Friday, 11 March 2011

One Flu over the cuckoo's nest

I'm going mad.  Stuck in the house, sniffling and coughing.  I swing from feeling like the proverbial typhoid Mary, to an overwhelming sensation of discombobulation.  I have experienced that disconcerting sensation of observing your life and the world around you from the perspective of a third party.  It's not all bad news, I have so far avoided daytime TV but the resistance is waining.  Why does the influenza virus manage to persist?  It serves very little purpose other than to make us feel wretched for several days or weeks.  Last night I watched Wonders again with the fabulous Brian Cox and have been thrown into an existential crisis to which the only antidote was 2 episodes of Charlie Brookers, "How TV ruined our lives".  During wonders, it became clear that the duration of self-awareness that life in the universe will have is infinitesimally small.  So for this fleeting moment of awareness, this tiny experience of knowing itself through the existence of self aware matter, the Universe chooses to create flu.  What's that all about?  Well I've got time to sit and think about it.  Nice.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Panoramic View

I have downloaded a new app for my iPhone, Pano, on the advice of Tom.  It is extremely simple to use in fact I would go so far as to say it was idiot proof.  If any idiots find that they cannot use it, you are welcome to try to put a comment on this blog - if you can, but I suspect you will not as using the Pano is easier.  In fact it's so easy I'm probably a bit guilty of over using it.  However, this "panoramic" view does throw things into a different perspective, figuratively and literally.  
Take the photo of my garden above, my intention had been to take a photo of the chickens for a friend, Mij - long story, I'll save that one I think.  The photo does contain the chickens but also as you pan across you get to see the subject in the context of numerous other influences.  Your mind fades out elements that are not of interest currently and focuses on those that are, whilst keeping some sense of perspective on those other elements.  It is much more natural to us to view in this way, in our usual sight, we have a central area of vision and the peripheral vision is often only subconsciously aware of the bigger picture.  My only concern with the way we view these projections is that they are just that, a three dimensional projection onto a two dimensional flat page and the resultant distortion can render the picture awkward and difficult to look at.  I shall get much more practice and hopefully master the art.
Watching Will on his Xbox last night it struck me that console games would benefit considerably from the wrapped around image created from panoramic viewing, probably more so than 3D although 3D is pretty amazing on a console.  I suspect then, that some kind of projector that would display an image giving you a sense of what lay just outside of your field of view would be a useful add on to console gaming.  
(c) McDermott 2011 - patent pending (actually pending review that it actually doesn't already exist).  

Greed is good

Is it? Is it really?  Do we teach it? encourage it? revere it? 

Greed takes hold of weak people and twists them into snarling sociopaths, shaped like human beings but missing some vital components of human existence such as;  integrity, community, ethics.  

It is possible, initially, to be conned by the facsimile of humanity as it is presented but scratch the surface and that shell, which echoes with the cries of futility, stands bare in front of you.  Any endeavour, whatever its nature, will ultimately fail if it has at its core a selfish desire. The tragedy of the commons is no apocryphal parable, it is not solely an ancient moral, it is a truism.  It is a breach of a fundamental tenet of our existence that some amongst us defile to the detriment of all.