Archive for September, 2009

Best be postin’

Okay, I swear I have something really deep and profound to put here. But it’s only percolating.

And I don’t believe I was invited in for percolations. So let me let you all in on a little secret.

In a different life, if the cards had fallen some other weird way, I would have been a musician. But they didn’t fall that way so all I can do is oooh and ahh whenever I see interesting musical thingums.

so pritty

so pritty

That right there is an Eigenharp. I do not have the words to explain its majesty, so I’ll just let this link and its youtube clippery do the ‘splainin. Basically, it’s a full-on synth/sequencer/amazingizer that would have all and sundry clutching at their faces to keep them from melting off OR falling right down into the most peaceful and lurvely slumber as I mess around with drones and loops. That last sentence takes place in the world where I was a musician.

In this world, I have to watch the videos and be content in the knowledge that the device will cost a great deal more than I could ever justify. As it should. Because if it were affordable for me, I would bring it home, talk a great deal about how awesome it is, fiddle with it for a few evenings, and then let it rest in its case. Others would call it a waste, but I would have a smile in the corner of my heart.

When you have Excalibur, you do not use it to chop kindling or carve turkeys. You keep it safe and know that when it is time to smite evil or caress divinity, it is there.


ISPs throwing curve balls… But what does it really mean?


Ars Technica has posted a summary of the surprising response to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski’s speech on net neutrality. As it stands the Internet Service Provider industry has been fighting net neutrality tooth and nail for years now. The laundry list of issues and headaches with the fight is a long one that promises to plunge the internet into a sea of hidden fees and tacked on charges that we already enjoy on our cell phone and cable bills. ISPs in the US have been doing nothing but adding fuel to the fire of these debates and have had a lot of us in Linterland standing on soap boxes the size of planets.

And then they threw us a curve ball by responding positively. The part of this whole affair that really gives me pause is why. It is immensely important to the good of the American public and to the internet as a whole to remain completely open, but ISPs are always looking for the best way to tack on fees and control the content that flows over their wires. This makes perfect sense, they control the lines, they control the bottom line. Their fight against net neutrality has never puzzled me. From their perspective it just makes business sense (albeit very greedy sense) to close down net neutrality. The fight has been long and convoluted enough that the FCC is finally stepping in and taking their stance for the future. The future that will soon enough become regulation and law. I am not surprised that the FCC had to get involved, but now that it has, the ISP response is befuddling. Something is fishy here. What do the ISPs have up their sleeve? This can’t be how it all ends. Sure, their response had a few caveats and concerns but was overwhelmingly (and shockingly I might add) positive.

What is their ace in the hole? What can we expect from the juggernauts of Linterland that seem hell-bent on putting the screws to it’s customers. I suppose only time will tell.

Check out the full article at Ars.

(Via Ars Technica.)

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The S Bomb?


I had an interesting and perhaps terrible thought this morning. I was reading an article in my favorite tech publication about David Levy, the man who was defeated by Deep Blue in a game of chess to the tune of $5,000, whose current interest is in the development of the “sexbot.” Silly, it may sound to some; to others an answer to prayer. He tells about what a service to the lonely a perfected sexbot would be. As their AI grows superior and their artificial flesh more realistic, he sees a bright future for the lonely and powerless among us, the socially awkward, the sexually pathetic. As I read on, I had to stand back and ask myself about the relevance of such a device. True, to the lonely and forlorn of our modern society, it would mean the answer to one of the greatest interpersonal challenges that these people have to over come. As easy as it would be to simply relegate the sexbot to this desperate arm of our society I have to pause and ask that if these things were able to truly be THAT realistic, the implication may be much further reaching than can and should be simply written off as a sad human (or should I say inhuman) joke.

If realistic enough, these devices could be used in the study and perhaps therapy of the rapist and the sexual deviant. It could hold the key to the cheating spouse or the sexually unsatisfied. Among other giggle-worthy things, the sexbot could be enlisted in, shall we say, stamina training. Granted I don’t necessarily believe we will see a device sophisticated enough any time soon, yet I can’t help but think the greatest threat of the sexbot will be to women themselves.

Though women are more than capable of having any privilege that men enjoy, all too often they resort to sex to procure the power that they desire. The sex bot has the potential to be the nuclear deterrent in the battle of the sexes. It has the power to turn the sexual war of the roses into the gender cold war. From the fall of man, women have stockpiled the weapons of the sex war. Men once ruled the roost, and women found their power through the influence of the men in their lives. As women have won their independence and rightfully stand as equals in a world once ruled by men alone, they never gave up the power of sex. In our now modern society women find themselves with the best of both worlds; equality and sexual exclusivity.

All that said, sex is much more than an emotional expression. It stands with food and shelter as one of our inherent instinctual drives. We essentially have to pursue sex as part of our mental and emotional health. The deprivation thereof can be detrimental to social interactions and general well being.

Now I can’t say that I would like to live in that society as such, but I can’t help but to give it some thought. Is sex so simple? Is it so complex? Is the power of sex just a perception in itself that will change on its own with time? So the question I pose is this: What would a society where the power of sex is greatly diminished look like, specifically where the keys are no longer exclusively in the hands of women? And is the sexbot just the tool to do it?

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