Guide to the Savanna

Humankind got its start on the African savannas some hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years ago. At various times in our cultural history we’ve moved to distinctly new cultural ground, as it were. And so we are moving now, and have been for the past half century. This blog, mostly intellectual, but not entirely so, is how I see that move. Intellectually, I'm broadly interested in culture and the brain. Within that compass, anything could show up here (but most likely won't). Literature and films (including animation), certainly, music as well, and graffiti. But, other things may show up as well. It's a blog, don't you know, it moves.

A good many of those posts are fairly cerebral, but some aren’t. Some are fairly long as blog posts go (1500 words or more). But then, some of them are mostly photographs. That’s how it went at The Valve (where I still post), and that’s how it goes here.

Some posts will be moderately hard-core intellectual stuff, not technical, but you’ll have to want to read them. Others will be more relaxed, and a few are likely to be just plain brainless.

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This link takes you to various kinds of posts about New Savanna. Are you curious about why I have so many tags? This post explains that. This post talks about what happens when a New Savanna post gets mentioned in a high-traffic blog. There are a fair number of posts about traffic here, too many to list here, though I suppose I could create a specific tag for that – but not yet. And this post is about the relationship between my general state of mind and my posting frequency; it's seasonal, with winter being a down time.

If you’re curious about me, About Bill Benzon covers the BIG STUFF, but it doesn’t tell you that I’ve done a lot of technical writing and a fair amount of business journalism. It also has links to some of my other web hangouts. 

Enjoy. Drop me a line, let me know what you think: bbenzon [@] mindspring [dot] com.

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I’ve created a small collection of short lists that can serve as a way for someone to sample what’s here. I’ve been post at New Savanna for a decade (and at The Valve, a now defunct group blog for several years before that),  and have quite a few posts, almost 6800. Roughly a third of them consist of one or more of my photos. The rest are about this or that. Off hand I’d say the majority of those are posts linking to things that others have written, with substantial excerpts from that material. The rest of the posts are my thoughts on various topics.

I’ve created five short lists, each consisting of six items. The idea is that each of those lists samples the new Savanna space, with each item in the list being in a distinctly different region of the space. I make no claim about how well each list samples the space much less how well the thirty posts sample the space. The lists are just starting points for poking around.

List 1

Disney’s Fantasia as Masterpiece

Romantic Love, Conversation, Biology, and Culture

Into the Future: From Tyler Cowen through Kim Stanley Robinson to Kisangani 2150

Summer 1981, When I advised NASA on their computing infrastructure

Joe Rogan and Joey Diaz call “Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris” – a rough transcription of their conversation

Friday Fotos: Power to the People [The Hallucinated City]

List 2

Sixty years ago – Gojira 1954

Hilary Hahn on daydreaming as a mode of practicing music, of priming yourself to go with the flow in performance

Redefining the Coming Singularity – It’s not what you think

The Living Cosmos

Not with a bang, but with a rainbow of ducks and a departing hyperobject

Trumposaurus Rex @ 3QD – Toward a cybernetic interpretation

List 3

War Boys in Tomorrowland, or: Mad Max Meets Disney

Talk to the Wood: Animism is Natural

Ontology in Perception and Thought

The Hallucinated City: I reflect therefore I am

The Hunt for Genius, Part 5: Three Elite Schools [RIP #RichardAMacksey]

Borges redux: Computing Babel – Is that what’s going on with these abstract spaces of high dimensionality? [#DH]

List 4

Culture is a Driving Force in History

The Site of Graffiti: Linked Poetry and Mu’en

Entropy and Self-Organization on the Table Top

More Blues: The British Get Invaded and Uncle Clint Talks Piano

MacArthur Fellowships: Search for creativity or the same old cronyism?

The Hallucinated City: Sandy + seven

List 5

The Faith of Graffiti, Redux

Friday Fotos: Cleopatra’s Shoes, or, the F Me Pump

Reflections on entering my eighth decade and why it portends to be the most productive one of my life

The Robot as Subaltern: Tezuka’s Mighty Atom

The Only Game in town: Digital Criticism Comes of Age

Ghost Dancing in the USA