February 21, 2001
Rethinking genetics

Dang. I just watched the long version of All your base are belong to us, and was really quite impressed. A lot of work went into that. PeterMe's comments are kinda interesting, too. Taylor has posted what looks like the "original" but who knows how these things work. Ah! The thread over at plastic has a lot of answers, history, and urls.

Flash and (to a lesser extent) animated gif seem to be spawning a new, uber-low-budget way to get memes moving or distribute art. An early example of this was stick figure death theatre, but lately, I've noticed people watching Zombie College in the Argosy office. See also: Elian Wassup, that turkish/swedish thing, and don't miss Push Media, my submission to the SFDT, years ago.

Fascinating piece by Stephen Jay Gould in the NYTimes.

From its late 17th century inception in modern form, science has strongly privileged the reductionist mode of thought that breaks overt complexity into constituent parts and then tries to explain the totality by the properties of these parts and simple interactions fully predictable from the parts.
AFAICS, it's the "what is water?" problem on a more complex scale. If you divide water into its parts, you get oxygen and hydrogen. Understanding those doesn't give you a very good sense of what water is (i.e. oxygen and hydrogen make a flammable combination, but water doesn't). Vygotsky identifies this as a central problem in Psychology: if you seperate thought and language early in the analystic process, then you can never see them as a whole later on; you're stuck with two seperately formulated concepts. Of course, this only illustrates part of the problem, but it's a neat example.


Another Salon meta-review of Eminem, with which I can feed my continuing morbid fascination.

The most irritating rock-crit tendency -- the desire to appear risky even though you're 27 and have an M.A. from Brown -- was replayed in almost every review.

Ooh, Opera for Mac.

If the SAT was done away with permanently, it wouldn't be a moment too soon.

"There will be strong pressure on other state college systems to follow California?s lead," said Robert Schaeffer of FairTest, which advocates less emphasis on standardized test.
Bitter? Me?

posted by dru in good_articles