Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Virtual Abyss

Today, I went Geocaching. I found one cache, and failed tofind two.. but I had a good time, and that's really the point of the entireexercise.. Hiking through the parks for about 3 hours, climbing up and downvery steep hills... Unfortunately, while heading down one of them, I slippedon some wet leaves, and landed on some hard, pointy rocks, squarely on myright knee. While it did draw some blood, more significant is that it bruisedthe heck out of the area, making (I just found out) biking nearly impossible,as it hurts to exercise the full range of motion. I was going to go to anindoor 'rock climbing' thing tomorrow with some people I met at thecoffeeshop, but unless it's a lot better when I wake up, I'm going to haveto cancel. Ugh.

A friend pointed me at an alternative to friendster, called tribe.net.Does the world need another friendster? Well, friendster is indeed a cool idea,but it promises to become increasingly commercial, is edited by party poopers,and is slow (maybe anything of its size, using a similar design, would be slowthough.. ). Tribe.net is cooler in many ways -- it doesn't require people to bein one's web of friends to be searchable, and it has much richer notions of acommunity -- imagine yahoo mixed with friendster, with all the group features.Some things to watch out for... will tribe.net follow in friendster'sfootsteps someday, and start charging for things in a way that people willwant to leave? Has friendster accumulated enough critical mass that it nolonger matters if it's worse (microsoft situation)?

An interesting collection of things about Singularity,the transhumanist notion that.. well, read it yourself. It's interesting, andit's not as kooky as it sounds.

I again am amused at Wally (my cat)'s interaction with the computer -- he'sshown in the past that he can see, and be amused by, the mouse pointer onthe screen.. but he recently showed that the pads on his paws can movethe same cursor, using the trackpad. This is interesting -- note that noteverything touching the trackpad can activate it. I'm not quite sure how itworks, but it might be based on the same principles as touch lamps..

An interesting form of Paganism.Although.. it seems a bit odd to use that term here. I guess I'm coming todislike the term -- it doesn't really say very much, apart from that a faithis (probably) polytheistic.

I recently found out that One of my favourite authors has a BLOG.If you like science fiction, and like politics, but are skeptical as to if/howthey can fit well together, I suggest you get a copy of "The Stone Canal", andwork forwards and backwards in the series from there. Politics is actuallykind of a perpetual background theme in his books -- he doesn't beat you overthe head with it, but just lets you into the head of people who have accepteddiverse ideologies, set in the background of a colonized space.

On the topic of space, it appears that women have been suggested as beingbetter suited to space missions than men, but because of mysogeny in thefield, they haven't had much real opportunity. The first seems indeed likely --as stated, average female bodies are much lighter than males, and are perhapsmore resilient. The second is rather unfortunate, and it's rather surprisinghow crude some of the comments made by well-known astronauts were. One of thequotes seems to suggest that its author would enjoy sexually harassing women.What a pig..

Here's an interesting peek into how the Chinese provincial/tax systemworks. Apparently, they have a city status called zhixiashi (I hate this styleof anglicization, by the way. The other big one is much nicer), wherebya city leaves its province and becomes, in effect, a province of its own,avoiding provincial taxes (and perhaps other controls). The article suggeststhat, done correctly, it leaves the city to thrive, but there are somerisks.

On the way back from Eat'n'Park, for a second I thought I saw someone on thesidewalk in front of me, wearing a blue sweatshirt, and walking towards me,but they were suddenly gone in a way that suggested they never were there.A trick of the light, on sleepy eyes, perhaps. I noticed about 5 minutes agothat I was seeing the text on my laptop distort a bit, like a certain screensaver. Probably sleepy eyes and sleepy brain, waltzing together.

This is really funny. Apparently, in China there were some visiting Japanesestudents and their teacher, and they decided to have some fun in their play..Japan must be considerably more liberal than China, for this kind of thing tohappen.. On the topic of odd things, take a look at this, and this.

I found the second of those three linked from an article examiningsuicide trends in Chinese society. It's interesting how much a differencesocietal attitudes and institutions can make in these things.

I'm not sure why I find this kinda thing so interesting -- I just eat it right upwhen I see that kind of creativity. It's probably why I occasionally buyD'n'D stuff, even long after I've stopped playing.

A final bit of weirdness before I go to sleep.

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