Uncanny Valley

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18 Responses:

  1. ducksauz says:

    jwz: Curious, why do you disable fullscreen on the youtubes you embed?

    • jwz says:

      I do? That wasn't on purpose.

      • ducksauz says:

        I'm on Chrome 47 on Mac (but it also is disabled in Safari). When I go to click the full screen widget in the player of a youtube embedded on jwz.org it says it's disabled and links to https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6276924

        Maybe it's a weird youtube issue. Looking at the URL parameters[1] for this video, you do have fs=1, which should allow fullscreen, but it seems not to be allowing it. I've permanently allowed youtube fullscreen access in my browser, so I know it's not that. This only seems to manifest on your embeds for some reason.

        Anyway, I thought it might have been intentional, but I guess it's just youtube being stupid.

        [1] https://developers.google.com/youtube/player_parameters?hl=en

      • Jon says:

        FYI: Fullscreen is working for me (Firefox 35 on Linux using Flash)

      • The difference is that youtube suggests having an allowfullscreen parameter on the iframe. I tested it and it makes the difference (in safari, no flash).

        • jwz says:

          Huh. How about that. If any of you understand why that attribute exists on iframes and what problem it's trying to solve is, I'd be curious to know.

          • Yoren says:

            Fullscreen is disallowed by default to prevent people getting clickjacked. The 'Site X is now fullscreen Allow/Deny' warning browsers show also helps people know they are interacting with a different domain in fullscreen, but that's not enough for everybody.

            • jwz says:

              So, I'm a site that wants to clickjack someone... and now the hardship is I have to add a property to my iframe tags to do it. Huh?

              • Yoren says:

                Well, it will be the site you want to impersonate that has to add the tags, not the attacking site that's in the iframe. It is to protect you from youtube impersonating your site on becoming fullscreen, not the other way around.

                • jwz says:

                  I am still completely failing to see the threat model here. Every single person who wants to embed something just copies and pastes the embed code. "iframe" is now spelled "iframe allowfullscreen" and nothing has changed.

                  • The threat is advertisers, not youtube nor advertising brokers. Youtube doesn't clickjack because it would tank their reputation. Advertising brokers have reputations, but they want to place ads from lots of fly-by-night advertisers, including spammers and hackers. The broker gives an embed code without allowing fullscreen, protecting its reputation from the advertisers. At least that is one threat, but I don't know if it is the historically relevant one.

  2. Marcos Dione says:

    At some point reminded me of 'The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect'[1]. Very nice indeed.

    [1] http://www.localroger.com/prime-intellect/

    • Yep, you're right. Snuff porn, sophomoric points about the dehumanising and decomplexifying influence of technology presented as deep insights, shocking imagery for the sake of shocking imagery, all presented in a highly polished package produced on almost no budget.

      I probably would've thought this was cool, too, if I'd encountered it when I was 15.

      Sure is pretty though.

      • Thomas Lord says:

        if I'd encountered it when I was 15.

        Was that last year?


        The video has three key concepts driving it: alienation (in the Marx sense), recursion (the punchline), and breaking the fourth wall (our surrealistic viewer perspective of floating VR junkies).

        In the interior logic of the story, a real world extant alienation of drone operators to their targets is included by reference in the idealized form remotely controlled fighting robots, doing actual killing, controlled by an immersive VR interface. In the current real-world, the analogy is drones controlled by video-game style interfaces. (Indeed, the Pentagon actively recruits gamers.)

        To the real-world, current reality drone story the fictional story here adds the element of perfected alienation. Today's drone operators, some of them at least, palpably understand what they are doing in the real world. In this story, the VR junkies are thoroughly confused, completely alienated from their actual work product and its role in the overall system of social production and social control.

        Are you with me so far? I doubt it but if my doubts are right, think harder. It's a really interesting story so far that way.

        Next comes the recursion: namely that the regulatory regime that orders the labor of these soldiers and alienates them from their work product is EXACTLY the same regulatory regime they themselves produce. They are, unwittingly, brutally, their own prison or camp guards, busily and unintentionally producing their own misery and mutual self-destruction under a technocratic order imposed on them from without.

        Here, by the way, one must take not of the character providing psychological services. Notice how she has no particular human inclination to rescue them from the situation. She is there, basically, to fine tune and to study the soldier-prisoners. (Not sure how to read the two empty-chair toys on her desk... I'd appreciate if someone else gets that.) In any event, she is kind of a glimpse of the existence of a second, oppressor class, orchestrating the self-destruction of the soldier-vr-junkies.

        Lastly, there is the fourth wall element because the whole narrative makes sense from the point of view of an external, objective, real-world observer -- that perspective of the psychologist -- except for one detail.

        What we the viewers see in this image of the "real world" includes supposedly real people floating through space in slow motion.

        That surrealistic element is a bit obvious but it does at least formally insist that we, the audience, ought better to identify with the alienated soldiers than with psychologist.

        When you were 15, you almost certainly were unable to understand this video.

        sophomoric points about the dehumanising and decomplexifying influence of technology

        No, it's a much more intricate story than that. You missed the point.

        • Thomas Lord says:

          She is there, basically, to fine tune and to study the soldier-prisoners. (Not sure how to read the two empty-chair toys on her desk... I'd appreciate if someone else gets that.)

          Oh, duh. Asking out loud and a few minutes later I get it.

          She is a "psychologist" without patients. She is not there to treat.

      • Sylvester Stallone says:

        What do you have against snuff porn?

  3. crtxc says:

    I liked it. The ghosts reminded me of the vanity demons(??) that populate hell in the movie Constantine.

    The name doesn't feel right. What would fit better? "Ill lesion", "Tunnel vision", "Foster Function", Ha "Byte Decay". Ya I like "Byte Decay".

    Cool find. Thank you.

  4. foot says:

    Ender's Game meets Snow Crash and District 9.

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