December 11th, 2006


Politics could get interesting.

I re-read Neal Stephenson's Interface recently. It's all about dodgy goings-on in the U.S. Presidential election, with (natch) an sf twist, but much of the book is about how media is used now - or, rather, twelve years ago, when the book was written. For example, since a TV doesn't have a flat gamma curve, dark things look very dark, light things glare, and only things in the middle look how they are. Thus, Stephenson notes, if you've got dark eyes but aren't used to TV, you look around at the interesting things in the studio, and the camera picks up the whites of your eyes. The camera responds disproportionately, and it looks like your eyes are bulging out of your face. If you're versed in the subject - as current politicians are - you keep your eyes looking straight ahead and turn your whole head. This keeps you looking normal.

So far, so today. Now we come to this paragraph. Cy Ogle, a pollster, is explaining how HD television is going to affect things, once it becomes the norm:

"All of the politicians currently in power will be voted out of office, and we will have a completely new power structure. Because high-definition television has a flat gamma curve and higher resolution, and people who look good on today's television will look bad on HDTV and voters will respond accordingly. Their oversized pores will be visible, the red veins in their noses from drinking too much, the artificiality of their TV-friendly hairdos will make them all look, on HDTV, like country-and-western singers. A new generation of politicians will take over and they will all look like movie stars, because HDTV will be a great deal like film, and movie stars know how to look good on film."

Today's weather

Medium rain. Light rain. Heavy rain. Snow. And now sunshine.

I'm going into town now, before a blizzard kicks in.
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