Thursday, 19 May 2011

Various internet things

1. Fans of Manchester United or some other football team are trying to get Paul Hardcastle's 19 to number one to celebrate their 19th title or something. But this is an angry song about the slaughter of young men in Vietnam and the terrible time the survivors had when trying to return to normal life. It's not really a victory anthem. I think this summarises my problem with sport.

2. Here is a Japanese robot baby. In this instance they have eschewed the uncanny valley but it's still startlingly spooky.

3. But this picture of Starbuck and Starbuck in Starbucks is great.

4. In Barcelona recently they set up a few Kinects and a 3D printer so that people could take home a little figurine of themselves in their choice of pose. The coverage went for the idea that this was some groundbreaking artistic endeavour instead of just great fun. That's something that annoys me about art -- it often seems ashamed to admit it's for fun.

5. These cat ears are controlled by the power of thought.

6. These people claim that in-born patterns in neurons are evidence for innate knowledge. This sort of thing really frustrates me. I'd need to know all about the possibilities of innate knowledge vs tabula rasa as explored by philosophy as well as about neuroscience and how brains are supposed to work in order to read this properly, with an informed and critical mind. And is "knowledge" the right word? My ignorance irritates me.

7. XKCD's zombie Marie Curie comic is fantastic. It should be put up in science labs in schools. Every time I go to the BL I get annoyed by the thing outside that says something like "Nothing in this world is to be feared, it is only to be understood -- Marie Curie", which may be a good sentiment, but seems to me to be seriously undercut by the fact that the thing she got her Nobel prizes for killed her in an unpleasant manner.

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