I just learned of the passing, last summer, of Sam Shapiro, half of the dynamic duo behind Force Monkeys. His family has been erecting memorials: samshapiro.org and Saving Ghandiah (Ghandaiah being his best-known handle). Here is some of his writing:
WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, WE BECOME STATISTICS. WE ARE NO LONGER PEOPLE, BUT INSTEAD MACHINES, BODIES MOVING ABOUT AND FUNCTIONING ONLY TO ASSURE OUR BASIC SURVIVAL.
WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, WE LOSE PART OF OUR HUMANITY, AND WE LOSE PART OF WHAT MAKES US SENTIENT.
FOR THIS REASON, WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, NOTHING ELSE IS POSSIBLE. AS AUTOMATONS WE WOULD LOSE OUR HAPPINESS. AS AUTOMATONS WE WOULD SHED ALL VARIETY AND BLUR TO A SINGLE SHADE OF MONOTONOUS GRAY.
PEOPLE CHERISH THEIR DIFFERENCES, AND YET, SIMOLTANEOUSLY [SIC], TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. WE OFTEN DISCARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS AS INSIGNIFICANT MERELY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OUR OWN.
IF PEOPLE REALIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF EXPRESSION, THEN PERHAPS CONFLICT WOULD NOT BE SO COMMON.
A lot of his art is really stunning. Here is one that I’m fond of. Look at the eyes in particular.
One of the neat things I saw at PyCon was a project called OpenHatch, which (among other features) indexes bugs and makes them easy to find according to your skillset and experience level. For example, lots of projects tag bugs as "easy" or "beginner" to promote newbie involvement and ramp-up; openhatch makes it easy to get involved with a project you can contribute to.
I think there’s still some work to be done — bugs about "you need a better logo" or "help, our docs are crap" don’t quite fit into this workflow. Still, good effort.
We chose to have our fight to the death in an abandoned factory in China. I flew over in my private jet and made sure I preserved my vital combat energies by abstaining from totally consensual intercourse with my perfect-10 stewardesses.
Instead, I reminisced about other NBA superstars who I have killed in action: Mel Turpin, Joe Barry Carroll, Benoit Benjamin, Stanley Roberts, Arvydas Sabonis, Mike Giminski, Bill Wennington and Edward Martini, who is not technically in the NBA or a superstar but a male nurse I mowed down in an unsolved hit-and-run homicide.
It’s fairly short (five minutes of reading?) so you might want to go read the whole thing (then again, maybe not). Lots of fascinating thoughts in the interview on the nature of fanfic and "serious literature". Also be sure to check out the Dirk Nowitzki fanfic, linked from the article.
People were posting mashups of his videos and tributes to the kid. It was all classic, random YouTube idiocy. And then YouTube did something inexplicable: They yanked down Lukeywes1234′s channel.
Now if there’s one thing you should know about nerds, it’s that they don’t take too kindly to anyone smothering their self-expression. Lukeywes instantly passed from mere blip of the week into Internet legend. The tributes became more hyperbolic and Wagnerian.
Each meme illuminates something about 4chan. This one, like the crusade against the Church of Scientology, seems more and more like revenge memeing.