Filtered for unknown lands

09.56, Monday 20 Jul 2015


Two utterly gorgeous Twitter bots:

  1. @infinitedeserts, an infinity of deserts, each more infinite than the last. ASCII-art endless horizons and open sky. I can see the mesas, I can see the desert sun.
  2. @mothgenerator, every few hours a new, random, computer-generated moth, with picture and name. lepidoptera automata.

The last couple hundred years have been anomalous, historically: we’ve run out of frontiers. Now humanity is pushing on two, outer space and phase space – the space of all possibilities, explored with algorithm probes. Who can say what we’ll find.


List of our dwarf planets, closest to the Sun first:

  • Ceres
  • Pluto
  • Haumea
  • Makemake
  • Eris

But Pluto shouldn’t be categorised as a dwarf planet – we’ve found out that it’s a binary planet with four chaotically orbiting moons. What do we even call that?


Aquaterra, the various lands now under the ocean previously populated by humans, roughly the size of North America.

“When scientists do mention aquaterra, they often call it a ‘land bridge’ as if ancient people only used it to get from one place we know today to another place we know today. This was not just a bridge. When sea level was low, aquaterra was a vast coastal plain with population densities at least as great as those in the lands above. There were houses, roads, villages and possibly cities. It was all coastal, all flat, and mostly tropical - clearly the best place to live during the ice ages.”


an area of land, now lying beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Great Britain to mainland Europe during and after the last Ice Age. It was then gradually flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500 or 6,200 BC. … It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period, although rising sea levels gradually reduced it to low-lying islands before its final destruction, perhaps following a tsunami caused by the Storegga Slide.


Radio Aporee, found via Warren Ellis’ newsletter Orbital Operations where he describes it as a constant stream of field recordings from all over the world. More radio. Continuous synthetic rain.

At the core of, a stochastic audio engine generates a realistic rain shower by randomly drawing sounds from different categories such as light rain, heavier rain, thunder, and water sounds.

Short story. The Library of Babel, by Jorge Luis Borges.

The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors.

The books in the library are infinite, and the text - of 25 letters - appears to be random - the formless and chaotic nature of almost all the books - no two identical.

One which my father saw in a hexagon on circuit fifteen ninety-four was made up of the letters MCV, perversely repeated from the first line to the last. Another (very much consulted in this area) is a mere labyrinth of letters, but the next-to-last page says Oh time thy pyramids.