A Few Books

In my copious free time I have been reading. It is a skill I picked up a few years back, which seems to have fallen out of fashion. My current stack looks something like this:

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
Jaynes posits that consciousness, the “awareness of our awareness of the world” arose as recently as 3000 b.c. A superb book, easy to read, but should be read slowly as the concepts introduced are, well, huge. I became aware of this book through reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
At long last, I am reading Ayn Rand. Oddly enough, I am reading the book because of the intervention of the eviscerated inestimable Bock . I had loaned him my copy of Terry Goodkind’s Faith of the Fallen and, after reading it he said with a snarl, “If I want to read Ayn Rand, I will pick up a book by Ayn Rand.” Though I am but thirty pages into The Fountainhead, I already agree with him.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
Picked it up today. Will be reading it for a while, I think.

People Are So Stupid

Recently a young teenager hacked up his aunt with a knife , and people are trying to lay the blame on the game Diablo . If you have ever played Diablo, you would know that the only realistic way to blame a murder on Diablo would be if the perpetrator grabbed the victim by the face and repeatedly slammed his index finger into the victim’s forehead, mouse-click style.

I am John’s profound contempt for everyone who blames anything other than wasted time on video games. So I have decided to imagine what kind of deaths other video games would cause…

Person A bricks up person B in a wall, Cask of Amantillado style.

Victim is mauled while attempting to stuff a doberman into a panty-hose egg.

Unreal Tournament
Victim dies of head injuries after screaming “WALL HACK” and running face-first into the side of a building.

We’ll just call this one an unfortunate skeet-shooting accident.

Tennis racket. Brick wall. Grenade. Darwin.

“America is a dildo which has turned berserkly on its owner” -Tom McGuane

That Burning Smell…

…is my brain. A slow day at work, so I took the time to teach myself how to create fractals. They are linked in the Flash experiments page (Flash 6+ plugin required).

My term as teacher at Kendall College is winding down. Tomorrow is probably the last day, unless I get hired into a time slot next semester which doesn’t conflict with the martial arts class. Did I enjoy it? HELL YES!! As common wisdom has it, you really don’t know how much you know about a subject until you try to teach it.

Having smart students helps, too.

Stuff to Read

Well, I have my hands full teaching this class at Kendall College of Art and Design . It looks like my stint will last a week longer than anticipated, as the regular teacher is a little under the weather right now.

So since I don’t have time to thrill you with my brilliant insights into whateverthehell, here is a short list of places I think you should visit:

World Blogs
A catalog of english-language weblogs from all over the world, including two (two!) in Antarctica.

Book Crossing
Got books you no longer read? Release them into the wild and track their movements! (Link courtesy of Scott )

A completely open-source, community-built and controlled, copy-lefted online encyclopedia. 150,000 entries and counting.

Browser Cam
This is one for the developers out there. Enter a URL and your target platform/browsers, and receive screen-captures on the fly. Price starts at $1.00 per url. An amazing resource!

Kind of a magazine, kind of a blog, kind of a hangout. Full of really smart people talking about really intelligent things. Like Traffic Zoology , an article I discovered while browsing…

Boing Boing
A directory of wonderful things.

A Surplus of Gigs

This week I am teaching a class at Kendall College of Art and Design. The inebriated inestimable Bock is on vacation so I am filling in for him, teaching an Intro to Web Design class. I have around fifteen students, and they all seem pretty smart. So then, my job is to make the students love my style of teaching so much that they give Bock a hard time when he returns from Puerto Vallarta.

In other news, there is no other news. The move is complete and I am in the process of weeding my bookshelves. I hope to get rid of ~200 books by the end of the month.