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Right On
Friday, March 31, 2000 - 08:47 a.m.

Something I read the other day got me thinking about Space Elevators and the book that Arthur C. Clarke wrote about them. And then I looked at memepool today and Go memepool! Their feature is so completely right on. Right on, memepool!

Idle Theory
Thursday, March 30, 2000 - 04:51 p.m.

I started following Lopati's discussion in Idle Theory - right on. Using physiological processes like cellular respiration and hormonal feedback to understand economics: life wants to find the time and space (and surplus resources) to be idle, not to prosper. Right on.

The .nu Kids Are All Right
Thursday, March 30, 2000 - 03:24 a.m.

I remember a few months ago I woke up one day convinced that a nobel prize had recently been awarded to a twelveyearold. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was more than just a dream delusion; I pestered my science geek friends that whole day trying to decide if I was nuts or on to something. There was that Irish girl who was in a position to take over the world with her encryption thing - but they found out she was wrong. I was thinking about this when I went reflog-diving the other day and found that teen domania listing - what's up with the cool freshman designers, like:

her. him. her. her. him. her.

Just a few random examples who you may or may not have heard of - it made me realize that I'm _old_ and my skillz are _weak_ and that life gets pretty boring when you're over 21 - not to mention over 18 - I mean look at how someone like jkottke has gone from angsting about sexuality, Tru Luv, and losing his mind to giving safe-driving tips. Or take this margin note from a story I was working on my junior year of highschool =

"I was just reading earlier thought dialogues/hypothetical speeches. I think I've come full circle circled! Put genetic engeneering back in the Book, the Pavlov's Dog Dysfunctional Relationship! I say to her that she's only sixteen, she's got her whole life ahead of her, obviously immortality!! Immortality that we don't know what to do with!!! So much worrying about our futures that we would choose not to have any, if we could!!!!! Maybe this could still involve me running off in a spaceship at lightspeed!!!! Yes!!!! I run off, hoping that even though it will be a few months for me, it will be years for her, but she'll still be young. She'll miss me, I'm hoping, after so many years, but the trip lasts a little too long, and when I come back, she is no longer immortal, and she is DEAD and i'm condemned to live an eternal life of teen angst!!!!!! Yes!!!! Yes!!!!! Yes!!!!! Why am I sixteen and flying around in spaceships? Because I know how. I was hypno-taught, or something doubletalk like that. She isn't a spacer, however. This will work, this WILL work. Time to do some plotting...Tomorrow, in French, for now, I have to go to sleep. HUGO! HUGO!!! HUGO!!!!! HUGO!!!!!!!"
check it out - total conflation of my personal life and the life of my characters; the attempt to create a spiral of infinite self-reference; and a plot that's both impossible and built on admitted doubletalk - but able to hold it's own (and be worthy of a Hugo Award, no less) because of the intensity of the feelings expressed. Compare that with something I jotted down earlier this month =
"Quick sketch of a waking up thought. Sun Ra, 1970's new york, jazz, the last expression of the mechanical culture, I mean the harmonies, the rhythms, were like those from egypt, another culture of stone. What harmonies, what intervals, called dissonant by westereners. And Cornelius, 'track 2', that "goalie" sample, the craziness of the drums in his pop songs. SurVival of Identity in the Digital Age. How many people use a sample for an ostinato and play it at different speeds?"

Where to all of the exclamation marks go? Why am I more concerned with proportionality in pop music than orgasmically celebrating inevitable fame that would come from describing the tragic non-Euclidian complexities of my unrequited romantic life as an existentialist black hole? Is it just a waning post-adolescent libido? Drinking? Finally getting out on my own and having some kind of agency in my life? Having to work for a living?

It seems like everywhere I look in the post SXSW-2000 weblog scene, people are celebrating the achievements of designers half their age. A new cult of the prodigy? So I like to think that consciousness is at least as much a phenomenon of social evolution (we have rational, language-using brains because over the years we have filled our world with logical, language using institutions and technologies that these days demand near-constant interaction) - which got me thinking, well is the world getting smarter or am I just losing my edge? So I figure the only way to decide this is to find the four-year old designers with pretty fuzzy concepts of self and easy access to their preliterate synaesthesia and see what kinds of sites they're designing.

The best I could find was this nine-year old. And well, he seems pretty typically nine - I guess his angst and glimmer of awareness of his parents emotional manipulations are pretty precocious for a nineyearold. But not exactly the herald of the cyber-future I was looking for. (unless that future will rest on controlling the emotional contradicions of living in an authoritarian society that tells you it's being fair to make you feel bad when you disobey.)

There's still things about people adapting to computers that are pretty cool - like I was amazed the first time I saw my 13 year old sister having nine simultaneous IM conversations with her friends on AOL - I thought...It's epigenetic evolution in action. But the cliqueiness of the whole "domain scene" really bugs me, the whole hotess/hostee phenomenon. It takes the highschool clique and formalizes it into some kind of virtual harem. Basically, some smart girl gets a domain and puts up her page, and then decides that she'll share some of her bandwidth, but only if you're worthy - your page has to look good, use some kind of snazzyscript effects, and it can't be just a tacky weblog page. It's great that girls are actually learning hardcore tech skills like DHTML and server administration while they're in highschool, but how much are they empowering themselves? I'm sure right now some girl is becoming anorexic because she uses a shareware photo editor and her Java is buggy. (But only because the internet hasn't saturated their lives _enough_ right? Wait until they start dialing up each others graphics-heavy pages on their Palm VII's. Then their feelings of inadequacy will be turned away from physical self-mutilation and bloated design and instead the'll concentrate on content-rich, low-bandwidth solutions. There's your technology-mediated utopia right there. Whatever.)

To be fair, the BBS scene - and more recently the FTP-warez scene - was always about ego-tripping for eli7e hax0r$ but psychosadomasochistic peer relationships are still expected among technically-oriented males, right? (Okay, so I'll admit that I'm a pretty big otaku and know all of jack and shit about the peer relationships of adolescent girls-so you can forget that last thing I said if you've got the experiences to contradict it.) I was really happy when I got Napser because that's the kind of thing that's blowing a lot of ego out of the water - But it doesn't necessarily look like girls + high tech = happy, self-sufficient girls.

So I guess what we need now is some for some bright 16yearold girl to forget about the glamorous world of crypto and e-commerce and write an open-source distributed domain hosting program - a Napster for websites...Or maybe the hostess-hostee setup will become the business model for the next generation I mean, with infomediaries already offering a executive-level pay just to view interactive commericals, how far away can something like invitation-only purchasing be? "Congratulations, your good looks and fashion sense qualify you to be one of the elite owners of the 2001 Lexus Bronco." My business model sure as hell is obsolete - I try to drive traffic to my site through writing ass-kissing emails.

But highschool was such a particular hell for me that i really don't know what kind of hell it could be like for other people or what it takes to cope. Maybe what i take as elitism is just an expression of solidarity. I think finding metaphors for the Internet's kind of a waste of time. Right up there with e-business punditry and sarcastic anti-e-business punditry. You what to know where the urgent, meaningful, smart stuff is going on - it's going on in the schools - right when people have the last sparks of idealism and the mental tools to actually understand their world - and they understand it through the ridiculously distorting lens of educational institutionalization.
That's hard not to take as a spectacle. I mean it's heartbreaking to see how how smart and ignorant form together in a teenager's life - and I hate even generalizeing it like that because it diminishes that all of this shit that's going on is going on in the lives of thousands of millions of individuals. I mean, I could name names, towns, identify faces. What solutions? Email somebody with your good advices? That actually does a lot for me when it happens...I guess what freaks me out is the presentation - the abortion, the "was it rape?" are right along side new friends, graduation, dozens of mundane entries about whatever, snappy photoshop layouts - it's indexed: it's all part of the pattern that is like literally connecting all of us - I think a lot about posting evrerything I've ever written in my life - that I would be alive potentially everywhere through my writing. That whatever memories I have would be solidified and would make sense because like I could experience my life without the burden of my private experiences. Like that's what Proust was getting at - that the data we collect over a lifetime is just a fucking huge burden after awhile and we need to put it somewhere - epigenetic evolution? You build your own experiences on the memories of others - people who lived before you and who live elsewhere - it's crazy how two or three things come together and you catch those glimmers of the totality of human experience. When the kindergarteners finally do start designing websites it'll be another wonderful and strange thing to observe and understand - and remember from our own lives.

It sucks how a society of supervision, surveys, statistics, forces us to be misers with our actual experience. I want to guard all of my experiences, no matter how ecstatic or painful or neurosis inducing, because I take them to be what defines me...

Of course, that still doesn't mean it's not perverse to go rummaging through another person's reflog.

Getting Out of Control
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 - 03:03 p.m.

I was thinking of a hack that would let you put a reflog on your reflog using a url redirection service - but it seemed a little too obsessive.

This is the Point I've Been Trying to Make All Day
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 - 01:45 p.m.

"If you had children young enough to belong to the TV generation, how would you educate them?" "MCLUHAN: Certainly not in our current schools, which are intellectual penal institutions. In today's world, to paraphrase Jefferson, the least education is the best education, since very few young minds can survive the intellectual tortures of our educational system."

Are You Insane?
Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - 08:19 a.m.

Here you go - five hours of sound collage in Real Audio.

True Names and Other Dangers
Monday, March 27, 2000 - 10:25 p.m.

Although I have been meaning to for years, I've never read anything by Vernor Vinge. Hacker friends of mine say that "True Names" rocks. I know I swore of postmodernism for the rest of Lent, but this article was too cool to pass up - more of that paraspatial utopia-as-spiritual-state kind of stuff. So instead I'm going to swear off using the word "ass" in my post titles.

Vinge believes that once computers are able to program themselves (and he sees that happening within 30 years) they will drop into a sort of AI black hole, being able to program themselves into more and more intelligent incarnations with exponentially-increasing proficiency. He calls this historical point the "Singularity", which he sees it as a threat: "the end of the human era." Bukatman (see below, March 4 - 04:23 hrs) makes a point in "Terminal Identity" that this is a common neurosis of our times - a fear that we will accellerate to the point of complete Einstinian stasis - an indication that we don't want to think beyond our anxiety of how technology is blurring the line between human and machine (or between identity as being located within the definable space of graymatter/the body instead of distributed through computer networks - or in the feelings and actions of the people we know.)

I think the inherent _threat_ of machine intelligence <--! Ghost in the Shell is a good 1990's example [for the sake of completeness I think "The Matrix" and "I Have no Mouth and I must Scream" are too expressionistic to be considered as serious speculation about machine intelligence [[for the sake of completeness, I'm a poser--I've never read "Neuromancer"]]]- once that _first germ_ of self-awareness appears in the net, there is no turning back - except in that movie, the "ghost" is still localized in the body of the people it posesses --because once becoming self-aware, the program wants to propagate itself in the [fill in feminist chaos/fluid/vaginal metaphor] - kind of like all of the intelligent computers in Heinleins Lazarus Long stories...Hm, "Ghost in the Shell" as love story between (wo)man and machine. Is Anime a "self-orientalizing" genre ? The Japanese playing up their own perceived sense of glamor, mystery, eroticism, etc - it's cool because they're Japanese trying to look Caucasian to try to be more "Japanese" ---uuurgh ---let's forget meaning and just concentrate on the things that generate endless chains of self-contradiction [[[one more to think about in this vein - "Diamond Age" where (Victorian) humanity is saved from a nanotechnological takeover by an act of lesbian vampirism]]] --> is totally a neurosis of the "War Game" era. Stanislaw Lem (so good, so underrated) writes a good counterpoint to this in the story on "Bitistics" in "Imaginary Magnitude." Bitistics is the study of computer-generated literature - and in the world of the stories the intelligent computers are all content to write more and more self-referenital and baroque critiques of their own creative capacities. Lem does seem to see this possibility as a cultural apocalypse - and being an Old School European that's probably just as good as the human era to him.

So I'll leave it to American Pop Culture for my third allusion to tie this all together. There was once an episode of "Mighty Max" - which if you don't know is this way underrated weekday afternoon cartoon series from around 1994 where a scientist tries to take over the world by building a brain-accellerating machine, and Max and his companions foil his plans by locking him into the machine until he becomes so intelligent that finite human concepts of good and evil and their consequent expressions (greed, rage, revenge, etc) no longer mean anything to him. The threat of machine intelligence seems more like the threat of certain computer scientist's intentions getting out of control. It's more likely that a computer who's self-aware will be totally content to spend all of it's time looking at porn.

I've started adding P tags to my entries. Totally smacks of effort.

Sorry, Looks like We Blew It's Ass Out
Monday, March 27, 2000 - 06:04 a.m.

Monday, March 27, 2000 - 05:05 a.m.

People who run and also drink beer and sing while running. It sounds like a cult.

Pauline Oliveros Kicks Ass
Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 06:09 p.m.

Anybody who would have her staff photo for the University of California taken while riding an elephant rocks. Anybody who would bounce radio signals of herself playing the accordion off the moon and play along with the echoes is Just Too Cool. You _can not_ rock harder than using a celestial body as an effects processor.
What I was really looking online for and couldn't find was the texts to her "Sonic Meditations." These are conceptual compositions she wrote that pretty much anybody could perform anywhere. The few that I remembered were "Walk so silently that the soles of your feet become your ears." and another one (for a group) that goes something like "Think of a pitch, sing it, and then try to match it with the pitches you hear around you." My favorite is kind of complicated, and I lack her succinct explanation:

"(for a group of 6-12 participants) Lie in a circle with your feet touching. Concentrate on on the drone sounds in your environment. Use your voice to imitate a sound or cycle of sounds for the duration of one breath. Don't wait for an external auditory stimulus to respond to - just sing when you are comfortable. Try not to distinguish sounds performers are making from environmental sounds. Listen to the sound until you forget you are making them. Performance ends when all performers are silent."
These are fun to try at parties, if you're not self-conscious about lying on the floor going "brrrrrrrbbbrrbbbl" for an hour.
Her actual _composed_ music is electronic/ambient - she plays her accordion through lots of delay pedals, and made tape collages back in the 60's before samplers were invented.
Here is a biographical feature from her hometown newspaper.
This essay is a good by-the-book overview of some feminist issues in music composition. Here's a 20-questions style interview.
Buy records.
Hear a real audio interview and some excepts from "Not Very Deep Hockets." (BTW the whole Kalvos & Damian site is a fantastic resource for info on contemporary composers).
And in case you just want to give her a call to say Hello here is her schedule.

This Artist is So Fucking Brilliant
Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 07:32 p.m.

A friend of mine described the Sarah Sze show at the MCA as "This is what happens when you give a stoner a glue gun and too much time." She builds these _huge_ (like 10 feet long, 6 feet high) installation/sculptures out of crap she must find lying on the floor of a dirty apartment: q-tips, chopsitcks, obviously-used plasic spoons, goldfishbowls, slide projectors, aquarium tubing, hamster tubing, Clearasil jars. And these things are _massively_ complex. If you get a chance to, see her stuff. When we saw it, we were all like, how do they move these things? They don't. She builds them on the spot.
(The title site I link is very slick and looks definitive, but it is very java-y and doesn't look like it has a plain HTML interface (grrrr). The links didn't work on my [admittedly very messed up] IE 5.0 - so you should be aware...])
Here are some lousy images.

The World Should Be It's Own Model
Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 01:39 p.m.

This is an article at the U-Mich website by Rodney Brooks, the Robot Scientist from the Errol Morris documentary "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control" (see below). It's technical, but you can glean a lot of his insights into his ideas on evolution of intelligence from it.
His girlfriend his here.
Pdf copies of a few dozen of his papers are available here including the publication sent to the British InterplanetarySociety on space exploration that inspired the title of the film. "Complex systems and complex missions take years of planning and force launches to become incredibly expensive. The longer the planning and more expensive the mission, the more catastrophic if it fails."

Bouncy, Free, Out of Control
Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 01:16 p.m.

I found this on Maganda last night so it's probably in a bazillion other places by now. It's an applet that lets you build and play with these simple robots that move by oscillations in their joints and overall springiness in their limbs.
It totally reminded me of the robot guy from Fast Cheap and Out of Control - he builds the robot to move according to feedback mechanisms and it moves "according to its nature."
Since Fast Cheap etc is like the best movie I've seen recently, I did some digging and found:
The Topiary Garden and and gardener. (This page is actually devoted to the movie so check it all out.)
The Naked Mole Rat Cam and some Mole Rat Info (glad to know there are no trade restrictions on the buggers).
The only thing I found on the circus guy was this depressing mindfuck from PETA.
Here's an interview with the fimmaker, Errol Morris. This guy used a special kind of camera called The Interrotron that like floats a reflected image of the interviewer over the lens of the camera so the interviewee can maintain eye contact while looking into the camera lens.

So It Turns Out
Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 03:21 a.m.

So it turns out that Ol Dirty Bastard isn't a bastard at know that song "The first tiiiiiiime / what ever you suuuuuuuucked..." and so on. I always thought he made that up on the spot - but it turns out it's this song by this guy called Blowfly. I snagged the mp3 off alt.binaries.sounds.rap-hiphop or something like that. So if you want to know, you

Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 02:21 a.m.

I guess this is just the day for too cool. Okay, like how big of a dork am I? And I mean _dork_, not nerd, not geek, just plain paranoid and socially inept. I found this from looking through Todd Levin's reflog because I am such a dork that after reading his diaryland diary I got so jealous that this guy is so funny and writes such long and well-structured diary entries and I just whine about crap and when I saw that sitemeter box in the corner I just had to see how many hits he got and where they were coming from so I could either feel totally devastated that I'm a big nobody or else somehow perversely relieved that even somebody this obviously cool and talented was still just a whatever whatever on the something whatever that's way bigger than the first whatever.
So - the link that raised my eyebrow is a list of every Teen Domain on the planet laid out in a website that would make you go crosseyed from looking at it too long. Click on the "domania" button (they use frames so I couldn't bookmark it directly). Zillions of sites.
I am such a Reflog Looser. I link people I like then bang on the link like 40 times so maybe they'll notice I linked them but hope they won't notice that they're like all visits from the same IP address. This is like calling a girl you like (before caller ID) and hanging up on her right after she answers the phone.
Even worse, on a weblog, your own visitors could turn on you --figure out who you like and then ping-dong ditch them (to mix metaphors) and then whoever is checking thier log would be like, who's this Twitch weirdo who looks at my site like 70 times an hour. (Unless they check IP's of course and know that it's not _your_ IP, just somebody jumping all over your link.) So I won't tell you where I found this Todd Levin link, because he might not know about her crush page, and I wouldn't want him finding out like that.'s like reliving your best experiences from college which was just like doing Junior Highschool over again now that you knew better.

The Semiotics of Sim City
Friday, March 24, 2000 - 06:03 p.m.

This is too cool. Thanks Ed.

Propagate This Meme Please
Friday, March 24, 2000 - 04:34 p.m.

So I saw from my reflog that Apathy mentioned me last night (thanks) right under the evidently drug-addled dagmar_chili. And that got me thinking about 1) randomly-generated weblogs and 2) all of the possibly passive-aggressive (Kottke: Feb 18-19) but inevitable conversing that goes on in weblogs - which conversing I think is fine because it's less ephemeral than an email and in being a public statement gives your place in the context of your peers and so on. So I started wishing I knew perl or java because I got this great idea for the Pitamuncher! Which would be like a program that would track all of the different blogs on which you had been linked and then based on the content of the link's commentary and some preset conditions (your personal opinions, in their most basic culturally-commodified form, for example - OS and browser choice, whether or not you like the Beastie Boys, favorite search engine, links, etc.) it would automatically generate an appropriate entry for your weblog like - "I see Apathy linked me - well, obviously anybody who likes The Dismemberment Plan must be cool - so thanks!!!" or " Prolix dind't like my 'bad-trip' design. And she thinks "#C5848F" Times New Roman isn't migrane inducing? Ha ha ;)" Copious use of emoticons, exclamation points and chat-abbreviations like +MMFOOMB!!! would, of course, be mandatory.

Mail-Order Meat
Friday, March 24, 2000 - 03:27 p.m.

The coolest thing about mail-order meat is that it comes packed in dry ice, which means you can make a smoke machine in your kitchen sink.

Too Cool
Friday, March 24, 2000 - 01:12 a.m.

I found this linked from the After the Taj Mahal Page. One of Eric and Chris' inventions - it's like a vocoder (like in Beastie Boys, "Intergalactic" intro, or any any turn-of-the-80's funk, or the "Transformers" voices), but it preserves the tonal quality of the sound, it just changes the pitch. So you can get, for example, Soul Coughing singing a Daniel Johnston melody. Or monks singing the brahms lullabye. I hope they make this public soon. Too too cool. 4 mp3's available on the page.
I'm going to make this my last noise link for the day so also check out: this crazy thing, an interview and the only reason I got a VRML player for my computer.

In Case You were Looking for More Noise
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 05:53 p.m.

Here is Christopher Penrose's "After the Taj Mahal" page.

This is the Bonk that Was
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 05:37 p.m.

So anyway, here's the program for this years Bonk festival, which like a hoser, I totally forgot about again. It looks like Christopher Penrose was on some kind of religious kick this year.
Here's a picture of my former music teacher and one of the man who gave the world Strap-On Classical.
And of course - the mp3s.
Bonk, Mercury Rev, Juno bootlegs all in one day. What a haul. I Love The Internet.

Rock On
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 01:37 p.m.

So I'm kind of hoping that idrive will become the laid-back, invitation-only after-hours bar to napster's file-swapping bathouse - if they can get away from their slow-assed lame Javatastic website interface and make an ftp client of some sort that _works_. Anyway, I put some mp3's of my favorite Mercury Rev songs (like the ones I rave about below) in here, all old stuff from their first two albums. They're worth getting. Have fun.

Back Before the War
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 09:25 a.m.

"Boces" = Favorite Album of All Time. "Chasing a Bee", "Frittering" like everything on "Lego My Ego" Oh. My. God. Back when David Baker was with them this was the greatest Rock and Roll Band Ever. Period. Ever. Go get Boces, go get Yerself Is Steem (they're still in print, buy from yr favorite record store). Marvel. You can hear that so much genius in one place just couldn't last long. This guy's got like tons live recordings if you're into trading and thanks to @home's crappy webspace deal he's got enough room to post 90 seconds of mp3 every month, but it's worth it. More important - cover art.

Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 08:53 a.m.

Marychen was raving about Juno on her page a few months ago, and I found this site today from the very yellow Dave Henderson. If you've got the A whole show, plus live sets from like a dozen other indie rock bands. Only 9:15 in the morning and I've already learned something new today.

Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 08:44 a.m.

Thanks, Nubbin.

I was Wrong. The Froniter is Wide Open.
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 12:50 a.m.

A domain name that makes sense is alot like a vanity phone number. (Props --} Apathy. I don't know about the redesign. I'm gonna miss that ascii Guernica.)

The Frontier is Still Open, Barely
Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 11:18 p.m.

Empty storefronts, barely-missed opportunities and crafty schemes aplenty.

Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 09:39 a.m.

Sorry to anybody who used Netscape CrudBrowser 2000 to view this page. I had no idea...

Things That Suck
Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 12:27 a.m.

Cletus' Farm getting shutdown by Fox.
Corporate Websites with Flash Intros.
The US Marine Corps.
Any Writer Younger than MeWho's Gotten Famous for Writing Crap.
These Bastards.
Who Wants to Be a White, Male, Middle-Class Know it All?.
The Way Corporations Smirk at You When They're Making Baldfaced Lies.
Censorware, especially in public libraries.
U.S. Courts Putting Injunctions on Foreign Businesses to Protect U.S. Companies.
People Who Think 'The Matrix' was More than a Kung-Fu Movie for Rivetheads.
Tasteless, One-Joke Egomaniacs.
Giving Recursive and Self-Depricating Conclusions when you Can't Think of Something Witty to Say.

Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 12:20 a.m.

Since I swore off pomo for at least the rest of Lent I can't post anything about the emails I've been getting from frends in Florida about why so many listservs degenerate into recursive discussions about the purpose of the listserv or arrivistes ruining the character of the list. Did anybody else have that experience on the Belle & Sebastian Sinister list? 85 emails a day about Dr. Pepper, Studying and Bowlie was too much, even for me.

If I had Gone to School in Iowa I would have Ended Up Like This Too
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 02:38 p.m.

Pig Shaving. And scary things being done to easter eggs.

The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 02:24 p.m.

"I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese."

More Schizoid Drivel.
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 10:12 a.m.

While working at a bookstore in FLA I was skimming a book that claimed that people's supposed alien abduction experiences were just a way people had of repressing good old-fashioned sexual abuse by people they knew (maybe like Satanic Ritual Abuse that was more prevalent in the late 1970's- a product of the times). Because I wonder about it being just another hysterical epidemic.

Barking Seal Ghosts
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 09:46 a.m.

I was just woken up by what sounded like a big barking seal in the other room going "Good morning!" I hope it was just the default sound effect the other computer makes when it crashes - because if it's not that than it was a noise that one of the pets made and that could only be now that I think of it iiieeeuuuuwww - the sound of a dog puking. So anyway to impose some rationality on the situation and dispell any potential supernatural visitors I did a Google search for "barking seal ghost." The first hit was, of course, X-File Fanfic. Quote: "As I urinate on the Snowcat's front tire, I wonder if Scully would be impressed if I could write her name in the snow." Warning, there are US5 and FTF spoilers. I won't tell you if they do it at the end or not. There were also many links to Doors Lyrics and the Center For Kansas Studies. Plus :Ghostbusters Fanfic, Fanfic to series I've never heard of and this vaguely schizoid drivel.

Christian Pita Takes on Jehovah's Witnesses
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 01:45 a.m.

Love that "Near-Death Experience" design.

Sexuality in the Age of Fiber Optics
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 12:57 a.m.

"Through the double philosophical lenses of histories of light and sexuality, then, I make the case for a genealogy of sexuality and fiber optic networks that begins with notions of the enlightenment, then moves to panopticonism, and finally comes to paranoid contact."
So this was the essay that inspired the blah-blah that follows this entry. I really wish more authors would post their entire theses on the net instead of just the first chapters. I mean, I'm not about to plunk down $50 on a book whose first chapter is intriguing but which I might think is just a lot of hooey overall. Sure people would download it to keep - but really, have you ever met a paperless academic?
Anyway, as far as this one goes - the whole paranoid contact thing is pretty right on. I always feel like I should be littering my emails with smileys and IRONY tags - as silly as they look. As for the Internet being an Orientalist space - yes, obviously to an extent, but hmmmmm....I think with that and the "fiber-optics communication evolving from panopticism" I think that's where I'd like to read the whole thing to see if there's a point there or just some careerist grabbing for ideas. Too bad I'll probably never be able to read the whole thing. Right now I'll just say hmmmm about it though because I'm kind of tired and I think I'm going to swear off the postmodernist entries for awhile. So hmmmmm.

High Tech Orientalist Brain-Fluff
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 11:29 p.m.

I was driving around thisafternoon listening to the Pixies and Neutral Milk Hotel (they are better than their hype) and the Flaming Lips at near-top volume to fuzz out some the midrange that gets lost in mp3 encoding and had one of those Mary-Margaret Roadgrader experiences where a phrase floated through my mind and I knew that there was bullshit potential for a whole book behind it: "Sei Shonagon's Pillowbook as a Weblog of the Heian Court." Of course to say that a book written in 11th century Japan is anything like a weblog is just academic brain-fluff, but I think there are still significant stylistic analogues. The "Pillow Book" is bascially a book of lists and unordered journal entries describing events in the Imperial court of Japan during the height of its cultural refinement. The lists are all arranged around arbitrarily-selected attributes of things or situations - sad things, disgusting things, things that annoy, funny things, etc. Okay - so it's a *filter* at first I was thinking it's a filter of the transcendent from the mundane but that I thought that's too Medieval-Catholic - it concentrates more on the sensual and superficial (I remember one journal entry about a dog [who I think held noble rank] who was banished for barking during dinner). It seems to have the same slant on courtly life that blogs have to the internet (and I know I'll want to rephrase this since I'm writing it off the cuff) okay - don't play too much on the word "protocol," but the Internet and Courtly Life (to some degree in the European sense too I guess, like Louis XIV or Victorian England but they seem to lack a similar artistic genre) is a social order (umm, loaded term) where basically lots of stuff happens (way more sensory input than the average peasant) and none of it is really _real_ - as long as you don't get kicked out you'll never have to worry about freezing or starving, etc. [Except that there's a complex system of manners that can get you banished for barking at the dinner table or something similar]. So (and it's significant to remember that Shonagon was kind of an outsider, she was like the daughter of provincial bureaucrats) it's like a way to humanize experience by focusing on the transitory and perishable - with a good dose of irony thrown in. {--There's the germ of a thesis right there.
In the Junior Highschool of Weblogging, who are the meta-bloggers? I do my share of shout outs to other webloggers and I think that's basically because I'm a latecomer to the scene - sort of like the 6th grade nerd who looks up to the 8th graders who are all involved in their own things.
So anyway, I think the sort-of outsider perspective on Shonagon is important to this because her book is so _unlike_ the contemporaneous "Tale of Genji" -which is a 1,000+ page _content heavy_ novel.
Okay, so maybe this is all about my pita not being as popular as Big Orange or robot guy.I'm willing to admit that.
(I could go on and on too about how Kanji was a "new medium" in 11th century Japan and how they do and don't function like hyperlinks, but I'll leave that for somebody else to investigate.)
So I guess I'd been thinking of historical precedents to weblogging for awhile and caffiene+fast driving+loud music got the difference engine to spit out a punch-card with some kind of epigrammatic-titular answer. I love when that happens.
(I think this idea's worth a little more thought - if anybody wants to follow-up or just tell me I'm full of it, feel free to email.)

I Thought Ketamine was the Dumbest Thing to Get Popular in Florida
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 01:30 p.m.

Really, I almost passed out from laughing.

Symbolist Art from the Verge of Unconsciousness
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 01:17 p.m.

The Future is Now
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 12:51 p.m.

"Post-postmodernism witnesses the re-birth of utopia after its own death, after its subjection to postmodernism's severe scepticism, relativism and its anti-utopian consciousness." After learning about quotation marks in my Japanese class I got interested in the developent of that particular form of punctuation (which really isn't even standardized today - think of the single quotes in Infinite Jest [perhaps implying that that whole book is a quote of reality or something] or the French double greaterthan/less than quote marks) and went web-searching for "quotation marks" +culture +history. This was the most interesting, though not at all on-topic, thing that came up.

Self Promotion
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 10:40 a.m.

Peeps Remix Page is up. Two mixes currently available: "Peeps Gone Bad" and "Silence of the Peeps." See page for details.

The Redundant Technology Initiative
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 08:29 a.m.

It's Our Big Brain in the Sky
Monday, March 20, 2000 - 06:37 a.m.

And it looks _nice_ too.

people who are truly meant to take their own lives don't need a reason to die, they are chemically programmed to
Friday, March 17, 2000 - 11:01 a.m.

Thanks, simcoe. I needed to hear that. I got a good chuckle about the Link Between Suicide and Exposure to Magnetic Fields headline - until I realized they were talking about physics and not the band. Overall Sim's pita is one of the smartest and most consistently interesting ones around. Mostly science articles, but also some great politics, history, culture - good commentary. And a cool cool layout.

ASCII Art Lives!!
Friday, March 17, 2000 - 07:21 a.m.

There was a lot of chatter on cardhouse this past August about Vinyl Videowhich is a way of storing video images on vinyl records. Plus Vuk Cosic's ascii music videos are hilarious. Sadly, doesn't seem to be with us anymore. Anyway, this is a Russian(?) collective that showcases ascii art - including a full-length rendering of "Deep Throat" in ascii format.

It's My Stairs!!!
Thursday, March 16, 2000 - 01:12 a.m.

I found this looking at the fresh pitas list last night. I know the person in the picture but didn't recognize her, but I recognized the stairs! Those are the stairs from my dorm my first year at school. Actually the dorms were totally modular and that could be any of 50 stairways but I'm convinced they're mine somehow - the moss growing on them or the pockmarks in the concrete - maybe I can enlarge it and look for one of Kate Chapman's googly eyes from Halloween PCP 1995 still stuck on the railing. Go New College. Go Pei Dorms! And go Canned_peas! Her thumbnail style is about the most innovative thing I've seen on the Web since job searching by area code.

Feel good by comparison
Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - 10:28 p.m.

hahahahaha. The crappiest pages on the net, all in one convenient weblog. Yes!

This shit makes me laugh out loud.
Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - 07:08 p.m.

Mars works for a web hoster in Philly. This is a list of some of the domains her company hosts. The email she gets from clients is priceless.

Biz Markie is Goin' Off.
Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - 07:04 p.m.

Like how far ahead of his time was this guy? Maybe it's just me and the preppie assed junior highschool I went to, where the two most popular singers to hate in 8th grade were Biz Markie and Sinead O'Connor, but I was just listening to "Just a Friend" on an mp3 I snagged off Napster - thinking at the time, yeah let's have a laugh over the music of 1989. Fucking brilliant. I snagged more mp3's today off napster (thanks - cis-grad). This guy is like the most underrated, under-represented rapper out there.

Share some music with me.
Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - 05:08 a.m.

Will idrive become a calmer, if potentially more elitist napster? I'm putting music I wrote here, along with some other stuff - identify the Mystery MP3, and a stuff that I have on heavy rotation.

Self Promotion
Sunday, March 12, 2000 - 01:22 a.m.

My music page. Music which I have written. Also qbasic programs that make things jump around on the screen. 2 songs to choose from.

Tuesday, March 7, 2000 - 12:54 p.m.

Put down that brain, crit-theory geek. Today's too nice a day to be thinking Andrew C. Bulhak has made you obsolete. This program uses "context-free recursive grammar" to generate postmodern theoretical essays. And since we stipulate authorial intent is bunk, these perls are every bit as good as the real thing.( (Go Ahead, click it again) )

What's this? A Weblog? Or Some Kind of a Shellfish?
Monday, March 6, 2000 - 04:40 a.m.

It hasn't been updated in nearly two years, and goes back to the beginning of 1997. The only working link I've found so far is this Gomoku applet for Java. And this Katakana hypertext flash card for the Mac. But there are probably lots more that do work, because I got discouraged when the Kanji lookup utility 404ed on me. Think of it as a misterpants log that isn't really funny and mostly doesn't work. But have fun sifting through the ruins.

Monday, March 6, 2000 - 04:31 a.m.

I found this page back when all the rage was a tamagotchi for your Palm Pilot that would turn your Palm Pilot on when it wanted to be fed. And let's face it, what is a Palm Pilot but an overgrown 'egg friend.' Obsolescent or not, this is still a damn funny idea. The download is available here. The author of Tamagothi has of course, also invented Punkemon.

Jitterbug Fantasia
Monday, March 6, 2000 - 04:18 a.m.

Comics, storires, flash games, etc. The person who runs this site thinks she was probably the "Amy" of "Chasing Amy." About two years ago, their Godzilla Vs. Tamagotchi game here was really big at my school. It's all very cute, maybe sometimes too cute...but stuff like the Mos Eisley Multiplex makes it all worth coming back for. Troops, Trooper Clerks, Lego Wars, oh yeah.

Some Thoughts from Tim O'Reilly on Amazon's Patents
Monday, March 6, 2000 - 12:29 a.m.

Jeff Bezos actually does present a pretty cogent case for his patent. A counterpoint to all of the anti-Amazon sentiment that's been flying around for the last week or so.

yes!!! yes!!! yes!!!
Sunday, March 5, 2000 - 11:30 p.m.

This incredible MyBloodyValentine site has mp3's of like _all_ their EP's and singles. Hear them before Bilinda joined the band, hear that guy who sounded like Elvis, back when they used to sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain. Plus photos and a really comprehensive archive of articles. Find out about the mysterious "third album" that Kevin Shields supposedly recorded in the mid 1990's and then shelved because he didn't think it was good enough. Kevin (a fanatical perfectionist) says lots about how they got their sound - loud, loud and more loud. He's a super-smart producer and he's got heaps of technical info about how "Loveless" was produced if you're into that kind of thing...Plus the webmaster promises VIDEOs!!! coming soon. Rock on, Lincoln Palmer.

Self-Illuminating Proof that The Simpsons is the Symbolic Language of Its Generation
Saturday, March 4, 2000 - 04:23 a.m.

I was introduced to the concept of a "paraspace" in Scott Bukatman's excellent excellent excellent book Terminal Identity . I guess the easiest way to put it (since I don't have his succinct definition handy) is that it's the realm in a culture's imagination where "the discourse is heightened" (I remember that much). Basically where it's thought that anything is possible. It used to be outerspace for America in the 50's and 60's but now he argues that it's cyberspace - home of MLM, free porn, and people willing to pick a nit anywhere anytime with anybody. I say our real paraspace is Springfield, Where-ever, USA. theory discussion causing critical brainage failure...losing coherence...must sleep now...)

New Draggable Pals at!!!
Saturday, March 4, 2000 - 04:16 a.m.

Thumbs the Fuck Up
Saturday, March 4, 2000 - 03:52 a.m.

To God, for allowing me to share a domain with marychen. Small-veined, octopus loving, impeccable taste in music and so on and so on. She also has an A HREF = /A and a pita
what's that extra 'b' for?
it's a typo.

Saturday, March 4, 2000 - 01:20 a.m.

So it turns out that "snoog" is also something from Calvin and Hobbes, which is news to me. Also, the Haze Hotline link is actually in Brunei, which is so not Thailand, and there's a pretty interesing post at the end of it about what Islam has to say about the censorship of womens faces and hands in magazines. So maybe "snoog" has nothing to do with Thailand at all and this is just somekind of huge coincidence.

It's the Whole Bloggin' Universe
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 10:06 p.m.

Where does your star lie in the Galaxy of Weblogs? (Please don't think that I'm using the above link to promote the word "bloggin'" as some kind of an e-cockney interjection or anything.)

Oh My Fucking God! Those Bastards Stole My Idea!!!
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 05:12 p.m.

And I stole this link from . Quote: Cats are not characteristically disposed toward voluntary aerobic exercise. It becomes the burden of the cat owner to create situations of sufficient interest to the feline to induce even short-lived and modest exertion for the health and well-being of the pet. Cats are, however, fascinated by light and enthralled by unpredictable jumpy movements, as for instance, by the bobbing end of a piece of hand-held string or yarn, or a ball rolling and bouncing across a floor. Intense sunlight reflected from a mirror or focused through a prism, if the room is sufficiently dark, will, when moved irregularly, cause even the more sedentary of cats to scamper after the lighted image in an amusing and therapeutic game of "cat and mouse."

Better than a Brain Implant
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 09:31 a.m.

There's this program here called "The Voice" which creates an audio image of a what your webcam is seeing so that blind people can navigate with sound. There's also a great Java applet to play with. If you don't want to get the cool headset and you don't have a webcam you can have the Windows version of the program sonify your desktop - the program will scan whatever is on your screen (images, movies, text, screen savers, etc) and produce really cool stereophonic pinging noises. Using this in conjunction with CAPOW (see below) has been shown to cause seizures, headaches, temporary blindness, and other forms of religious mania.

Cellular Automata & Electric Power
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 09:15 a.m.

I got the graphics from this pita off of Capow, which is a program designed by Rudy Rucker that does some kind of math thing that draws cool pictures (I didn't get much sleep last night so I can't really handle talking about math right now.) Anyway it makes a great trip toy and screen saver. I read Rudy Rucker's book "The Fourth Dimension" in like seventh grade and tried so hard to picture tesseracts in my head even though he says that hyper-spheres are easier to imagine.

Eric Lyon's Media Research Site
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 09:03 a.m.

Eric Lyon is an electronic music composer and friend of my music teacher from New College, Rob Constable. They do the Bonk festival with their friends. This page has many cool things on it. If you've got the time, check out Red Velvet. Beautifully warped

Harmonic Convergence on the Web
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 08:57 a.m.

So cool. I'm not sure of the math behind it, but it apparently uses convergent series on the harmonic series to make chorales. The samples sound like spooky Aphex-Twinny ambient stuff. From Eric Lyon's Media Research Site.

William T. Vollmann
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 07:37 a.m.

See entry below on "snoog." Actually though, this book is set in Cambodia, not Thailand.

Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 07:30 a.m.

I was bored thismorning so I did some Google searching for my favorite nonsense words. And I'm talking about words which I use privately in conversation with myself, my cat or on rare occasions with very close friends. The results of the search were (duh) interesting. "Boogle" is actually some kind of game. Snoog is apparently an expression of affection in Thai, and "pleugh" is Highland Scots for "plow." Apparently "noofle" and "sczyczyk" are still all mine.

Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 07:25 a.m.

I thought that "pleugh" was my private expression of distaste. I guess UNIX is my destiny.

The Loop of Sentimental Confusions
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 07:06 a.m.

I found this and the two links below from looking up "snoog" on Google. It reminded me of something I saw on McSweeny's (which I think I got from dirtynerdluv) and the whole lovelorn girls in Thailand got me thinking about William T. Vollaman. I started reading The Atlas a few weeks ago between classes at school and it was totally readable and stimulating and pretty cool. I had been afraid of William T. Vollman ever since being shown a chapter from "The Butterfly Stories" when I was very drunk and high at a dorm party at DePaul that probably added another six months to my getting over my first girlfriend.

Bring Back the Haze Hotline!!!
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - 07:04 a.m.

Support Totally Illegitmate Music Piracy
Monday, February 28, 2000 - 10:10 a.m.

Fuck the RIAA. Napster Rules.

Support Semi-Legitmate Software Piracy
Monday, February 28, 2000 - 10:07 a.m.

This is definitely the best site in the whole "abandonware" scene. Which if you didn't know is dedicated to old games and utilities that are no longer sold or supported. Abandonware is cool because 1) Games were way more creative before the advent of 3d shooters. 2) 1989 era games are all like 900k or less - download in seconds. Wasteland, Harpoon, what would junior highschool have been without them?

My diaryland Diary
Monday, February 28, 2000 - 10:00 a.m.


open directory
galaxy of weblogs


feed. your. head.

Mc Sweeny's
First Monday