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Fickt nicht mit dem Raketemensch!


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Current Topic: Arts

New Tron Movie
Topic: Arts 6:06 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2009

Apparently Disney is doing a remake of Tron. Lightcycles seem to be upgraded (?) to follow arbitrary smooth Bezier curves rather than non-differentiable right angle turns, and use an expanded color palette allowing one to choose between multiple shades of green. Programs are now given loosely fitting tracksuits and motorcycle helmets. Looks as if memory discs can now be used as weapons or hand-held circular saws, but this is unclear from the trailer.

New Tron Movie

Inherent Vice
Topic: Arts 5:12 pm EDT, Apr 27, 2009

Thomas Pynchon:

Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon— private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog.

It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there ... or ... if you were there, then you ... or, wait, is it ...

Ok, now I have a new deadline to finish Against the Day.

Inherent Vice

JG Ballard on modernists and death
Topic: Arts 6:49 pm EST, Mar 20, 2006

Death was what the Atlantic wall and Siegfried line were all about. Whenever I came across these grim fortifications along France's Channel coast and German border, I realised I was exploring a set of concrete tombs whose dark ghosts haunted the brutalist architecture so popular in Britain in the 1950s. Out of favour now, modernism survives in every high-rise sink estate of the time, in the Barbican development and the Hayward Gallery in London, in new towns such as Cumbernauld and the ziggurat residential blocks at the University of East Anglia.

OMG... cf. Life against Death (Norman O. Brown), Gravity's Rainbow (Pynchon),

A vicious NYT op-ed right after the redesign of the "Freedom Tower" was unveiled a few months back compared the new design to Albert Speer.

JG Ballard on modernists and death

The Infinite Matrix | Rudy Rucker and Rudy Rucker, Jr. | Jenna and Me
Topic: Arts 3:47 pm EST, Feb 14, 2003

Rudy Rucker rules!

The Infinite Matrix | Rudy Rucker and Rudy Rucker, Jr. | Jenna and Me

Readling List: January 2003
Topic: Arts 8:53 pm EST, Jan  8, 2003

Things I'm reading or recently finished.

Thomas Pynchon, Vineland -- started this after Gravity's Rainbow
which is much less accessable.

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow -- a total brainfuck

Barabasi, Linked: The New Science of Networks -- at Decius' recommendation.

Barlow, The Cichlid Fishes: Nature's grand experiment in evolution -- I keep these in my aquarium

Phillip K. Dick, Minority Report (first volume of short fiction)

Phillip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Elderitch

Coulouris, et al., Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design
-- fairly standard text on the subject

Pease, Shostak and Lamport, Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults (ACM 1980) -- seminal paper on the distributed consensus problem.

Walter Piston, Harmony -- a canonical music theory text

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