Thursday  the Nineteenth of June, 2003

"In any sort of categorisation there is the same need for creativity. Which aspects do you focus upon? What are the possible aspects and characteristics? Can you percieve unusual features? Categorisation is only a logical procedure when the categories are firmly established with the given criteria."
It's wearying how much
Edward de Bono's web page borders on Timecube territory, with its huge fonts, embarrassing self-importance and the ongoing rage against stupidity and journalists, but there are some gems hidden away. His word categorisation exercise, taking eight random words and categorising them into two groups of four, is a good way to flex the brain, and was pretty much screaming out to be automated, using all the random words I keep up my sleeves. I've given a box for a random seed number, so that people at different computers can play it competitively or comparatively, if they really want to. Comments? ]
Inexplicable Mobs are beautiful - large crowds of people agreeing to converge on an arbitrary location for a spurious reason ("We are here to buy a rug"), only to suddenly disperse ten minutes later.

The organisers went to some arcane lengths to keep the venue and mission a secret until the last minute, after a concerned recipient of the previous email had invited the police. By loosening and anonymising the guidance, though, the system becomes vulnerable - it'd be quite easy for a group of outsiders to pretend to be the trucker-hatted leaders, and either dissolve the proto-mobs into I'm-Spartacus confusion, or successfully drag some of the groups away elsewhere. A truly invulnerable mob must be either completely autonomous or completely, unambiguously, follow-me orchestrated. But both of those extremes seem to join up at the back, somewhere. Must read more on this. [via Erik] Comments? ]

Passing Frenzies: Thief II - BlogNomic - IFComp 2003

 Wednesday  the Eighteenth

Cerra and I found an improbably seething patch of knee-deep quicksand on Brighton beach last week, when the tide had gone out; an outlet pipe producing the "instant quicksand" of this handy How to Make Quicksand guide. If you've got a shovel, it says, you can make rather thicker, deadly-sounding quicksand ("once you jump in, the quicksand will quickly start to settle and turn into ordinary sand with water on top") on any old beach. Who needs sandcastles when you've got non-Newtonian fluid dynamics? Comments? ]
Technopoly is a trading game that Ben and I were kicking into shape a while ago - it's based on a much simpler simulation game called Bounty, and partly inspired by the arbitrary thought exercise Technology, both of which were part of a page of somebody's Six Simulations.

The other simulations are varyingly abstract and theoretical - Bloc stands out as the strongest, though; "a long-term simulation played out over a number of months", where initially neutral players are casually but forcibly recruited into one of two teams, and can then go on to recruit others. It works by people flashing coloured "chits" at one another, but would be great with tiny coloured lapel pins, worn inside or outside the collar.

(I'm sure there's an Instant Messenger variant in there somewhere, the physical safety-in-numbers being replaced by whoever's online at the same time...) Comments? ]
Counterpoint; an interview with a Bhutanese TV engineer takes the "keeping the kids off the streets" line. He also mentions that the people of Bhutan have been happily renting "unedited and uncensored" videos for ages, which deflates things a bit. Comments? ]

 Tuesday  the Seventeenth

"Until recently, we shied away from killing insects, and yet now we Bhutanese are asked to watch people on TV blowing heads off with shotguns. Will we now be blowing each other's heads off?"
Thoroughly gutting Guardian article about
Bhutanese society being corrupted by television; the nation was one of the last in the world to get satellite TV, and crime and imitative disorder has risen sharply since. There are bound to be other factors at work - that such a fragile society would be easy pickings for any outsiders who cared to infiltrate and exploit it - but it's clear that television is a viciously efficient way to corrupt people's thoughts; all the moreso if they have a fresh, naïve grasp of its context and importance. Comments? ]


Brain children. Recent or noteworthy Web offspring.

In the bookpile. Powered by

Incidental music. Ohrwurmen or otherwise.

Other weblogs. The ones I make a point of returning to a lot.

Supporting cast. That have Web pages. In alphabetical order.

Weeks beginning. All having ended.
2003: 16.06 09.06 02.06 26.05 19.05 12.05 05.05 28.04 21.04 14.04 07.04 31.03 24.03 17.03 10.03 03.03 24.02 17.02 10.02 03.02 27.01 20.01 13.01 06.01

2002: 30.12 23.12 16.12 09.12 02.12 25.11 18.11 11.11 04.11 28.10 21.10 14.10 07.10 30.09 23.09 16.09 09.09 02.09 26.08 19.08 12.08 05.08 29.07 22.07 15.07 08.07 01.07 24.06 17.06 10.06 03.06 27.05 20.05 13.05 06.05 29.04 22.04 15.04 08.04 01.04 25.03 18.03 11.03 04.03 25.02 18.02 11.02 04.02 28.01 21.01 14.01 07.01

2001: 31.12 24.12 17.12 10.12 03.12 26.11 19.11 12.11 05.11 29.10 22.10 15.10 08.10 01.10 24.09 17.09 10.09 03.09 27.08 20.08 13.08 06.08 30.07 23.07 16.07 09.07 02.07 25.06 18.06 11.06 04.06 28.05 21.05 14.05 07.05 30.04 23.04 16.04 09.04 02.04 26.03 19.03 12.03 05.03 26.02 19.02 12.02 05.02 29.01 22.01 15.01 08.01 01.01

2000: 25.12 18.12 11.12 04.12 27.11 20.11

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