American documentary filmmaker James Benning's new film about the Unabomber, Stemple Pass, is one of the few true must-sees in this year's VIFF, and plays tonight for the final time. There is more than a usual amount of urgency in recommending audiences get out to see the film while they can, since it is unlikely that it will screen theatrically elsewise: although Benning regularly has films in the VIFF, none, to my knowledge, have yet returned for an engagement in Vancouver. The film may also never see distribution on home video, which is possibly a good thing; the challenges and rewards of Benning's cinema are such that you pretty much have to see his films on the big screen, with an audience, where there is no option of pausing the film, no way to dodge the demands placed on you.
Louis C.K. is a successful comedian who can afford to buy his kids practically anything. So it is a refreshing surprise to learn that there is one thing for which he refuses to open his wallet: cell phones for his children. Comedians can be modern-day philosophers and Louis C.K. has brilliantly nailed it. This touted technology is riddled with problems, especially in the hands of still-developing children and teens.
Future scenarios should be thought of as being in perpetual draft form; they should be rewritten constantly and thought about critically -- always in the condition of workshopping. Questions about how things like new technologies ought to exist are matters of vital social consequence. They are political decisions; questions that we should all be engaging.
You may have noticed variations of the term "online trolling" creeping their way into the style guides of your favourite news outlets over the past year. What the Internet need not attempt is to expunge trolls. Instead, the digital class must work towards a renegotiation of its idioms. A key part of this process will be coaxing more nuance from terms like trolls and trolling, insisting on new ways of delineating the undesirable from the criminal: the process from the by-product. Resist the rush to concede the perch of the troll; it's all many of us have left.
If you are reading this article, you are surely one of the One Percent™. After all, technology only accrues to the world's wealthiest, right? If the message of Elysium were true, then yes. But it's not. As anyone who has given this more than a moment's thought realizes, technology isn't something simply the wealthy enjoy.
In school, students are taught how to "write" by memorizing or borrowing material then regurgitating it in order to impress a teacher. That's not what this is about. This is about words, in the professional sense, that must be used sparingly and for an economic purpose, whether it's to communicate with colleagues, customers, partners, investors, society, voters or organizations.
Canada has been America's farm team for centuries, providing brawn, brainpower and talent to feed its mighty industries. So it was with pride and admiration that I heard about a unique initiative instituted by Canada's immigration minister, Jason Kenney, in Silicon Valley recently. He's trying to reverse the brain drain.
In Canada, we like to play it safe and for the most part, it's paid off. Tight regulations and the centralization of banking powers helped us weather the economic storm of 2008. But we're a different Canada now. Canada's potential is remarkable, we need to believe in that potential and invest in its development before looking elsewhere for inspiration. It's all right here.
For those consumers already feeling overwhelmed and distracted by the constant notifications which come with a smartphone, Google Glass is probably not the best choice. We have arguably developed a dependence towards smartphones. Before consumers become dependent on Glass, they should seriously consider the implications before making their decision. In a society where relying on the mind for information and computation becomes less important due to the proliferation of mobile computers that can do the work for us, Glass may further exacerbate the dependence on technology to access information.