Feb 27 2006

Google Will Eat Itself

GWEI:

We generate money by serving Google text advertisments on a network of hidden Websites. With this money we automatically buy Google shares.

We buy Google via their own advertisment! Google eats itself – but in the end “we” own it!

By establishing this model we deconstruct the new global advertisment mechanisms by rendering them into a surreal click-based economic model.

After this process we hand over the common ownership of “our” Google Shares to the GTTP Ltd. [Google To The People Public Company] which distributes them back to the users (clickers) / public.


Feb 27 2006

Plugimi On Aggregating

plugimi.com:

What if you could buy objects that come with a informational purpose? Say, you buy a toy-robot you can put on your desk. You can connect to it through your computer and tell it the keywords it’s supposed to look for. Expose it to both power and Wifi and it will look for the information you specified and collect it over time. It will be giving visual feedback and accumulate information on its site that naturally generates a feed as well which other people/objects can subscribe to in turn. It seems like a bit of a hybrid between a blog and a news aggregator since it will both collect and create content but it will have a body and you can physically interact with it


Feb 26 2006

Jawline

From the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci.


Feb 25 2006

Free Speech

“The test of free speech always lays in that which is hardest to defend. It really would be nice if maggots like these didn’t make the rest of us work so hard.”


Feb 24 2006

Good Night and Good Luck

Good Night And Good Luck is beautiful, timely, sobering, and funny.


Feb 22 2006

Baum Haus

German designer treehouses, via BLDBLOG.


Feb 21 2006

The Cave Is A Refuge

De Blas House, by Alberto Campo Baeza. Still my favourite architect.

The glass box is placed upon the platform, like a hut, is a belvedere to which one rises from within the house.

Below, the cave is a refuge. Above the hut, an urn, is a space from which to contemplate nature.

This house attempts to be a literal translation of a tectonic box set upon a stereotomic questions: a tectonic piece set upon a stereotomic box. A distillation of what is essential in architecture. Once again, “more with less”.


Feb 21 2006

Bodyparts

From The User’s Guide To The Millenium, in an essay called ‘Project For A Glossary Of The Twentieth Century’, which was a series of possible feature titles sent by a magazine that Ballard proceeded to turned into a list of spoof definitions…

Typewriter. It types us, encoding its own linear bias across the free space of the imagination.

Satellites. Ganglions in search of an interplanetary brain.

Robotics. The moral degradation of the machine.

Personal Computers. Perhaps unwisely, the brain is subcontracting many of its core functions, creating branch economies that one day amalgamate and mount a management buy-out.


Feb 21 2006

50s Radio

Cleaning out the bookmarks and: 1950s Easy Listening Radio stream, presented by Dutchmen. No idea why I have that thanks to Walker for that, it’s ace.


Feb 21 2006

Mud That Sat Up

Alan Moore’s “magical” performance piece Snakes & Ladders, which was first a live rendition and later a recorded album with synth spaceman Tim Perkins, has become a kind of audio reference manual for me. I sometimes put it on in order to perform a psychic checklist. As Moore makes his way through time, space, science, poetry and the deep history of central England, I find myself thinking about some of the things that make me who I want to be: Limitlessly bewildered by humankind? Check. Stunned by cosmology and elated by genetics? Check. Laughing in awe at the sheer fact of the universe? Check. Wry existential wonder? Check. Bad puns that are barely jokes at all? Check.

I don’t know quite what this means, but I’ve begun to try and articulate some of why I enjoy it so much. Reading Phillip Ball’s book on Paracelsus has made think about how there is now such a stark separation between religion and science. In Paracelsus’ time the distinction made no sense – your faith was interwoven with life, and your “natural philosophy” (science, such as it was) was simply a part of how you thought about God and the world He apparently created. Now though such integrated approaches seem absurd. The Christian scientist’s attempts to fit theory to doctrine is one such dead end. I’m not about to say that the loss of religion means we’re missing something (although that’s how these discussions usually come across) but rather than secular disciplines of all kinds still have a lot of work to do.

Moore’s ideas offer an angle on this, a kind of secular awe. Something post-religious, that erases the mad impulses of faith (although as Moore’s magic mushroom-eating attic-Druidism attests, he fills it with entirely different mad impulses.) Just as religious works are written in awe of the God they postulate, so perhaps secular works need a greater pleasure in and awe of the science that they believe elevates their view – as with Snakes & Ladders.

Perhaps, in the same way that parts of the Bible stand to religious folks’ feelings about creation, so Moore’s performance could represent, to me at least, a secular recognition of the buoyancy and optimism we can feel when the possibilities of reality are laid our for us by the realms of modern thought. Whether it is modern science, or modern art; whether it is quantum algebra or an operatic neighbour, there’s reason to be cheerful – pleased by all the things that have made us more than “mud that sat up”. And this is all without recourse to God, or any supernatural explanation at all. Moore’s exultation of the wonderousness of human knowledge is scintillating in its earthy poetry. I put it on to be reassured, to be able to say “yeah, that’s what I would have said”. Or would have done if I’d been as accomplished as Moore.

Moore has become a magus of the English language – a literary experimenter and a believer in something he calls magic. Rites and incantations have never done much for me, but Moore’s piece does not preach, and there is no abracadabra. He does not appeal to the great beard in the sky, except to make the odd jape at His expense. Moore’s performance is a description of what is, what was, and what might be. (And on Magic: “Any cunt could do it.”) If it is really magical, then it seems to be in Bronislaw Manislowski’s sense in which the magical “ritualises man’s optimism”.

Snakes & Ladders orates on what it is to be human. From “the black earth” of our grief, to the “furnace tongs of our own possibility”, Moore is the excited uncle, errant teacher, suburban wizard. He takes phrases from popular culture and turns them into jokes about cosmology. How many writers can genuinely make that work?

Throughout Moore seems like a man pleased with his own eclecticism – but moreover, just pleased with the indigestible enormity and complexity of life itself. There are lots of descriptions of the world we live in, but Moore’s seem to manage something unique. It manages to look up.

And I tick another box.