Book Foo

Dec. 26th, 2008 04:49 pm
newnumber6: (rotating2)
Boxing Day. However, I decided to avoid the boxing. Not much I would have wanted to buy (the things I might have considered buying because of the deal are generally too rare to make it worth going out and looking, or too expensive such that I don't have the money on hand and that I need to know if I'm getting certain other money I'm owed before I can consider it. Or both). Did have to work, and it wasn't too bad, though they were a bit idioty in ordering too much. Ah well.

So let's do some Book Foo. I don't know if this'll be the last of 2008, still a couple more reading days and there's a chance I might finish another one or two.

Finished: Wild Cards, Vol 5: Down and Dirty, edited by George R. R. Martin (reread)
Started: Wild Cards, Vol 6: Ace in the Hole, edited by George R. R. Martin (reread)

Down and Dirty's somewhat enjoyable, although the story sort of meanders. Minor spoilers.
Read more... ) I'll probably end my rereading of the series with Vol 7 (which takes place at the same time as Vol 6).

Started and Finished: Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (available online, and read that way) (reread)

Just was bored last weekend and felt like a reread. Still rather enjoyable, no furthur comments.

Finished: Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler (Nebula Award Winner, 1999)
Started: Forever Peace, by Joe Haldeman

Comments and a quote, behind the cut, some spoilers but relatively minor, plus some thoughts on the religion in the book. Overall: Enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Read more... ). Anyway, while I probably wouldn't seek out the Parable of the Sower specifically, if I happened to find it used for a good price, I might well pick it up, just to see how the story started.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
So, did the family thing today. Good meal. Turkey, ham, stuffing (with pork in it), corn, brocolli, potatoes, gravy, carrots. Plenty of leftovers. Also chocolates, toffee squares, brownies, coconut/lime squares, and rocky road squares for desert.

Present wise, a bit light this year, economic times have hit the family. Still, not complaining, not bad. Got money, some towels, pillowcases, socks, shavers, couple other toiletries, and my brother's going to pay in to get me a new HD (but since what I want is more expensive than the present budget I'm throwing money in too).

Also, my grandmother (who some flisters might remember broke her knee a few months ago) is able to walk unassisted now, just not for as long as she used to, so there's still some healing to do, and in a couple months another operation to remove the pin.

Despite being an atheist and occasionally grumpy and curmudgeonly, I actually like Christmas quite a bit, albeit in small doses. Getting together with family, exchanging gifts, spirit of brotherhood, even the first taste of cold, and the decorations. Even the music, again, in small doses, is kind of vaguely pleasant in a kitschy way (with one exception. Anybody involved in "Simply having a wonderful Christmas-time" should go to hell for all eternity. Also, in my glorious new regime, anybody who chooses to put it on the radio or willingly exposes it to others will be put to death. That song is horrible.) But I'm glad it's over with. Even if I do have work tomorrow.

Also happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] escape1974.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Just a little thought experiment.

Premise 1: Multiple Universes exist from every possibility. This is like you see in SF shows all the time - for every choice (either personal or right down to particle interactions), the universe branches out into two (or more) possibilities, creating a new timeline for every possible choice.

Premise 2: Identity (for people) is a combination of two one-way operators (was and will be) which are continuous from any moment X to and moment Y in the future for will be, or past for was, where the state of the object in the earlier (or later) moment is directly dependant on the earlier moment. That is, I was me at 5 if the state of me now is a result of a continuous set of changes from me at 5 until now, in my universe. I will be me at +5years if the state of the character 5 years from now in any one universe is a result of a continuous set of changes over 5 years in that particular universe. This allows there to 'will be' multiple mes at +5 years, but they cannot claim to have identity to each other, because although they share a was connection, they don't share a will be .

Premise 3: There is no afterlife of a supernatural nature.

Under premise 2, it is theoretically possible that there is a non-supernatural afterlife (after death, some advanced entity is able to look back in time to the moment of death and register the mental states, and recreate it), but we will not consider it at first to simplify matters.

Premise 4: Life is awareness
That is, you have to have some level of present or future awareness of your condition to be considered alive. If you've been braindead and in a coma with no awareness for 30 years and then die, technically, for the purposes of the argument, you've been dead 30 years. If you're in a coma with no awareness for 30 years, wake up, and die 5 minutes later, you were alive the whole time. What counts as a level of awareness we can leave somewhat vague. It may well include reduce mental states, dreamlike comas, or extreme brain damage that leaves you functional, or it may exclude those after a point. It doesn't strictly matter which one you choose, so long as you're consistent about it. (Where necessary, we will use 'technical survival' or 'technical life' to talk about moments where the body is alive but there is no awareness)

Arguement: Take a suicidal person. Let's call him Gil Read more... )
newnumber6: (rotating2)
Dream Foo over the last couple weeks. Some Office, some Battle Royale, some semi-lucidity: Read more... )

So, finished up my third Writing cycle on Tuesday. Went fairly well, met my quotas. Sort of finished a story too. I say sorta because I brought it to an ending, but I don't feel like it was the right ending... but I don't know what the right ending is, so until I do that's how it's going to be. Also worked on a couple other short stories.

TV. No significant spoilers. Read more... )

Book Foo: Finished: Hyperion, by Dan Simmons (reread)
Started: Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons (reread)
Still Reading: Stardoc by S.L. Viehl

Thoughts and a quote behind the cut. A warning, some particularly devout and sensitive religious people might want to skip this part.
Read more... )

Let's see, what else. Had to talk to someone at children's aid yesterday. I do not like talking on the phone with people I don't know with little preparation. :P. Actually, you could cut that sentence down to 'I do not like talking on the phone'. You could possibly even get rid of 'on the phone', too. But ah well, it's over with.

The makers of the drug 'Vytorin' have a poor grasp of genetics, and thus I wouldn't trust any drug made by them. They say "Cholestorol might come from bow-tie pasta... or your Uncle Bo". No. That is incorrect. The only way my cholestorol might come from my Uncle Bo is if either Uncle Bo is actually my real dad, or I ate Uncle Bo. They're either stupid, or estimate the amount of cannibalism in their target market is high. Either way, I do not want to be associated with them. Okay, seems I misheard 'Grandpa' as 'Uncle'. Rant retracted. Still, there's an uncomfortably high cannibalism symbolism in that commercial. But I'll replace that with another commercial pissing me off. NO ELECTION HAS BEEN CALLED. PLEASE STOP WITH THE NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADS AGAINST THE LIBERAL LEADER. I mean, I could understand it (though would still be against it) if he was actually the Prime Minister. But he's not. And the constant ads are making me hate _you_ more. Wait till an election is called.

Speaking of commercials, Tandoori Sizzler nachos taste mostly like nachos covered in taco seasoning. Which isn't unpleasant, but is not as exotic as I was hoping. Ah well. Maybe the next new chip flavour will rock my world.

That's it for now.

Edit: Oh, and I've made my two rotating icon slots Runaways related, making everything except my default ghostly pic Runaways-related, until BKV's last issue.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Well, I finally finished Planescape Torment. Pretty good game overall. A little too linear at times and I would have liked to have explore more. Tiny bit buggy and annoying too. But overall good.

Specific thoughts:
Read more... )

Some rambling thoughts about the Planescape setting itself and where thoughts like it takes me...:Read more... )

Oh, and while I'm on the subject, back when I was... I dunno, youngish (probably around 15?), I was running a Planescape RPG for my brother and a couple other people. It wasn't great but I did come up with what I thought was a great adventure, involving the PCs suddenly finding themselves on a Baatezu (demon) mobile fortress, on a suicide mission in the middle of the Blood War. I found the file, and since I was in the spirit of the setting, decided to clean it up a little and put it online. It's called The Charge of the Dark Brigade. Still a little rough and sketchy in parts, and there are a couple winceworthy things like names and bits of dialog, but still I think the main plot holds up remarkably well.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
First, I'm feeling better than I was this morning. My eye still regularly shouts, "I'M ABOUT TO EXPLODE!" but it's less frequent and I'm not as headachy in the in-between times.

Anyway, I spent the better part of the morning reading this:
http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_index.html

The Edge Annual Question — 2006


WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?


The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?

They asked a bunch of scientists, philosophers, and even one of the Monkees (though he's also a scientist) the question, came up with a whole lot of replies, 12 pages worth, 4 or 5 a page. Some are repeats of a similar idea, some contradict each other, some I agree with, some I don't, and I don't claim to have understood everything, but it's been a while since I've read something where so many times I encountered something I'd genuinely hadn't considered or was aware of. I really recommend reading them through. I'm actually bookmarking it because I think I'll want to read some of them again.

In that spirit, I'm going to write a few of my own Dangerous Ideas:
Read more... )
Feel free to share your own dangerous ideas, either in comments or make a meme out of it if you want.

Finally, just cause I think some of them are cool, Worth100's photoshop contest:

Photoshopped art with nature as the canvas
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Been a while since I've done one of these, but, recently on one of the discussion forums I'm on, someone raised the question of what sort of afterlife you'd design. So, I've been thinking about it for a while.

Read more... )
(Archived in Memories like all WIDWs)

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