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Echoes and Mirrors » internets

Archive for the ‘internets’ Category

Whiney Little Bitches

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Hat-tip: Martin S Pribble

Also, maybe we’d actually be exploring space. And found those big-tittied green chicks. Science, I know I’ve been harsh on you for not giving me spaceships and time-travel, but you’re delays have been partly excused. Now: get to building me a spaceship. And cure cancer.


In Which I End Up Sounding Like a Conspiracy Theorist

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

I’m not big on conspiracy theories. Some are more entertaining than others, sure. And some are right in pointing out that something isn’t right in re whatever it is they’re theorizing conspiracies about. And I have one of my own.

I’m really concerned that I haven’t heard much really about this:

Artificial Leaf Could Be More Efficient Than the Real Thing
Speaking at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in California, MIT professor Daniel Nocera claims to have created an artificial leaf made from stable and inexpensive materials that mimics nature’s photosynthesis process.

The device is an advanced solar cell, no bigger than a typical playing card, which is left floating in a pool of water. Then, much like a natural leaf, it uses sunlight to split the water into its two core components, oxygen and hydrogen, which are stored in a fuel cell to be used when producing electricity.

Nocera’s leaf is stable — operating continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity in preliminary tests — and made of widely available, inexpensive materials — like silicon, electronics and chemical catalysts. It’s also powerful, as much as 10 times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf.

With a single gallon of water, Nocera says, the chip could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day. Provide every house on the planet with an artificial leaf and we could satisfy our 14-terrawatt need with just one gallon of water a day.

And it’s ready for production use. A gallon of water per day (probably more like 3-4 for American households, but really, that’s still not very much). In fact, they’re going to make them. And sell them in third-world countries that lack centralized power grids.

Couple it with a little wind turbine and a solar panel, and you’ll never pay for electricity again.

But we will never see this in America. Except as a niche market sold to eco-warriors and survivalists. (Not that anyone seems to have much of a problem with either group, but most of those who claim association are readily identified in some way as a nut.) Now here’s my crazy bit: it’s okay to lower your power use, but it’s impossible to cut yourself off from the power grid. I think it’s even illegal in most places (I could be wrong about that, but it seems like something a housing code would include for making a house livable).

And it’s not about electricity. It’s not about people being lazy. It’s not about economics. Or the environment.

It’s about power. Not the electrical kind. But big-industry, centralized power. As long as there is a very small number of places generating everyone’s electricity, they have America by the nutsack.

Oh, and according to the Japanese, Nuclear Power plants can get really dangerous sometimes. We have a pretty good track-record here in the US, sure. I guess that will last forever. We will never have a problem like that, right?

So it’s like this: they have figured out a way to dispose of a multi-billion dollar industry that, when faced with a natural disaster or a drunk engineer or a crack in some concrete, could irradiate huge sections of the planet. And that industry will instead continue building nuclear reactors really close to me.

And it’s not just in electricity or utilities industries – the federal government has been continually centralizing law enforcement and other things for decades. Everyone wants to do away with distributed computing that doesn’t have a centralized host (this new Cloud Computing thing is the solution to decentralized internet gibberish). There is a war against anarchism. They powers that be are insisting that for everything, somebody has to be in charge. And to that I say, no. No there doesn’t. Fuck off.

You wanted to see my crazy: there it is. I think that corporatism is going to destroy what’s left of humanity with e-books and fucking cloud computing. We’ll all be hooked up to the same power, internet, and ‘distributed’ systems. All traffic will be monitored or be pay-per-view/use and being outside of its grasp will make you an outsider in the truest sense. It’s going to taxonomize and categorize everything until we can’t fucking breath. And we’re going to shell out cash to the big centralized machines that give us our little happiness. And don’t forget to update your fucking facebook status either, to let the marketing drones watching that you’re upset or happy.

Yes, I’m on the power grid. That doesn’t make me hypocritical. If I shunned the power grid I wouldn’t be able to do anything. There is a line between being ideological and being stupid. We can still choose quite a bit right now. And we can still be anonymous (I don’t mean Anonymous, but you can be that too, if you like) for the moment. And when that changes, I’ll be in Peru, with a leaf-powered home, drinking Ayahuasca and laughing at everyone. I hope.


Goodbye Facebook

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

I did it. I took the leap and deleted my facebook profile.

It’s not nearly as easy to do as you’d think. They make it very easy to ‘disable’ your profile. It disappears from the world at large and goes into hiding. But it’s still there, always there to mock you.

Here’s some directions on how to do it.

Why did I do it? Yes, it kept me in contact with people I haven’t seen in ages and made it easy to talk to a few people. But you know what? Even with the privacy settings maxed out, there’s still this page all about me that has possibly damaging consequences. Like all the drinking pictures that other people have posted.

For several months, every advertising agency on the planet has begun to tack little notes like “like us on facebook” to their ads. Suddenly my interests, hobbies, favorite movies, etc., weren’t just me listing some fun stuff I like. Now those ‘likes’ have become demographic data. The newsfeed is filled with PR notes from Popeye’s Chicken because you listed Popeye’s as something you like, or you became a fan of it. That bothered me. I use Adblock Plus on my browser, so the little ads sprinkled around weren’t there for me to see. But I was somehow, now, linked into this gigantic marketing infrastructure that I wanted nothing to do with. But I stuck around to keep in contact with people. I sanitized my page of likes, interests, and so forth, leaving just my email address and my website.

But about a month ago, I was talking to a girl in a bar, and instead of exchanging numbers, she tried to find me on facebook to ‘friend’ me on her iPhone. (I lost interest right away, but that’s beside the point.) She couldn’t find me because I made myself unsearchable, but I managed to navigate her to the page anyway. My blank, sad page told her nothing about me (my ‘wall’ had some interesting nuggets and insights into my life, though) and she seemed disappointed. And suddenly I was too. Who was I to buck the system and not list all my superficial interests for the world to see, for people to use as a measure for my personality? I disabled my account. But my fancy Android phone kept logging in for me, re-enabling the account each time.

So I deleted the facebook app. Then I hunted for a way to remove my name from the system.

It’s better this way for everyone. Really.

I’m going to be looking for a job, filling out applications for graduate school, working on getting my writing published, etc. and I don’t want everyone who googles my name to come face to face with my facebook me. They can get enough of that here (although I don’t think my name is explicitly stated anywhere on this website, it’s not hard to connect the dots). And there is more depth. It’s not just a list of movies I like (Casablanca! Inception! Yes, I’m a good guy like that).

I do still have a Linkdin account, but I haven’t bothered with it in ages. I tweet (which is now locked and I took my surname off for similar reasons). Drunken facebook posts and tweets are a liability. And they’re too short to be explained easily.

What I want now is a single point of access to the internet-me. That I run. Without the interference of marketing monkeys. If somebody wants to get a hold of me, they can e-mail me. Or call me. Or make some other genuine effort to actually contact me. I’m done with it.


Most Zen Video Ever Cut

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

TOBACCO – Super Gum from TOBACCO on Vimeo.

It’s kinda zen like that. There is no denying that what is in this video exists. It’s not really horrifying, or pleasing. It’s more like a benign tumor. Yes, yes it is a tumor. This time.

If I ever make a movie, I want it to be something like this but with more explosions and keyboard cat.


Wikipedia Porn

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Wikipedia goes into great detail to explain what a creampie is.

I just think it’s amusing. Actually, the rather dry way they describe any of the linked pornographic acts all lack the erotic lining you might expect from amateur encyclopedia editors (the one exception being that the artist chose to render an anal creampie as opposed to the more traditional vaginal creampie, a risqué move by Wikipedia if I say so myself). But, what it lacks in stimulation it makes up for in history lessons. Which are also quite disappointing. Actually, come to think of it, the only thing that’s even interesting are the zany vector art renditions of pornographic acts. I’m not going to post any of those, but they do share one thing in common with most pornography I’ve seen: the people actors models whores in them have cold, dead eyes and aren’t smiling. (Just kidding, whores are people too.)

I would be smiling. It’s another reason I’m better than a lot of people – I’m just positive and upbeat like that. My only question about it is this: when you’re in a room with nine other naked men and a cameraman, is there exemption from calling “no homo” or is it implied by professional standards? I’ll just let you think about that one for a minute and get back to me.


Somewhat Disturbing Numbers

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I snagged that from here, courtesy of the Libertarian Party. And the dramatic upswing in “likes” on Facebook is, well, a very good thing for the LP. Facebook seems to be this weird indicator of public opinion. People either click like on things because they genuinely like it or because it’s ridiculous and amusing. For something like a political party it would conceivably be the latter.

But look just below that. That is fucking disturbing and telling. I’m going to bet dollars to doughnuts that the immigration controversy has fueled those numbers. And my fellow ‘mericuns, y’all are on the wrong side. Also, while the number of LP fans have risen one of the best outlets of libertarian news and analysis, Reason Magazine, hasn’t. Ron Paul gained nearly as many as the LP did (30k).

Sometimes, America, I secretly hate you for not caring about yourselves. I’m like the angry father on a really great episode of Intervention, mad that you won’t listen to reason or stop hurting yourself.

Libertarian Party facebook page


World largest lightsaber battle

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Ironic for a country that has a serious problem with people regularly being stabbed?


It’s like /b/ in real life

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Mortuary Techs getting down and dirty:

The people employed to respectfully handle the remains of the deceased have instead turned cadavers and body parts into macabre playthings, The Post has learned.

And they shockingly documented their depraved foolery in photos taken as keepsakes.

Grinning mortuary technicians use corpses as props in dozens of disturbing Polaroids obtained by The Post.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is mortuary technician Kaihl Brassfield holding a severed head in a classic Heisman Trophy football pose.

It’s not as bad as this (NSFW, large image) but that’s still pretty morbid. I can’t say I wouldn’t do something like that if given the opportunity though.


The Animal Kingdom

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

It can be very confusing, sometimes.  Also, adorable.


Merry Xmas, plebs!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone.  I’m getting primed for New Years Eve and things will probably slow down even more around here while I sort out the issues with my web-development stuff.  Expect Echoes and Mirrors to move soon.  Also, I’m not sure if Craig has plans to post here anymore – he just started a new blog over at Written on the Stall.

My dad got me some t-shirts from smarttorso.com. One of them was the ‘life is pietzche’ shirts, which I automatically said, “that’s not how you pronounce Nietzche.” I think he’s implying that I’m a smart ass. I’m not sure.

Hobson’s Choice is coming back. Issue 5 has been recovered and I’m trying to fix the layout again. I suspect a few people will actually be quite startled by its late arrival at their doorstep (contributors, distributors). I’ve even applied for an ISSN. Seriously, it will be the most irregularly published journal of all time with years spanning between issues.

I’ll be searching for regular column (blog) writers for the new site. Details are forthcoming. Meanwhile, I’m doing everything in my power to get published elsewhere.

Drink some egg-nog and do something funny.