November 11, 2022

Great Ideas I Can't Get Out Of My Head

Here is a selection of ideas I've received from whatever source was most present for me at the time. I'll keep updating it, so the ideas will keep growing. I will also try to edit for brevity or simplicity.

Reality Check: The boom — or glut — in streaming documentaries has sparked a reckoning among filmmakers and their subjects.

From this article:

  • Documentaries post Michael Moore became a bigger, and more fundable enterprise in Hollywood.
  • Streaming services realised they could capitalise on public understanding of documentaries and the cheapness to produce them, so ramped them up.
  • Ethical standards, adequate production scheduling, and directorial authorship have gone down.
  • Celebrity documentaries becoming normalised (see Harry and Meghan) in which they are their own exec-producer.
  • Contacts/victims/sources are being "bought out" by certain people or companies: would never happen among journalists.
  • Murder/true crime documentaries are particular culprits of this behaviour.
  • Also understanding by past "cult documentary" protagonists that they were not treated with enough care or respect during the process.
  • Now a greater move for standards to be more rigorous among documentarians, as well as pay to be at a higher level and schedules to be properly structured. As such we might see fewer, but better, documentaries on our screens soon.

Watch the Great Fall: Beyond Progress and Nostalgia

From this article:

  • We may be watching the fall of a civilisation (ours).
  • Left brain paradise replaced the world of conviviality and folk song, boredom and wildness.
  • Author is nostalgic for a dead past, and sees it not as a sickness, because he sees a blind commitment to Progress for progress's sake as something without much sense either.
  • Doesn't believe in romanticising the future; does believe in doing some better romanticisation of the past.
  • At its heart, Progress is a refusal to accept limits, live with our given nature, and respect the nature of the rest of life.
  • Author is asking us to accept that nice things were lost and we'll never be able to see them, and that's just something you have to get to grips with.
  • The thing is, we can't stop progress, as Tolkien couldn't stop Isengard (Birmingham's industrial revolution) from destroying his childlike innocence.
  • So he suggests, as Robinson Jeffers writes, to watch the Great fall with open eyes and "religious awe".
  • "The only way out is through. To dance with the way things are moving. To watch the great fall, accept its reality, and then get on with our work. What that work might be, in the age of the Total system, will differ for each one of us. Rebellion, restoration, protection, the building of new structures."

The Ugly Truth of How Movie Scores Are Made

From this article:

  • "Brand-name" movie composers (e.g. Hans Zimmer) have large numbers of co-composers, assistant composers, and sometimes ghost composers, who do the real legwork of writing music.
  • The renumeration and crediting of these people is difficult, as some big-name composers don't like to give away credit for ego-reasons, and most of the money will go to them, as opposed to the sub composers (of which there can be dozens on a single project).
  • The back-end, or royalties associated with a particular movie or series, can be life-changing for a composer, but it's hard to negotiate for the denizens of lower level people.
  • Now there are better unions and help for people to ensure they don't just take buyouts, and properly negotiate, but streamers like Netflix are changing things, approaching the business not as an entertainment company, but as a tech service. As such they're more cutthroat and negotiating with more severity, despite massive revenue and profits.
  • For me, as somebody aspiring to enter the movie, TV, and "entertainment" industry, it's all the more convincing that we must have diversified streams of income, even though it might be hard to sustain and maintain focus on one thing. By having our fingers in multiple pies, our passion for our work isn't being manipulated into a lower pay rate, as can so easily happen in this business of making dreams a reality.

Why Conservatism Has Failed

From this Article:

  • Conservatism fails because it doesn’t realise that technology creates drastic, rapid change.
  • Modern conservatives are “those who accept the orientation to the future in the modern but who want to stop the movement of modernity at points which touch their special interests.”
  • Technology companies are creating technologies that would encourage mass employment in low-skill labour that damages human intuition, which benefit a very small majority.
  • Unless we work against that and create human-focused technologies, revive traditions that still exist and work for a changing world, and add in traditions and culture where appropriate, we will lose out to the mass adoption of harmful technologies.


Old Music is Killing New Music

From this Article:

  • Old music is more popular, more profitable, and more listened to than new music
  • Old music is more known, new music, in its coddling within playlists and background music, is less known
  • This hurts musicians, and benefits the few at the very top who reap the rewards of this
  • Surprises often happen where we least expect it however - Elvis from Mississippi, The Beatles from liverpool, Hiphop from the Bronx.
  • This will continue happening. Musical revolutions happen from the bottom up, not the top down. It will happen again.

Best quote for me:

"I learned the danger of excessive caution long ago, when I consulted for huge Fortune 500 companies. The single biggest problem I encountered—shared by virtually every large company I analyzed—was investing too much of their time and money into defending old ways of doing business, rather than building new ones.

After I encountered this embedded mindset again and again and saw its consequences,
I reached the painful conclusion that the safest path is usually the most dangerous. If you pursue a strategy—whether in business or your personal life—that avoids all risk, you might flourish in the short run, but you flounder over the long term."

How to Live in a Catastrophe: In search of a way to think clearly about the planetary crisis.

From this article:

  • Introduces philosopher Günther Anders who escaped Nazi Germany in 1933. He came up with the idea of Pre-Calamity and Post Calamity era. The Calamity was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. We're in Year 77 of the Calamity.
  • Pre-Calamity, we knew all humans are mortal, humans ca kill one another, and Post-Calamity, we knew humans could annihilate the entire species.
  • Now we're facing a new Cataclysmic Fact: Not only is humankind killable but we're all participating in our own death.
  • There are two major buckets of thought on how to deal with this: more love, or more violence.
  • Anders Malm, Swedish eco-Marxist, is in favour of being more violent, even just in micro-actions against people who blatantly are not doing their part. But this makes sense only if speed is the main concern.
  • Timothy Morton, Rice University English professor, is in favour of more love. He advocates "Art. Beauty. Love. Kindness. Bypass the harsh communiqués that make intolerable ideas bounce off our brains". He has an art-philosophy collective of celebrity thinkers who participate in actions with him.
  • Third option is listening to people who are going through existential threat, or have been through it (e.g. Black people in the United States: "I’m with you when you say that climate change is the most important issue facing humankind. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s the most important one ever. But when I hear folks say — and I have heard it — that the environmental movement is the first in history to stare down an existential threat, I have to get off the train … For 400 years and counting, the United States itself has been an existential threat to Black people."
  • Günther Anders laid out a series of commandments for how to live:
“You have to make the daring attempt to make yourself as big as you actually are, to catch up yourself.”
“Widen your moral fantasy.”
“Widen your sense of time.”
“Don’t be a coward.”
“Say to yourself upon awakening: ‘It is our business.’ ”
“The possibility of the Apocalypse is our work.”

Don Quixote Tells Us How the Star Wars Franchise Ends

From this article:

  • Arthurian Knightly Romances dominated storytelling in the middle ages for roughly 600 years.
  • Cervantes' Don Quixote arrived in 1605 and broke this pattern. His knight was delusional, out of place, and a more complex hero than the allegorical and exaggerated tales of Arthur and his knights.
  • Ted Giola, author of the article, predicts the death of Disney franchises like Marvel and Star Wars far quicker than this due to the pace of output.
  • They're flogging their best horses to death to appease shareholders and continue growth instead of look for new and exciting forms of storytelling.

More Work
February 19, 2024

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