Web response times & things this week

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Web response times

I have been working with colleagues on a point of view that is impacted by web response times. During the research aspect of this work I came across this video by Jakob Nielsen which explained web response times really well.

Web response time resources

Ralph Bakshi

I might have mentioned once or twice how I like Ralph Bakshi’s fantasy films: The Lord of The Rings, Wizards and Fire and Ice. Bakshi used rotoscoping in ways that other directors have never managed to provide a unique animation experience that modern technology can’t beat.

Forging Through the Darkness talks about Bakshi’s career

Bakshi was making his DIY career back before computers or social platforms. Watching this film and seeing Bakshi’s punk-like attitude makes your Tik-Tok efforts seem lame by comparison. Secondly, a lot of the early opportunities that Bakshi got in animation are no longer available as the work would have been outsourced to India, China, Taiwan or Vietnam.

The second film places Bakshi’s role in the animation in terms of the parallel track it takes to the New Hollywood movement that came to the fore in the early 1970s and finished with Heaven’s Gate.

I was watching Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind with a friend over the weekend and saw some visual similarities to Bakshi’s Wizards. According to IMDB Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind was produced in 1984, some seven years after Bakshi’s Wizards.

Japan population decline and relationship with the city

Open culture have an article on the ghost towns of Japan. While Tokyo feels as busy as ever. There are small towns and rural areas that have become depopulated.

I love the video made of a man who has turned a school building that no longer has children into a hostel, café and jam space for bands.

While we’re on Japan. The 2002 documentary Tokyo Noise looks at how different Japanese artists experience, understand, interact and are inspired by Tokyo. It also covers a diverse range of issues including robotics and Shintoism.

More Japan related content here.

Are you scared yet, human?

Panorama ran a documentary that feels like Adam Curtis doing a programme for the BBC’s Horizon series that explores the area of machine learning. You can argue about the content of the film, but it has provided a base level of understanding on the area to the general public. Politicians watching this show will feel as if they are industry experts as the closing credits roll; instead of viewing it as a starting point for wider reading. I think that this might set the tone in terms of regulation for many years to come.

It misses AI winters and the fact that the technology is only ‘smart’ in very narrow areas. For instance, understanding content and autonomous driving both have their stubborn problems. It misses the fact that what we see now is based on thinking coming out of Canadian academia in the 1980s, that hasn’t been moved on much further.

As cryptocurrency has shown there are physical limits to how much computing power that can be thrown at a machine learning problem.

Technology is a threat in the hands of authoritarian regimes. A classic example of this is the relationship that the Nazis had with IBM.

Finally, I will leave you with a nicely done public safety video coming out of Denmark about the need for wearing helmets when riding a vehicle (or a horse).