• "If you want to know about the inevitable end-state of the Tarkovsky/Strugatsky zone, you should look at the development of the Alps (& now the Himalaya). What was a nightmare is controlled into a form of play by skill, technique and equipment. What used to kill you is now so well understood that you can enjoy it. Or, to put it another way: what used to kill explorers first begins to kill only experts who push their skillset too hard then winds up only killing the tourist the experts usher up the mountain for money–and even then only often enough to keep up the activity’s reputation."

I went to Australia

17 November 2014

Little Oberon Bay
People will ask me what’s the most exciting wildlife you saw, and I suppose I could say the ibises, or the pelicans, or the field full of kangaroos, and those were all pretty special, but you know, it was the sea.

Soft in the bays and inlets; warlike on the rocky coasts; broad and grand at Bondi. Every wave is new; every iteration unique. I could watch it roll, listen to it roar, taste the salt sprayed into the air for hours.

And gosh, the colour; they really don’t call it the Sapphire Coast for nothing.

Wild, untamed; not like the Pacific on the West Coast, not like the Atlantic. Something else. My favourite wild thing.

  • "When Smith describes the raids as “linear,” which allows the developers to “build on your knowledgebase,” he’s really describing something profound in the context of Destiny: the Vault of Glass is a game, where Destiny overall is merely a series of loops." Oh, that's a good way of putting it. (This is a strong article about one of the most interesting parts of Destiny – its first Raid. The Kirk Hamilton interview linked off it is excellent, too.)
  • "I don't usually do in-depth analyses of my bots, especially one that's probably not gonna break ten followers, but my most recent bot is very personal to me, and the making of it turned out to be much stranger than I expected. It's The Bot of Mormon, "the most correct bot", a text-generating process with a very niche audience but the niche audience includes me, so I'm happy." Great, detailed post from Leonard on making programattic jokes: his explanation of the ongoing struggle to make the bot entertaining is good, and the solution he comes to smart.
  • "A wood and brass sound synthesizer built by Max Kohl after the design by Hemholtz. 39½ x 29 inch mahogany base with turned feet, fitted with 11 small wooden platforms, each marked with a number and the words "aus" [from] and "ein" [to], 10 of the platforms fitted with tuning forks and accompanying brass Helmholtz resonators, the tallest measuring 18½ high, each pair ranging in size according to their graduating frequencies, 11th platform fitted with 1 large horizontal master tuning fork." Oh my.
  • "When I was a child in school, the fact that the laws of nature seemed to be permanent and immutable, compared to the laws of the state, made science most attractive to me. And I recall as a kid in school, a physics experiment—and my also mischievous pleasure that even these overwhelming, secular authorities couldn’t change the direction of a beam of electrons." And it goes from there. Ursula Franklin sounds quite remarkable.

Hello

My name is Tom Armitage. I'm a technologist and designer; I write words and code. This is my personal website.

Photographs

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More photographs at my Flickr profile