Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ignorant religious fools

I'm not usually this cranky but the past couple of weeks have exposed the complete ignorance of very large parts of society. Seeing as I can't seem to escape the morons surrounding me, I really need to come here and vent my anger. My last couple of postings have ranted about it. Now, it seems that good old American invention, Intelligent Design, has reached Denmark.
Of course, religious people of Denmark are welcoming it. Which actually surprises me a bit, since most Danish priests have been schooled at universities and should know the essential logical flaws that this psuedo-scientific movement turns into "valid" arguments of the existance of God.

Basically, their very intelligent premise is:

"Well....eh....this evolution thing is all...erh..a bit confusing, to be honest. We don't see how an eye of a squid could have evolved, because..erh...if we remove the retinal lens, that poor squid goes blind! How could he have evolved the eye, then? I mean, lenses aren't in abundance on the bottom of the sea, are they? Nope, they aren't, we're sure of that. So, that proves it. It's too complex for the squid to have gotten hold of it...not like it had any lens manufacturers around or mail order or anything. Nah, God must have sent those lenses. He wouldn't allow a creature like that to splash around in blind agony...he's benevolent, remember?"

I was dumbfounded when the Danish national TV had a report describing this moronic argument as a "theory". That is just so wrong that my gut wrenches. At most it is a philosophical standpoint...no different from what religious people have been claiming all along.
The notion that "It's too complex to understand, so it is not understandable, and therfore an act of God" is perhaps the most crappy attempt at an argument for God's existance ever posed. Even the ancient Greeks would be on their asses laughing, giggling about circular arguments.

The real danger, however, is not these painfully stupid psuedo-scientists. Nope, it is the media that run their errands for them. Describing a sorry piece of empty rhetoric like that as a "theory" should get the responsible journalists fired on the spot, in my opinion. Because of them, a lot of regular people might be thinking, "Hey, that sounds alright, actually".

Unfortunately, this is an example of the Christian religious community now practising what various new age cults have been trying to do for years. Namely, mixing up religious dogma and scientific-sounding reasoning in order to suspend the deisbelief of weaker people. It is horrorsome and really I have felt outraged and a bit sad since yesterday, and in general by seeing this trend rise up the past years. I hope the trial in the States puts these posers in their place.

I should say, that I have no quarrel with religious people or religion in general. But religion is mystic in nature and should be seperated completely from scientific methods and observations. The philisophical discussion of God's existance is fine by me, as long as Darwin is not taken hostage - his theory is perhaps the most elaborate system of observations and methodical reasoning that mankind has. There is NOTHING to suggest that his general principles are wrong (although we can never fully prove them either).

Of course, ID people will just claim that it is God's intention to mislead mankind. It's so easy when you can just dream away like that...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Empty rhetoric and puritanism...*sigh*

Just a rant on two things this week. Firstly, the whole media frenzy involving the Danish Minister for Social Affairs, Eva Kjer Hansen. Supposedly she strives for more inequality in society, which has everyone jumping around in scandal. Everyone uses this premise - both the current opposition, the media, her self-proclaimed defenders and her prosecutors, and - sadly - her own prime minister.

The problem is, she never fully stated this. Every quote I have seen is wrong and not stated in its full context. What she said was that inequality in itself is not bad or undesirable, provided the lower levels are continuously raised. The last sentence is omitted by all, and changes her utterance completely. Really, she is relating a very modern concept, namely that phenomenons don't bear essential qualities by default. Everyone seems to hang out with Aristotle, though. I'm sick of it.

The level of political discourse in this is getting stupifyingly low by the hour...it does not make sense, considering the educational profile of Danes in general.

Second rant concerns the completely insane uproar over long time TV commenter Jørgen Leth and his new biographical book, "Det Uperfekte Menneske". In the book he touches on different more or less immoral deeds that he has done during his life, e.g. having sex with a 17-year-old servant. Consequently, his diplomatic responsibilities seem to be lost, he's been fired from his TV job, every feminist is of course raving and screaming.

No doubt the man is a insensitive self-obsessed snob - but that does not justify this level of stigmatization. It's the worst case of moral puritanism in this country yet (my time frame probably begins in 1990), and it does not bode well for freedom of artistic expression in the future.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A shift in the force

It's been a plan to move out as a company for a long time now. Last week it finally happened. We finally received our corporate tables - covered with a nice Ferrari red car lacquer - and the past week and a half we've been inhaling madly dangerous fumes while waiting for the damned things to harden properly. They look awesome, though. I have no images as yet, but we actually did a visualization which can be seen on the webpage, if you wait a bit (the flash film eventually gets there). It was pretty accurate, to our great surprise ;)

The feeling is nice - and we've scaled up the marketing approach to everything. So far we have a couple of orders, but it's anyone's guess whether we will keep it up. Anyone interested should contact me - we need help!
By the way, check back on the company webpage regularly - we're working on some pretty cool effects and gimmicks. Should be set to launch soon.

Other than this I just bought a new bike, so that I can transport myself around - and not least little Thor. Going around Aarhus with him in his little seat is practically murder, since he weighs a good 13 kilos now. I've never wished for Denmark to be flatter, but...*uummphh*...!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nostalgia hurts...and thrills too

My little son, Thor, turned 1 year this past Saturday. Not that he cared about that even remotely. He's more into food, and strange objects, and flipping the pages of books. But, anyway, the familiy got together and liked to think that he was thrilled about his birthday. My gilfriend is a bit of a birthday fetichist so it was actually very much fun!
I actually had to leave in the afternoon because our 10 year high school reunion needed to be attended, up north. Jesus, what a party. Stepping into the great hall was really weird. Packed with people I hadn't seen in ages. The food was nice and I give shoutouts to the X-class which seemingly attempted collective suicide by drunkeness. Paid off nicely, that did.
Sunday was living Hell and I was overcome with nostalgia about past events. I rarely feel that way but this time I realised just how much I had missed those folks. Or maybe the freedom of back then. On the other hand, the atmosphere of the party was surely that of a mature audience. People had grown up and abandoned their teenage insecurities. The pretty girls from back then were a stunning 29-30 years now. The guys were more relaxed and less competetive. Everyone had something interesting to say, more or less.

Really great evening - and just a bit painful, too

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Return of the Jedi

I am back with a vengeance. I do apologize to my thousands of blog fans who must have laid awake at night wondering where I was. Facts are, my blogging interest has declined gradually and at the same time I've been quite busy. Planning the summer holidays is just one thing.

Anyway, I went to SIGGRAPH this year - as we had a project pay for the trip this suddenly made a summer vacation in California possible. My girlfriend and son joined me afteer the conference and we roamed the state for 9 days. Fantastic stuff.

The conference was great and very inspiring. There is a lot for both the math geek and the artist, so I guess I was exalted, being somewhere in the middle.
George Lucas is a little gnome, it turned out.

The vacation was very nice too. Thor gave us no hassles whatsoever, which was slightly shocking. He was just happy and interested - and basically charming the pants off all the old people and women he could get close to (oh yeah, and chipmunks). We saw some nice places. San Diego and the Joshua Tree National Park stand out. The former being a very cosy, atmospheric kind of city. Sort of like a Cali-Mexican version of Copenhagen, one might say. Loved it. The JTNP was just impressive visually with the desert ranges and those odd trees...some places packed by the hundreds. And the quietness out there was really something. All of a sudden I felt I had really missed that level of calm - having lived in a small city the past 10 years.

Vacation pics

Oh, well - my holidays have been packed, with a couple of weeks in Austria preceding the US trip. I have a lot of musings on all of this - but work needs to be done, so it's gotta come later...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Dropped by to say hi

In general terms, nothing is new. If you fine-tune a bit my recent birthday comes into focus. Not that it held any big events or surprises. Thor got sick for the first time in his life...and did some impressive wailing. When he does that you really stop and listen 'cause he never does that. So, naturally we had to see the doctor who gave us some painkillers to stuff up his butt. Worked a charm.

Presents were nice - I got a cool headset with 5.1 surround sound and built-in vibrators (!). I have not got the first clue on how 5.1 sound works, so right now I am trying to determine whether this gear can actually run from the on-board sound card or I need to get an entirely new sound card. It's a jungle...filled with terms I only understand to some extent. I've always hated the domain of electronic and digital sound, not because I HATE it per se but because it's filled with weird terms the presuppose the understanding of 15 other weird terms. I'm the sort that needs 90% of the whole setup explained through diagrammes and sketches before I can grasp abstract concepts and connections - so naturally it's hard for me to get enthusiastic about this work. So far I'm treating it all as a learning experience. I'll probably have a fit and smash the headset before long, though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Hm...this blog is becoming a parody...because I'm not updating it regularly as weblogs should be. In usual style I've analyzed why this is - and of course found no obvious answers. I'm not involved in academics for nothing, you know.

I guess the initial thrill is gone...the harsh realities have come tumbling down. Doing this stuff every day actually consumes a fair deal of time. Currently, my time is split between work, enjoying my humorous and lively baby son, and playing World of Warcraft whenever the girlfriend isn't toting the evil eye. Which is rarely, considering her opinion of WoW :D

Anyway, the little news there is has to do with my attending the annual SIGGRAPH this year in Los Angeles, which I am madly excited about. The world's biggest computer graphics conference - and we get the expenses covered by a relevant project here at the University.
The 4 days of conference will be followed by, in my case, 9 days of family touring in California. We haven't decided whether to stay around L.A. or go north to San Francisco, since my girlfriend visited the west coast a few years back and knows most of L.A.

To my boyish delight, we will be flying on a 747-400, which is just about as huge as airplanes come. Been some years since I tried those...not since I was 5 or 6, to be specific. Wonder how little Thor will react. Judging by his emerging levels of energy and entusiasme he will likely be deemed a terrorist threat by the British Airways authorities. I'll have to think about alternative means of travel, I guess.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Activities stacking up

Not much happening the past month or so that has been worth any mention. Then all of a sudden things start stacking up.

My son, Thor, is now 5 months old and getting very active and lively. Great fun. Yesterday he got angry because he couldn't reach the pink paper pig next to his crib. Basically, he levelled right there and then. Up til now he only got annoyed when he was 1) hungry, 2) hurting or 3) soiled. Now he's actually getting pissed off on a mental level - which I guess is nice..!

Apart from this very time-consuming business, I am preparing for a 3-day trip to Valencia, Spain on Thursday. A project meeting in the GameTools project which we are involved in. We need to get kicking soon because our work load in the project time schedule is drawing nigh. We still need a durable concept to add to the project but I think it will all come together. I can't be bothered to explain it all here, but basically we need to test some plug-ins for a public game engine and this, of course, requires that you have some general context in which to make use of these plug-ins.
Anyway, I look forward to getting away from Aarhus a bit and seeing something different. It's very likely that I won't get to go skiing this season so I think I'll enjoy the food, wine, and warmer temperatures in Valencia...=)

Another big event, the European "World of Warcraft" started nearly two weeks ago. I was geared for the event and placed myself with two friends on the release day. We gamed through the night, although there were some difficulties activating the accounts. What a game! I used to play "Dark Age of Camelot" - and WoW doesn't really bring much to the genre, structurally, but my, what a sense of style and detail. When you're running up the same road for the 8th time there is still something to notice and think about - some detail like a broken wagon or a pair of well-ironed gnome pants on a table inside a cozy (but deadly) lair. It is quite amazing. I think all art students should have a look at the different territories in this game. They're all a different style and have different stories and bestiary associated with them. Yesterday I went to Duskwood which is sinister, dark, and foggy. Completely like "Sleepy Hollow" or the mirky moor environs of "Hound of the Baskervilles".

Went on a stag night this Saturday in favor of my good friend Christian. Great night, albeit very exhausting. We had arranged to try out fencing as the experimental peak of the day. Everyone got broken by some pretty rough physical training before we were actually allowed to touch the equipment. Classic fun, but everyone is still aching all over....pathetic. I have some nice imagery I might upload one of these days.

Oh, by the way, Little Barrie finally released their debut album which I had shipped from the UK. It's very good and certainly easy for most people to like. It could have benefited from an extra pinch of experimentation to top things off...but all in all, clearly recommendable. I also got hold of the 3-box LOTR Extended versions package, which cost me something like 550 Danish crowns. The same thing costs nearly 1000 in Denmark....THAT SUCKS!

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Geek shall inherit the Earth

I found a gamer's sweatshop two blogposts ago. My random surfs on the net through the StumbleUpon Firefox extension led me to this gem of a site. This week's special is a one time limited offer....buy 100 gold on a World of Warcraft server (beta, I might add!) for a measly $27.99! Don't you just HAVE to add this to your cart?
Now, I'm not particularly philanthropic or even heavily socialist, but it seems that in a world in which thousands of babies are starving in Africa, that is just plain sad.

Fire it up

Very impressed with the Mozilla Firefox browser. Unless Microsoft comes up with something extraordinary, this browser is going to hog the market soon.
It's easy to install - just needs exposure.

The greatest thing is the extensions property, that effectively gives the community the chance of customizing their browser purposefully. And sharing that customization. I don't see Microsoft offering this flexibility in the future, unless they have realized that modders are infinitely more ressourceful than internal development departments. Creatively, that is - not economically.

Right now I'm sporting the ForecastFox extension, that gives my statusbar real time indications of the local weather. It also lets me know what the weather's going to be tomorrow. Information that you only need rarely, but when you do it's really neat not to have to spend time acquiring it.

I also installed the StumbleUpon extension which is really just a variant of Google's "I feel lucky" push button. It does, however, ensure quality hits, because of an integrated rating and preference system that seems to work well. Whenever I feel bored, I hit the "Stumble" and suddenly I've found a new part of the Internet to potentially interest me. So far, I've already known about 50% of the hits - guess that indicates my sense of quality isn't too bad..! Of course, I set that up a bit by defining my interests in the first place. Guess the challenge is to have people ask for information they didn't know they wanted.

Firefox extensions also include real-time GMail hacks that notify you of incoming mail, tons of developer tools that e.g. let you evaluate JavaScript, decode color values of specific websites, and generally extend the usefullness of the browser. I tried out some of the gesture tools, but I cannot get into the habit. My wrists are sore as it is with all my graphic work and gaming (some might call these bad excuses hiding a far more deviant pastime).

In short, go get this browser. It won't make you a better person, but it will probably make you time on the web more enjoyable.
Oh, by the way - if you feel the urge to customize the internal workings of Firefox, just type "about:config" in the address field. Access to all the cogs and springs. You almost certainly won't get this level of control in any future Explorer.
I should urge you to see the Mozilla forums to get proper advice on those settings...;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Inherently pointless

Still laughing.
You can actually get little chinese people to play your online games for you while you are at work. A chieve it!

I'm not sure why I find this so ridiculously funny - maybe it has to do with the extremely spin-off'ish nature of such an enterprise. I mean, this company serves no societal purpose whatsoever. They only feed off laziness and some obscure game-induced hunt for status. We're really down to scavenging for nickels here. I'm sure they earn a healthy buck, however.
I wonder what an advanced alien race would think of a civilisation that has spawned such a concept. My guess is, they'll carefully ignore the "Earth" road sign and endure that extra half hour before pulling up for a whizz...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Future plans

I have a sinister plot to take my little brother to see the UEFA Champion's Leugue final in Istanbul, Turkey, this year. Never been to such a huge event, so it is really tempting. I searched the Internet for tickets but the market value outside Turkey is $700-1000 - can you believe that?
Luckily we have good friends in Istanbul, so my dad has arranged for a couple of tickets to be picked up. I also found the Turkish Football Federation homepage where there is a Turkish interface for purchasing tickets. Those pricings are completely different. Most expensive seats are 150 euros. More up our ally.

Of course, we have no clue which teams will be in the final but regardless I think the venue at Atatürk stadium will be spectacular. 80,000 seats and the Turkish soccer spirit will surely make things interesting..! I almost hope that Galatasaray doesn't reach the final because that might compromise security! Some years ago they celebrated a victory and I think 8 or 9 people were killed after the game because of dropping bullets.