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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/

Anonymous | Queens Museum

Ethically sourced iPhones are ruining the Congo. Go see the gorillas and help save it - Quartz:

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.

Humans aren’t influenced by culture—we create it - Quartz:

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.

White House silence on Mexico protests speaks volumes | Al Jazeera America:

We have created the Mexico from which we now distance ourselves













wackd:

cleowho:

"Superb head."

The Brain of Morbius - season 13 - 1976

Fun fact—according to the DVD commentary, Lis Sladen improvised that line because she felt someone ought to stand up for Pertwee.

I thought the clip show was obsolete, but Korra just inflicted one on us. Budget cuts are the only explanation I can imagine, given how few episodes there are per season to begin with. Maybe not surprising given that they made the show web-only. Still, disappointing.

Man has NFC chips injected into his hands to store cold Bitcoin wallet:

Entrepreneur: “It’s not cold because it’s 37 degrees Celsius inside my body!”

that’s extremely nice of you to say, denimtrousers, thanks! it’s a true story about real people, you can look them up and learn about them and all the skin will crawl off your body because it’s too scary.

my original concept was to really focus on how this story invites misogynistic fantasies. i actually went to all sorts of shitty web forums and gathered all the comments i could find, which i knew would be there, where people said all kinds of shitty gross things about fucking swedish women, about fucking twins, about twins fucking each other, about women who are big and strong are hermaphrodites, about how women who are violent must be on their periods or in menopause, etc. when it came time for me to put them in the book, i actually found the gestalt way too sad and disturbing, and it’s a short book anyway, so the use of text wound up being comparatively limited.

making that book (my first and only) took a lot out of me and i’m not sure what direction to head in next, so it’s nice to get some encouragement from veritable strangers.

I had a guest post on Friendship is Magic. No plans on Adventure Time. My only experience with it is a short they were running prior to Day of the Doctor in my movie theater. I was unimpressed, although I gather that was probably either my fault or the selection of shorts. 

Nighthawk Postcards: True Believers: how Marvel/Disney just 'faced DC/Warners. Again.:

Pretty much sums it up:

DC/Warner’s problem is that they are trying to take idealized, idealistic Golden/Silver age characters and “update” them for modern audiences and it’s just shit. They’ve proven over and over that they simply don’t get the characters, or worse, that they only see them as a means to an end, that end being money. Thus we have the characters being bashed and battered into shapes they should never take in the name of “grim and mature storytelling” aimed at “modern sensibilities.”



I am fanTAStic.





















comixology:

It’s a #comiXween celebration here at comiXology HQ!



Hitler reacts to GamerGate…



How to end poverty forever

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.

The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.

But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"

"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”

"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)

And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!

Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.

And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.

Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.

And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.

The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?

TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 

But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.

Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.











philsandifer:

pepperonideluxe:

A comic about Seagulls.

If you feel like this comic doesn’t accurately represent you, and that you personally don’t act like this, good. That means this comic isn’t about you.

If you DO act like this, and are working on a counter argument about how not all _____ are ______ , well that’s just disappointing. 

image

(And about the worst effort to people who will find this funny ratio I’ve ever done on Tumblr.)

All you really need to know about GamerGate









philsandifer:

Yep, that’s the one I knew she meant.





philsandifer:

It works a bit like that. What does? The TARDIS.

This is a much better explanation than that shit with the boxes in Robots of Death.







doctorpuppet:

doctorpuppet:

Indiegogo link here with 8 days left! [x]

Thank you all so much for your support. We can do this!

5 days left! We’re almost over $9,000! Will you help us get there?



zebablah:

lexcanroar:

effingtomb:

you-and-me-divine:

If you didn’t think “Shia LaBeouf” could get better, you were wrong.

I literally can’t believe this exists there are tears in my eyes that I don’t remember crying

I laughed so hard that my mum came in and I had to show her and then she laughed A LOT 

I’M DELETING 

FUCK EVERYTHING

This really is as amazing as people say.

Fiction

Reviews

Interviews

Criticism, Etc.