Saturday, April 23, 2011

The love for meaningless things (GBC, Rube Goldberg machines and Transport Tycoon)

Our work spam list (yeah, we have one of those) recently spat out this lovely Lego Great Ball Contraption video:

It doesn't do anything useful and as such is a Rube Goldberg machine, but there is something beautiful, I would say even relaxing about its futility and the effort gone into it. A bit like sorting stamps or burning money, turning your back on the constraints of Reality. The band OK Go, who have made many viral music videos before, made a machine of their own for "This too shall pass":

It's fascinating to notice how these things are being empowered by IT - it's easier to build when you're not constrained by atoms, and youtube and forums can at least potentially bring lots of eyballs to your obsession as well as gather the collective power for massive procrastination. People are doing the most insane meaningless things in Minecraft which hardly even can be described as a game, but still seems at least as addictive as WoW. Myself I play Transport Tycoon / OpenTTD to relax, maybe there's therapy for it?

People waste their time in all kinds of ways, watching TV, playing solitaire, reading poor books, how do you do it? As a final note and for good measure, let's play Michael B. Tretow's "Den makalösa manicken (Evighetsmaskin)".

(Update: This "The Birth of Low-Rise" of staples arranged over a period of 30 hours certainly gets an honorary mention for meaningless endeavors)

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