Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Off Piste Escalator Action

Condemnation from officials of the guy who skied down Europe's longest escalator, at Angel tube station in London. The BBC seems to be a bit wary about promoting the video, opting instead to link to "Transport for London". A swift Google reveals all though:

Reckless? Or harmless fun? Or something that fits neither? Bah, I'm not here to answer such questions...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Feedback: GWEI

Monochrom points to an effort to "feedback" Google using AdSense revenue to buy Google shares: Google Will Eat Itself.

Zen Monkey TV launched, interview Rudy Rucker

10 Zen Monkeys have officially launched their video podcast, appropriately labeled 10ZM.TV - go to that link right there for details, subscription links, and their first video: an interview with mathema-philo-writer-guy Rudy Rucker.

I feel guilty in that I've only read one of Rucker's early books, White Light, which is kind of Alice on acid, going into infinities and so forth. In the interview, Rucker talks briefly about the idea that rather than just what-we-call-computers being computational devices, many things in nature can also be seen as computational - deterministi systems that react to inputs, often "satisficing" rather than attaining "perfection".

I'm something of a determinist, so I like the idea. Everything happens for a reason, and all that. Of course, if nature wasn't a deterministic system, there'd be no basis for science or empirical study. Without some kind of stability - a certain level of consistency - things would by definition become unstable, and we wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be typing this.

Anyway, Rucker's great. Go watch him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Studying Rocks!

Smart people like to listen to rock, apparently. "Those questioned said they often used the music as catharsis by playing the loud agressive music to literally jump out frustration and anger."

Funny, that's exactly the same reason why I play things like Quake 3 these days - gotta be better than going out and punching someone, innit? Anger's, like, natural. The trick isn't to supress the anger through drugs or religion. It's to control the venting of that anger, like directing a hose.

Shame, then, that we "understand" anger and depression as "negatives" rather than necessities these days. As Psyblog puts it, "Ultimately we don't often hear the simple message that it's OK to be depressed sometimes. It's not pleasant, but it's part of being human."

Of course, the frustration of being smart is an odd thing, too. Can we expect more and more rock music as more people get shoved into further education? :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

One Page at a Time

"What happens when you give high school students one minute to say what is on their mind?"

2 shots taken from the 8 1/2 by 11 Voices story over at JPG Mag.