Poetry; Green Knights
I've been reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written by an unknown poet in medieval England. J.R.R. Tolkien translated it to a (*somewhat* :-) more modern English.
I actually didn't realize it was a poem when I got it. I've never enjoyed any poetry before (well, apart from stuff like Where The Sidewalk Ends ;), but I have been trying to. Fortunately, I'm enjoying the story of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight (I enjoy knight stories in general), but I must say that the form is *really* distracting. I do get distracted when reading prose, but when I'm reading poetry, I get distracted about once every page. My current thinking is "Gah, this would be so much better in prose", but I will try to get used to it.
I recently read a very exciting article about Brain Input. http://www.popsci.com/popsci/medicine/article/0,12543,576464-1,00.html. The idea is to stick things in your brain that listen to firing neurons and send the data off to a processor. Stuff like "typing" words with your brain is obviously quite possible, from what the article says. I'm not very excited about the fact that it requires brain surgery: not because I fear its danger, but because I doubt I'll ever be able to afford it. Fortunately there are alternative mechanisms being researched to receive signals from your brain that don't require surgery. But anyway, that's not what I want to talk about.
Let's assume we have a working brain-input device that lets you "think" commands and send them to a computer. What I'm interested in is integrating this with brain *output*. Here's my anecdote: I was reading Sir Gawain and The Green Knight last night in bed. I don't know some of the archaic vocabulary used. If I had a brain I/O device hooked up to some tiny computer that can talk to my wireless network, I could have thought: "Look up 'gules'". After a half-second of delay, my response would come back from dict.org: "poetic; that which is red". I could have either 'heard' it if my brain-output device is hooked up to the audio-sensing bits of my brain, or maybe have it overlaid on my vision, or even have the words just *pop* in to my consciousness. I guess that the former two are more likely. :-)
Of course, something like contact-lens-like video devices and tiny wireless ear-pieces would be tolerable, but they're still probably going to be a pain.
Anyway, this would be so cool! An augmented brain! One's "memory" would become MUCH more robust (think google and dict.org). But be warned!
For you Sci-Fi readers, something very similar is introduced in Larry Niven's/Steve Barnes' "Saturn's Race". Humans would have their brains augmented so that they could store memories in a secondary, reliable storage inside their brain. But one of the characters who had such an augmentation got his destroyed; he became insane afterwards. I guess that some sort of reliance on such an augmentation might have negative effects, but that doesn't turn me off of the idea.
Sorry, still no more Blendering. I've been doing some more hacking on Twisted Names and fixing random Twisted bugs, though. Twisted Names is actually becoming a reasonable replacement for Bind, I think (ignoring the fact that it already *has* replaced Bind on a couple of semi-critical servers).
Everyone go watch the MARIO MOVIES, because they are really awesome and profound and emotional.
They require Flash.