Cartography capitulates to geography.

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The New York Times is reporting that melting ice and rising sea levels have turned a Greenland peninsula into an island. [via BLDGBLOG]

“This phenomenon – of an island all of a sudden appearing out of nowhere and the ice melting around it – is a real common phenomenon now.”

Oh goody, more places for footballers to live.

In the future, the few surviving humans are going to talk in clusters of cliches, and will mark every tiny victory in their lives with an over-elaborate celebration. But they’ll all be able to put a ball in the back of a net really really well. So that’s alright then. They just need a mad workaholic inventor to create a series of Rube Goldberg machines that will fuel, feed and clothe them, but only when they strike the onswitch with a dipping shot from 30 yards.

The thought of Christiano Ronaldo being one of the fathers of the future of mankind is an ugly thought. I wish I hadn’t thunk it.

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The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Parmenides taught that the only things that are real are things which never change… and the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught that everything changes. If you superimpose their two views, you get this result: Nothing is real. There is a fascinating next step to this line of thinking: Parmenides could never have existed because he grew old and died and disappeared, so, according to his own philosophy, he did not exist. And Heraclitus may have been right—let’s not forget that; so if Heraclitus was right, then Parmenides did exist, and therefore, according to Heraclitus’ philosophy, perhaps Parmenides was right, since Parmenides fulfilled the conditions, the criteria, by which Heraclitus judged things real. I offer this merely to show that as soon as you begin to ask what is ultimately real, you right away begin talk nonsense.

and

Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans. It is just a very large version of Disneyland.

via :

Arty-charty disco party

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There’s a great thing happening at Cornell – the faculty have been asked to provide the infographic which has been ‘the most most important, remarkable, meaningful or valuable.’ The responses are many and varied, but one chart keeps cropping up:

popgrowth.jpg

Population growth is the 800lb gorilla in any discussion of what is likely to happen in the next century, in part because the notion of population control is anathema to most societies. So, playing devil’s advocate, maybe Bush et al. are actually doing the smart thing by provoking a conflict between two of the dominant social forces on the planet, hoping for an apocalyptic solution to the problem. Of course, focussing on the apocalyptic allows them to ignore their responsibility to address the more immediate problems. Strange then that Clinton & Gore are spending their post-Presidential careers focussing on climate change and the long game.

Spored

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  • It occurred to me as I wandered through the halls of the Spore offices that a troubled school system could probably do far worse than to devote an entire, say, fourth-grade year to playing Spore. The kids would get a valuable perspective on their universe; they would learn technical skills and exercise their imaginations at the same time; they would learn about the responsibility that comes from creating independent life. And no doubt you would have to drag them out of the classrooms at the end of the day. When I mentioned this to Eno, he immediately chimed in agreement. “I thought the same thing,” he said. “If you really want to reinvent education, look at games. They fold everything in: history, sociology, anthropology, chemistry — you can piggyback everything on it.

    “But my wife made a good point when I was talking about this the other day. She says it’s important for kids to do boring things too. Because if you can find excitement in something boring, then you’re set up for life. Whereas if you constantly need entertainment, you might have a problem, because life is full of things that aren’t entertaining. So I think I’d have three days of Spore and two days of obligatory Latin.” …link…

As a once-and-future teacher, I’ve yet to see any texts that deal with teaching the use of English in the 21stCentury. Nothing on texting, messaging, emails, Warcrack. Have a gander on gamefaqs sometime, and the availability of non-English faqs is slim for all but the biggest games. I had a student in Portugal called Lucas, who was a quiet lad who never asked enough questions, until he became stuck in FFX, and brought in a print out of an faq, and more questions than he’d asked in the previous 7 months.

What have games taught you, apart from improving your hand-eye co-ordination and map-reading skills?

Oooeee that’s big.

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If I were a billionaire, what would I do with the cash?
Move somewhere warm and idyllic, obviously.
Teach, for, ooh, at least 4 hours a week.
Pay someone to make a great 21st century sci-fi-GTA/Elite game.
Secure the rights to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, and never let anyone film them.

These books are probably the only thing I’d be terrified seeing adaptations of. The thought of having a Geoff-meets-UltimateSpiderman moment is hideous. But…
It’d be grand if someone could annotate Google Mars with the locations from the book.
Like Olympus Mons , which is 3 times the height of Everest, and so wide that were you to stand on the summit, all you could see in any direction would be Olympus itself.

How big is Olympus Mons?
This big:

Big enough we could drop it on Uwe Boll’s head and have a fair chance of taking out Bush, thereby lessening the chances of happy-clappy global thermo-nuclear war by the end of the decade.

Anyone know a friendly super-hero with time to spare?

linklog for 2006-09-21

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because sometimes we all need a healthy dose of perspective…