Archive for July, 2008

08w29:3 The Future is close enough to touch

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The future is close enough to touch | Wayne MacPhail
“Which is why, a few hours after getting the iPhone, I was holding it up to my bedroom radio, which at the time was playing a song from a Toronto jazz station. Shazam uses the microphone on the iPhone to “listen” to a few seconds of a song you hear on the radio, in a coffee shop or, God forbid, an elevator. Then Shazam analyzes the tune and lets you know what it is and who’s singing it. So, I held the phone to the radio and let Shazam listen for a dozen seconds. You know what? It worked.”

08w29:2 Stock Photos

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Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now
The weird science of stock photography | Seth Stevenson
“A while back, a friend of mine—a guy who does a lot of directing work—was asked to shoot some rather odd film footage. It was all brief scenes of people ignoring each other. Families talking on cell phones, couples tapping at adjacent laptops, everyone looking in opposite directions. These vignettes were commissioned by a company that sells stock photos and video to various clients—including, in large part, advertisers. The hope was that footage like this would appeal to customers who need to visually convey a mood of modern disconnectedness. Leaving aside the bleak and omnipresent nature of the subject matter—they could have just put a tripod on a random street corner—I was startled to realize that stock photo and video purveyors actually create material in anticipation of demand. (I’d somehow failed to consider that stock pictures could be made, not just found.) These suppliers of the world’s commercial imagery are making bets on what life will look and feel like in the near future. Which made me wonder: What else, besides an ongoing technological dystopia, do they imagine waiting ahead?”

08w27:2 Max Tegmark

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The summary, as I’ve understood it.

‘if 2 + 2 =4 and that means the same things as two plus two equals four or deux et deux egale a quatre then the equation points to something independent of the symbols we use to represent it, and further, it represents patterns independent of the language and symbology of human beings.

Contrast this with Richard Rorty’s claims (as I understand them) that it is precisely this use of symbolic language which suggests there is nothing inherent in the Universe – no underlying Truth or nature. For Rorty, 2 + 2 = 4 is only true for those of us who understand what those symbols mean. In other words, it’s a quirk of our mind to assume that just because we recognize a relationship/pattern and use words to describe it, doesn’t mean it actually exists independent of our minds. Like, we recognize ‘fingers’ and have words in each language to describe them, but absent human beings human fingers would not exist.

Thus, absent human beings, a universe described by human math would not exist either. – Timothy

Is the Universe Actually Made of Math?

Max Tegmark | Wikipedia

Max Tegmark | MIT (Homepage)

The Mathamatical Universe

Shut up and Calculate (the so called ‘Director’s Cut’ of The Mathamatical Universe)

Many lives in many worlds

08w27:1 Banana

by timothy. 2 Comments

One banana: $2,500 | Oliver Moore
Is a banana art? A passerby walking along Granville Street in Halifax might now have reason to think so. Because in the window at Gallery Page and Strange sits a humble banana. At first glance, it appears to be a forgotten part of someone’s lunch. Perhaps set aside because it’s still a bit green and not really ready to eat. But on closer look the passerby will notice a tag alongside the piece of fruit. The artist is identified as Michael Fernandes. The work is called Banana. The price is $2,500.