definitely has the potential.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fonts on the Web

I was doing some preliminary work on a web project that I have had planned for quite some time now, when I was wondering about the use of different fonts on the web. My findings were quite interesting (in my opinion, at least), so I decided to share them with the (part of the) world (that happens to read my blog).

First, let's give some context, though. This is a web project I have had in my mind for quite some time and though I have owned the domain name for it for a while now, it was just the webhosts standard page until now. I have tons of ideas in my head, but I haven't started implementing them quite yet. All I have done is make a simple (static) homepage for the site. The thing is, though, that I wanted this website to have a layout that resembles something that I might actually use for the website.

One of the things I did look into was the logo for the website. Or, actually the name. No, I can't pin it down to one of the two. It's both. It's something in between. An idea that I came up with recently was to use the name (which I had decided on quite some time ago) and some other chatacters to make a "logo" that can be typed. It also has a shorthand that is the same thing with the name replaced by the first letter. Honestly, I think this could have a really good effect on publicity and the way you generally handle referring to the website. It also had a number of additions for different parts of the website and all together, I think I created a pretty sttrong system with that.

Anyway, for this to work I needed a font to display the "logo" in. It didn't have to be too fancy, but it had to give some character to the whole thing. I ended up with a font after spending some time on different sites looking for fonts. Once there, though, I wanted to spend more time doing this and wanted to go looking for more fonts. As I wondered whether to go for a serif font or a sans serif font, I scouted the internet for an answer to that question.

First off, I read some articles on the matter. They weren't too clear and they said that the web trend was to go for sans serif, but also mentioned that you shouldn't be afraid to use serif fonts either. One of the articles I found actually came to the conclusion that differences (in readability) were bigger within different fonts of a single type than in general between the two types of fonts.

So, then I decided to go looking on some of the bigger sites what fonts they used. The interesting thing about this was that there wasn't just a simple division to make in serif and sans serif, but there was even a simple trend about fonts.

The reigning font is clearly Arial. It needs to be downsized as it is too big, but you basically can't go anywhere on the web without seeing Arial (you might end up seeing something else if you don't use Windows, but let's just forget about that for a moment). However, I did also find some uses of a serif font on some of the busiest places on the web. All of them were consistently Georgia. And what's more, while many website use nothing but Arial, Georgia was usually used in one or two places on a website using mostly Arial. Oh, and if there was italic text on such a website, it was more likely to be the Georgia text than Arial text.

Of course, this has been influenced largely by the fact that the web just doesn't have too many fonts to work with. However, it also says something about how the big websites aren't using font embedding just yet. And besides, even if there was little to work with, I think it still says a lot that from the couple of fonts we had, we are working with only one and using one other to compliment it from time to time.

In the end I decided to go with the masses and use Arial for my main text. Of course, I did have the font for my "logo" and I want to do a trick where whenever the site is named (with the other characters there as well) the same font will be used. I also did go for a different font for the headings on my website. Between the two fonts, I think I clearly instilled some character into the website.

(Oh, and before anyone asks, the project now has a spot on the web, so it is now possible for me to link to it. However, I am still not going to do so, because it is nothing but a single page. Perhaps in the future, when the project really takes off I'll link to it...)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Word About a Tribe

I have written about tv series on here before. However, I don't think I ever wrote about The Tribe. That's mostly because I watched it before I got this blog. I'd probably still list it as one of my favorite series.

Today I was watching - of all shows - Degrassi The Next Generation. Well, I was also zapping to other things so I missed large part and as such I didn't really understand the plot. Or know many of the characters. I don't know what they were doing, but it seemed they were doing something special with their episode. Well, that's besides the point anyway. What is not besides the point is that as I was watching it, for a moment, the show felt like The Tribe.

I have some ideas about how that came to be, but before I get in to that, let me first give you something of an idea what the scene was about. A group of kids had been making a road trip with a school bus (or so it seemed, I don't know exactly) and now they were stuck in the middle of nowhere. People were angry with the one responsible for it getting stolen, but though there was this conflict, they couldn't head it. Even though not all of them was able to get along quite as well as I one would hope, they were completely dependent on one another.

And that's what I believe set the scene for making it feel like it was like The Tribe. The Tribe had this same thing. We were seeing a seemingly randomly grabbed group of kids, united by the fact that they were refusing to join one of the gangs - or "tribes" - and thus they formed a Tribe. They ended up in a relatively isolated situation in which they are fully dependent on one another, even if they do not like each other.

I could go into discussing why I might like a series with a premise like that, but let's not. I don't want this to be about me too much. Instead, I am going to talk about me in a different way. I am going to talk about why I think this reminded me of the Tribe in specific. It may well be that the abandoned grass field which was the setting for a scene that could well have taken place on The Tribe. I do remember a similar scene when The Tribe was about to fall apart, though that was only two people (I believe) rather than an entire group. I think there is more to it.

The Tribe wasn't exactly the sole series with a premise like that. One of my other favorite examples of a series like that would be "Transformers: Beast Wars". This was about a group of robot (that could turn into animals) that lived on a planet with nobody to keep them company but the opposing group. Though this was more based around the conflict (where the Tribe was more about problem solving and internal conflict, with the threat of external conflict lying around the corner) it has the same principles of a group working together not by choice but by necessity. Interestingly enough, it also shared a lot of other things with the Tribe like the way the main group was composed (my favorite comparison has to be Dinobot/Lex).

Then why didn't the scene feel like Beast Wars instead? Well, we have had the scenery already, which could have been plucked straight out of a The Tribe episode and there is also the very obvious fact that Beast Wars is an animated series, while the Tribe, like Degrassi, is acted. However, while it may have played a big role, I don't think that's the crux of it.

I think the crux of it is that The Tribe is the series I identify the "genre" (the genre of the group of people working together not by choice) with. And that is only possible because I have seen extremely little else in the genre lately. Perhaps it's just not a liked genre in Hollywood?

(I should add that, the series I mentioned and others I can think of right now aren't Hollywood series. Nevertheless, I don't know everything, so I may just be off on that. Also, the premise of Lost suggests that it may be in this genre as well, but the "ensemble cast" idea that I have heard so much about in connection to the show would allow it to break out of the genre as well. However, I haven't watched the show, so I can't say much about it.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One Crazy Theory Coming Up

I haven't been posting in a while. As a way to make up for that, I offer you one really crazy post.

We are at the doorstep of a new era. For a while, we have been living in what I would call the technological era. This era is called such because the one thing that was ahead of others was technology, the one thing we have been making more progress at than anything else was technology.

No more. Technological progress is slowing down. One interesting thing to look at is the the home computer market. For a long time it has been that almost everything that is in your pc gets better every month. However, currently, there are already components that are barely making any progress, like hard discs. That said, there is some more progress this market is making, but there is one interesting thing to note about this: it's all high end progress. In quite a while there has been very little progress that's useful in personal day to day usage of an average person (think: your mom) or most office use.

At the same time, there is a social part of the internet that is changing radically. Of course, this has been going on for a couple of years with websites like wikipedia, but I think there is a lot more in store. I think that the SOPA protest in which a large part of the internet pulled together to tell that an American bill couldn't be passed will be remembered as a turning point.


I don't fully believe it yet, but it is what I feel like. I guess history will teach if I was right or not.