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Deleted by topic administrator 05-13-2004 09:22 AM
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
05:00 AM ET (US)
Alan: yeah, you live in Cloud-Cuckoo Land. Scotland, in contrast, is merely the land of make-believe. Obviously, we find local things in each others' countries passing strange but are used to our own home-grown flavour of weirdness.
Alan Bostick
10:02 PM ET (US)
Maybe it's because I live in Cloud-Cuckoo Land, but I've seen the White Rat Morris team dance many times, with their bells on, and my reaction to your post is something like, "Yeah, them. What's the big deal?"

To set a benchmark, one of my best friends is a world-championship-class poker player who is also a heavy-duty domme. The Cloud-Cuckoo Land explanation looks more and more plausible. (You want to amaze me, you can do it by telling me about Scots Trotskyists who write anarcho-libertarian science fiction. There ain't no sech animal! ;-) )
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
04:15 PM ET (US)
Yes; it's in the current issue. And no, it's not on the web (and unlikely to go there any time soon).
john batesPerson was signed in when posted
01:48 PM ET (US)
did you ever write that article on the MIT media lab for Computer shopper?
is there a web address?
12:49 AM ET (US)
also btw http://www.literature.org/authors/tolstoy-...-05/chapter-11.html
"This again was one of the million true reflections that could be found in his picture and in the figure of Christ."

or like stephen r. donaldson writes in the chronicles of thomas covenant the unbeliever, "beauty is in the ears that hear!"

or like Deuteronomy 29:4 "But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear." and Proverbs 20:12 "Ears that hear and eyes that see -- the LORD has made them both."

or donald kaufman in adaptation, "We are what we love, not what loves us." :)
12:16 AM ET (US)
"Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of artificial intelligence today lies in the construction of machines that can compose music of incredibly high quality."

"The function of bridging the gap between an idiosyncratic language (his or her own) and a more universal one was relegated to a group of special individuals called artists. Theirs is the job to experience (mostly emotions), to mould it into a the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of a universal language in order to communicate the echo of their idiosyncratic language."

"The only constant is change, everything flows, and transformation is the only truth. Ask not whether idiom X is better than idiom Y when creating markup; ask whether X can be transformed without loss into Y and back again. Thinking in terms of constant transformations....yes, transformations, that is where I have ended up."

"Once the design and specification of the instruction set, or the set of instructions available to a programmer for writing programs, was separated from the nitty gritty details of a particular machine's design it meant that that programs written for a particular ISA could now run on any machine that implemented that ISA."
Neel Krishnaswami
09:11 AM ET (US)
Right now, the problem with law enforcement during riots is that it's basically impossible to figure out what happened where and when after the fact. This encourages violent behavior, both on the part of rioters and police, because they know that they are unlikely to be caught.

The more information you can get out, the more likely you are to be able to identify who is causing the problems. People will be able to figure out who caused problems last time, which means that you can target policing more efficiently and apply reputational sanction as well (since you have a pretty good idea of who starts the mess). It's not a binary thing -- cell phones increase the information flow. Coming next year are ubiquitous digital cameras plus wireless internet. After that, video. Then you build a 3d model will let you figure out more easily what happened.

Also, you don't need perfect authentication to be useful; consider that eyewitness testimony is trivially easy to forge (the witness just lies) and it's still useful. Plus, you can build confidence simply by parallelizing: build the model from the video stream every single person at the 90,000 person demonstration is sending out, and forging an image becomes much harder.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
06:16 AM ET (US)
Neel, I don't follow you.

On the sinister side: if you posit photorealistic versions of the technology and mapping of real people's faces onto actors, you either (a) utterly devalue video and photographic evidence in the criminal justice system (it's too easy to fake), not to mention the press, or (b) end up requiring something evil like the MPAA's demand for steganographically masked-in channel brands, only as a way of authenticating the origin of an image stream.

Some of the implications are deeply disturbing -- the same way that Orwell's telescreens disturbed people in 1948 (but we've got CCTV cameras coming out of our ears today).
Hugh "Nomad" Hancock
05:17 PM ET (US)
Charlie: The DIY angle is the other reason I compare the two. Interesting. Looks like that is quite a good analogy, and therefore one I shall use more.

Fits with my image, particuarly at festivals where I'm speaking about this stuff, too.
Hugh "Nomad" Hancock
05:15 PM ET (US)
NoJay: Yeah, what you describe is currently one of the major problems for Machinima creators. However, the time to produce a low-poly character is substantially less than for a Pixar-type character, and there are more and more automated content creation tools coming in.

To put the speed of Machinima in perspective: last year StrangeCo produced an (unreleased) piece for the BBC. Over one minute of character-based animation. It took us under a week.
Neel Krishnaswami
05:11 PM ET (US)
In the July 2002 issue of Communications of the ACM, there was an article on software that infers 3D models from photographs, "From Images to 3D Models". This stuff currently devours computrons to do a half-ass job, so in ten years artists will be able to sample their hometowns and passers-by for the models with perfect fidelity.

Everyone could do it, from the digital cameras built into their palmtops, and combined with wireless you could build a 3D model of any public event in realtime. This could do interesting things o public demonstrations. The economics of mobs says that the anonymity of mob violence reduces the chance of getting caught in a violent act, so nitwits with a taste for violence (whether in uniform or not) but none for prison use large crowd scenes to try to and stir things up. This breaks that dynamic completely, which means that the maximum scale of a peaceful demonstration goes through the roof!
04:35 PM ET (US)
 The bitch for the machinima producer will be the modelling of avatars and the scenery they inhabit. Scripts and such can be written by the creative people but it takes time and expertise to build good sets and actors that fit the plot; ripping existing game model sets leads to all sorts of copyright infringement in the same way sampling did in music publishing.

 When doing Pixar-quality 3-D stuff, the artist-hours (like man-hours, but five times more expensive) to build and the characters and their environment are the killer. Motion control is now an off-the-shelf solution, and renderfarms are a commodity item to buy or hire. The machanima approach simply reduces those hardware costs, not time costs, and time costs people.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
01:41 PM ET (US)
"Punk" -- I used that word because I know a couple of folks who were in punk bands the first time round (in the 70's). The punk movement was about empowerment. It was enabled by cheap access to four-track mixers and the ability to cut vinyl for a couple of hundred quid; the cost of recording gear had finally dropped to the point where it was affordable to individuals rather than distributors, and consequently a major democratization of the technology got under way. The punk record labels started out as really small self-publishing outfits and they were accessible to everyone. The punk ethos wasn't about gobbing on the queen mum -- it was about picking up a guitar for yourself and spitting in the face of the bland commercial pap the big companies were feeding you.

(Danger warning: by the same token, at least one of said punk musos -- now a literary critic -- asserts that the whole point of the introduction of the CD in the early 80's was to kill off the indie music scene, because it was threatening the big corporates. By introducing a higher quality new medium the corporations (a) justified screwing a price rise out of the consumers and (b) got rid of those annoying indie labels. At least, they did for a while. These days, the CD format has turned around and bitten them hard, hence abominations such as the CDBTPA. But watch out: if you're successful they'll try and kill you, too -- and their tools might not be obvious at first!)
Edited 07-26-2002 01:45 PM
Hugh "Nomad" Hancock
01:05 PM ET (US)
Oh, and Dictionaraoke - my God, is this scary and fascinating (and I'm sure I don't have to point out the cross-over with Machinima's digital actors at this point).

I must introduce you to the guys I know in Edinburgh who are working on speech synthesis (I meet the strangest people whilst learning jujitsu)- some of their stuff is quite fascinating.
Hugh "Nomad" Hancock
12:59 PM ET (US)
Your comments on Machinima: one very interesting thing, one correction.

Correction first. Strange Company has been incorporated for four years at this point. I started working in Machinima five years ago almost to the day.

Comment - you compare Machinima to punk. That's very interesting, because it's the same analogy I've been using at conferences recently: Machinima is rough, often violent, very often crap, and has the potential to change its artform like nothing before and since.

Why did you use that analogy?