Sunday Spectacle: This Machine Reads Your Mind Edition (5Feb2017)

Here’s all the non-political that caught my attention last week. The political round-up will be posted Wednesday.

STORY UPDATE: I reached my goal of 3,000 words this week. The sentences still need a lot of help, and I don’t quite have the voice yet, but by yesterday I was starting to hear it better. Today I’m editing the sections I wrote this past week. Writing during the week is going to a challenge, but I anticipated that, which means weekend writing will become even more important. The outline is working great so far and making it easy to meet my word count.


FEWER GARDENS, MORE SHIPWRECKS: Since I moved to Florida humanity’s relationship to seas, oceans, and rivers has become much more meaningful. Geoff Manaugh points out that for most of human history we have been a maritime culture, but this has been omitted from our myths and religions.

“But what strange, aquatic world of gods and monsters might we still be in thrall of today had these pre-Edenic myths been preserved—as if, before the Bible, there had been some sprawling Lovecraftian world of coral reefs, lost ships, and distant archipelagoes, from the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia?

“Seen this way, even if only for the purpose of a thought experiment, human history becomes a story of the storm, the wreck, the crash—the distant island, the unseen reef, the undertow—not the farm or even the garden, which would come to resemble merely a temporary domestic twist in this much more ancient human engagement with the sea.”


HUMOR: You should probably be reading Reductress.

Sexy Outfits That Will Tell Your Boyfriend, ‘I’m Tired of Going to Breweries’

“So you’re in a relationship with a man. Good for you! But every relationship comes with its own set of problems, and for you it’s that your boyfriend is dragging you to breweries every weekend. You could tell him directly that breweries are only fun sometimes and you’d rather do something a little more fun and fanciful, but why not show him instead? Here are five of the sexiest, most seductive outfits that will communicate, ‘I’m overdressing for this occasion because I’d rather be somewhere else.'”


CANCER APP: An app for detecting skin cancer may be closer than you think.

“Although this algorithm currently exists on a computer, the team would like to make it smartphone compatible in the near future, bringing reliable skin cancer diagnoses to our fingertips.”


UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY 3D PRINTABLE DRONES: You can 3D print your own underwater drone. The design was developed for archaeologists, but anyone who needs a roving camera underwater will soon be able to get their own.

“One of the most pertinent features of the ArcheoRov is that the design is open source, so anyone with a 3D printer and a love for things under the sea is able to access it and build their own ArcheoRov.”


MOON DAYDREAM: Speaking of drones, in my fantasy world there are thousands of remote-control robots on the moon that anyone with an internet connection can remote control. Tune in and drive the robot around the moon and look through its eyes and pick up rocks with its little arms. Play moon games with the other remote controlled robots.


MY WIFE THE HATER: A new dating app launching this week matches people based on hating the same stuff.

The app—which officially launches February 8—presents users with 2,000 topics that they can say they love, hate, like, dislike, or feel totally neutral on, then matches people up by grouping them by their mutual dislikes.

They point to work by “some psychologists” to support their idea that this will work. One of the psychologists is Dr. Jennifer Bosson who is sitting beside me now. (Interpersonal chemistry through negativity:Bonding by sharing negative attitudes about others.)


ELECTRONIC TELEPATHY: Great news for people with locked-in syndrome, a way to communicate. Wait, computers read minds now? Reached Via a Mind-Reading Device, Deeply Paralyzed Patients Say They Want to Live


HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD: Great interview with Mark Russell, the creator of the re-booted Flintstones. In the course of the interview he mentions that he will also be rebooting Snagglepuss as a “gay Southern Gothic playwright.”

“I envision him like a tragic Tennessee Williams figure; Huckleberry Hound is sort of a William Faulkner guy, they’re in New York in the 1950s, Marlon Brando shows up, Dorothy Parker, these socialites of New York from that era come and go.”

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