Bizarro dreams last night, sci-fi theme: for some reason, I was part Transformer, but malfunctioning. I was at a friend’s house, and there was a big display screen on the wall (sort of like where you would have a framed painting or fancy mirror) that featured a schematic outline of a robot-ish body. As soon as the foot went from a wireframe-white outline to a blinking red one, I knew something was going to malfunction. It’s pretty embarrassing when you are worried that someone won’t get their security deposit back because your left arm just turned into a Porche that barely fits in the room. There was another part of the dream with Space Pigeons. They fly around out in the empty void of space. If they come across a space ship that left its cargo bay doors open, they fly in and roost. I had to chase them out multiple times because I couldn’t close the bay doors fast enough.
Is it a sign of growing up that you forget that trolls live under the bridge? I walked over this slightly bouncy Disneyland-Tom-Sawyer’s-Island suspension bridge twice without a troll thought, only reminded on the way back by some kids playing under it, looking for the troll.
Someone brought up computer naming schemes the other day and had a really great theme going. I knew all the literary references except one. It included things like Ono-Sendai, Clark Nova, and Abulafia. I was able to Google for that last one, but it felt like cheating. I had not read the book and did not officially “get” the reference. There was a Joe Frank monologue/story thing that went along these lines. People could get chips implanted in their head, with little I/O ports behind their ears, and download all kinds of skills and knowledge. A person could become a brain surgeon overnight and perform any textbook operation. Any time something unexpected occurred during the operation, the person was then unequipped to deal with it and had to check for a software update. The humanities suffered–art, music, poetry–because the chipped people could only reproduce formulaic work. Instant knowledge, like inherited wealth, was taken for granted. Often, people who win the lottery or are born into wealth do not have the proper skills to earn more or even properly manage it. The chipped people had not done the grunt work necessary to uncover the knowledge and incorporate it into their particular frame of reference or know how to properly apply it in the real world. Anyway, I sometimes wonder if Google is the chip implanted in our skulls. I was able to instantly come up with the answer, but not really understand the intricacies (if there even are any), and got no enjoyment from knowing the correct answer.
Speaking of Knights Templar and Freemasons and all that fun stuff. I finally caved in to the best-seller popularity and started reading The Da Vinci Code the other day. While it is fun and exciting and “a page turner,” I keep seeing a lot of Michael Crichton in the author’s style. It almost seems like it was written with a screenplay in mind, which bugs me a little. The reference to Schneier was kind if nifty, though. I am a little bit alarmed that I am unable to find information about a particular item in the book that Da Vinci supposedly created, the cryptex. This is a wood and brass device used to lock up a piece of fragile paper with a fragile vial of acid, such that the correct combination allows you to retrieve the paper and an incorrect combination or forced entry breaks the vial. My Google searches (there I go, relying on the Google crutch again…although this time more like a card catalog and less like an answer finder) only come up with results that reference the book. I do not know if this particular fact was made up or altered for the book or whether Da Vinci actually did invent such a device.
Hey, does anyone use those “click here to email this page to a friend” links, or does everyone simply copy the URL into a fresh email message? The latter is generally no (or not much) extra work, plus you can usually take advantage of your email client’s integrated address book. The former would involve looking up your friend’s email address, typing it in, and hoping there wasn’t a spam harvest script behind the button’s link. I am trying to find someone, anyone, outside of AOL that actually uses those links. SOMEBODY has to be using them, otherwise site/content designers would drop them off the page and use the screen real estate for something more important…right?