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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rooftop Refuge

Professor Zhang Lin's mountain villa built on top of a Beijing apartment block.
I'm reading Mona Lisa Overdrive and I come across this scene where Mona is looking out a window of a high-rise in the Sprawl (New York City) and she sees this wild landscape built on top of the building across the way. There are rocks and hills and trees and even a mountain goat climbing around and nibbling on the shrubbery, and I think I've seen that before, but where? Or maybe I didn't see it, I just constructed an image in my mind the last time I read this book. What a minute, have I read this book before? I could have, it was written over 25 years ago, but I don't think so.
     But I do remember seeing this and I think it was a real place in China. A little Google and here we are. The doc who built it got an order to tear it down a couple of years ago, so it's probably gone by now, but it was very cool while it lasted.

Smart Phone Zombies
    A key element of the story in the book revolves around people operating virtual lives in cyber space. The New York Times just passed out a bunch of free cardboard widgets that turn your smart phone into a virtual reality viewer (essentially 3-D stereo). I'm pretty sure looking at smart phone that is a couple of inches from your eyes for very long is going to mess with your vision. Might be so bad that the smart phone zombies will start wearing a camera as well so they can where they are going when they need to walk around.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Opticians here report that young chidren are increasingly suffering from short-sightedness and recommend a maximum use of smartphones of 30 monutes per day for under-tens, 45 minutes for under-16s.