Tagged boredom

Two Dimensional Small Town Life Portrait

RND/ to consider a portrait of two dimensional small town life somewhere in an imagined 50’s Midsville, USA:

5592 x 2464 .jpg

A Portrait Of Two Dimensional Small Town Life

– In which the cars waiting at a traffic light sometimes look as if they’re painted on a large two dimensional backdrop or projected onto a screen, thereby highlighting the existential alienation, surrealist absurdity and derealized unreality of the place you once called home.

// how to play big science

Diving Everydayness: Wolverhampton Aqualung Society

RND/ To imagine informally joining the ‘Wolverhampton Aqualung Society’.

Another cigarette, another day
From A to B, again avoiding C, D, and E
– Wire, The Lowdown (Pink Flag, 1977 Harvest Records)

Official logos – 2006 x 2838, 256 col .png edited in Gimp:

wolverhampton-aqualung-society-logo-robert-what

Wolverhampton Aqualung Society Manifesto

Official Motto: “Diving Everydayness.”

Modern life has been found wanting, to say the least. A singularly unexceptional and uninteresting existence, too often raised to the status of a paradise by the fawning-yet-yawning, complicit and willingly beguiled.

Founded or rather locally manifested in 1983, the Woverlung Aqualung Society represents strong active resistance to the intolerable tyranny of the mundane middle, via imaginative responses against ‘Terminal Boredom’ as well as the passive-aggressive avoidance of vulgar public celebrations of the Ordinary, the Obvious and the Overlooked – of subjects (such as Existence) often correctly considered trivial and pointless – that, when clearly examined reveal themselves as they in fact are (in all their beige poverty):

  • Tedious, dreary, uninteresting, unsophisticated – banal, bland, humdrum, lacklustre, monotonous, tiresome, unexciting, uninspiring, characterless, affectless
  • Drab, insipid, ponderous, slow, glaciated, tiring, uninspired, unremarkable, vapid, wearisome, dry, flat, heavy yet weightless – nondescript, pedestrian, soulless
  • Spiritless, tired, trying, uneventful, wearying, jaded – lame, mechanical, sterile, unalluring, weariful, mind-numbing
  • Run-of-the-mill, without excitement or genuine interest – routine, quotidian, commonplace, utterly normalized and totally zombified

In short absurd, incomplete and often monstrously useless. Depthless, dismal and deserted.

There’s also just the crummy, generic realities that aren’t special in any way, that are sort of random. They’re infinitely removed from nothingness, but they fall infinitely short of complete fullness. They’re a mixture of chaos and order, of mathematical elegance and ugliness. So I would describe these realities as an infinite, mediocre, incomplete mess, a generic reality, a kind of cosmic junk shot.
– Jim Holt, Ted Talk “Why does the world exist?”

However, unlike other ‘R&D’ crews, W.A.S does not fetishize boredom; rather, we strive to continually demystify the violent dullness of modern, synthetic “Daily (so-called) Life” – the ‘Woolworths value brand of reality’. Ours is not the ‘rediscovery of the sublime in daily minutiae’ or some B.S. appreciation of ‘the magic in the mundane’ or some shit but a rapid deconstruction of what it means to (barely) exist in a miniature cardboard diorama universe – where endless bus queues, dreary small talk, empty car parks, violent (synthetic lemony) disappointment and slightly stale Garibaldi biscuits hold sway over our naked emotions and barefoot dreaming.

But no more. For members of the W.A.S ‘live’ (and are still yet to live) in the woefully inadequate “World Of Naff” (specifically within the vast sprawling confines of the ‘Chicken Aspic Towers’) and always ready to dive past our meager given lot in irregular, wayward fashion. We make explicit the arcane and habituated condition of ‘everydayness’, in order that we may dive right past its constraints. Fuck Martin Parr. Oh yeah, one more thing – the W.A.S don’t clap; we’re not performing seals.

W.A.S Factoids

The key existential watchword of the W.A.S is “Naff.” As well as the recently undated one-word entry in The Hitchhiker’s Guide for the backwater Brexit island “Endland” it implies all that is cheap and ‘crap’ – as deficient, faulty, incompetent, lacking, scarce, sketchy, weak, depleted, dry, feeble, inapt, insubstantial, lame, small, sterile, thin – poorly formed, defective, makeshift, ramshackle, rickety, shoddy and jerry rigged.

The unofficial W.A.S icon symbolizing their approach that of “A slightly damp 1970’s British Railway Sandwich being tossed into a nearby bin with mindful intent after a single distasteful bite.”

Quintessential W.A.S TV shows:

  • Sean’s Show
  • Shelly
  • The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin
  • Bergerac
  • Sapphire And Steel
  • Minder
  • Fred Dibnah

Movie wise, it’s:

  • ‘Itch (Alexie Sayle, 4 Play, 1991)
  • Conquest Of The South Pole (1989)
  • The Man Who Sleeps (1974)
  • Weekend (1967)
  • 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967)
  • The Bed Sitting Room (1969)
  • The Rebel (1961)
  • The Desert of the Tartars (1976)
  • Withnail And I (1987)
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
  • Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

The spiritual literary hero of the W.A.S is author Magnus Mills. Aqualung art by George Tooker. Favorite food: New low fat spreadable “Soren” – combines Angst, Ennui and Weltschmerz with semi fresh Acedia and non-organic Aboulia to provide a gritty, stale taste.

W.A.S O.S.T

Original existential soundtrack for the Wolverhampton Aqualung Society:

  • Corduroy – The Wedding Present
  • Louie, Louie – by The Kingsmen
  • Why Aye Man – Mark Knopfler
  • Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
  • Nothing Ever Happens – Del Amitri
  • Patience of Angels – Eddi Reader
  • Time Stand Still – Rush
  • Making Plans For Nigel -XTC
  • It’s My Life – Talk Talk
  • Mas Que Nada – Sergio Mendes
  • Ghost Town – The Specials
  • Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder
  • Another Green World – Brian Eno
  • Love On A Real Train – Tangerine Dream
  • Halcyon On and On – Orbital
  • Restless Natives OST – Big Country

Coming soon via W.A.S member Robert What: a mashup of Guy Debord’s Society Of The Spectacle (in plain English) and The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem.

W.A.S conceptual associations & philosophical affiliations

// how to play big science

On surviving Summer and other nonlinear thoughts

RND/ [..] been meaning to blog for a while now but as usual never know what to say – or only that I can only ever say that I know next to nothing. Also, only part of me understands that nobody’s listening, and that I’m merely wide-banding in/to the electronic void  – ‘pissing into your own stale wind’ as I call it – but at this point I don’t care. In fact the (extremely relative) anonymity and deep abiding estrangement and alienation of teh_interwebs seems to positively encourage such idle, message-in-a-bottle modes of synthetic mis-communication, and –

I’m rambling already. Indeed that’s all I’ve done so far on this random, nowhere site. Ramble on about dehydrated nothing – and not in some cool, subtle, existential Beckett ‘I can’t go on I must go on’  style either. Merely spittin’ that loose, drunk 3am jive on a fire escape overlooking a distant megacity. Or in my case, the next block of crappy 70’s era flats that should have been pulled down at the paper planning stage. This is me in my Summer outfit of shorts, and tastefully garish Tom Selleckesque palm tree print shirt – what I term ‘CIA Casual’ (aka Josh Brolin in Sicario):

robert-what-summer-outfit-2019
Robert What Summer Outfit 2019

When others post sparkling images of themselves looking tanned and insanely happy on some brilliant beach in yet another exotic location and you’re merely trapped in the no-horse conservative middle of UK’s desperate backwater island, there can be no comparison. I.. I forget whatever I was about to say. Something about the ‘shit-stream of consciousness*’. Only shattered dimensional narrative fragments, micro-tonalities, processed textures and word ecology – abstractly meditative and ateological, built on chordal vibes, timbral sequences, circular motifs and various accidental punctuations.

That is to say, loneliness; an embarrassing disease of The Social that nobody wants to catch – and so they stay well away from you, a looser, say like Paul Giamatti’s greasy little character Benno Levin in Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012.) Except that Paul Giamatti’s a multi millionaire, and you are not. I too will therefore try much harder than the well studied apathy and cool bullshit detachment I’ve based my (non-millionaire) looser’s lifestyle on and from here on (any day now, I swear) will express little but astounding, affirmative positivity – an endlessly chipper new age vibe tempered with considered, nuanced pragmatism.

I survived the ‘open oven door’ heat of an Anthropogenic English Climate Change Summer, which this year was borderline unbearable. It was never this hot in daze of old. Idiot brain boiling in thick skull, I hastily constructed a stick based image while silently preying for it to rain, rain – symbol of an instrument to help escape my/this/the Situation:

robert-what-the-dessicated-sextant
The Dessicated Sextant

 

Can’t stand the Summer, always have done – it reminds me of being young, sitting alone on dusty kerbs on my shitty housing estate in the deep South of Endland, wishing for something-anything to happen. Every dehydrated day was a burnt carbon copy of the last. Only the cool solace and shaded organic mystery of a small nearby copse made it all remotely bearable, even quietly pleasant. The trees provided great company, and to this day the sound of breeze-shaken leaves makes my heart brighten with faded memories of relief and existential respite from Terminal Boredom.

Here’s a transcript of a typical day of production at Linus Tech Tips – a Google transcript of a LOLtube video entitled “How Linus Tech Tips Videos Are Made | Start to Finish Process” by Gamers Nexus:

Our Linus tech tip studio tour allowed us to see where LMG makes its videos but we also spent time speaking with some of the 30 members of Linus’s team about how videos are made following our factory tour series where we show how products are made like tempered glass or liquid coolers this video will take the same format for a how Linus tech tips videos are made we spoke with Linus Etzel Reilly Branden Nick and other members of the team about the workflow and lifespan of a video and even had the opportunity to shadow some videos throughout the process before that this video is brought to you by us and the G on store the best way to support our in-depth content is to visit store gamers nexus net and pick up one of our items we just restocked the critically acclaimed mod mats and medium and large and are shipping now with the medium matte selling through fast with their versatile size and unique GPU gridlayout PCB parts anatomy and GPU die spacing diagrams t-shirts are also a great way to support us like the teal tear down logo design and comfortable cotton or tri-blend visit store doc gamers XS net and use code Linus Drop tips for 10% off for a limited time.

We already have a tour of LMG that’s in a separate video but we’ll reference it several times in this content let’s walk through the video creation process start to finish for how an ltte video is made first a video idea is presented at a weekly writers meeting Linus will typically bring his own video ideas forward for consideration with a group of writers pitching ideas they’ve come up over the past week the video concept has worked through as a team and then Linus will assign the video concept to writers writers are expected to work on multiple ideas at once switching between them as natural delays arise in the process like the time spent waiting for products to arrive we’re waiting for emails to be answered Linus assign is the topics based upon the availability and specialities of each person on the writing team there are six to seven writers on the team depending on how you count Linus because he’s still used in a pinch although lmg seems to be constantly hiring so this number may increase the banana when you watch this video after ideas are assigned the necessary steps like purchasing materials for the project take place often these cause short delays and those allow writers to work on their other ongoing projects.

Linus will also occasionally crawl through an ideas list and delete anything that’s been done sort things that are important and bump stuff down in favor of reviews because LTT publishes daily and tech linked and tech quickie published regularly it’s important for lioness to star in at least a few videos per day LG tries to take a standard weekend off but with the seven-day publication cadence the team has to fill more than one video per day on average this increases as travel and conventions like copy Tech’s coming up shuffle lionesses availability and the availability of key team members like editors or film crew LMG tries to film enough videos to keep a video buffer length of ideally 10 videos meaning that lmg wants to have 10 videos queued for LTT at any given time this helps reduce the day-to-day pressure if setbacks are encountered but it’s sometimes difficult to achieve during our visit with the roasts and the weekend throwing off some of the timing the video buffer dwindled down to just one video linus said to us that he had the personally script at least two videos that day to try and catch up while the rest of his team took either a standard weekend off or was busy with the roasts.

The LG team says that a good day is when Linus can do two scripts reviews and two video shoots in full but with executive level tasks sometimes bogging down availability the team often ends up shooting three to four videos on Thursday and Friday instead this causes gaps earlier in the week because team members have multiple jobs to do like Linus handling CEO level work Nick light the CEO of LMG told us the following ideally work is done in blocks two to five script reviews in an afternoon with two to three videos shot the following day based on those reviews it’s very common for Linus to be shooting primary footage on one set while a camera person sets up the next video on another set for LTT specifically the goal is around six per week not counting any long-term projects for stuff like the $1,500 PC showdown that we did late last year planning and concept in meetings not necessarily a script review but along the same lines would be going on a couple weeks before you shoot Plus tech quickie which is around three per week after all this after scenes on the initial process and meeting with writers we had to hand around Alan G to wait for the next steps in the process as the writers were busy working on their content.

For I shoot we checked in with Riley who is responsible for running Alan G’s tech link to news channel to follow that video creation process Riley comes in early on the day of publishing a new tech length video and starts checking LTT forums for news topics and other common websites Riley then gathers 20 to 30 stories before organizing them into three headliners like major stories and five of his quick bits the new script is written by one p.m. at which point Riley asks Brandon or David some of the camera operators to set up for filming filming is done between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at which point Riley’s film er passes off the files to LMGs beloved Dennis who then completes editing by 5:00 p.m. the video is published as soon as it’s uploaded and processed so the entire process for tech linked happens in one day by the time Riley had started his filming Linus’s team was ready for us to shadow them once again the next step in the L&G; video creation process is general management and pipeline scheduling production manager Ed’s ol Iago handles the schedule at Alan G and runs an important role of communicating with each team member on how far along their videos are in the process Ed’s L helps keep or set deadlines but will sometimes shuffle topics around if a writer encounters roadblocks that delay filming or scripts completion.

This happened while we were there with one of Jake’s videos encountering unexpected delays due to technical challenges with his topic and so Riley’s air pods to review was pushed forward and scheduling we shadowed the entire script review for the air pods Tube video for this process – sits with the writer to familiarize himself with the product and the script – looks the product over leverages past experience to ask the writer questions about design choices and forms initial impressions – then reads the script line by line with the writer changing phrasing to ensure it matches his own voice and tone and thins he’d say but also checking for quality or shortcomings if Linus feels that there’s some necessary testing missing he’ll send the writer back to complete additional testing to ensure a complete third product review if that takes all necessary angles into account – debates with writers there were strong opinions either challenging theirs or asking them to challenge his which we’re told – helps ensure that the content has a more complete view by combining multiple voices into one review if the team doesn’t agree on a particular part of the product they’ll add those view points to the script and present them as each person’s opinion offering more options to viewers.

We were told that the script reviews can take 30 to 60 minutes with both that we were present for taking about an hour – occasionally writes scripts to fill gaps when his team is maxed out but this process is difficult unless after hours as based on our own experience in the studio interruptions are constant and necessary to keep other team members moving titling is suggested by writers but Nick and Linus will decide on the final title as both know the balance between relationships viewcount and being overly inflammatory or sensational as the script is crawled through the team capitalizes some phrasing to help guide emphasis during teleprompter reads and otherwise spaces out the content so that it can be read quickly and efficiently when on camera at this point the video team is notified that it’s time to shoot LG has multiple sets to match different video tones but they’re also useful if occupied by other projects the team will pick between the bedroom the living set the kitchen set the green-screen set or the tech linked set or something unique and then start setting up lighting this part gets interesting each set is prepared with up lighting pre-configured and rigged to be enabled with power switches and tuned with phone applications.

Most of the basic lights like the rim or hair lights the key lights the fill lights are already mostly in place for the shoot but the video team might relocate some lights for special circumstances David one of the video team members told us that lighting setup can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how complex the shoots are for controlling reverb and echo the studio is lined with a black porous spray-on foam that reduces sound waves bouncing back to the microphone that’s often have real walls like with drywall their legitimate walls but they don’t reach all the way to the ceiling these were constructed in a way that makes the rooms more versatile for use by offering non squared corners opening up filming opportunities considerably you can find more discussion on this topic in our studio tour of LNG which is also on the channel the video team also next decides on if an easy rig a tripod or another solution makes the most sense for the shot with tripods often being used for sitting a role like in the air pods to review David used the easy rig during our time filming the laptop overclocking experiment president available on floatplane and had a red camera monitor and audio equipment all hooked up for fluid shots to give an idea for cost this configuration which you can see in our shots of David doing his job would run about seventy-five thousand dollars at the time of purchase or fifty-five thousand of using the epic W instead of the red weapon.

We asked how quickly fatigue sets in with a setup like this and were met with a quick reply that the shifting weight makes it physically challenging for lawn shoots video team members are sometimes rotated for different shoots to give recovery periods from the amount of physical labor involved as it’s a difficult job and by nature of being behind the camera is one that’s almost never shown to viewers so show some love to the camera operators next time you watch one of their videos if the shoot is more off-the-cuff like our laptop OC video the camera operator isn’t afraid to interject and say to get closer shots of parts being worked on this also makes it easier for the editors because they can find the necessary b-roll shots in between the clips they need of the aerial shots we were also occasionally asked to ensure a better shot angle rather than shooting one continuous clip for all this lioness or the camera operator will judge when to stop recording so that meticulous or uninteresting steps can be completed without blowing through storage space these shoots can consume around 65 megabytes per second at twenty to one a 30fps 8k or one sixty two megabytes per second at eight to one in more important projects so to film our entire overclocking video which was over a couple of days could easily reach upwards and Beyond a terabyte if the camera operator allowed filming to run continuously without ever cutting it off.

It’s important for operators to know when to cut unplanned shoots for this exact reason storage cost is a hidden costs to the operation that viewers often don’t see a sit-down review works differently for these after script review – goes off to film and the writer accompanies Linus and the shooter to oversee the review any inaccuracy is off script opinions that Linus might interject or points of important emphasis can be caught here the writer may realize that something was left out when hearing it read through but is also present in case Linus needs to double check that the tone is a probe for the discussion or that the information is accurate this is just part of the extensive QC process that’s involved for the LNG videos all this has handled downstairs in the warehouse area of the office LMG now occupies five units with one dedicated for use as a workshop with a CNC and plans to get a press and laser cutter operational these are often used by Alex for special projects like custom water box for example and are separated from the studio by a concrete wall the studio consists of a few units side by side with the dividing walls removed another unit is where additional storage and the lounge are located currently an ongoing project for LNG and you can see the rest in our studio tour video after filming the a role for the review or sometimes before the writer will annotate each document for the editors.

This will include notes on where to find old clips that may be relevant which b-roll shots to use for explanations of the product or which charts should be included for the review and where editors and shooters are different people although it is sometimes easier to pull someone versatile for special projects certain videos like those without a script might be best edited and shot by the same person so the editor is aware of the interesting and uninteresting parts but otherwise it’s typically two different people doing that part of the pipeline once films everything is ingested into the server and edited down heads all assigns an editor to the topic who can then use the shots of the clapboard that’s used to synchronize audio and video clips easily along with checking notes to ensure that each shot is in the right folder the first frame of every video clip shows the clapboard itself with the written notes on it as that frame is the thumbnail in the file browser so this allows editors to rapidly see which video each clip is assigned to this also helps with footage loss mitigation as any clips with anomalies or technological errors can be traced back to the SD cards and the audio equipment used for the shoot anything defective is investigated and resolved separately potentially discarded to ensure no further opportunity costs arise because some shoots like those abroad don’t get second chances there’s only one to get it right as for storage management.

Ed’s ejogo noted the following quote projects folders are kept intact we delete older deliverables but keep the final master copies and move them to our vault server we’re actually running low on space for the vault so we’ve started backing it up onto I think Google from there we’re actually deleting the super old content from the vault from our main server we send projects to the vault after they’ve been released to YouTube linus also expanded on this telling us the following to the greatest extent possible we have kept every minute of footage ever recorded in this building or other buildings we’ve worked out of I’m a total data hoarder partly because you never know when you might need it and also because it makes for fun opportunities to keep exploring higher tiers of storage of technology once videos make it through the editor the final part of QC can begin QC originally starts with the writers meeting where ideas are tested for quality and then continues into script review then into a role where the writer observes for QC and finalizes in editing Taran is typically responsible for a final editing QC pass to ensure the video matches LG’s editing best practices like having title cards for old clips for instance the writer for the video also QC is the final output and train accuracy of the script and that the overlaid footage matches the topic.

After this it goes through one final QC pass and that’s typically Nick light or Linus Nick will stand in when Linus is unable to watch videos which is becoming more frequent but these two are the ones who have the final say on if the video represents alum z-score values appropriately or if anything needs to change QC is generally done in the Adobe from your timeline with markers dropped along the way for corrections or changes that the editor can then make later finally the render is queued for upload the float plate with sponsor pickups shot and inserted depending on the sales team the video is then uploaded to YouTube and scheduled the sales team is another large Beast of the operation but one that we won’t dive into for this video the team manages advertising or other partnerships writers have no visibility into the advertising or the cost of it and often won’t know the ad for the video until it’s seen on YouTube or during the final QC passes Linus has some insight to cost clearly he does run the company but doesn’t get involved in ad sales this approach to editorial separation is discussed in our LMG studio tour.

If you’re interested for further thoughts as Nick white said regarding the huge team that LMG has accumulated quote every editor every writer every shooter every administrative person every warehouse person even every sales person is absolutely integral to our process if they weren’t they wouldn’t be here so that’s it for our final part of the tour of LMG you can find our original video the actual walkthrough of the studio on the channel if you haven’t seen it already or you can subscribe for more make sure you store documents access net to support this type of content by buying our shirts our mod mats or our other unique and custom products or you go to patreon.com/scishow and access for behind-the-scenes videos thanks for watching we’ll see you all next time [Music].

Sounds involved. By contrast, here’s a typical day of non-production here down at the Lab for ‘Robert What’:

  1. Get up around 6am after a fitful night’s sleep
  2. Coffee
  3. Put out the washing if it’s not raining
  4. Stare at the internet for most of the day feeling listless
  5. Throw together some badly photo-shopped (gimped) something
  6. “Go to bed, feeling the same way” – Bruce Springsteen

Other than that, ain’t at whole lot goin’ on but the rent. How’s your summer been?

*Note: Consciousness does not ‘flow’ like some b.s noble Heraclitean stream, rather it merely seems to flash in and out of virtual existence – a badly tuned quantum motel TV in mid-desert Amerika, mis-tuned to undead footage of modern pseudo existence called Channel Zero.

// how to play big science

Game Development As Living Death

RND/ to consider streaming for two hours with zero views, all just to get some fucking red cube to appear:

Now that’s some (/seriously misguided) dedication – but to what, inexactly? Some dim, dull videogame that nobody will play – or simply consume whole like Pez candy before casually discarding along the abandoned neon superhighway to techno-blivion and the next-big-entertaining-nonthing?

2484 x 2796 .jpg, screenshot via Twitch

 

Gamedev As Death

In which modern game development basically seems raw living (‘crunchy’) death.

Example Reference Link

// how to play big science

Public Domain Retro Comic Pop Art

RND/ to consider pop art posters based on nicely cheesy, public domain retro comics

mostly 2688×3840, .jpg, cleaned up in Gimp

Notes arising: this project took a little too long to complete for my liking; along the way, I found myself thinking that making art is deathly boring. Thing is, I’ve not the imagination to think up anything better to do with dead time – this strange half life, somehow as-yet not quite lived. Almost like I’ve been waiting for something all my life (perhaps the end of dead, dull time and useless thought itself.) That this itself might constitute the shaky basis of a form of plain bad conceptual practice I term “Big Science” – that one day I might find myself caught in its constant, unending churning cycle / hamster wheel of pathetic Research and Development. Flat, dull days pass by in a smeary blur of slow, soul-cushing sameness. Faded comics of yesterday, swirling around one’s feet in the forgotton megacities of tomorrow

// how to play big science