This could work.
There's plenty to parody (pivoting, easy money, demographics, ivy league obsession, VCs, new angel investors, the term "disrupt") but how people handle success is really not one of them.
Just before closing credits:
"Well, that space looks like it's going nowhere. We've decided to pivot and focus on coupons for pet owners, and it'll have a really big social aspect to it too."
"Well, it turns out that cat owners don't get out much, so we're pivoting. We think that what they really want is to stream music over their pet's collar"
"Well, who knew that Cocker Spaniels are frightened by Ke$ha? So we're pivoting, and what we're going to focus on now is overnight construction materials delivery. Concrete mix, FedEx'd to your door!"
In addition, the target audience of the show are unlikely to know very much about the valley. I would expect most people believe the valley is "kids from Harvard who think they're hot shit, trying to get rich doing something useless".
We have, in the Valley, a preponderance of companies started and run by nerds. I suspect that reality has leaked into the public consciousness.
Here's my view of the Valley from 1997:
No one brings radio’s into work – they just use RealAudio and listen to “thedj.com.”
Exactly - lots of idiosyncrasies, but the rich guys don't act like assholes.
Here's him asking about ruby: http://www.tout.com/m/t0x6dh
judge drawing on one of our desks: http://www.tout.com/m/q8ppc1
here's the full stream: http://www.tout.com/hashtags/MikeJudgeToutHQ
It sort of inverts the Office Space formula and shows the sometimes taxing, even soul-crushing nature of entrepreneurship.
It seems to follow the pattern of Office Space and Idiocracy in being panned by critics and ignored by audiences at first, and then quickly developing a cult following and being recognized as pretty brilliant.
Here is a list of movies that critics and non-critics consider to be much better post WWII satires than Idiocracy, according to internet ratings of these movies. Note: many of these are more humorous and brutal while being less crude and light-hearted than Idiocracy. Also many have plot, emotion, and deep characterization.
Films: American Psycho, A Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Dr. Strangelove, Office Space(also Mike Judge)
My main problem with Idiocracy as a satire is that the message it sends is flatly incorrect, because the rules of their world are not the same as ours. It is a satire of some alternate universe in which we are not living, it has no applicability for the world we live in.
Film's message: "If our societies ever end up giving a competitive advantage to low IQ people, time travel will be necessary to correct society's decline."
The truth:"If our societies ever end up giving a competitive advantage to low IQ people, natural selection will take care of it, since intelligence seems to be a competitive advantage for apes."
I think the true message is also a better call to arms for both intelligent people and unintelligent people. The movie Idiocracy seemed like it was made to be consumed by the citizens of the low-IQ world, in both plot and acting. I do enjoy its light-heartedness.
Much more realistic are the famous dystopian texts, especially Harrison Bergeron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron
The satire is the stuff like politics being an obvious (blatant?) popularity contest and people not having any notion of where their food comes from. You know, like today.
I think even the fall of society depicted in the movie is mostly a plot device. For instance, in much of the developed world, trash is simply thrown on a big pile (generally a special, well managed pile, but nonetheless a big pile).
The movie isn't a warning where we are headed, it is a withering criticism of where we are.
I think it appealed too much to "the masses" to be enjoyed by "sophisticated" people. And I think that the satire bits were much too sparing to really be absorbed by "unsophisticated" watchers. No one under the age of 18 that I talked with has any idea that this movie is a "withering criticism of where we are". Here's why:
I do agree with you that the movie had satiric elements, and I agree that it pointed out the specific issues that you say it pointed out. But if you watch the movie, these issues are only briefly mentioned, they are not explored or analyzed. If the film was pared down to the satire bits, it would be about 7 minutes long. The plot of the film was Luke Wilson the time traveler saving the world, the serious satire elements were the setting. Well if the plot doesn't get the message through, we can use the characters, right? Unfortunately, the low IQ people in the film were incapable of talking about their problems in a sympathetic way that most people can understand. Few people recognized that the characters were actually caricatures, because they were so dumb and happy about their lot in life. When you watch Schindler's List, do you relate to the characters that are unsympathetic oppressors or to the characters that are sympathetic and oppressed?
My friends and family were effected much more by the satire in Planet of the Apes, which is very similar movie to Idiocracy. The main thrust of both plots is "a hero saves the day," and the satire elements are mostly setting. PotA works as satire because some of the ape and human characters had problems that they were struggling with, just like you and I! None of the lower IQ people in Idiocracy was struggling with anything; the "dystopia" was NOT a nightmare for them, because they had IQs too low to express any anguish and garner any sympathy.
I think the movie would have made an excellent short film, and I think Luke Wilson would have been brilliant in it. It would have made a fantastic Family Guy episode for those that enjoy Family Guy. It failed as a feature length film which is disappointing from such an effective artist as Mike Judge.
My friends and family were affected much more by the satire
There were many effects of the movie - one was to make the watchers cry, the other was to make dinosaurs explode onscreen.
They were affected by the movie.
I have affected the deal - pray that I do not affect it further.
Affect is always a verb. Effect is always a noun, except when it's a verb. In that case you rely on a subject/object agreement thing, and English should really drop both words and use ffect instead.
Nothing in Idiocracy matches "Springtime for Hitler."
Now, it's true that many aspects of the Cold War feel like really old news. Thank god.
(Though at this point, as (arguably!) a former colleague of Hans Bethe , I'm professionally obligated to deliver this public-service announcement: Nuclear arsenals are way out of fashion these days, and are never talked about outside of defense procurement committee meetings, but that doesn't mean they're gone. Nuclear weapons still exist and could blow you up today.)
However, even apart from the nuclear angle, Dr. Strangelove continues to be a movie about a big war that is secretly planned in advance by cabinet-level executives working with the military-industrial complex. Then the war gets kicked off by a very small cabal which engineers a highly visible attack on a handful of targets by a few rogue aircraft. Can anyone else see how this story might have remained relevant in the twenty-first century?
 I was a grad student in his department. It's a bit tenuous, really. But, for better and for worse, I consider myself inducted into the guild of people that build doom devices and later come to regret them. Sigh.
They don't talk about this in CS departments.
Your hero was Dr. Evil.
1. Von Neumann was biggest proponent of first strike
2. Was in a wheelchair
3. Wanted to create a doomsday machine that would destroy the worlds crops with intentional global warming. By destroying Russia's crops USA would end up ahead by better agricultural tech
4. Time magazine and others have acknowledged that it was directly based on Von Neumann.
Also Von neumann was way more important. He was easily the most important intellectual of his time. Without him there might have been no nuke at all--it was his design that finally suceeded.
Plus all the big national papers: the Times, Post, Journal, and LA Times, plus all the trades: Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly all shat on it, and many of the small local paper reviews that are counted as positive are mixed at best:
"Although never boring and almost continually amusing, Extract doesn't work as a movie because you don't buy a minute of it, even as silly satire."
"Extract has some flavor, but the comedic kick is diluted by flat characters and a thin story."
It reminds me of something Tim Heidecker said about the horrible reviews for 'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie': "If you're a critic and you walk out of a theater wondering what the filmmakers could have possibly been thinking, maybe you missed something?"
You would think critics would give the benefit of the doubt to the guy who made Idiocracy and Office Space, especially considering the critical reappraisal each of them has gotten in the years since their release.
I'd also point out that King of the Hill was a great show, if a little too dry for most tastes.
I felt like I was watching an Idiocracy-era satire. "LOOK, PEOPLE ARE STUPID, SAY AND DO STUPID THINGS"
I didn't like Idiocracy the first time I saw it...but grew to appreciate it after rewatching it during the 2008 presidential election
Boy I got a good laugh out of that I tell you what. Mike Judge knows how to cut to the bone with everything he creates
On the one hand it's under appreciated, on the other as cartoon with a complex view of american life that isn't going for the "big laughs" I'm surprised it wasn't cancelled in a week.
Edit: Sorry, not by Judge, it's just really funny.
A part of that is just your curmudgeon factor increasing as you get older. [quickly steps off lawn]
Edit: my tablet reinterpreted 'doing things' as 'dong tongs'
Idiocracy was good but not as good as Office Space. I think that there was an extremely dark humor (see also: Borat, Bruno) that hit the spot during the Bush years, but now seems less funny. Or maybe I am just older and less into schadenfreude.
Are you sure about that?
>The film's scheduled release date was August 5, 2005, according to Mike Judge. In April 2006, a release date was set for September 1, 2006. In August, numerous articles revealed that release was to be put on hold indefinitely. Idiocracy was released as scheduled but only in seven cities (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Mike Judge's hometown, Austin, Texas), and expanded to only 130 theaters, not the usual wide release of 600 or more theaters. According to the Austin American-Statesman, 20th Century Fox, the film's distributor, did nothing to promote the movie; while posters were released to theatres, "no movie trailers, no ads, and only two stills," and no press kits were released.
>The film was not screened for critics. Lack of concrete information from Fox led to speculation that the distributor may have actively tried to keep the film from being seen by a large audience, while fulfilling a contractual obligation for theatrical release ahead of a DVD release, according to Ryan Pearson of the AP. That speculation was followed by open criticism of the studio's lack of support from Ain't It Cool News, TIME, and Esquire. TIME's Joel Stein wrote "the film's ads and trailers tested atrociously", but, "still, abandoning Idiocracy seems particularly unjust, since Judge has made a lot of money for Fox."
This is just you turning into a curmudgeon; that is, your mind ossifying and you being unable to absorb new ideas as readily.
In Idiocracy, medical care, among other decisions, are issued through simple touch-screen devices.
Currently, the popular idealized interface is finger-touch, such that even a toddler can figure it out. Styluses and keyboards and other peripherals are ostracized as laughably archaic/geeky ways to do input, and are probably not far from being seen, as Idiocracy's citizens would put it, "faggy".
Bret Victor has a good rant on this:
In Idiocracy, despite decent progression in technology, the result has been more passive consumerism than active creation of media
From the Times: Wasting Time Is New Divide in Digital Era
(To underscore that point, I think it's not a stretch to say that the iPad is geared much more towards media consumption than creation)
Ow My Balls
Actually, Ow My Balls was pretty good for an early iOS game. I'm thinking of the popularity of "Fart Sounds" and every freemium social game that dominates the top-grossing list. I'm not as big into the gaming scene anymore, but from my distant perspective, it seems that the future of gaming (despite Zynga's current troubles), is moving more towards Angry Birds or worse...Nintendo is floundering. It'll be nearly 7 years since the PS3 was released (the PS3 was released 6 years after the PS2) and no release date yet for the PS4...I love Angry Birds, but in terms of gaming, I'd consider it more "Idiocracy" endpoint than "non-Idiocracy"
There is still hope. (The counterpoint to the above is the top grossing list. That's much sadder)
OK. That's bad... why? How is it bad to remove accidental difficulty? 'Accidental difficulty' being difficulty imposed by a bad interface, such as how annoying it was to drop a deck of punched cards. Sorting punched cards is not an essential part of programming; it is accidental. This terminology is due to Brooks, in The Mythical Man-Month.
> Styluses and keyboards and other peripherals are ostracized as laughably archaic/geeky ways to do input
As long as keyboards remain available, reasonably high-quality, and not too expensive, I'll be happy. If most people don't use them, that's fine with me.
> the result has been more passive consumerism than active creation of media
Most people have never created most kinds of things. Most people don't want to and are not good at it.
Besides, whenever we do focus on user-created media, what do we do? Laugh at blogs and GeoCities pages. There is literally no way to please the kinds of people who think Idiocracy makes good points.
> Ow My Balls
Bear baiting. When bear baiting makes a comeback, come talk to me.
Why do you say this? Almost everyone I know makes SOMETHING and they normally like doing so and are proud of their creations. It could be a batch of cookies from a personal recipe, a well crafted letter to a newspaper, a hand knit bedspread, or a nicely decorated living room. People are making things all of the time!
They might not be making things professionally or for distribution, but to say that they don't want to and are not good at it is very short sighted.
In 2004, relatively few of the people I was listening to voted for George W. Bush.
It's not one of the standard things that one generation always accuses "kids these days" of being guilty of. It's not like language choice or concepts of etiquette and politeness and changing social mores.
It's something that pops up in cultures constantly and when it gains a good foothold it royally fucks that culture up for a few generations before being stamped out again ... if it's not destroyed by a culture still embracing new ideas in the interim.
The whole premise of Idiocracy is as a morality tale about the dangers of anti-intellectual consumerism culture. Exactly what new ideas are being ignored if you find that a well suited criticism of contemporary culture?
In fact if I were prone to more paranoia, I would suggest that some Hollywood honcho sat Mike down in some dark office and explained to him that he has done a terrible thing by making office space, and he has to suffer, and only if he suffers willingly and eagerly for more than ten years by continuously making this awful trash called King of the Hill, only then he will be back in the good graces of the powers that be. But of course that is just my imagination. I am sure nobody actually had to explain this to Mike Judge. He likely figured it out on his own.
I don't think Mike Judge has much to apologize for; also, if you really think KOTH "carefully reinforces the traditional power structure", your irony sensors are so irreparably broken that you should have all of modern culture explained to you via a translator.
I'm not sure if I'm being serious or not. I do love those shows though.
While any show running for so long has hit-and-miss episodes, overall the the show is very well rounded - it explores controversial subjects with care and grace, while remaining funny and heartwarming. And yes, the humor can be quite dry. It's not for kids with short attention spans and who need constant gag after gag, i.e. Family Guy. In most episodes it's difficult to discern whether the moralistic views are real "American values" or a parody of them. It's much more about episode-long deep satire than one-off jokes.
It's not about the setting or the characters or even the jokes (which are both more dry and generally less funny than other projects, and I love dry humour).
It's about the complete reversal of the counter-culture commentary that made Office Space and Idiocracy popular. If you choose a boring hack writer setting (teacher wife, blue collar father, stupid son, etc, etc) for your show then you better make that choice the focus of your commentary, like the Simpsons did. The setting was chosen in order to comment on it. If King of the Hill was doing that then the commentary appeared to be "Isn't this nice. See how wonderful life can be when you don't question your place? Learning won't make you happy, conformity will. Good hard work and ignorance can be fulfilling".
I don't think anyone is wrong for liking it, but you certainly can't complain that fans of Judge's other work dislike that level of support for an anti-intellectual outlook.
But it's really not. Another reply put it better than I could as far as the reversal of commentary:
> if you really think KOTH "carefully reinforces the traditional power structure", your irony sensors are so irreparably broken that you should have all of modern culture explained to you via a translator.
Note: I didn't watch the show religiously.
We can agree that there were specific times when the characters were happy but I think we can also agree that there were times of deep sadness. Mostly the happiness was portrayed as being very superficial, and the sadness was generally existential and deep. In the episodes that I saw, this deep sadness was due to how the "traditional power structure" tried to mold them. It's a pity that they didn't break out of their molds, but as a show I think the zeitgeist was their deep dissatisfaction with their lives, punctuated with small insignificant victories.
Think about Beavis and Butthead. Do I think that it glamorized(to some extent) acting like a jackass? Yep. Did it make me want to act or be like either character? Nope. Do I think it "convinced" any normal humans into acting like jackasses any more than the evening news does? Nope.
The word "agency" is often used to describe the ability of a human to act as an agent, or the ability of a system to act as an agent. Philosophers like Marx often focus on systems as agents, other philosophers (I am not well read) and sociologists commonly focus on individuals as agents. Debating agency is very fun, and can be done at all times in all places, since literally everything is an "agent" :) . How much free will does a given agent possess; how are an agent's choices constrained by the systems in which it exists and the tools it has available?
Also there is an academic philosophy thread here that you might be interested in:
> Debating agency is very fun, and can be done at all times in all places
Yes it is and yes it can! I can't count the number of times I've had to backtrack and explain the concept of agency when having discussions where I brought it up.
He has to.
Man they don't even need writers, just read HN all day.
They also rarely use the pilot process. A lot of the big series are just approved and produced as full seasons.
"First rule of Silicon Valley, you think about the user, the experience. You don't think about the money, ever."
Well done. This is exactly the kind of idea that the show is probably going to be ruthlessly mocking.
His financial advisers and PR people seem exceptionally talented, he has, so far, hidden any ounce of talent from the public.