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May 04, 2009

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This kind of game gives a real experience of building a farm and
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Matt Osborne

In the future, everyone will move about with a single electronic device that does everything. This device will become not just a necessary tool, but a form of identity. Apple will make one and call it the "iCon." The word will become generic, and everyone will walk about the TED conference wearing their "icons." People will adorn their projected information with a social-network profile -- their "icon profile" -- that others will click on for further information about the person.

Police will no longer need to see your driver's license. They will click on your icon.

Teachers will click on student icons to ask questions.

And when the icon is carried in subdermal chips, we will even use our icons to carry credit and banking information to shop with a wave of the hand.

Brave New World... Part of me wants to run off into the woods and chop firewood in complete rejection of the society that's coming.

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Articles in Print

  • The Fearless Personal Inventory
    Mortified -- the funniest public ritual of personal intimacy to mark the rise of confessional reality.
  • The Zombie Zeitgeist
    A full scale movement is on the lurch. But why the best zombie movie ever made a video game?
  • Believer interview with Mark Allen
    Digital artist and awesome gallerist Mark Allen talks about Tekken Torture Tournament and other projects where people were wired to machines and did strange things in public.
  • Believer interview with Marjane Satrapi
    Enlightening Q & A with the Persian cartoonist, memoirist, quick conversationalist in which she declares: “THE WORLD IS NOT ABOUT BATMAN AND ROBIN FIGHTING THE JOKER; THINGS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.”
  • ¡Viva Border Volleyball!
    Two on two on a toxic and geopolitically divided beach. (Nifty pictures and video available!)
  • Yeti Researcher
    Yet another 100-page issue of the world's top academic journal devoted scholarship about the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasqatch, and other mystery primates worldwide. For researchers and lay audiences alike, the latest YR features a history of Sasquatch sightings in southern California, an update on the wily orang pendek of Sumatra, and a new look into Teddy Roosevelt's obsession with bagging a Bigfoot. As Editor-in-Chief, I promise you won't be disappointed.
  • The Jacuzzi Apocalypse
    Notes from Y2K. With some humor, and a nifty drawing by Carson Mell.
  • Monkey Love
    My contribution to the vast cultural conversation on King Kong and the viability of simian-human romance
  • Man's Best Friend
    Nintendogs puts existentialism in the palm of your hand
  • Digital Trim
    Hillary Clinton likes her coffee cold

Readings

  • Panda PowerPoint!
    I guess I don't mind being "the entertainment" when it's at Mark Allen's second annual Holiday Fry-B-Que. Presented: preliminary findings from my ongoing research into the most charismatic megafauna of all: Giant Pandas.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Dec 9, 2006
    For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
  • Jest Fest at Skylight Books
    Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006
    Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006
    The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
  • Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos
    How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
  • Little Gray Book Lecture 25 at Galapagos
    The Animals: Are They Our Enemies? In the case of my presentation about the giant gerbils of Xinjiang, the answer is yes.
  • July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings
    I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
  • October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott
    Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.
  • October 9th: MoveOn Fundraiser in Los Angeles
    See above.

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