Tag Archive for 'boingboing'

Cheap Life Design Through Prototyping

I just saw this on boingboing:

“Raph Koster, who has many critical insights on game design, has a great new essay on his blog called “Making games more cheaply,” which closes with this statement that applies to practically every form of digital media extant, and may just be the secret to success in the 21st century:

Embrace prototyping. Make your game playable and fun before you have any art. Stop writing big design docs.

Big design docs are useless. There, I said it. Trying to build a game off of one is like trying to recreate a movie from the director’s commentary track. They are largely castles in the air. The only time that big design docs serve a real purpose is when they are describing static content.

Embracing prototyping is a huge mental barrier for people. But it is what gets you to that long-lived self-refreshing systemic game design. You can prototype almost any game with some dice and some index cards. And plenty of ideas that sound good on paper turn out to suck when tried out for real.

Prototypes properly done are cheap. Prototyping is whistling five melodies and seeing which one you remember the next day.

Making games more cheaply

to which I replied:

Prototyping is the same principle that we here in Kauai are applying to our lives as permaculturists. We prototype living systems, using cheap, found, and scrounged materials, mostly from our local dump, and then upgrade to more polished versions after we’ve figured out exactly what we want from the system.

For instance, I have built nearly ten different prototypes of chicken tractor for tractoring my chickens around the yard. All of these were built out of mostly recycled materials, and all looked radically different. When I finally saw a design that I thought was smart and functional enough to merit a trip to town, I went and bought supplies and made myself a robust copy. A system for taking showers went through similar stages, with the shower appearing here and there over time, with different plusses and minuses for each. Finally a propane shower, gravity fed from a water tank above, with a recycled pallet floor, and bamboo walls, tarp door emerged.

You know you can stop prototyping when the need to prototype a system ends. i.e. when the shower stays put, think about upgrading the prototype to semi- finished product status.

Prototyping ones entire life is an incredibly cheap and energy efficient way to recreate the world around you, remaking it into one of immense possibility. The primary question one has to ask is: Who am I? Which is the same question as: What do I want? Once those questions are answered, you can begin gathering materials and prototyping new systems.

Who you are and what you want will dictate what your prototypes are trying to achieve. You must have land or space to prototype on, and the tools and knowledge to assemble your prototypes.

 

via Cory Doctorow at boingboing

File-sharing Becomes a Recognized Religion in Sweden!

“File-sharing becomes a recognized religion in Sweden

By at 9:48 am Thursday, Jan 5

Sweden has given official religious status to Church of Kopimism, a faith and philosophy based on file-sharing. The faith’s foundational document, ““POwr, broccoli and Kopimi,” is available as a .torrent file indexed on The Pirate Bay (natch). It exhorts followers to undertake 100 tasks to attain #g_d (a hashtagged, all-lower-case version of the observant Jewish tradition of writing God as “G_d”).

001. Obtain the Internet.
002. Start using IRC.
003. Group and birth a site.
004. Experiment with research chemicals.
005. Design a three-step program.
006. Take a powerful stance for something positive and essential.
007. Regulate nothing.
008. Say that you have to move in two weeks, but stay for seven months. Come back a year later and do it all over again.
009. ROTFLOL.
010. Relax, you’re already halfway there.
011. Just kidding.
012. Don’t think outside the box. Build a box.
013. Support support.
014. Organize and go to parties and fairs.
015. Start 30–40 blogs about the same things.
016. Drain the private sector of coders, graphic artists and literati.
017. Create a prize that is awarded.
018. Express yourself often in the media, vaguely.
019. Spread

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all rumors.
020. Seek out and try carding, and travel by expensive trains. Don’t order sushi.
021. Start a radio station.
022. Everything you use, you can copy and give an arbitrary name, whether it’s a news portal, search engine or public service.
023. Buy a bus.
024. Install a MegaHAL.
025. Make sure that you are really good friends with people who can use Photoshop, HTML, databases, and the like.

Permaculture is only one short step behind.

via boingboing.

JW Dunne – An Experiment With Time

via Professor Solomon.com, via boingboing

“An Experiment with Time

“What exactly is Time?” asked King Solomon.
“The antechamber of Eternity,” said Melchizedek.

Time may be more mysterious than we imagine. And for anyone wishing to explore that mystery, I would recommend a book—little-known today—entitled An Experiment with Time.

Written by J. W. Dunne, a British engineer and philosopher (and gentleman—some of the experiment was conducted from an armchair in the library of his club), An Experiment with Time created a stir when published in 1927. Despite his assurances that it required “no previous knowledge of science, mathematics, philosophy, or psychology” and was “considerably easier to understand than are, say, the rules of Contract Bridge,” much of the book is abstruse. But the philosophical portions—which delve into ontology and epistemology, and employ such terms as infinite regress, retro-causality, and quantum-interconnectedness—may be skipped. At the core of the book is a simple experiment, which Dunne performs, explains, and urges the reader to repeat.

Dunne had been bewildered by a series of precognitive dreams. In one of them, he had dreamt of the eruption of a volcano on a French island and the death of 4000 islanders. When the newspaper arrived, it headlined the eruption of Mount Pelée on Martinique and a

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death-toll of 40,000. Seemingly, the horrifying dream had been prompted by his later reading of the newspaper account. Of his predictive dreams, this one was the most dramatic; but all were perplexing. They seemed to violate rules far more fundamental than those of contract bridge.

His experiences led Dunne to make a study of the relationship between time and dreaming. He went to sleep each night with a notebook and pencil under his pillow. And in the morning he quickly recorded his dreams, before they faded from memory. When he compared their images with the occurrences in his daily life, Dunne made a startling discovery. Generally, a dream derived its imagery from vivid or unusual happenings within a space of 24 hours—24 hours in either direction. That is to say, his dreams were influenced by events of both the past day and the next! Impossibly, they were “comprised of images of past experiences and images of future experiences blended together in approximately equal proportions.”

Extending his study to the dreams of friends and relatives, Dunne found similar correlations. He realized that he had discerned a “hitherto overlooked peculiarity in the structure of Time.” And he concluded that the standard model of Time—a series of events flowing into the future—was simply a mode of human perception. Indeed, “past” and “future” were nothing more than artifacts of the waking mind. Beyond our daily experience existed a timeless Present.

What was the significance of his findings? For one thing, Dunne pointed out, they provided an explanation for the curious phenomenon of déjà vu. (Why do we feel that something has happened before? Because we dreamt of it the previous night.) But more importantly, they supported belief in the immortality of the soul. For if Time was an illusion, Eternity was real.

Can it be then? Are dreams a window into the nature of the cosmos? Can they afford us a glimpse into the meaning of existence? Can we explore the deepest of mysteries while dozing in bed (or lounging in an armchair at our club)?

The reader may repeat Dunne’s experiment and decide for himself.”

-via professor solomon.

Imaginary Foundation: “Make A Difference” (Plus a SuperForest Remix!)

(image from imaginary foundation via boingboing)

Good Morning, SuperForest!

There’s no need for any textual accompaniment for the lovely image, above. Simply seeing things like this is enough to really tug at the ol’ heart strings. And thanks to the fine folks at Imaginary Foundation, you can download the original pdf of the image here. There’s no denying its “awww” factor, but as I was posting this, there was something about the future tense of this piece of street art that I felt needed a little adjusting. So here’s my own quirky version, and in case you need a reminder:

SuperForesters, there is no question of whether you can make a difference…

You already do.

And we love and appreciate you very much for that. <3

Love from,

Your friends at SuperForest

Mark Frauenfelder – On Social Networks and Goodness

…Social networks can be used to spread good and bad things, but social networks are fundamentally related to goodness. “If I made you sad or gave you germs, you would cut the ties with me,” so those network paths get pruned and the nodes become isolated to the edges. But nodes that spread good ideas, love, and other things of value get more connections.”

-Mark Frauenfelder on boingboing

Mr. Hair Hat!

via boingboing!

Sons Of Maxwell – “United Breaks Guitars”

This is so awesome!

Full Story: http://www.davecarrollmusic.com/story… – In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didnt deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say no to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.

-Dave Carroll”

This video/action/thought process is ever so World 2.0. Dave Carroll had a totally legit grief with United and instead of getting mad, or protesting, or staging a hunger strike at a United Airlines service desk, or starting a facebook hate group, he did something sooo much cooler and funnier: he created a catchy-ass song that lays everything out in easy-to-swallow pill form. I cannot wait to see how the rest of this story unfolds. I eagerly await United’s reply song.

Just goes to show that in a society where spreading information is easy and free, it no longer works to treat people badly. Ladies and gentlemen, we have officially entered the “Post A-hole Age.”

Translation: If you (or your company,) treats a customer badly, you can be pretty sure that everyone will know about it sooner or later. It seems that customer service just became a big deal.

Dave Carroll, you so get it. Dave Carroll/Sons of Maxwell Win!

Love to All.

-Jackson

Thank you, boingboing, for the tippy tip!

Slo-Mo Zoom Into Human Tooth!

via boingboing. Love!

Matt Jones: Get Excited and Make Things!

picture-19

Matt Jones take on the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. Perfect advice for the Retrofit Future.

Don’t keep calm and carry on.

via boingboing.

Bre Pettis and Kio Stark: Cult of Done Manifesto

picture-23picture-24

picture-22

(image via James Provost)

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

The Cult of Done Manifesto is the work of “brilliant” Bre Pettis and “cool hand” Kio Stark.

Since reading it, I’ve tried to take it to heart. (I love that failure is a form of done!)
I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Pettis at an event a few weeks ago! Wish I had known about this, I could have thanked him.

I first read about the Cult of Done over at boingboing.

Wingsuit Base Jumping Video

Seems so uplifting.


wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

Saw it on boingboing.

Science Commons and Why They Matter in 120 Seconds.

Two minutes to knowin’.

Amazing!

Check out ScienceCommons.org

Thanks to boingboing for the heads up.

Downwind Faster Than the Wind – Epic Conversation!

Here’s a question:

Can a wind-powered vehicle travel faster than the wind that is propelling it?

Common sense would say that would be impossible.

And yet…

I just heard mention of this phenomenon (and the MASSIVE argument/conversation that accompanies it) on boingboing.

I’m not sure what exactly to think. The laws of physics are unbreakable. Until they are broken, that is.

Just last year our species realized for the first time that hitting salt water with radio waves makes it flammable. We obviously have much to learn.

Thoughts? Ideas? Theories? We love ‘em!

Science is fun!