What do you think of the new StumbleUpon?

This page provides a textbook lesson in how to REALLY fuck up your Social Network. Makes Facebook’s occasional user-baiting look positively amateurish…

What do you think of the new StumbleUpon?.

Lytro – Light Field Cameras

dunno whether to be pleased it’s finally arrived or pissed off that I missed my own commercial opportunity.

I’ve been interested in light field technology for about 10 years. I didn’t even know, until recently, it was called “light field technology”, although I had encountered Plenoptics. The reason I became interested was in connection with VR technology and why the VR helmets continue to fail.

I eventually concluded that the cause was the cognitive dissonance caused by the conflict between the eye’s accommodation and the brain’s 3D mapping function where, inside a typical VR helmet, each eye is tightly focussed on an image a couple of inches away while the brain is knitting two such images together and concluding that the object being focussed on is, say, 20 feet away. “Tilt”, say’s the brain, “one of my sources must be lying! If you don’t sort it out, I’m going to make you extremely nauseous in about 20 minutes”

The solution, I concluded, was to present the eye with the same data it would see in the real world, rather than the pre-focussed image presented in a VR helmet. I had no idea how to achieve that and came across Plenoptics in my search.

It now seems that Lytro has cracked the image capture problem with their light field camera. I’m wondering, therefore, whether it has occurred to them that they’ve probably also cracked the VR problem and, if so, when can we expect to see the commercial versions of their VR helmets.

Incidentally, you may have assumed from this interest that I’m a gaming freak or similar. I’m not and never have been. My interest is philosophical/academic as I view genuine VR as a major step on the road to our digital future…

Lytro.

Collusion

if you haven’t already, download and install “Collusion” into your browser now. Assuming that is, that your browser is Firefox. The rest of you must, I’m afraid, continue to live in blissful ignorance. At least spend a few minutes on this site to see what you could be learning about what the “owners” are already learning about you…

Collusion.

Starting in March, Everyone Experiences the New StumbleUpon.com – StumbleUpon

Unfortunately non Stumblers aren’t allowed to see this page. One of Stumbleupon’s weirdest decisions has always been to hide the content created by its users – which would have generated at least as much traffic as the basic stumbling activity and thus given them a fighting chance of “monetizing” their invention.

But here’s a literal snapshot of some of the comments being made, page after page, against the latest enforced changes and in support of an excellent demolition piece which the whole world can read.

Stumblers Opinion Of Stumble changes...

Even Non Stumblers might be entertained by this. Hopefully other control freaks might learn something from it.

Such is the reaction of the Stumbleupon community to the owners’ latest puerile crassly commercial attempt at social control.

It’s amazing how someone who built up a thriving social network can fuck it up so completely despite about a million warnings. And it’s been painful to be one of their victims…

All in all, a splendid example of how the motivation of money can make innovators lose the plot…

Starting in March, Everyone Experiences the New StumbleUpon.com – StumbleUpon.

Human Rights Petition: Stop Censorship | Change.org

Paypal, for whatever reason, has joined the ranks of the Thought Police. Their recently announced policy of refusing to process payments for anything vaguely erotic is arrogant naive financial totalitarianism and they need to be persuaded (we hope) to retract. Failing that, we’ll have to see what we can do to make them regret it more painfully. I’m sure the social networks will come in handy whenever battle is joined…

Human Rights Petition: Stop Censorship | Change.org.

Scientists shocked to find antibiotics alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia – Science – News – The Independent

So… an antibiotic commonly used to treat acne turns out to be an effective treatment for psychosis. An interesting possibility emerges. Given that the one genuine risk faced by Cannabis consumers is the enhanced probability of psychosis, if they are
a) under the age of 25,
b) consume more than most and
c) have the genetic predisposition to such psychosis,

and given that the same age group are the chief sufferers of acne, it seems reasonable to suggest that we might be able kill both birds with this single stone…

Scientists shocked to find antibiotics alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia – Science – News – The Independent.

Owen Jones: If trade unions don’t fight the workers’ corner – others will – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent

This article touches on what I touched on the other day, when I suggested that it was a bad idea to seek (in Chicago) a physical confrontation with the world’s best armed military state. Shutting down Chicago (during the forthcoming NATO and G8 summits – at which the world’s elite will discuss how best to manage our continuing decline) is a fine strategic aim, but we need to consider a more intelligent way to pursue it than by giving the state employed bullies a “legitimate” excuse to crack heads.

The victory over the UK Government’s Workfare scheme is an example of such intelligence, whereas McCluskey’s ill thought out suggestion of targeting the Olympics is an example of how the working class generals remain adept at leading us into the valley of death.

Bad publicity frightens capitalists because it can turn customers away from their doors. That’s all it took to force the retail giants to tell the State to back down and the government had no choice because it required the co-operation of those employers in order to be able to offer ANY “work experience” placements to young unemployed teenagers. The fact that the SWP were involved is irrelevant; though kudos to them for recognising a viable strategy. It’s the strategy that matters, not who implemented it.

In contrast, the Olympics are a major component of the Bread and Circuses package with which the masses are tranquillised with entertainment into tolerance of their submissive state. If that tranquilliser is interfered with, the first target in the eyes of the huddled masses is not going to be the State who set up the Circus, it will be the activists who are trying to prevent the citizens from enjoying it. This should be self evident to anyone with an IQ exceeding their shoe size.

So why are UK Trade Unions still led by such tactically challenged idiots? You’d have thought that the evolutionary pressures of the Miners’ defeat, Thatcherite dismantling of sundry “Rights” like secondary pickets, supportive strike action, strikes without ballots, selective attacks on trade union membership etc would have pensioned off the Scargill tendency and ushered in a more canny wave of intelligent activists who knew how to subvert the system rather than take it on with a frontal assault.

Having spent nearly 40 years myself somewhere on the fringe of the UK Trade Union movement, I can offer a partial explanation and it’s rather depressing. Because the Trade Union movement has no real understanding of Democracy (it apes the electoral politics of the Capitalist system it professes to challenge) it has no means of recognising and adopting intelligent policies. Instead, power battles with the Trade Union movement are very similar to the ego driven battles to gain control of the national political parties.

However, though political parties appear to gain nominal control of the country after the “bewildered herd” elect them, they have the major advantage that the people who really run things (the “owners”) will tell them what they can and cannot do. Occasionally such advice is sound and gives the illusion, albeit rarely, that politicians are occasionally competent.

Trade Union leaders have no such obvious experienced external puppeteers and thus have to learn their limitations the hard way by trial and error. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they demonstrated the intellectual capacity to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Sadly, no such intelligence has yet surfaced within the ranks of “electable” activists…

Owen Jones: If trade unions don't fight the workers' corner – others will – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent.