2. Pinocchio (1940)
The second Disney’s feature feels even more thorough and lush than Snow White, and excels at everything that would be considered Disney’s signature afterwards. Main characters here are extremely likable and easy to emphasize with; they do some really stupid things, but they also admit their failures and try to make things right, and in the end, both Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket cover an impressively long distance on the road of self-improvement. Not to mention that “When You Wish Upon A Star” can be the most important Disney’s song – influenced, no doubt, by the fact that it was used in most of their opening logos even since, but still, it’s a very good choice.

2. Pinocchio (1940)

The second Disney’s feature feels even more thorough and lush than Snow White, and excels at everything that would be considered Disney’s signature afterwards. Main characters here are extremely likable and easy to emphasize with; they do some really stupid things, but they also admit their failures and try to make things right, and in the end, both Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket cover an impressively long distance on the road of self-improvement. Not to mention that “When You Wish Upon A Star” can be the most important Disney’s song – influenced, no doubt, by the fact that it was used in most of their opening logos even since, but still, it’s a very good choice.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
The very first Disney’s feature is also one of the most colossal and essential. This movie is friggin 76 years old, and it already has all main components of Disney’s signature formula: solid plot, beautiful songs, good humor, witty writing, colorful and detailed animation, pure love, a villain that brings her own undoing, a happy ending, and most importantly, seven absolutely gorgeous sidekicks. Between all the songs and puns and jokes and elaborate animation sequences it’s really hard not to look at the date of release again and marvel at how much was already achieved more than 50 films ago.
How much you can do with a smile and a song indeed.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

The very first Disney’s feature is also one of the most colossal and essential. This movie is friggin 76 years old, and it already has all main components of Disney’s signature formula: solid plot, beautiful songs, good humor, witty writing, colorful and detailed animation, pure love, a villain that brings her own undoing, a happy ending, and most importantly, seven absolutely gorgeous sidekicks. Between all the songs and puns and jokes and elaborate animation sequences it’s really hard not to look at the date of release again and marvel at how much was already achieved more than 50 films ago.

How much you can do with a smile and a song indeed.

One year ago, on my trip to Paris, I visited a Disneyland park for the first time, and that was one of my most amazing travelling experiences.

People sometimes write about “unlocking their inner kid” and stuff, but in my case there is nothing to unlock – that kid is pretty much on the loose most of the time. What I do want to point out is that how much my inner adult was pleased by all the meaning and undeniable power of the whole “Disney experience”.

Because the “Disney experience” starts long before you step foot on the park’s ground, and that’s the whole point. You grow with these movies, or your kids grow with these movies, but you can’t help but to be at least somewhat exposed to their vibe and their message, and then you come to a park and see that it’s real. And you don’t see just some abstract roller coasters and tea cups and merry-go-rounds that give you endorphins by means of exciting movement patterns. You see parts of the worlds, familiar settings brought to life. You’ve got the context. Messages noted and emotions experienced earlier on, when you watched these movies, surface again, and then combine with new experience. It’s real and imaginary worlds singing in unison. It’s an augmented reality without Google Glass or any other hi-tech gizmos.

All that doesn’t diminish the awesomeness of Disneyland Paris itself, of course. Every stone is in its place, every little water fountain placed carefully to create the beauty. I’m used to see such beautiful and detailed exterior/interior design in videogames, but not in real life, and I saw my share of iconic world heritage architecture.

But the thing that blew my mind above all was the Disney Dreams show. A massive and spectacular 25-minutes long display of fireworks, fire, light and sound in its own right, it is also the boldest and clearest example of how powerful real and imaginary are when they intertwine together. When you stand there in a crowd underneath a clear spring evening sky and watch the magic happen underneath your nose, you simply can’t help but to realize how profoundly important and powerful the second star to the right from some 50’s kids’ movies can be.

It has also inspired me to watch through all 53 (and counting) Disney animated feature films. Now, I am a slow person, which is why I’m finishing it’s only now, a whole year later, and I’m also bad “plan a schedule and stick to it” person, which is why I wasn’t posting any impressions as I watched them. However, I also have good memory, so what I’m gonna do nonetheless is to write a little bit of something about every single feature, from Snow White to Frozen, and then I’m gonna use one of those “30 day challenges” as a way to talk about my various favorites among them. All to spread the love a bit, of course. I owe my Disney experience that much.

Re-listened Anathema’s Weather Systems today. Still one of the most beautiful musical creations made on this planet. An amazing soundscape of heavenly melodies and vocals. A peaceful and soothing record focused entirely on death. All of sadness of this world chanelled into something bright. A mixture of acceptance and transcendence, and a statement about the immortality of love. Simply mesmerizing.

Re-listened Anathema’s Weather Systems today. Still one of the most beautiful musical creations made on this planet. An amazing soundscape of heavenly melodies and vocals. A peaceful and soothing record focused entirely on death. All of sadness of this world chanelled into something bright. A mixture of acceptance and transcendence, and a statement about the immortality of love. Simply mesmerizing.


Consider, if you will, a future where technology is unbound. In this environment, human beings are capable of reaching beyond the limits that nature imposes upon them, not just through the use of external technological apparatuses, but also through the merging of the human organism with cybernetic devices.
We can, quite literally, build a better person. Life can become something that is not just a voyage where you are the passenger, at the whim of your DNA and the vagaries of an imperfect, random biology. Life can be what we wish it to be, and our minds and bodies the canvas on which we can draw our own future.
We can build wings if we wish to, and leave the cradle behind. The only limitations to where our flight will take us are our will and our intellect.
Building Wings: A Better Tomorrow, by David Sarif

3-4 years ago, I could have thought long and hard which one of the Deus Ex Human Revolution endings to choose. Now, however, I made up my mind long before the end. The world portrayed by the game is cyberpunky all right, with countless homeless living on the streets while mega-corporations’ high-ranking staff sit on polished furniture in penthouses high above them. And yet, it is somehow brighter than many, because at the core of it is a dream - a dream for a truly better future.
I think advocating transhumanism has a lot to do with the ability to embrace change and to believe that it will be ultimately good. We are and always will be changing; we are redefining what it means to be human constantly, bit by bit, with our internet and cellphones, with wi-fi and tablets, with huge metal machines that can fly across the world in hours; but we haven’t destroyed ourselves yet - on the contrary, we improved the average quality of life all over the place. We also managed to raise our moral standards and are evolving not only technologically but ethically. So why not keep trusting each other? The stakes will keep raising, no doubt, but so will our abilities and wisdom as a race. We’re up to the challenge.
Now that I think of it, a lot of my favorite recent big RPG titles had something to do with change. In Dragon Age, two wittiest (and, in some sense, central) characters, Flemeth and Morrigan, talked a lot about the necessity and inevitability of change. In Mass Effect, the world got caught in an endless vicious circle of destruction in order to cap biological beings’ power, because an AI calculated it as the only long-term risk-free solution for them to avoid self-destruction (and the best solution to this “solution” was also transhumanism).
And yes, an augmented fetus on a picture above may be creepy, but that’s what change is all about: stepping out of a comfort zone and sticking with it for awhile, until the advantages become apparent. Why should they always be advantages and not disadvantages? Because they are new and unpredictable, if nothing else. They will enrich the life with more diverse experience.
So I will second David Sarif here: imagine a world where blind people can see again. Where people without legs can walk. Where cancer, AIDS and other plagues are beaten. A world with not only racial and sexual, but genetic equality. It absolutely doesn’t mean we will be gods; there are still countless ways in which the wide ever-expanding universe can make a total mockery of our plans. But the degree of control matters, and so does every moment of happiness when you think you can really make a difference. The illusion of control will remain an illusion - but it’s such a nice illusion to have.

Consider, if you will, a future where technology is unbound. In this environment, human beings are capable of reaching beyond the limits that nature imposes upon them, not just through the use of external technological apparatuses, but also through the merging of the human organism with cybernetic devices.

We can, quite literally, build a better person. Life can become something that is not just a voyage where you are the passenger, at the whim of your DNA and the vagaries of an imperfect, random biology. Life can be what we wish it to be, and our minds and bodies the canvas on which we can draw our own future.

We can build wings if we wish to, and leave the cradle behind. The only limitations to where our flight will take us are our will and our intellect.

Building Wings: A Better Tomorrow, by David Sarif

3-4 years ago, I could have thought long and hard which one of the Deus Ex Human Revolution endings to choose. Now, however, I made up my mind long before the end. The world portrayed by the game is cyberpunky all right, with countless homeless living on the streets while mega-corporations’ high-ranking staff sit on polished furniture in penthouses high above them. And yet, it is somehow brighter than many, because at the core of it is a dream - a dream for a truly better future.

I think advocating transhumanism has a lot to do with the ability to embrace change and to believe that it will be ultimately good. We are and always will be changing; we are redefining what it means to be human constantly, bit by bit, with our internet and cellphones, with wi-fi and tablets, with huge metal machines that can fly across the world in hours; but we haven’t destroyed ourselves yet - on the contrary, we improved the average quality of life all over the place. We also managed to raise our moral standards and are evolving not only technologically but ethically. So why not keep trusting each other? The stakes will keep raising, no doubt, but so will our abilities and wisdom as a race. We’re up to the challenge.

Now that I think of it, a lot of my favorite recent big RPG titles had something to do with change. In Dragon Age, two wittiest (and, in some sense, central) characters, Flemeth and Morrigan, talked a lot about the necessity and inevitability of change. In Mass Effect, the world got caught in an endless vicious circle of destruction in order to cap biological beings’ power, because an AI calculated it as the only long-term risk-free solution for them to avoid self-destruction (and the best solution to this “solution” was also transhumanism).

And yes, an augmented fetus on a picture above may be creepy, but that’s what change is all about: stepping out of a comfort zone and sticking with it for awhile, until the advantages become apparent. Why should they always be advantages and not disadvantages? Because they are new and unpredictable, if nothing else. They will enrich the life with more diverse experience.

So I will second David Sarif here: imagine a world where blind people can see again. Where people without legs can walk. Where cancer, AIDS and other plagues are beaten. A world with not only racial and sexual, but genetic equality. It absolutely doesn’t mean we will be gods; there are still countless ways in which the wide ever-expanding universe can make a total mockery of our plans. But the degree of control matters, and so does every moment of happiness when you think you can really make a difference. The illusion of control will remain an illusion - but it’s such a nice illusion to have.