The Underground — Issue #26
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A film that is dedicated to over-the-top 80’s action films, a book that will change how competitive you are, learn how rain actually works, 10 life tips for a better you, and one of the best science fiction television shows ever made.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. KUNG FURY is a Swedish made throwback to 80’s action flicks is the only film you’ll ever need. Sometime last year a trailer for a silly action flick blew up the Internet. It featured one ridiculous thing after another which didn’t seem to make sense, but it was funny and awesome at the same time.
Watching the trailer, one had to suspect that it was just a joke for a film that would never see the light of day, but that was thrown out completely when the full film was put on YouTube for free. What we get is the most over-the-top action film that bleeds everything we loved and hated about the 80’s. My words do no justice, so just watch KUNG FURY with a big bag of popcorn.
2. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd is a book that will make you stop trying so hard.
One of the biggest things I learned in college and in life was that trying way too hard and worrying all the time will make you worse for wear. I came through this realization when I was 23-years-old and got braces. At that point in life, I really had no major success with women and was doing bad in college. When I got braces, I basically gave up trying to get girls and busting my ass in college. What happened? I actually cared about doing good in school because I wasn’t trying so hard. I started getting noticed by women because I wasn’t trying. It was actually confusing because I didn’t know what I was doing to cause this. This is essentially what this book teaches you to do.
Why trying to be the best … competing like crazy … makes you mediocre
Every few years a book—through a combination of the author’s unique voice, storytelling ability, wit, and insight—simply breaks the mold. Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods is one example. Richard Feynman’s “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” is another.
Now comes Youngme Moon’s Different, a book for “people who don’t read business books.” Actually, it’s more like a personal conversation with a friend who has thought deeply about how the world works … and who gets you to see that world in a completely new light.
If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it’s the absolute importance of “competing like crazy.” Youngme Moon’s message is simply “Get off this treadmill that’s taking you nowhere. Going tit for tat and adding features, augmentations, and gimmicks to beat the competition has the perverse result of making you like everyone else.” Different provides a highly original perspective on what it means to offer something that is meaningfully different—different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive.
Youngme Moon identifies the outliers, the mavericks, the iconoclasts—the players who have thoughtfully rejected orthodoxy in favor of an approach that is more adventurous. Some are even “hostile,” almost daring you to buy what they are selling. The MINI Cooper was launched with fearless abandon: “Worried that this car is too small? Look here. It’s even smaller than you think.”
These are players that strike a genuine chord with even the most jaded consumers. In fact, almost every success story of the past two decades has been an exception to the rule. Simply go to your computer and compare AOL and Yahoo! with Google. The former pile on feature upon feature to their home pages, while Google is like an austere boutique, dominating a category filled with “extras.”
Different shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns…but exceptions rule.
It’s a fantastic book that tries to show you your own path to being original. Sure, you can learn to play a Jimi Hendrix song, but can you write one as good as him? There’s a difference between imitating greatness an actually being great. Give this book a read, you won’t regret what it can teach you.
You can buy it on Amazon right now
3. Learn about how rain actually works. I reside in Michigan, where it can rain and snow AND be sunny in a 24 hour period. What I never question is the basics of how it rains, but there are things about rain that I never learned in grade school. One thing I want to preface about water is that water itself doesn’t conduct electricity. I know that sounds insane, but it’s true. It is actually the impurities in the water that conducts electricity that cause you to fry when a hot wire hits a puddle you’re standing in. If it was pure water with no electricity, then you’d be okay, but would still probably want to move.
The impurities in water are also what causes rain to work. This video gives a thorough explanation of how rain works that may have you appreciate a storm more when it starts raining… that is, unless you live in China, and the rain is acid. Don’t go outside and drink that rain.
4. 10 life decisions you will regret making. If you are a human being and reading this, there are probably a lot of decisions you wish you could change. Just writing that line made 5 or 6 bubble to the surface of my brain. “Don’t date that one girl, don’t date that other girl, don’t smoke that cigarette, do better in high school, and seriously, not that girl!”
This list, written by Johnny Webber, gives 10 crucial things all of us wish we had when we were younger and not thinking of the future. I urge you to adhere to these, and if you have kids, read it to them and try to show the importance of each decision they make.
1. Dwelling on one person too much. People change and they always disappoint. Never put anyone on a pedestal.
2. Not taking better care of your teeth. A little bit of maintenance everyday prevents a ton of maintenance down the road.
3. Not wearing sunscreen. You don’t want to look like a worn leather bag when you are older.
4. Drinking and driving. It’s a stupid and selfish decision that will cost you and others.
5. Not apologizing. Arguments happen, but don’t let them ruin lifelong friendships.
6. Charging that big purchase to your credit card. You tell yourself you can pay it off in three months, but then another purchase happens, and then another. Then your car suddenly has engine trouble. Suddenly, you are in so much debt you don’t know what to do.
7. Smoking that first cigarette. Once you start, you cannot stop until it is too late.
8. Not taking a chance. Ask that girl out. Apply for that job you think you are under qualified for.
9. Forcing a long distance relationship. You could be spending a lot of time waiting for someone who is ready to move on.
10. Rushing marriage. You’re young, everything is fun, and marriage seems like the next logical step. Take a step back and wait. Marriage will always be an option, and divorce is a process you don’t want to experience. (Via)
All of this is golden advice. Don’t let one person destroy you, don’t get skin cancer, brush your teeth, drinking and driving is a disaster, be the bigger person and apologize, buying expensive crap on credit is dumb, cigarettes are 3 inches of death, take a chance, don’t date long distance, and don’t rush or settle into marriage. That is 10 tips for any person for a better life.
5. Äkta människor (Translation: Real Humans) is a television show that you need to watch immediately. It was recently announced that AMC was going to remake the Swedish version of this show for English speaking countries. I had never heard of this show, so I went on the look out for a version with subtitles. I finally found it, and it was one of the best pieces of science fiction that I’ve ever experienced. Here’s the summary:
The story takes place in Sweden present time in a parallel universe, where the use of consumer-level androids is commonplace. The androids, known as hubots, are used as servants, workers, and company. While some people embrace this new technology, others are frightened by what can happen when humans are replaced as workers, company, parents, and even lovers. A far-right political movement against the spread of hubots calls itself “real humans”, with some members using the derogatory term “Pacmans” to refer to hubots.
Specific models are designed for various roles, each with different features. Hubots are usually programmed to recognise and obey their owner and can learn skills and pick up knowledge through observation of humans. Hubots have become common in many workplaces, especially for repetitive tasks, and have replaced human workers there.
Though they are designed to look like humans in every way, hubots are usually easy to recognise as they have bright flawless skin, glossy hair and unnaturally bright (usually very blue or very green) eyes. All Hubots also have a USB-like port, in either the back of the neck or in their lower back, which is used for programming and data. The button to activate or de-power a hubot is located under the left armpit, as is a standard wall plug cord for recharging purposes. Hubots require only electricity to survive and must recharge regularly, during which they enter a sleep-like state. Their skin feels similar to human skin and is kept at body temperature but beneath the skin, they have metal components and contain a blue fluid/lubricant known as HubFluid.
Hubots are designed to be docile and obedient and are programmed with a set of rules called “Asimov” protocols that prevent them harming humans. However, some hubots have been modified beyond the legal protocols to make them better lovers or as bodyguards. Such practices are illegal in Sweden and those who modify the programming of the hubots are known as “home-brewers”. A small, low-funded branch of the police is set up to investigate hubot related crimes, known as E-HURB. Hubot-human sexual activity is taboo but not uncommon and many hubots are programmed for limited sexual activity. Those who pursue sexual relationships with hubots are derisively called “Hubbies”.
Further to this, some hubots (those reprogrammed by hubot creator David Eischer) have started to develop feelings, desires and their own goals as their programming has allowed them to develop free will and independence from humans. However, they are still often naive and unworldly and sometimes fail to understand the nuances of complex human behaviour.
If ever there was a show that makes a Ray Kurzweil predicted future seem so close, it’s this show. If Google or another big tech company suddenly came out with this type of robot, I would be surprised, but not that surprised. That’s what makes this show so fantastic.
Have a look at the trailer:
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