All entries for May 2006

May 19, 2006

Notpron

Writing about web page http://www.notpron.com

The self proclaimed 'hardest riddle on the internet'. Over 139 fiendisly difficult levels of a crazy internet based game where the object is to progress from one level to the next by solving the riddle hidden somewhere in each page.

The levels are represented on screen by an image with a small number in the top left representing the level you are currently on. using only your wits you must find the next screen by whatever means possible (outside of using internet spoilers).

So far it has me foxed already on level 8 (and I had help from my housemates). Be warned however that it may consume your life so if you really want to do that revision its probably best not to click.

On the other hand it may be just the stimulus you need to get that thinking engine back on track.

Swings and roundabouts.


May 02, 2006

Fanmail

This place used to be quite different.

For a period, this blog enjoyed regular updates largely written through the self–created character I can only describe after his own catch phrase as Awesome Dan. Awesome Dan was a fascinating mouthpiece through which to express my feelings of the time allowing a laregly carefree dedication to mockery, parody and morally ambivolent praise of the unique. The character evolved as a reaction against the media and circumstances around me at the time filtered through an intensive study of nietzschean teachings that I was engaged in at the time.

Largely deliberately, the character blurred reality around my true personality (I am naturally shy)which gave me freedom to vent my own feelings with the character as a sheild. After finding some measure of popularity Awesome Dan even ventured out from behind the monitor screen for public events and went as far as participating in an election. A fantastic opening gambit in awkward social situations is to have people already think that they know you and believe you to be a fun and interesting person. Awesome Dan allowed me this kind of self–creation which began to filter from the virtual space to the real. Like all characters that people create, Awesome Dan contains a part of me, and I think it is a part of me that has come further to the front in my life since

That is some background for those not otherwise acustomed to the way things used to proceed around here. Anyway, during and since that time I began recieving a small trickle of odd fanmail from people who connected with the character and I began collating that into folder to blog later when enough time had passed to allow distance on the whole proceeding.

So here it is with some commentary:

Notice one cannot put forth relativism without using absolutes?! While life is certainly grey and a thoughtful person does not make snap judgments, thinking involves the hard and sensitive work of unscrambling the black from the white and revising one's position if new information is presented. (moral objectivism, not absolutism)
However, the institutions that many made great sacrifices to reach, at one point existed to feed and free the mind not indoctirnate the once opem minded and conscientious into hard left dogma–of which the relativism of major universities is the greatest blow hard. In a zero sum game, critical thinking has become conflated with mean spirited bad manners. Now confused with therapy, discussion is merely a pointless exploration of one's feelings (which unlike thoughts can fluctuate with your blood sugar and are the least likely to be truest to ones self–that's O.K. because as with cultic induction, so much of this indoctrination is about permanently beating down the individual.) or solipsistic emotional mastrubation. Meanwhile the ironies and hypocrasies of political correctness rear their entitled little heads as those who are appointed authenticly wronged are granted an unlimited stage for badgering and branding their views upon others.

Posted as a comment on one of my more thoughtful entries. It arrived in my inbox at some time later and wins the award for the jump out phrase 'solipsistic emotional masturbation'. Like some kind of drug induced rant by an angry philosophic ponce, I couldn't determine the connection with what I had originally wrote nor really comprehend what exactly the author was trying to express. Barmy.

Johnny Depp is so hot i would say he is even more hotter than Orlando Bloom.I would say that in the faces od Orlando Bloom lovers,thats how hot i think Johnny is.I even feel sad when people say they hate Johnny Depp i feel like Im alone at that time or i feel like crawling into my bathroom in the corner with the lights off!!!if ur reading this johnny im me my screennames r (deleted) and (deleted),or e–mail me at (deleted) please read this!!!I LOVE U JOHNNY DEPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It starts out normal enough. Johnny Depp, lovely chap yes, yes. Then it becomes slightly aggressive, before taking a sharp and sudden turn into the seriously disturbing. Johnny Depp (clearly a regular reader), I urge you, never encounter this woman. Just don't.

i dont know how i stumbled here–oh yeah the dumping thing–soo not useful btw!but the internet real life cross over–yeah it was really funny, anyway i'm a bored student and you looked hot–so its kinda fun if u ever reply(bet your psycho alert is goin crazy since i said that)anyways you're hot and funny–so enjoy the compliment!

Ha, this one I must have saved just to boost my ego. No, actually I think it was the 'psycho alert' line that actually made me somehow convinced that this fan knew something I didn't. Why would my psycho alert be going crazy? Plus, I'm kind of a grammer and spelling traditionalist and prefer my email seduction attempts coy–er? Is that a word. Likely it was just the novelty of anyone emailing me to tell me I was hot. Pure ego boostage and definitely weird.

Please let me know if this is Big Flake that raps and hip hops. I have a story for you that if interested you could make into a song. I'm not looking for money. A mothers broken heart.

Now this one is truly out of left field. Can someone really 'hip hops'. Why 'A mothers broken heart'. There could be something going on here that runs deep but its in completely the wrong place, and completely obviously so after even a moments glance at this blog. Bizarre.

u seem like a very intersting person and no my job is not a hooker im a student at bournemouth uni and im french , just starting to get used to the english lifestyle.u should come down to bournemouth and meet up with me, we'll take acid and u can get inspired for comics and we'll watch salad fingers…

Acid?! Also, for future reference, starting an email with 'no my job is not a hooker' as if it is tacitly assumed that most of my regular emails are all from hookers. Still Salad Fingers so some good taste there – makes me wonder what me and a weekend high on acid in Bournmouth would possibly produce in the realm of readable comics.

DAN I LOVE YOU. YOUR SO AWESOME AND ME AND MY FREIND COURTNEY ARE GOING TO MARRY YOU. YES THATS RIGHT. YOUR TAKEN. ROAR!!!!!!

Yay, for aggressive bigamy!

Thanks for indulging this trip inside my head.


May 01, 2006

Transhumanism and its impact

Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism

Perhaps its just the range of readings I've been sampling lately, or perhaps my addled brain is drawing connecting lines where there are none, but I'm suddenly seeing the dawning rays of a transhumanist future.

I feel oddly unprepared, transhumanism is not a topic I ever discovered in academia and indeed seems to be a movement that often takes science fiction as a key explanatory reference. Yet I feel that given my degree title its something I should have covered in more substantial depth somwhere along the lines. I'm not sure I even need to be prepared, I feel a need for some kind of action but I'm unsure how such action might even begin.

Transhumanism – transcending the current human condition. Something rightly feared by many established religions. Especially if it can promise immortality. Its an awe and maybe fear inspiring concept that the 'I' may not be fixed. One may be able to overcome ones physical limits in very direct ways, replace and improve whole limbs, run faster, jump higher and lift more. How can religions continue to hold sway over a transhumanity? Forget your abortion debates, this will be the ultimate showdown between 'science' and 'religion'. The questions just keep piling up. Can an immortal life itself even continue to hold onto meaning? Why do anything now if you have eternity in which to do it?

How will law and order keep pace with a cybernetically enhanced criminal underworld? Even if the technologies are outlawed for general use the criminals will eventually get their hands on black market technology. Will an arms race ensue as real life robo cops grapple with nano–enhanced super criminals? Will the advent of a Universal constructor destroy crime completely by eliminating wealth disparities? Or will new ways be found to mainitain a social wealth heirarchy.

Will our corrupt politicians eventually be overthrown not by the people but by a benevolent omnipotent singularity A.I. ? Will transhumans instead become trans–soldiers fighting the battles of the future in more destructive and insane ways than before?

The questions of science fiction are gradually becoming the issues of scientific fact. Its happening right in front of us and faster than most of us expect. Everyday the news draws us closer to the transhumanist future, described by Francis Fukuyama as the most dangerous idea in the world today. Choose your side wisely as this one could be brutal:

The new species, or "posthuman," will likely view the old "normal" humans as inferior, even savages, and fit for slavery or slaughter. The normals, on the other hand, may see the posthumans as a threat and if they can, may engage in a preemptive strike by killing the posthumans before they themselves are killed or enslaved by them. It is ultimately this predictable potential for genocide that makes species–altering experiments potential weapons of mass destruction, and makes the unaccountable genetic engineer a potential bioterrorist

quoted from bioethicists George Annas, Lori Andrews, and Rosario Isasi


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