Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A new sound

One sound I recently recognised is one that I don't remember from 20 years ago, but now seems omnipresent: the beeping, burping and chirrping coming from pockets, handbacks, rucksacks, purses and pouches. The mobile. The are as much part of the urban landscape now as birdsong is of the rural one. Perhaps more so, but less predictable, and so it's been awhile before I've finally comprehended the meaning of some of those funny noises.

Why isn't there a dawn chorus for mobile phones?

posted by John Connors at
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005

The more things change..

Its strange. I have the implant now, but in someways it has made no difference; my daily routine is still the same. I go to work, code, come home. I no longer need to lipread as much: I can hold simple (very simple) conversations on the 'phone. Every so often I still hear or recognise something I haven't heard before: a buzzer, a certian accent, a musical instrument - although I'm not sure that being able to hear the bagpipes is a bonus - and it's always a 'wow, isn't that cool' moment.

However, even though I'm capable of much more now in terms of hearing I'm not really using that capability day to day in what I do: I don't work with people. It was something of a deliberate decision perhaps, to become a games programmer, but it was also where my enthusiasms lead me. I always thought I'd re-evaluate my life and revolutionise it, after this implant - but there doesn't seem to be any point as I'm happy where I am. On the other hand, I'd be great to take this thing further and see how far I can go with it.

posted by John Connors at
Friday, January 21, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Currently I'm reading Almost Like A Whale by Steve Jones. I'm learning a lot about the low-level mechanics of evolution from it, and the fine distinction between species and varieties, and the role of hybridization. You see, one of the puzzles of evolution via natural selection is how we get from species A to species B with no apparent in-between species C that could possibly be viable in the wild. This is called hill climbing - the analogy being that getting from species A to species B involves temporarily reversing evolutionary progress in order to create a better adapted species later on.

I've also been reading The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's an alternative history - Europe is wiped out by the Black Death - completely depopulated apart from a few small settlements in the Orkneys. The history he outlines is interesting: the American continent is colonised in a completely different pattern. Europe is Islamic, India initiates the Industrial Revolution. The Native Americans and Japanese ally themselves against the Chinese. It's all very novel and entertaining, and told from the perspective of a group of characters in the grip of the Bhuddist cycle of death and rebirth throughout history, which is a very clever way of maintaining an unbroken narrative and plot through the centuries. The two histories converge in the present time. With Islam dominating Europe and the West of Asia, and China dominant in the East and the Americas, there is a clash of civiilizations. A Great War is fought, that dwarfs the First World War in magnitude with a front all the way across Asia. In spite of this there is no subsequent war, and nuclear weapons are not developed. No government makes the investment in the new weapon.

At first I thought that this was highly unrealistic, but this article "Pilgrimage to Trinity", written by the son of one of the Los Alamos gang, who went into nuclear physics himeslef - made me change my mind - the development of nuclear weapons turns out to be an example of technological evolutionary hill - climbing. The investment required to produce the material to build the first one is huge: but once it's done you are on the other side of the hill. It's something that's known to be possible, it's known there is a given route from A to B and it's possible to retrace the steps. The only way to prevent nuclear proliferation is never to build a thermonuclear weapon in the first place.

It's at a time like this I think of a newspaper article I read in 1992 - in the light of events in Europe at the end of the 1980's and the end of the cold war, membership in CND had declined dramatically, given that the chances of WWIII had dropped drastically. Why, does CND still exist? Why should anyone still have membership? "Because there are still nuclear weapons in the world", was the answer - and it appears to be right.

Too Late.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Journal

A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.

The Writer

A lower middle class cyborg living an innocous life in a suburban village near Newcastle On Tyne, in the United Kingdom. Mostly autobiographical and creative notes posts and musings on the topic du jour.


05/01/2001 - 06/01/2001
06/01/2001 - 07/01/2001
07/01/2001 - 08/01/2001
08/01/2001 - 09/01/2001
09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001
11/01/2001 - 12/01/2001
12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002
02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002
03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002
04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002
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12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
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12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
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04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012


Videogame Theory


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Lemonodor: mostly Lisp

Twisted Matrix

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The Rise and Fall of My First Novel

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