AlgoMantra, b. 2005

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The Remix Republik!

The first chapter of my ongoing book project The Remix Republik is now online, and you can download it for free here {LINK TO PDF}. Here is the description of the book:

India is predicted by many as a rising star in the global village nightsky, but only one book describes the new zodiac. In the dark theatre of DJ Fadereu's mind, Google Earth and binary computation copulate with Hindu avatars and Vedic timekeeping, Neitzche necks with nadabrahma, and Baudrillard blows apart Bollywood.This cybernetic ride flickers uneasily through the vast landscape of Indian and Western techno-philosophy.

Meanwhile, the murder of reality is imminent. The media are converting each street into a studio, masses into extras, and life itself into the new movie. The dynamics of these phenomenon are mediated by a new logic of speed, and a new movement determines the games of territorial power. The present, the past and the future have become exceedingly intertwined in the instantaneous (and yet ancient) society we live in - we are the remixed republic. The state of siege now remains poised at the most dramatic point in our history since the Partition of 1947.

The world's oldest civilization, the author hopes, will rise to the challenge with befitting ingenuity....

If you like the chapter, please consider donating some cash by clicking the Paypal button below.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Wishing Tree

I haven't seen anything more beautiful in a long time. As it is, I love tessellations of triangles and circles too much. Please explore the "wishing tree"-->
Friday, March 16, 2007
2007 Lulu Blooker Shortlist
I'm judging the Lulu Blooker 2007 prize, with a very distinguished cast whose company I probably do not deserve: Arianna Huffington, Julie Powell, Nick Cohen and Chair of Judges — Paul Jones. Now I'm not going to write about what my feelings are after a brief preview but, I'm especially interested in the comics section.

[LINK] The Official Shortlist!

Thursday, March 08, 2007
The Comics AlgoYatra 2007
A huge welcome to readers of RJ Malini's Mid Day column!

To participate in the Comics AlgoYatra, you will need to put your name on a wiki, which is simply a webpage that anyone can feed information into. [Link to Wiki]

The wiki also contains all other details, as and how they are being assembled by the gang of comic lovers. You may also want to join the Yahoo mailing list of Mumbai's only Comics Club.

If you have a Blogger account, you can post your queries as comments and I will answer at the earliest. Open comments are disallowed due to spam, sorry!

Here is the video of a small-scale, indoors AlgoYatra. We are taking this kind game to the streets:

Islamic Superheroes
Why read something when you can blog it first? I'll finish this article later, but an excerpt will do for now:

“I understand how it is when people have not had heroic characters to call their own,” comments Nicieza, who emigrated from Argentina to the United States when he was a child. “I was enthused to work with someone who has a chance to bring his dreams and ideas to life. I respect Naif’s beliefs. We have a real chance to do something here that can affect people positively.”

Working together over more than a year, Nicieza and Al-Mutawa fine-tuned the character guide and story line. The plot is built on a historic event familiar to every schoolchild in the Middle East—Hülegü Khan’s invasion of Baghdad in 1258. It was, as the story begins, “a time of dark and light....”
Gold-digging ants of India
I haven't discovered an interesting myth for some time now, dark days for a generative mythologist! I have read the Egyptian travels of Herodotus, but not the Histories. That's why I missed this gem, explaining why India ("the bird of gold") possessed so much of the yellow stuff:

Eastward of India lies a desert of sand…. There is found in this desert a kind of ant of great size—bigger than a fox, though not so big as a dog…. These creatures as they burrow underground throw up the sand in heaps, just as our own ants throw up the earth…. The sand has a rich content of gold, and this is what the Indians are after when they make their expeditions into the desert…. When the Indians reach the place where the gold is, they fill the bags they have brought with them with sand and start for home again as fast as they can go; for if the ants—if we can believe the Persians’ story—smell them, they at once give chase.

Two great articles on the subject, one from Antlion Pit and the other by historian Paul Lunde.
Friday, March 02, 2007
In his treatise Rabdology, John Napier described a technique to do binary arithmetic using a chessboard-like grid. He termed his technique Location arithmetic (Latin arithmeticæ localis) from the way that positions of counters on the board represented numbers.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The Neanderthal Flute
A well-known example of a controversial musical instrument is that of the so-called Neandertal flute from Divje Babe Cave in Slovenia, found in the Middle Paleolithic layers of the cave and described by the finders as possibly the oldest musical instrument in the world.

Links: Musilanguage, Prehistoric Music