“The rise of the image, the fall of the word”

I’ve been trying to read as many books as I can these Christmas holidays since I have plenty of free time and the weather outside is particularly cold,1 so another book that I’ve read is Mitchell Stephens classic: “The rise of the image, the fall of the word.” It’s obligatory reading for anyone studying journalism and new media these days, as it tries to argue for cultural significance of television, or specifically something that Stephens calls the new video. A very interesting book indeed, and although I don’t quite agree with some opinions about montage and fast cutting, Stephens’ book is well worth reading if only for the very insightful analysis of history and significance of the written word, and then later development of film and video.

Continue reading ““The rise of the image, the fall of the word””

Shaka, When the Walls Fell

Ian Bogost writes about a famous Star Trek TNG episode:

On stardate 45047.2, Jean-Luc Picard leads the crew of the Enterprise in pursuit of a transmission beacon from the El-Adrel system, where a Tamarian vessel has been broadcasting a mathematical signal for weeks. The aliens, also known as the Children of Tama, are an apparently peaceable and technologically advanced race with which the Federation nevertheless has failed to forge diplomatic relations. The obstacle, as Commander Data puts it: “communication was not possible.”

The funniest thing about this particular episode is how polarized opinions about it are. “Darmok” is by far the most controversial of all TNG episodes. While (as Bogost points out) the episode touches upon the very essence of Star Trek and Gene Rodenberry’s vision of utopian human future, most controversy that surrounds it concerns how… unserious it is. I think this might be the only TNG episode that I felt slightly uncomfortable watching, because of how silly it felt. Continue reading “Shaka, When the Walls Fell”

I’m looking for good sci-fi recommendations

I’ve been wandering around the Internet looking for good, new sci-fi shows, and I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed with what’s out there. Canadians seems to be making some, with Continuum and Orphan Black, but I’m a bit disappointed with the storyline1 of the former, and not exactly convinced by the latter. I haven’t seen Fringe before and someone recommended it to me, so I watched one episode, but probably won’t watch any more – too much X-Files-like, except without Anderson or Duchovny. Where are proper sci-fi shows like BSG or Babylon-5?2

And how about books? Some time ago someone recommended “The Windup Girl” (was that you, @tTikitu?) and I enjoyed it, as well as “The City & The City”, but I didn’t find anything else that would resemble science-fiction.

Could you please recommend something, Internet? Just no military sci-fi, please.

  1. Once you watch Primer, any other sci-fi that involves time travel looks just silly.
  2. Which I never really liked, but respect nevertheless.