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Ruminations On A Variety Of Subjects

Tom Milsom (with help from twitter) July 18, 2010


The world is full of fascinating things, some of them more fascinating than others, and some of them incredibly dull1 however all of them are worthy of being written about in a few paragraphs by a tired, slightly delirious artist who has way too much time on his hands and has just been given control of a new toy he wants to try out by writing lots of things in it that dont make any sense at all. Whatever. Lets talk jam.

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fun jam-related anecdote

Before 1993, you might ask, what did people put on their toast in the morning? The answer is, toast was invented post-jam, to keep up with the worlds rapacious appetite for this new product, and to have something sort of structurally stable to keep it o peoples ngers. After all, theres nothing worse than sticky ngers of a morning. Thats a fact. Shut up, it totally is.

How jam was invented

Jam was invented in 1993 by scientists working for Head and Shoulders trying to improve upon the formula for their famous shampoo and conditioner all-in-one combo.2 Nobody is entirely sure what happened, since they werent even trying to create a strawberry scented shampoo/conditioner or anything, but for some reason they opened the petri dish, or controlled chamber, or centrifuge or whatever it is they use, and there, lying there, inert and looking sort of sorry for itself, was jam. Or at least what we now know as jam. At the time they had no idea what the hell it was, and extensive testing had to be done before they realised what theyd created.
1 although perhaps dull doesnt exist at all; in the words of John Cage, If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all. Whatever, Cage. You suck. 2 which, by the way, little bit of advice for you, does neither. So perhaps this inability to even succeed at the task which supposedly is the keystone to their success in the hair cleansing industry is a harbinger of their eventual shift into the world of high-class breakfast condiments. Read on.

Why we might die because of technology

Technology is rapidly developing to the point where people dont have a freaking clue about what robots even are any more, theyre in such a state of almost metaphysical planar existence. Robots are ying about in the fth dimension and shit. They get up to things you havent got the faintest clue about. Robots are cooking you lunch and then eating it for you, thats how crazy cool they are, and if you think for one second theyre not going to kill you while you sleep, youre incredibly optimistic and probably more than a little bit dim.

The buttery eect

The buttery eect is a phenomenon occurring primarily in oil painting (but also pretty noticeably when painting with acrylics, watercolours, or even if youre just doodling with a pencil on a scrappy piece of paper while youre on the phone to someone who, at the other end of the line, is idly creating a similarly subconscious 1

rendering), whereby no matter what you paint or draw or sculpt or whatever, it always looks sort of like a buttery if you squint a bit. There is a perennial stream of scientists doing constant exhaustive investigations into why this is, but nobody seems to truly understand whats going on here. The only (admittedly rather spurious) thing everyone seems to agree on in the same sort of defeatist fashion is that the people who invented drawing sure liked butteries.

They manufacture 95% of all automobiles in the developed world.3

Keynesian economic theory as it pertains to time travel

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what happens when you set out to draw a buttery?

The short answer to this question is that nobody really knows what happens in this scenario, but leading experts agree that what youd end up with would probably be a big drawing of a buttery made up, if you were to look really closely, like with a magnifying glass or some such, of ever smaller, more intricate drawings of smaller more intricate butteries, ad innitum.

Time travel is currently at the very cutting edge of science, the talk of the town w/r/t the avant-garde in the theoretical physics camps around the world. But talk is cheap, and particle physics is a very expensive enterprise indeed. If time travel is to be realised within the next decade or so, government subsidisation is vital, in precisely the sort of measured public sector scal interaction outlined in the basics of Keynesian economic theory. Next.

why Toy Story is the best saga ever created

racoons

Racoons are an important pop culture phenomenon, worth observing in their natural habitat, although thats a bit boring, and in their myriad permutations as adorable anthropomorphic characters in childrens television programmes.

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their role in everyday life

Racoons are more involved in the swings and roundabouts of your everyday existence than you might think, probably moreso if your occupation is directly racoon related, like racoon-trainer, or racoon-teacher, or king-ofthe-racoons, but even if your occupation is something more everyday, like therapist, or knife-maker, or Professor of Ropes, racoons are literally fucking everywhere. Any idea who made those tin cans that stop your soup from 3 automobiles in the undeveloped world arent manusloshing all over the shelves in your larder, as factured, but rather, grow organically from the ground, soup is wont to do? Racoons, thats who. Any reminiscent of shrubs or, say, Vikings, if Vikings were idea how the hell engines work? Ask a racoon. like shrubs. 2

Theres a rule, as pertains to sagas, that goes like this: The awesomeness of the name of a saga is inversely proportional to how good the saga will be. Toy Story is a terrible name for a saga. I cannot possibly imagine the conversation they had when naming it, but I can presume it involved nothing more than some very light consideration as to whether the spartan but perfectly serviceable working title they had for this thing was good enough to keep, concluding with yes, which for some reason didnt raise any eyebrows among the people at Pixar, which is hardly surprising really, considering these are the people who made Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles and Shrek, all of which, as Im sure you have noticed, are named after the primary characters or locations as pertains to the movie in question. These are all pretty lacking in the sort of pizzazz that usually frequents the Hollywood that produced Snakes On A Plane, but none are as bad as the primal, emotionless-

ness of Toy Story. Hence, it is the best saga ever created.

the integration of badgers into modern society

The nature of human perception

Humans, as David Foster Wallace once eloquently noted, are an irrevocably self-centred species. We can never understand what it feels like to be anywhere outside of our own heads. To this end, everything we know about mathematics, all the way down to how many of something there are in my hand, physics, all the way down to what space and time really are, and even natural science, right down to what sound and light really are, are nothing more than complex sets of rules and analogies set up to help us form some common theory of the universe around us, and interpret the constant streams of incoming information the human mind has to process. As such, anything we perceive is a unique and incommunicable experience, eeting and never to be recreated, since what happens is not happening out there, outside of our bodies, but entirely within our minds4 .

Badgers are notoriously standosh in the best of situations, so when the question was raised w/r/t how to integrate them into modern society, a number of options were considered. Eventually, it was decided that they would be gently introduced to the general public via a complex series of disguises, both badgers as humans and humans as badgers. Gently, as both parties became more accustomed to each other, the disguises were removed, and despite the occasional mauling, the two have lived symbiotically ever since.

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how this diers from vision

As little as I wish to patronise you, its probably worth establishing right now that vision is nothing more than light setting o a whole bunch of receptors that re some information to your brain and make you see things. Vision is not perfect. Vision can lie,5 and vision is not always trustworthy. Ultimately, and somewhat anticlimactically, it comes down to a question of semantics. As far as Im concerned, vision is the act of light hitting your eyes and ring stu o to your brain, and perception is what your brain then does with that stu.
4 which forms the basis of nihilism, which I wont get into here, because I have shit-tons to write about, and brains in jars just wont cut it, Im afraid. 5 just take a look at a 3-D lm, and then take the glasses o. Holy crap, its not in 3-D any more. Wow. Fuck you, brain, you stupid piece of crap.