Monday, February 28, 2011

A Trifling Quibble

Apparently, the phrase "tech savvy" has evolved. By evolved, I mean, of course, "mutated to mean something that has nothing to do with the aggregate definitions of its component words." To me, the phrase implies a working knowledge of and interest in the underlying systems that make something work. So buying a new car or listening to the radio a lot don't make you tech savvy. Working on a car or rewiring a radio do. Supposing I design a new and more sophisticated button to dispense treats to a cage full of lab rats. Are my rats more tech savvy?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who cares if you read this?

For too long, we writers have been slaves to traditional forms that constrain our expression and constrict our ability to move the Art of Literature forward. The problem is that old habits are so thoroughly ingrained in us as to make truly original writing difficult, if not impossible. How to liberate oneself from the terrible tyranny of words? What I propose is to begin with a randomly generated 26-letter row of phonetic symbols, which we will manipulate according to strict rules of form and structure into works of a new pure literature which will transcend tradition, language, meaning, and readership.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Can you still get Tang?

In Moscow they have this thing called Mars500, a simulation of longterm spaceflight. Eight volunteer cosmonauts have spent the past several months in "a series of windowless steel tubes representing a spacecraft." They recently pretended they had landed on Mars, and did a simulated Martian surface excursion by putting on spacesuits and walking around in a big sandbox for about an hour. Now they're going to get back in the windowless tube and pretend to fly back to Earth. All in all, a pretty cool science project. But they'll probably get beat by some guy with a soda-and-vinegar volcano.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Now I'm hungry for Froot Loops

When you think about it, we're essentially toroidal. In a topological sense, stuff that passes through our alimentary system doesn't actually go inside of us. Although when we swallow a donut, it feels exactly like it's inside of us. That's because the difference between you and the world is a perceptual construct- the actual edge of you is as hard to define as the upper boundary of the atmosphere. As far as the universe is concerned, there's probably no big difference between you and the rest of itself. And of course to the atmosphere, I'm just an ambulatory man-shaped bubble.