When I open my web browser, I sometimes imagine myself perched on the precipice of the edge of the infinity. It was how James Hutton, cracked open what was the 18th century conventional understanding of natural history (my emphasis added)
In a paper presented in 1788 before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a newly-founded scientific organization, Hutton described a universe very different from the Biblical cosmos: one formed by a continuous cycle in which rocks and soil are washed into the sea, compacted into bedrock, forced up to the surface by volcanic processes, and eventually worn away into sediment once again. “The result, therefore, of this physical enquiry,” Hutton concluded, “is that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.“
The surprises of what I find, of the vastness of what I don’t know, actually makes me giddy.
Like dried paint.
You know the expression about something being as dull as “watching paint dry”? I used it as a joke in a reference to today’s live Google Hangout with Martin Hawksey
— Alan Levine (@cogdog) June 13, 2014
Just trying to be funny.
And just for fun, I wondered if there was maybe someone’s goofball site where they had a live web cam set up to allow you to experience this. Could there be much more silly, useless? Hence I looked
Heck, there are several, with their own domains http://www.watching-paint-dry.com/ — that “Mr Paint” set up in 2006-2007.
In May/2007, the inside of my house was painted, so I had a webcam provide live coverage to the Internet … and again two months later when the outside of the house was painted. Lots of commentary and pictures on the Paint Blog.
In 2006, Internet surfers could Watch Paint Dry in my basement crawl space via a D-Link DCS-6620G wireless webcam. X10 Powerline technology is used to control the various “zones” and allow you to turn them on and off in real-time.
And it’s still there. Why? Why not? Because Mr Paint predicts it might be a few years before the job needs redoing, you can instead watch grass grow.
Hold on, Mr Paint, Patti Ann has you topped as “the official Watching Paint Dry Web Cam”
This page his literally been here since early 1998, when it was set up while we were painting our dining room. It’s been here ever since, and truly is the first, and the only Official Watching Paint Dry Webcam.
I cannot think of too many times, maybe any times, when I wondered “is there a web site for X” that I did not only find X, but Y * X.
Multiple sites for watching paint dry was likely not the goal when the web was first proposed and made real by Tim Berners-Lee, but they absolutely represent the outcome of the original vision for the web (my emphasis again)
The dream behind the Web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information. Its universality is essential: the fact that a hypertext link can point to anything, be it personal, local or global, be it draft or highly polished. There was a second part of the dream, too, dependent on the Web being so generally used that it became a realistic mirror (or in fact the primary embodiment) of the ways in which we work and play and socialize. That was that once the state of our interactions was on line, we could then use computers to help us analyse it, make sense of what we are doing, where we individually fit in, and how we can better work together.
The internet (and web) that a corporate entity would have developed would not be like this.
I opt for the one where people keep web sites up for 7 years after the paint has dried.
Because that not only means there is room for everything, it means there is room for anything.
PS- Speaking of mystery, I am wondering why the majority of images I found searching flickr images with compfight for “inventory” produced cameras and Barbie dolls. The answer is out there…