Blog posts

  • Ars Paradoxica

    Since hearing about Ars Paradoxica via MeFi Fanfare at the weekend I've devoured eight episodes of the 14 released so far.

    At the dawn of the Cold War, the accidental inventor of time-travel finds herself press-ganged into service by a secretive branch of the US government.

    Our main character, Dr Sally Grissom, is taking the sudden change in her situation remarkably calmly, all things considered. By this point the story is developing nicely, with all sorts of complications emerging that could go in any number of directions.

    As they aim to publish a new episode once a month, I'm now torn between slowing up a bit so I can get to episode 14 shortly before episode 15 is due, or just blasting through the next six episodes and going cold turkey until the release schedule resumes.

    I've already been sufficiently entertained that I've thrown a few quid an episode their way via Patreon. Fingers crossed this one runs and runs.

    [Via FanFare]

  • 1,500 Words

    1,500 Words.

    When Stanley Franks is told he has 1500 words left to live, he faces a battle to keep both his marriage and himself alive using the fewest words possible.

  • Andrea Leadsom is the leader of an am-dram peasants' revolt

    Never let it be said that the Current Situation in the UK doesn't have a bright side. It's giving Marina Hyde so much material to work with:

    As for the rest of us, it's hard to imagine where we were before Andrea was deemed a breakout star of the referendum campaign. Yet we still know so tantalisingly little about her. After all, as a junior minister in Her Majesty's government, Andrea enjoyed the sort of anonymity you'd hope for in one of the better witness protection programmes.

    Even the verdicts of her friends tend toward the confusing. "She has steel," blethered Iain Duncan Smith, "but there is a velvet glove of compassion." Oh Iain! God knows I've learned to manage my expectations as far as IDS is concerned. But I would like a secretary of state who understood a basic despot metaphor before he accidentally deployed it.

  • Pathetic.

    I really wasn't expecting to start my day with a belly laugh at a post on Hacker News in honour of Pinboard turning seven. 1 Well played, firebones.

    [Via @pinboard]

    1. Context, for the weak.

  • On The Moral Economy of Tech

    Maciej Cegłowski, talking sense in his Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech:

    The first step towards a better tech economy is humility and recognition of limits. It's time to hold technology politically accountable for its promises. I am very suspicious of attempts to change the world that can't first work on a local scale. If after decades we can't improve quality of life in places where the tech élite actually lives, why would we possibly make life better anywhere else?

    We should not listen to people who promise to make Mars safe for human habitation, until we have seen them make Oakland safe for human habitation. We should be skeptical of promises to revolutionize transportation from people who can't fix BART, or have never taken BART. And if Google offers to make us immortal, we should check first to make sure we'll have someplace to live.

    […]

    Engineer's Disease is a hell of a thing.

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