🌱Talking Plants, The Fediverse, and One Console to Rule them All
and in the darkness bind them
Helloooooo and welcome to another issue of The Land of Random.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving here in the USA - but everyone is already selling Christmas decorations. Sheesh
I hope none of y’all had any crypto in FTX - that was an insane bloodbath last week - and all the drama just keeps getting weirder. From hacking (or insider trading) to CZ pulling out of buying FTX - it’s a bizarre ride.
I’m mostly out of crypto myself - merely a fly on the wall watching all my NFT investments go to zero lol.
I finally managed to watch Chainsaw Man! It’s really good - and absolutely worth a watch.
You do have two choices though - you could read the entire manga now and prepare yourself for the ending of the show - orrrrr watch the show blissfully unaware of . . . well . . .
I won’t say anymore.
I’m working on a new lead magnet to get people interested in The Land of Random - it’s a Kinopio web of EVERY LINK I’VE EVER shared in the newsletter.
I won’t be sharing that link here until it’s finished (realistically another 30 hours of work or so) BUT you can check it out and see my progress in my subscriber chat on the Substack app. I shared the link there.
If you don’t have an IOS device capable of joining the chat - I’ve also shared it in my Telegram channel as well.
The web is gonna be INSANE - I’ll be adding at least another 1000 or so links in there . . . separated by topic.
Let’s hop in, shall we?
We pruned a rose bush in our backyard last month - and it’s growing back pretty quickly.
When we pruned it - we left two branches that were healthy - and both produced some pretty awesome roses.
Yesterday - I accidentally bumped one of the roses pretty hard and apologized to it.
”Sorry Bud” I said - stabilizing the branch.
My wife said “Did you just apologize to the rose?”
I said “Yes - It’s never been proven that plants can’t feel or hear things.”
That got me going down the “Can plants understand when I talk to them” rabbithole again.
I did a little digging back into the research - and there’s some interesting research.
For example . . .
According to research from Tel Aviv University, Oenothera drummondii flowers “exposed to playback sound of a flying bee or to synthetic sound signals at similar frequencies, produce sweeter nectar within 3 minutes, potentially increasing the chances of cross pollination.” The flowers also vibrated mechanically in response to these sounds, “suggesting a plausible mechanism where the flower serves as an auditory sensory organ.” And this wasn’t simply a case of flower + sound = response — while the plants vibrated and made sweet, sweet nectar in response to pollinator sounds, they showed no response to random, higher-frequency noise. (source)
They “heard” the bees and made sweeter nectar - why can’t they “hear” humans too?
There’s a paper called “Plant Neurobiology: an integrated view of plant signaling” that dives into the way in which plants use electronic signals to communicate with each other. Its legacy is quite controversial - and has caused many arguments within the scientific sphere.
On one side you have plant researchers like Monica Gagliano whose “experiments suggest that they can learn behaviors and remember them. Her work also suggests that plants can “hear” running water and even produce clicking noises, perhaps to communicate.” (source - a fascinating NYT article) or Clever Backster - who ran experiments back in the 60’s on plants - claiming that they grew faster after listening to music. (source)
On the other side you have researchers like Lincoln Taiz who “believes that plant neurobiology ultimately leads down a slippery slope implying that plants can feel emotions like happiness or pain, can make decisions with purpose and perhaps even have consciousness.” (source)
Both sides appeal to different elements to support their conclusions - but everyone agrees that more research needs to be done to figure out how and why the heck plants seem to respond to the vibrations of a bee.
If a wild flower responds to a bee, why can’t a dometicated plant respond to the kind words and actions of a human on some sort of level?
House plants have been around for many years - why can’t a domesticated plant figure out that humans vibrate at a particular tone, notice additions of water and sunlight based on those vibrations - and respond by growing?
All I can say is - it’s a fascinating idea.
From an operational standpoint when it comes to day to day life - if you want to be talk to to your plants, do so - because there’s a chance of a chance of a chance they may be listening and responding.
Wouldn’t that be cool?
If you’d like to do a bit of diving into this topic - read the following articles.
Do Plants Have Something to Say? - New York Times - Check it out
Plants have sensibilities, but are they conscious? - Big Think - Check it out
The Intelligent Plant - New Yorker - Check it out
Elon’s purchase of Twitter has created a wide variety of reactions from people - ranging from complete account deletion to searching for other alternatives.
Mastodon is usually considered the most logical alternative - and has been around since 2016.
Well - Mastodon is a decentralized twitter style social network -and this happened before the word decentralized was cliche mainstream.
I remember checking it out back then - and leaving once I realized it was a bit of a ghost town.
Well - it’s gotten a MASSIVE influx of users since Elon’s purchase - so I thought I’d wander back.
To be honest - it’s been a hole in my OSINT for interesting Land of Random Content - and a LOT has happened to Mastodon and the Fediverse since then.
Anyone can spin up a Mastodon server - and you can follow anyone across any of the Mastodon servers. It’s an open source platform - part of the Fediverse of other programs.
Per Axbom created this AWESOME diagram of many of the different services that make up the Fediverse. I had no idea some of these existed!
Per Axbom explains the Fediverse this way as it relates to the diagram.
Fediverse is shorthand for federated universe. But what does federated really mean in this context? It's important to remember that the vast majority of applications in my picture can be installed thousands of times over and each of these instances, or servers, be of many different sizes. Each of these have their own rules and ownership, and make up their own corner of the Fediverse. (source)
Cool right? It’s similar to the Blue Sky protocol that I talked about a few weeks ago.All of these platforms in the tree run through the ActivityPub protocol - which allows them to communicate with eachother.
If you’ve never messed around with the alternative world of social networking - Mastodon is a great introduction.
Check it out!
🎮One Console to Rule Them All
The Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck have generated a lot of interest in alternative consoles.
What can I buy that will go as far as possible in allowing me to game how I want - whether it’s handheld, on a TV, or in the metaverse?
To do all that - you need at least two or three devices these days - a top tier Steam Deck, a VR console, and a game controller/mouse.
Well - Pimax is trying to wrap everything (minus your tv screen) into ONE device - they’re calling it the “World’s First Metaverse Entertainment System.”
They’re calling it the “Pimax Portal.”
Here’s their 57 minute long introduction.
The Portal looks a lot like a PSP - but its controllers can slide off just like a Nintendo Switch.
You can slide the body/screen into the headset to use for VR
Stream from your PC or the cloud (Geforce Now) to your device
Play your games on the TV
use as a handheld
I skipped around a bit to watch different parts - and it’s so OP (so many buzzwords) it feels like your typical Kickstarter vaporware / disappointware.
How the HECK can this platform do this all. I’m burned out from all those cool products in 2014 - 2016 that ended up being crap.
I WANT TO BELIEVE - so to speak.
I headed to Reddit to see if I could find any interesting information.
Apparently they’re bringing the device to various roadshows around the world this and next month. THAT will be a great chance to seee how the device works - and if it can live up to the hype.
Here’s a link to their EU roadshow locations. I’m not sure when they’ll be in the USA.
There’s a lot of interesting conversations about the Pimax Portal - here’s a good one to check out.
Based on some of the conversations about other Pimax Products I don’t feel particularly confident in how it lives up to its promises. I can’t wait to watch a few hands ons - those will give me the info I need.
Go check it out at the link!
🐙The Land of Random
LET’S GET RANDOOMMMMMMMMMMM
The McDonald’s Gaming Chair
Yes. This exists in real life and only one person will win it.
The Website Keeps Getting Worse . ..
Every time someone new visits it . . . it gets worse.
The Carpenters Website
Remember the Carpenters? It seems they’ve forgotten about their website . . .
What Is This
Idk but it’s catchy
Yoooo - I had no idea Oracle had a tool that you could use to look up running ads by a brand.
The Slingbox is Finally Ending
Remember the Slingbox? Apparently people were still using it!
Find the Path Forward
Ok - it took me about a minute to figure this out but just draw dots allll over the place and hit that play button to watch the program try to find a path forward.
🎶TikToks You Can’t Miss
Now this is the kind of prank I can get support
*Sigh* Ohhhh Cards against humanity - what are you doing
Now heres the question - Are you served that noodle, or a different one
I’m JUST A BIT PECKISH
I want to be friends with this guy
Relaxing Ambient Generative vybes. If you don’t like a particular melody, just reload the site.
Well, that’s all for next week. Hop in the chat to discuss this week’s issue . . . or check out my link web.