Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The saga of the fuzzy duck continues ...

'Two monsters went duck-hunting with their dogs but without success. "I know what we're doing wrong," said the first one. "What's that then?" asked the second. "We're not throwing the dogs high enough!"


Does this qualify among the funniest jokes in the world? Would it rate highly on the universal giggleometer?

Misguided monsters that make men seem enlightened by comparison, cruelty to animals that is lessened by an implausible context and surreality that defies logic are three factors suggesting this joke could be a hot contender for superlative humour. The only problem is, it's too short, according to one winning formula. It also features ducks and hunting, two subjects internationally deemed the most laughable of the lot.

What does that say about the human race then? That we are, at our funniest, deluded imperialists basing the fact of our existence on our capacity to destroy the natural world? Surely not. Or, on a less dramatic scale, that ducks innately inspire absurdity, fuzzy, fluffy, or otherwise?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Good PR
Bad PR (make sure you read the PDF)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The truth about pot

Taking the Fillet o' Fish as our inspiration, do we jump on Kevin Tracy's bandwagon? Or start our own?
Personally I'm in favour of a coffee pot revolution. The humble coffee pot has attained the status of a widely-recognized cult figure, played a part in tense negotiations on the political stage, acted as the pretext for a globally influential, not to say contentious, experiment in decriminalization, furthered workers' rights, and has been used as a community development tool in the office work environment whilst stimulating increased productivity across the developing world! A revolution is brewing, and soon will boil over ... it's time for an outpouring, and an aromatic uprising. Let's bring the pot out of the cupboard!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Meme Mining for fun and profit

Meme Mining (via Jon Udell)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

pneumatic post - technological dead-end

The Pneumatic Post of Paris

Prague Pneumatic Post

I haven't yet found any reference to any pneumatic post networks in Sydney, although seems there were some pneumatic systems installed for getting cash from tills to the back office.

Pneumatic tubes also feature in 1984 and Brazil (which seems to be heavily influenced by 1984). One of the intriguing things about Orwell's vision of the future is that it was created in 1948, just before the great leap forward in to the information age. Orwell knew that information was important to control, but he didn't seperate information from the physical medium that information was transmitted on. So, for example, when the past is changed, that means pulping and reprinting yesterday's newspapers.

But 1948 was also the year that Shannon published his paper on A Mathematical Theory of Communication.

Even though Orwell would have been aware of the individual technologies that combine to make faxes and email possible (i.e. computers, telephones, television), it needed Shannon popularising the idea that pretty much any information can be encoded as numbers, for people to realise how easily those numbers (aka binary digits, aka bits), and thus the information being encoded, can be stored, transmitted, and modified. So in the future he extropolates from 1948, technology has gotten better at moving around the atoms that information is stored on (e.g. via pneumatic tubes), whereas if he'd been writing a decade later, he would have seen that altering information doesn't really require doing anything with atoms at all. It's all about changing magnetic fields on hard disk platters now.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Nostalgia for the forgotten futures

The Dead Media project. Via Tom Jennings, creator of some pretty impressive dead media himself.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

random readings

Dr Rugby's latest screed. When you're hot, everybody wants a piece...

how to give an receive criticism (via Intertwingly)