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
The Two
We think that our emotions are life. When in fact, they may be just a very pleasurable part of life as a human. Don't confuse the two.
He found that dominance by two or three firms “is not the exception in the United States, but increasingly the rule.” Consumers, easily misled by product labelling, often don’t even notice that products like sunglasses, pet food, or numerous others come from just a few giants. For example, while drugstores seem to offer unlimited choices in toothpaste, just two firms, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, control more than eighty per cent of the market (including seemingly independent brands like Tom’s of Maine).
- THE OLIGOPOLY PROBLEM - The New Yorker
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.
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
What is matter anyway? It is a number assigned to a type of object that has to do with how that object behaves in a gravitational field. In other words, it is just a rule.
- The Ultimate Destiny of the Nature of Matter is Something Very Familiar, Programmed Reality
The Finite Watch
The simple answer, that we so pine for, is that all conscious states emanate from some finite combination of physical states of the brain. That everything any human being could ever feel, because 'feeling' really is at the root of everything we do, will be able to be traced back to a specific combination of physical things. Switches, synapses, chemicals, whatever it is, will have figured out the code and be able to replicate the code. Because we know that, with exponentially increasing computation power, in the not so distant future, we'll be able to get our arms around any code, assuming it is finite.

This of course makes one huge assumption, and that is that the code is in our brain. This idea is so easy to understand and fits so easily into our current, mainstream knowledge base, that its hard to imagine any other answer. Which of course is one of the signature traits of our current, mainstream culture, a complete and utter lack of imagination. We can't imagine that there are things we don't know and therefore we refuse to build models based on things we don't know, we only build models on what we do know.
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
But what too few people fail to note when they start with the Xenu talk or fallaciously claim that it's a pillar of the Church is that the majority of practicing Scientologists don't know the Xenu story. The Xenu story doesn’t come until the ultra-secret OT 3, which comes well after you’ve gone clear, which requires tens of thousands of dollars of auditing and courses and can take decades.
- Scientology and Me, Part Two: What Scientologists Actually Believe, The Hairpin
The weird idea that the titans of investment banking are the smartest people on the planet continues to persist, even among people who ought to know better.
- Financiers Still Aren’t Rocket Scientists, Science Blogs
Eric Twelker is the owner of The Meteorite Market, an online meteorite retailer. While working full-time as a lawyer, Twelker founded the company in 1995 to make some money on the side; it’s now a full-time business, which he runs with his wife out of Juneau, Alaska.
- The International Meteorite Market, The Naked Scientist
Growing But Not Getting Old
You would think, as folks grew old, and they really started feeling the reality of death starting to hang over them, they would start shedding the 'personas' they had adopted while young, and just become more human. To start releasing themselves from the pressures of society and just be. But it rarely happens. The fear of death perhaps isn't what it used to be. We cling to our misperceptions right to the bitter end.
Basically, when you buy or rent something like a movie, you’ll only be granted a “license” for a certain number of people to watch it. If Kinect detects more people in the room than you had a licence for, it can stop the movie, and even charge you extra.
- Microsoft patents spying on you with your TV's camera and fining you if there are too many people watching, BoingBoing
Breaking Habits Hurts
Of the many weakness of the 'human system', one is that breaking habits is hard to do. It physically hurts. So once a unhealthy habit is in place, even if it is causing harm to the individual, its still very difficult to change. Which, in a culture that is built to benefit from bad habits, leads problems.
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.