Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Placebo Singers

Placebos have medical benefits even when the patients know they are receiving nothing more than sugar pills. The placebo effect is no longer based on the physiologic effects of the mind.

This is not medicine or psychology, it is spellcasting. Everytime someone says the word "placebo" they are unknowingly chanting an ancient latin prayer of "I shall please." Like a penny tossed into a fountain, the pill shall satisfy the wisher's unspoken desire.

Placing intent on a physical substance imbues it with power.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cybergenic Omissions

Being photogenic is solely about physical appearance and how it is captured by the camera.

Being telegenic relies on how the video camera records our unique combination of alluring face, attractive voice, and confident body movements.

Being cybergenic results from self-mythologizing through selective ommission. Many of us have filled in dozens of online profiles like autobiographical MadLibs, and it is inevitable that we start to develop a simplified narrative of our lives. We prune the unsightly twigs until our online persona is a topiary sculpture of our own self-image.

(Artist Alexandre Oudin's Facebook profile. Image via TechCrunch)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Villainous Behavior

I once laughed nervously and coughed while telling a girlfriend that I did not make out with a friend of mine. Although my words had been truthful, I was behaving like a guilty person and was convicted accordingly. This is the worst kind of mistake one can make.

WikiLeaks isn't doing itself any favors by operating out of a lair fit for a Bond Villain.

We Are Merely Hypothetical

Looking out into space is looking backward in time. When you see a star twinkle, you are seeing a moment from millions of years ago, when that photon was sent out to you.

Studying the cosmic microwave background radiation, is looking all the way back. Scientists are now observing the instant of the big bang from the inside. Some see evidence of previous univeral expansions. Some see the bruises from collisions with other universes.

What I see is that we all live within the same moment. All there is is the spark at the beginning of the universe and we all play out our lives inside of it. Time is an imaginary dimension within the only event that ever was. From the outside, we have no state of being, only a state of as if.

Sometimes, when I catch myself taking things too seriously, I just look out to the beginning of the universe and repeat to myself, "I am merely hypothetical."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Alternate Histories and Fine Craftsmanship

Isn't the primary appeal of Steampunk to have all of the technological comforts of today, but with objects finely crafted out of brass and leather instead of factory-molded in vinyl and aluminum? Yearning for realities with alternate histories betrays the areas of discontent within our own reality. One of our chief complaints seems to involve a loss of quality craftsmanship.

The ancient Greeks built an eclipse-predicting computer out of finely chiseled bronze and marble, and our modern impulse is to recreate it in LEGOs.

Our current thinking is so entwined with disposability that we have created a computer whose polymers will become brittle and crumble before it's next prediction will come to pass.

In half-assed defiance of our disposable aesthetic, Mobiado is now offering a cell phone made out of marble.

The failure in this particular design is that while the marble facade is built to last millenia, the technology within is outdated by the time it is installed. The permanence of this phone is an sad illusion.

But recognize for a moment that the inner workings of this cell phone can be chiseled in simple perfection from marble and bronze like the original Antikythera Mechanism. You can carry in your pocket a solid, lasting work of functional mathematical art that will last all your days until you pass it on to your son and his son after him. After hundreds of years this phone's call history will tell tales of your genealogy.

There is no good reason all of our tools can't be like this.

A fantastic world waits for us post-planned-obsolescence.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My (So-Called) _____.

Once a bustling metropolis, it is left now to the seedy pan-haldling of demons dressed in the avatars of damaged teens. All walls have been plastered with years of obscene JPG graffiti and layers of soulless inner city spambot concert posters. The virtual city is aware of what it has become and has taken a cue from the fall of Detroit before it.

My Space has razed the vacant and condemned half of it's logo before arsonists could get to it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Good Plan

The Titanic will strap itself to the Hindenburg and float over icebergs.

Jekyll and Hyde

Exhibit A

(Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde augmented reality book by Martin Kovacovsky and Marius Hugli)

Exhibit B

(Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde represented as a word cloud with frequency of word usage represented in relative size. Via

Language has worn a lab coat for far too long.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of Distraction

One friend recently referred to me as "an innocent evil genius".

Another friend told me that, working 40 hours a week"at a job you don't enjoy doing work that doesn't enhance your skills is an antidote to universal destruction through huge creative explosions that could be caused by your brain if it were given hours on end to play. Basically, humanity is protected because you are at a job you hate."

Basically, my friends give better compliments than yours, but consider this:

How many times have man-made disasters been averted by distraction? Whose lives were saved by those extra ten minutes they spent thumbing through the Sears catalog? Which political figures should we be distracting now to redirect our future? Are good Spam filters allowing the wrong people to stay focused on their nefarious goals?

Is it possible that the internet is both a catalyst and a retardant for the technological singularity?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


If happy people are statistically abnormal and deserve their own psychiatric diagnosis code, what should we prescribe to alleviate this affliction?

The Occurence at Circle K

Secret metadata from our cell phones has already begun compiling a rich 4 dimensional model of every second of every inch of our world. Gradually the existence of this immersive database will leak to the people, just gradually enough to become accepted. Common knowledge will coincide with the extinction of the obsolete concept of privacy.

Google Time Machine will be launched. Recent history will become searchable in the removed, floating, smoothly rotating fashion of Streetview.

Without warning all of Earth's history dating back to the Cretaceous will become available. The explanation will be a pseudoscience involving reflected photons rebounding from particles/planets many light years away and reconstructed into an accurate model. The public will reluctantly buy the story.

Thanks to Augmented Reality, any time period can be overlaid as a skin onto your perception. With the turn of a dial, you can witness any terrestrial event.

Tenses become confused and meaningless. Simultanaeity is redefined.

Just like Google Earth circa 2010, certain sensitive areas are altered for national security purposes. The detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki can be relived in every gruesome detail, but JFK's assassination will be blacked out. The bombing of Pearl Harbor is pixellated as to remove specific details. The attacks of 9/11 are tampered with in obvious ways and this is exposed in a worldwide scandal.

The extent of the tampering is called into question. A group of zealots following Philip K. Dick's Exegesis as gospel gain in popularity, denounce all of reality as the "Black Iron Prison", gather in 1980's Orange County to draw wisdom from every twitch and murmer of the amphetamine addicted sci-fi author.

Dick gives subtle clues that he is aware of the crowds surrounding him invisibly, drawing more followers, until at last, Events are altered. Perhaps hacked. Something new happens in the past. The Prophet Dick addresses his followers in a convenience store parking lot, giving a perversion of the Sermon on the Mount annointing the first row with syrupy droplets from the curved spoon-end of his slurpee straw, and announces that all of History has been a lie. Even the world we knew before GTT was an altered overlay. The progression of time is a cruel joke imposed by that program. There is no Time. The world is still. Unchanging. It is/was/has always been the Roman Empire and we the people have always been/are/always will be powerless under their rule.

The sermon happens once, is written down by thousands, but is never searchable again. It continues as a myth. A miracle. A glitch. The last reliable acount of a singly occurring event.