November 2011

Arabic tidbits

A friend explained some of the intricacies of Arabic to me the other night; I thought I’d write down the most striking aspects: * Status in the ancient Arab world was greatly influenced by your language abilities. Ancient heroes were language experts, not usually warriors or political leaders. * The Koran, in fact, was especially […]

Being digital

[Russell Davies talks about what comes after “digital”](http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2011/11/i-first-talked-about-post-digital-at-an-event-called-thinking-digital-in-2009-in-gateshead-looking-back-thats-probably-wh.html): > The magic and silliness of the web can escape from behind the screen and spill into the world, sweeping away the pristine banality of mass consumer electronics in a tide of walking gonks and talking doorknobs. It’ll be stupid and brutal and glorious and fun. And […]

Post-human

[It begins here:](http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YbpCLqryN-Q#!)

RoboKopter News

[These](http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9vOor1xmVDs) [two](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dce0XV4kwTM) videos are the future of news, surveillance, and cinema. When everything is a camera, everything changes. Reminds me of scenes in science fiction, especially [The Dervish House](http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004XE0MGQ/ref=r_soa_w_d) and [Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom](http://craphound.com/down/?page_id=1625).

Notes from What Technology Wants

[Kevin Kelly’s long-awaited treatise on technology](http://www.kk.org/books/what-technology-wants.php) explores it as if it were sentient and willful. Thinking about what technology “wants”–what it is driving toward and which paths it prefers–is both a good way to understand why technologies work the way we do and to try to design better ones. My high-level takeaways, roughly reflected in […]

Judging a book by its highlights

Viewing [Kindle books ranked by number of highlights](https://kindle.amazon.com/most_popular/books_by_popular_highlights_all_time) is pretty interesting. I assume the excerpt on the list page is the most highlighted passage in each, and it gives better insight into the book’s true theme and content than any “publisher’s description”.