Sunday, April 9, 2017

Simulating the arts



The humanities' only hope for ever becoming grounded in science is if we can re-create the world's great artworks via computer programs.

Incremental progress is already occurring on a huge number of fronts.

Choose a text, and search for aspects you can simulate at any level.





Friday, June 24, 2016

Hamlet on the Holodeck

It's easy to imagine a future VR/AI where you can relive and interact with the familiar worlds of classic fiction.

It's not so easy to point to any real milestones that have been achieved (except insofar as the classic fiction you're aiming for resembles Grand Theft Auto).

I want to look back across the history of videogames, and retrace with baby steps some overlooked models that might actually serve useful functions when applied specifically to the challenge of simulating James Joyce's Ulysses.

We might begin with the geology of Dublin, Ireland, where his story takes place.  .

The significant neighborhoods of the city can be abstracted into a classic hexmap.

Every straightline path taken by any character can be measured, and the required traveltime simulated.

The Hades carriage-ride could be parodied using the 'Oregon Trail' model.

Since HTML5 now has built-in sprite animation, we can divide the book into scenes and re-enact the characters' relative movements.

Bloom looks quite a bit like Donkey Kong's Mario, traversing Dublin streets.

There are many toolkits for animated storytelling.

Doom was a breakthru in 3D graphics, and mocking up Dublin even in wireframe graphics could be educational.

Minecraft lets architecture be rendered at any scale and explored.

Second Life can approach photorealism in a giant simulacrum of 1904 Dublin.

Ulysses chapter three is being rendered with the Unreal engine.


Shifting gears, cellular automata can capture a very simple model of character dynamics.

Dublin pedestrians can be treated as idealised traffic.

Some of their abstract interactions might even be symbolised with chess pieces.

AI has a long history with path-planning algorithms.

A detailed map might be crowdsourced.


Shifting gears again, we could take some very primitive steps towards emulating Joyce's prose.

We can easily generate simplified Joycean interior monologs.

We can take on the uncanny valley of characters' facial expressions.

We can render the voices of Sirens via MIDI with appropriate timbres

We can keep one eye on the growing power of emoji to capture critical events in a handful of signs.

We can rethink Bloom's 'odyssey' as a sequence of puzzles




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Preliminaries


(could each episode get its own simulation style?) [cf]


priorities
perspective

realism
liberties
errors

unknown/ unknowable


topography
maps
vr
scale


streets
paths
polygons
thom's
contemporary photographs
streetview (walkthru)
width
sidewalks
frontage


trams and trains
schedules

carriage
traffic


neighborhoods
density
wealth
census


buildings
census
numbering
storeys
algorithmic generation
doors and windows
awnings
decorations

3d modeling

interiors
walls
stairs
chimneys

tower
eccles
deasy's
butcher's
postoffice
church
chemist
newspaper
restaurants
library
ormond
kiernans


furniture


stuff
labels
ads



people
selfguiding
pathfollowing

pets
horses
strays

home address
job
family
wealth

clothes
hair
weight, height

tobacco
alcohol

economy
government
police

church


cellular automata

simcity






Friday, May 20, 2016

Startingpoints

Where and when?

The primary argument for Dublin 1904 is that Joyce crystallised it across countless dimensions, making the unpacking of his crystal into a game that never seems to grow stale.


1900 NYC in StreetView

How many novels take place in:
Saigon: buildings, typology

1920s Berlin Project community in Second Life

NYC Hotel Chelsea [SL?]

contemporary Lisbon, Portugal [2ndLife]

contemporary San Francisco [Cities: Skylines]

Luxembourg City in Second Life

Unity3D 'Tokyo'

GTA NYC, Miami; London 1969


videogames by country of setting: [wiki] [Ireland] (mostly sports)

Irish coast 1923
present-day Doolin
present-day Castle Malloy




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ontology of collectibles



book collecting
editions
translations
criticism
biography (author's own library rebuilt)
reference: maps
books mentioned re characters' libraries/reading
book fetishism: jewelry, tshirts, cover art, shelfies


media
video
theater
animation


quotes
bumperstickers

allusions


characters
characteristics

images
t-shirts
posters
ashtrays, mugs

celebrity lookalikes
photoshopped
as kids
as elders

cosplay
fan fiction (prequels, sequels, alternate timelines, lacunae)
theater/video

figurines
model railroad scales
salt/pepper, spoons, mugs
dolls (costumes)
bobbleheads
action figures (posable)
statues (garden gnomes)


cast
tarot
zodiac
pantheon
sportsteam
baseball cards
mappings to other casts (movie posters)
other genres: western, scifi, horror, reality, crime


props
charmbracelet charms
paintings


buildings
scales
dollhouses
treehouses


cities
monopoly


plot turns
boardgames


songs
lyric parodies



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Topography and geology






Topographical data should be available, and just letting people wander over simulated hills and valleys might be educational. (How do you make subtle slopes obvious?)  Maybe the 1909 map could be layered onto it. (Is there some toolkit that makes this easy?)

The evolution of the underlying geology might also be of interest.


U19: "He capered before them down towards the fortyfoot hole, fluttering his winglike hands, leaping nimbly, Mercury's hat quivering in the fresh wind that bore back to them his brief birdsweet cries."

U93: "The carriage climbed more slowly the hill of Rutland square."

U168: "Hidden under wild ferns on Howth. Below us bay sleeping sky... High on Ben Howth"

U236: "John Wyse Nolan, lagging behind, reading the list, came after them quickly down Cork hill."

U265: "Slower the mare went up the hill by the Rotunda,"

U328: "Tarbarrels and bonfires were lighted along the coastline of the four seas on the summits of the Hill of Howth, Three Rock Mountain, Sugarloaf, Bray Head, the mountains of Mourne, the Galtees, the Ox and Donegal and Sperrin peaks, the Nagles and the Bograghs, the Connemara hills, the reeks of M' Gillicuddy, Slieve Aughty, Slieve Bernagh and Slieve Bloom."

U624: "From Roundwood reservoir in county Wicklow of a cubic capacity of 2,400 million gallons, percolating through a subterranean aqueduct of filtre mains of single and double pipeage constructed at an initial plant cost of £ 5 per linear yard by way of the Dargle, Rathdown, Glen of the Downs and Callowhill to the 26 acre reservoir at Stillorgan, a distance of 22 statute miles, and thence, through a system of relieving tanks, by a gradient of 250 feet to the city boundary at Eustace bridge, upper Leeson street, though from prolonged summer drouth and daily supply of 12 1/2 million gallons the water had fallen below the sill of the overflow weir for which reason the borough surveyor and waterworks engineer, Mr Spencer Harty, C. E., on the instructions of the waterworks committee had prohibited the use of municipal water for purposes other than those of consumption (envisaging the possibility of recourse being had to the impotable water of the Grand and Royal canals as in 1893) particularly as the South Dublin Guardians, notwithstanding their ration of 15 gallons per day per pauper supplied through a 6 inch meter had been convicted of a wastage of 20,000 gallons per night by a reading of their meter on the affirmation of the law agent of the corporation, Mr Ignatius Rice, solicitor, thereby acting to the detriment of another section of the public, selfsupporting taxpayers, solvent, sound."

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nature Census



Someday you'll be able to type in "Dublin Ireland 16 June 1904" at a website and get a detailed inventory of likely species of plant and animal that could have been found there then.

Ulysses is wildlife-poor: a spiderweb, two flies, a moth, gulls, ferns...

A similar database could track people in places over time. Ireland was pretty advanced to take detailed censuses, with names and addresses and other biographical data, in 1901 and 1911.

Older times have to be estimated algorithmically.

A SimCity-like algorithm can guess neighborhoods past growth.