B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

scott's blog

Knowledge entropy or the end of serendipity

Sat, 12/17/2011 - 13:42 -- scott

I'd recently found a Facebook posting of a TED talk, that reminded me of something someone said sometime in the 70's, "I never listen to any music I haven't heard before." The TED talk concerns something called the filter bubble an artifact of the way search engines operate. They use algorithms that select items that are expected to be of interest to the user and effectively filter out the rest. Effectively resulting in a dumbing down of users. Users will not be exposed to things they haven't previously encountered. The phrase knowledge entropy occurred to me.

Tea Baggers: A Profile

Fri, 12/16/2011 - 13:29 -- scott

A member of the Anthro-L listserv group has offered what I think is a very concise description of those people drawn to the so called Tea Party, known as Tea Baggers. With permission I herein append this brief account:

The Mind as a Hologram

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:23 -- scott

I've heard (or read) that the human mind can be described as a hologram. If I recall correctly, and I haven't done any research on this, a hologram can be cut up into pieces and each piece will contain the entire image, a bit degraded depending on just how small the piece is. Again, I'm thinking of my mothers dementia (and I still haven't gotten to sleep (it's after 3am now)). Imagine the human mind is a four dimensional hologram and this hologram gets shattered. It doesn't fall apart but all the pieces are now free to move about. What kind of image can be seen in such a mind.

The usefulness of speculative fiction...

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 00:57 -- scott

...even absurdist fiction or comedy lies in part in it's ability to suppose "truths". I've long been drawn to that familiar adage from Hamlet about there being more things in heaven and earth. I think it's probably true. Sorry I'm vacillating here by introducing statistics. I have a close family member, my mother actually, who is rather close to passing away (now there's an obfuscating phrase) so what could be considered spiritual matters often enter my mind. She is suffering from dementia, characterized by loss of memory.

Readings from the works of Mark Twain

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 23:39 -- scott

I (my Second Life avatar) has been reading sketches and chapters from the works of Mark Twain since March of this year (2011). I don't really know why I started doing this other than to create some interesting content for my web site and to try to come up with some justification for playing around in that virtual realm of Second Life. I've long been a fan of Mark Twain but not a scholar. I must say, however, that with just the small portion I've worked on, my appreciation for his works has increased.

Some thoughts on the "Little Ice Age"

Fri, 09/09/2011 - 12:36 -- scott

I've recently been responding to various requests to sign petitions related to Obama's environmental treachery, the latest being the Keystone pipeline project and canceling of EPA standards. One response I got on a Facebook post was what looked to be a rather cynical request to explain why humans were to blame for the "Little Ice Age" (LIA).

From Lalena to Kurt Weill and back again

Tue, 09/06/2011 - 15:49 -- scott

Earlier today I had the desire to play some old Donovan music. I have an lp of his. I looked up some of the tunes on Wikipedia and found that the tune Lalena was actually named for Lotte Lenya, the singer/actress famous for her role in Kurt Weill's The Three Penny Opera, among other roles. I wonder how many of you out there have heard of it or him. Once upon a time Bobby Darin had a hit with a tune from The Three Penny Opera, Mack the Knife. But then who now remembers Bobby Darin.

A Nation of Cowards

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 11:42 -- scott

When did we become a nation of cowards? I spend the last two days with two 88 year old ladies, my mother's birthday. While waiting on them I spent yesterday morning watching the entire series on The Planets, aired on one of those science channels. It struck me that we are now almost entirely without a viable space program when we should have already colonized the moon and begun mining asteroids for their minerals. The required energy is free and without any environmental consequences. The raw materials are all there for the taking, no need to negotiate property rights.

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