Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's All Just A Dream

Do you ever feel like you're not real? I'm not talking about the kind of disorientation where you wake up and it takes your brain a few seconds to boot and you have no idea where the hell you are. It's more like you're a character from a really vivid dream. I often get these bizarre episodes where I just feel disassociated from reality. I know where I am and who I am, but I don't feel it. I have my memories, yet I feel detached from them. (And what is identity without memory?) The most bizarre part is that it isn't really unpleasant; it doesn't send me into a panic or a crisis or anything. It's weird as hell, but not traumatic. It doesn't last more than a second or two, anyway. It is a rather interesting phenomenon, though.

There is a notion that in a multiverse, a highly-enough advanced civilization could develop the inclination and the computing power to created multiple, even infinite, universe "simulations," even ones with intelligent life. This life could even be unaware of its own simulated nature, perhaps even get to a point where it starts simulating universe and down and down into the rabbit hole. In fact, the chance of being in a simulated universe is greater than being in a "real" universe. (If this sounds familiar, it is sort of where The Matrix all came from.) Perhaps these feelings of unreality are glitches in the simulation.

Then there's a Gnostic notion that the universe is just a fitful dream of the sleeping God. Maybe I'm God half-waking for a moment!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogs That Aren't There Anymore (Part I)

One of the strangest, and sometimes saddest, things about blogging for four-and-a-half years now is reminiscing about how many blogs -- good blogs, much better than this bucket of trash -- Bourgeois Nerd has outlasted. One of the big attractions of blogs, for me at least, is the sense of relationship with the writer. When a blog proprietor decides to close up shop, it can be almost hurtful, and even maddening because later on you wonder just what happened to your "friend" that you don't hear from anymore. So let us now mosey down Cyber Alley of Memory Lane, and reminisce about blogs that aren't there anymore...

Thought Not

One of the earliest blogs I read, and probably the first to shut down, was Oliver's pad. Art, Rottweilers, and hottie bears, oh my! He was also my fateful introduction to
Scott, for which I don't know whether to thank or curse him. (Just kidding. It's curse, of course.) As a matter of fact, my relationship with Scott makes me miss Oliver's blog all the more, because I feel I know him better through Scott's stories, and because it gives us something in common. Apparently, he's healthy and happy, though mysteriously self-exiled to Provincetown, with the lesbians (I hear; I've never been.).

We, Like Sheep

I miss woofy Eric. Did he get to move to Barcelona? Did he stick with Hebrew? These are questions that torment me in the darkness of the night.

Faggoty-Ass Faggot

Biting wit and moxie from America's Heartland, Ohio. Brian is a journalist, now, and I hope a big success, but I still miss the bitchy musings.

Tony Hayden (The site there now is the successor to the vlog, not the site I'm talking about.)

The internationally renowned vlogger provided several years worth of triumph, heartbreak, and weiner dogs, chronicling everyday life in gay Orlando, but earlier this year he shut down to pursue other creative endeavors. I have to admit, though it makes me feel like a dork, I was really hurt when he closed down. When you're that intimate -- or at least feel that intimate, and
video can be much more intimate than even the most confessional writing -- with a person like that (we even got friendly over email), it hurts when they just "move away" or whatever. It feels like abandonment. Plus, no Ruko! No Thomas! No video from the archives! It makes me a Saaaad Panda.

The Pretty Boys Club

This one has a happy ending: Reader, they married! Still, I miss the witty repartee... and the hot boys. But mostly the repartee. (I'm lying.)

To Be Continued...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bourgeois Book Club

Been on a bit of a nonfiction kick lately, specifically books about math and time and silly stuff like that. I've been very lucky, and all three have been absolutely excellent, so I thought I'd share, in case anyone is in the market for frivolous fare.

Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics
by David Berlinski

Really more a sketch than even a true short history, it can be occasionally a bit heavy-going for the math-phobic, and it can lose you if you haven't even thought of algebra or geometry since ninth grade, but a still enjoyable and quick read. The author is also a novelist, and it does show, in a good way. I don't agree with some of his interpretations of history (like I'm some sort of expert), and the fact that he's a creationist is appalling to me, but it really doesn't and shouldn't take away from the book. The cover is one of my absolute favorite of any book I've ever seen. It's simply spectacular: crisp, clean, and evocative.

In Search of Time by Dan Falk

A wide-ranging look at that most mysterious of dimensions from the point of view of myth, physics, philosophy, psychology, and more from one of the best science writers around. (Falks's previous book,
The Universe on a T-Shirt, is a highly recommended favorite of mine.) The only real annoyance is the layout. Whoever laid this book out, and the person who signed off on it before sending it to the printer even more so, should be fired. It's not even just nitpicky stuff from a nerd who has done some layout, there are serious problems, including one-word lines force justified across the page, bad spacing, footnotes on the wrong pages, and evenfootnotes that cut off in midsentence. Really a travesty. Hopefully these issues will be corrected by the paperback edition, though.

Is God A Mathematician? by Mario Livio

Another hit-and-run survey of the history of mathematics (though more thorough and far-ranging than Berlinski's), don't let the title fool you: this isn't a religious polemic or apologia. It's much more about the struggles with the meaning of mathematics and the question of the origins of mathematics and its "unreasonable effectiveness" (basically it comes down to whether math is something intrinsic in the universe that we discover or whether its something we create somehow). Clear, lucid, and witty, it's an enjoyable ride without a lot of actual math. The blue of the cover, by the way, is really beautiful and inviting, even strangely soothing. Kudos to the cover designer who picked it! Also, the paper has this oatmealy smell to it that's really nice. (But, then, you know all about my
fetish for book smells.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just Stick The Ethernet Cable Directly Into A Vein

For about about ninety minutes this evening, I didn't have the Internet. I proceeded to FREAK THE FUCK OUT (though quietly), until it started working again. I was about ten minutes away from standing on a street corner offering to suck dick for some Internet time, while frantically scratching phantom itches. I'm not an addict, though! No, not at all. I can stop any time I want!

Sidebar Updates

First, we welcome back Bread and Circuses for all of our Roman history and archaeology needs.

And then we welcome Urban Pug, which is something like a candy store to a diabetic if you're a cute addict and pug admirer (I miss my Dusty!) like me. But who can resist those squishy faces?!? Squeeeeeeee!

Last but totally not least is Movieline, the best Hollywood website around, where I've become something of a star commenter (in my own mind).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Video Roundup

Over the summer, through those serendipitous byways that seem to sprout when one is just casually wandering about cyberspace, I've come across Internet genius that I must share.

First is NYC man about town, Mr. Mike Diamond. If there's a gay event in town, or anywhere really, here's there to document and interview, stainless steel balls swinging all over the place.

Next is the fresh and fabulous, the divine and delicious Mz. Hedda Lettuce, truly one of our nation's drag treasures.

Then there is the delicate and demure Varla Jean Merman, another American drag treasure.

Finally, in a far different corner of the Internet, Wogoat's flash movies are a comic nerd's delight!

You'd Think Us Gays Were Obsessed With Abs Or Something!

Rod and Joe point out that bellies are in! Hooray! That means I'm "in"! The line forms here boys!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's A Good Birthday Present For A Ninja?

Happy 6th Birthday to Bookninja!

Prescription Strength My Ass

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, I tend to sweat a lot. And gel, solid, or 24-hour, no antiperspirant works. Oh, the deodorant part works fine, but actually stopping wetness? Minimal effectiveness. And that "prescription strength" stuff? Well, I've been using it for a few weeks now, and I swear it's no better than the regular stuff. As a matter of fact, it might be worse. It's all very, very annoying, and quite embarrassing.

Maybe I need to go get Botox to my armpits. That's a thing, you know. Botulism is so useful.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

What Globalization Hath Wrought

It's a crazy commodity world with cacti in Morocco for cosmetics and quartz in North Carolina for computers.

Forget Slingshots...

...this Ewok could defeat the Empire through the sheer power of cuuuuuute!

Those Naughty Brits

The British Library is a silent pressure cooker of sex! Really, though, isn't just about every enclosed space frequented by mostly adults a secret den of sex? We're just horny animals, after all.

(Via Bookninja)

Sunday, August 02, 2009