November 7, 2008

"TV is starting to feel waaay too slooooow."

Michael Parsons writes:
The complex fractal circular time-shifted way in which my media habits now play out – hear about Tina Fey doing a Saturday Night Live impression of Sara Palin on an RSS feed, watch the clip at work on YouTube, then go home to watch the same clip being shown on The Daily Show, and then read online about what happened on the daily show via an RSS feed – means that my experience of the election had a multithreaded, always-on quality I’ve simply never experienced before. ... [M]y home network went on the fritz at 2am on election night, leaving me with only my handheld Twitter and the TV. I felt positively unplugged....

The advantages of web technology here are clearly to do with intimacy, connection, and immediacy. Twitter is a great way to consume huge amounts of information when you’re trying to understand a complex real-time process.... However, I was also struck by a much bigger, tonal difference. The BBC ‘s snooze-making election coverage was shamefully poor, and seemed to consist of a sleeping Dimbleby and a bobbing Vine, along with a few other B-grade pundits who gave the evening all the drama and insight of a minor English by-election. Broadcast TV, with its narrow tone, its low-brow certainties, just felt hopelessly out of date....
Yeah, well, that was England. We had holograms. And Parsons knows that -- perhaps because the flashy high-tech junk on American TV was mocked on the first segment of "The Daily Show" the day after the election. (Watch it here, starting at 2:48.)
You can tell TV has a sort of blurry panicked fear that the web is eating its lunch. Something Must Be Done. This is why TV presenters used daft gizmos – swingometers, touch-screen displays, even in CNN’s case, holograms, to try and stay down with the tech kids. This is like trying to be an opera singer by putting on weight, mistaking an unrelated symptom for a fundamental cause.

IN THE COMMENTS: Meade says:
"This is like trying to be an opera singer by putting on weight..."

TV: Wait! It's not over until the fat lady sings.

Us: But she can't sing, she's just fat...

It's over.
AND: XWL says the holograms were a lie:
[T]he so-called holograms were simply 2D images superimposed onto the TV broadcast.

The images were in fact tomograms, or images captured from all sides - in this case by 35 high-definition cameras set in a ring inside a special tent - reconstructed by computers and displayed on the screen.


XWL said...

The holograms were a lie

(so, we didn't even have those)

(I'm pretty sure the cake is a lie, too)

Meade said...

"This is like trying to be an opera singer by putting on weight..."

TV: Wait! It's not over until the fat lady sings.

Us: But she can't sing, she's just fat.,,
It's over.

MadisonMan said...

Should I worry? I don't watch TV anyway. What would happen if TV went away?

I still have to convert my TV to digital, too.

MadisonMan said...

I will confess, though, to watching clips on youtube, or on, just to see what people are talking about, and so I can fool my daughter into thinking I am au courant.

Bissage said...

That “Daily Show” clip is great but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

After everyone left the CNN sound stage, Jessica Yellin’s evil twin beamed on board.

She assumed the form of William Shatner, became irrational, and refused to hear anyone tell her she was not Captain Kirk.

Here’s the bit that got edited out. LINK.

Not pretty.

ricpic said...

Leave the sequential for the fractal, be au courant;
Lose the elephantine actual, find your Oliphant.

Ron said...

Princess Leia's holograms were a lie too. Ben Kenobi turned out not be her only hope.

Nuthin' really changes in MediaLand!

Roger Sweeny said...


Like CAT scans: Computerized Axial Tomography. Putting together images taken at many angles.

Lem said...

The Matrix's bullet near-misses on the roof is a recorded (as opposed to live) version of tomograms.

Earlier than that we had satellite pictures mached together into a ...
seamless whole. Seamless whole.

Seamless whole? Stephen Hawking's a history of time.

There is no time. I have to go ;)

LonewackoDotCom said...

I realize this is beyond what Althouse knows about or discusses, but it would be helpful to CNN if instead of cute tricks they'd try to avoid being evil (so to speak).

For instance, in one of their debates one of the questioners wasn't even a U.S. citizen, and they didn't tell their viewers that : link.

In another case, they had plants:

And, for another debate they avoided asking real questions (link) and instead concentrated on puffballs and spreading misinformation: link, link.

I added both of the last two videos as responses to Youtube/CNN's raw debate footage. Youtube/CNN deleted both on-topic but negative responses.

Althouse is free to ignore the above, as she's more the "isn't it neat" type rather than the "fight the power whereever they be" type.

Lem said...

Eventually we might have enough cameras/scans the scene from Blade Runner, when Harrison Ford zooms in a photograph with the aid of a computer (I think) sees things a casual look would have never reveal.

With enough cameras we could move in a real/virtual version of the world.

Like the 'Ghost in the Machine' manga.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I wonder how TV feel for these people. Hehehe...

Ed Bush said...

Please, please stop quoting ignorant people. Fractals? Holograms? Give me a break.

Concentrate on people talk. As an attorney, you excel at that, Professor. Not the ravings of the pretentious.

All best.

blake said...

Hey, I'm told the cake is great!

So delicious and moist!

Bissage said...

[B]lake, thank you very much for that link.

I'm a real sucker for that kind of stuff and that one brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you, once again.

blake said...

You're welcome.

I'm being so sincere right now.

Paul Snively said...

This use of tomography, based on 2D images of live subjects, was the process used in making the Campanile Movie by Paul Debevec in 1997. It's a virtual fly-by of the Campanile at Berkeley. It directly inspired John Gaeta, Visual Effects Supervisor for the "Matrix" films, to improve upon the technology and resulted in "Bullet Time" and other improvements used in the films.