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Archive for September, 2009

Information Planet

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Just ask George.

is it that time again?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Right, self-assessment time.  Where to begin? There’s a tsunami of news and information out there. It’s easy to get lost, or at least diverted.  I want to learn more about remote viewing and Kirlian photography, but somehow end up on the latest Rip Taylor blog, or playing the Kevin Bacon game.

You begin reading, then start skimming. Or vice versa. You don’t want to get hit with a wall of words. Time becomes elastic: you can leap through a dozen sites in as many seconds only to find yourself immersed far, far too long. Now you’re late for work!

Not only that, it takes only a few mouse clicks to max out your credit cards on stuff you swore you’d never ever buy. It’s an impulse medium. Amazon’s got it down to a real science, and their stock is still pretty healthy.

Crikes, where was I? Right, the train of thought thing. I find the more information I get the harder it is to organize. So I prioritize. I think we all do that: we search for the fleeting and compelling at the same time. Without organization you get the equivalent of a junk drawer.

Everybody has a junk drawer: admit it. You know what I mean. Cluttered with memories, shells, souveniers, dream fragments  and little things you just can’t bear to throw away because they meant something sometime.

Except the web doesn’t work that way, unless you bookmark it, or use the Wayback Machine, or – hold a sec,  Kevin Bacon’s on the phone again.

Get Don on the Phone

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Casey Kasem, arguably the world’s most famous and influential DJ, throws a major fit. The audio is quite real; but SPIKE TV felt they could only present it with a silly cartoon overlay. The (un)intended effect is that the cartoon overrides the reality. You’re more likely to just follow the eyes instead of the tantrum.

If you’ve never seen/heard Casey before, you now have an impression that can’t be easily dissociated. Explicit visuals destroy imagination. More likely you’ll remember the cartoon, not what he actually said.

It used to be called Theatre of the Mind. Radio shows like Inner Sanctum, Lights Out and the Lone Ranger worked so well because there was no possible way to agree on what these characters actually looked like. But with games and TV, there’s already a visual template.

Try Ray Bradbury’s October Game to jump your senses.

TED’s Excellent Adventure

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

What first struck me about this Photosynth demo is that it’s from March 2007.  I’m posting this in Sept. 2009.  I can only imagine what they’ve done since and aren’t showing us yet.

In the demo, the author of Photosynth makes a brief reference to Metaverse, a once-fictional concept he’s taken quite literally. Supplanting techological architecture with individual (human) perspectives can lead to an infinite depth of knowledge.

Providing the supplemented input is correct, of course. This TED is not this TED.

Quaked or Doomed?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

You are the software: id changed everything with Doom and Quake. 1st person shoot-em-ups, nearly perfect in their horror and brilliance. You see things thru computer eyes and have a natural (or unnatural?) response… oh, you know that already.



Stop, Dave…

Delicious?

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Delicious is a little more ambitious and certainly not as sloppy as Google Reader.  Easy install on Firefox; however, after you restart, Deli opens a wide sidebar on the left, as if you were opening the History sidebar. Immediately it’s cut my reading space by another third, and the introductory how-to page grabs what’s left of the work screen.

I’m dubious about any so-called “free” program that wants your personal information (bookmarks) by default. Who’s collecting your “personal” information? Remember, you’re uploading bookmarks, etc., to anonymous third party systems.

While they exist, I recommend No Script, Ghostery, Taboo and Read It Later – simple Firefox add-ons that don’t seem to compromise your security. Ghostery, for example, will show you how many other tracking sites are following your every move as you surf-n-share.

As we move into increasingly “anonymous” cyber territory, Identity Theft Protection will be THE primary concern if not already. Too many companies STILL ask for “the last 4 digits of your SS number.”

We’re not cyborgs yet, but don’t be surprised if you need a tattoo or bar code on your arm. Or perhaps a retinal scan (bar code tattoos are so 20th Century).

Solar Panels for Crematoriums

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

NON FRIENDLY PLANET CREMATORIUM

We can talk ourselves into oblivion, but results matter; we must return to our roots for brick-and-mortar solutions to save the planet.

Item #1: ABOVE: Crematorium without solar panels. Coal-fired production of unnecessary materials producing unacceptable levels of sulphur and other toxins.

Item #2: BELOW: Solar enhanced PF (Planet Friendly) crematorium optimized for maximum (reasonable) results.

PLANET FRIENDLY CREMATORIUM

Bureaucracy in Motion: The Python Argument Clinic

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Mary Shelley’s Dream

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Thanx to Frankensteinia for this quote:

As a child I scribbled; and my favourite pastime, during the hours given me for recreation, was to “write stories.” Still I had a dearer pleasure than this, which was the formation of castles in the air — the indulging in waking dreams — the following up trains of thought, which had for their subject the formation of a succession of imaginary incidents. My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings.”

— Mary Shelley

Leo Burnett: King of Advertising

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Leo Burnett changed the Western world by taking inanimate material and giving them human personalities. He created Tony the Tiger, Jolly Green Giant and much more.

Burnett synthesized fantastic voice talents like Thurl Ravenscroft and Paul Frees to breathe life into cereal boxes and canned veggies.

If the human element is removed, machines will collapse; they have no purpose or being. “Artificial Intelligence” is our own conundrum.

We are the Frankensteins, the Alchemists of super duper toasters. Hal is the perfect example; yet so is Karloff.

Another good video link here.