Brainsturbator Archives > Meta
The jellyfish is a remarkable organism because for the most part, it’s not there. They consist of an invisibly thin web of digestive tissue and an “acellular” matrix known as mesoglea to capture and manipulate the water which makes up 98% of their bodies, if bodies they be.
Reading lists are always a reductive process. Most reviews only serve to make me realize how little I liked the book I was about to recommend. This collection is basically the half-way point of Battle Royale, a mix of killer instinct and dumb luck.
“We find our friends in dead libraries.” - Rohit Gupta
2011 was actually a rough year for me and the printed word. Most of the books I picked up were hardcover editions that made loud, satisfying sounds when I pitched them against the fucking wall. Needless to say, I had a lot of other stuff going on at the time and none of it matters today.
I did, however, manage to recover something absurdly appropriate as an opening ritual for Brainsturbator’s 2012 season. I found a real deal lost reading list that I laid out on January 17th, 2011 and immediately forgot about. I found it an a notebook I brought back to Vermont this summer and I have been ordering books from it ever since. It turned out to be an excellent roadmap and it feels like I’m catching up on a year that never was.
I have dozens of projects and I neglect them all. This year, my biggest victim has been Brainsturbator, once the focus of my daily life, now mostly a museum to who I was four years ago. I am many things to many people, but there’s one constant: I read a couple hundred pages a day, minimum. So as we approach to end of 2010, I wanted to share some of my very highest reading recommendations with you fine folks…
Probably the biggest lesson I learned in 2008 is this: don’t make announcements about a project until that project is done. I apologize for the false alarms and empty hype, but finally, Brainsturbator is back. This year I’ve moved across the country, started a business and lost my mind at least three times. I’ve also been busy over-extending myself on dozens of projects, but I think that was a nescessary mistake.
Now I’m back and more focused than ever. Brainsturbator is The One Project that’s worth sticking with, so this article is a summary of everything else I’ve been up to.
You’ve already noticed things look different. Charles Blingus, the mastermind behind Back Brain Media, has been itching to re-design Brainsturbator for over a year now. With some help from our friend Gomar, we’ve finally got a fully operational Brainsturbator 2.0 up and running.
I’m also working on a ton of new articles, and if you’re curious where things are headed, I did a rambling forum post outlining some of it. Meanwhile, the most logical way to kick off the new design is a quick explanation of our new features. It’s also an open call for user feedback, so if you’ve got some, please drop a comment here.
“EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG.” That’s such a cliche it became a joke before I was even born. The good news is, I’m not here to sell you on mere paradigm change. (Although, if you’re looking for some, check out Hump Jones.) What I’m referring to here is Euclidian mathematics—flat surfaces, straight lines, and solid objects. I have no words to explain the rage I felt when I first got into fractal math and realized I’d been saddled with useless, outdated bullshit in high school. I’ve been working on correcting that ever since (and as anyone can see, failing more or less completely).
I’m not going to explain why everything you know is wrong. Too much work. Instead, I’ve compiled the single best collection of resources for fractal self-education that exists. I say that with total confidence because I’m psychotically arrogant—but also because I’ve spent a long time building up this collection and I haven’t seen anything better. Furthermore, anything online that comes close to this is already included here, so this list has eaten the competition, at least according to Set Theory: Brainsturbator contains them, yet they do not contain Brainsturbator.
With no further ego sickness, and not even another word of sarcasm, I proudly present to you the Brainsturbator Fractal Toolkit.
We were brainstorming ideas for this title, but I decided that instead of making something catchy up, I should just f***ing swear. After all, what separates Brainsturbator from all those other weird science sites is 1) my cheerful willingness to be offensive and immature, 2) my total contempt for copyright laws and common sense, and 3) my voracious consumption of psychedelic drugs. There’s no sense in pretending we’re some sort of respectable operation when I give out awards. Hell, odds are a few of these sites would rather not be associated with me.
This is a collection of what I consider to be some of the best websites on the internets. I spend a truly unhealthy amount of time on the internets, so I appreciate finding someone who’s put in work and built a quality resource. This is in no particular order and not all of it will be interesting to you: I tend to have a much wider Curiosity Zone than most people I talk to. A number of these websites are truly amazing and completely obscure, because the people who run them don’t want to deal with Search Engine Optimization, Web 2.0, keywords, or any of the other obligatory bullshit of “blog” culture. And that’s a beautiful thing. Here’s a toast to Fucking Art—let’s begin:
The Codex Serpahinianus has a reputation as a mysterious, impenetrable book. Having gotten ahold of an excellent scanned copy, I have to say that reputation was unfounded. The Codex is an early study of the fractal dimensions of apparently “flat” surfaces, such as paper, and the shapes generated by ink along that landscape. As you will see in the first two scans, all of the intricate species, landscape and cultures within the pages of the Codex are the result of iterative changes in a chaotic environment—just like you and me.
The extraordinary “Codex Seraphinianus” is a book of 400 pages in the form of an encyclopedia—graphical letters, signs, animals and plants, anatomy and chemistry, creating a book to view and to admire. Its writing, completely invented, could never be deciphered even with the most technologically advanced machine, but it can be intuited, loaded with emotional meaning that washes over the eyes.
I give away the scan without malice—I don’t think I’m exactly hurting the market for existing copies of this book. The Codex is ultimately an artifact, not a message—it’s a reminder that flesh-surface of actual paper has a power that electrons on a screen do not. Everything in the Codex was written and drawn by hand—evoking illuminated manuscripts and Da Vinci’s legacy of dope notebooks. Some of the best tea I ever had in my life was picked by monkeys in the Fujian province of China. It’s called Monkey-Picked Tea, and it’s $37 for 3 ounces.
At least the Codex is free. Much love to Luigi Serafini, the primate who hand-crafted this:
Sorry, due to traffic this file has been removed for a bit, digg + 150meg pdf is crippling my server.
CODEX SERAPHINIANVS (150 MB SCAN)
This is probably long overdue. Although Brainsturbator has attracted a lot of flattering attention from the publishing industry (as well as Scientologists) for flagrant violation of copyright law, I’m still a big fan of real damn books, the kind you can carry around with you and read in the backyard. PDF files are great, but my laptop would give me testicular cancer if I tried using it like a book.
The classic excuse for pirating mp3s is really true, at least in my case: when I download a book I really like, I will go out and buy it. This was true for Kevin Kelly‘s masterpiece Out of Control, and just this past week, that was true for Ben Mack‘s outstanding marketing book, Think Two Products Ahead. If the book is important enough to be re-read and referred back to regularly—and damn few of them are—then it’s worth investing money into getting a hard copy.
We have a long year ahead of us, and although I’ve got about 30-40 half-finished articles on deck right now, I’m curious as to what the readers would like to see covered. I’m even more curious about weird wrinkles I might not be aware of, since odds are your suggestions will be new to me. So this is just an open thread fishing for comments. There will be a real Brainsturbator post going up tomorrow, and pretty much every other day after that—we’re back on schedule, folks, thanks for putting up with a long hiatus.
Also, about comments: we’ve started getting spam comments that make it past the otherwise excellent filters that Expression Engine provides. (By the way, if anyone reading this is considering a website or blog, I would highly recommend Expression Engine—we’ve used nearly everything else and nothing comes close. It’s sexy, and they’re not even paying us to say that.) That’s why the comments get approved before they go up—it’s nothing against y’all.
Also also, apologies to everyone who sent me PDF’s for the Brainsturbator Library since, oh...December 1st. I haven’t updated that in awhile, I’ll be getting on that before 2007 hits us.
Do something crazy this week—as everyone knows, from Christmas to New Years, nothing you do really counts, so go crazy.
- 2012 Reading List: Year of the Jellyfish
- The Brainsturbator 2011 Reading List
- The 2010 Brainsturbator Reading List
- The Greatest Achievement of Organized Science
- Tracing Our Own Constellations
- Psychic Warfare from 1981-2008
- Bucky Fuller & his World Game: Intro to Saving Planets
- Saving the World Starts in Africa
- The 2008 Brainsturbator Update: Back to School
- The Mind of Tony Smith: A Guided Tour
- "Minds to Pay Attention To" via Sean McBride
- lol, I found brainsturbator in the lulzsec irc leaks
- DARPA Contest: The Logistics Getting Humans to Alpha Centauri
- The Very, Very Strange Properties of REM Sleep
- The Deep Structure of Our Internets
- Feeding the World: Global, Urban, Individual
- From Spam Factory to Time Capsule
- The Red Book (Jung)
- Brainsturbator Tumblr is up and running again
- Sonofusion is the Superforce
Brainsturbator on Twitter
For more updates follow Brainsturbator.
Aikido Activist Anarchy
- The Mind of Tony Smith: A Guided Tour
- Networks, Bacteria, and the Illusion of Control
- The Quest for the Elusive Chronon
- Our Fractal Universe: A Sneak Peek at the New Cosmology
- More Chronon Theory: Jacques Vallee’s “Associative Universe”
- Get In Tune With Chronobiology: Part One
- “Sense of Wonder” Maintenance, Round 2
We Salute You