I seem to remember that the movie Baraka (which I coincidentally just found mentioned alongside other movies in comments to this) starts out with a few great, reflection-triggering time-lapse sequences. Here's a relevant bit of Roger Ebert's review of that movie:
Time-lapse photography can be dismissed as a gimmick, but
for me it's something more than that. It's a visual demonstration of
how fleeting life is. Of how the decisions that seem momentous on our
time scale are flickering instants in the life of the planet, too
small to be observed except on the minute scale of human life.
Somehow the technique makes the earth and its inhabitants seem
[...] Life goes on, day follows day and we all get a little older, a little more sure
that our reality only extends as far as that wall, but since we do those things
together, no-one really notices. And so the wall gets a little higher, a little
But then along comes blogging and it starts knocking holes in
that wall, through which you can glimpse exquisitely tantalising thumbnails of
the view on the other side; it creates links, threads that pass through those
holes and start to exert a tug thats almost physical. People, places, ideas,
challenges suddenly theyre all around in glorious technicolour and by contrast
this side of the wall is grey, shabby, lifeless, dull.
It was only towards the end of the 13th century that the inquisitors
began to recognise the real problem. A few highly connected, highly
influential and highly mobile individuals were spreading heresy faster
than indiscriminate killing, imprisonment and "inoculation" could wipe
it out. The inquisitors had finally realised the importance of the
Just as the internet has,
for example, Yahoo and Napster acting as short cuts to connect many
people using very few links, heresy relied on the activities of a few
influential people like William of Milan. If the church was to beat
heresy, this well-connected heretic - and others like him - had to be
(via Monkeymagic, an interesting new blog on "creativity, madness, and knowledge".)
I have a colleague who's going to love this. Alf has partnered with RJ at Audioscrobbler.com
to enable people to automagically obtain R(DF)SS feeds of whatever
music goes through their player. Using a RSS-to-HTML device like feedroll, letting others know what you've been listening to recently on your weblog becomes a snap.
The view from 10,000 feet is even more promising. All of
Audioscrobbler's data is published under the Creative Commons licence,
and so are the user feeds. Which enables clever people to build
crawlers ("Musicrati"?) and devise algorithms that exploit the
distributed database and add value, for instance by matching
participants' listening profiles (à la blogmatcher) or by building new playlists out of the raw materials.
In short, what Alf and RJ are effectively doing is applying the
people-as-filters pattern that is inherent in blogging from the domain
of text to that of music.
Update (3:30pm): Lucas Gonze complains that I'm "crediting the
work of the whole playlisting community to Alf". While I don't believe
I'm doing this, I'm sorry if my posts gave that impression. I did
become aware of playlist-sharing developments through Alf, and haven't
had the time to dig out the complete history of this exciting area.
Here's one of the early-ish documents I found; better links welcome.