In one of the slower periods at the lab, I browsed through the mini library we have here and began flipping through The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT by Stewart Brand. It was absolutely fascinating reading – not because the Media Lab is an interesting place, but because the book is fifteen years [...]
Entries from July 2002
July 31st, 2002 · No Comments
July 29th, 2002 · 1 Comment
Whenever I go on holiday, I always think it’d be a good idea to do something spontaneous and unusual. Most of the time though I don’t really bother since there isn’t anyone I know who’s around to watch, and in any case the ideas I have invariably involve a fair amount of risk or money. [...]
July 26th, 2002 · Comments Off
About twice every year, there’ll be a newspaper story about how Heathrow or some major metropolitan airport wants to add more runways. This story will be immediately followed by complaints from nearby residents’ group organisations about noise pollution. My typical thought used to be, “Get over it. We need more transport capacity, and I’m sure [...]
July 25th, 2002 · Comments Off
The reliably humorous winners of the 2002 Bulwer Lytton contest for worst opening sentence for a novel. Also, check out the 2001 Lyttle Lytton contest winners, which limits the sentence length to 25 words.
July 25th, 2002 · 2 Comments
Yesterday, I read an article at the Guardian about Big Brother 3 in the UK, which among other things mentioned that Channel 4’s editing of the primetime programmes results in a drastically skewed view of the contestants. I thought, “Well, obviously.”
Then last night, while watching Big Brother 2 here in the US (I see it [...]
July 23rd, 2002 · 2 Comments
Having just read three novels, I’ve come up with a theory about the quality of books. Namely, if a book withstands rereading at least once, it’s probably good. Additionally, if a book that reads well initially does not lend itself to rereading, it may not be as good as your initial impressions gave it.
I say [...]
July 19th, 2002 · Comments Off
Things at work are proceeding along fairly smoothly. I’ve been running the first set of subjects on my pilot experiment during the last couple of days and processing the results (too early to tell whether they’re ‘good’ or not).
Probably the most exciting thing that’s happened around here was a BBC crew interviewing the head of [...]
July 18th, 2002 · Comments Off
The Guardian has just launched a competition for the ‘Best British Blog’. As far as I know, it’s the most lucrative competition of its type ever, with a £1500 prize fund. I, like many others, believe that this isn’t a good idea. It fosters an uncomfortable kind of competition in an area that doesn’t need [...]
July 17th, 2002 · Comments Off
People might be wondering what it is that I’m doing in San Diego, beyond my rather nebulous description of ‘research’. Right now I’m working in the research labs of V. S. Ramachandran at the University of California, San Diego Center for Human Information Processing on an experiment to investigate an interesting condition called synaesthesia. Synaesthesia [...]
July 17th, 2002 · Comments Off
A Tale in the Desert – a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game with no combat, no monsters, no swords and no armour. Sounds interesting? It is.