Yeah, I suck. That’s a Kickstarter obligation that is just getting stuck as an eternal second choice thing to work on.
I pay them on what I make.
I just crossed 500 followers, so figured I’d celebrate with some discounts on books. So, here’s A Golden Thread, my history of Wonder Woman, available for $4.99 instead of the usual price of $7.99. Just head over to its Smashwords page and use the coupon code ST87T on checkout. And please, if you can spare the time to click your mouse a bit, reblog and spread the word. :)
Reblogging for the crowd at the other end of the day.
heavy flashback to the time that me and ericrosenfield invented the P Box, a device that logs in to your wireless network and just continuously downloads porn. it doesn’t play it or store it or do anything with it, it just bulk downloads all the porn it can find on the internet in a continuous stream until your life is totally ruined.
We are geniuseseses
Just take my money, why don’t you.
50s radiation gear at MOHAI Seattle
Yeah, one of the things that alarmed me most about the discourse around Chapel Hill was the idea that “it was a parking dispute” existed to set up a mental illness defense for the killer, simply because it tacitly suggests that killing people because of their religion is, while wrong and illegal, still basically rational behavior.
Remember this lady?
Oh my god
I’ve reblogged this before and I’ll reblog is again.
A true hero in every sense of the word.
I really wish people would stop celebrating good things like this and then ending with things like that swipe against Al Gore, as though awarding the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for something that was an immediate concern in 2007 instead of for something seventy years ago is unreasonable, or as though Al Gore hasn’t done a tremendous amount of useful activism on an issue that is literally crucial to the survival of the species.
Yes. Irena Sendler deserves to be remembered. She’s awesome. But it’s deeply puzzling to me how people who want to redress the tendency to erase women from history are also prone to turning it into such a dick-measuring contest.
My new hero.
In the late 60s and early 70s, Frank Zappa was doing work far more interesting than any of his contemporaries, and more than any other single person (including Paul McCartney, who said he was inspired by Zappa to make Sgt. Pepper’s) is responsible for the rise of prog rock. However, as the 70s wore on and turned into the eighties, like many pioneers who are feted at an early age and get an outsized sense of themselves, Zappa proceeded to crawl up his own ass, creating music for himself and an ever dwindling hard-core audience. This effect wasn’t helped by the increasingly sophomoric nature of his content, with song titles such as “Bobby Brown Goes Down” (an unexpected hit in Scandinavia), “Keep It Greasy So It Goes Down Easy”, “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” and “Titties and Beer”, songs which were seen by many as sexist and homophobic. Homophobic or not, what was clear was that this was a grown man with the sense of humor of a 12-year-old who liked nothing better then to make incredibly complex, musically virtuosic fart jokes, and through reputation, infectious enthusiasm and personal charisma was able to convince a coterie of some of the best musicians in the world to go along with him. And while one wonders what he might have accomplished if he’d decided to take his music more seriously, maybe the world is so full of people who take themselves too seriously that it’s okay to have one musical weirdo who sees it all as a puerile joke.
Still, it’s something of a cautionary tale one sees again and again of early large-scale success gone awry; artists with heads too big who buy into their own supposed genius and so refuse to listen to the world around them. In film, we have the examples of George Lucas and M. Night Shyamalan. In prose, there’s Norman Mailer.
And maybe this is one of the prices we pay for allowing ourselves to buy into the myth of genius, the myth that a person can create great works ex nihilo through the force of their own personal well of creative talent. The myth that any art is created in a vacuum, rather than the result of constant never-ending feedback loops between artist and audience.
George Lucas wrote a terrible first draft of Star Wars (adapted into comics recently by Dark Horse as “The Star Wars”). He proceeded to get feedback on it, refine it, and craft something great out of it. By the time Lucas was making The Phantom Menace, either no one was willing to give him feedback or (more likely, judging by the quality of the following two movies) he just wasn’t willing to listen. And if you read “The Star Wars”, you can see a lot of the same problems that plagued The Phantom Menace, there in primordial form.
There’s obviously a balance to be achieved, between listening to your audience and (as Lucas would have it) trusting your feelings, but if you don’t listen to your audience at all, if you don’t take feedback and criticism and use it as a tool to grow and develop, well, you become Frank Zappa.
TAKE THE ENTIRE IDENTITY OF THE LEGO MOVIE ITSELF: IT TAKES WHAT MANY ASSUMED WOULD BE A TWO-HOUR TOY COMMERCIAL AND TURNED INTO A DAVID FOSTER WALLACE ESSAY, WRAPPED IT IN A GOLDEN AGE SIMPSONS EPISODE, AND THEN HAD THE GUMPTION TO EMPLOY A META DEVICE THAT ENDED UP BEING CAPABLE OF MAKING US CRY. SERIOUSLY, THAT’S HOW SIMULTANEOUSLY COMPLEX, ENTERTAINING, AND CATHARTIC THIS MOVIE WAS… BUT AS MUCH AS IT SEEMED TO RESONATE ACROSS THE BOARD, PEOPLE STILL MISS THE FILM’S TRUE, SUPERLATIVE VALUE BECAUSE THESE KINDS OF FILMS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE CAPABLE OF IT. WHAT’S WORSE IS THAT A CERTAIN BRANCH OF THE INTELLIGENTSIA CHASTISES THE AUDIENCE FOR RECOGNIZING THE COMPLEXITY, INSINUATING THAT WE’RE JUST ALL ABOUT THE CANDY-COATING. IT’S SURFACE-DWELLERS ACCUSING OF SURFACE-DWELLING.
WE ARE LIVING IN COUNTER-INTUITIVE TIMES. BECAUSE IT’S JUST NOT WHERE WE’D NORMALLY EXPECT. THE MOST HONEST AND NUANCED STORYTELLING ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH IS HAPPENING ON ADVENTURE TIME. THE MOST IDEOLOGICALLY COMPLEX SCI-FI IS ON RICK AND MORTY. SOME OF THE BEST TRADITIONAL DRAMATIC STORYTELLING IS ON A HANDFUL OF CW SHOWS RIGHT NOW. SOME OF THE MOST INTIMATE AND HEART-WRENCHING CHARACTER DRAMA IS HAPPENING ON KOREAN SOAPS. AND SOME OF THE MOST FUNCTIONAL ACTION AND PHYSICAL COMEDY IS COMING FROM THE CHARLIE CHAPLIN / JACKIE CHAN HEIRS ON YOUTUBE. BUT TO ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND ALL THIS, WE HAVE TO EVISCERATE OUR NOTIONS OF WHAT DICTATES WHAT SOMETHING REALLY IS. WE HAVE TO GET BETTER AT IDENTIFYING WHAT’S RIGHT BELOW THE SURFACE.”
Film Crit Hulk’s take on the Lego Movie is a thing of beauty.
It’s easy to feel like a corporate stooge sometimes, buying into brands that use marketing and design to appeal to a certain specific demo. Yet, here I am, buying clothes from Uniqlo, shoes from Ecco, computers from Apple, notebooks from Moleskine, and ebooks from Amazon. Because if you’re going to live in our capitalist, consumerist society, at some point you’re going to find brands that you like and stick to them or give up, wear a burlap sack and live in a yurt in Alaska.
Artisan to artist to professional to entrepreneur
I think you’re coming at this from the wrong angle.
HG Wells didn’t invent time travel, he invented the Time Machine; time travel stories go all the way back to the ancient Romans. Asimov might have written about AI, but his version of AI seems quaint and ludicrous to a modern reader. One might even say that the version of AI found in Iain Banks’ work is as much of a jump from Asimov as the Time Machine is from the time travel stories of the early Gothics. Likewise for, say, time travel itself between The Time Machine and something like Hyperion, which is far more sophisticated and nuanced.
Or, to use another example, it’s easy to say that Neuromancer invented virtual reality, except years earlier Doctor Who had virtual reality (and even called it “The Matrix”, which Neuromancer also called it). And that’s all predated by, say, The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny which is itself predated by something etc etc all the way back to Hindu mythology and the dreams of Vishnu that become reality.
Rather than trying to find a “new” idea, it’s better to accept that all ideas don’t come to existence in a vacuum but rather evolve from previous ideas in a never-ending chain that goes back to the beginning of language. Therefore, what you should be looking for is not the next “new thing” but rather the next interesting link in the chain.
Posted at: http://www.reddit.com/r/sciencefiction/comments/2okrlt/contemporary_scifi/
Smartphone capacitors require tantalum, an element that is derived from a metal ore called coltan. And coltan is hard to come by. In fact, up to 30% of it is endemic to a single country: the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC), in Central Africa.
The United Nations estimates that up to three-quarters of coltan sourced from the DRC is mined and sold illegally—meaning outside the international regulatory framework intended to protect local miners from dangerous working conditions and general exploitation. Furthermore, these mine-and-trade operations are often spearheaded by local warlords, utilized as an extra stream of income (aside from your basic plundering and pillaging) to fund ongoing guerrilla campaigns against the central government in Kinshasa, and the neighboring governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Cloud: The problem is that in a model where you’re just responding automatically to some signal, there’s nothing in that story that says anything about your ability to detect lies. If your response is just a conditioned response, you’re hopelessly gullible. What limits animals to using relatively few signals is not that they’re stupid, it’s not that their brains are simple, it’s that they can’t trust each other. We’ve known since the work of Richard Dawkins in the ’60s and ’70s that [trust] is the really big obstacle to animal communication.
The question you’ve got to ask about human communication specifically is not “how did humans get to send each other signals in the first place?”—because even genes do that—the question is “how did we get into a situation where we can trust each other in a way chimpanzees can’t?” That’s the foundation for this whole very unusual thing that humans do.
We have created the Mexico from which we now distance ourselves
- "The Spine of Worlds" (Forthcoming - Kaleidotrope)
- "Judges' Cave" (Lakeside Circus)
- "Trials of the Dead King" (LORE)
- "Logos Ex Machina" (365 Tomorrows)
- Loghorrhea Edited by John Klima (New Haven Review)
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Literary Kicks)
- Why Robin Sloan is the Future of Publishing (and Science Fiction) (io9)
- Weird Comics (comiXology Blog)