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Wednesday, March 21, 2001
this book, the glass bead game, was mentioned on a thread about chaitin's omega value (also be sure to check out generalized entropy!) in metafilter. the description kind of reminded me of this frank capra movie, lost horizon.

yikes!

i don't want to sound kinky or anything, but there's nothing like a fresh new pair of socks to make your feet feel good :P

Tuesday, March 20, 2001
the observer at the end of time

Of the many startling ideas to emerge from Relativity and Quantum Physics (time dilation,gravity lenses,black holes, sub-atomic particles etc.) possibly the most startling of all is Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which suggests, in simple terms, that nothing can be said to exist until it's observed.

Electrons don't spin sedately around the nucleus, as Newtonian mechanics would have it, but rather exist as a sort of haze, representing the probability of their being in any one place at any one time.

Some scientists see the involvement of the observer as the most important feature in quantum theory. Until the observer observes, subatomic particles can be said to exist anywhere, or not at all. Only in the act of observation is the particle brought into existence, so to speak.

How does this relate to us? Well this is where the Participatory Anthropic Principle comes in. On a subatomic scale, quantum phenomena are only brought into existence by observation; but the entire universe is made up of nothing but a vast multiplicity of quantum events interacting on a monumental scale. Do we need any other explanatory device for the whole of the cosmos? If not, then the universe has been brought into being by countless acts of observation, by all the observers who have ever existed, exist now, and will ever exist in the future.

Monday, March 19, 2001
Worldly signs could be said to be the novel's equivalent to Dante's Inferno, and indeed Deleuze says Marcel, the novel's narrator, must pass through their hellish nature because, though they are empty, "their emptiness confers upon them a ritual perfection, a kind of formalism we do not encounter elsewhere. The worldly signs are the only ones capable of causing a kind of nervous exaltation, expressing the effect upon us of the persons who are capable of producing them." Think of any great charismatic personality: he or she presents to us a rich array of signs, but beneath it all, off camera as it were, he or she is lost, someone almost less than human. Our culture's fascination with the charismatic individual means our most popular figures are those who emit the worldly signs across the board. They are the ones who never disappoint; they are nothing but show. If they are artists too, then the art is always shallow, secondary to the personality. Worldly signs constitute postmodern art.

Love is what makes the difference in Proust's novel. When Marcel is in love, or sees love taking its course when Swann falls for the coquettish Odette, the worldly signs begin to unravel.

--stephen mitchelmore

***
The scene in Hades in Odyssey XI where Odysseus tells Achilles of the extraordinary nervousness inside the Trojan Horse.

Except for Achilles' own son Neoptolemus, who cannot wait to attack.

Arturo Toscanini died of a stroke.

Guido Cantelli died in a car crash.

Needing a few seconds to remember that it will be that same Neoptolemus who flings Hector's infant son from the battlements after the Greek victory.

--david markson

***
You said you get fodder for your films from life experience and that you have little patience for idle socializing.

Yeah. Like I was talking to some dude in the bathroom here, and you know how you dry your hands and the wind blows? I have long hair and my hair was like blowing while I was drying my hands. This dude was talking to me and I thought about what (this scene) would look like with a wide-angle lens, this drunk writer drying his hands in the bathroom with the hair kind of blowing and some dude on the other side of the widescreen asking about his films, and that's (expletive) cinema, man. I couldn't write that myself. I just experienced it 45 minutes ago. I was trying to take notes on it but I still gotta get to that particular note.

Does Mike always tour with you?

Yeah. Mike is for real. He gets loopy sometimes. Like when the plane landed today -- I'm not trying to be funny -- he goes, "Hey, are we taking off or are we landing, man?" We just landed, you know. I said, "Dude, we've been flying!" He's serious, too.

--mark borchardt, interviewed by the austin american-statesman

Friday, March 16, 2001

the unreal2 gallery (via sensible erection) and 3dmark 2001 screenshots (via dotcult) schweet, schweet photorealistic CG. coming soon to a workstation near you. YOU!!

sensible erection also linked to some smooth ninja animation :) oh, and a slashdot link to a video clip on laser drilling.

missingmatter had a post on final fantasy (potentially the star wars of its time!) and i sort of got interested in what they used to render it. here's a msg. board on it. apparently sgi/maya. also found a nice interview with the VP of their film division.

a couple cool galleries from the board.

hey, process physics made it to the cover of the physicist, a publication of the australian institute of physics!

Thursday, March 15, 2001
scanalyze this!

bernard lietaer's the future of money is so awesome, in a way like a real-life stand on zanzibar! it attacks a money system that other books on social welfare (the age of access, coercion, ishmael, et al) don't properly address or even ignore. i think by framing the problem as endemic to a system poorly understood (often by the people who administer it) and then saying what it is, he offers valid solutions (haven't gotten to that part yet, tho) i mean all books usually present a problem and proffer a solution (they're self-serving that way) but lietaer looks at it all the way around and that's a perspective you don't come by too often :) btw, another zerone post on accountability. whoever you are, thanks!

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

social ecology - politics of the future (via guardian u.)

jeremy rifkin: all government is derivative (via wood s lot)

an interview with howard zinn (from bad subjects)

america's plan for the americas (via this is hell)

icy you...juicy me by pat cadigan (via dev null)

an interview with pat cadigan (from public netbase)

chaitin (all your books are belong to us :)

suck goes to high-tech india (from suck)

for god so loved the world (via christianitytoday)

clay shirky interview (from slashdot)

this is planet earth (from FeeD)

DOE HTS projects! (via bill :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2001
freeman dyson asks is life analog or digital? (from edge)

The superiority of analog-life is not so surprising if you are familiar with the mathematical theory of computable numbers and computable functions. Marian Pour-El and Ian Richards, two mathematicians at the University of Minnesota, proved a theorem twenty years ago that says, in a mathematically precise way, that analog computers are more powerful than digital computers. They give examples of numbers that are proved to be non-computable with digital computers but are computable with a simple kind of analog computer. The essential difference between analog and digital computers is that an analog computer deals directly with continuous variables while a digital computer deals only with discrete variables. Our modern digital computers deal only with zeroes and ones. Their analog computer is a classical field propagating though space and time and obeying a linear wave equation. The classical electromagnetic field obeying the Maxwell equations would do the job. Pour-El and Richards show that the field can be focussed on a point in such a way that the strength of the field at that point is not computable by any digital computer, but it can be measured by a simple analog device. The imaginary situation that they consider has nothing to do with biological information. The Pour-El-Richards theorem does not prove that analog-life will survive better in a cold universe. It only makes this conclusion less surprising.

Monday, March 12, 2001
galactus: devourer of worlds

his mind spawned processes one by one that each in turn he killed off, before they could integrate with his personality sub-systems. he entertained a passing thought, studied in isolation, and wondered how long it would take to consume him.

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