Other Ten Percent 3/26/12

Mar 26 2012

Christ is March seriously already almost over? That is…absurd. We’re in yet another long stretch of rainy days and if I get stuck in my apartment for much longer I’m fairly certain I’m going to create a bartender to talk to and then try and murder my whole family. Anyway, on that absurdly dark note, I hope you guys all enjoyed your weekend and lets take a look at some of the links I’ve got in store for you.

Has The Quantified Self Movement Changed What We Eat?
I really need to get back to logging what I’m eating since I’ve gained some weight over the past year but every time I try I kinda can’t get back into it because I know the general caloric count of most of the stuff I eat from the last time I was logging food so it seems like a useless hoop jumping exercise. I think this link helped me figure out what to do though. I’ve seen a few systems that involve trying to quantify your mood changes from your diet and I was kinda excited to try the Jawbone Up’s version of that play before it turned out the hardware was borked. May try and whip up a homebrew version of their system using Evernote or Google Docs this week.

The Institute, A Documentary About the Games of Nonchalance
To give you some sense of how into the Games of Nonchalance I am I’m seriously considering going out to Oakland to watch this. Oh snap Oakland! The guys behind Games of Nonchalance are, I believe, the same crew that did the awesome ARG Nikki and I played at the SF MoMA but this is supposedly their masterwork and the height of their popularity.

SXSW 2012: The Ultimate Bruce Sterling Talk
I always find that Sterling’s particularly cranky futurism works especially well at SXSW where it contrasts so completely with the can-do optimism of the scene there. Something about him yelling that we’re all doomed to a geriatric, urban climate change future to a bunch of optimistic, tech-savvy twenty-somethings totally works for me. Sometimes I think he lets his sense of inevitability get the best of him as when he’s sure we’ll all be trapped in the collapse of the “stacks” which is what he calls the vertically integrated tech companies like Apple and Google. He’s totally right that they’re going to fall but I’m not totally certain we can’t jump fairly nimbly from stack to stack as they do. Anyway you should at least stick around for the first 10-15 if only to hear his call for the SXSW tech scene to show up next year dressed in the fashion of the new aesthetic if only to freak the film people out.

Screenshots of Despair
Speaking of new aesthetic, I saw this link around twitter a few times during the week but it was only when I saw it on the New Aesthetic blog that I actually had it click why I should post this to OTP. I’d kind of just dismissed it as a cute bit of recontextualisation and hadn’t really thought of it as an artifact of interface design. It isn’t that the computer is telling you something totally depressing its that it has no idea that it just formulated a totally depressing sentence.

Pentametron
Speaking of computers formulating sentences (That’s right I just pulled off the dangerous and rarely attempted transitional new aesthetic 3X combo.) I love this project. In fact if it weren’t so covered in profanity I’d suggest using it to teach Shakespeare. Some of them are just totally useless of course but when they work they work. At the very least I’d love to have the underlying algorithms at my disposal. I wonder if it would make poetry better or worse if you could have a word processor for it that checked if each line was valid iambic pentameter as you wrote.

Brilliant Interactive Website Art by Andrey Yazev
I don’t know if these are just suddenly show up as I learn (badly, MAN is Nikki ever carrying me) to program but I kind of find it fascinating how much this sort of stuff demands that you consider the programming it took to create it just as much if not more than the result. It’s like Brechtian computer art where there’s actually a language for confronting the work’s underlying structure.

DEMOLITION COMPOSITES
Well this is certainly some high-quality atemporality. I think the first one is my favorite because the later ones kind of have a (valid but kinda boring) political bent to them about how the past is better than the present. The first one is just sorta “once there was a building here and now, not so much: the end.

Pac-Man hiding spot
There’s a spot in Pac-Man where the ghosts will never follow you. A fun party trick at parties where there’s a pac-man arcade cabinet for some reason (this may just be me but that’s actually a surprisingly large number of parties) as well as just a cool fun fact. I kind of love that early games had these weird holes in them that were just fine when they were released because nobody ever expected people to care nearly as much about games as they actually do.

Webcomics Roundup
Gunshow presents a cat with a burning need to investigate sarcasm. I think my favorite part of this comic, besides the absolutely brilliant final panel, is the fact that all three of the books on the cat’s head are titled “whales.”

David and Words: 2getha 4eva
I told you guys I was going to write for io9 again and I did not lie. Join me won’t you for a discussion of how you’d change the ending to A.I. Artificial Intelligence entitled How A.I.: Artificial Intelligence ends in a different, better universe. Also, join me for a quick reblog of a pocket-square alternative on my fashion tumblr. I’ve kinda let that blog sit there as I learned to program for a simple reason I plan to discuss on there soon: it turns out only having 27 items of clothing is SUPER easy?

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