Building big

"Cenotaph for Newton"
“Cenotaph for Newton”

There have always been “mega-building projects”. In the past, these were large hydro-electric projects, and more recently skyscrapers competing to be the tallest building.

Today one such mega-project is “the line”, which aims to cut across the desert in a narrow strip blanketed by sheer glass walls.

I find this ridiculous, but hey I’m not the one spending half a trillion on it, so I’m happy to watch them try.

I want humanity to build something gigantic, but my desires had tended towards something functional, like a large space station, or a space elevator, or some such.

Then I discovered Étienne-Louis Boullée.

None of his buildings were ever realized1, but his are the sort of ideas I can get behind.

My favorite2 is the “Cenotaph for Newton” (image above), but all his buildings exude some sort of quality I cannot name.

This is something I wish would be made in the world today. It can be.

These are all within our ability to make, lacking only the will to make them. I don’t particularly care who makes them, as long as they exist and are accessible.

  1. Well, except for residential work, like this, which still shows his influence.
  2. Biased by having recently read an astonishing account of his life. If someone deserves a monument like this, it’s him.

Circle Art

Some simple, quick, random (yet, it should be pointed out in this age of Dall-E, deliberate and human-made) art featuring colored circles:

circles := 
   Disk[{RandomInteger[{-15, 15}], RandomInteger[{-15, 15}]}, 
    RandomInteger[{2, 7}]]}, 20]

backgroundDim := 19

background := 
 Rectangle[{-backgroundDim, -backgroundDim}, {backgroundDim, 
Graphics[{RGBColor[0.0117647, 0.313725, 0.588235], background, Red, 

title = StringJoin["Random Art# ", ToString[RandomInteger[10^10]]]
“Random Art #6544511576”

A painting

Came across this painting through Twitter.

Something about it appealed to me.

The colors and shape of the arches reminded me of Bruegel’s Tower of Babel.

The title of the painting is “Das Begrabnis Eines Kreuzritters“, by Franz Ludwig Catel.

Or, translated into English, “The Burial of a Crusader“.

Personal Media Summary: December 2015



A bunch of miscellaneous stuff, in no particular order …

(for some reason, I had saved this draft 20 days ago, but neglected to actually hit “publish”)

Baktoo: Taking baby steps with generative art

Continuing (or stumbling) along a path to using Common Lisp for stuff I consider fun, I came up with this.

As mentioned in the `README`, I need to work on making this more efficient.

Stuff I learned along the way:

  • I love how I can focus on “making it work” _before_ worrying about “making it fast”
  • Utilities exist for a reason. _Use them_ (I’ve decided to stick with `:rutils`)
  • Don’t be afraid of using libraries. I found `:cl-log`, which is amazingly well-written and I will never use all of it, but just the basic use case of toggling levels of verbosity is good enough for me, and something that would normally be hard to do.
  • Building up the system works really well. This is the first time I’ve had an experience of writing stuff that sort of _just worked_, since it felt like I was **directly translating my thoughts into code**.
  • It’s easy to rapidly create and modify functions, stubs, what not, while keeping them all in view, in the same 100 or so lines of vertical space (contrast with switching between (say) multiple `.java` files)

Anyway, here are a couple of samples I made with this (click to see detailed image):
Baktoo - 2

Baktoo - 1