May 20, 2005
What are you eating and why are you crying?
This (click on image) is why they created the internet (from boingboing).
Why is this so compelling?
April 26, 2005
The Time Traveler Convention
Spread the word, not through space, but time.
The event of the forever is Saturday, May 7th, at MIT!
For more info: The Official Time Traveler Convention FAQ
March 30, 2005
Can motion induced blindness be used to target for the logical possibility of zombies?
This is really what philososphers do. Any wonder why I got my undergraduate degree in the first science. That's right, I'm extremely concerned with the metaphysical existence of cryptozoological entities.
Blogosophy has also started a "Top Five Philosophers" Meme. Here are my lists.
Top Five Philosophers I'd bring with me on a desert island (chosen for my interest and their readability)
Philip K. Dick
Robert Anton Wilson
Top Five Philosophers of which I wish had read more:
March 01, 2005
Things I know are true
And addition to the collection:
by Lu Ting Pin,
When the moon is high I'll take my cane for a walk,
When the wind is cold I'll put on some clothes.
My heart is hidden in thick bamboo groves --
I come home alone leading the white clouds.
February 08, 2005
Please peruse Into the Realms of Henry Darger, a great metafilter. entry. Darger is the quintessential "Outsider" artist, having completed a 15,000+ page book with over 300 illustrations without ever sharing it with anyone. Upon his removal to a nursing home, his work was found. It's subject matter (decidely NSFW), the fantastical resistance of the "Vivian Girls" to the "Glandelinians," strikes many as the obsession of a potential serial killer and pedophile (there's no physical evidence he was either). Upon being told of the discovery of his work, Darger's response was "it's too late now." As evidenced by the metafilter thread, though Darger attempted to remove himself from the rest of the art world, since its discovery, Darger's work has influenced a lot of other artists.
I also recently found John MacGregor's Henry Darger: Into the Realms of the Unreal. I've checked it out and loaned it to Pil. MacGregor is a psychologist who has spent the last decade researching the art of the insane. More reviews of MacGregor's work.
Recently, Jessica Yu has prepared a documentary on Henry Darger, which is currently screening around the country. In the Boston area, this movie is playing Thursday , February 10, at 5:00 p.m. at the MFA, or at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum on Saturday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m.. Anyone interested in 81 minutes of film on a 15,000+ page book with over 300 illustrations?
December 16, 2004
Are You A Pope?
See what I'm talkin' about (I'm really just spitting back other's words). Reality just might be what you can get away with, a line in the sand representing (rather poorly) the latest cessation of contest between rival gangs of shamans (or so I've been told).
October 06, 2004
Who is Metatron?
I can't seem to find time to close down the movable type engine and clean up the wordpress templates. I can't seem to refrain from making blogging either. So here goes, sans comment.
For the inquisitive mind, a few introductory rants and rambles concerning those early Jewish inquirers(?), the Merkabah Mystics.
The Pseudepigraphical Book of Enoch A nut's website, in which he has managed to gather all the important bits and pieces of scholarship and then made nonsense of them via filtering through his own jumbled mind.
The Enoch Literature. A fine primer on the subject of the Enoch/Metatron tradition in Hebrew literature for a course on Old Testament Pseudepigraphia. This site is chock full of good stuff. Start here and just wander around: Introduction. More Enoch explanation: Abstract: The Epistle of Enoch and Enoch as a Divine Mediator. Here's A Bibliography. I've been trying to get my hands on the Odeberg volume for years. Manichean stuff here: Summary of the Book of Giants. And of course it would be metametadata worthy if there weren't a whole website dedicated to the website, if you know what I mean. Enoch in Cyberspace
Primary Written Sources of the Merkabah Mysticism. Again, a stellar textual history from a crackpot website. Is it just me that finds their legitimate areas of scholarly interest and exploration dominated by people "on the edge" of reality? Of course it takes a certain special something to find interest in such things as the Shiur Qomah. I'm just glad someone's made an effort to put the primary source documents online, even if you can't fully trust their translations.
I've tried to point you to the scholarly literature and not the internet crazies. Please follow the bibliographies at the university websites for further reading. Especially Gershom Scholem. If you want more, I recommend getting your hands on the "Origins of the Kabbalah" or "Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition". I have both books.
I couldn't resist:
And it came to pass after this that my spirit was translated.
And it ascended into the heavens,
And I saw the holy sons of God.
They were stepping on flames of fire,
Their garments were white (and their raiment),
And their faces shone like snow.
And I saw two streams of fire,
And the light of that fire shone like hyacinth,
And I fell on my face before the Lord of Spirits.
And the angel Michael seized me by my right hand,
And lifted me up and led me forth into all the secrets,
And he showed me all the secrets of righteousness.
And he showed me all the secrets of the end of the heavens,
And all the chambers of all the stars, and all the luminaries,
Whence they proceed before the face of the holy ones.
And he translated my spirit into the heaven of heavens,
And I saw there as it were a structure built of crystals,
And between those crystals, tongues of living fire.
And my spirit saw the girdle that girt that house of fire,
And on its four sides were streams full of living fire,
And they girt that house.
And round about were Serafim, Kerubim, and Ofanim;
And these are they, who sleep not,
And guard the throne of His glory.
And I saw the angels, who could not be counted,
A thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, encircling that house.
And Michael, and Rafael, and Gabriel, and Paniel,
And the holy angels who are above the heavens go in and out of that house.
And they came forth from that house,
And many holy angels without number.
And with them the Head of Days, His head white and pure as wool,
And His raiment indescribable.
And I fell on my face, and my whole body became relaxed.
And my spirit was transfigured, and I cried with a loud voice.
And just one more:
1. I asked Metatron and said to him: " Why art thou called by the Name of Thy Creator, by seventy Names? Thou art greater than all the princes, higher than all the angels, beloved more than all the servants, honored above all the mighty ones in kingship, greatness, and glory. Why do they call thee 'Youth' in the high heavens?"
2. He answered me and said to me: "Because I am Enoch, the son of Yared."
3. "For when the generations of the Flood sinned and were confounded in their deeds, saying unto God (Job 21.14): "Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways." Then the Holy One, blessed be He, removed me from their midst to be a witness against them in the high heavens to all the inhabitants of the world, that they may not say: "The Merciful One is cruel'."
4. Hence, the Holy One, blessed be He, lifted me up in their lifetime before their eyes to be a witness against them to the future world. And the Holy One, blessed be He, assigned me as a prince and a ruler among the ministering angels.
5. In that hour three of the ministering angels, Uzza, Azza, and Azzael came forth and brought charges against me in the high heavens, saying before the Holy One, blessed be He: "Said not the Ancient Ones (First Ones) rightly before Thee: Do not create man!"
The Holy One, blessed be He, answered and said unto them (Isaiah 46.4): "I have made and I will bear, yea, I will carry and will deliver."
6. As soon as they saw me, they said before Him: "Lord of the Universe! What is this one that he should ascend to the height of heights? Is he not one from among the sons of (the sons of) those who perished in the days of the Flood? What doeth he in the Firmament (raqia)?"
7. Again the Holy One, blessed be He, answered and said to them: "What are ye, that ye enter and speak in My Presence? I delight in this one more than in all of you, and hence he shall be a prince and a ruler over you in the high heavens."
8. Forthwith all stood up and went out to meet me, prostrated themselves before me and said: "Happy art thou and happy is thy father for thy Creator doth favor thee."
9. And because I am small and a youth among them in days, months, and years, therefore they call me "Youth" (Na'ar).
Some places for a youth in search of a reading list to start.
Man, I really like the Enoch as a Divine Mediator piece. That about sums up my interest in getting to know Metatron.
September 16, 2004
3 good reasons to ask metafilter
Reason #2 Trip Hop (or downtempo or whatever): I love Tricky, Massive Attack, Hooverphonic, Portishead, Laika, Lamb, Sneaker Pimps, Martina, etc. What other, new acts have a similar sort of dark, humid and metallic aftertaste?
"And the use of that word (lie) to describe the concept of a scientific model is so much an obfuscating act of meaningless reductionism that it makes your statement essentially a lie."
September 15, 2004
I just received this link from my friend spidey:
My response was:
Is this for real? It seems somehow twice removed from nature, like what would happen if a movie character, subject to the relaxed laws of movie physics, decided to make a movie and relaxed the laws even more. It has that constant nagging doubt, like The Thirteenth Floor, that all you're seeing is really a put on. I mean any chance of knowing whether or not you're dreaming is right out the window. In fact, I'm no longer sure whether or not I'm a character in this movie. I suppose this is what happens when you read too many comic books. They start coming true.
June 15, 2004
So You Think You're a Hacker
If you expected it to be a semi-organized outline in .txt okay, you're a hacker.
Everyone else please see, http://info.astrian.net/jargon/.
Any just so there's no doubt.
My blog: http://www.metametadata.net/mt/
My aggregator: http://www.bloglines.com/ The blogroll on my weblogs menu is courtesy bloglines in case you wondered whose weblogs I subscribe to.
And, the piece de resistance, my todo.txt, although I call it tasklist.doc (its in a proprietary rich text format because I like using visual design cues to aid my scanning of the lists)
May 11, 2004
Games for Infogeeks
Some sneaky librarian type got the idea that they could get average joe web user to help classify images. So they went about turning it into a game. Somehow, they managed to make indexing enjoyable! I've found the game to actually be pretty good practice for my job. Scary, eh?
And just because I know that all this indexing will make you hungry. Here's how you can get your unix on and your grub on. Have a Pizza Party via a command line pizza orderator (via boingboing). No geek should be without it. I guess Dominoes has figured out its market. After a long day of shell scripting you just gotta have some pie.
April 24, 2004
The web is just a hack
And not even a really good one.
Here are a couple of articles about, you know, what, we do here.
with apologies for raiding rawbrick's remaindered links
And one more hack for good measure.
April 12, 2004
I have no idea what this really is, or means, but it kind of creeps me out. I hope it creeps you out too.
The BoingBoing posts:
And just for YellowRiver
March 29, 2004
Damn it feels good to be an uber-nerd (1)
This is just what librarians do, for fun I guess. I mean, not me. I do way stupider stuff.
March 26, 2004
I've been having trouble staying afloat of all the good stuff I want share with you. So I've decided that I need to spend some time talking about that trouble.
So I have no idea why I'm having so much trouble. True to form, I just decided to throw some organization at it.
There are three major messages that I'd like to share with you.
- Damn it feels good to be an uber nerd. A sort of brain dump in which I compare my information dissemination project with other knowledege organization programmes and provide a window into my ridiculously over-organized mind.
- Let's all wear blank badges. In which I try to convince everyone to join a routing list of my complete collection of Invisibles comics. Seriously, many of the major brain dump factoids originated as counter-cultural references in this comic.
- Giving you your very own Personal Digital Library. In which I detail my efforts through the website, implementation of cocoon and savvy use of xml and xslt to develop a personal digital asset manager. Wouldn't you all like a quick and easy way to electronically manage your music, movie and book collections?
Okay, so maybe the trouble is that these major themes are quite personal and important to me, and the required effort per syllable to publish them properly is discouraging. You know me, "if it's not worth doing right (read perfectly) its not worth doing." So to counteract this inertia, I've tried to break the info down into its absolutely discrete units, then I'm just going to throw them up and let you sort through them yourself. The only categorical organization to this sub-publication of metametametadata will be through the titles of the entries. Otherwise the existing categories will be applied, but I'm not making categories for the three major themes.
Ok. Let's get started.
Here's the link to that discrete organization I was talking about. Bet you didn't even know the log was having so much difficulty as to warrant the organizational effort.
So how many times can I say so in a blog entry, it's kind of like how it's really, really annoying when public speakers say "um" all the time, but we totally need them to say it, so that we can catch up with their ideas, and they totally need to say it, to allow time for their brain to send coherent linguistic organizations of those ideas to their mouths. We really, really need it in coversation, but when you listen to a public speaker, or worse a radio dj, go um, um, um it drives you mad. Anyway it's so annoying. And what's up with the two different spellings of Oh-Kay? Something's wrong with my brain today. I need to like, defragment.
March 03, 2004
The Theory of the Derive
My studies of esoteric traditions and counter cultures has led me recently to the writings of the
good name, eh?
Anyway, I found in the Situationists a shared appreciation for the formation of a particular relationship with the city one lives in. That formation occurs through the undertaking of a "derive," or drifting. You should read the Theory to get a better sense of the concept, but for the most part one wanders without personal motive, allowing the city to lead you, while you listen to what the city and her denizens have to tell you about themselves. I don't follow the standard operation procedure Debord lays out. I like to take my derives on the weekends between 11pm and 3am. It actually drives The Kenj nuts. I'll walk all over the damn town for about four hours. She worries, the dear. It's part of how I have a good mental map of Boston, how I know where everything is and who goes where. I'm making a mental map, not of the physical territory, but of the mental territory of the other people who live in the city with me. It's easy to be walking and just start following college kids to a party of a club, or dog walkers down the boulevard, or Sox fans to the T.
Anyway I want to invite the Fu Crew and sundry to start making derives with me this summer. They're awesome. It just starting to Spring and I can already feel the wanderlust come over me. That sounds disgusting.
Here're the refs,
The Theory of the Derive explained by a founder of the Situationist International, Guy Debord.
I'm currently reading the Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. Here's a not so great translation, that's at least free. If you want, you can borrow my copy.
You can find an introduction and definition of Dada, Lettrism and Situationism here.
Here's a compendium of english translations of Situationist work.
Here's an article from the Economist, trying to explain the heyday of the Situationist to current day capitalists.
February 29, 2004
I have no idea what this movie is, or what it's doing, but you have to go check out the trailer.
February 28, 2004
More on the Music Industry
Links to a couple of articles from John Dvorak at PC Magazine.
I can provide a data point to verify Dvorak's conjecture regarding the real reason for the downturn in music sales.
During the Napster and Kazaa heyday I spent $40/month on music. I learned about all the music I bought from these file sharing programs. I then went and bought cds because I didn't like the quality of what was available, and I couldn't trust the information associated with the song. I used to find a song and then verifying the album and artist info at Amazon (to check all the possible remixes). Sometimes I would then purchase the album from Amazon. When the RIAA started suing people, I stopped using all file sharing software and subsequently stopped buying music. I can't remember buying a single music album in the entire calendar year 2003.
Recently, the legal digital music sellers have actually produced a service worthy of interest. I use Itunes. Why? The interface. Apple just makes things that are easy and fun to use. But the selection at the music store sucks. Despite the limited availability of stuff to download I still find music that interests me. How? The shared music feature. People on a local area network can share the contents of their Itunes libraries with each other. This is exactly what Napster was, access to music other people burned of their purchsed cds. Smart move Itunes. Living in college dorms I learn of groups like Manu Chao and then find myself back in brick-and-mortar music stores, back on Amazon looking for more information and buying cds again. I've spent more in the last two months on music than I have in the last two years. All thanks to Itunes, thanks to the sweet interface and the reasonable allowance of music sharing.
For those of you who follow this log on a regular basis, I'd like to tie this explanation to two earlier discussions, Do You Live the Dijalog Lifestyle? and Grey Tuesday. The problem is one of information access, something with which those of us living the digital media lifestyle are intimately familiar. The big five labels of the RIAA have established channels for disseminating information via hype and know what's going to happen when they rev up their marketing machines. This creates a controlled situation in which they can make their money. They're slow and unwilling to recognize and take advantage of new mediums for the dissemination of information (which file sharing really is, it's not primarily about dissemination of product) because they lose control. They have a harder time hedging their bets that new talent will sell. Hence, the ridiculous response to DJ Dangermouse's Grey Album. If they were to take the money and run, they would be admitting that money could be made without the need for the bloated production, development and marketing budgets that allow artists to make $1 per cd that costs the consumer $18.
It's just a sad, sad state of affairs when Apple knows the future of the music industry better than the RIAA and builds a compelling, revenue generating product. At least the RIAA can be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital music world. Now if they would just stop the completely pointless exercise of suing people for helping them generate profit.
February 24, 2004
War, good god, what is it good for?
Just an interesting bit of information, take it with a grain of salt (especially as its unsourced). Does not constitute an endorsement of either candidacy on anyone's part (especially mine).
February 18, 2004
More freaky shit
A couple of lists. Thanks to Chhavi and The Kenj.
- From Chhavi
start the day with wonder ...
--------From:--WLS-- Feb 10, 2004
Some presidential history!
Look what happens when a President gets elected in a year with a "0" at the end.
Also notice it goes in increments of 20 years:
1840:-- William Henry Harrison--- (died in office)
1860:-- Abraham Lincoln------------ (assassinated)
1880:-- James A. Garfield------------ (assassinated)
1900:-- William McKinley----------- (assassinated)
1920:-- Warren G. Harding--------- (died in office)
1940:-- Franklin D. Roosevelt------ (dies in office)
1960:-- John F. Kennedy------------ (assassinated)
1980:-- Ronald Reagan-------------- (survived assassination attempt)
2000:--George W. Bush------------ ????????????
And to think that we had two guys fighting it out in the courts to be the one elected in 2000.
You might also be interested in this. Have a history teacher explain this----- if they can:
-- Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
-- John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
-- Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
-- John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
-- Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
-- Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
-- Both Presidents were shot in the head.
Now it gets really weird:
-- Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
-- Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.
-- Both were assassinated by Southerners.
-- Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
-- Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
-- Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
-- John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
-- Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
-- Both assassins were known by their three names.
-- Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Now hang on to your seat:
Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford.'
Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln' made by 'Ford.'
Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.
Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
And here's the kicker...
A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.
-- Creepy, huh?
- From Kenj
The Washington Post's Style Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners.
1 - Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
2 - Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
3 - Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
4 - Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
5 - Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
6 - Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
7 - Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
8 - Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
9 - Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
10- Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
11- Glibido: All talk and no action.
12- Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
13- Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
14- Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
15- Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.
16- And the pick of the literature: Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a***ole.