I know almost everybody has already seen this video but it's so awesome that I have to post it again here.
A few day's ago I posted an update about being in chinatown. It wasn't what I would consider an engaging post. It was created entirely on my cell phone, posted to the internet from my cell phone and, more than anything, it was a slice of my real time experience in that moment. That aspect of the post is, to me, extraordinarily interesting. Revolutionary is a word that's used much to often when talking about technology so I'm not going to use it here. I do believe, though, that the ability to access other people's real time experiences, as mundane as they might be individually, is evolutionary.
We are living in an era where, for the first time ever, human beings have access to the knowledge from all the cultures of the world. Interestingly, one of the common pieces of traditional wisdom that has been / is shared by many cultures, is the concept that separation is a type of illusion and that we are all, ultimately, one. In the 1920's, this dude named Pierre Teilhard de' Charidin theorized that humanity was evolving towards something he called the "noosphere", which is essentially a global brain or global consciousness. Somewhat related is the idea of formative causation. This theory proposed by the biologist Rupert Sheldrake states that the human entity is more than that which is contained within the "boundary" of our skin. Our very beings are connected to and are influenced by "morphic fields", patterns of energy which organize systems at all levels of complexity, and are the basis for the wholeness that we observe in nature, which is more than the sum of the parts.
My point is that homo sapien's continued development of connective technologies has created, in a very short time, the structures for a new evolutionary stage. One where many individual human beings exist with the awareness of themselves within, and as expresions of, a greater intelligence. What that greater intelligence might look like and what that greater intelligence might mean is a discussion for another day. For now, I am simply left pondering if, given advancements of the last 20 years, we might already have evolved beyond the genus "homo sapien". Perhaps "homo transitionalis" is a better classification.
A while back I posted this video of Patrick Rizzo downhill skateboarding. That video gives such a great point of view experience of what it's like to fly down a hill at un-godly speeds while standing on a board that's a few inches above the pavement.
Today, I came across the video below of a good o'le Canadian boy demolishing the previous downhill skateboarding speed record. 27-year old Mischo Erban, who lives in Vernon, BC, hit 130.08 km per hour (almost 81 miles per hour) powered only by gravity at a secret location in Colorado.
What blows me away about this video is how calm he looks while riding an inch away from serious personal damage:
You see crazy stuff like big jars with random and strange contents prominently displayed in the windows.
The nasal passages are assulted with the smells of meats cooking, vegetables rotting, and herbal remedies wafting their pungentness.
And every time I wander into one of the many gift shops, I expect to find some mysterious and magical item hidden in the back. Maybe I watched "Gremlins" too much as a kid.
In my last post I talked about the street artist Banksy. Well, he recently was the subject of a fantastic movie / documentary called "Exit Through The Gift Shop". It starts out as a film about street art and artists, particularly Banksy, but the movie ends up being more about the guy making the movie who eventually (with some prodding from Banksy) becomes a street artist himself.
The movie is smart and funny; I would even call it genius.
Here are some of the trailers... starting with the short U.S. version, followed by the longer U.K. version
Banksy is a street artists; a legendary street artist. Actually, I think it's fair to say he has transcended the "street" artist moniker and should be thought of as a genius artist in his own right. This is a guy who traveled to Israel and risked being shot so he could graffiti the wall/barrier that Israel built to fence in Palestine.
Of course the best way to know Banksy is to check out his art.Click either of the pictures below for a little slideshow:
These "Between Two Ferns" episodes are great. This is one of the most recent ones:
This episode with Ben Stiller is one of the first but is probably my favorite:
Bit torrent is a great way to download stuff from the internet. Here's a quick and dirty guide to using it.
A bittorrent client is a program that opens a bittorrent file and download the stuff you want. (The bittorrent file is a small file that tells your bittorrent program what files to download and how to find them)
If you use windows, I'd suggest UTorrent. I haven't used this program for years but it seems to be what all the cool pc kids are using. Hopefully it can detect your settings and works "out of the box" but you might have to follow the directions to get around firewalls etc...
If you use a mac, I'd suggest Transmission. Generally, I have found this program to, in the spirit of macintosh, "just work". There are some settings you can tweak to speed things up but they are not necessary.
Once your bittorrent program is installed, it is now just a matter of finding the torrents for the files you want, downloading them, and opening them with the bittorrent program you installed in step one. (Alternatively you can set the bittorrent client to open the file automatically)
There are a lot of places to find torrents. I use www.torrentz.com . Go to this site and search for the file you want. If you are trying this out for the first time, search for something popular like "The Beatles". A list of files will show up; click on the one you want (e.g. - "The Beatles Greatest Hits").
You should now be on a specific bitorrent site (such as "thepriratebay.com") and on the correct bitorrent file page (in this case, "The Beatles Greatest Hits"). This page will have info about the files you want to downlaod. Most bitorrent sites have a confusing "download" button that isn't what you want. Rather, look for a usually smaller link that says specifically "Download this Torrent" and click on that. This will either open your bittorrent program automatically or download the bittorrent file to your computer. If it downloads to your computer (usually takes a second), find the file, right click it (on a mac press the control key and then click) and choose to "open with" the bittorrent program you downloaded above.
At this point, your bittorent program should open and show you a list of files that are about to be downloaded. In the case of the Beatles example, it would be a list of .mp3 files. There are also usually some .txt files but you don't need these. Click "add" and the files should begin downloading. This can take a while depending on the size of the files and the number of people sharing. Your bittorrent program should notify you when the files are downloaded. You may want to stop/remove the bittorent transfer once the files have finished downloading, otherwise they will continue to share them and use up your upload bandwith. (It is considered good form to share them for a little while before stopping the transfer).
If you've downloaded mp3s or other music files open them with your favorite music player such as Itunes. For any movie files, I'd highly recommend the free VLC media player.
There is a good chance I didn't communicate this very well, here are some other links to how to use bittorent: