San Francisco

Country: USA
Global city cat.: Alpha-
Climate: Csb

Podcast Episodes (2 / 2)

S2E12: Good Old Shareware with Stan James
By: Notebook on Cities and Culture   Released: 08/Oct/2012
Episode URL: colinmarshall.libsyn.com »

Colin Marshall sits down in San Francisco's Mission at the Noisebridge hacker space with Stan James, founder of Lijit, creator of the first browser-based massively multiplayer games, co-host of the 7th Kingdom podcast, and author of a book in progress on technology and our minds. They discuss Noisebridge itself and its almost Utopian qualities; how the supernormal stimuli of cat videos create addiction; how his early multiplayer games could created addiction; San Francisco's position as the American city to be in for those with technological interests, not exclusively technological interests; the optimal Mission-style burrito ordering strategy; how we've left the concept of immersion in virtual reality behind in favor of always being at least a little bit on the internet, and how we can see it in the ways we navigate and even date; stepping outside our reactions to new technological developments by going back to Plato; parental disregard for the protocol of Skype calling; his life in Berlin, another city where people go to do projects and make things; how and why he became "Wandering Stan," and the importance he's found of digging into others' lives when he's in actual places; whether younger so-called "digital natives" can better handle technological addictiveness; how wide a swath of the human experience San Francisco offers; how he discovered the difference between his engaged-in-a-project face and his dead-eyed Reddit-browsing face; and how word of Avril Lavigne reached Nepal before it reached him.

S2E8: Paris Legitimizes with Daniel Levin Becker
By: Notebook on Cities and Culture   Released: 20/Sep/2012
Episode URL: colinmarshall.libsyn.com »

Colin Marshall sits down in San Francisco's Castro with Daniel Levin Becker, member of the experimental literary group Oulipo, reviews editor at the Believer, and author of Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature. They discuss whether Oulipo membership impresses the ladies; his earlier, long pre-Oulipo days, when he would make mixtapes consisting entirely of songs without the letter "e" in the title; his fascination with taking mundane patterns, applying enough work to them, and making something pretty incredible; palindromes, beau présent, homophones, metro poems, mathematical constraints, and Greimas squares; his Fulbright-enabled stay in Paris to organize Oulipo's junk, which led to his writing a book on the group, and then to their offer of membership even before he thought he had accrued the necessary literary steez; whether Paris retains its status as a literary-minded young American's dream, and its status as a "literary mindfuck" nevertheless; what Paris legitimizes, including but not limited to sexy Orangina animals; "gamification," in the artistic, urban, and Silicon Valley senses; the possible use of Oulipian restrictions in Many Subtle Channels itself; what makes Oulipo distinctively French, and what its irony about the canon may have in common with the irony of D.A.R.E. shirts worn in the United States; the Believer as a representative of west coast United States literary culture, and how the scrappiness of Chicago stands in contrast; and when he suspends his Chicagoan-ness, and how much of that involves not eating spicy meats.

Map of San Francisco