Other Ten Percent 3/20/12

Mar 20 2012

Man is it just me or is Facebook spam REALLY building up lately? It seems like once a day now some friend from High School has clicked on something that auto-posts the thing to his wall and shows every single other person he’s friends with that he was stupid enough to post on “look at this hot girl on the beach.” Since I was stupid enough to accidentally spam all of you with the bizarre homophobic/racist rant thing one time by clicking on a bizarre rant to see what was up with it I kinda don’t want to demonize the random dude from high school but I do think it’s bizarre to watch Facebook slowly degrade. Anyway I have no link for that so I put it up here. I do have these links though.

How to grow a biological city of the future
Let’s start out with some high-quality futurism from io9. I decided this one was interesting because it actually makes an utterly bizarre seeming future seem pedestrian, almost inevitable in a weird sort of way. It starts to sound the way it must have sounded when people first started to explain that we’d be making a ton of buildings using poured concrete. The materials are here and somebody’s going to figure out how to use them some day.

CatCam the Movie, A Short Film About the Adventures of a Tomcat
Seriously though is nobody else freaked out that we’re putting cameras on everything? We’re putting cameras on CATS at this point. I have no idea why we only seem to care about this when we think of a new way to flip out about 1984. I mean it’s not exactly a full record of another person’s consciousness or something but being able to see through everybody else’s eyes is going to have super duper weird effects on society.

Bears use hibernation to regenerate their wounds without a hint of scarring
This technique should be familiar to Pokemon players but the fact that bears actually just straight up sleep off grievous bodily harm is yet another reason why bears are amazingly awesome. It’s also yet another reason I really wish I was physiologically and socially able to hibernate.

How I automated my writing career
As much as they stress that this is a useful tool for authors and not a competitor I’m not sure I buy it. I could see more advanced versions of this kind of tool handling the lion’s share of content on churnalism sites like HuffPo within the next few years for instance. I think the “useful tool” narrative is only going to last till somebody figures out that it’s stupid to pay the people who are using a tool this useful. Of course that’s still the narrative of the next 5 years of writing even if nobody invented an automated writing tool. Why pay for content when it can just be produced for free and scraped?

Ghostcatching
So this is interesting in and of itself as yet another example of the weird fascination with automatically tracing a body’s motion through space and kind of using that as an aesthetic that I’ve posted a few other examples of over the last few weeks but I kinda want to comment more on why this one isn’t as good: the motion capture kinda sucks. It also sucks in a very distinct way and I wonder if I was more familiar with the motion capture software world if I’d be able to figure out what software was used just from the small movements and turns that each one isn’t that adept at handling.

The Twitter version of Marclay’s The Clock
I was going to make a big deal about some theory bullshit around how we can repurpose the excess content of the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Anyway instead just take a look at the thing because all the theory stuff about it is fairly transparent and it’s also just plain neat. Not exactly highly functional as a clock but whatever.

TPB LOSS
Man you have got to hand it to the Pirate Bay guys, when they commit to the idea that information wants to be free they commit to the fucking bit. I mean first they decide to get ahead of the curve and start storing 3D printable models that somebody might file a copyright claim against before anybody thinks to actually do that and now they seriously want to run the pirate bay off of flying servers attached to automated drones ensuring that killing their service will require honest to god military action. I love that in case that wasn’t mind blowing enough they then promise that they’re going to shoot some servers into space. I kind of want to write the short story about what The Pirate Bay looks like when it’s syncing up servers to account for the 3 year time lag for transmissions from our nearest interstellar colony.

Why the ‘Lo Heads are Masters of Sartorial Discourse
I kinda half assed my description of why I was posting the ‘Lo Head thing considering I would basically never ever dress like that. Thankfully enough people bitched about that same issue to Put This On so they actually did a really in depth post about clothing as discourse.

Getting Started
I’m not totally bowled over by any of these game ideas, the coolest one is the first one but I’m pretty skeptical of any “game creation game” these days. It does however bring up a problem I’ve been wondering about in the wake of all these huge Kickstarters about how the little guy is supposed to get noticed if Kickstarter really becomes a way for established names to efficiently collect funds for new problems. Maybe this is just sour grapes because my Kickstarter didn’t get funded but it does seem like it’s a lot harder to get noticed in the crowdfunding world than it used to be and it seems like that’s something that crowdfunding is going to need to address.

All Aboard the David Wrote Things Train
Today I wrote a pretty OTP friendly story called 3D-Printed Connectors Let Your Lego Bricks Talk to Your K’Nex, Settle Their Differences. Like the Pirate Bay guys I love the degree to which these guys are thumbing their nose at authority just for the hell of it. I mean they named their project to make children’s toys work together F.U.C.K. for God’s sake.

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