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Vintage Season

Literate Machine

Release Date: 01/25/2020

Defund the Paw Patrol show art Defund the Paw Patrol

Literate Machine

Is the Paw Patrol an unintentional conservative utopia? What can the show tell us about how the political spectrum views the police, its purpose, and its funding.

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How the Hippies Became Yuppies: The Trial of the Chicago 7 show art How the Hippies Became Yuppies: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Literate Machine

How Aaron Sorkin whitewashes the story of hippy activism, and how the hippy activists whitewashed themselves.

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Pixar's Soul: Finding Yourself Under Capitalism show art Pixar's Soul: Finding Yourself Under Capitalism

Literate Machine

Pete Doctor takes us into the meaning of life, but is there something hollow at its center of it?

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Why Stories? Henry Fool and What the Artist is For show art Why Stories? Henry Fool and What the Artist is For

Literate Machine

What does it mean to be an artist?

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Doom, Myst, and the War for the Soul of Video Games show art Doom, Myst, and the War for the Soul of Video Games

Literate Machine

In the 1990s, Myst and Doom fought a war for the soul of video games. Myst sold almost twice as many copies. Within ten years, the entire industry had remodeled itself around Doom. Special call out to Jimmy Maher at the Digital Antiquarian (https://filfre.net) whose work covering early video games I drew on extensively.

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Cerebus: Misogyny and Madness show art Cerebus: Misogyny and Madness

Literate Machine

For 30 years, Dave Sim engaged in one of the most remarkable ongoing artistic endeavors ever while he gradually lost his mind.

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Pink Floyd's The Wall and the Rise of the Alt-Right show art Pink Floyd's The Wall and the Rise of the Alt-Right

Literate Machine

How the worms ate into my brain, what I did and did not understand about The Wall, and what it tells us about the rise of the Alt-Right.

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Superheroes and the Police show art Superheroes and the Police

Literate Machine

What do you do when the authorities have been compromised?

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How Can I Save You? show art How Can I Save You?

Literate Machine

Let’s go back in time, to before the Pandemic, and see if we can change anything.

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There is No Alternative: Doctor Who, There is No Alternative: Doctor Who, "Kerblam!", and the Specter of Technological Unemployment

Literate Machine

In the 2018 Doctor Who episode “Kerblam!”, something is killing workers off at a far future Amazon analogue. Is it Capitalism? Or is the system not the problem? In this episode, Doctor Who is used as a lens to understand the history of technological unemployment and what it means for our automated future. Bibliography and Further Reading   Who Were the Luddites from :   Article in the Guardian about Doctor Who’s Issues with ‘Wokeness’:   Article on CNBC about McKinsey & Company’s report about automation:   Article on Quartz abou technological...

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More Episodes

In the premiere episode of Literate Machine, a look at the so-called "Golden Age" of Science Fiction through the lens of one of its finest practitioners, C. L. Moore. Her story (and the story of her husband, Henry Kuttner) in the science fiction mills of the mid-twentieth century is the story of America in the gig economy.