May 23rd, 2008

Kero Are You Crazy

Friday Feed Your Mind!

From cargoweasel: New York Times Magazine: Emily Gould — Exposed
In October, New York magazine published a cover article about Gawker’s business model and cultural relevance. I took the magazine from my therapist’s waiting room into her office and read aloud from the article because, I figured, why waste any of my 45 minutes by struggling to summarize it? The article painted Gawker as a clearinghouse for vitriol and me as a semisympathetic naïf who half-loved and half-loathed what her job was forcing her to become. That week, when I walked around at parties, trying to elicit funny quotes from whatever quasi-famous people were there, all anyone wanted to talk to me about was Gawker. How could I sleep at night? someone wondered. I was getting tired of justifying my job to strangers, trotting out truisms about the public’s right to know and the Internet’s changing the rules of privacy. And I was getting tired of writing the same handful of posts over and over again. At the end of November, I announced my resignation via a post on Gawker.

The will to blog is a complicated thing, somewhere between inspiration and compulsion. It can feel almost like a biological impulse. You see something, or an idea occurs to you, and you have to share it with the Internet as soon as possible. What I didn’t realize was that those ideas and that urgency — and the sense of self-importance that made me think anyone would be interested in hearing what went on in my head — could just disappear.

From Arts & Letters Daily: Scientific American — Does Time Run Backward in Other Universes?
The idea of a universe with a backward arrow of time might seem alarming. If we met someone from such a universe, would they remember the future? Happily, there is no danger of such a rendezvous. In the scenario we are describing, the only places where time seems to run backward are enormously far back in our past—long before our big bang. In between is a broad expanse of universe in which time does not seem to run at all; almost no matter exists, and entropy does not evolve. Any beings who lived in one of these time-reversed regions would not be born old and die young—or anything else out of the ordinary. To them, time would flow in a completely conventional fashion. It is only when comparing their universe to ours that anything seems out of the ordinary—our past is their future, and vice versa. But such a comparison is purely hypothetical, as we cannot get there and they cannot come here.

If the observable universe were all that existed, it would be nearly impossible to account for the arrow of time in a natural way. But if the universe around us is a tiny piece of a much larger picture, new possibilities present themselves. We can conceive of our bit of universe as just one piece of the puzzle, part of the tendency of the larger system to increase its entropy without limit in the very far past and the very far future. To paraphrase physicist Edward Tryon, the big bang is easier to understand if it is not the beginning of everything but just one of those things that happens from time to time.

-The Gneech