Notes on a New World Order

Would you like fries with your Universe?

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AL&P: Part of the Whole
2007-04-09 00:00

Well, I’m not quite sure what to write. I know what to write about: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I think perhaps part of my ‘writer’s block’ (so to speak) is the sheer volume of material that this (and other entries on this book) are meant to address. Part might also be the emotional power of the work; as a book about loss, tragedy, and coming-of-age-identity-finding, Loud & Close (or EL&IC, Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close, whatever. You try abbreviating this book title to something that fits in your mouth and flies off your fingers…) finds it home in your heart, which is a difficult place to look for analytic and reasoned thinking. Perhaps most tellingly, I find little criticism to give, nor cloudiness to unmask in Foer’s writing; he shows great craft, has timely subject matter, and addresses a complex topic with appropriate complexity. That might be it, though; hidden in this very personal little reverie over the difficulties of writing to such a work as Foer’s happens to be, there is a grain of insight. Foer’s work speaks so incredibly closely, and extremely loudly to our own hearts and minds that we find him not only hard to ignore, but hard to quantify, qualify, or deconstruct. It seems (to my eyes at least) Foer’s novel contains a great deal more than the sum of its parts, and to break it down, to analyze it, would be to do it a disservice. Hopefully I can find a way to address the novel as a whole after I’ve finished reading it, but the next two segments (a third each) will not be completed until the end of this week (9 Apr-13 Apr), so I have no great hope of appropriate analysis until then.

Note: This entry imported via Facebook's Note feature from my old website, much is expected to be broken.

Explaining "Delicious"
2007-04-09 00:00

…and no, I’m not talking about the ‘niced-up’ version of the 300 trailer. (Watch it if you haven’t, if only because you’ll learn something about how the Internet community feels about censorship. i.e. It’s funny and stupid.) In any case, I figured, since I haven’t been posting anything but school related journals for a while (and, FYI, I’ve gotten back the first evaluation on them — 25/25, so..if you don’t like them my professors do. One even commented.) I’d go through some links that are posted on the sidebar and explain them, and why they’re interesting. However, do realize those links are merely those I’ve found that I wanted to save since I started using…I have many other random bookmarks that I should put into, and many that I probably shouldn’t…so I might continue this post-idea (perhaps even make it a series) by posting some of those links and explaining about them simultaneously. I’ve certainly got some history on a bunch of them. I’m pretty sure I have bookmarks from before I bought my own computer. Anyway… I’ll start with the most recent links I have posted, as I remember slightly better why I saved them, and they’re (I think) more likely for you to have noticed.

  • - The Ultimate DDR Deck 2.0 - Overview: This is just cool. I’m a big fan of DIY hardware (it’s a theme you’ll notice in the links I’ve posted. I think I found this on HackADay but I’m not sure. This struck my eye as I’ve often pondered building DDR devices, as it’s one of the few video games that I can stand to play for more than a few minutes, and have gone back to and actually wanted to play again. Recently I even got StepMania working again (from CVS/SVN even) and got a PS2 Controller to USB adaptor so I could play with a controller instead of a keyboard. In any case, I’ve never built a dance pad, and only ever used one a few times, so I suck at DDR on one, but I’d be really fun, I think. Plus, I need to do more physical activity, and this would be a pretty decent way to do it. (Horribly horribly desparately freakishly geeky, but I’m OK with that.)
  • Real Men, Real Roleplayers, Loonies, and Munchkins: This is straight up Pencil and Paper (Tabletop) Roleplaying Humour. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons, and would play something now (preferably something with a more modern setting, but I’m still down with rescuing princesses and killing evil dragons) if I wasn’t so lame as to have no friends. I have to have read this at least six or seven years ago, which seems like a long time to me. I have the sad feeling that it’s only really funny if you’ve played a few games and actually know something about the “old guard” gamer culture, so to speak. I’m sure there are jokes that I’ve never gotten in there, but I understand most of it, and it is true, like all humour is true. Just funny, even if you’ve never played anything like a paper and pencil RPG, check it out, the worst that will happen is you won’t understand it; however, it could be a riot.
  • The Tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo [rec.humor.funny]: Same sort of thing as the link above. This is so classic that anyone should understand it though. It’s really funny, even if you’ve never played a game in your life. And if you quote this around any gamer that’s heard of this, they’ll love you forever. It’s another piece of classic gamer humour. There are a few others in my list of links on, so filter through on some appropriate tags and you’ll come across mine. And, of course, there’s a ton more on proper by everone else.
  • Just you try and stop watching this…: Yeah, it’s a goofy flash thing, and it’s rather scarily hypnotic. This marks the segue into strange, odd, or wonderfully different things I’m going to showcase. I have no idea what this is or where it came from, exactly, but it’s in the list of links because “I Found it on the Web.” (And, if you happen to know a neat place that has a forum called that, yes, I found it there….)
  • Creating Passionate Users: This is an interesting post, and a blog that I should read if I had time and/or inclination. Explains a lot of stuff about design that you don’t get in a computer science course. Very good, and if you run a blog, seems to make a lot of sense. I’m writing this from memory, so I have no idea what’s going on with the blog right now.

And that’s that for now. Just though I should have a real post that wasn’t school related so you readers don’t get too board and just disappear. Having readers like my professors is pretty fun and all, but that’s not the point, so much. I’d like to have actual readers, who read because I’m interesting, or they know me and want to keep up to date with my oddities, or whatever. Professors are cool and all, but a couple professors do not a personal blog readership make. (To absolutely destroy the idiom.) Have fun reading this, and checking out a few things, hopefully I’ll have a few posts on my other classes and things that have struck me as needing a rant recently. Classwork on the blog seems weird, but it keeps me thinking about it, which is good for you all readers and whatnot. Hopefully I’ll put to use my little book of blog ideas, or start a list of my own, save up drafts of things so when I need a post I can just pull one out and throw it up. (Which sounds like vomiting things onto my blog, but that’s more like what happens when I realize I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks and should, or my two readers will just remove my feed from their readers.) Gah. I’m done. I’ve gone on and on and on in a most boring way. Go find some cool stuff and tell me about it. If it’s cool enough, I might even blog it.

Note: This entry imported via Facebook's Note feature from my old website, much is expected to be broken.