Rodents Of Unusual Size

images.jpgThe dangers of the fire swamp are the flame spurt, the lightning sand, the Internet wormholes, and the dreaded Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS). Leslie has demonstrated the most effective way to avoid three of these dangers but no one has a viable way of avoiding Internet wormholes short of tossing your computer (or Smart Phone) into the Well at the World’s End.

I personally fall into what should be an easily avoidable wormhole in two seemingly innocent ways. The first is when I go to YouTube to catch up on the four or five video podcasts I follow and enjoy. Unfortunately the folks at Google tempt me with dozens of related or semi-related videos that seem to promise arcane knowledge of digital watches or at least a few minutes of entertainment ranging from mild humor to sexual enticement. My favorites tend to involve food porn (especially street food, down and dirty), classic rock covers played on obscure asian instruments, and videos displaying the my favorite comedian-du-jour (Lewis Black  rocks!). I also still insist on watching the How-To video whenever I need to restring my ukulele.

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Forgotten Technical Appliances

oljasavicevic_514b20764bd97.jpgI was born during the reign of now-forgotten technical appliances, those transitional forms that didn’t survive although it seemed that their epoch would last forever.Who’d have thought something as modern and contemporary as a cassette player would so quickly and definitively end up in a museum? A camcorder, a Walkman, a floppy disk, telephone boxes, telephone answering machines … who still uses any of those things?In fact it’s easier to find someone who plays gramophone records or someone who writes letters and sends them by post, just as there are still people who go to the cinema and film libraries. But finding someone who watches videos or has a telephone answering machine, who walks around with a Walkman or files data on floppy disks, doesn’t seem possible, ever less so, even theoretically.

“It’s as though that time never existed. Everything I used to know, it’s as though it’s been recorded over. I just can’t keep up with that speeding-up, that bullshit, it makes you feel like a relic of the past even when you’re still young,” …

“When new things overtake you, you think you’re getting old, that you’ve been crushed by the army of the linked-in. But then again, they’ll dream up something new tomorrow.”

From Adios, Cowboy by Olija Savicevic

Practical Digital Reading

download-2.jpgDo you suppose the world will ever run out of books to read?

Probably not but I am more and more concerned about the future of paper and ink (physical) books in our future culture. I say this with three things in mind:

  • We have the technology available to us which will duplicate and even improve upon the paper and ink format;
  • We have the delivery systems in place that will allow distribution of reading matter in a matter of seconds;
  • The technology of today will more than likely be considered primitive in just a few short years.

I know there is a large population out there that needs to have their fix of moldy old tomes, savoring the aroma even before ogling the frontispiece. I expect that if smell is important, they’ll develop an app for it. Even today the apps for reading digital books recreate the physical experience with some accuracy if not tactilely sufficient, but the digital readers add so much more.

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Architectures of Experience

conj68aI have said it before but it always holds true: when you subscribe to a publicatiion that only comes out twice a year, it’s always a surprise when that neatly packaged journal is found lurking in the mailbox. What is it? Who is it from? Zip open the cardboard container and realize that another six months have passed.

It’s Conjunctions #68: Inside Out: Architectures of Experience.

Here’s what the editor, Bradford Morrow, says about this issue:

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