If I'm ever sitting on a beach of differently coloured pebbles, I tend
to absent-mindedly sort the static into shapes and structures, as a
tiny gesture of human folly for the next tide to destroy - a polygon
of light stones filled with darker ones, a dark-to-light gradient, some
terrible mosaic artwork. Perhaps inevitably, I tend to wonder what would
happen if you were to build an army of tiny robots and order them to
bubble-sort the beach (where a pebble has a darker pebble touching it on
the west side, swap the two around, and repeat for the entire beach,
This is what happens. Proce55ing is absolutely wonderful; it took twenty
minutes to get the basic beach running, and another effortless,
enjoyable hour to tinker beyond the basic idea. A perfect tool
for converting small ideas into small programs and publishing them
online. Expect more.
of Order sign - "a very effective psychological tool
that can temporarily shut down almost every mode or form of machinery".
Low-key civil disobedience, anti-war or otherwise. [via Joh]
"This sentence is helping to increase the likelihood of nuclear war by
distracting you from the more serious concerns of the world and
beguiling you with the trivial joys of self-reference.
This sentence is helping to decrease the likelihood of nuclear war by
chiding you for indulging in the trivial joys of self-reference and
reminding you of the more serious concerns of the world."
I haven't been able to get these two Hofstadter sentences out of my head, since Erik mentioned them the other month. Fly.
"I never knowingly press that button which tells you what
your balance is, and if I press it by mistake I screw shut my eyes. I
just use the machine to draw out thirty quid every now and then. If my
request for cash gets refused, I know there's trouble afoot. So I leave
it for a few days and then try again. Or borrow some."
Rod Liddle on the fear
of banking, on having six months of paychecks go missing, without
noticing. I tread the very same path, and embrace it as a state of fiscal
I think the cashpoint machines are on our side; although they automatically tell you
your balance at the end of the transaction, the screen only ever seems to
be displayed for a quarter of a second. I'd assumed this was a technology
thing - old software running on a gleaming new modem, and dustily assuming
that there'd be a five-second connection delay - but it even happens with the
shiny technicolour ones. Am I missing something?
Oh, here we go; Teito Tokyo - Kakusareta Chika-Ami No Himitsu at Amazon Japan
(translate the page). It
sounds a bit Däniken from the reviews ("If as for contents, the person who a little
is knowledge of civil engineering, every majority to every page. Burst of laughter."),
but it'd be good to have a kick around Tokyo looking at the "evidence". Maybe I should
make something up for Brighton.
Elsewhere, journalist Shun Akiba is waving a torch into
tunnels beneath Tokyo, although I can't find anything else about
this, not even any mentions of the reprinted book he's apparently
written. It's all very Murakami.
This tray of simple simulated
fluid is wonderful; I speak as a man who stirs Fruit Corner yoghurts to a careful midpoint, and can stare at a cup of black coffee until it's cold. The Processing
language looks like a great deal of fun - a friendly, cut-down, getting-on-with-things
version of Java, running with an impressive turn of speed.