tetracube in flatland

  I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space. —↑Edwin A. Abbott (1884:Section 1.) Victorian society seems to be a preferred metaphor and target for scientifically and technologically inclined writers who strive to express social and cultural critique. Meanwhile I have finished “The Diamond Age, or: The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer” (↵Stephenson 1996 [1995])—that second generation cyberpunk-tale wherein the Neo-Victorians feature so prominently. Both emotionally and intellectually I really enjoyed following artifex John Percival Hackworth through the post-nation-state-collapse, retro-tribalized, … Continue reading

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marenostrum

  In ↵her comment to my entry ↵cyberian churches, ↑orange asked, referring to the entry’s two pictures: “and what makes these “cyberpunk ambient”?” First of all, if a little introspection from my side is allowed, both pictures give me the cyberpunk creeps shivering up and down my spine. Those are my individual perceptions, now for the elaboration. KerLeone’s picture shows a gothic cathedral, somewhere in Spain, where air ducts were brutally led through the arched windows into the interior. It’s ↵Gilliam’s cyberpunk-metaphor for technology running rampant come alive. Without any respect for the ancient architecture the substantial pipes have been … Continue reading

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amphoræ

  Just a little story on personal appropriation of mass-produced commodities. The stores around here carry a vast diversity of nearly identical products for everyday use in mass-consumption style, like e.g. shower gel and sun milk. Sometimes the contents are perfectly identical and only the containers, the inscriptions upon the containers, and the price-tags differ. And then there are identical containers used for a range of different products. In this case the text is not imprinted directly on the container, but on stickers. The design of the stickers usually annoy me. It’s only the high-class products which sometimes feature designs … Continue reading

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trademark drawbacks

  Today a friend of mine who is not so much into soccer, asked me why the commentators on television are always talking about the “FIFA WM 2006″, and went on asking, if there was another soccer world cup besides the FIFA one. My friend drew parallels to heavyweight boxing, the other sports monster spectacular, where there are different more or less global associations, each claiming to organize the world championships. WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO plus another dozen or so, among which only the WBU has some significance in the UK. The result of this rivalries is that there are … Continue reading

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same, same

It’s always the same. Or, “same, same”, as people belonging to certain Asian families of languages use to say. Once in the Transhimalayas we had a caravan’s man taking care of the horses, a fine guy indeed, but, no matter what exactly you said to him, he always answered: “Right, Sir! You are right, Sir! No problem, Sir!” Until, meanwhile being several weeks deep inside where we shouldn’t be, nerves blank, a close friend of mine threatened him with a severe beating if he wouldn’t stop the right-Sir thing. To our every relieve he stopped it. Don’t be upset about … Continue reading

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blog novel?

  I’m not sure what the man’s up to. We know that quite some time ago he had quit blogging because for him it didn’t go together well with writing a novel. When The Guardian‘s ↑Hamish Mackintosh asked him in 2003 if there was an art to blogging, he answered: “I think there is and I don’t think I’ve necessarily mastered it yet! I have got that feeling of when you’re working in a new form and you start to feel the edges of it and it’s really intuitive. However, if I’m ever going to write another book, I’m going … Continue reading

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Favorite antikythera mechanism

sponges, gears, and characters sponges “I have an idea,” Poseidonios thought on the Greek island of Rhodes, simultaneously having in mind the idea he referred to, and the meta-idea of having that very idea. “I have an idea,” Charles Babbage thought a mere twothousand years later in Victorian London, simultaneously having in mind the idea he referred to, and the meta-idea of having that very idea. Both savants thought of the mechanical computer. The 22 oarsmen’s strained muscles are driving the two vessels eastward. Both caiques are laden with sponges, brought to the surface by a party of six divers … Continue reading

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m’unique

  Munich offers some striking features. I don’t mean those ones experienced by the flocks of tourists streaming into the city ’cause of the soccer world cup these days, but quieter ones, mediating unique experiences. If you journey by bicycle along the river—no matter if to the north or to the south—for no more than about 20 minutes, you’ll be fully encircled by trees and scrub, nothing more of the city to be heard or seen. The river’s bed of gravel is perfect for picknicking and reading, and even for spending the night, a full moon guarding your sleep. Sun’s … Continue reading

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dojo

  Excerpt from Neal Stephenson’s “Diamond Age” (1995), Dinosaur’s tale:  Next I found myself in the care of the mammals, who were almost all shrews. They led me up into the foothills, to the mouth of a great cave. “Your job,” said the King of the Shrews, “is to wait here for Dojo and then defeat him in single combat.” Then all the shrews went away and left me there alone.   I waited in front of that cave for three days and three nights, which gave me plenty of time to scope the place out. At first I was … Continue reading

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