Assorted LinksPosted: September 1, 2011
1. Was Aaron Swartz Stealing? [The Awl]:
What we know so far, if the allegations in the indictment are true: late last year Swartz busted into the MIT network in order to conduct his download in secret, though he has been working at nearby Harvard for many years and has no direct affiliation with MIT. At Harvard, as at pretty much any U.S. university, Swartz would automatically have had full access to JSTOR. It’s been widely asserted that Swartz intended to distribute the material he downloaded from JSTOR to the public, e.g. by posting the lot onto a file-sharing site like The Pirate Bay. And it’s no wonder that people are saying this, because the government’s indictment alleges it directly, but the indictment provides not a single shred of evidence to support these claims.
One way of engaging with this psychological quirk is by talking about the existence of Emergent Narrative. These would be stories that emerge from raw facticity despite the absence of an author; stories that emerge when we try to describe a series of unconnected events, prompting our poor brains to scramble to fill in the gaps and smooth out the awkward edges; stories that can transform mere happenstance into amusing anecdotes and the brutal meaninglessness of existence into the neatly manicured Grand Plans of organised religion.
So how does all of this relate to videogames? Simple. One of the most disastrous things to ever happen to videogames was the emergence of the belief that being a game designer is a bit like being a film director and that it is the job of a game’s designers to create a story.
4. This story is perfect bait material. Feds sue a trucking company for firing an alcoholic driver, arguing that it’s a disability. Of course, the company will still be liable for any drunk driving accidents that should occur through this person’s employment.
5. A couple dances through 100 years of London fashion: