This week we’re playing a new Netflix interactive cartoon from the makers of “Black Mirror” that’s violent, silly and lots of fun; we’re diving into the early days of Pornhub, written by a former content moderator who admittedly wasn’t very good at the job; and we’re getting creeped out by the very extreme answer to work-life balance in Apple TV+’s latest sci-fi flick, “Severance.”
Inside the early days of Pornhub
A former content moderator, whose job also involved tweeting dirty jokes, talks about the early days of the porn empire in this piece from The Verge. A nuanced and necessary look at a company that’s dominated online porn for more than a decade.
‘Cat Burglar’ is a game, a show and lots of fun
From the people who brought you “Black Mirror” comes a goofy interactive cartoon in the style of “Tom & Jerry” that is as nonsensical as it is violent. Most of the multiple-choice questions in “Cat Burglar” have no rhyme or reason to them, but it’s still fun to play through the story and see whether you can help the unlucky cat burglar steal the treasure. But is it a game? Or a show? Turns out there’s no wrong answer for that one.
‘Severance’ takes the concept of ‘work-life’ balance to the extreme
Ever felt like you’re turning into a different person when your workday begins? That’s very much true for the protagonists of “Severance,” a new Apple TV+ sci-fi drama in which people are undergoing a procedure to permanently sever their work selves from their personal lives. Creepy, weird and utterly fascinating.
‘Inhabiting the Negative Space’ is a quick lesson in how to do less
I was a big fan of Jenny Odell’s 2019 book “How to do nothing: Resisting the attention economy.” This 2021 followup is the transcript of her 2020 commencement speech for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In many ways, it also serves as a kind of CliffsNotes version of “How to do nothing,” updated with a few thoughts on the pandemic that forced us all to do a whole lot less.
Falling in love with ‘Namoo’
Erick Oh’s beautiful animated short film “Namoo” previously debuted in VR, and a 2D version found its way to HBO Max at the end of January. The film tells the story of a man’s journey through life, visualized through a tree, and reminds us to pay attention to what’s important in these uncertain times.
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