Oct 06

Wild boar

I was attacked by a wild boar once.

Luckily, the wild boar was a baby and was only about 8 inches tall.

Injuries, shall we say, were minimal.

Oct 06

Copy it

Under the TPP, copyright violations will become a morally necessary act of rebellion rather than just something relatively harmless. Get your parrots and don your pirate hats, lads and lassies.

Clarissa writes accurately about the end of the nation-state. This is one of the necessary steps, designed to give corporations the same legal sovereignty as nation-states and to erase borders for companies (but not for individuals unless they are sponsored by a corporation).

The rich no longer have any interest in nations or their restrictions, and are working hard to eliminate them. This is a step in that process.

Oct 06

Here

I’ve been listening to her song for a while, but had never seen her before watching this video tonight. By her voice, I thought she was in her 30s at least. No idea she was only 18.

Oct 06

Weird as a rule

Why The World Is Getting Weirder.

Some terrible ideas combined with some amazing ones; very odd piece. I don’t feel like a full examination and exegesis, but his ideas about the easy problems being solved causing the long tail of bizarre ones to appear more prominent is a really perspicacious insight.

Like most efforts, 10% of the effort gets you 90% of what you need — and the remaining 10% takes up 90% of your time.

Oct 05

Eternal return

About Google Fiber and fiber to the door in general, I always hear, “Durrrr, no one needs that much bandwidth. There’s just no use for it.”

Well, first, that’s not true. Not many people need it, but quite a few do. Not everyone just clicks on Facebook spasmodically and drools.

Second, bandwidth is something that needs to be present before the real killer apps develop. Broadband allowed Skype and similar tools to exist, not the other way around. Broadband built Youtube, and so many more. Those never would have existed without the infrastructure being there first.

I remember hearing the same argument in the 1990s when the first reasonably fast connections became available — that no one needed that blazing, uh, fast 5Mb/s and that dial-up was good enough for anybody, dammit. (I also heard that the internet was a fad a lot.)

It all repeats. One benefit of experience (though I think the value of experience is over-estimated) is that you get to see the same people make the same mistakes over and over again, and you learn to avoid them.

Oct 04

I didn’t choose the geek life….

Ok, ok, yes I did.

But today is particularly geeky. Compiling Samba from source.

samba

Need a feature that the latest package in any distro doesn’t have.

So that’s how you got to do it when you need what you need.

Oct 04

The most

It’s strange that the most important and relevant fiction of our era — that being sf/speculative fiction — has been the most ignored by the critical establishment (except for perhaps horror fiction).

Doesn’t really matter as it achieved cultural dominance over time anyway due to its relevance.

I don’t know enough about literary and critical history to say if this is a trend, but I do know that as novel-writing became more common and popular in the late 1700s and into 1800s, for nearly 100 years afterward this art form was spurned by the academic establishment as trivial and un-intellectual.

History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. I suspect that’s what we’re seeing here.

And when an sf work does become critically relevant, it is “promoted” out of its genre, though it really doesn’t differ from those things left in the genre ghetto (1984 and Brave New World being more well-known examples).

Oct 03

TWD

I almost can’t believe it myself — and I like zombies and the genre — but The Walking Dead is the best-written, most well-acted and generally the finest show on television.

This was not true of seasons 1 or 2 however — while there was some good episodes from that period, and even some great ones, it was incredibly uneven, sometimes outright bad and it treated women characters as useless appendages or background noise.

In Season 3 this started to change. That outing had some truly excellent episodes. Seasons 4 and 5, however, set the bar for what television could be — with characters like Carol and Michonne and Hershel and Sasha. Well, there are just too many to list and each one felt like a real person. Like someone you could sit down and have a chat with, not some cardboard creation moving around from scene to scene as the plot demands it. Which alas all too often is the case even in many shows that I like and watch avidly.

Whatever kind of strange magic happened on The Walking Dead in seasons 3-5 where a TV show transcends its genre, transcends what you thought TV could be, and achieves some sort of grim accession to a higher reality — well, I have not seen its like before.

The Walking Dead also does dread better than any TV show I’ve ever seen. It just does so many things right and has that rare quality that Lost had of actually watching its characters not with love or derision but with studied care.

And Carol? Best female character and perhaps best character ever in a TV series? The answer to that is yes, always yes.