January 24, 2003So, looking at the guestbook, Dylan and his sidebar have a few fans. I really like hosting his sidebar. It's a good synergy...he gets more readers than a random out there in cyberspace 'blog would have, and I get interesting content for my site. I copied the "about" link from the archives page unto the front page, next to the link for the archives, so people might get a clearer idea what we're up to. (Someone wondered if Dylan was just a different persona that I'd put on...nope!)
Toys of the Moment
The real fun comes when you put together a big enough set of blocks so that they start to exhibit fractal geometry, and the marbles actually roll through fractional dimensions and may come out inside-out, or disappear entirely, or have something subtly *wrong* with them that causes the family dog to growl and bark and try to shove the kids out of the room.
--Stefan Jones, on a BoingBoing.net message board, about the marble tracks in wooden blocks toy Cuboro.
Thoughtpiece of the Moment
An interesting, if long, Flash presentation trying to get at some of the meaning of Kubrick's 2001. It's in 4 parts...I thought the final part was a little goofy, but then again, so is the drawn-out ending sequence of the movie.
Prediction of the Moment
"The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it."
--Vannevar Bush, in a 1945 Atlantic article "As We May Think". Great speculation about the future of mankind and technology; dead wrong in someplaces, stunningly right in others. Also, it seems to be one of the descriptions of hypertext. The Web ended up very different than his description, and sometimes for good reason, but still. Some folks are trying to make a Virtual Memex, the machine for sharing trails of connections between microfiched documents that Vannevar Bush describes.
Article of the Moment
New Delhi physicist Sugata Mitra sets up a 'Net connected computer in a slum in India and then see what happens. the results are pretty amazing; illiterate kids quickly gain a functional computer literacy and can do amazing feats of research. Mitra thinks 100,000 of these could be set up for about $2 billion; though I wonder if vandalism will ever be much of a problem. (This link is an interesting tie-in to that last Vannevar Bush Atlantic article.)
Grumble of the Moment
You have my permission to punch anyone who tries to argue that the recent cold snap somehow diminishes the chances that Global Warming is happening. Duhr, the environment is very complex, what we're seeing is more extreme weather...as attested to by the big increase in insurance claims for weather realted stuff over the last few decades. (Note: my permission is likely not sufficient to authorize random punching.)