November, 2010


25
Nov 10

Videogame wiring in your brain; You animal, you; The Triumph of Tragedy

Different videogames (online, on computer, console) are designed, whether designers know it or not, to exploit different instincts, different neurological wiring. SIMS is designed to exploit the nesting wiring; FARMVILLE exploits the “accumulate and survive” wiring; FALLOUT exploits the “explore & discover” wiring; fighting games exploit fight-and-flight wiring.

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YOU ANIMAL, YOU

Hard to decide which consensual illusion shared by humanity is most destructive–perhaps it’s the illusion that we’re not animals. This is harmful to the natural world as it robs us of some of our empathy for animals. It’s even more destructive to humanity because we cannot effectively manage what we don’t understand. …If we don’t understand how sexual & territorial instincts drive us, we’re at their mercy.

Some reliable philosophers think we have “a spark” or a level of consciousness that makes us an animal with unique potential. Maybe.

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THE TRIUMPH OF TRAGEDY

Why do we want to see a tragic film, or play, read a sad & tragic story? The feelings it provokes make us live again: we feel, safely, what we’re afraid to feel in life. Why do we want to see or read a poignant love story? The feelings it provokes makes us live again. We feel, safely, what we’re afraid to feel in life. Why do we enjoy a horror story? The feelings it provokes..


21
Nov 10

re-member

Wait, what is it we were supposed to be doing? I almost remember. Something about meaning, duty, love, kindness, underlying truth, art? “No. You’re supposed to reproduce, and combine, and recombine, your genetic material, until the race is no longer of use to those who designed it.” I reject that reductionism. I am not here just to reproduce and forward DNA. But what am I here for exactly? I almost remember.

Oh that’s right–I’m here to remember.


21
Nov 10

before and after the operation

Before the operation: “I see my life as a failure, my relationships as hollow, mere enduring; death as a the final joke on me…” The doctor diagnoses failure of the DENIAL GLAND. After transplant of a denial gland, the same fellow: “Really feel better, after going to church…Wife told me a good joke over breakfast. I’m sure she didn’t mean me…La te dah te dum dum dum…”


21
Nov 10

“Fame…what you want is in the limo…FAME Fame fame fame fame…”

“Shall mere fame distract you? Look at the speed of total oblivion of all and the void of endless time on either side of us and the hollowness of applause…for the whole Earth is but a point, and of this what a tiny corner is our dwelling-place, and how few and how paltry are those who praise you.” Marcus Aurelius


20
Nov 10

twitter, tweet, or just twit

I don’t tweet/twitter, it’s usually going to be vapid, time wasting, fragmentary, a display of lack of impulse control. Some people will have something to say. But mostly…it’s about the media context–in that arena the compression of expression isn’t likely to be a case of “brevity is the soul of wit”. I can see hiring a publicist to do some–but do it myself? Damage to my cognitive process…

Twitter haiku

Tweets: chirps, like crickets
imbecilic chirrupings
like insect noises