Archive for the Tribute Category

On Technology (A brilliant excerpt from “The Diamond Age”)

Posted in Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2011 by Traums

“Harv,” she said, “are you working on a mite?”

“No, dummy.” Harv’s voice was hushed, and he had to mumble around the little button-shaped torch he was holding in his teeth. “Mites are lots smaller. See, look!”

She crawled forward a little more, drawn as much by warmth and security as by curiosity, and saw a limp mottled brown thing a few centimeters on a side, fuzzy around the edges, resting on Hanv’s crossed ankles.

“What is it?”

“It’s magic. Watch this,” Harv said. And worrying at it with his toothpick, he teased something loose.

“It’s got string coming out of it!” Nell said.

“Sssh!” Harv gripped the end of the thread beneath his thumbnail and pulled. It looked quite short, but it lengthened as he pulled, and the fuzzy edge of the piece of fabric waffled too fast to see, and then the thread had come loose entirely. He held it up for inspection, then let it drift down onto a heap of others just like it.

“How many does it have?” Nell said.

“Nell,” Harv said, turning to face her so that his light shone into her face, his voice coming out of the light epiphanically, “you got it wrong. It’s not that the thing has threads in it— it is threads. Threads going under and over each other. If you pulled out all of the threads, nothing would be left.”

“Did mites make it?” Nell asked.

“The way it’s made— so digital— each thread going over and under other threads, and those ones going over and under all the other threads-” Harv stopped for a moment, his mind overloaded by the inhuman audacity of the thing, the promiscuous reference frames. “It had to be mites, Nell, nothing else could do it.”

– from Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age”. The book recently came up in conversation, and I couldn’t help but recall how geeked-out I was when I first read this.

On Tales (A Self-Referencial Passage in “The Tale of Genji”)

Posted in Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2011 by Traums

“I have been very rude to speak so ill to you of tales! They record what has gone on ever since the Age of the Gods. The Chronicles of Japan and so on give only a part of the story. It is tales that contain the truly rewarding particulars!” he laughed. “Not that tales accurately describe any particular person; rather, the telling begins when all those things the teller longs to have pass on to future generations– whatever there is about the way people live their lives, for better or worse, that is a sight to see or a wonder to hear– overflow the teller’s heart. To put someone in a good light one brings out the good only, and to please other people one favors the oddly wicked, but none of this, good or bad, is removed from life as we know it. Tales are not told the same way in the other realm, and even in our own the old and new ways are of course not the same; but although one may distinguish between the deep and the shallow, it is wrong always to dismiss what one finds in tales as false. There is talk of ‘expedient means‘ also in the teaching that the Buddha in his great goodness left us, and many passages of the scriptures are all too likely to seem inconsistent and so to raise doubts in the minds of those who lack understanding, but in the end they have only a single message, and the gap between enlightenment and the passions is, after all, no wider than the gap that in tales sets off the good from the bad. To put it nicely, there is nothing that does not have its own value.” He mounted a very fine defense of tales.

Excerpt from the Royall Tyler translation of The Tale of Genji”, a “novel” composed on scrolls in the 10th century, by a woman whose true name is now lost to history. This book seems to take forever to read…..

Dark of the Moon

Posted in Creative Shit, Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2011 by Traums

A very well rendered scene, now as an ultra-compressed gif animationMy latest experiment with gif animations and image compression.

(Also Check out the Killer Soundtrack)

Throne of Blood

Posted in Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2011 by Traums

Yup. They don’t make ’em like that any more….

Inception for Dummies

Posted in Creative Shit, Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by Traums

The following are ideas I had the urge to write down as soon as I watched the movie. It is only meant to be read after at least one viewing. If you haven’t seen it yet, close your browser and shutdown right now!!

0) Disclaimer
1) Dynamics
1.1 Concept of dreams and the subconscious
1.2 Method and Machinery
1.2.1 Academic Theory
1.2.2 The Briefcase Ports Chemistry and Waking Nesting
1.2.3 Specialisation
1.2.4 Standard Mission Types Extraction Inception
1.3 The Team (Dreamcasters)
1.3.1 Architect
1.3.2 Extractor
1.3.3 Point Man
1.3.4 Forger
1.3.5 Chemist
1.3.6 Thief and other classes
2) Chronological Plotline
3) Critique
4) Ideas for Spin-off
5) Miscellaneous

Continue reading

Epic Peotry

Posted in Creative Shit, Tribute with tags , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by Traums

My hand is copper.
My brow is lead.
Suffer me in a red patina,
swept along in a molten flow
to a sad eternity.
My stride interrupted
my thoughts untimed
my tears are become drops of silver
and shattered the crystalline fern.
I plead the wind to sweep us away.

My alabastrine limbs, useless and tired,
my carnelian heart, beatless and mired. I pick the gilded apple from the iron tree
I wipe the rust from my brow. The earth rejects me, foul and changed,
the wind refuses me, unsightly and maimed.
My voice is corrupted, my tongue unwind,
my pulse is mercurial sickened, it slows. Destiny and danger are still focused on the one,
the renegade who is both brethren and betrayer.

Beware the spider, for he weaves both labyrinth and lair. My heart it ceases, my breath undrawn.
My eyes forever focused on the sanguine metal dawn.

– The Metal Age prophecy

What else are we missing out on at the thick end of the long tail?!

Art Where No-one’s Looking

Posted in Creative Shit, Tribute with tags , , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by Traums

My friends have on more than one occasion commented on my eccentric taste in music, and how I listen to bands none has heard of. I usually reply by claiming that most people like bands more than their music. But quite frankly, the people who compose stuff I listen to can’t always be characterised as “bands” (and I don’t mean that in just the commercial sense).

I have often wondered how great artistic merit emerges out of places where no-one is looking. Not the popular media, not the critics. And these are being generated at an enormous rate. How can you NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS:

More pieces like these get rejected in monthly contests at deviant art and deleted than future archeologists will be able to uncover and catalogue.

How many literary critics have even heard of Planescape Torment?

How many short fiction enthusiasts are familiar with the art of quoting from fictitious books?

I have realised that most soundtracks on my playlists are ambient compositions meant for videogames. I think its high-time I published those that most frequently get listened to. So, here are the top 10 videogame tracks of all time (in no particular order):

  1. Underworld II (from the original UNREAL TOURNAMENT)
  2. Hell March 2 (from RED ALERT 2)
  3. Zerg Ambience 1 (from STARCRAFT)
  4. Rebel Base Theme 1 (from CRUSADER: NO REMORSE)
  5. Rain in the Night (from the original COMMAND AND CONQUER)
  6. At Doom’s Gate (from the original DOOM)
  7. Main Theme (from ADVENT RISING)
  8. Track 24 (from HALF-LIFE 2)
  9. Main Theme (from METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER)
  10. Main Theme (from TOMB RAIDER 4: THE LAST REVELATION)

So there you go. I have fulfilled my nonconformist quota for several lifetimes. Happy listening ^_,^