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Wednesday, August 15, 2001
been skipping around empire, looking for the less onanist passages :) in the decline and fall (the end) hardt & negri go through a list of demands for "the multitude," nee masses!

1. the right to global citizenship: basically if capital is guaranteed certain rights, freedoms and protections across borders then so also should people be put on the same footing as citizens – the creators of capital, um plugged into the machinery of the law to propagate its flaws. there's a really good discussion on migration as the antithesis of empire pp. 397-399.

2. the right to a social wage: like jeremy rifkin and other living wage proponents have been arguing for (even milton friedman! to an extent, he frames it as a more cost-effective "bribe" against criminality :) the best argument i've heard is that it privileges the wage earner over the caretaker, but we all have to make sacrifices, right?

3. the right to reappropriation: haven't yet seen them mention open-source, much less the internet, tho you kind of expect them to at any moment burst out into evangelism :) but yeah, fair use and the commons. i've sort of always (probably since david thewlis talks with the security guard in naked) wondered if it was possible to open up office buildings at night for people without means to sleep in. i think that would be nice.

also some interesting stuff on how the christian mysteries upset the roman empire and posse—"In Renaissance humanism the triad esse–nosse–posse (being–knowing–having power)… became a force and symbol of resistance, in Bacon's notion of inventio or experimentation, Campanella's conception of love, and Spinoza's usage of potentia… Posse refers to the power of the multitude and its telos, an embodied power of knowledge and being, always open to the possible." in practice, while dismissing rap, they go on (and on :) to say, "The mode of production of the multitude is posed against exploitation in the name of labor, against property in the name of cooperation, and against corruption in the name of freedom." -- pp. 407-408

Tuesday, August 14, 2001
what's his name

Who we believe ourselves to be determines what we think we are capable of being and doing. That's why seminars, intensives, or retreats designed to blow away our presuppositions about ourselves and replace them with farther horizons can have so much power in our lives. When we draw the boundaries out farther, we can imagine ourselves doing what our larger identities allow us to do. We are exhilarated at the feelings of renewal and rebirth that attend such events.

fear and loathing on dxm

Never has a phrase like Fear and Loathing made so much sense to me as it did last weekend. You see, I don't do drugs. I never had. Never even smoked weed. The only time I have ever been drunk was on my 21st birthday. This is not to say, however, that I am unfamiliar to the drug scene. In fact its familiarity is probably what kept me sober all these years.

Monday, August 13, 2001
watched guilty conscience on pax. picked up peter bagge's rockin', poppin' favorites! i have to say it's pretty rockin. (btw, mercury rev is coming out with a new album.) also started reading distress.

greg egan's home page (sheepishly via bruce sterling :)

  • stories and interviews
  • foundations science series
  • some horror stories
  • and much more!
  • interview with an architect (via robot wisdom)

    toilet boom in mountain paradise :) (via world new york)

    Sunday, August 12, 2001
    ars technica review of max payne

    Let me preface this review by saying that Max Payne is a good game. I had fun playing it, it's absolutely gorgeous and the gameplay is action-packed. But I have some complaints, and I'll admit that they are biased by the fact that the game took four years to develop, it was touted as an evolutionary step in action/shooter gameplay and, as far as hype goes, it has become the Star Wars: Episode One of gaming. So, let me start with what I liked in Max Payne…

    see also :

  • future crew history
  • max-fx technology
  • xba-Xtreme Bandwidth Architecture -- "Too good to be true, you say? Stay tuned…"
  • hey, just looked out the window and saw a white cat on the ledge below (only the second floor, tho :) so i flicked a cigarette at it. j/k, i didn't! oh, my hemorrhoids.

    Saturday, August 11, 2001
    some computer history from slashdot

    Once upon a time there was a company called Silicon Graphics. They got their start by making wickedly powerful terminals to provide 2D and 3D graphical front end to massive minicomputers and supercomputers. Mind you this was two years before Apple introduced the Macintosh and Xerox was still playing with the underpowered Star. Shortly there after they began selling a line of large rackmount, standalone graphical computers that used multiple large boards covered with cpus, fast ram, and other goodies to churn out decent primitive 3D in real time using the GL framework (later called IRISgl, which eventually became OpenGL). This was about the time your dad upgraded from a C64 to a IBM XT.

    and a nice blurb (among many :) from SDB

    The reason [why the x86 PC was made] was the IBM antitrust suit. One of the points of issue in that suit was the question of whether IBM had a monopoly. IBM's sales were not an issue, but the size of the market (and thus IBM's share of it) was a serious one. DOJ contended that IBM's market was big mainframes only and that IBM had most of that. IBM tried to claim that all computers sold by everyone no matter the size was the market, which was much bigger and which would have made IBM's overall share much smaller. The judge was leaning towards the DOJ's point of view. For people not alive then it may not be remembered that the microcomputer market was already very large before IBM got into it, especially because of the Commodore C-64 and the Apple-II. If IBM actually had a product competing in that segment then there would be no way that the judge could exclude it, so IBM set out to create one. The critical goal for the project was to get something onto the market as soon as possible: it didn't need to be good, it didn't even need to make money, as long as it was on the market in time to be useful in court.

    grid computing, yay! in permutation city they used them to deflect hurricanes.

    Friday, August 10, 2001
    the physics of the web (via blogdex, which doesn't seem to be working very... well, compared to metalog :)

    Power laws regularly greet us in critical phenomena and describe, for example, the freezing of water or the ordering of spins in a magnet. But there is a crucial difference between these systems and evolving networks. In critical phenomena the exponents are fixed and universal, i.e. they cannot be tuned easily by modifying some parameters in the system. In networks, however, the exponent G can be changed continuously by changing almost every parameter that governs the link and nodes. Thus universality as we know it is absent. However, most complex systems share the same dynamical character as evolving networks, indicating that their topology and evolution cannot be divorced from each other. [perhaps measured by q?]

    also cool stuff on the internet as a bose-einstein condensate(!?), percolation theory and fragmentation (it doesn't) and virus propogation in "scale-free" networks (it does).

    the physics of deep sea animals (via scitech)

    was watching this national geographic where they attached a whale-cam to a sperm whale (they were looking for giant squid!). did you know that sperm whales sleep vertically, head down, beneath the waves?

    oh wait, and a whale's penis is called a dork! greetings porn monkeys.

    Thursday, August 9, 2001
    mitsu hadeishi's unifying! theory of stupid (reminiscent of holism or the 8th level of spiral dynamics :) it's no fun being the victim of stupid.

    paul ford's brilliant! discursive analysis—descriptive and normative :)—of "the way it is" and affecting "the way it ought to be" um, concerning The Dispossessed.

    incidentally, a page of parallels between yevgeny zamyatin's we and ayn rand's anthem; "This study intends to show the similarities and to discuss controversial aspects of the work of the two writers who influenced immensely both the Russian-and English-speaking worlds. It will also analyze Zamyatin’s and Rand’s philosophical ideas about the individual and the State, and discuss the ways in which these ideas were related to and transfigured in their writings."

    C. Rand and Zamyatin basically agree that altruism is one of the worst human errors.

    D. They somewhat agree that there is an either/or choice between capitalism and socialism.

    seizing upon the one, we are dissatisfied with some other. or as will wright puts it :

    Generally, the first question we're asking is "what prevents them from being stranded on a local maxima?" I have a need, I go to meet that need; the reason that I'm not stuck on the local maxima anymore is because in every case what happens is that I go to the fridge because I'm hungry, I open the fridge, I eat a snack, and all of a sudden I'm less hungry. When my hunger level drops, then the peak I'm standing on collapses, at which point I'm now on some other slope. Then my next behaviour will be driven to whatever the next outcome most likely to increase my happiness. Basically, they're looking at all the activities that they could do at any given time, and they say, "Which one of these activities is going to increase my happiness the most?" It's a fairly complex algorithm to determine that, but it's based on what their current needs are, their current state, all the objects around them, and all the people around them. This is exactly the way the people relate to each other also -- the people are actually advertising to each other; social usually.

    in other words, people are animals that wear clothes. or as william shakespeare would have it :

    LUCIUS
    Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?

    AARON
    Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
    Even now I curse the day--and yet, I think,
    Few come within the compass of my curse,--
    Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
    As kill a man, or else devise his death,
    Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it,
    Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
    Set deadly enmity between two friends,
    Make poor men's cattle break their necks;
    Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
    And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
    Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
    And set them upright at their dear friends' doors,
    Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
    And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
    Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
    'Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.'
    Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
    As willingly as one would kill a fly,
    And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
    But that I cannot do ten thousand more.

    "Whether Rubbish or revenge, the play met with great public support upon opening. Books of the Elizabethan era testify to a public audience with particularly bloody tastes, and Titus Andronicus was received with great applause, remaining a favorite for over a decade."

    -- SparkNote by mei pin phua :)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2001
    nouveaux muckraking

    Russia's growing band of nouveaux riches oligarchs has had to fight off demands from the tax police, political foes and business rivals. Now the tycoons are facing a new threat: their first wives.

    creative cynicism

    The only man who can reduce Argentina's interest rates, lessen the risk of emerging market financial contagion and save democracy in the southern cone of Latin America is Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary. He has to develop a strategic vision of theatre missile defence to give Argentina a role in US security policy that will lead investors to believe that the Bush administration will not let it default. Once perceptions change in such a way, there will be no need for any further official assistance because in the marketplace, perceptions are reality.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2001
    empire! by michael hardt and antonio negri (via nettime :)

    also lotsa teXtZ - we are the & in copy & paste - yo

    Monday, August 6, 2001
    site redesign brought to you by bayesian self-organizing maps! (via missingmatter :)

    also an excellent introduction by tom j. loredo—what is probability?

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