Food for G&T thought from NY Times today
I found 4 different articles in the New York Times today that fit into what we’ve been talking about lately. Is this because the NYTimes is reading our blog or because now I see everything as having to do with gender and technology???
On the front page, “Disney Uses Science to Draw Boy Viewers” relates to what I was thinking about with Katamari Damacy and how kids get marketed to. It describes Disney’s attempt to woo back boys ages 6-14 who left for other entertainment as Disney has become more girl-focused in past years. One of the shows on their new Disney XD channel is about a kid who isn’t great at basketball but IS great at video games. My favorite part of this article was its claim that Disney hasn’t liked talking about the kind of research it’s doing into boys’ likes, dislikes, emotional states, etc. for fear that it would come off as too “manipulative.” My other favorite part was a mention of a failed digital News Corp (grrr) network, Boyz Channel and its respective Girlz channel, which drew criticism for “segregating the sexes” and “reinforcing stereotypes.” People who are trying to make money off of this age group are grappling with the same anxieties that we are in this class.
The op-ed “Boldly Going Nowhere” is a sobering explanation about how humans will probably never travel to other solar systems… EXCEPT through the transmissions of tiny robotic probes that will allow us to explore space in the same way the we can “wander through on-line environments like Second Life.” The scientist describes it as Google Earth for space. For real: I seriously cannot wait.
Then there’s this Australian performance artist who has an ear in his arm. And you can listen to what’s it’s hearing on the Internet. “The ear visualizes that idea that we can now engineer additional organs, Internet-enabled, to better function in the technological terrain that we now inhabit,” he said. “It is also an image of excess, of ambivalence and of the alternate.” Wow.
Finally, in response to George’s post, this op-ed piece by Adam Cohen, who says that a zombies are monsters for our time. Unlike George, I love Pride and Prejudice and don’t love zombies, but mashups that make us look at the canon in new ways are…worthwhile, at least? I just really don’t want to see the movie.