Give the social dilemma some credit

There is a scene in the social dilemma which is quite impactful.

A character looks at her social media feed in the bathroom alone, she sighs and turns looks in to a mirror trying to understand the negative reaction shes getting. While she looked at her self a tear runs down her face.

The social dilemma

Its something easily overlooked but pretty powerful, I have to say watching it again.

The/our social dilemma documentary

The social dilemma

I just watched the social dilemma.

I have to say its actually very well produced and gets the points across in a way which I feel might actually cause some thought. We have heard this before in many different places but I liked the family story which gave it some well needed context. Although it does go maybe a bit too far in the story. Heck I was wondering if the son was about to get himself a gun…

My only really issue is its very American focused except Myanmar which received a short segment. The insiders don’t reflect the diversity of wider society but of course that speaks volume. But Cathy O’Neil said it best,

Do we really want to hand this problem over to technologists who helped create this problem?

Unfortunately that kind includes the well meaning Tristan Harris and many others on the documentary. Its interesting who isn’t in the documentary, such as people like Douglas Rushkoff, Doc Searls, Clay Shirky, etc.

Is it the business model, is it the economic model, shareholder value, lack of governmental pressure, legal regulation, monopolistic practices, undemocratic markets? Or is it actually a bit of all of them?

So its a 7/10 its good but I feel After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020) has the edge.

I guess the biggest question is what happens next? Will people actually act after seeing the documentary? Thats the big question.

Little note: I enjoyed the older sister reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism on the sofa. I didn’t spot Cathy’s Weapons of math destruction and there was attribution to Natasha Schüll’s Addicted by design

The Future of Media with the Firestarter

Future insiders with Cathy Hackl

Future insiders with Cathy Hackl, was one of the last podcasts I did over the summer. Cathy Hackl I met a few years ago while in Belgium during Fuel 2018.

We chatted and shared many experiences including some of the diversity & inclusion in the industry. She was friendly and full of interesting thoughts about the future. I honestly warmed to her warm personality and it helped with Cathy being from a Lantio background when talking about D&I. It was also very clear Cathy was on her way upwards, her background working with the likes of Oculus, HTC Vive and Magic leap was just the start.

We stayed in touch and when I heard Cathy was setting up her own podcast I thought I need to subscribe. It wasn’t that long after Cathy got in touch and asked if I’d like to be guest on the show. Of course I agreed.

Massive thanks to Cathy for having me on as a guest, we certainly could have spoke for much longer. Hopefully this may happen much sooner than we think…?

If you are looking for the RSS feed its here.

I can’t tell you how much the firestarter title has gotten me places a producer couldn’t touch.

Tenet was it worth the wait? kinda yes?

This is a spoiler free review of Tenet, yes … Although I’d love to discuss it with others who have seen it soon.

I gave Tenet 8 out of 10. Yes its worth watching, twice (this is what I have done). You will need to see it twice to fully appreachate all of whats going on. The cinematography is top notch in Tenet, expect awards for this.

Its what Nolan is so good at, immersive pacey stories, in Tenet he’s run a little wild with the complexity. Don’t worry there is moments of calm and explaining whats actually happening throughout the film, but not a lot to make it feel boring or make the audience feel talked at.

We all know Nolan loves playing with the 4th dimension of time, although Tenet isn’t about time travel as such. Its likely the easist way to explain it to people but when you see the effect it makes for more difficulty than it needs to be.


It is complex yes but not Primer complex (spoilers ahead)… If you put Memento at one end and Inception at the other. It would be somewhere in the middle, although the actual concept of inversion is somewhere closer to the 5th dimension tesseract of interestellar. Nolan helps the audience understand the concept slowly then drops the ball on you but helps by colour coding whats actually happening from which point of view. It makes sense when you see the scene.

Tenet has all of Nolans mates (Sir Micheal Cane, Kenneth Brannagh, etc) are in the film but this time I think for the first time, the stars of the film are minorities not white men. I won’t say much more but Nolan plays with this throughout the film to good effect. Its a stark contrast to a number of previous films which he has been critisied for. Its got everything of the other big Nolan films except I would suggest the heart of Interstellar. The story with Kat is believeable and maybe if I saw the full uncut version (I saw the IMAX 12A version) I might feel stronger for Kat and her motovations. Its not as strong as the relationship of Coop and Murph in Interstellar.



There is signs of Nolans notions of storytelling too, with John David Washington actually calling himself the protagonist, then being cut down to say he’s one of a few protagonists. Nolan made clear this needed to be shown in CInemas especially the IMAX and I agree, the aspect ratio is 2.20 : 1 and its shot with lots of close up shots, making you feel like a mouse looking up a lot of the time. Its 100% shot with IMAX cameras and going to be a interesting crop on 1.85:1 (widescreen)

Question I had and sure others have (without reading the reviews), will there be a second Tenet? Tenet doesn’t do what inception did at the end but like interstellar could easily make a sequal if there was interest. There is a lot of bigger view questions which are not answered and could make a neat sequal.

Is Tenet actually a Inception sequal or prequal? I would say no but there is a parts missing where they could fit together quite nicely. I would suggest if this is true, Inception would be the prequal to Tenet with the CIA and rouge figures using technology for different purposes than first intended.

End of the day its a very good film but not going to knock Inception off the top spot.

Updated Thursday night

The Falken asked me, was it worth the risk?

I realised I didn’t actually say much about my experience of going to the cinema during Covid19. This is the context which is why Tenet was so important to cinema.

I went to the VUE Manchester which is in the city centre, meaning I could walk to the cinema and back home without using any transport at all. Bookings were done online, when you book there is 4 seats either side of you also booked (aka 2 per side). If you book for 2 people, exactly the same is applied instantly after confirming. This is also where they capture your info for the UK government track and trace

Booking cinema tickets

The seats are the modern cinema seats so there is quite a distance between people in front and behind. On arrival to the cinema, there is the usual one way in and one way out. There is no kiosk with people just ushers with PPE directing you. I believe you can buy a ticket from a automated kiosk which happened to be on the ground floor and away from everything else. Of course there is hand sanitizer everywhere and its the good stuff, which sprays and melts into the skin without much rubbing.

Ticket checks are done with the e-ticket/barcode on your phone at a safe distance. There are arrows everywhere and the food and drinks are still available but everything is now behind the counter. Entry times are staggered with longer adverts and more trailers (also kinda funny seeing the trailers for films which should have been out in April/May/June 2020! This is certainly something you would have thought Hollywood would have a grip on – certainly a reason for object based media).

The cinema doesn’t feel full with only a capacity of about one quarter (objectively). Like most of the UK masks are required indoors except when eating & drinking. As the cinema is a mix, you can walk around with no mask but its discouraged.

I personally wore my mask on both days I visited the cinema, all the time on day one and all the time except when eating icecream during the adverts and trailers. I certainly wasn’t the only one, as most people I could see before the lights went down were wearing masks in the cinema.

I choose the first showings of the day to insure the cinema would be very cleaned and setup for the next day. Having worked in cinemas in the past I know how little time you get to clean in between showings. I assume the times would change to allow more cleaning time now, but it seems to be another 10mins on top of the usual 20mins. Maybe there might be more staff cleaning now?

Generally I felt quite safe, the IMAX is a massive theatre with a lot of space even if someone gets up in the middle for the toilet (although they needed to go out the back down the stairs and back in from the front again), there is plenty of space to walk in front for a split second. If I was in a smaller cinema I might feel less safe.

On a whole it was good both times and I’ll visit when WW1984 hits the IMAX. By the way, I’m not so keen on the tag line in the UK for Tenet of “Bond on acid”

A open conversation about race with Tara & Stef from Truly Inc

During a very busy time over the last few months, I recorded a number of podcasts including the ones for the tech for good live (which I highly recommend listening to).

One of my friends from the past the incredible Tara Hunt aka Miss Rouge interviewed me for the Anatomy of White Supremacy in Marketing podcast (Anatomy of a strategy podcast). We sat back and just chatted, so theres a lot in the podcast which was cut but the core parts were contextualised and added to the 30min podcast.

I really enjoyed the conversation with Tara Hunt and Stef Forester (not related as she lost a R somewhere in the name). It was late night (almost midnight) when we recorded and although I was standing at my standing desk, we could have kept on going for another hour easily.

If I can offer a tip for new listeners of the Anatomy of White Supremacy in Marketing podcast. I would start with Tara and Stef talking about the bigger reasons for the podcast.

For the past few months, between COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests, we’ve opted to put a pause on AoaS to create space for other conversations (with the exception of the episodes with Laura Fitton and Joe Jackman, which we thought were relevant to the COVID-19 discussion).

Now, we see that our silence on the topic of Black Lives Matter was akin to saying, “This is not our problem.” This was wrong and it took a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion facilitator, Karlyn Percil of KDPM Consulting Group, calling me (Tara) out on this silence to knock me out of my comfort zone (and white fragility).

So, Stef and I sat down and decided that we need to do the work and speak up about it and that this podcast was a fantastic place to start. This episode is the introduction to a series (which will be as long as it needs to be) of conversations with Black professionals in various parts of the marketing industry on their experiences, perspectives and insights into how marketing – as an industry, an institution and as a practice contributes to the perpetuation of white supremacy and anti-Black racism.

Then naturally the interview with moi before listening to the other great interviews which currently there is Anatomy of Code-Switching with Cher Jones.

Visiting the cinema to see Tenet on 26th Aug


I like this trailer unofficial trailer

I have been waiting for the cinemas in the UK to fully open to finally watch Tenet on the IMAX screen. Its 10 years since Inception and although I did spot a few cinemas replaying inception but there was no way I’d watch it unless it was on the IMAX screen.

I booked my ticket for Wednesday 26th August and while booking I noticed there is 2 clear seats either side of me. This is good but also great to know masks are required (unless eating/drinking – not sure how they maintain this?) Either way Vue have created a Covid19 video explaining what they have done.

Looking forward to finally seeing Tenet the way Christopher Nolan wanted it to be

Stellar’s freedom mix

Looking into the universe
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Not really had the time to do many mixes in the last few months. I did this one while wondering around the Manchester when the Covid19 lock down was lifted. Its not very long (less than a hour) but its a interesting quick blast through a few newer tunes.

I haven’t yet setup my funkwhale or airsonic instance, so its mixcloud for now. Although I am making cue files along side my nfo files.

Enjoy!

  1. Stella – Jam & Spoon
  2. Natural (extended mix) – KhoMha
  3. The Dark night – KhoMha
  4. Floyd (extended mix)  – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  5. Opium (quivver remix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  6. Open up – Leftfield
  7. Follow me (Roger shah Extended deeper translation remix) – Jam Spoon
  8. Running up the hill (Jerome Isma-Ae bootleg) – Placebo
  9. Freedom (extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  10. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota

Update

Stellar’s Freedom made it to 78th in the global tech trance chart. Not bad as lots of DJs are now using Mixcloud in lockdown.

78th in the global techtrance chart

Update Monday 10th Aug

Another update to say Stellar’s Freedom is now at 47th in the global tech trance chart. I think its one of the highest rated mixes I have done. Going to need to do another one soon.

stellars freedom 47th in the global techtrance charts

Special editions of Tech for good live podcasts coming your way

Black Lives Matter - Cancelling cultur

About a month ago a few friends cc’ed me into a conversation with tech for good live on Twitter by friends

After a while we finally got talking agreed a schedule and I went about getting people to join me on the agreed 3 podcasts. I won’t lie, getting time with busy people in the middle of lockdown was difficult but I managed.

Now I’m very happy to see the first one with David EastmanErinma Ochu, Ethar Alali and Naomi Mwasambili

Enjoy it, email and rate techforgoodlive on google podcasts and itunes. Look out for the next two and thanks to pod.co for sponsoring techforgoodlive

I did talk about doing more around previously and now you can see some of the action I took to date.

10 years of Inception

Inception is a special film for me. 10 years since I left hospital, bought my flat and one of the first films I saw was Inception at the Manchester IMAX and was blown away, so watched it and again and again (hey I was signed off with a brain injury – Inception was helping me)

Peering into the science of dreams with inception

Inception included a lot of the tips, used in dreaming circles. Things like the totem which is actually a reality check.

I also listened/read Inception and Philosophy and it brought a whole different perceptive to the film. As its 10 years, I’ll lightly spoil the ending

Everybody is so caught up with if the totem falls or keeps spinning. signifying if its still a dream or not. But he’s something which will change the way you think about inception again.

Does the top fall at the end of the movie after the screen cuts to black? If it does, then Cobb is awake; if it doesn’t, then Cobb is still dreaming. A careful examination of the film, however, shows us that this is not the case.

First of all, Cobb’s totem is extremely unreliable as a dream detector. Arthur specifically points out, when telling Ariadne about totems, that they work only to tell you that you are “not in someone else’s dream.” So even if the top falls, Cobb could still be in his own dream. Totems have this weakness because, if the dreamer knows how the totem behaves in reality, the dreamer could dream that it behaves that way; and obviously the owner of a totem knows how it behaves in reality. This is why you don’t want anyone else to touch your totem. If anyone gets a hint of how it is supposed to behave, they could dream that it behaves that way, and then your totem couldn’t tell you that you are not in their dream world.

Despite all this, Cobb tells Ariadne, specifically, how his totem works. When she asks if the concept of a totem was his idea, Cobb says, “No . . . it was Mal’s actually . . . this one was hers. She would spin it in the dream [and] it would never topple. Just spin and spin.” So the top can’t tell Cobb that he is not in Ariadne’s dream; she knows how it works. And in fact, since she is the architect of all the dream layers in the inception, couldn’t she have (even inadvertently) worked the law “All tops fall” into the very physics of the dreams she designed? How could spinning his top ever tell Cobb that he has left the dream layers of the inception?

And wait . . . what was that? Look at that quote again. The totem was Mal’s? Well that’s just great! Sure, Cobb thinks Mal is dead; and if she is, then he doesn’t have to worry about being in her dream. But Cobb thinks she’s dead because he believes the world in which Mal threw herself from the window (the real world) is real. The only way he could come to that conclusion, however, is by spinning the top and watching it fall—but wouldn’t that be circular reasoning?

Besides, who doesn’t know that tops fall after they are spun? We have no idea how Arthur’s die is weighted, or how Ariadne’s chess piece is supposed to work. But if Cobb spun his top in anyone’s dream, wouldn’t they dream that it fell? So sure, if the top did keep spinning, after the screen went black, that would tell us Cobb is still dreaming. But the top falling wouldn’t tell us anything!

Yes that and many other aspects of inception are deconstructed to a point my mind actually started to change/hurt. Not ideal for someone who just had a bleed on the brain but regardless I kept listening.

This book, research into dreams and other neuroscience books was how I came up with the idea of mydreamscape.

Welcome to mydreamscape.org

I spent quite a time afterwards thinking and researching how to create a service which allows people to share dreams but within a smaller social network, but hide details for people or groups. It was tricky as it could be solved with code but I was looking for something off the shelf.

I recently looked to see how dreamboard, lucidopedia and shadow are doing? Lucidopedia is no more, dreamboard seems to be around still but less prominent now. Shadow is still making big claims but who knows how much is hype and real? Looking at the kickstarter page, it seems to be all hype and people are peed off about it.

There is still something which keeps me thinking its a very good idea if implemented in a privacy preserving way. I thought about how it could work long and hard especially with abuse, but not seen anything which quite works the way I feel it could work… yet! Who knows maybe one day it will all make clear sense.

This is why Inception is a masterpiece and a 10/10 in my book.

Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume

I recently watched Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume. I was very impressed at every aspect of it. Of course I don’t want to spoil this great film, so here’s a reasonably spoiler-free review by dgarcia-15120

Jimmy Jean-Louis McQueen was superb! The final scene gave me the goosebumps! People, this is a psychological thriller! Brother in law, coworker, friend, battered wife, obsessed woman (kind of “Fatal-attraction”). You need to analyze each character and their motivations, relationships, and backgrounds to finally be hit with the brilliant final scene. Julius Amedume added a new dimension to the already fascinating Farrow’s characters making them even more believable. The atmosphere, the acting, the locations, everything was well staged. If you are looking for a fast paced, light entertainment movie, this may be not your movie, and you may find it “slow”. But, if you like to be psychologically trilled, immersed, amazed, and be astonished by an unexpected ending, then you shouldn’t miss this one.

Normally I would hold out for one of my film you might have missed (not to say it won’t be in the next one). But as the talented director/writer Julius is the person who wrote and directed BBC Visual Perceptive dramathe break up. Julius I first met while at University and he was talented even back then.

You can easily imagine him being the next Christopher Nolan?

Of course I’m not the only one who thinks this is a great film.

Rattlesnakes is available on Amazon prime and can be found elsewhere. If you are into tense thrillers, you will love it along with many others.

 

 

Tenet and Inception, only separated by 10 years? I doubt it!

I know there is a ton of fan theory’s about the connection between Inception and Tenet.

I’ll be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a link, as its almost exactly 10 years between them both. My thoughts are, there is at low end. The same company could be at play for the sleep sharing device and the “glove” which creates time inversion. On the other end (wild side) of the scale, I do wonder if Cobe’s children from Inception could feature in Tenet?

I will be signing up to watch this in the Manchester IMAX cinema, likely at midnight or a very late showing to avoid as many people as possible. While wearing a mask in the dark.

Where I watched the end of Lost 10 years ago?

Today I reminded that its 10 years since the end of Lost.

I was a fan and watched every single episode trying to work out the theory 0f what was gong on. But I don’t know if I ever shared how I watched the last 2 episodes of Lost.

Having been in hospital 10 years ago during #mybrushwithdeath, I had moved from Salford hope ICU to a standard stroke ward. In the standard stroke ward I could use my laptop again and my ex brought in my laptop with the last 2 or maybe 3 episodes on it.

My memory of Lost was lying in bed trying to get comfortable watching Lost from 11pm – 2am with headphones. I was blown away by what I was seeing and hearing. It was unreal and to be fair I never could watch it again as I would ruin what I experienced the first time around. I loved it and seeing it a few weeks after experiencing a life and death situation of my own was just too much for me. I did finish it but the emotion hit me hard.

For me the end of lost was a momentous moment which I won’t forget. (Well thats a lie, 10 years later I forgot…).

Don’t worry in July I watched Inception for the first time and lost was pretty much forgotten by then.

There is something about Upload which feels like the good place?

 Upload (2020)

Not sure what it is about Amazon’s Upload but it feels like the Good Place? (maybe the early days of the good place?)

Just like the good place, it full of comedy and silliness but there is something deeper underneath the jokes and smiles. Yes the subject matter is similar, the afterlife? But there is also something emotional interesting about the show and its good to hear there will be a another season.

I did think there is plenty which can be taken from Black mirror’s San junipero and it seems Amazon got right in there with this. Originally I thought it would be awful but  I expect to run for another few seasons.