You keep using that word…

I do not think it means what you think it means.

In this case, I’m talking about narcissistic content creators and media companies that throw around the word “theft”, usually accompanied by talking about their “rights.”

You have copyright, which is intended to be a short term, limited concession to publishers in order to incentivize creation of new works.

Now, this has expanded in popular discourse into a “natural right” of authors to restrict users of software and even control how we use the physical things we buy.

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Thoughts on the Marvel Star Wars Comics

I just got done reading Marvel’s Star Wars issue #2.  These comics do a lot right so far.  The reveals of the beloved Star Wars heroes in the first issue are really well done.  The character voicing and banter are completely spot on.  The action is fast paced and a whole lot of fun, with my favorite set piece so far being Han and Leia hijacking an imperial walker, with Artoo and Jawas in the back trying to get the cannons working to blast Vader before he rips the walker apart with the force.  The artwork is high quality and the style is both very “Star Wars-y” and yet the pacing, style, and vibrant heroes remind me a lot of recent Marvel movies  at the same time.

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Thoughts on Digital Distribution

I’m normally the first person to advocate for new technology.  But, let me give a quick anecdote showing how sometimes the future sucks.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned offhand to some friends while discussing the Matrix that I hadn’t seen the Animatrix.  We decided to stop at the video store and check for a used copy, then get some Pizza Hut and party like it’s 2003.

IMG_3899We found a copy in a bin for $1.99.  But notice the “buy 2 get 1 free” sale stickers.  We actually bought 3 copies, so that everyone could take home their own copy.  Without discounts or sales that’s 3 copies for about $6.  With the sale and with my membership discounts it actually came out to something like under $1.15 per copy.  Mine even came with a patch that I can sew onto my jeans/backpack and look like a dork.

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How much does it cost to purchase (or rent) just one standard definition copy of such an old movie using modern digital distribution (iTunes), which is supposed to increase convenience and reduce costs?

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Enough said.

Chris’ Most Affecting Media Pt 1: Tiny Monsters

I have a friend who says that people spend too much of their life idly consuming media, and fixate too much on it as a way of relating to other people.  I think he’s right, but still certain pieces of media can be life-changing under the right circumstances, or at the very least evoke new insights or strong emotions that stick with you forever.  As someone who got into the game/software industry to do just that, it’s something I think about a lot.  I want to dedicate some space on this blog to sharing some of the bits of media that have stuck with me for a long time for one reason or another.

However, I’m starting this off with something that might be perhaps a little unexpected.

It’s an episode of the show “Hoarding : Buried Alive”, Season 4 Episode 1, titled “Tiny Monsters.”  The show is another crappy reality tv show, the kind where every episode has the same plot, whether it’s Kitchen Nightmares, Hoarding, or whatever.  In this show they find someone who has a hoarding problem, show how crazy they are, talk about how what they have is a compulsion or a mental illness, then eventually they have a dramatic turnaround for the camera where they resolve to change, clean out their place, and have some nice before/after shots to make you feel good at the end.

This episode of the show, however, is special.

It depicts the absolute nadir of the human experience.

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