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busy, busy, busy

Friday, January 27, 2006

Confessions of a Crap Artist

"Was it Phil's fault God talked to him or was it God's?"

(via Mind Hacks and Boing Boing)

Democrats and Republicans Both Adept at Ignoring Facts, Study Finds

"The study points to a total lack of reason in political decision-making.

'None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged,' Westen said. 'Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones.'

Notably absent were any increases in activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain most associated with reasoning.

The tests involved pairs of statements by the candidates, President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry, that clearly contradicted each other. The test subjects were asked to consider and rate the discrepancy. Then they were presented with another statement that might explain away the contradiction. The scenario was repeated several times for each candidate.

The brain imaging revealed a consistent pattern. Both Republicans and Democrats consistently denied obvious contradictions for their own candidate but detected contradictions in the opposing candidate.

'The result is that partisan beliefs are calcified, and the person can learn very little from new data,' Westen said."

Yet another reason why the act of voting is ultimately and utterly pointless.

(via Mind Hacks)

The Venus Project

"Experience tells us that human behavior can be modified, either toward constructive or destructive activity. This is what The Venus Project is all about - directing our technology and resources toward the positive, for the maximum benefit of people and planet and seeking out new ways of thinking and living that emphasize and celebrate the vast potential of the human spirit. We have the tools at hand to design - and build - a future that is worthy of the human potential. The Venus Project presents a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture. What follows is not an attempt to predict what will be done - only what could be done. The responsibility for our future is in our hands, and depends on the decisions that we make today. The greatest resource that is available today is our own ingenuity."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Degree Confluence Project

"The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures, along with a narrative describing the adventures it took to get there are then posted on this web site. This creates an organized sampling of the world.

Another goal is to document the changes at these locations over time. Although we initially want to visit as many different locations as possible, don't hesitate to revisit a confluence if you're in the area.

We've excluded confluences in the oceans and dropped some near the poles, but there are still 11,824 to be found. You're invited to help. There is a confluence within 49 miles (79 km) of you if you are on the surface of Earth."

Alphamega Series

"These photographs capture the zenith moment in a physical process utilizing primordial destructive elements (fire, heat, light) and technology. This process mirrors the intention of the work: an exploration of the themes of birth and death, beginning and ending, transcendence, and the transference of energy."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Fractal Recursions

The Buddhabrot Technique

Google Sightseeing

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Expect my posting to resume to its regular irregularity. Probably not daily, but also probably not as seldom as once every six weeks.

I start my new job tomorrow (although I "officially" started today). While I really did love my previous position, working 12-16 hours every day does get a little old after two-and-a-half years and I'm looking forward to a 40 hour work week (in theory, of course).

My main problem right now is reconciling my anarcho-syndicalist leanings with the fact that I'm in management now and will likely have to fire somebody at some point. I'm such a sell-out.

And now for your random Bjork image:

Saturday, January 21, 2006

2005: A good year for music

My top ten in no particular order:
Spoon Gimme Fiction
Stephen Malkmus Face The Truth
The Decemberists Picaresque
Sigur Ros Takk...
Beck Guero
Wolf Parade Apologies to the Queen Mary
The New Pornographers Twin Cinema
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene
The Silver Jews Tanglewood Numbers

Some quite honorable mentions:
The Go! Team Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Out Hud Let Us Never Speak of it Again

Still taking some time for me to like:
Death Cab for Cutie Plans

Friday, January 13, 2006

Monday, humiliation
Tuesday, suffocation
Wednesday, condescension
Thursday is pathetic
by Friday life has killed me