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UltimateRealFiction

Welcome to my online space :3 My name is Yoann, I go by “yo252yo“, and I do all kind of things at the junction of art, philosophy, computer science and pop culture.

This is ultimately a blog, so feel free to keep scrolling for updates in reverse chronological order. Oh and also there’s my CV somewhere too.

Jesusmas (TOP 10)

I wanted to do something special for christmas, and then I realized that gosh, there are many christ-like figures we have just lying around so to come back to the true meaning of christmas, here is my top 10 favorite Jesuses (I mean Jesi):

10. Anime Jesus

Relatable

9. Gandalf

Died for our sins, resurrected, changed color in the process and somehow ended up white.

8. Santa

I mean it’s his party too, he’s super altruistic, probably magical…

7. Reefer Madness!Jesus

because he’s introduced by Joan of Arc with the loveliest accent, and the song is pretty rad

6. Anyone in homestuck

they pretty much all died numbers of times and ascended to godhood for your sake, I mean think about it, and what’s your biggest sin if not being fandom trash… They made it all possible

5. Daniel Jackson

cause really you cant say Ascension without thinking Daniel Jackson, the textbook example of human raising above

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4. Madoka Kaname

sacrificed herself for mankind and became god

3. Baby Jesus (Jess Hall show)

Jesus is either a 33 yo dying martyr or an infant baby, most notably remembered as being stolen by Felicia Day in the Jess Hall Show

2. Kaworu Nagisa

it’s an godly representation than the human representation unites with in Eucharist (apparently thats hebrew for shounen ai). Gruesomly died for your sins

1. Zoe Graystone

sorry not sorry, she died to usher a new age and ascend the whole of mankind to a new status, she created life, she is perfect and you should watch caprica

——–

Honorable mentions:

Let’s not forget all our other favorite Jesuses:

Let me know if I forgot your favorite Jesus and I will add it to the list if he is cool enough!

The Meta Article

Since it must be clear by now that meta is one of my interests, it will come as no surprise that I’ve been planning for a while to do a meta-article about this blog.

Meta, if you’re still wondering, is the qualifier meaning “additional level of self-reflection”. Any work that’s self-aware, parodical, analytic… of its own genre is at least a little meta. Like a book about books, a song about music, or writing a play about people writing a play about writing a play… (In fact, the example of [title of the show] is one of my favorite because it borders on the notion of Quine, a computer science concept qualifying a program whose output is its own source code).

So what would a meta-article be like? Could be an article about the structure of my articles, but let’s face it, it’s probably not the most interesting thing to discuss and people have probably done it in literature class. So rather than focusing on presentation, I’d like to focus on content.

french joke

And here’s the thing: a reflection about reflection is also about itself, since it’s a reflection. It’s the mathematical property known as projection (a very fitting name considering the rest of this article). Similarly, this article about articles is also about itself. Wouldn’t then meta be a very elegant gateway into a fixed point in abstraction? And tend towards some kind of absolute transcendence? I think my god is the concept of concept (I mean think about it it’s the realest truest thing that exists ever!)…

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Most articles are at least to some extent absurd and nonsensical. They claim an unusual take on problems, which can obviously seem far fetched (most telling example would be looking for the meaning of life in Spice Girls’ Wanabee I suppose). But I think it goes beyond the humorous effect of juxtaposition of serious philosophy and supposedly mindless pop culture.

I think it dives into how, even unconsciously, a production of art is revealing something about its author. Furthermore, in a very quantum-physics way, any observer to any work will project meaning and interpretation onto it, thereby investing as well part of themselves. This projection is also a form of expression and reveals, however slightly, the inner-self to the self.

The work of art, often qualified of “window to the soul”, then appears as the base to a shared artificial construct of sense built both by the design and the interpretation. It’s far from absurd to look into that complex interconnection for answers about life and human nature.

In this optic, wouldn’t the nonsensical be the blankest, purest and more revealing thing to project upon? Could it be one of the core elements of the surrealists‘ automatic writing, or monochrome paintings? On top of challenging preconceived notions and semantics, they offer an unadulterated look into the self and its expression. Thus the least sensical could paradoxically prove the most informative to read into.

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Looking for sense within nonsense is not such a far fetched idea. Most of culture is sense arbitrarily built on top of nonsense. Sports is a set of semantics made up from the existence of a ball, religion is a set of texts and values derived from daily life…

In a way, most part of existence is inherently absurd, and facing this absurdity is the cause of existential turmoil. The nonsense of this blog and these reflections mirrors the nonsense of a world containing its own absurdity. Faced with the Absurd, we’re weaving a web of semantics to fill the emptiness. Much like Sisyphus, building sense on top of the nonsense is a only way to manage the absurdity of life.

The very answer to life, the universe and everything, 42, chosen by Douglas Adams for the sole sake of being absurd, has seen a multitude of semantics built on top of it. Even the very definition of art, etymological root of artificial, man-made, tends towards an absolute that transcends mankind.

And if nonsense is a pathway towards the essence of the self, so to is the much discussed here deconstruction of something a path to its essence. It is the very meta act for a work to look for meaning in the destruction of its self-aware tropes. Isn’t it meta, and especially meta through art, that reveals Hamlet that “All the world is a stage“, and that reveals Hamlet’s stepfather to himself?

Isn’t meta a wonderful key to ascend in the levels of abstraction, and I think we should rejoice that layers after layers of self-consideration from our postmodern postculture is building this babel tower towards the world of raw information. Isn’t this self-reflection the very act that gives meaning to the world? That makes you exist? (isn’t it God, since “what’s god if not the spark that started life” ^^ I’ve realized that my God is the Concept of Concept). I mean what is the meaning of life was understanding the meaning of life, wouldnt that be super elegant like a fixed point in meta or something…

And sure, meta may seem lazy and easy.  After all, you’re writing about what’s right there. It may even seem, like this article, as self-referential arrogant bullshit. But as Amelie Nothomb puts it so elegantly, the only human being you can peek into is yourself. It’s not a surprise that one of the most famous philosophical statements that pierced through time is Socrates’ invitation to self reflection γνῶθι σεαυτόν. It’s often translated by “Know thyself”, which means take a step of reflection towards your behavior. But it also means to take a step of reflection towards your reflection, and so on and so forth, so we all know it may as well be “Be meta“.

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Nerdy Christmas

Gotta love christmas! tis the season to be jolly, or suicidy depending on your situation.

I often wonder at how christmas has become simultaneously

– a religious/spiritual holiday

– a commercial/capitalist holiday

– a family holiday

– a romantic holiday

– a suicide holoday

All in one like… A holiday to rule them all

Anyway I try to celebrate every aspect of it in all its cultural diversity, as you can see in this wonderful gift I want to share with you dear people: Yoann’s weirdass christmas playlist. Enjoy also be prepared lol ^.^

And now time for my holiday tradition that I made 20% christmasier this year:

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also bonus: an arbitrary binary search christmas tree:

Sans titre

Haaave you met TED ?

Ok so this is mostly an adaptation of my old website page gathering my favorite TED talks and inspiring conferences. I’ll just leave this here because it will be easier to update as I find new ones :

Gamification and videogame psychology
Human-computer interaction
Information and communication
Sharing and communicating
Teaching
Meme and geek community
Artificial Intelligence
Singularity and futurism

A geek (and Dr Who) guide to London

Je déteste louper des choses. Quand je visite un endroit, en général, je passe un bon moment à faire des recherches préliminaires pour voir autant de choses cool que possibles, et en général ça débouche sur des séjours assez awesome (beaucoup appliqué à Los Angeles, et un tit peu à San Francisco). Ma préparation me prend un certain temps, à grand coup de “geek things to see in ****” sur google et techniques avancées du même genre. Du coup je me suis dit : autant en faire profiter les autres, histoire de synthétiser mes recherches et de le traduire pour les non anglophones. Ca pourrait servir ^^

Du coup, comme je suis allé à Londres récemment pour voir le concert de Distant Worlds (une adaptation orchestrale des musiques de Final Fantasy donnant la part belle au travail de Nobuo Uematsu par le Royal Philarmonic Concert Orchestra, vraiment vraiment super classe. Magique. Ca ressemblait à ça, et il y avait même un orgue et des chanteurs d’opera… De la merveilleuse musique et des splendides cinématiques, le tout sublimé par l’attachement sentimental qu’on peut y vouer… Mais le sujet n’est pas là, je m’égarre. Cela dit si ça vous interesse je pourrais développer ^^) je me suis dit : offrons à Internet un petit guide touristique de tout ce qu’il y a à faire à Londres, à la lumière de la culture Geek (et en particulier, je ne vais pas vous le cacher, de Dr Who :p).

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Pour ceux qui ont la flemme, vous pouvez regarder la version “galerie photo” juste ci-dessus. Pour les autres, ALLONS-Y \o/

Oui, parce que bon tous les guides vous parleront du Tower Bridge (overrated :p), de la Tower of London (overpriced :p), de Westminster Abbey, de St Paul’s Cathedral (perso je trouve pas ça cool de faire payer la visite de lieux de culte) ou de Buckingham Palace (voila l’étendue de la partie “mainstream” de ma visite) mais je vais faire un peu plus original ^^ Cela dit, ça vaut quand même le coup de jeter un oeil à tout ça, l’architecture est sublime, et tellement variée dans la ville que se promener dans n’importe quelle rue est un petit voyage de découverte en soi.

Notez toutefois que pour ces endroits comme pour ceux décrits plus loin, la vie à Londres est super super chère. Grosso modo, que ce soit à Londres, LA ou Paris, les prix sont à peu près les mêmes, seule l’unité change 😡

Cela dit, c’est probablement le meilleur endroit pour trouver des goodies de Dr Who, et même si on n’a pas les moyens de se les acheter, regarder les étalages se dérouler sous vos yeux provoque presque une fascination digne d’un musée. Dans les incontournables, on trouve le géant Hamleys, qui contient aussi une sélection impressionnante de goodies Harry Potter ou Seigneur des Anneaux,

ou le Forbidden Planet, le paradis du geek, à la bibliothèque SFFF-comics tout bonnement hallucinante.

Au hasard des déambulations, on peut aussi trouver d’autres boutiques. J’en ai vu une près de Trafalgar Square qui disposait de beaucoup de goodies de la série originale,

Terminons le tour par un petit best-off des goodies que j’ai croisé, en laissant les photos parler d’elles même (désolé pour l’arrangement, CMS de merde, j’ai fait de mon mieux. vous pouvez les agrandir en cliquant dessus).







Tant qu’on est dans le 100% Doctor Who, ne manquez pas la dernière police box de Londres, à la sortie de la station de métro Earl Court. Pour ceux qui se sont toujours demandés, voila à quoi ça ressemble à l’intérieur \o/

Voici venu maintenant le highlight de la visite : le Doctor Who Experience. A moitié musée de décors/costumes/accessoires réels du tournage (en témoigne l’éclat de métal sur la peinture du Dalek frappé par Matt Smith) et à moitié un genre de cinéma 4D interactif (voir description cachée avec mini spoilers ci-dessous) c’est clairement super awesome. Par contre l’experience ferme en février 2012, pour être déplacée de façon permanente à Cardiff et mettre en scène encore plus de décors du tournage (on me souffle dans l’oreille quelque chose sur la Control Room du 10è…). Définitivement à ne pas louper.

Grosso modo l’histoire c’est que le Docteur est dans la merde et essaye de contacter Amy, mais il ne parvient à contacter que nous, un groupe de “shoppers” (préparation subliminale pour nous faire acheter des trucs à la boutique :p). Dépité, il nous fait entrer dans le Tardis (version du eleven), et on a beau s’y attendre, ca fait quand même des frissons : c’est plus grand à l’intérieur ^^. On “pilote” (lol) la chose et on rencontre les enemis les plus emblématiques de Doctor Who avant de finir par une petite séance de ciné fan-service 3D. Après c’est le musée ^^

Cette dernière photo représente bien ce qui m’a surpris dans cette visite : le public de Dr Who est vraiment familial, et les goodies sont essentiellement pensés pour les enfants (trousses, cartables, etc…) qui se courrent les uns derrière les autres en criant “EXTERMINATE” ❤ C’est assez surprenant pour une série aussi mature quand on vit dans un pays comme la France qui abrutit autant que possible les enfants et censure tout ce qui pourrait faire peur (et qui d’ailleurs diffuse Dr Who tard le soir si je ne m’abuse). Enfin bref, let’s move on.

En allant à Hollywood, j’ai découvert que pour un geek, visiter des studios de tournage c’est comme un musée en beaucoup plus awesome. Et bien sachez que la BBC offre des visites vraiment pas chères (une dizaine de pounds, contre une cinquantaine de dollar pour WB et 200 pour Universal :p) de tous ses locaux. Bon alors à Londres c’est surtout BBC News (assez impressionnant), pas très Dr Who, mais y’a quand meme plein de trucs cool, comme un Tardis dédicassé par Matt Smith.

Finissions par une petite coquetterie pour les amateurs de thé, il y a à Londres le local de naissance de la société Twinnings. C’est pas très grand mais c’est plein de charme, avec beaucoup de thés différents que l’on peut sentir, y compris des assez rares, et même un espace dégustation quand on a de la chance.

Voili voilou, j’espère que ça aura pu aider quelqu’un. Je sais que c’était long mais en même temps y’avait matière et j’ai mis beaucoup de photos pour agrémenter 🙂 J’espère que ça aura pu vous donner envie de voyager avec moi xD Et en guise de conclusion, je vous laisse avec ma todo-list pour la prochaine fois que j’irai là bas :

– the musical Phantom of the Opera

– Legoland

BBC Cardiff (need I say more ?)

Beyond good games

Contrary to what the last articles may make you believe, this is not only a goofy philosophical essay blog. It’s supposed to gather stuff that are interesting and outside the box (I guess ?). Anyway the number of highly interesting little known videogames that I’ve been amazed by is way too high for me not to keep some kind of record and promote them to people, so here we go. This is a summary of the games that have blown my mind by pushing the limits of what I thought was possible either by proposing a conceptual experience different from what I had seen before (meta/psychological/dorky stuff). It’s not a “best game” list, not an exhaustive list, just some recommendations that popped into my mind.

I’ll update this list as I find/remember  new games, and I’ll keep descriptions short because most of these games are really an experience to be lived. Oh also imma put the estimated play time because I’m that kind of guy, and kinda somewhat organize it by decreasing “importance” to my eyes:

  • The Talos Principle (~15h, not free): my bible ❤ I’d say it
    stands as a perfect synthesis of human cu
    lture so far. Portal-like puzzle game with a heavy dose of philosophy and mythology.

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  • Save The Date (~1h) : at first sight, this seems like a stupid dating simulation. But you quickly realize that your date with your girlfriend will end badly, and that’s when it starts to become a mindblowing experience questioning the medium. Probably my all time favorite. Meaning go play it right now.
  • Velocityraptor (~2h? mb) : a game centered around the ability of your character to approach light speed, offering you an accurate representation of the effects of relativity. Really really cool.

  • Portal (~5h, not free): do I even need to introduce this puzzle game based on a weird atmosphere and a teleportation mechanism ?

  • Stanley Parable (10h ? god idk, not free) : huh idk is it even possible to describe it ? Kinda meta/psychological experiment on the genre ?

  • Antichamber (6h, not free) : cool puzzle game in non euclidean geometry.

  • Loved
    (~30min, free) : A cute platformer with a heavy portal-like psychological element to it. I love to see people playing and reacting to it.

  • Thanks for playing (~10min, free) : little platformer game where the chronology is reversed.

  • Off (6h mb idk, free) : a kind of weirdass burton-style RPG with a little bit of cool meta elements and a huge fandom.

  • The beginner’s guide (2h, not free) :  by the author of The Stanley Parable, a great experimental narration diving into game design, psychology, sociology…

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  • Undertale (6h, not free) : all the hype of fall 2015 ^.^ a really cool rpg with inovative gameplay and some interesting meta elements from the homestuck Tobyfox ^^