Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
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   death of channel surfing
Monday, May 23 2011
The combination of constant rain and a lack of DVR'd programs made me bored during those occasions when I'd get up from my computer in search of something else to do. Gretchen suggested I make dinner, so I made us Italian-style pasta (fusilli bucati) with red sauce (the first such meal since getting back from the motherland of such meals). Unlike in Italy, though, I had an easy way to add vegan protein. We were out of tempeh, so I added cubed tofu.
Later, since the television was occupied, I sat at my computer and watched the second half of the Fighter, which I'd begun watching on the flight back from Rome. I've decided I'm a sucker for gritty movies about working-class Americans set in the recent past.

Later, after Gretchen went off to bed, I sat in front of the teevee and settled for live programming (that is, stuff that hadn't been prerecorded). This mode of viewing is more schizophrenically remote-intensive than watching pre-recorded shows. The idea is to avoid watching advertising while (ideally) mentally stitching together threads from two or more programs, or else simply sampling what's what (like looking out the window of an interactively-controllable hyperspace-capable space ship). It's a skill that's probably in steep decline, though it was common amongst couch potatoes in the 1990s. But modern high definition digital technology actually makes such surfing less feasible than it was when televisions were analog and standard-definition. You see, even among high-end DVRs there is a noticeable pause that follows every push of the channel-up or channel-down button during which nothing is on the screen as the digital electronics flushes its pipelines and begins processing a new stream of data. The pause may only be a quarter second long, but that's enough to break the mental flow of the would-be channel surfer, making the activity seem ponderous, unresponsive, and not especially fun. It's actually difficult to imagine channel surfing ever becoming popular if equipment had somehow started out being like modern HD DVRs.

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