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
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?
- Tim Leary
The only way really to understand your position and its worth is to understand the opposite. That doesn’t mean the crazy guy on the radio who is spewing hate, it means the decent human truths of all the people who feel the need to listen to that guy. You are connected to those people.
- Joss Whedon’s commencement address at Wesleyan University. (via Fresser)
His essential claim is that there is no great gulf between nonliving, unconscious gizmos like computers and light switches, on the one hand, and the human brain, on the other. Our strong feeling that there’s something special and inexplicable about consciousness is largely an illusion. It will fade as science advances, like the illusion that the Earth is the center of the universe and everything revolves around us. Biologists used to believe that living things are made of some special material, some elan vital that sets us apart from the stuff of rocks and minerals. Now that we know about DNA, we no longer need an elan vital. Someday we won’t need consciousness either. There’s no metaphysical difference between your body and your mind, or between your laptop and your necktop, so to speak.
- Is the Brain No Different From a Light Switch? The Uncomfortable Ideas of the Philosopher Daniel Dennett
Mochizuki has reported all this progress for years, but where is he going? This “inter-universal geometer,” this possible genius, may have found the key that would redefine number theory as we know it. He has, perhaps, charted a new path into the dark unknown of mathematics. But for now, his footsteps are untraceable. Wherever he is going, he seems to be travelling alone.
- The Paradox of the Proof
You could have been so much better, but the fact that you are anything at all is amazingly impressive
I'll be blunt. The material nature of your Earth existence is just an illusion. You know this is true, but you choose not to admit it. This is a very slow place, like jello slow. That can be a serious hassle for those entities that are used to different ways of being. But with that huge hassle, comes an opportunity to experience things that cannot be experienced in any other way. And being is all about experiencing.

Today we experience through forgetting who we are. We are sucked into this bizarre world of brainless zombies, many of whom are still stuck in the animal, not yet aware they are, but aware enough to follow their base instincts. Nothing comes easy, its takes a tremendous amount of work to do anything in this world, we are completely dependent on each other.

Slowly we are learning to harvest are experiences using books, movies and computers, so that we can 'recreate' situations in order to experience those experiences vicariously without putting in the actual risk and time required to experience them in real time. Of course, that means they're only echoes of the actual experience. As the simulations get better however, the echoes get stronger.

In the future, we think we'll be able to bypass the 'simulation' or 'faking it' part all together and understand how the brain triggers each emotional response, and then simply recreate those chemical triggers. If only it were that easy.
Russell’s paradox is often explained using the tale of the meticulous librarian. One day, while wandering between the shelves, the librarian discovers a collection of catalogues. There are separate catalogues for novels, reference, poetry, and so on. The librarian notices that some of the catalogues list themselves, while others do not.

In order to simplify the system the librarian makes two more catalogues, one of which lists all the catalogues which do list themselves and, more interestingly, one which lists all the catalogues which do not list themselves. Upon completing the task the librarian has a problem: should the catalogue which lists all the catalogues which do not list themselves, be listed in itself? If it is listed, then by definition, it should not be listed. However, if it is not listed, then by definition it should be listed. The librarian is in a no-win situation.
- Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem via RainyPixels
Picking At The Corner
Another place may be the perfect place, where everything flows naturally without barriers, but the challenge of such a wonderful place is that there is no reason to pick at the corners. When you come here, where things are so not perfect, it encourages picking at the corners. The longer you stay, the more you experience, the stronger to urge to pick at the corner. Some stay until they've peeled the layer off, but for most, the corner was all they needed.
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
A spider that builds elaborate, fake spiders and hangs them in its web has been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon.
- Spider That Builds Its Own Spider Decoys Discovered, Wired.com
Star architect Zaha Hadid is currently building several projects across China. One of them, however, is being constructed twice. Pirates are the process of copying one of her provocative designs, and the race is on to see who can finish first.
- Zaha Hadid vs. the Pirates, Spiegel via Fresser
Both the Hopis and Mayans recognize that we are approaching the end of a World Age... In both cases, however, the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another.
- Mayan End Age 12-21-2012 heralds a New Age of spiritual enlightenment
Back in the late 1960s, Peter Glaser proposed the idea of solar powered satellites (SPS), what he envisioned as space-based photovoltaics that could transfer energy wirelessly back down to Earth.
- How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs, iO9
But with Spanner, Google discarded the NTP in favor of its own timing-keeping mechanism. It’s called the TrueTime API. “We wanted something that we were confident in,” Fikes says. “It’s a time reference that’s owned by Google.”
- Inside Google Spanner, the Largest Single Database on Earth, Wired
And particularly when you're human, you are more likely to die in the late morning -- around 11 a.m., specifically -- than at any other time during the day.
- You Are Most Likely to Die at 11 a.m., The Atlantic
Today we have people who think that they are wild and free and crazy because they are engaging in risky, insane, round-the-clock sex, using drugs, defying everything decent in society. But that’s not freedom, is it? That’s not even anarchy. What it is, is simple conformity. That’s all it really is.
- 5 Questions with Michael Savage, The Washington Times
It is amazing how easy it is to go medieval in the space of a week. News travels house to house, until fact and rumor are indistinguishable. No one believes half of what they hear from any official source, assuming they have any means of receiving news. And bad news, no matter the source, is the most believable.
- Lights Out In Westchester County, The Daily Beast
This too shall pass. View the full archive.