fix at pleasure

Despite of his innumerable, absolutely substantial contributions to science (see Bogolyubov, Mikhailov & Yushkevich 2007) the eminent swiss mathematician and physicist ↑Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) also wrote texts accessible to the general public. Eulers didactics are absolutely admirable because you can dive into both ‘Elements of Algebra’ (1770) and ‘Letters of Euler on different subjects in physics and philosophy addressed to a german princess’ (1768-1774) without presuppositions, without any previous knowledge whatsoever. His ‘Elements of Algebra’ begin at virtually nothing and then build up to unforeseen heights. Here is in full the beginning of chapter one of section one of part … Continue reading

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the arkham knight

After the disappointment ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ (Warner Bros. Games Montreal 2013) was [and ↑Jaz is with me here, giving good reasons, why it was disappointing], Rocksteady Studios is at the helm again and ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ (Rocksteady 2015) is scheduled for release on 02 June 2015. After their glorious games ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ (2009) and ‘Batman: Arkham City’ (2011) I am absolutely convinced that Rocksteady will do it again. Just like The Creative Assembly just recently saved the Alien-franchise with the fantastic ‘Alien: Isolation’ (2014) after Gearbox Software nearly had ruined it with the godawful ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ (2013).   … Continue reading

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beyond cyberpunk revisited

Back in August 2006 here at xirdalium I wrote ↵an entry [worthwhile, lots of associations] on Gareth Branwyn’s and Peter Sugarman’s 1991 HyperCard classic ‘↑Beyond cyberpunk‘ [← that's a link to the complete web version]. Now Gareth has published his book ‘Borg like me’ (Branwyn 2014a) containing a treasure trove of his writing from the past three decades, including an essay (Branwyn 2014b) on the making-of of ‘Beyond cyberpunk’. Boingboing has ↑said essay online, and here are some excerpts [water on my mills]: Peter [Sugarman] and I [Gareth Branwyn] began having regular phone conversations about hypermedia and how it might … Continue reading

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digital china on cyberanthropology

Well, here it is—to my knowledge the first ↑English-language review of my book ‘Cyberanthropology’ (2011) [which is in German]. ↑Annika Pissin of Lunds Universitet’s project ↑Digital China was so kind as to write a fine review in ↑the project’s blog :) KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2011. Cyberanthropology. Wuppertal: Peter Hammer. PISSIN, ANNIKA. 2014. ↑Book review: Cyberanthropology. Digital China 16 January 2014. Here’s the ↵collection of all the reviews I’m aware of. … Continue reading

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berners-lee on snowden

It’s been almost eight years that I ↵last quoted ↑Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, here at xirdalium. On 1st August 2006 I republished the following sentence from ↑his blog: When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going [to] end in the USA. Well, it’s more than high time again. Here’s what ↑thenextweb wrote recently: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, has come out in support of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, saying … Continue reading

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snowden on games

Here is a passage from chapter two of ↑Glenn Greenwald‘s excellent newest book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” (2014), which I’ve recently read: Finally, Snowden gave me an answer that felt vibrant and real. “The true measurement of a person’s worth isn’t what they say they believe in, but what they do in defense of those beliefs,” he said. “If you’re not acting on your beliefs, then they probably aren’t real.”     How had he developed this measure for assessing his worth? Where did he derive this belief that he could … Continue reading

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graeber on play

Why do animals play? Well, why shouldn’t they? The real question is: Why does the existence of action carried out for the sheer pleasure of acting, the exertion of powers for the sheer pleasure of exerting them, strike us as mysterious? What does it tell us about ourselves that we instinctively assume that it is? (Graeber 2014) GRAEBER, DAVID [ROLFE]. 2014. ↑What’s the point if we can’t have fun? The Baffler 24. Available online. via email from Flo—tnx! … Continue reading

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modern inventions

A visit to the technical museum in 1937 …    Today is the 80th birthday of ↑Donald Duck!—he first appeared in the animated short ‘↑The wise little hen‘ (Jackson 1934), which was released on 09 June 1934. Celebrating Donald’s birthday I above embedded the animated short ‘↑Modern inventions‘ (King 1937—the story was written by ↑Carl Barks) showing Donald visiting a technical museum … and of course trying out the inventions, all of them of a robotic kind. JACKSON, WILFRED. 1934. The wise little hen [animated short]. Beverly Hills: United Artists. KING, [JAMES PATTON] ‘JACK’. 1937. Modern inventions [animated short]. Beverly … Continue reading

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we go tomorrow

Remember, remember the fifth of … June June 1 should have been D-day, but General Eisenhower needed three subsequent days of fine weather to get enough men and materials across the channel in order to resist the inevitable counter-attack. In the event the weather was not good and the invasion had to be postponed until it improved. On 5 June, Eisenhower was in conference with his staff when a courier arrived from Bletchley Park and handed him a piece of paper to read. Hitler had sent Field Marshall Rommel battle orders by radio transmission, which Bletchley Park had decoded with … Continue reading

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