film commentary

Replicant Ideas

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I walked out of Alien: Covenant this morning with a few thoughts about the movie, the main one being that this new move (sequel of a reboot) is really a Blade Runner replicant [redux].

I was all keen on writing a little blog post on this, when I did a search and found, of course, even my ideas are copies. Josh Spiegel, over at The Hollywood Reporter, says basically the same thing. His article explores the way in which hollywood tends toward continual expansion of more sequels and over-explanation – even to the point of ruining the movies they are trying to promote. I believe this trend started down this path with Star Wars when the plot involved analysis of mitochondria in the force etc. Points like this are laughable and in no way make the movies better – or at least that seems to be Spiegel’s point.

Fundamentally I agree. I will not belabor the point. But I will simply quickly conclude by reiterating that our thoughts, though seemingly original, are probably being thought already – which leads me to wonder about creation, creativity and our stubborn reliance on our own uniqueness. Maybe it’s time to move on. I feel that somehow, by moving past our own egos – that we might also be able to create better movies with fewer sequels or reboots – if that era of film-making, we would neither need another Blade Runner nor six Alien films.


Networked and Networking – 2 Questions

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Wikipedia defines Business Networking as, “a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.” Of course, there are all kinds of other networked human beings who use a similar approach to accomplish goals or tasks that may not on the surface be about business. But Wikipedia seems to have no such entry.  The Riley Guide defines Networking in its own way – which has more to do with humans finding ways to interact with other human beings.
My life as a library worker, volunteer and intern with plans for a lifetime of work in libraries is one that will surely require more and more networking in order to learn new techniques and best practices, gather information about potential projects and to increase the odds of finding the perfect next job necessary to accompany each new stage of my professional development and skill set. There are lots of suggestions as to what tools produce the best results in this area. Within library-dom, there are plenty who say that staying abreast of events and discussions within professional associations produces quality results. I am of course referring to associations such as American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, and Special Libraries of America among others.
I am very interested in reactions – which leads me to my first question: Does anyone have real stories (hopefully about library work) to share that show examples of how networking has grown your professional persona and added to potential (past occurrences or planned) for new jobs or projects? Any productive response that encourages dialogue on this topic is appreciated and can be added as a comment in this post.
There is, however, a second interesting aspect to Networking – that of connected computers. Two years ago, David Fincher directed the very popular and slightly controversial film, The Social Network. Hard to believe that it has already been two years. Since then, obviously, Facebook has entered a new phase of its business model, that of increasing its levels of advertising within its popular platform and floating itself onto the Stock Market with its IPO. But one of the constant mantras spouted by the character named Mark Zuckerberg in the film is that he really wants to connect people. But what happens as the film progresses? Well, most of the groups of people, even supposedly good friends, fragment as the plot moves toward the ending credits. Slightly ironic, but definitely amusing and worthy of note at least for those interested in film. One can’t say this is inevitable. But one can say that the first thing actually connected via Facebook is computers. And in so being connected (networked), Facebook, as only one such platform, has become widely used for promotion, company blogs and updates from all kinds of institutions (including libraries). This shows me there is still a hierarchical aspect to this technology – social media and networking platforms both – which may prove a limitation to internet based networking and knowledge dissemination as a whole.
This brings me to my second question: Does anyone have real examples (hopefully about library work) they can share on how networked computer or internet-based networking tools specifically have grown your professional persona and added to potential (past occurrences or planned) for new jobs or projects? And, again, Any productive response that encourages dialogue on this topic is appreciated and can be added as a comment in this post. 

Thank you.