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Thursday, February 20, 2003
chew-Z is goodie-good candy

Games allow for an imposition of artificial utility on groups of people that keep relationships going. Since utility-based relationships are always more durable, more constant, and less stressful than emotionally-based relationships, providing this utility in so many new and more enveloping forms is the most remarkable thing these games offer.

lighthouses and public goods

Public goods are regularly used as an example of when government intervention is necessary, because private suppliers will provide too few (in the case of lighthouses) or too many (in the case of commons grazing). As a result, conservatives hate public goods and would prefer that they didn't exist, and liberals would like to see them everywhere, making for quite the idelogical debate.

[:: comment! :]

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
sex is an overrated waste of time

Although I'm not religious, I think Biano is on to something here. But then again, I'm pretty weird about sex. I mean, I like it. A good orgasm with another human being is astounding; the only experience I've had that rivals orgasm with another person for pure intensity is trippits (inhaling nitrous oxide while tripping on LSD). I love trippits. But y'know, if I never have a trippit again, that'll be okay by me. (It's been years since my last one). It's not the end of the world. It's not even a big deal. There are better things in life than seeking intense momentary pleasure.

mars and mansions

The wierd thing is, the way PKD tells it, that this drug (although illegal) is so incredibly popular that the Earth's main export - indeed, the main thing produced on the planet - are scale-model clohing, cars, furniture, consumer electronics. Mars colonists are doing nothing but tuning in, turning on, and dropping out, and earth - theoretically the center of the solar system - has an economy fueled by exporting their dreams to them. Advertising execs and future-predictive people spend all their time attempting to guess the latest trends in miniature fashion etc. etc. etc.

[:: comment! :]

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
berry on gerry

This is a slow movie, and intentionally so. The entire film comprises less than 100 shots -- one of which is a sunrise in real time. The rest of it is nearly as prolonged; the young men walk in utter silence for about ten minutes, and we get a similarly extended view of Affleck lost in thought.

defective yeti on das experiment

Lots of people won't like Das Experiment. You may be one of them. It's actually kind of agonizing to sit through. And critics are pretty divided: the Rotten Tomatoes page (which, I'll remind you, you're not to read) gives it a composite score of 64%, which puts it just one percentage point above Blue Crush.

[:: comment! :]

Monday, February 17, 2003
barbed, the bee sting and fish hook

...and Karl Rove has a splintered stick so far up his ass, his sphincter's so clenched, he's not sure whether to bear down or pull out. it's a political calculation, to go ahead and possibly win, or stand down and surely lose. not that it matters, it does, but it shouldn't. we ought not be beholden...

the inexplicable, freakish accident

...and Hans Blix is accidentally shot in the stomach on a weapons inspection tour by a Republican Guard who forgot to put his safety on. it's the accidents of history, not the failures or achievements of our leaders, that chart the course of civilization. still, the stage is set, the earth revolves...

[:: comment! :]

Sunday, February 16, 2003
a dog barks and whimpers, it does not howl

...given a sense of agency because it does not belong. a wolf pack as an entity or unit belonging to itself affords a freedom that cares not for the whims and preferences of others. it is wild. a dog on a doorstep has not this character. it belongs with its owner. even if wandering around unsupervised or 'lost' this dog would seem 'out of place'...

percussive farts, directed into the cushion

...the punctuated beats keeping time by erasing what had come before. this annihilation of difference is interesting because the attention span of accumulated memory lasts only long enough so that it can be remembered as forgotten. cycling through memory and loss gives the time signature its associated 'character' and propels us through 'measured space'...

[:: comment! :]

Saturday, February 15, 2003
the web is my back-up brain (via missing matter)

The steady expansion of "cyborg discourse" -- so that it now covers human history from Australopithecus to the latest Star Trek spinoff -- could certainly render it a concept that, applying to everything, defines nothing. But scholars might yet want to ponder another matter: Even if we are all cyborgs now, and have been since the dawn of time, might there not be some deep need within us to see "the human" as essentially distinct from technology?

"Probably," says Mr. Hakken. "We can feel helpless in relation to these monoliths that we've created. It's as if the balance between the biological and the technological elements might tip so overwhelmingly toward the machine side. But that's a nightmare, not a prediction."

you are my back-up brain (via missing matter)

A few months after September 11, I heard a remarkable story told by a woman from Cantor Fitzgerald -- the debt-trading firm that lost 700 of its 1,000 employees in the collapse of the south tower. Despite (or perhaps because of) the unfathomable trauma they had just suffered, the remaining employees decided by the next day that they would try to keep the firm alive -- a decision made all the more incredible by the daunting practical hurdles they needed to overcome. First, unlike the equity markets, the debt markets were not based at the Stock Exchange and had not closed. So if it was to survive, Cantor Fitzgerald needed to be up and running within the next 48 hours. Second, while their carefully constructed contingency plan had called for remote backups of all their computer and data systems, there was one eventuality they had not anticipated: Every single person who knew the passwords had been lost. And the reality is that if no one knows the passwords, the data are as good as gone, at least on the time scale of two days.

So what they did was this: They sat around in a group and recalled everything they knew about their colleagues, everything they had done, everywhere they had been, and everything that had ever happened between them. And they managed to guess the passwords. This story is a little hard to believe, but it is true. And it illustrates, in a particularly dramatic way, that recovery from a disaster is not something that can be planned for in an event-specific manner; nor can it be centrally coordinated at the time of the disaster itself. Just as with the mayor's office, in a true disaster, the center is the first part of the system to be overwhelmed. The system's survival therefore depends on a distributed network of pre-existing ties and ordinary routines that binds an organization together across all its scales.

[:: comment! :]

Friday, February 14, 2003
vin diesel breakdancing (via a.whole)

plushies breakdancing (via a.whole)

[:: comment! :]

Thursday, February 13, 2003
deviant art by coreyc

deviant art by sammie

[:: comment! :]

Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Numbers Stations

these are creepy shortwave radio stations consisting of people reading numbers along with random tones or bits of music. Apparently they are transmissions from intelligence organizations to agents in the field, although governments deny their existence.

Schumann Resonance

resonant frequencies in the earth's atmosphere, creating by lightning. The fact that the frequency fluctuates between 9 and 12 hz, the same as the frequency of human Alpha waves, makes for lots of fun speculations

[:: comment! :]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
David is speaking down to people, but from above. (via worldnewyork)

David's afflictions assume many forms. Curb Your Enthusiasm portrays him getting exasperated by long waits at the doctor's office, and at the pharmacy, and at restaurants; by salespeople, and garage attendants, and caterers; and by things, like houses that make mysterious sounds at night, and sunglasses that he buys as a gift that are not prescription and thus are rejected by the intended recipient, and phones that won't ring when you want them to ring, and unsightly telephone wires suspended over your backyard. Hath heaven no more thunderbolts? But what really drive David into fits of animadversion are people who impede his desire for instant gratification.

He was speaking down to them, but from below. (via kottke)

They talk about real estate and read Web sites. They tell stories of the great apartment, the mythical $500 a month, 2000-square foot loft. They argue where it will be when they find it, in Manhattan or Brooklyn. They congratulate themselves for bringing me, the broke-dick temp, along tonight. Chris, with the dreadlocks, feels good for reaching out to me. He handed me a pile of stacked pages with numbers which I have been entering into a database for $11/hr over the last three weeks, and then he took the time to know me, to joke with me, and he is proud of this. Scott, they say to each other, is a cool guy, leaving out the for a temp. They have been to Europe and South America on business. They develop strategies and solutions. Tonight, their proximity to my broke-dick status assures them that they are legitimate human beings, that they can talk to anyone. They are more than this, too; they are good and well-intentioned, hopeful, promising, smart, well-educated.

[:: comment! :]

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