WORK AND PLAY
In Issue 5 of MONTAG: what will happen to that trickiest of dichotomies, work and play?
As we discovered in Issue 4 - the Modern Money issue - the act of earning money is changing rapidly. The next wave of automation is predicted to whittle away about 40% of existing jobs - so what will those displaced humans do with their days?
Will this free time, coupled with the free money being dangled alluringly by a Universal Basic Income, allow us to revert to a lifestyle of pure play?
MONTAG Issue 5 wants to know: when work stops being work, and play is everyday, what does "play" even mean in the modern world?
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 12 - Dystopian Movie Special: How similar are sci-fi classics "They Live" & "Equilibrium" to today?
PLUS: Last time Kathryn re-ascended to her Kwiz Kween Throne and promptly made Joe and Thom look like fools again. This week her kwiz kreates more krafty khaos in… a brand-slogan themed Mystery Montage.
Harder, better, faster, stronger: athletes surpassing human limitations with technology
How do modern athletes consistently break records and surpass our expectations on the limits of human performance? Is it really mind over matter? Or all in the new sweat-wicking, heart-rate monitoring, muscle-compressing sleepwear? What are they feeding these people??
Computers have learnt to play computer games, and they’re better than you’ll ever be
If the idea of people watching other people play video games sounds bananas, people are now watching computers play video games too. It does sound a bit like a joke: computers playing computer games - when do humans get a look-in? But there’s a serious point behind AI learning how to play games: they’re learning how to beat us. And it’s for the good of humanity.
Everything has been photographed already (So let's automate the process)
Quickly, think of something really specific you have taken a photo of. Now Google it. Has it, or something incredibly similar, been documented and uploaded by other people already? SPOILER: it almost certainly has been, many, many times. How do you feel about that? Does it devalue your image? Why did you even take the picture in the first place?
BEER IN SPACE
Lots of people - or, more specifically, #brands - have tried to make BEER IN SPACE a reality, unable to resist the allure of combining two things which capture the attention of human beings like few other things: 1) Beer and 2) Space. But is BEER IN SPACE even possible? Have people already been boozing amongst the stars? Can you even brew beer in space? And what is "wet burp"?
Escape Rooms: LARP for Normies
Like all games, Escape Rooms reveal a lot about the humans who do it, how we choose to amuse ourselves: what's really fun about simulated peril? Do you want to see how well your work colleagues could defuse a bomb? Would you say yes to an escape room marriage proposal? And how do they stack up against an actual escape?
TODAY’S DYSTOPIA: Idiocracy
Released in the same year as Youtube and Facebook, and just after the first season of The Apprentice foisted Donald Trump onto the world, 2005’s Idiocracy has become a sort of culty shorthand reference point for today’s ills. At the time, it was a famous flop. Now, it is regarded as a cultural soothsayer.
It’s not who you know, it’s what you know - the next generation of job recruiters don’t care who you are (because they’re robots)
Have you spent years cultivating a strong network of allies who can help you #nurture your personal job #portfolio so that you can best navigate the modern competitive #jobscape? Bad news: it might all be worthless when artificially intelligent job recruiters start Skyping you and asking you difficult questions instead. And here’s the usual MONTAG “surprise”: it’s already happening...
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 11: are AI-written movies and music any good? PLUS - Kathryn reigns as Kwiz Kween once more
We discuss AI-written movies and music, and we’re all overjoyed as Kathryn returns to her Kwiz Kween Throne - and challenges perennial fall-guys Joe and Thom to a quiz that will inevitably showcase their bone-headedness in… the Mystery Montage.
While even the experts disagree about what the future of work entails, what you wear to work in the future will still depend on what kind of job you have, with wearable tech options ranging from high-tech business suits and to super-powered exo-suits.
Is there life in the old dog yet? Or are robo-pets ready to replace our furry friends?
Let’s have a look at the pet alternatives that the future will offer, and how you may find joy in watching a Bot-Pup play instead of your faithful furry friend Bonzo.
Turkin For The Weekend
Many futurists are looking forward to man and machine working side by side in harmony, collaborating and augmenting the others' skills and shortcomings. Mechanical Turk and its ilk allow humans to be interchanged like software components and produce information like magic.
MONTAG FICTION #15: Ruya Saw It All
Ruya worked on the stock market. She monitored trading. In her previous job, she worked in a warehouse, where she monitored inventory levels of household goods like toilet rolls and velcro. The work was the same, and so was the pay: she took home the same B35,000 as everyone else who supervised Fully Automated processes.
Tripping down the Alternate Reality Games rabbit hole
You see a message at the end of an email newsletter
written in Morse code. It translates to the URL for a website which contains a creepy looping video and nothing else. You inspect the source code of the web site and find a link to a private sound file. You listen ... and you have fully descended down the rabbit hole of an Alternate Reality Game.
Do you think this is a game? Simulation theory, Everything and life Outside
Are we living in a simulation? Let's dig into the closest thing to a universe-scale game you can play right now, and one you're probably already playing.
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 10: the benefits of consuming other people's blood, and (whisper it) adventures in ASMR
The power of music and soft brain hacking: Kathryn discovers that our brains are hard-wired to respond to music in certain predictable ways – and we’ll learn how we can hack our brains with sound. But will it involve listening to burps, as in episode 9 of the MONTAGE?
Verisimulators: videogames that exactly replicate the mudanity of real life (and they're the future of work and play)
A “verisimulator” is a game that is “stupefyingly like reality.” It’s a game that replicates, in excruciating detail, a reasonably common and achievable job, like driving a train or a truck. And they're much more popular than you'd believe.
Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism
Consider this article as a launch pad and a full tank of ideological powdered aluminum to rocket your mind into a radical future – radical in the sense of favoring drastic political, economic, and social reforms, but also radical as in totally flipping sweet.
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 9: Have your remains turned into a diamond and fired into space; PLUS: antique burps!
In this episode, Kwiz Kween Kathryn becomes Kontestant as Joe makes her and Thom listen to gross body noises and then guess what they are, courtesy of the BBC SFX library.
17776 Football, For The Love Of The Game
On July 5, 2017, Vox Media's sports-focused site SBNation published an article by Jon Bois entitled "What football will look like in the future – 17776." The rest is history.
Gaming the system: your life has become the biggest game you’ve (n)ever played
Gamification is the concept of using the collect-reward-and-repeat process from video games in real life. It's now deeply seeped into our daily routines. And it’s making us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do.
Burger-flipping, coffee-dripping, and cocktail-mixing food service bots
If you've worked in food service, you know it can make you feel a bit robotic. Monotonous tasks like making coffees, flipping burgers, or pouring beers seem like they could be done just as well by a machine. Robo-baristas, grill-bots, and mecha-bartenders are on their way to one million served.
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: Games and play in fiction
Sport, games and play are intrinsically popular. And the best creative minds of our times have painted a rich canvas of possible evolutions of them. Unfortunately the best creative minds are hiding their ideas under a bushel, and all the ones that make it into mainstream entertainment are rubbish.
Let's talk about Ready Player One
"I set out to write about this movie the way that I thought it should be approached: with full nerd-immersion. But after seeing Steven Spielberg's adaption of Ready Player One, I wasn't disappointed *in* the nerds who love this book, but *for* them."
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 8: how to become a cyborg right now, and how robots will steal your creative job
BETTER EIGHT THAN NEVER! - In Episode 8, Kathryn peers under the skin to find out what it takes to become a cyborg; Joe argues that we should be grateful for the advent of automation; and Kwiz Kween Kathryn makes Thom and Joe sound like the continual fall-guys they are.
Break the world to win: speedrunning and the multiverse
For Speedrunners, beating Super Mario Brothers by 66 milliseconds is not only a major achievement, but one that needs knowledge of the quantum world: where normal rules don't apply and spacetime warps to your will.