Douglas Lamb

We’ve probably all heard about this already, but it’s certainly apt, so here it is.  Facebook apps (such as Farmville) have been giving (inadvertently or not) non-anonymous personal information to advertisers, a violation of Facebook’s privacy policy.  So basically, you could have chosen the most restrictive privacy settings on Facebook, but if you used Farmville (or if one of your “friends” used Farmville) or one of the other offending apps, your info (your Facebook ID) could have been leaked.  I think it’s kind of vague right now as to exactly what was leaked and why it happened, but any way you slice it, privacy was violated; and that’s another strike for Mr. Zuckerberg, the first being the leaked ims from 2004.  Good thing none of us would be caught dead using as passe a piece of software as Facebook.  Right?  Metaphor:  Facebook is to the year 2010, as AOL was to the year 2001.

Fairly awesome music video for Charlotte Gainsbourg’s “Heaven Can Wait” featuring Beck.  Definitely surreal, in the full-on, Rene Magritte sense of the word.  The director, Keith Schofield, has some other, similarly good vids out there, such as this one for Chromeo’s “Don’t Turn the Lights On”.

William Gibson’s last three novels (starting with Pattern Recognition back in 2003) are essential reading, in my opinion, for anybody who’s into New Media these days.  They’re all set in the modern day, though the characters are decidedly sci-fi– hackers, marketing execs (hackers of a sort), graphic designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, and so on–generally controllers and creators of information.

So, on one level these books (and I sincerely recommend you start with Pattern Recognition) serve as commentary on our jacked-in, post 9/11, etc., society, but on quite another, more immediate–and I think gratifying–level Gibson just uses these themes as an occasion to produce some incredibly focused, almost morbidly precise writing.  The density of his prose can be a little daunting at first, but once you get into the swing of things it’s quite good.  A little vacuous at times, definitely show-offish at others, but on the whole simply delightful.

A bit like wine-tasting perhaps–the kind where you have to spit out the wine after a few seconds.  It’s ridiculously good sometimes–the prose seems almost calibrated to induce a kind of lyrical hypersensitivity in the reader–but on the whole it lacks heart, and leaves one feeling not a little empty.

Reviews:

Av Club

NYTimes

P.S. If you’re into fashion, Gibson’s descriptions are basically candy.  Finely textured, gunmetal-black candy.

Giga Pudding – Cannibalized from Boingboing, natch.  I thought this a rather awesome example of advertising as art.  And btw, does this pudding come in a bucket or something?

Mmm… Bucket of pudding… [Homer Simpson salivating noises]…

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