An ingenious novel about art and revenge, insisting on your dreams and hitting on your doctor, told in the form of 80 movie reviews In near-future America, film critic Noah Body uploads his reviews to an underread content aggregator. His job is dreary routine: watch, seethe, pan. He dreams of making his own film, free of the hackery of commercial cinema. Faced with writing on lousy movies for a website that no one reads, Noah smuggles into his reviews depictions of his troubled life on the margins. Amid his movie reviews, we learn that his apartment in the vintage slum of Miniature Aleppo has been stripped of furniture after his wife ran off with his best friend--who Noah believes has possessed his body. He´s in the middle of an escalating grudge match against a vending machine tycoon with a penchant for violence. And he´s infatuated with a doctor who has diagnosed him with a ´´disease of thought.´´ Exhausted by days spent watching flicks featuring monks with a passion for rock and roll and slashers featuring rampaging hairdressers, Noah is determined to create his own masterpiece: a filmed meditation on art-with-a-capital-A, written by, directed by, and starring himself. Set in a wildly imaginative and uncannily familiar world of nanny states and extreme rationing, Safe Zones and New Koreas, A Short Film About Disappointment is an uproarious story of trying to keep it together in turbulent times. Joshua Mattson is a debut novelist with a rotten wit and the creative vision of a hyperactive child.
A novel approach to decision engineering, with a verified framework for modeling human reasoning Soft Computing Evaluation Logic provides an in-depth examination of evaluation decision problems and presents comprehensive guidance toward the use of the Logic Scoring of Preference (LSP) method in modeling complex decision criteria. Fully aligned with current developments in computational intelligence, the discussion covers the design and use of LSP criteria for evaluation and comparison in diverse areas, such as search engines, medical conditions, real estate, space management, habitat mitigation projects in ecology, and land use and residential development suitability maps, with versatile transfer to other similar decision-modeling contexts. Human decision making is rife with fuzziness, imprecision, uncertainty, and half-truths--yet humans make evaluation decisions every day. In this book, such decision processes are observed, analyzed, and modeled. The result is graded logic, a soft computing mathematical infrastructure that provides both formal logic and semantic generalizations of classical Boolean logic. Graded logic is used for logic aggregation in the context of evaluation models consistent with observable properties of human reasoning. The LSP method, based on graded logic and logic aggregation, is a vital component of an industrial-strength decision engineering framework. Thus, the book: Provides detailed theoretical background for graded logic Provides a theory of logic aggregators Explains the LSP method for designing complex evaluation criteria and their use Shows techniques for evaluation, comparison, and selection of complex systems, as well as the cost/suitability analysis, optimization, sensitivity analysis, tradeoff analysis, and missingness-tolerant aggregation Includes a survey of available LSP software tools, including ISEE, ANSY and LSP.NT. With quantitative modeling of human reasoning, novel approaches to modeling decision criteria, and a verified decision engineering framework applicable to a broad array of applications, this book is an invaluable resource for graduate students, researchers, and practitioners working within the decision engineering realm.
In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism. Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods. The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and “exchange value” in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by “sharable value” on the Collaborative Commons. Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.