Friday, November 07, 2008


Felt like I needed to break up the moldy mold of a daily routine I've been in, and took a spin down to Borders to inject some new contextual and textual input into the old processor, knock that election / Youtube withdrawl out with a vente dose of populous meatspace and pumpkin-spice frappacino. Picked up Edelmen's "Infoquake", which I'd overheard thumbs-up text and audio fragments for, and also grabbed the next in the series, "Multireal".

The only somewhat diddlingly interesting conceit so far was the "multireal" bio/logic (plot) device, which allows an individual, through some quantum indeterminacy woo, to run through the outcome of hundreds or even thousands of paths for any given choice before making a decision. Would've been nice for Nov 4th I suppose. Presumably it would obsolesce marriage itself, let alone the same-sex variety.

Perhaps my brain, or at least the "Speculative Fiction" sector of the symbolic narrative lobe is teetering on that calcifying threshold, where incoming tokens are slotted with ever increasing ease and ennui into modules of closest match within the grand old model. "'Mindspace Development Environment?' Yes, we've a position for you in Neuromancerian cyberspace just behind 'Metaverse' and 'Matrix'. 'Quantum Search-Tree Decision-Making Device'? Yes, we've got a whole off-world colony of cortical columns for the qubit Qberts. Careful, it gets a bit inconsistent in there. Ah, sir, no vorpal blades over three inches allowed on board the Twi Machine."

Or perhaps the book wasn't all that good. Or it just didn't ring well with me. Either way I'm probably not willing to run an internal simulation through every possible way of reading or even every last page to figure it out.

I noticed, as my eyes wandered diagonally down pages of deliberations of what this protectorate did to that orbital colony and this High Council stole that teleportation device, that I fixated on one particular extended metaphor. It was about the "omens of passing" of a given paradigm/generation and it was spoken by 'The head of the world's most prominent scientific inquiry dynasty' in a Kenobi-koan Mastercard moment.

"You can see the inevitability. Just like you can see the stalk of wheat as the thresher approaches, and know that the time’s come for a newer, stronger crop to bask in the sun."

And I just thought, 300+ years in the future, why would Geek-Jesus, presumably raised on number theory and krill-derivative (or whatever agricultural hand-wave appropriated), speaking to his daughter, who grew up in a 'cloistered, lonely', presumably interplanetary compound, be analogizing with stalks of wheat and threshers? Would he be a connoisseur of Grapes of Wrath? Probably not biblical as it states in no uncertain terms, "He was a man of science." "Hell, I barely know what threshing is", I thought as chapters of agents in hovermachines machinated and mindspace bubbles inflated. Granted, it's just a sci-fi book and you could probably say agriculture was a part of schooling or some such, but it just struck me for some reason.

Just off the top of my head, one might change it to, "Like you can see the fading beige shells on your ebay-feed as Justin Long approaches, knowing that the time has come for marginally better, different color iPods to bask on the jeans of affluent kids like yourself."

On a multiplicit note, I scored an interview for an "Afterschool Digital Media Teacher" position tomorrow at 9, which I'm all jilled up about. It's an after-school course to help middle and high school students create computer games with the awetastic little gem of software called "Scratch", developed by MiT. Scratch is essentially *completely* object oriented, visual programming without the arcane minutia of traditional code-compile-run frameworks. It's a big lego chest of objects (sprites), movements ("forward 10 steps, turn right 90 degrees), controls, ("start when I press GO" "start when I press 'spacebar'"), which you just drag and lock up together modularly to create whole games or other programs in minutes without reading any effin manuals or nothing. The name "Scratch" comes from DJ vinyl scratching, it's meant to take existing media (images, sounds, etc) and create new content therefrom, which is shared back on your open source Scratch profile. My inner visionary was salivating at the sheer neologiety, but more importantly, the potential of the platform. For the Myspace generation, used to playing around in an environment extremely saturated with visual audio and textual content, sharing with friends, this would seem to be a great vehicle for developing design, engineering, math, and team skills.

Well, got to get back to scratchin and mashin shit up for my sample game for tomorrow!


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