Posts Tagged ‘Meta’

Creativity Framework Rename!

April 14, 2015


Dan Zen will be re-branding the Dan Zen Creativity Framework to and providing the framework free of charge.  He would like people to consider the framework as theirs to use for creativity.  He would also like to encourage the framework be used in schools and thinks a more generic name will help meet these goals.

Why Have a Blog and How Blogs Can Be Used

April 30, 2008

Dan Zen Blogs and Why Dan Zen Blogs

Dan Zen would like to encourage people to blog and perhaps more generally to create content.

A blog for Dan Zen is a meta view of content. The games, gadgets, tools, art, etc. content exist and the blog is an organized way to provide information about the content. This frees the content from verbosity – which is handy when your features have embedded or hidden interface. Blogs help features remain simple. If you have a product or service site – then keep it simple with just the facts. Then blog about your product or service in a free and more relaxed voice.

Blogs with their RSS or Atom feeds are the new newsletter – the new press release. Subscription is standardized across many free readers including traditional e-mail clients. Nothing is lacking in infrastructure – if you do not have a reader then please find one or set one up – google reader, Thunderbird (down there in the news and blogs folder) and subscribe to this blog via the entries feed link at the bottom – and join the millions who get their news and updates this way and will not go back.

Blogs have excellent search engine placement due primarily to their title being placed in their URL as well as their network of “Blogrolls” or links. Dan Zen has become the number one psychedelic dancer in the world (according to Google) through blog placements.

Blog posts are portable. For example, the content of the Dan Zen facebook page comes from blogs. Post once, display many places. And writers or editors can create and update their own posts without delay because blogs have easy content management systems built for anyone. You do not need a Web team for maintenance and your site is less likely to get stale. Oh… they are free even for many gigs of space.

Here are some sample Dan Zen blogs. Posts are occasionally cross-posted to the main Dan Zen blog (this blog) making the Dan Zen blog quite diverse in subject matter. Of course content helps and being a mad inventor, there is no shortage of content. Dan Zen has been blogging since 1996 with his now defunct Social Page and Telepathy Newsletter to 25,000.


A video log using the vlogging tool Zen Mix to mix video on picture or event interactive works. Content includes Phsychedelic Dancing as Exercise, Environmental messages, A nano antigravity sci-fi mystery called META told by ages 5 to 100 and many more.


Discussions and tips on inventing including connections with the philosophy of Nodism, experiences from being a patent agent, video of offline inventions, unjunk movement, environmental inventing by distribution of ideas as opposed to physical product.


The Blog for Sheridan Interactive Multimedia one year post grad program in Oakville Canada including many innovative and current code samples for creating interactive video, video motion capture, frequency beat analysis, and a variety of event information, links to countless multimedia pioneering blogs and more.


A new environmental blog encouraging reconsideration when purchasing minivans, SUVs and trucks. Includes a spottings chart of license plate numbers and encourages others to enter their spottings.


Out of focus photography for artistic intention. This blog shows examples and discusses the reasons why out of focus work can be included as a part of so many features as background.


A blog on the philosophy of Nodism. Nodism takes our learning in Object Oriented Programming as the way we model life in gaming and simulations and XML as the way in which we share and represent data and applies these two hierarchical systems to the philosophical value of viewing life as a single hierarchy leading to node zero. The hopes are the most logical people in the world will see this as a philosophy they can explore and use to reach further understanding.


Experimenting with Blog games where people come back every hour to get more objects. WannaGet is set up for Harry Potter, James Bond and Narnia but anyone can start a WannaGet game and put it on their blog.


Tapoll is a poll where you get to predict the results as you vote. This blog needs some loving and if you want to be a technology blog editor, please let us know. The blog discusses and allows for discussion about technology issues and centers around a tapoll poll. Tapoll makes use of Chikita ads and revenue sharing is hopeful!


A blog to help designers connect between Flash and Database. A Falcon class is provided that turns 15 complex lines of code into 3 simple lines of code. Uptake from search engine traffic has been wonderful and it feels good to be helpful.


A new blog to encourage all students, grads, faculty and staff from Sheridan College – the second largest art school in North America to aggregate their feeds to show up on Sheridan Bloggers. It has just been out a few weeks and participation is positive, Talks are underway to encourage teachers to blog for their programs and get students blogging as well. There is a facebook presence which reads in the RSS feeds as well.

One area of concern is comments. It has been hard to get comments despite open invitations. Perhaps Dan Zen needs to get out more and comment on other people’s blogs – too busy creating ;-). Dan Zen created comment right at to try and remedy the comment issue – the results can be seen on Zen Vlog but we shall persevere.

Perhaps the BlogPreneur contest below will bring more people or people who are used to commenting. That would be very rewarding.

TiECON Blogpreneur Contest 2008

In 250 words, tell entrepreneurs at the conference how you were able to successfully get your blog up and running…

Blogs allow you to easily publish to many people. People can subscribe to your blog to be notified of updates like a news letter or press release. Blog pages also have excellent search engine placement due to the way their title appears in their URL and the linking power of blog networks.

Blogs come with a very easy content management system. You can publish in one place and distribute to many places such as a facebook page without extra work. You do not need a Web team to maintain your site so it is easy to keep the site fresh. Blogs are free even for gigabytes of content.

Dan Zen is a mad inventor with hundreds of inventions ranging from food to out of focus photography, mysteries to meta philosophies. Many Dan Zen inventions are Web games, gadgets and communities found at This is the Dan Zen content.

A blog for Dan Zen is a meta view of content. The content exists and the blog is an organized way to provide information about the content. This frees the content from verbosity – which is handy when your features have embedded or hidden interface. Blogs help features remain simple. If you have a product or service site – keep it simple with just the facts. Then blog about your product or service in a free and more relaxed voice.

Make a blog with your first post in ten minutes at WordPress or Blogger like I did at

Mixing Interactive Works

March 13, 2008

Much like we have a DJ for audio and a VJ for video, we will have an IJ for mixing interactive works. These interactive mixes will be on our walls within ten years with OLED technology. OLED Walls.

Meta stories and games will be played out through the mixes. Games of follow the leader, quests, mazes, hunts, rallies, chases, tag.

Zen Mix ( is a tool that was specifically built to mix interactive works. In the original Zen Mix it is not so apparent because people are seeing the outcome of creations. But in the tool, the elements of the creation are interactive. So when I am in the Zen Mix tool I put Opartica (the Op Art tool) on top of Zen Picture (sliding picture viewer) then I can operate both of them and even have a video blended with the results. This is the place to be. Not just watching, but doing, exploring and creating.

The IJ would be responsible for starting people off. Scenario: here’s an oldie from 2001, Opartica, mixed overtop of the latest branching music video from Vincent Morisset. Each branch of the video brings in associated Zen Pan of overlayed backgrounds. Zen Pan pans across pictures and other interactive works such as Zen Picture Zoom.

In the above scenario, people can watch it all happen or they can use Opartica to change the patterns over the video. When their mouse causes the video to branch, Zen Pan comes in which could be operable through transparent parts of Opartica or perhaps Opartica is faded out (prompted by a shared event). When Zen Pan shows Zen Picture, they can zoom in and out on pictures and wave their mouse to go to other pictures. One of the pictures might be a Zen Deck filled with further interactive works. Clicking on one of these might fade out or ZoomExit the prior interactive works and start you in a fresh set of environments. Personal meta navigation will be available to go back.

The new Zen Mix (Zen Mix 2) will be like a browser with multiple pages stacked. You can go into the pages through transparent areas or areas in applications that open up to more layers of environments. If all goes well, it will be fullscreen (adjustable), optionally available on your desktop so you can incorporate local and remote media, and will publish an FLV for distribution. It will also let you read in YouTube videos which was a limitation of a previous version of Flash.

For this to happen, there are some technical issues. Zen Mix and interactive mixers are possible because of Flash and its ability to load in other flash files. There are cross domain issues on occasion and a standard or a policy of how these will be handled will help people mix interactive works. Also, some legacy code while working independently will not work within other files due primarily to using a root reference. This can be fixed quite easily by locking the root in older code but requires editing.

More importantly, there are issues of transparency and event handling. When a user clicks or rolls over an area does the application on top pass the click or roll event through to the next layer. Flash can have transparent areas that will let the click pass through. But there are more than mouse events. Imagine that an animation is finished playing – that is an event. Or the user is increasing the volume of a sound. If your application broadcasts this event then the other interactive applications could subscribe to the event and do something like zoom in on a picture as the sound is increased. Reaching the end of an animation might change a blend mode or launch another application, etc.

So we need a set of guidelines for interactive works so that people can more easily work in layers of different interactive features. This could take on the form of an interface or an API. But rather than concentrating on a data and method API this should be an event API and perhaps more importantly a common event API to handle:

  • Click
  • DoubleClick
  • Timer
  • MouseMove
  • Press
  • Release
  • KeyPress
  • KeyRelease
  • Load
  • Unload
  • Focus
  • Blur
  • Start
    • animation
    • video
    • sound
  • Complete
    • animation
    • video
    • sound
  • Change
    • volume
    • frame
    • motionX
    • motionY
    • motionZ
    • width
    • height
    • depth
    • transparency
    • blend
    • selection

A variety of common states might be good too to handle modal issues, etc.

Then when these interactive works get put into Zen Mix or an interactive mixer, various properties and connections can be set so that triggered events from one application calls a method or sets a property in another application. This could be a one off thing like a load event. Or it could be an event that calls over an interval – like a mouse move or a change event.

Zen Picture (2004) was probably the first application in which I brought in a second interactive tool (Opartica 2001) and realized that mixing these was interesting. I ran into problems as the panning event of Zen Picture and the subsequent zooming within Zen Picture prevented interaction with the inner tool. Since then, I have used Opartica, Zen Picture and Zen Pan (2005) within Zen Mix for various psychedelic dancing as exercise episodes.

The designer of an interactive mix might be a story teller, artist or programmer for a story teller or artist (or one in the same person) would then set up stories or modules for stories. These could be like rooms, chapters, tools, tasks, puzzles, games, mazes, presentations, worlds, realities – cyberspace. Of course a prime element of a mix is another mix.

Aspects of Meta can readily be explored leading to more interest in the topics of the philosophy of Nodism. Nodism takes our understanding of XML (the current way to share organized data) and Object Oriented Programming (how we model life in games an simulations) and proposes a single hierarchy that nests us all.

Horton Hears A Who and Meta Civilizations

March 5, 2008

META - Anti-gravity Nano Sci-fi Mystery (Horton Hears a Who)

The Horton Hears a Who movie is almost here and it looks pretty cool! The movie trailer made me realize that the Dr. Suess book was probably my first introduction to meta concepts and in particular to a society at a smaller level. Of course we can then ask ourselves if our universe is part of some larger system.

I explore these themes in a more realistic way in the Nano Anti-gravity Sci-fi Mystery called META. and then click META Mystery on the left.

META is set in the year 2020 and is an offshoot of the Dan Zen game called Save Earth but it goes further into several levels of civilizations down through nano measurements into information actually being communicated in the apparently random appearances of electrons around protons.

There is a girl heroine called Avid Zag who luckily gets to ride an anti-gravity board.

The story is told through a tool called Zen Mix which lets you take video and put it on top of picture and apply cool blend modes (actually, you can mix interactive works with Zen Mix too).

There are twenty phrases each beginning with “It will come to be” so it becomes a bit of a mantra / prophecy. The actors will span the ages from 5 years old to 95 years old. Currently about half the entries have been produced and we are just out of the teens.

A modern view of the concept of META is being explored in depth through the philosophy of Nodism. This takes learnings from XML (the current way we share organized information) and Object Oriented Programming (OOP – the current way we model life in games and simulations) and explores the concept of a single hierarchy. If you are interested in learning more, please leave a note or visit the Nodism site.


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