Monthly Archives: January 2012

do NOT organize it!

regarding the last topic, going a little bit science fiction now, imagine that same as non of our individual neurons is really responsible for any specific part of our consciousness as much as it is the huge messy topology of the connections that presumably defines it, perhaps the messy structure of the information flow in the internet helps keep this global consciousness safe. human friendships and family relationships provide the locality needed for efficient context sensitive knowledge storage units. distant relationships that link this local islands in many parallel arches are backbones for transferring bits of consciousness.

then, if so, i would strongly encourage not to force any centralization or structure to the web and social networks of the world. let’s rather let the underlying physical support for global consciousness organically grow and evolve into a robust framework, and the global consciousness itself grow and evolve with it.

that would benefit us. after all, we as individuals need each other and need a global consciousness as much as your individual cells need each other and eventually benefit from thinking of themselves globally as a you. if we do so, it might also mean that we humans and our delusion of invaluable importance is just an anecdotical mechanism in the evolution of consciousness. and i stop here and let the fantasy of global self aware global being to the science fiction fanboys.

and this was my geeky-nerdy contribution of the month. now, but to life

global consciousness

so, let’s play the game of assuming consciousness doesn’t have that much with humans as we arrogantly pretend it does.

once upon a time [ …fast forward… ] there were molecules. molecules reacted naturally and structures that persisted arose. some of these structures grouped together and even developed abilities to self-replicate. some of these grouped into cells that enhanced the replication capabilities, naturally spreading their design. later, this cells grouped together for bigger strength, such that some of them specialized in one or another tasks for the benefit of the colony of cells. at some point, the inviduals in the colony were so dependent on and attached to each other that the whole colony became an organism in itself. plants and we animals are such organism.

even beyond this point, some organisms as certain fishes and birds often swim/fly and hunt together as a whole in flocks, as a unique being, with a unique goal, such that if the being success in it’s global goal all the individuals that participated benefit from the success. similarly ants do specialize for the benefit of the colony. some animals and plants develop symbiosis, and of course most mammals naturally develop family and social attitudes that benefit them as a group.

we humans are no exception. well, perhaps we are, cause we push this attitude much further, as far as to a global consciousness level. while we individual people do obviously have a strong individual consciousness (for which we invented the methafor of “I” and “me”), there is also a global consciousness getting developed during history. while individual consciousness dies with the person, the time spam of global knowledge and ideas is no longer that of a human life. indeed, ideas, feelings, stories and knowledge in general don’t die anymore with individuals thanks to the invention of language and storytelling, drawings, and books, perpetuating the global knowledge first, and a global consciousness later. this global long lasting knowledge surely helped the individuals survive, and the local group/communities of people develop.

lately, with the growth of internet and the ability for any group of individuals to share information, not only carefully selected important knowledge is being accumulated and transmitted for future use and discussions, but all sort of apparently less far-reaching stories, feelings, information, anecdotes, news, discussions, love declarations, songs, concerns and jokes are shared everyday, 24h a day, like never before in history. this cloud of knowledge is no longer attached to any of us individual contributors, but floats in the cyber world. furthermore, it links people together, it makes them share with each other, feel jealousy about each other, love each other, ask each other, be disappointed at each other, look at each other, care about each other.

isn’t this closer to some sort of global consciousness than it is to a mere data/information flow?

to be or to be

some people go to ask, learn, get inspired, enjoy. but others, go just to “be” there and do nothing but perhaps take a picture, so they can later tell how amazing it was to be there. like if “being” somewhere had some value in itself.

algunos van para preguntar, aprender, inspirarse, disfrutar. pero otros, simplemente van simplemente para “estar” y no hacer nada, salvo tal vez echar una foto para más tarde poder contar qué fantástico fue estar ahí. como si el hecho “estar” tuviera algún valor en si mismo.

a la española

vamos a ver, chavales. ya vale de jeta, de pedir que te voten, de picaresca, de ladronear, del enchufismo, de aprovecharse, de descaro, de ayudar a los amiguitos, de morro, de que te recomienden, de que te cuelen, de escaquearte… que el mundo no funciona así, ¡joder!

lo peor es que la trampa y la maniobra desleal está tan entrelazado con nuestra cultura que ni las percibimos. salvo en caso de necesidad, los favores no se piden, se ganan.

y me da igual que seas vecino, compatriota o colega del club de la marmota. si la alternativa que yo creo es mejor viene de otro lado, o de perú, de corea o de yugolsavia, pues le daré mi dinero, apoyo y voto a esa alternativa. cualquier otra cosa sería actuar deshonrrosamente y de mala fe por mi parte, y tener una cara dura que se te debería caer la cara de vergüenza por la tuya.

pero como digo, no es que no tengamos vergüenza en este país, sino que verdadera y genuinamente ni siquiera reconocemos la necesidad de sentirse avergonzado. cambiemos un poco nuestra cultura patatera, ¿no? vamos a mirar un poco alrededor. que el mundo no funciona así. ¿capicci?

dijo el que ayuda cada día desinteresadamente a todo pichichi vivente, para que conste en acta

confusion and stereotypes

– oh, you are spanish!
– yippi
– oh, i love paella and sangria, they´re so good!
– oh… i guess, i tried a few times, but i cannot really tell.
– oh, i see. you guys have spicy and hot food, right?
– no, not at all.
– is it like burritos and tacos and stuff like that, then?
– nope.. i never saw or heard of those until i came to the USA
– well, you dance sevillanas?
– hm, i saw once sevillanas in the TV, but i didn’t like it really
– so is it salsa, or…?
– oh no, we don’t have that in spain
– well, anyway. you are lucky to be from spain, warm and sunny!
– actually… it’s mostly continental climate (freezing cold)
– you have cigarros and stuff?
– oh no, that is somewhere in america, cuba i suppose?, no idea really
– but you got siesta, you do have that
– lol, i’ve never seen or known anyone who has ever seen such a thing
– but… you said you are spanish?
– oh yes, very much!

i won’t complain though, as the confusion and stereotypical mistakes are, very sadly, reciprocal

on 4k

i often get emails, skype conversation request or interview proposals for clarifying on the reasons that motivate the production of 4 kilobyte demos.

among many others, one of the most frequent misconception is to assume that there is some sort of fetish desire to revive the strict limitations of the past when doing demos in only 4 kilobytes, as if we had actually grown in the era of the C64 and Amiga computers and were now nostalgic of development under a severely constrained hardware or environment.

well, nothing further from reality.

not only i’ve never been a guru in the 8 bit computer programming, but i actually never owned a C64 or Amiga nor i saw one in my live until i was an adult. by the time i typed on my first computer program, 20 years ago, advanced 32 bit PCs where the norm. and despite i did start with a 8088 (poor boy’s alternative), that was in qwbasic, which was already too high level language as to get intimate with the hardware or limitations of any sort.

so no, in my case clearly there is no nostalgia, nor such a thing as reviving limited and constrained platforms, cause i simply never lived, read about or heard of them until i was too old to care about it.

but even if it was, doing 4 kilobytes today would never be an option for satisfying any nostalgia of good old days. in fact, 4 kilobytes demos more often than not need the very latest hardware to run efficiently. they are pretty high technology demanding. it’s not rare that 4 kilobyte demo coders actually wait for the very latest hardware features and most powerful cutting edge new graphics cards to release their 4 k intros. for example, Elevated was pretty power hungry at the time it was released, and very few computers could run it smoothly. however, there’s no denial that many of them trade performance for size. which brings as to the real reasons to develop 4 kilobyte demos.

the only constrain when doing 4 kilobytes intros is the space it takes in disk. but those 4096 bytes are not that much of a motivation as they are an excuse. an excuse to force yourself to develop new mathematical tricks and think in clever algorithms. to work out of the box. innovating and the feeling of being the first person ever touching a new area of maths/cg, even if tiny and minuscule, provides immense personal satisfaction (to me). besides, upon success, you can later publicly disclose your clever tricks for your little ego’s satisfaction and other people’s enjoyment (and by “people” of course i mean “mainly other geeks/nerds”).

so, knocking the misconception down: producing 4 kilobyte demos has nothing to do with nostalgia or old technologies. quite the contrary, it has to do with creative progress and experimentation with maths and the newest technologies.

like at home

what a beautiful rainy day this was. “i’m opening all my window so i can hear and smell the rain, then stare at the ceiling while listening to Sur Le Fil“. i feel like at home. timeless momments of deep happiness.

mala patilla

me he tomado tan en serio la broma de las gafas de cero dioptrías que ha llegado un momento en que ya no me doy cuenta de si las llevo puestas o no. por otro lado es curioso que, después de tantas semanas, nadie se haya cuenta hasta ahora de que de hecho ni si quiera tienen cristales; todo el mundo asume que las que visto son unas gafas normales, y que por supuesto las necesito. ambos hecho se han alineado con un tercero llamado mala pata (o mala patilla en este caso) para desencadenar una situación tanto vergonzosa como divertida.

estaba en una reunión bastante importante, donde de hecho, el centro de atención era yo, discutiendo unos temas relativamente serios. durante la reunión, ya con el tic completamente desarrollado e interiorizado, me fui quitando las gafas y poniendo alternativamente, jugueteando con ellas y mordisqueándolas en los momentos claves de la disertación. ya al final de la reunión, apunto de darla por finalizada, en una de mis últimas jugueteadas con las lentes, mientras la agarraba por una pata y las hacía girar cuan helicóptero, las gafas han caído sobre la mesa y se han partido por la mitad, por el medio del arco. todos los asistentes se han quedado mirando y después se han empezado a lamentar de la desafortunada cagadilla, hasta que mi coordinador, que estaba sentado a mi lado, se ha percatado de que no llevaban cristales. ¿pero qué coño…? ¿comorll?, dice. ah si, no tienen cristales…, yo. ¿einnn? er… pero…, la jefa de departamento. bueno, es una especie de juego que me traigo… es para parecer más… ¿listo?.. y ta“, yo. ¿estás de broma? estás como una chota, mi coordinador. y así, en 10 segundos, he pasado de tener 15 pavos que habían estado 20 minutos tirándome ideas y haciendo caso a lo que les contestaba, y escuchándome atentamente, a tenerlos tirados por el suelo muriéndose de la risa.

me pregunto cómo de en serio me van a tomar apartir de ahora.

discussing some relatively important issues with pretty clever people, in a fairly serious meeting. i toy around my glasses while answering some important questions and brainstorm some ideas. the meeting is about to finish. then i accidentally drop my glasses and break them in two. everybody looks, so i hurry to grab them, but it’s too late – my boss and coordinator have just noticed my glasses don’t actually have any lenses… first surprise, then confusion, and lastly laughs, guffaws. they can’t believe i don’t need glasses at all. so this is the end of experiment – it took a month to uncover my secret joke. now the thing is, will they take me seriously anymore?

expectations

speaking of what, i honestly think technology is amazing, but i also think people around this area have their heads in the clouds and have just too high expectations in technology, or are too naively optimistic. image recognition will not happen in the next 10 years, it will easily need a century before it ever works. augmented reality? sorry, that will not happen any time soon, give it 20 years at least, oh, yeah, gesture recognition, forget all the living room game consoles, it won’t happen before 10 years neither. but at the same time, dreaming has brought us this far, so, i applaud and encourage that we keep dreaming.

evolution of technology is amazing, but it needs its time. patience!

we are stupid, but adorable

when i see in the news all the research that goes into making self-driving cars, i can’t help but think how stupid, and adorable at the same time, we are. i say it with much affection and appreciation too, cause in fact, our deep stupidity is pushing our imagination go really far.

cause, you know, the obvious, optimal, clean and philosophically beautiful solution would be to stop using cars for once, which are no more but a continuation of the horse riding metaphor, and finally implement which most modern countries are doing with public transport. eventually, we would not only have trains and metros and buses, but strips/ horizontal escalators, and even fancy glass tubes quite like in futurama, who knows. the horse riding/car metaphor is just too convoluted, inefficient and derives into a complex/chaotic system when put to work. we are such stupid apes!

and now, to fix it, we got an even better ape idea – nothing more twisted than invest even more science into workarounding it and teaching cars drive themselves, instead of simply replace them with the elegant solution. lol. again, we are such stupid apes.

to make my point more graphical, imagine for a second that phones wouldn’t have evolved from the old rotary dial model into an electronic button system, and later into a tactile touch-activated interfaced phone. imagine than instead of simplifying the rotary+agenda interface, we would have just workarounded it and created phones with couple of little robotic arms with fingers that would actually enter the numbers for us by physically using the rotary dial system as a human do, in a naive hope to have improved our quality of life.

we are so stupid, and adorable at the same time.

entrañablemente tontos

ver noticias sobre coches que se conducen solos me recuerda que los seres humanos somos admirablemente estúpidos. y lo digo con todo el cariño y admiración del mundo, porque de hecho nuestra estupidez nos está llevando muy lejos.

porque en vez de montar trenes, metros, cintas transportadoras y tubos tipo futurama, y sistemas en general que no necesitan conducción, seguimos usando coches, que básicamente, como herencia del montar a caballo que es, es inconveniente y complicado. y ahora, por supuesto, invertimos ciencia en enseñar a los coches a conducirse a sí mismos en vez de simplemente caducarlos y reemplazarlos. ¡pero qué brutos que somos!

para describirlo más gráficamente, es como si los teléfonos NO hubieran evolucionado hacia los botones primero y pantallas táctiles después (quitar inconvenientes de la interfaz), sino que todavía hoy siguiéramos con los teléfonos de rueda del siglo pasado y hubieramos inventado bracitos robot que salen del lado y marcan los numeros por nosotros para hacer nuestra vida más sencilla.

somos entrañablemente tontos.

demasiadas sílabas

que por cierto, hacer haikus en castellano está bastante complicado, si no imposible; a diferencia del japonés o el inglés, que son idiomas de palabras cortas, el español es un idioma que no atiende a la economía de la sílaba.

haiku #1

rest there, Orion
in the coldest winter’s night
i´ll look after you

my first, but probably not last. after speaking of getting a telescope and going out to watch orion’s nebula

some adorable noise

wow, around thirty 5 years old over-energized and digivoluted kids just entered the train, singing, shouting, laughing, roaring. i have to stop everything i’m doing, which is not much, and watch this adorable morning revolution.

keeping the good habits

today i watched Amelie for the first time this year. as usual, it wasn’t really intentional. most of the times i just want to watch a particular segment of it, or listen to some specific track in the context of the story, or simply listen to some french in the background as i do something else in the computer. most of the time, i just end up watching the whole movie.

jet lag

what to do when you have to fight jet lag and have one hour to spare at night? of course, start coding and improvise some abstract procedural japanese noodles (watch in full screen).

¿qué haces cuando tienes que pegarte con el jet lag, y tienes una hora de insomnio que matar a la noche? por supuesto, abres el compilador, y empiezar a tirar unas líneas de matemagias e improvisar unos fideos japoneses abstractos y procedurales (ver a pantalla compelta, ¡porfi!)