I'm relocating to Blogger Beta. Much cooler. I'll have to tell anyone not in the know more later, but it's sexy and bitchin'. Generating pages on the fly means faster posting, which is cool as hell.

Here's the new addy: http://bookmunkie.blogspot.com


According to the Back of My Linear Algebra Book

The problem I just solved doesn't have a solution

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net


Starving Artists

The other day I was perusing the new release shelf of the science fiction section of Barnes & Noble, sipping my Jamba Juice, and admiring the quality and variety of cover art on the books. I started to wonder how many artists make their living making book covers like that. Yesterday, I was thinking about Sony's sexy new eBook reader coming soon, and iRex's new reader they just released and I started thinking about how inevitable it is that as more and more of life becomes digitized more people are going to follow me down this currently less traveled road of reading mostly digital books. Digital books can still have cover art, and maybe it's because I mostly read bootlegs, but most don't seem to have any. When they do it's actually kind of cumbersome. If the mass of popular literature makes the digital migration, what happens to those artists? Will they have to learn HTML and start designing the books' web pages instead? That's probably a more lucrative profession, but it also leads to the obsolescence of an art. Cover art could become a novelty like hand bound books or books with gilded pages.

We can't expect things to stay they way they are, though, just because of a few "lost jobs." Anyone who understands the industrial revolution knows that more jobs are created by these kinds of advances than are "lost" as long as people are willing to adapt, but it still makes me sad to think a bookstore might just be a thumbnail gallery instead of a dark hardwood shelf full of reproduced paitings and ink-stained cellulose. What I'd kind of like to see is designer books. Of course, they'd be more expensive, but that'd be because more was put into them. To appeal to collectors or just everyday customers, physical books would have to find new "features". Maybe covers could be hand-painted, like the fore-edge paintings Martin Frost makes.Each book might have a custom binding, or the cover art would be hand painted. The cover art could be made in limited and numbered print runs like some artists already do. My "designer book" ideas are actually sounding pretty weak to me right now, but I'm not a designer. I know the creativity is out there, in the public and the industry, to make something really cool out of this idea.


A Little Explanation

Apparently, the previously posted Juggernaut Bitch video has been around for some time now. Meaning longer than the movie X3. A buddy of mine read in an Entertainment Weekly that the movie was actually paying a bit of tribute to this golden little nugget of web culture when Juggernaut said, "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch"

Good times


Juggernaut, Bitch


If I Had Multiple Faces

They would all be rocked off.

This is exactly the kind of thing I envisioned when I learned about the scripting ability in Second Life, and again when I heard about Multiverse (a build-your-own MMO type thing). I never even got to try making it happen because my lappy can barely handle SL and Multiverse isn't out yet.

In the beginning, Linden Lab created the heavens and the earth, but the sky was empty and the land was barren. The trees were green but did not grow, the sun and wind passed overhead but did not affect them.

Then Laukosargas Svarog came upon this and said, Come, let us make clouds so that they can be borne upon the wind. She did, and it was good. Then Laukosargas said, Let these clouds cast rain upon the ground, and where the land is marshy, let marshy flowers bloom, and where the land is open, let open flowers bloom. And let the sun shine upon these, and where the sun shines brightest, let them grow more, and where it shines least, let them lay fallow. This she also did, and it was good. Seeing this, Laukosargas said, Let bees fly amongst these flowers to pass their seed between each other, and thus be fruitful and multiply. Then she said, Let there be birds to feast upon the seeds, lest these flowers be too fruitful and multiplicitous. This she did as well, and it was likewise good.

Then her computer crashed. And that was not so good.

That quote's from this article I read on New Worlds Notes, a Second Life news blog. Basically, this lady made an artificial ecology. All the "life" (I'm not optimistic enough to drop the quotes yet) on her island is interdependent of the other organisms in the system. It's a beautiful thing.

The article even mentions emergence, which is my big area of interest lately. I totally recommend checking out the article or even Second Life. Your first account is free.


This Is Why I Want To Go To MIT

These MIT freshman built a complete dorm automation system complete with a party button.
When the button is hit, all the lights shut off, the blinds close, the displays show: "FEEL THE ENERGY" and a deep voice says this over the speakers with a deep bass beat in the background. Then intense music turns on along with the sound activated strobe light, laser light show, fog machine, black lights, revolving disco light, LCD visualization projector projected onto the blackout-screen, neon colored lights, computer screen Winamp visualization, oscilloscope showing the waveform of the music, and surveillance camera monitors.

They called it MIDAS, and you can read about it here.