The birth of twitch culture

Some musings on Knight Lore, back when computer games were hard. The physical effort and time commitment one had to make to load a game from cassette meant that when you finally got it, you jolly well played it. Short attention spans were severely punished. As we speed things up, what seeps out of the culture are the little pauses that were previously strung out through the day; waiting for something to save or load, for a tape to fast forward or rewind, for someone else to pass along a freshly developed packet of photographs. The cumulative loss of these tiny slivers of time is catastrophic; imagine tens of millions of hours of pondering or gazing out of the window all sacrificed to the gods of constant acceleration. The above image from Speccy Screenshot Maps, an enormous repository of stitched-together screen captures, a cartographical method that’s no longer possible. Unlike many games from the 8-bit era, there was no hanging around in Ultimate titles, there was always a ticking clock or countdown or maurading beast. And so the last great era of contemplation introduced us to the constant twitch of technology.


Curation culture is making it into the contemporary landscape in different ways; Curated Computing, an article at Wired on how ‘the way Apple staff examines each piece of software written for iPhone OS devices before allowing it into (or blocking it from) the App Store…. Curation is already fundamental to the way in which we view the world these days, and the iPad is hardly the first technology to recognize this.’ Read more


A prevailing fondness for old technology; the IBM Model M Keyboard Simulator, acknowledged as a classic. You buy one at Clicky Keyboards, learn how to maintain one here, read a couple of short histories of this enduring device.


Franz Kline buys bananas one at a time: TMN presents a gallery of lists. Lives lived through ephemera / The Little Red Blog of Revolutionary Knitting / From Munich to Dortmund, a tumblr / Taxonomy of the iPhone (Beckian is now an adverb) / at last, an open source iPhone killer / Sunday Times looks startled in face of iPhone threat.


My Grandparents: Memory Bureau, a project by Mats Staub / Monsterpieces, a bestiary of contemporary architecture / Slicing Up Eyeballs, ‘the legacy of 80s college rock’, a site thriving in the current culture of reissues and remasters. Including, 21 years after its release, Disintegration, by The Cure, with a microsite curiously reminiscent of First Person Tetris.


A post we seem to have lost in our RSS move, on the absence of magical objects. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, our RSS situation is still entirely scrambled and there are large numbers of people out there stuck with a post dated early March in their feed readers. We’ve tried to redirect them to the new feed (address here) a few times, but so far it doesn’t seem to be working. Any tips welcome.

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One Response to The birth of twitch culture

  1. Pingback: Messylaneous for 2010/05/18: Facebook, fsck · DragonFly BSD Digest

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