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The All-Important Present Moment

“The scary part about the 21st century at least as far as the arts are concerned is that it has all become entirely too artificially intelligent. Certainly you feel that when you look at what is coming out of Hollywood, it often seems designed and programmed by robots in a way that doesn’t communicate to my kind of human.” – Andrew Bujalski

Hollywood is now just a data dump, making movies on raw numbers and projections rather than emotion and meaning. Acting is faking, after all.

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Roger Ebert on Twitter

Roger Ebert on his addiction to Twitter:

I vowed I would never become a Twit. Now I have Tweeted nearly 10,000 Tweets. I said Twitter represented the end of civilization. It now represents a part of the civilization I live in. I said it was impossible to think of great writing in terms of 140 characters. I have been humbled by a mother of three in New Delhi. I said I feared I would become addicted. I was correct.

Ebert also had a list of best Twitter practices:

My rules for Twittering are few: I tweet in basic English. I avoid abbreviations and ChatSpell. I go for complete sentences. I try to make my links worth a click. I am not above snark, no matter what I may have written in the past. I tweet my interests, including science and politics, as well as the movies. I try to keep links to stuff on my own site down to around 5 or 10%. I try to think twice before posting.

Roger Ebert (1942 – 2013): ★★★★★

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Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.

— Bill Cosby
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What The China-Hollywood Deal Actually Means

China promises to bring in 14 more major motion pictures a year.

There a three significant signals here:

China accepts Westernization.  China is finally acknowledging itself as the world’s oyster.  The Chinese are in the business of idea aggregation and Hollywood movies are just one way to inspire them into action, to create their own things.

China’s soft power investment.  China is setting itself up for the future when it needs its culture to soften its superpower status.  Don’t think one second that China will sit back and passively consume Western films.  China will build its own movie industry like India did with Bollywood.  Chinese films will put its actors on the map in households across the world, bettering its image.

Hollywood’s new market. No American actively goes to the movies any more.  Netflix and free streams save us $20/movie + concessions at the box office.  So Hollywood will absolutely take any extra revenue it can get even if it comes from Internet streams.  Don’t expect the Chinese to all of a sudden run to movie theaters when they can watch them in the comfort of their own homes.  Just imagine how many Smart TVs Apple itself will sell in China.

More importantly, the Hollywood deal gives all content creators hope that they too can break into the Chinese market.  For musicians, that means more shows, for authors that means more paid talks and possible Chinese investment in scripts Chinese investors want to turn into movies.

The implications of this deal are huge for China and the content creators in the West.