THE BUREAU: Part Three, "Assessing Others" — with a Metasonix D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine

Your supervisor would like to speak with you today at 10:53am. Good thing you have a great tasting sandwich to deal with that unreasonable feedback.

THE BUREAU: Part Two, "The President Is Visiting at Noon!" — with Soma's Lyra-8 Organismic Synthesizer

THE BUREAU by Ethan Persoff - with the Lyra-8
Welcome back. This second installment of The Bureau has you out of your Morning Meeting. It is now 10:03am.

Listen carefully to the AB6700 Broadcast System for an important announcement, followed by instructions for administering your compulsory joy to the GB12-B Sincerity Monitor.

The College of Extraordinary Experiences transforms you in the most mind-blowing way

The world is full of places of wonder. Some of them are physical places; others are places of the imagination. The College Of Extraordinary Experiences is both. Once a year, the Czocha Castle in Poland (a real 13th century castle), becomes a most unusual and peculiar college, much like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Only this one is real — and it’s not for kids. In order to try to convey the nature and the spirit of such a one-of-a-kind place, allow me to provide a bit of framing and context.

Welcome to the Experience Economy

In 1998, consultants and authors B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore published an article in the Harvard Business Review, introducing the term "Experience Economy" for the first time. The following year, the authors expanded their ideas into a successful and widely influential book of the same title. Thus the Experience Economy was officially born, and the word “experience” gained new meaning in the business world.

Broadly retracing the history of economy, Pine and Gilmore identified four main developmental stages of “economic offering.” This progression goes from early human societies, mainly concerned with "Commodities," to the Industrial Revolution and large-scale production of consumer "Goods," followed by a steadily increasing demand for "Services," and finally, in the present day, the latest form of economic offering: "Experiences." Amply corroborated in the past two decades, the book’s thesis is that in a world saturated with largely undifferentiated goods and services, the greatest opportunity for value creation (and revenue growth) lies in staging experiences. Read the rest

Welcome to THE BUREAU - A Story Told in Comics and Electronic Music. PART ONE: "Clocking In and Sitting Down"

THE BUREAU by Ethan Persoff
Welcome to your new job. Please do not be late on your first day.

America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig explains corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand

Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you'll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today's terrifying news cycle make sense -- and a theory that demands action.

Beach Week (2018), a film by the Coen Brothers

Beach Week From Boing Boing, the free encyclopedia

Beach Week is a 2018 black comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.[1] The film stars George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Stephen Root, Josh Brolin and J. K. Simmons with William Zabka as Jeff Flake.[2] It was released in the United States on September 28, 2018, and in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2018.

Beach Week Theatrical release poster Written and Directed by Joel CoenEthan Coen Starring George ClooneyFrances McDormandTilda SwintonBrad Pitt Release date September 30, 2018 (2018-09-12) (United States) Budget $420,000 [2] Box office $50,375,838 [3] Legerdemain Rob Beschizza[4]Boing Boing Plot

Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Gary Oldman) has a difficult relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump (Stephen Root), whose incompetence and sheer vulgarity has made the party deeply unpopular. Looming midterm elections are expected to favor Democrats in a landslide, but the retirement of a Supreme Court justice presents a last opportunity for the GOP to remake America's political landscape for decades to come.

The party leadership is concerned that their ideal nominee, Amy Barrett (Tilda Swinton), is too conservative to pass muster with a closely-divided Senate. So top GOP aide George (George Clooney) concocts a plan to nominate a stalking horse candidate, Brett Kavanaugh (Brad Pitt) who party chiefs know to have a dark and disqualifying past. Read the rest

Hank Green's "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing": aliens vs social media fame vs polarization

Hank Green (previously) is one half of the famous and much-loved Vlog Brothers; while his brother John Green (previously) is well-known for his novels, Hank hasn't ventured into fiction -- until now. His debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a deceptively romp-y novel about mysterious samurai alien robot statues appearing all at once, everywhere that has hidden and absolutely remarkable depths.

Woman World: the hilarious man-free apocalypse we've all been waiting for

Woman World started life as a webcomic created by Canadian cartoonist Aminder Dhaliwal to explore the premise of a world where "men have gone extinct" and women have to "learn to talk again because they're not being interrupted" -- what could have been a one-panel joke turned into one of the most remarkable, funny, compassionate, ascerbic, hilarious comics of its day, and that day is now, because today is the day you can get Woman World, a book from Drawn & Quarterly collecting the comic so far.

Schneier's "Click Here To Kill Everybody pervasive connected devices mean we REALLY can't afford shitty internet policy

Bruce Schneier (previously) has spent literal decades as part of the vanguard of the movement to get policy makers to take internet security seriously: to actually try to make devices and services secure, and to resist the temptation to blow holes in their security in order to spy on "bad guys." In Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World, Schneier makes a desperate, impassioned plea for sensible action, painting a picture of a world balanced on the point of no return.

Japanese Whisky: beautiful book about the best booze east of Glen Garioch

Beautifully produced and incredibly satisfying, Brian Ashcraft's Japanese Whisky is more than a handsome primer about some of the world's best booze. It's also an assured and familiar exploration of the drink's history and culture in the world's fourth-largest whisky market, complemented by outstanding photography and dozens of tasting notes.

His Dream of Skyland, a mysterious and touching journey through opium-drenched colonial Hong Kong

Top Shelf has reprinted the first volume of Anne Opotowsky and Aya Morton's groundbreaking 2011 book His Dream of Sky Island, an indescribably gorgeous graphic novel set in British-ruled Hong Kong: it's a tale that ranges over cruelty and dignity, love and venality, unspeakable crimes and unstoppable bravery.

Access Restricted: revolutionary teens escape the domes of All Rights Restricted and try for universal liberation

In Gregory Scott Katsoulis's All Rights Reserved, we had a thrilling YA adventure in a world where ever word is copyrighted and every person over 15 wears an unremovable surveillance cuff to bill them for their speech; in the sequel, Access Restricted, we follow the surviving heroes outside the claustrophobic confines of the Portland dome and into the wider world, to DC, the wastelands beyond, and finally to Tejico, the semi-colonized, semi-independent nation made up of Mexico and Texas, where a way out of this terrible world may be found.

John Varley's "Irontown Blues" - noir doggy science fiction from one of the field's all-time greats

John Varley is one of my all-time favorite authors, whose "Eight Worlds" stories and novels have been strung out over decades, weaving together critical takes on Heinlein and other "golden age" writers with mindfuckingly great technological/philosophical speculation, genderbending, genre-smashing prose, and some of the most likable, standout characters in the field.

Sandman Slim 10: Hollywood Dead, in which hopeless love raises the stakes still further

Sandman Slim is Richard Kadrey's runaway success antihero: a wisecracking sorcerer who's half-divine, erstwhile king of Hell, slayer of demons, stealer of cars, leader of armies, smoker of foul cigarettes -- and now, in volume ten of the longrunning series, Hollywood Dead, Sandman Slim enters a battle whose stakes are higher than ever, because of how very personal they've become.

Spoilers: Drone shots of Burning Man 2018

On Monday, the Burning Man Webcast team shot some amazing high-res footage of this year's Burning Man using a drone. Read the rest

EBGAP: Error Between Google and Privacy

The year is 2031, and I'm going to see Avengers 7 in 8K-vision. I hop in my Goober self-driving car and notice something strange – my location is displayed on the Goober Dashboard, even though I opted out of Google AlwaysTrack™! There's a complete disconnect between what the user interface is telling me and what actually happens without my knowledge or consent.

Karl Schroeder's "The Million": a science fiction conspiracy novel of radically altered timescales

Karl Schroeder's 2014 novel Lockstep featured tour-de-force worldbuilding, even by the incredibly high standards of Karl Schroeder novels: the human race speciates into cold-sleeping cicadas who only wake for one day in ten, or a hundred, or a million, allowing them to traverse interstellar distances and survive on the meager energy and materials available in deep space; with his new novella The Million, Schroder shows us how Lockstep is lived on Earth, the cradle of the human species, where a brutal murder threatens to blow apart the life of a very out-of-step protagonist.

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