Robot Apocalypse Comic

[via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal]

January 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.

You Tryna Get Real Depressed?

David Simon believes the children are our future.  Thing is, David Simon hates children.

Wait, that’s not true at all, but check out what dude says about their future.

[image via Big Think]

If you want details about our great nation’s inevitable crumble, watch the amazing Bill Moyers interview below.  It’s plenty long, so bookmark it if you have to.  You’ll be better for it.

[videos and original commentary via Fixing the Economists]

January 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

The History of American Political Opinion

Seems like a good time to post this.

From the video’s creator:

Using county-level data, I spatially and temporally interpolated presidential vote returns for the two major party candidates in each election from 1920-2008. The result illuminates the sometimes gradual, sometimes rapid change in the geographic basis of presidential partisanship.

[via Morgan Clendaniel @ GOOD]

January 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Douglas Coupland’s Predictions for the Coming Decade

I read this a couple of months ago, but only now, in these early days of the new decade*, does it feel right to stamp out the ubiquitous optimism with some good doubt.

Douglas Coupland, a Canadian curmudgeon, lists 45 predictions for the coming decade. Here are the ones that strike me as particularly probable:

2) The future isn’t going to feel futuristic

It’s simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now, because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn’t feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong.

5) You’ll spend a lot of your time feeling like a dog leashed to a pole outside the grocery store – separation anxiety will become your permanent state

8) Try to live near a subway entrance

In a world of crazy-expensive oil, it’s the only real estate that will hold its value, if not increase.

10) In the same way you can never go backward to a slower computer, you can never go backward to a lessened state of connectedness

24) It is going to become much easier to explain why you are the way you are

Much of what we now consider “personality” will be explained away as structural and chemical functions of the brain.

38) Knowing everything will become dull

It all started out so graciously: At a dinner for six, a question arises about, say, that Japanese movie you saw in 1997 (Tampopo), or whether or not Joey Bishop is still alive (no). And before long, you know the answer to everything.

And here are some that don’t seem likely at all:

7) Retail will start to resemble Mexican drugstores

In Mexico, if one wishes to buy a toothbrush, one goes to a drugstore where one of every item for sale is on display inside a glass display case that circles the store. One selects the toothbrush and one of an obvious surplus of staff runs to the back to fetch the toothbrush. It’s not very efficient, but it does offer otherwise unemployed people something to do during the day.

11) Old people won’t be quite so clueless

No more “the Google,” because they’ll be just that little bit younger.

13) Enjoy lettuce while you still can

And anything else that arrives in your life from a truck, for that matter. For vegetables, get used to whatever it is they served in railway hotels in the 1890s. Jams. Preserves. Pickled everything.

14) Something smarter than us is going to emerge

Thank you, algorithms and cloud computing.

20) North America can easily fragment quickly as did the Eastern Bloc in 1989

Quebec will decide to quietly and quite pleasantly leave Canada. California contemplates splitting into two states, fiscal and non-fiscal. Cuba becomes a Club Med with weapons. The Hate States will form a coalition.

32) Musical appreciation will shed all age barriers

Draw your own conclusions after reading the full list at the Globe and Mail.

[Article via the Browser. Image via Maet32’s photobucket]

* The 21st century began on January 1st, 2001. Therefore, the first decade of the 21st century ended a few days ago. We can argue about this if you want, but that exercise would be wholly redundant.

January 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 2 comments.

Russian Sci-Fi Short

Like a mix of Æon Flux and Half-Life 2.

[The Gift by Carl Erik Rinsch via the Internet According to Adrian]

December 31, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Christmas Comic

This explains a lot.

[via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal]

December 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.

Bill Gate’s Favorite Teacher Does It for Free

[image via azstarnet]

We really shouldn’t care what Bill Gates thinks since he’s the quintessential black swan, but I wanted to catch your eye with a Sully lede.

It is true though.  Bill Gates sits there with his kids and watches the screen as the disembodied voice of Sal Khan explains almost anything.

In short, Khan is a genius (three degrees from MIT and a Harvard MBA).  He retired early to teach math, chemistry, biology, physics, history, etc. to any interested party.  The format couldn’t be simpler.

What’s remarkable about Khan Academy, aside from its nonpareil word of mouth and burgeoning growth, is that it’s free and prizes brevity. Remember your mumbling macroeconomics teacher whose 50-minute monologue in a large auditorium could bore the dead? That isn’t Khan. He rarely cracks wise — if you want shtick, check out Darth Vader trying to teach Euclidean geometry on YouTube (“The Pythagorean theorem is your destiny!”) — but in less than 15 minutes Khan gets to the essence of the topics he’s carved out.

My favorite part is the knowledge map (powered by Google maps) which auto-updates as you complete competency exercises in various disciplines:

Khan is up to 1800+ lectures and I’ll let him explain his ambition:

My goal really is to keep making videos until the day I die (which will hopefully not be for at least another 50 or 60 years). Should give me time to make several tens of thousands of videos in pretty much every subject.

Go on. Let him teach you something already.

[David A. Kaplan @ Fortune via the Browser]

December 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 1 comment.

Universal Coffee Gripper

Coffee grinds, a bag, and a vacuum.

Feeling increasingly worried about the inevitable war between man and machine.

[via Rockstar (cyborg?) Athlete Matt Baldwin]

November 14, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Meet the Intersection of the Future

The Diverging Diamond Interchange:

[via Core77]

[image via GOOD]

November 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.

Flying Lotus Robot Apocalypse Music Video

[via Passion of the Weiss]

November 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

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