Bit of a backlog from my travels!
- Games, Storytelling, and Breaking the String: Smart Greg Costikyan essay about narrative and games.
- Martian Headsets – Joel on Software: Joel Spolsky provides the ultimate explanation of the browser backward-compatibility mess, and recaps why, in software, the battle between idealists and pragmatists must inevitably go to the latter.
- YouTube – Ken Ishii vs FLR – SPACE INVADERS 2003: Humanizing the enemy! Brilliant, hilarious, ultimately heartbreaking revisionist take on the classic video game. (Via Andrew Leonard.)
- Discussing True Enough. – By Steven Johnson and Farhad Manjoo – Slate Magazine: On the occasion of the release of Farhad’s book “True Enough,” Steven and Farhad tussle in Slate over whether today’s media world promotes or dilutes the availability of “truth.”
- helmintholog: The nerd is the enemy of civilisation: Andrew Brown cites some prescient excerpts from Weizenbaum’s “Computer Power and Human Reason,” including an early and comprehensive definition of the nature of the hacker/geek — pre-Steven Levy, pre-anyone else I can think of.
- Industry Giants Try to Break Computing?s Dead End – New York Times: Markoff on the new labs being established at Berkeley and U. of Illinois to figure out how to write software to take advantage of parallel computing.
- collision detection: Will DIY geeks save American ingenuity?: Clive Thompson on the value of working with your hands:
Only a few decades ago, most serious adults were expected to be fluent in basic mechanics. If your car or stove or radio broke down, you opened it up and fixed it… when we stop working with our hands, we cease to understand how the world really works….Neuroscientists have shown that working with your hands exercises different parts of your cerebrum than sitting and cogitating…. America is healing itself at the grass roots — rediscovering the mental joy of making things and rearming itself with mechanical skills.
I second the point. It’s great, after hours of writing and web research, seated at a keyboard, to get up and work with real tools on real stuff. My new basement office is conveniently located adjacent to a sawdust-filled workroom for this very reason. (Well, actually, it just happily worked out that way.)
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