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It was with an odd mixture of amusement and horror that I read Wired’s piece on the making of the HyperAdapt 1.0—better known as Nike’s power-lacing shoes. You know, like the ones we saw 27 years ago in “Back to the Future Part II.” For approximately 12 seconds of screen time.

And what did that 12 seconds of screen time lead to?

“After 28 years of brainstorming and 11 years of R&D, after many false starts, delays, and blown deadlines, after the vanquishing of internal skepticism, after innumerable prototypes, iterations, and redesigns, Nike’s automatic electronic self-lacing shoe is scheduled to ship to stores this holiday season, ” Wired reported in an extensive piece on the creation of the shoe and the “secret lab” in which it was born.

Make no mistake: The self-lacing shoe is a rather remarkable little device. You put your foot in it and … it laces itself. It has a little motor in it that tightens and loosens the shoe as you need, saving countless seconds each day. The battery that operates said motor only needs to be charged once a week, connecting the shoes to a power source via magnets. It’s neat! It’s cool! It’s our culture’s nostalgic obsession with Basic Cable Classic minutiae made tangible.

My annoyance is, perhaps, unfair — there are surely a few hundred professional athletes this technology might help one day — but the frustration is honest and has been building for some time. It started about a year ago, during “Back to the Future Day, ” a corporate-driven monstrosity designed to whip up excitement about a mediocre sequel to a great film released a quarter century ago. Seeing the success of this, an even phonier holiday dubbed “Alien Day” was foisted on the masses on April 26 — a reference to “LV-426, ” the planetoid on which Ridley Scott’s xenomorph was first discovered. One winces in terror while thinking about the multitude of bogus fanboy bait on the horizon: perhaps Elon Musk can invent replicants for us to hunt for a “Blade Runner Day” in 2019?

Our culture is devolving into one that is only interested in gleaning entertainment from past pleasures, in escaping our current predicaments — pop cultural and otherwise — and diving into the past. It calls to mind “The Entertainment” from David Foster Wallace’s opus, “Infinite Jest.” A work of staggering beauty that renders any who view it instantly addicted to its pleasures, The Entertainment is a form of personal, and cultural, suicide: Audiences can’t help but go back to it, viewing it again and again, giving up on everything else life has to offer.

The sci-fi novel “The Unincorporated Man” offers a similar warning about the dangers of escaping into entertainment and the past. Dani and Eytan Kollin’s book posits a sort of libertarian future in which nothing is banned — except for virtual reality rigs, the obsessive use of which prompted the “Grand Collapse.” People simply gave up living in the real world, choosing instead to waste away immersed in phony storytelling and idealized glimpses of the past. The most haunting section of the book comes when the novel’s hero, Justin Cord, takes a trip to a VR museum and experiences what it was like to watch men consign their families to a slow-but-painless death by starvation rather than deal with what the future had to offer.

It’s not just the pleasures of pop culture that we should worry about being addicted to. One of the more arresting images in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men” was Nigel’s (Danny Huston) Ark of Arts, a collection of the west’s great artistic treasures. Nigel had surrounded himself with the works of a civilization on the brink of collapse in order to “preserve” them — but, in truth, he was using their brilliant beauty to blind him from the chaos outside his government-defended walls. It was classic(al) decadence, a sort of cultural suicide softened by nostalgia for what was.

None of us are immune from the charms of past pleasures; I myself felt a tingle of joy when Nintendo announced they would be releasing a “mini-NES” containing 30 classic 8-bit games from the groundbreaking video game console. But we should be wary of spending so much of our time enamored of ephemera. Power-lacing shoes may not be too terrible in and of themselves. However, they are a physical reminder that we are in danger of becoming obsessed with looking backward instead of staring off into the future. And civilizations have a hard time surviving that defect.



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Is there a difference between the Nike Air Pegasus and the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus? - Quora

I think zoom is more soft and comfortable

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I think those gestures work only for InteractiveObject-s, so wrap it (elevator) in some Sprite.




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