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Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Happiness is a Dandelion Futon

"Look at the Chimpanzees," Ntiro said. "Look how they swing so easily through the branches... This is the happiness of the chimpanzee."

"How do you know?" Iko said. "You are not a chimpanzee. How can you know if it is happy, or not?"

"You are not me," Ntiro said. "How do you know that I do not know the happiness of the chimpanzee?"

William Boyd--Brazzaville Beach

With a little practice, I bet I could learn to control a (computer) mouse with my voice... say use the vowel sound as the position, or maybe as the delta position. If we chose one formant for vertical, and one for horizontal, then U/EE (as in tune/teen) could be up, AH/O (as in tall/tone) could be down, O/U left, and AH/EE right -- i.e., in that case, EE would be the upper right corner of the screen. To move the mouse in a circle, you would say weyaoweyaoweyao...

Do you suppose TMJ (jaw pains) would replace CTS (wrist pains) as the hacker's plague?

I wonder how the precision would be? Keywords could invoke clicks... "AAAAOOOOAA Dah!" (moves the cursor down and clicks on a button...)

Could this sort of communication with our computers eventually create new forms of communication amongst humans? Would you stand across the room and say "AAAOOOOAAA EEUU EE EE Dah!" to the person who's straightening the picture on the wall for you?

The hummingbirds are out in numbers this year, probably due to all the rain we've had. So are the weeds, and the two get along marvelously. I sit and watch the hummingbirds dart in, pluck out a few giant tufts of dandelion cotton, and zip away to make comfy conical futons for their hummingchicks. (One family has decided to make a home on the edge of a pine branch square over the middle of my driveway, at not much more than head-height. Fortunately my friends with taller cars than mine usually avoid that spot for fear of scratching their paint; but I should probably warn them just in case.)

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com