Wetmachine Blog: Memology

What do you want it to be?

balance We were featured at last week’s NeuroGaming Conference in San Francisco. Philip’s presentation is the first 30 minutes of this, and right from the start it pulls you in with the same kind of fact-based insight-and-demonstration as Alan Kay’s talks. (Alas, the 100ms lag demo doesn’t quite work on video-of-video.)

But everyone has their own ideas of what the metaverse is all about. This Chinese News coverage (in English) emphasized a bunch of “full dive” sorts of things that we don’t do at all. The editor also chose to end Philip’s interview on a scary note, which is the opposite of his presentation comments (link above) in which he shared his experiences in VR serving to better one’s real-life nature.

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Art?

I continue to find myself thinking about this photo shoot. There is something compelling such thought, and so I feel that one way to think about it is as art.

There are technical issues that can be thought of in artistic terms. For example, I seem to be upset about the variations of paint schemes. I like my aerospace to be engineered. Isn’t there A Right Answer(TM)? How can there be several best paint schemes? (I have the same objection to BMW’s line about “We only make one thing: the Ultimate Driving Machine.”) And yet my favorite paintings are not photographic. If “too perfect”, I would be instantly distracted by whether or not the display was Photoshopped or Computer Generated. But how can one create a Wabi-Sabi esthetic on an aircraft? Maybe the answer is variations.

Hmm. Not satisfying. If the variations were created as deliberate imperfection, I think a much better choice would be to have an artist deliberately create visual asperity in the same way that game artists make a flat glass screen look like rough and rugged material.

Maybe the variation is symbolic? After all, Airbus is uniquely a product of multiple countries. Maybe the variation gives one a feel for laborers of many countries coming together to put these great birds in the air.  Indeed, the making-of film does give a sense of this. Hmm, again, I think other designs could have achieved that better.

Another consequence of an artistic perspective is that it gives a lot of room for the enormous sums of money. How much is art worth? There is something stirring about the site of these planes, so who am I to say they did it wrong in some way? How much did this shot cost, and how much is it worth?

moon

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Shallow Hiro / Deep Hiro

With all the Avatars running around this Halloween, I figured it was an appropriate time to go back to the book that introduced the world to this usage of the term. But my Hiro Protagonist felt more like a sort of literary Diogenes, wandering the streets and other people’s parties with my pizza box and katana, looking for anyone who had read Snow Crash.

I was disapointed.
Read More »

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Negative Interest Loans?

Hey, suppose we had a rational way to evaluate business and home loan risk. I don’t think we can truly solve our financial/social crisis without fixing the underlying risk-valuation issue.1

However it’s done, let’s imagine for moment that we had such a thing. Furthermore, let’s imagine that we had some way of assessing that risk relative to benefit for those doing the loaning. If the government is loaning, that means public benefit (under some political process).

If we did have such a thing, wouldn’t the most efficient way of stimulating the economy be to provide business and public loans at an interest rate based on that assessment? In particular, worthy projects might get zero or even negative interest, depending on how much we turned up the dial on desired stimulus. It’s not a blind hand-out, as borrowers have to justify their projects and make regular payments. The loan can be called in the usual way if payments aren’t made. The stimulus is in adjusting the balance-point of go/no-go.

Would Republicans support such a plan? Would Democrats? If labeled as a banking system, then I suppose neither. But what about defining it as a rational way of conducting the stimulus? With a side-benefit of kick-starting a more efficient and maybe less corruptible system of risk evaluation?


1.. Maybe something involving public peer review ala all that yummy mesh, P2P, and social network stuff?

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I predict a mini-rapture

For $40/year, this service will send an email to your loved ones after believers disappear in the coming rapture. There’s a deadman switch that will send the messages automatically if three of the five owners don’t log in every three days.

I guess I’m a believer, because I’ll bet those guys are going to disappear mysteriously. The site doesn’t say what happens to the money.

It might be kind of interesting to do this properly: let the designees of each individual account be notified if the account-holder doesn’t log in. Might be useful for journalists, abused wives, bloggers, and other folks in fear for their lives from governments and wackos.

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More Culture Jamming

See the pic from PBS.

The Band logo on the wall is a nice touch.

Thanks, Paul K!

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Watchacallem

What is the right name for the American political group that finds the constitution to be outdated for today’s world, political correctness an object of derision, civil liberties to be dangerous, and seeks to abandon the ideas of the national founding fathers (as well as I imagine the majority of our actual parents and grandparents).

The media refers to such folks as “conservatives”, but I can’t find any sense in which that is true.

Some of this group are called “Neo-Conservatives.” This deliciously oxymoronic term specifically refers to the students of Leo Straus, who believed that the intellectual elite needed to deceive the masses through a culture of fear in order to perpetuate … well, to perpetuate something. It’s never been clear to me what. Anyway, it’s not right to assume that every Bushie is a Neo-Con, or even a student of philosophy. And besides, what do you call the deceived masses that support them? Are they also Neo-Cons?

“Republican” is not right either. I don’t think that every one of today’s Republicans subscribes to this radicalism, and the ideas are certainly not true of historical leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, or Alexander Hamilton.

“Right wing” may be relatively true, but it isn’t very specific. Same for “Radical”.

Ironically, the ideas of the early 1800’s “Radical Republican” movement in Britain might be described today as… “liberal.”

Current usage of the term “idiot” seems apt. But again, historically this term was used to refer to people whose mental development was inhibited or disordered from the norm. My experience is that many such folks are happy, caring, sensitive, sincere, and eager to be helpful. None of this seems to apply.

Seriously, what do we call the putsch against the last 300 years of liberal ideas such as the rule of law and protection of the individual?

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another laszlo/croquet pairing

I don’t know why I’m so fascinated and charmed by this stuff…

Neat thing built on Laszlo, and links to news of Laszlo funding. Cool stuff.

And then… bam… a comparison to a product from a Croquet company (Qwaq).

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