Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Thursday, August 18, 2005day link 

 Nymphs and Satyr
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by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1873. Bigger here
[ | 2005-08-18 11:40 | 17 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The pivotal moment of the web
Nice Wired article We are the Web by Kevin Kelly. In part speaking for how pivotal the invention of the web is likely to be perceived in the long view. Like, say, looking back 3000 years from now.
There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born.

You and I are alive at this moment.

We should marvel, but people alive at such times usually don't. Every few centuries, the steady march of change meets a discontinuity, and history hinges on that moment. We look back on those pivotal eras and wonder what it would have been like to be alive then. Confucius, Zoroaster, Buddha, and the latter Jewish patriarchs lived in the same historical era, an inflection point known as the axial age of religion. Few world religions were born after this time. Similarly, the great personalities converging upon the American Revolution and the geniuses who commingled during the invention of modern science in the 17th century mark additional axial phases in the short history of our civilization.

Three thousand years from now, when keen minds review the past, I believe that our ancient time, here at the cusp of the third millennium, will be seen as another such era. In the years roughly coincidental with the Netscape IPO, humans began animating inert objects with tiny slivers of intelligence, connecting them into a global field, and linking their own minds into a single thing. This will be recognized as the largest, most complex, and most surprising event on the planet. Weaving nerves out of glass and radio waves, our species began wiring up all regions, all processes, all facts and notions into a grand network. From this embryonic neural net was born a collaborative interface for our civilization, a sensing, cognitive device with power that exceeded any previous invention. The Machine provided a new way of thinking (perfect search, total recall) and a new mind for an old species. It was the Beginning.

[ | 2005-08-18 12:17 | 21 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Future
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Damn, we've been cheated. Where's the waterproof livingroom?
[ | 2005-08-18 12:20 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Christopher Walken for President
picture There's a campaign website. Walken 2008. Unfortunately it seems to be a hoax. Or, rather, an elaborate marketing campaign for him playing a senator in a movie.

Disappointing. Although, I don't know what his political views are. But, indeed, he's known for odd and brilliant choices. After I heard that he rehearses his roles by reading only his own lines, in backwards order, without ever reading the other people's lines, I can't help having respect for him. I bet he would come up with an equally crazy, but workable way of being a president.
[ | 2005-08-18 12:47 | 15 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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