Tin Man [8/29/2007]

Looking forward to checking out this new scifi channel show:

I'm also interested in Pushing Daisies.

Such Great Heights & Gattaca [8/29/2007]

Another album I've been listening to a lot is still the Garden State soundtrack. One of the two best soundtracks, in my opinion. Grosse Point Blank being the other (especially if you count both volumes). I was thinking about Iron and Wine's version of Such Great Heights.

For some strange reason this song makes me think about the movie Gattaca. Admittedly, I haven't seen the movie in quite a while. I looked up the video on YouTube - Postal Service's version. Even the video reminds me of the movie.

I was trying to sort out why.
And it makes no sense at all.

The song seems to almost tacitly approve of an intelligent design world:

"And I have to speculate that God himself
Did make us into corresponding shapes like
Puzzle pieces from the clay"

While the movie is a rebellion against intelligent design (albeit by humans instead of god).

Maybe it's just the surreal aspect of portraying a predestined world that makes them seem similar. It just seems so contradictory for them to give off the same vibe while being about such opposing viewpoints.

Worshiping Elephants? [8/29/2007]

Does anyone out there want to explain to me the basics of Ganesh? Of all the religions I've read about I know the least about Hinduism. I've tried reading the upanishads and the english translation seemed like another language. I just didn't understand. But lately I've noticed elephants showing up in the background.

First there was this Skippy commercial. How could I not notice Rastafarian elephants?

And then there was the Diane Rehm discussion of this book about elephant communication research. They send seismic messages to each other. I was impressed and took note.

Then I ran across the Howard Hollis website and found his crazy section on Wrong Dimension toys which included a Fischer Price Ganesh with a funny fake history.

So randomly I wonder what Ganesh is all about.
I wonder about worshiping elephants.

Sleeping Lessons [8/27/2007]

I keep listening to this song Sleeping Lessons by The Shins a lot. There is this line in the beginning:
"Eviscerate your fragile frame
And spill it out in the ragged floor
A thousand different versions of yourself"
And it keeps making me wonder about what the consequences really would be of splitting your soul into a thousand different pieces. The song seems to imply that you would have some greater power to resist addiction. When I listen to it, it makes feel like it's correct, that it would give you this power. But, when I'm not listening to the song, I think, maybe that doesn't really make sense. Why would you necessarily have more power to resist temptations? Anyway the whole decentralization of the soul is an interesting idea to ponder.

Thinking about that reminded me how I had this vision a few weeks ago of myself as a matryoshka (russian nesting doll). This is another weird idea, that I have smaller and smaller versions of myself inside. Like a Mandelbrot set. Instead of turtles all the way down, it's matryoshka all the way in. But, this is just a weird fantasy. I almost like it better than the thousand different pieces though.

Finished Snow Crash [8/26/2007]

This book had a few interesting parts. I liked the Rat Thing. But, why, oh why, did it have to take almost 500 pages to execute it? Did Stephenson refuse an editor? Did his editor like repetitive, exaggerated descriptions of the same thing over and over? I think the whole story could have easily been told in under 200 pages.

While reading the part about the Sumerian mythology and the Bible, I kept being reminded of Zecharia Sitchin. And I kept thinking that maybe it would mean more to me if I was Christian and knew the Bible better. Not that I want to read the Bible or anything, cause I don't. But, I do get the feeling that sometimes I miss certain blasphemies, hereticisms, and revolutionary ideas.

The book also got me wondering about whether or not "virus" was an appropriate term to describe the various brain-washing methods he was proposing. It didn't just spread on it's own, you had to take the drug or see the jpg. It seemed much more like a cult than a virus. I reject the Saphir-Whorf hypothesis and Volosinov's theory. So, I had a lot of trouble believing in the power of this language hack.

loco roco [8/26/2007]

I want to play this cutesy game. I really want to play it. I would have gone out and bought it as soon as Mark showed it to me. Only, it's just for the PSP.

I don't want a PSP. There is no way I'm going to buy a PSP. I play games and watch movies on my nice big tv. No one is going to convince me it's better on a little 3 inch screen. It so frustrating that they won't release this game for PS2.

I thought the whole point of Playstation (over Nintendo and XBOX) was that it didn't do the exclusive game stuff. If they keep doing this stuff, I'll have no reason to be loyal to Sony.

My Dæmon is a Mouse named Olin [8/21/2007]

I took a survey on the golden compass movie site and it says my dæmon is a mouse!
I am really getting excited about this movie. I can't wait.

dear pretty ricky [8/21/2007]

If you are going to rip off someone else's hook don't change the lyrics! You're not honoring Salt-N-Pepa's message, you're seriously degrading it. This is the kind of stuff that justifies the "There's no good hip-hop anymore" argument. You're not helping me out here. Salt-N-Pepa deserve so much better.

that which does not kill me, makes me stronger... [8/21/2007]

...whenever I hear that phrase it makes me angry. It's so clearly wrong. And I was reminded just how wrong it is this evening.

I go into the "ladies" room at an expensive Snottsdale sushi restaurant. And notice a woman quickly ushering her daughter into a stall. The girl was probably around 7 or 8. Next thing I hear: "Hurry up. Hurry up dumb ass. Hurry up you are taking too long. Hurry up. Dumb ass. Why is it taking you so long? We are going to be late. Dumb ass. Hurry up." All of this, like 15 seconds after they entered the stall. In about another 15 seconds the girl had finished peeing and they left the restroom.

Now, typically, I'm all for swearing in front of your kids. But, I learned something new tonight, I'm against swearing at your kids. I usually try not to criticize other people's parenting skills. I try really hard. But, this was like, so wrong. Dumb ass wasn't even the right swear word here. How was the girl dumb in any way for taking too long to pull her skirt down? How was the girl deserving being yelled at for having to go to the bathroom at an inconvenient time? And, then there's the fact that the girl wasn't being slow at all. She was actually pretty quick considering how young she was.

The whole thing was disgustingly stupid. If you are going to use harsh language and yell at your child it should at least be about something important that they did wrong. I started wondering if this is the way she talks to her daughter over a little thing, what does she do when something is really important?

I felt bad for that little girl, like she's going to end up messed up because of her stupid mother. There wasn't anything I could do.

Finished Spook Country [8/21/2007]

Wow, William Gibson rocks! I wish I could write like him.

So 50 pages in it suddenly hits me, Pattern Recognition was Neuromancer rewritten in current times, and Spook Country is Count Zero. Cool! This means there must be a third book coming that is an analog of Mona Lisa Overdrive. I hope it doesn't take him 4 years to write it.

I don't know why this wasn't more apparent when I was reading Pattern Recognition. I guess it's been awhile now since I read Neuromancer and Count Zero and I don't remember everything that happened or all the characters. But Cayce's name being the same as Case should have been a huge clue. In fact it took me until I realized that Bobby's name was also Bobby to fully cement the connection for me. And then I started seeing all these patterns...

I wonder why Gibson chose to tell the same basic story twice only from slightly different perspectives and in a different reality. Like the laws of physics, these are the laws of Gibson?

I really liked Tito, I think he's my favorite Gibson character so far. I'll be really upset if Brown comes back and kills him in the next book. That better not happen.

this is so wrong [8/14/2007]

Back in 2000, when Unilever bought out Ben & Jerry's I figured they would screw with the ice cream. And they did, they made it fluffier which meant _less_ actual ice cream and more air (profits). They turned cherry garcia pink(?!), and now, they advertise like this! Further proof the brand has been monopolyfied.

Finished Pattern Recognition [8/14/2007]

My initial thoughts:

1 Now I really want to know what exactly Voytek was going to do with all the ZX-81's. What was the finished work supposed to look like? What was it going to compute, if anything?

2 At the end, I felt sorry for Boone. I wished that Cayce would have forgiven him. I think Bigend was wrong to think of him as being conceited or acting full of himself.

3 It's weird, I always pictured Parkaboy as being young (teens/20's) probably because of the "boy" in his name. Having him end up older felt weird and wrong to me.

4 Why wasn't Cayce creeped out by the Bigend/Volkov partnership? She sensed foreboding bad vibes when she accepted Bigend's offer. I felt oooh this'll mean trouble when I heard Bigend and Volkov became pals. But, Cayce doesn't seem to care to speculate on what it will mean. Maybe because she is just happy to be alive.

seriously! people [8/14/2007]

is your "troubled" son really more troubled than your daughter?

and can you please feel less guilty about blaming _______ for his problems?
    where fill-in-the-blank is:
        a. pornography
        b. video games
        c. rap music
        d. drugs
        e. not having been taken fishing

a. there is dr. phil saying pornography will ruin your marriage. does he get off on knowing there is a bunch of saps out there who actually remain horny and frustrated because he said so? and then, i find out there is apparently someone (not sure who) out there convincing mothers that if their teenage sons view pornography they will end up abusing women and children. this is disturbing.
b&c. there is dr. sax (from MIT ?!) saying that video games and rap music are making boys unmotivated and unsuccessful. (and i was almost going to believe him about the supposed extra estrogen in the environment)
d. contrary to popular belief, not every guy who does drugs lives in his parent's basement. some actually end up president.
e. ok, i don't actually have a real example for this one. : )

Finished the All Tomorrow's Parties [8/10/2007]

I finished All Tomorrow's Parties, and now I have more questions than answers. I think I will go read some Amazon comments and see if things start making more sense. His books are so rich with ideas, that there seems an endless number of essays you could write on them. But, I'm having trouble so far finding good in-depth essays on these books. Just reviews. Maybe they are being written and just not being published on the web. I figured I'd easily find 8 years worth of lively discussion.

My questions/thoughts so far:

1. When Rei Toi replicated herself: Did she keep one central consciousness with multiple physical presences? Or, is she now split into separate consciousnesses that immediately started diverging? If the later, can the clones access each other's memories?

2. When Gibson has Harwood burn the Bridge: Is he trying to say that it really is impossible for interstitials/autonomous zones/bohemias to survive as Harwood believes? Or, is it just that Harwood is consciously/unconsciously fulfilling his own prophecy?

3. What is "that business around Curie's husband"? [Note to self: try to figure this out.]

4. Within the books there is high prevalence of drugs that have psychological effects, and people with obvious psychological diseases, and yet, I can think of no true paranoia in the trilogy. People sense themselves being watched -- and they are being watched. People sense danger -- and they are in real danger. Is this discrepancy intentional? Is Gibson trying to say something here that I'm missing?

5A. Why does Gibson kill off both Laney and Harwood? Is the ability to recognize nodal points supposed to be detrimental by definition? Or, does taking 5-SB seal your fate somehow dooming you to death by suicide or murder? Or, was it just their obsession to influence the future so profoundly that sealed their fates? Is there some type of force out-there that is supposed to stop us from being able to see nodal points?

5B. As the knowledge spreads, will more and more people decide to willingly take 5-SB, to sacrifice themselves for some potential greater good? I can envision a future reality in which some evil corporation or government forcing slaves to take 5-SB to identify nodal points. I think I remember something sort of similar in that weird tv show John Doe. And also something vaguely similar in A Scanner Darkly. [Note to self: look into other examples of this theme further, could be interesting comparisons to be made.]