Thursday, February 26, 2004

Design Goals

Benford's Corollary to Clarke's Law:
"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Thirty Years Ago

Quiz. This picture was taken in 1975. Who are these people? What are their job titles?


Saturday, February 21, 2004

On Taking Cartesian Coordinates Too Far

Thursday, February 19, 2004

That Was Before We Knew As Much

"For, of course, the body is a machine. It is a vastly complex machine, many, many times more complicated than any machine ever made with hands; but still after all a machine. It has been likened to a steam engine. But that was before we knew as much about the way it works as we know now. It is really a gas engine; like the engine of an automobile, a motor boat, or a flying machine."
- Natural Wonders Every Child Should Know, Edwin Tenney Brewster, 1912

This was one of Alan Turing's favorite books as a boy.

Monday, February 09, 2004

No Prince Henry

Here's my two least-favorite navigation tools found on the web: "Top of Page" and "Back." I dislike them for related reasons, that they compete with and thus subvert the navigational tools of the browser. The first is irritating because, although "Top of Page" does the exact same thing as moving the scroll bar, it does so by screwing around with the page history. As well, who doesn't know how to move the scroll bar? It also, and this is a big deal, makes the page more cluttered. Consider that "Top of Page" actually has no actual content, but is effectively highlighted by being a link.

"Back" is worse, because, unless it's a Javascripty thing, it probably doesn't go to the back that the "Back" button on the browser would take you to. That's confusing as well as irritating. In any case it's another set of redundant, cluttering, content-free links.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

What do you call...

Is a MeetUp of a group that was formed on Orkut called an OrkUp?

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Using the Force

I don't usually blog other people's blog entries, but this is too funny:

Turing Machine Cellular Automata as the Death Star

Friday, February 06, 2004

Ancient Vocabulary Lesson, Part One

In ancient Egyptian, there were two words for "to die." One was kheper (looked like a beetle), which meant "to die" but also "to transform." The other was mut (looked like a vulture), which meant to really die. It also meant "mother."

On a related topic, two great tastes that, uhh, are weird together: The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Ode to Immortality

People try to live f-forever (Talkin' bout regeneration)
Hopin' their heads don't get severed (Talkin' bout regeneration)
Walt Disney's corpse is pretty c-c-cold (Talkin' bout regeneration)
I hope I download before I get old (Talkin' bout regeneration)

This is regeneration
This is regeneration, baby

One day we'll live on the m-m-moon (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
I just hope that isn't soon (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
Low-grav's great for age I hear (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
But I can see it fine from h-h-here (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)

This is regeneration
This is regeneration, baby

Stem cells they are pretty bold (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
Too bad the government stopped them cold (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
I don't have a big neurosis (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
I'm just worried 'bout a-a-apoptosis (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)

This is regeneration
This is regeneration, baby

Why don't you f-f-forget Moore's Law (Talkin' bout regeneration)
I don't care what K-K-Kurzweil saw (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
Don't want to live with no s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)
I'm just waiting for re-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout regeneration)

This is regeneration
This is regeneration, baby
Thoughts on a friend about to have a baby
"But will she come in time? Oh yes just in time; whenever she comes is just in time; when we have despaired for the thousandth midnight of any such a one ever coming from anywhere, she will arrive, in a tearing hurry, breaking into or out of the last spheres of air, fire, water, earth as though throwing open the successive doors of a long corridor, down which she rushes, her hair streaming and her brow knit, her hand already beside her mouth to call into the ear of our souls Wake up."
- John Crowley, Love and Sleep