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Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
3:05 pm - The Parable of the Place
by Jorge Luis Borges

That day the Yellow Emperor showed his palace to the poet. Little by little, step by step, they left behind, in long procession, the first westward-facing terraces which, like the jagged hemicycles of an almost unbounded amphitheater, stepped down into a paradise, a garden whose metal mirrors and intertwined hedges of juniper were a prefiguration of a labyrinth. Cheerfully they lost themselves in it -- at first as though condescending into a game, but then not without some uneasiness, because its straight allees suffered from a very gentle but continuous curvature, so that secretly the avenues were circles. Around midnight, observation of the planets and the opportune sacrifice of a tortoise allowed them to escape the bonds of that region that seemed enchanted, though not to free themselves from that sense of being lost that accompanied them to the end. They wandered next through antechambers and courtyards and libraries, and then through a hexagonal room with a water clock, and one morning, from a tower, they made out a man of stone, whom they later lost sight of forever. In canoes hewn from sandalwood, they crossed many gleaming rivers -- or perhaps the same river many times. The imperial entourage would pass and people would fall to their knees and bow their heads to the ground, but one day the courtiers came to an island where one man did not do this, for he had never seen the Celestial Son before, and the executioner had to decapitate him. The eyes of the emperor and poet looked with indifference on black tresses and black dances and golden masks; the real merged and mingled with the dreamed -- or the real, rather, was one of the shapes the dream took. It seemed impossible that the earth should be anything but gardens, fountains, architectures, and forms of splendor. Every hundred steps a tower cut the air; to the eye, their color was identical, but the first of them was yellow and the last was scarlet; that was how delicate the gradations were and how long the series.

It was at the foot of the penultimate tower that the poet (who had appeared untouched by the spectacles which all the others had so greatly marveled at) recited the brief composition that we link indissolubly to his name today, the words which, as the most elegant historians never cease repeating, garnered the poet immortality and death. The text has been lost; there are those who believe that it consisted of but a single line; others, of a single word.

What we do know -- however incredible it may be -- is that within the poem lay the entire enormous palace, whole and to the least detail, with every venerable porcelain it contained and every scene on every porcelain, all the lights and shadows of its twilights, and every forlorn or happy moment of the glorious dynasties of mortals, gods, and dragons that had lived within it through all its endless past. Everyone fell silent; then the emperor spoke. "You have stolen my palace!" he cried, and the executioner's iron scythe mowed down the poets life.

Others tell the story differently. The world cannot contain two things that are identical; no sooner, they say, had the poet uttered his poem than the palace disappeared, as though in a puff of smoke, wiped from the face of the earth by the final syllable.

Such legends, of course, are simple literary fictions. The poet was the emperor's slave and died a slave; his composition fell into oblivion because it merited oblivion, and his descendants still seek, though they shall never find, the word for the universe.

3x love. | (Please love me)

Friday, April 11th, 2008
1:31 am - Ancient Greece Sounds Much Better than Modern America
For a long time, for instance, classical Athens distributed its most responsible public positions by lottery: army generalships, water supply, everything. The implications are awesome— trust in everyone’s competence was assumed; it was their version of universal driving. Professionals existed but did not make key decisions; they were only technicians, never well regarded because prevailing opinion held that technicians had enslaved their own minds. Anyone worthy of citizenship was expected to be able to think clearly and to welcome great responsibility. As you reflect on this, remember our own unvoiced assumption that anyone can guide a ton of metal traveling at high speed with three sticks of dynamite sloshing around in its tanks.

When we ask what kind of schooling was behind this brilliant society which has enchanted the centuries ever since, any honest reply can be carried in one word: None. After writing a book searching for the hidden genius of Greece in its schools, Kenneth Freeman concluded his unique study The Schools of Hellas in 1907 with this summary, "There were no schools in Hellas." No place boys and girls spent their youth attending continuous instruction under command of strangers. Indeed, nobody did homework in the modern sense; none could be located on standardized tests. The tests that mattered came in living, striving to meet ideals that local tradition imposed. The word sköle itself means leisure, leisure in a formal garden to think and reflect. Plato in The Laws is the first to refer to school as learned discussion.

-- John Taylor Gatto, Underground History of American Education

I would kill for that kind of freedom.

0x love. | (Please love me)

Thursday, January 17th, 2008
8:41 pm - Synaesthete, Last One I Promise
Hello everyone. I know you're probably sick of hearing about us by now, but this is the last one, I promise.

First and foremost, voting has just begun at IGF for the Audience Choice award. Eleven games are in the running, including Synaesthete, so please, if you liked our project, vote for us. The voting page is http://www.igf.com/audience.php. Call it direct, call it collect, but call it today! We really appreciate it.

Second, and less important but still possibly of interest, we are printing up Synaesthete t-shirts, in a special one-time-only offer, we are printing up Synaesthete t-shirts, which will look like this:

Image behind the cutCollapse )

(Zaikman is on the front, tagline on the back)
We will be selling them at cost, we are not trying to make a profit, just printing them up for the team, and anyone else who wants one. If you want one, please send me an email, jtkach@digipenm with your name and what size shirt you want. They're going to be approximately 20$, but I'm lead to understand that the more we order, the more it will slightly decrease the cost per shirt. I will respond to anyone who emails me with a confirmation email, and I will have an exact price soon.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.

0x love. | (Please love me)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007
12:53 pm - On the road to recovery
Step 0: Uninstall Stumble


1 We admitted we were powerless over stumleupon--that our lives had become unmanageable.

2 Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5 Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6 Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7 Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9 Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10 Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to stumblers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

7x love. | (Please love me)

Sunday, November 18th, 2007
2:13 am
allergic reaction to spider bite = one of the most unpleasant evenings of my life.

1x love. | (Please love me)

Saturday, September 15th, 2007
4:37 am
today was a very good day.

4x love. | (Please love me)

Monday, September 10th, 2007
3:26 pm
"Happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none." -- Herman Mellville

2x love. | (Please love me)

Saturday, September 1st, 2007
3:00 pm
It's been a year, give or take a few days, and I find that I am no longer able to distinguish confidently whether some things and some emotions were ever in my reality, or if I made them up and deluded myself. I can no longer maintain for certain that some of the events in my life that I regarded as being very important at the time actually happened.

4x love. | (Please love me)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
2:54 pm
Every country that has a multi-party system has a higher voter turnout than we've got. We've got the lowest voter turnout in the Western world, and we were the first major democracy formed. People have gotten so disillusioned with it that they don't bother; at the polls, they’re confronted with “not a choice, but a dilemma” as John Anderson said back in 1980.
--Robert Anton Wilson

8x love. | (Please love me)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
12:20 am
Every woman is just a different kind of problem. -- Chuck Palahniuk

5x love. | (Please love me)

Saturday, July 7th, 2007
9:21 pm - Synaesthete


Dear friends. Some of you perhaps wonder what it is that I do with the majority of my life these days. I know you don't, but I'm going to pretend to be vain enough to think so. What I do, in fact, is I make a psychedelic music game called Synaesthete. It's a game of my own design. This is our beta, and it represents the last year of my life, or so. Please play it, and send us feedback.

Moreover, if you like it, please go to http://softwarecommunity.intel.com/gamecontest/EntryDetails.aspx?EntryID=27 and vote for us. Intel is having a game competition, and the first round is determined by popular vote. You don't have to login or anything, just click the thumbs up. Much love,

--Joe

1x love. | (Please love me)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
3:15 am - sometimes someone else says it better than you ever could
and the most embarassing thing is it's a shitty pop pulp author named chuck palahniuk.

I see all this potential.
And I see it squandered.
Goddamn it,
an entire generation pumping gas.
Waiting tables.
Slaves with white collars.
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes.
Working jobs we hate
so we can buy shit we don't need.
We're the middle children of history.
No purpose or place.
We have no Great War.
No Great Depression.
Our great war is a spiritual war.
Our great depression is our lives.
We've all been raised
on television to believe
that one day we'd be millionaires
and movie gods and rock stars.
But we won't.
We're slowly learning that fact.
And we're very, very pissed off.

9x love. | (Please love me)

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
7:57 pm - Facts. Theories. Lies.
Unified Holistic Theory of Everything

First off, foremost, most importantly, I think it's incredibly stupid to believe anything you read. Now that that's out of the way. Everyone's the same. Human nature is interchangeable. Everything in the world, matter, energy, people, computers, you name it, it's governed by inertia. Physics was never my strong suit. The point is it's easier to stay in the state you are in than to get into a new one. Everyone wants to be in the state that takes them the least effort to get to. That's because staying where you are is simple, and simplicity is beauty. I'm a mathematician (an extremely piss-poor one) and I can assure you that the most important truths are always the ones that are easy to express. Music is a perfect transliteration of human thought. The sounds that we find musical have an inherent correlation to the tones that we make with our voices. All songs can be represented as the sum of a few sine waves. A few hundred sine waves. Not just songs, but all sound. And even if a few hundred sine waves sounds complicated, you can generate them all with a single formula. I guess if I had to put it succinctly it would be this. Simplicity = Beauty. With the caveat that Simplicity is necessarily ingenious. The phrase "simple-minded" is an unfortunate misnomer that distorts the truth. Like Bruce Lee said, the best mind is no mind. A truly simple mind is a profound one. All the profoundest things are the simplest. Even human beauty is defined by simplicity. The most beautiful people are the most archetypal. Girls are attracted to masculine men because they are more archetypally male. Vice versa. The faces that look the most average are the simplest for the brain to process. It likes them more. Paradoxically, the more average you look, the less average you are. Fractals are incredibly beautiful and incredibly simple; underlying the complexity of their appearance are extremely simple equations. There's beauty in everything, as long as it has an underlying simplicity. I'm a programmer (a better one than I am a mathematician.) The code that is beautiful is the code that is simple. Simplicity is the essence of elegance. God is love, and love is simple, even though it sometimes drives us to do complex things. As much as God is love, I think rules are the devil. They are complications, which are implicitly ugly.

4x love. | (Please love me)

Friday, May 25th, 2007
4:14 pm - I don't even like the simpsons.
"Bart, a woman is like a beer. They look good, they smell good, and you'd step over your own mother just to get one !" — Homer Simpson.

1x love. | (Please love me)

Sunday, May 13th, 2007
11:11 am - words to live by
When I pull up to the club, all the shawties be like damn, 28's
-- T-Pain, I'm a Flirt

2x love. | (Please love me)

Sunday, May 6th, 2007
6:24 pm - The Year In Review Part Three: Electric Boogalee?
With apologies for SOME but NOT ALL of the omissions that had to be made due to time, bias, and other, and with special thanks yet again to Mr. Steve Bikun for providing me with the screenshot from aphelion and the picture of his team looking mo' thug. Most of the things here are entirely too idiosyncratic to smaller subsets of my friends. I don't have (and cannot easily get) pictures of some of the things I wish I could post. You've all been great.

The Year In Review 3Collapse )

11x love. | (Please love me)

Saturday, March 10th, 2007
12:34 pm - This thing is neato
http://dna.imagini.net/friends/

4x love. | (Please love me)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007
12:51 am
Mirrors and copulation are abominable, for they multiply the number of mankind. -- Jorge Luis Borges

1x love. | (Please love me)

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
2:59 am - Late night inability to sleep damnit
Shortly after I got in bed, I began thinking about food. This was a very unfortunate event, for you see, I like food very much, and I find that there are an infinite number of wonderful things to think about that pertain to this subject. Indeed, food is a concept so near to my heart that I am often able to ponder it to the exclusion of all else.

This is what I came up with:

course 1:
Three layer fruit smoothie consisting of pina colada, strawberry puree, and mango puree, each consisting of fresh fruit blended with ice and rum, to be served along side assorted fresh fruit sushi, also consisting of pineapple, strawberry, and mango, which matches the flavors in the smoothie. This sushi is to be served with a splash of lime juice and a mixture of pureed blueberry and wasabi.

course 2: a small salad consisting of cold soba noodles, delicately cut cucumber, and kiwi, baptized in a dressing of sake and rice vinegar. This is intended to be eaten in about five to eight bites, and primarily serves to clear the palette.

course 3: chicken marinated in ginger and deep-fried, served with sesame seeds and drizzled with sweet teriyaki sauce, served on a bed of red bell pepper, squash, carrot, and potato, sauted in soy sauce, and seasoned with garlic and black pepper, accompanied with brown rice.

course 4: a dish of chilled light chocolate mousse sandwiched between layers of thin almond bark, fresh out of the oven, garnished with raspberries. The contrast between temperatures of the bark and the mousse is the focal point for this dish.

5x love. | (Please love me)

Sunday, January 21st, 2007
4:03 pm
Who loves sake? Joe loves sake.

11x love. | (Please love me)

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