"You can get the money, you can get the power, but keep your eyes on ...  the final hour."

— Lauryn Hill

Never There

This thing is going to start happening fast, and society is not ready for it.  From an abstract on Kevin Karsch's site:
"We propose a method to realistically insert synthetic objects into existing photographs without requiring access to the scene or any additional scene measurements."
Site, with pictures and video of the method in action...


"[...] we tell ourselves that all these things are normal till we can't remember what we mean." 

— Buddy Miller

Steve Yegge on Services & Platforms

This guy (Steve Yegge) is taking a lot of heat for what he posted (accidentally) about Google, and he has partially retracted it (probably in order to keep his job).   It seems to me, though, that what he said is as right as it's legal to be.  He takes the side of exposing the maximum amount of information and functionality as services, so that people can decide for themselves how best to use a product, including in ways the makers of the product may not have envisioned.
"But when we take the stance that we know how to design the perfect product for everyone, and believe you me, I hear that a lot, then we're being fools. You can attribute it to arrogance, or naivete, or whatever -- it doesn't matter in the end, because it's foolishness. There IS no perfect product for everyone."
Full article (fair warning: he swears somewhat liberally throughout)...

Who is pointing the cameras?

To quote Douglas Wilson, "I can see on camera which side is shooting rockets, and which side is driving the tanks. But which side is pointing the cameras?"  

Ruben Salvadori calls attention to how photographers "massage" reality.

Photojournalism Behind the Scenes [ITA-ENG subs] from Ruben Salvadori on Vimeo.

ht: petapixel.com


"If there are twelve clowns cavorting in the circus ring, and you jump down there to quote some Shakespeare, to the audience you are just the thirteenth clown."

— unknown, by way of Douglas Wilson

We've advanced to squares.

Julie Rehmeyer @ Science News:
"The Harvard graduate student in physics was fascinated by the beautiful and intricate geometric "girih" patterns on the 800-year-old buildings there, and he wanted to know how ancient artisans had created them. He discovered more than just a clever construction method. He also found an entirely unexpected level of mathematical sophistication in the designs, pointing at mathematical ideas that weren't formally developed until hundreds of years later."
I'm not sure how 800 years ago counts as "ancient", but interesting nonetheless.

Full article...


"The things you do often create the things you believe." 

— David McRaney

He goes on to quote Kurt Vonnegut on the same sort of thing:

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

Passive Resistance

Geoffrey Pullum shows up with a list of names, and all out of grammatical bubblegum:
"Merriam-Webster reports an average of about 13-percent passives in newspapers and magazines (which they note is much lower than the 20-percent rate they find in the classic 1946 essay by Orwell warning against passives). And here we have double that percentage, in the writing of an academic who imagines that she avoids passives! But this is where modern American writing instruction has brought us. Totally unmotivated warnings against sentences that have nothing wrong with them are handed out by people who (unwittingly) often use such sentences more than the people they criticize."
Full article here...

ht: Language Log