Monday, January 29, 2007

Recent things I missed

"By not believing in anything he was free to examine everything. To Bob, everything was interesting."

Robert Anton Wilson, 1932-01-18 to 2007-01-11

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pure genius

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

White Christmas, few months late

Wow, a good deal* of snow in Brighton last night. Got some photos of the Pavilion this morning, hopefully flickr some up later.. in the meantime, here's a link to the Brighton flickr group, and a photo from up4it of the overnight:



* OK, a couple of centimetres - not bad for here...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Vote me up, homies.

I've submitted this image to the "user"-created JPG Magazine, partly as an experiment:

The sound of a tiny sea

The theme closes in 2 days, so I'm hoping to garner a few votes in that time. Blogger doesn't like me posting Javascript, so here's a link:

Go here and vote, please... I'll make it up to you all with beer and cookies*, I promise! Oh and feel free to spread the word, of course ;)

* Beer and cookies may (or may not be) virtual. Beer should not be mixed with cookies. Unless virtual.

p.s. Aha, looks like you do have to register in order to vote. Of course. Cunning viral sites.

Friday, January 19, 2007

"a collective of creatures"

Power as Simplification

Just been in a talk by Arild Vatn on Institutional approaches to Biodiversity, and one of the many interesting points that came up was the reducing nature of power, so I'm blogging it before I forget it.

One slide in the talk presented a 3-dimensional figure, breaking the nature of diversity into 3 axes: Rationality (does "thinking" take place at a social, or an individual level?), Human interaction (do we determine things through discussion or through calculation?) and the Nature of a Public Good (e.g. can a market be used to manage it, or does complexity require more collective choices?)

The point was made that "power" tends to lead to the simpler end of all three of these: namely, it establishes a more calculative decision-making mechanism, which mostly goes hand in hand with a more simplistic, less complex nature of the good. This leads on to more power on behalf of the individual as less communication is needed, and vice versa.

Personally, I'm not convinced just yet, and have a feeling this may come down to the definition of power and the nature/context of the talk influencing it. If you assume that power is like energy and, rather than being created and destroyed, is merely shuffled around, then the effect of "power" is merely defined as to your own perspective. Still, the idea may have use as a definition of power under a Western economy, so it's worth noting down.

The Phone that Stinks.. and Dances. And recharges itself.

There's something distinctly amusing, yet utterly fascinating about this Cellular Phone Robot. The way it docks itself to recharge, the way it rushes off to find its owner, but moreso the use of different "dances", music and smells to "set the scene" for the incoming caller - people you like more have a happier dance/smell, while people that make you grumpy have a bad smell. Literally. There also seem to be some kind of bio-monitors integrated with it in order to train it for who you do and don't like.

Video on the link above. In all this talk about iPhones yadda yadda, it's intriguing to see some people playing with how phones can integrate with our emotions more, rather than just our sense of aesthetics and consumerist class...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tiny, tiny television

Mobile TV fails to sell despite ad campaign. Yadda duh yadda.

And hmm, De-scribed is now running off the new Blogspot code. Some things may or may not work, I have no idea ;)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cross-blog Updates

First up, a post over at Into the Machine that is perhaps of more general interest: The Progress of Power: Local Franchises

Secondly, it seems that complexity and simplicity do lead from one to another. In addition to the recently added Sphereless blog, I've now also set up Phrenicia, the blog, to handle all the fun stuff I'm into like games and puzzles and blah. I just can't keep up with myself.

A Scoopful of Sound with Sampling Toppings

A new musical sacrifice from the Exmosis Music Larder for the enjoyment of the nation. This one's a mix of the tune over at Whipsmart Ice Cream.

Grab the Whipsmart Twist.mp3

Spam Down (for now)

Interesting article for an insight into not juist the amount of spam being sent, but a few other statistics, plus speculation on why January say a drop in spam...



Spam shows sudden slide

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fun != Consumption, you arse.

Add air travel to the List Of Things tony blair hopes can be fixed with technology... Blair defends long-haul holidays

"The truth is all the evidence is that if you use the science and technology constructively, your economy can grow, people can have a good time but, do so more responsibly."
"Truth"? What is truth? According to Blair, continuing to make as much cash as possible is the only truth. The mistake he makes is equating - no, bonding - "good times" with consumption, when in actual fact that's not a necessity at all. I have an extremely good time relaxing, or sleeping, but does that mean I should spend while I do it?



With people like this at the helm, we're doomed to Hell.

"Turn giant magnet on.. now!"

This morning I am mostly laughing at

objects stuck to MRI scanners (yes! Even though - no, wait - because it's dangerous!)

(Via Mind Hacks, which also has a nice, simple explanation of how MRI works.)