You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
The two-day Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) graduate showcase at NYU was a madhouse, with some 100 projects on view, ranging from groundbreaking innovations to timely trinkets. But the most talked about project by far was Peiqi Su's "Penis Wall" - an array of 81 robotic phalli that rise and fall in response to the stock market. Official Vimeo account for the project - Thesis presentation - in depth How-it-was-made production blog. (Slightly NSFW if your work doesn't like white, plastic, abstract dicks.)
Brené Brown: Listening to shame. Filmed this month at TED in Long Beach, CA. (YouTube) Also see: The Power of Vulnerability (yt, previously on MeFi), and The Price of Invulnerability. [more inside]
One Hour Per Second - "In 1 minute 50 seconds of uploads to YouTube, an unlucky person falling through a bottomless pit travels 12,000 miles."
Amazing 450 page presentation created in Google Docs. From Google Demo Slam: three animators took three days to create a presentation that would make Powerpoint and Keynote cry. via Engadget
Steal This Presentation. "Right now someone is out there dying from a boring presentation. Hopefully, it's not yours." A crash course in getting the fugly out of your slides.
TV idents provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely. There are many online alternatives to Powerpoint (like 280 Slides, Google Docs and Sliderocket), but nothing breaks the mold quite like Prezi. [more inside]
Playing with Fire and Water is a blog by a freelance chef who creates some of the most interesting and delicious looking food creations. The best part? The accompanying science behind it and recipes. Amateur chefs and food nerds, eat your heart out. [more inside]
We need a way to have, buy, and sit on fewer and better things. — from the CICINA, a 20 minute video presentation on their effort to compare all things in a massive bracketed set of 214 binary judgements. Which is better: Apples or Oranges?
Plainview is a free full-screen web browser for your mac. Until now, you had two options for showing Internet work: capture it all to Quicktime and throw it into Powerpoint or Keynote (looks nice but no interactivity as everything has to be canned) or show it in your browser (interactive but with ugly chrome distracting people from your beautiful sites). So here's a third option. Fire up your full-screen browser and let your audience focus on the work. [more inside]
Pecha Kucha - get to the point. 20 slides in 20 seconds. Talk about what you want. Your city probably has a night for it.
LEGO is full of WIN - Roo Reynolds' Interesting 2008 talk.
What are those circular disc things that you rotate to look up information? Volvelles. [more inside]
If you had HBO in the 80's, you saw this every night at 8pm. HBO put together a brief behind-the-scenes featurette showing everything from the construction of the models to the composition of the music.
Magic Ink - Information Software and the Graphical Interface
British television presentation, past and present. For the lover of Channel 5, DOGs, presenters, and mocking in all of us.
Decoding Visual Language Elements in News Content is an MFA thesis examining how layout, cropping, image selection et al. influence the way the content is perceived. The interactive demo is especially interesting; you can take some TV and magazine layouts and switch out pictures and other elements. It's fascinating to see how different cropping and tints affect your impressions of the content. Media literacy -- especially right now -- is a good thing. (Link via Stan Chin.)