Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The revolution will be DVRed

(There are TWO theory day events in NY this semester: Thu Nov 11. and Fri Nov 12.)

BILL: Will you be going to the RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY AND/OR FEAR? (See also here.) It will be the event that defines this generation!!!! Just look at all of these pictures that will be taken there! Here are some pictures by Evan Golub who went, took pictures, then went home early to actually watch some of it. And here is a picture that is more suited to the readers of this blog.

DONNA: I'll DVR it.

Is this the wave of the future?
  1. Even though watching a sports event on TV gives a better view and reasonably priced food (as opposed to the stadium which gives a terrible view and has overpriced food-like substances) most people say that being AT the game has a certain je ne sais quoi. At least people who think they know French say that. Will technology get SO good that being at home is preferred? Give the viewer the ability to pick what parts of the field he wants to see? Give him the ability to rewind in real time (already can via DVR)? 3-D? (not for a while). They might pay us to go to the game since an empty stadium looks bad for TV.
  2. Museums: Why go to the Louvre when you can do a virtual reality tour of it which saves you the cost of a trip to France? I think this is possible with today's technology. If not, then certainly soon. There already is a partial virtual tour.
  3. The rally was really crowded and I couldn't see much. Even so, being there had a certain I know not what which made it worth going. However, I'm glad I DVRed it so I can see what really happened. When I tell my great nieces that I was there at the dawn of a new age it will be partially fiction since I'll tell her of what I saw on DVR. Or I'll just show her the recording. You can also currently see it here.
  4. Movie Theaters are facing a problem with people waiting for the DVD to come out rather than go to the theater. For families the economics are insane: buying the movie on DVD (and thus OWNING it) costs less than taking the family to see it once. COUNTERPOINTS: (1) Some people want to get out of the house. (2) Lance told me that I really should see AVATAR in a theater.
  5. With conference talks online will people still go to conferences? (This was already discussed here but it fits today's theme also.)

Will technology make it easier and easier to stay home? I think yes. When that happens you may have some surprises- some Rally has far less people than anticipated because people worry it will be too crowded, but then for the next Rally people think it won't be that crowded so it gets more people than anticipated. Rather than count how many people were actually there you might calculate some weighted sum of how many were there, downloaded it, DVRed it, sign up on the Facebook page for it, etc.


  1. "Museums: Why go to the Louvre when you can do a virtual reality tour of it which saves you the cost of a trip to France? I think this is possible with today's technology. If not, then certainly soon. There already is a partial virtual tour."

    This is definitely not possible with today's technology. Will it be available soon? I doubt it. People were saying the same thing ten years ago. Internet connections are faster, but not fast enough. Screen resolutions are almost unchanged, and dynamic range in monitors available to consumers is unchanged. Maybe twenty years from now, but I wouldn't be surprised if it takes much longer.

  2. I have seen zoomable pictures of skylines that take you to the level of seeing inside someone's window. My screen's resolution is good enough for me to enjoy much online art. Will it be "like being there" soon? Perhaps not. Will it be good enough, I think so for most people. For people who spend hundreds of dollars on headphones to listen to music, today's technology is barely good enough to enjoy music playback. It's all a matter of levels.

  3. Geeky photo from Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.

  4. For seeing the stage, I think the DVR wins hands down. But that's not the whole deal.

    One interesting thing from the rally is the range and type of signs, for example, but if you watch on TV, you're only going to be shown the interesting ones.

    There's also a certain pleasure in being part of something, which is why I went at all. For example, you can't be part of a wave at home. (The metro station I was at--full of people watching on their phones while waiting to get to the rally--did join the wave, though.)

  5. Why is Gasarch blogging about this?
    Isn't Bill Gasarch one of them Republican Jesus-freaks?

  6. 1) Last Anonymous. My website says I am a Christian which is correct.
    Is there any evidence on my website or previous blogs that I am a republican? Also, define ``Jesus-Freak'' rigorously and then see if there is any evidence that I am one.

    2) My post was NOT about the Rally in particular, it was about technology making people NOT go to
    Rallies, art museums, etc.

    3) Stewart and Colbert tried to make the rally a bi-partisan call for sanity. Republican Jesus Freaks were certainly welcome to come and in fact Stewart and Colbert
    would WANT them to come so that it would not look like a Liberal Thing.
    (I DO not the obvious that most of the signs that expressed a political message were on the Liberal side or the anti-the-insanity-of-the-conservatives side.)

  7. In above comment should be
    ``I do NOTE '' not
    ``I do NOT''

    Also, do not mean to disparage
    Republicans, Jesus Freaks, or
    Republican Jesus Freaks, by
    challenging the poster who claims
    I am one.

  8. As I was watching (live!) the rally on TV, I wished I was there in person. Someone who went told me they had very little idea what was happening as it was unfolding, but I think the exciting part would have been to get to meet people and find that you could respectfully disagree with them, and concede that they may have a point.

    As for the Louvre, I've been there in person and watched documentaries. The documentaries leave you wanting more, but the museum has become so crowded recently that it's difficult to enjoy the main attractions.