Thursday, December 27, 2001
Sometimes, while browsing through the manuals of newer console video games like Jet Set Radio (and especially fighting games), it seems that there are hundreds of finger/palm/button-pushing combinations to keep in mind at any given moment. It strikes me at moments like this that, somewhere along the line in the past ten years, a new sort of tremendously parallel thinking was fostered by gaming. I feel behind because I'm not very good at it, but I'm also excited to see what this new-ish mode of thinking will bring.

Saturday, December 22, 2001
Creative science like this is rare. It is such a shame that it's hard to get funding for projects that breach boundaries of what we think of as appropriate research topics, because these studies are bound to make us think about the world a little bit differently.

Friday, December 21, 2001 proves itself to be measurably less stuffy than I'd thought... who knew that those crossbows counted as business expenses?

Thursday, December 20, 2001
The book itself is interesting from a sociological perspecitve, but that's not what I find most fascinating about Andrew Leonard's Bots:The Origin of New Species (and it's not even the clever gloss on Darwin in the title).

What is so different about this book is that it's printed in dark green (almost a forest green) text. No black at all. Which has got me thinking about why we use black as the default, when dark green is so much easier on the eyes. Less contrasty and yet soothing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001
If some enterprising person started up a British version of, I'd be the first in line to sign up for it. I loved having DVDs delivered to me, and absolutely adored not having to worry about returning them on time... I could keep them for months, if I wanted. I imagine that in a country where shops close at 6 p.m., this would attract vast numbers of members.
But don't take my (speculative) word for it, just look at the evidence that it appears to be a Phoenix from the ashes of the dotcom debacle.

Monday, December 17, 2001
Curtis White makes a few good points in his article about American 'Middle Mind' (his neologism) and its connection to NPR (especially Fresh Air...).

What he also does is regurgitate that old chestnut: intellectual snobbery around what counts as 'real' or 'serious' writing/entertainment. In a time when our media delivery systems are as diverse as they are, it's always shocking to me to hear someone claim that a television writer is somehow less of a writer than an author. It's also a surprise to read someone like White commenting about how the guests on Terry Gross's show aren't people that "...real-deal artists and intellectuals would recognize...". So in White's chicken/egg world, we ought to let a cadre of echt artists identify others, so that we can all avoid the poseurs. But who gets to choose these 'real-deal' artists?

And come to think of it, when did Fresh Air... ever stake a claim to heady street cred?

Friday, December 14, 2001
Somehow, these researchers recruited 5,000 subjects to monitor the accumulation of blue fuzzies in their belly buttons. Omphaloskepsis at its finest.

Thursday, December 13, 2001
The previous tenant in my flat seems to have been on some fortunate mailing list that sends him a phenomenal amount of free promotional items from Guinness. I haven't seen this many freebies (viz. black and white Christmas stocking, CD-ROMs, coasters, pint glasses) since (R.I.P.) gave away a goodie bag with every $.35 order...

Monday, December 10, 2001
This is so troubling-- the reidentification of self from sentient being to guided missile. This evokes a whole host of questions about how politics, the body, and agency could create such a disturbing admixture.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001
Apparently, KPMG hasn't quite caught on to how the World Wide Web works.

Sunday, December 02, 2001
Yikes! A full week with no posting. Why? One terrible, odious, baleful case of the flu that flattened me for six complete days and nights and eventually saw me to the blocky Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, giving me my first real taste of the NHS.

But later in the week, I found's games and took some solace in 'Cranky Crabs'.

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