The White Whale Laughs Last
“Movies are about telling the same lies over and over again,” Michael says at one point. “You know, good beats evil, things happen for a reason, attractive people are interesting.”
- Grand Theft Auto V Is a Return to the Comedy of Violence
Well, I like to lead with good news, so let me assure you that at no point this evening will I read from or quote the poet Rumi.
- Terence McKenna - Evolving Times
Flaubert was right: “Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.”
- Flaubert
The title of this article was written by Mark V. Shaney. Mark was a member of a UseNet News group called net.singles, a users group chock full of dating tips, lonely heart chatter, frank discussions of sexual problems and high tech missionary gospel about the sins of premarital smut-typing. Mr Shaney was a little goofy but he was always there. He chimed in with poetic opinions on romantic empathy: “As I’ve commented before, really relating to someone involves standing next to impossible.” And he had a great Groucho Marx sense of humor: “One morning I shot an elephant in my arms and kissed him. So it was too small for a pill? Well, it was too small for a while.” And his idea of a good closing was: “Oh, sorry. Nevermind. I am afraid of it becoming another island in a nice suit.” _–_–_–_-Mark

Who is Mark V. Shaney? Some people on the Net thought he was smart and sensitive, some thought he was on drugs, many had him pegged as just another nut. But they never guessed that Mark V. Shaney was lines of code written by rob and brucee running on a Bell Labs computer. Mark Shaney program read all the messages in the group and spit messages back into the Net. The human net.singles didn’t catch the pesky little binary corespondent because of all the real nuts in this users group who were misdirecting -real honest to goodness damaged flesh and blood neural-nets spewing crazy flames all the time. And what if – “I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt” was signed “Bob Dylan?” No one thought old Bobby was a program when he wrote – “He screams back you’re a cow, give me some milk or else go home.”
- I Spent an Interesting Evening Recently with a Grain of Salt via Fresser via Dan Catt
Stick A Fork In The Road
As I sit in the airport and watch everyone on their laptops and cel phones, I wonder two things. One, is this how easily we are distracted and that we'd rather interface with machines then other humans? Are we losing that ability? Or is it that these machines are really crude 'external' representations of us wanting to be more connected, not just with each other, but with knowledge. Its crude mental telepathy. Its crude intelligence. Its crude knowledge.

The answer is, its both. As we expand our intelligence, we expand our technology and we need to be careful to use that technology as a tool to continue to expand, and not get too distracted by it. This is our path, for better or worse. The best path is that we move through this period and realize that this was a transition phase to more self realization as a civilization. Worst path is we completely get distracted by the technology and end up become slave to it.

My sense is, no matter how hairy it may get, the human in us will always prevail.
Every minute a new impossible thing is uploaded to the internet and that improbable event becomes just one of hundreds of extraordinary events that we'll see or hear about today. The internet is like a lens which focuses the extraordinary into a beam, and that beam has become our illumination. It compresses the unlikely into a small viewable band of everyday-ness. As long as we are online - which is almost all day many days -- we are illuminated by this compressed extraordinariness. It is the new normal.
- The Improbable is the New Normal, Kevin Kelly - The Technium
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun
- Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A. vice president. - NY TImes
Does Alexander know that DMT already exists in the brain as a neurotransmitter? Did his brain experience a surge of DMT release during his coma? This is pure speculation, of course, but it is a far more credible hypothesis than that his cortex “shut down,” freeing his soul to travel to another dimension.
- This Must Be Heaven by Sam Harris, Newsweek
You can’t believe what’s going on — teachers jumping on people, pushing and pulling and saying, ‘You should be able to do this by now.’ It has to do with their egos.
- How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body, New York Times via Fresser
A new biological robot has been made from rat heart cells and synthetic materials, a new study says—and the machine could someday lead to others that will attack diseases inside the human body.
- Crawling Bio-Robot Runs on Rat Heart Cells, National Geographic via Fresser
The Common Vision
The common vision is that we keep iterating over the problem until we get it right. Until we solve the puzzle. Until we know the 'one rule to rule them all'. Until we figure out how the whole system works. Which is interesting, because no one told us to do this, its seems baked into the architecture. Which one then might ask, why? Are we actually small programs designed to keep working on the problem, the BIG problem, until we figure it out? That would be a shocker, but would make total sense.
Much like Pandora, Laffster’s algorithm is designed to learn what makes you laugh, whether that’s dripping sarcasm or slapstick comedy, and adjusts your personalized stream of content accordingly.
- App’s Humor Engine Learns What Makes You Laugh, Wired
This too shall pass. View the full archive.