BB #51: Web Bubbles

BrainFireIt has become self-evident that the interweb is a game-changer in human society. It is generally welcomed — rightfully so — as a big step forward in terms of access to information. More crucially, it’s a giant step forward in sharing information, which is what Tim Berners-Lee originally intended.

But, as with any powerful tool, there’s a Yang to the Yin, and something as extraordinarily powerful as the web is bound to have a strong Yang balancing that Yin.

If we consider the web as we know it as beginning in 2001, we’ve had 15 years to study the effects.

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BB #50: Blog Bubbles

BrainFireThere is no question ‘the urge to write is strong in this one’ but these days I’m weary (on many levels) of writing structured blog posts. At the same time, after so many years of writing for presentation, it’s hard to relax one’s own rules enough for a major style change. But it’s what I keep reaching for.

Seeking that, as well as catharsis from a world that has either gone mad, or — at the very least — is driving me mad, I realized, a-ha: Brain Bubbles! While intended for off-the-cuff passing thought posts, many turned out as collections of related (or unrelated!) thought bubbles.

So pop the cork and let the bubbly flow…

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Movies: Grand Canyon

Grand-CanyonYesterday’s post was a rant; this one counters with a rave. The bad news is that it’s my even earlier writing chops from three years prior to the Stargate review, plus — as this was essentially an email — the writing is especially informal and unstructured.

Therefore original plan was to write a new piece on Grand Canyon, because it’s one of my all-time favorite films, and I wanted to do it proper justice. The “review” you’re about to read I wrote shortly after seeing the film for the first time, so it lacks any thoughts I have about it after 25 years and many viewings since then.

But I’m all about clearing my weblog backlog (the blog bog), so here it is in all its informal gushy glory.

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Movies: Stargate

StargateYou read the title correctly, dear Reader, this is, indeed, a review of a movie that came out 22 years ago. (And tomorrow I plan to post a review of a movie from 25 years ago!) This blog of late is operating in a personal archeology vein (or would vain be the better word in this case?) as well as a sociopolitical one. Remembrances and Rants R me!

The two reviews this weekend are very Yang-Yin in nature: I really hated, Stargate and really loved Grand Canyon (in fact, it’s one of my all-time Fave Five movies). Yet the former film spawned a multi-film and TV series franchise, so there ya go.

If anything, the amusing thing is how much I hated the film. It passed some threshold that put it forever on my blacklist…

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The Week of Aug 14

notesWith modern live moving at such a fast pace, the span of a week often moves things along rapidly (even when one has deliberately taken the rat race off-ramp). My personal life doesn’t change much (’cause of that whole off-ramp thing), but the world at large careens along in its usual Zippy way

But as I continue the summer project of converting my long-time storage room into an office-library (as intended when I moved in back in 2003), I do unearth long-lost personal archeology finds that take me back. A few bits go back to high school, but a lot of it is from college.

One significant find is from a few years after…

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Hunting Tesseracti

tesseract-00If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time wondering what is the deal with tesseracts? Just exactly what the heck is a “four-dimension cube” anyway? No doubt you’ve stared curiously at one of those 2D images (like the one here) that fakes a 3D image of an attempt to render a 4D tesseract.

Recently I spent a bunch of wetware CPU cycles, and made lots of diagrams, trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a tesseract. I think I made some progress. It was an interesting diversion, and at least I think I understand that image now!

FWIW, here’s a post about what I came up with…

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MN Twins: SMH!

Twins HelmetSpeaking of big strike outs, my Minnesota Twins continue to slog along at the bottom of the pack. Things actually got a bit exciting just before the All-Star Game break, but the last week or so suggests the Twins are reverting to the hapless form from the first few months.

The Twins played their 108th game of the season back on August 4th. That’s two-thirds of a season. As of their first third, things were looking uglier than ever in their history. Fortunately, the second third here was significantly better, and July was even kinda awesome.

The batting has definitely improved, but the pitching is just killing us.

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Physics: Big Strike Out!

diphoton bumpTo the dismay of physics geeks everywhere, theoretical particle physics struck out at the plate this year. Three swings, three misses. (Well, maybe one wasn’t really a swing. More a taken ball the umpire called a strike.) It was a crushing disappointment for those of us hoping for a rule-change to the game.

On the other hand, cosmology geeks got three recent home runs, so there was victory (with more coming!) for those who peer at the big and distant. On the other other hand, none of those were game-changers either. (They were just, you know, awesome.)

Since I follow both physics and cosmology, win some, lose some.

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Weltschmerz

weltschmerz-0When the world hits your eye like a nasty pig sty,… that’s not amore, that’s Weltschmerz (best English translation: “world pain”). It’s a term I’ve been meaning to post about for years, since it — or rather what it defines — lies at the heart of most of my Rant posts. (Yeah, this is another Drafts post I’m finally setting free.)

Fundamentally, it speaks to a disconnect or gulf between what one feels ought to be true in the world compared to what actually is true. Implicit in the term is a moral bias regarding the ought; it doesn’t, for example, apply to the gap between wishing you were rich while being poor.

It seems to me very much a word for our times.

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Stupidity Is Winning

face palm - gecko

And whiplash from SMH!

I’m having a tough year; damn near everything pisses me off these days. I’ve never been angrier at the human race than I am lately. My disdain for people is at an all-time high, and that’s a sick way to be; it’s not at all natural for me.

In fact, retirement brought me a long-time-coming epiphany of sorts. I’ve long been known as one of those angry, critical types. A high school friend once named me “the angry young man” (so this has been going on a while). I’ve always accepted it as true. What I finally realized is that it isn’t me…

It’s you.

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