The Way Things Go

Der Lauf der Dinge is that film in which a whole series of objects cascade in a very long Rube Goldberg. (I understand many cultures have had similar cartoonists. I think its wonderful that where previous generations drew pictures, civilization has developed to the point where individuals can and do actually realize and record such fantasies.) You may have seen a take-off of this in a car ad.

I think the reason for our fascination with this has to do with movement carrying the action. You can have theme and variation without movement, and without physical objects. Consider novels, painting, music, and zillion other things. But here we have a case where there is nothing of interest at all except for the theme and variation expressed by the movement and positioning of physical objects. And it is fascinating. A reviewer has written of the film that it is like watching a Hitchcock film with objects instead of people.

I think this all relates to previous discussion on narrative and 3D.

[This is fallout from a session at OOPSLA.]

About Stearns

Howard Stearns works at High Fidelity, Inc., creating the metaverse. Mr. Stearns has a quarter century experience in systems engineering, applications consulting, and management of advanced software technologies. He was the technical lead of University of Wisconsin's Croquet project, an ambitious project convened by computing pioneer Alan Kay to transform collaboration through 3D graphics and real-time, persistent shared spaces. The CAD integration products Mr. Stearns created for expert system pioneer ICAD set the market standard through IPO and acquisition by Oracle. The embedded systems he wrote helped transform the industrial diamond market. In the early 2000s, Mr. Stearns was named Technology Strategist for Curl, the only startup founded by WWW pioneer Tim Berners-Lee. An expert on programming languages and operating systems, Mr. Stearns created the Eclipse commercial Common Lisp programming implementation. Mr. Stearns has two degrees from M.I.T., and has directed family businesses in early childhood education and publishing.

One Comment

  1. Aw heck, now I want to see the whole thing!

    By the way, have you seen the movie “Gizmo!” If not, make sure you see it soon.

    Further comments pending.

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