Westworld Season Two Is a Parable About Corporate Data Collection (via @Reason)

“We allowed ourselves to be convinced that imaginary lines between the “real world” and the digital realm were more meaningful and secure than they really were, and convinced ourselves that those guarding our web worlds would always be guided more by their revolutionary roots than the kind of corporatism that steers establishment entities. And as Facebook and other big social networks exploded, the new connectivity, diversions, drama, illusion of anonymity, possibilities to play different roles, promise of (micro) fame, and easy satisfaction of psychological drives that they provided kept us distracted, or deluded, out of applying caution and thinking more criticially.

Recently, this spell has started to break as awareness about how Facebook and other companies have been careless with user data has grown. Yet masses of people are still handing over their DNA to all sorts of ancestry and gene testing companies and inviting “smart” snoops like Amazon’s Alexa into their bedrooms.

So while the central threat in season one of the Westworld was still somewhat far removed from our reality—the state of android technology and artificial intelligence in the real world is still way less advanced than many people think it is—this season’s new menace lurks a lot closer to home. ”  —

The HBO series turns Facebook and Twitter into a theme park filled with sex, violence, and robots.

 

Empire shows that commanding the dying music industry is an impossible task.

http://www.vox.com/2015/1/8/7513499/empire-review-fox

It’s not impossible for disenfranchised kids to make music. In fact, its easier than ever. Any kid can become a YouTube star, theoretically. Though that won’t likely lead to becoming a leather-couch-owning, golden-record-touting record titan, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Lucious’s view of what it takes to become a hip-hop artist is hopelessly out of touch, ignoring the Yung Leans and Kendrick Lamars of the world. But there’s also so much inherent drama in the balance between making money from art in a time when no one’s quite sure how to do that.

Despite tackling all of these issues, Empire is fun, soapy, and ridiculous in the way only primetime television can be. But if we’re being honest, the music industry is just as soapy and ridiculous. In music, the business and the personal endlessly mix together. In that regard, Empire is absolutely successful.