Thursday, February 28, 2013

February: Executive Summary

Among Others among others

I posted a long review of Jo Walton's Among Others, talking quite a bit about magic. Not quite finished. Also some relevant excerpts from TolkienHume and Lewis, and vaguely related Malzberg and Wright snippets.

Also did an indieview at Patti Roberts's blog, talking about Invocation.


"Metaphorising the Metaphors." Post by Ian Sales about space-flight, cyberpunk and sf writers making metaphors about metaphors. My brief comment here. See E. Lily Yu's "The Cartographer Wasp and the Anarchist Bees" for a possible illustration of Sales's point. This post gives that story some nicely lyrical & nitpicky context. Grateful for this little review, not least for speculative bear.

"Smart Sci-Fi." Jonathan McCulmont picks eXisTenZ, A Scanner Darkly, La Jettee, Melancholia, Children of Men.

"Expert elicitation was used to determine the potential for markers to deter inadvertent human intrusion by future generations into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Specific goals were to obtain information about marker designs and message formats that will remain in existence and interpretable for the required time period of regulatory concern". A few snippets here from this report on deep time messaging, but the full PDF, Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, is really worth an intrusion.

"The Great Leap Sideways: SF & Social Media." Some specimens, curated by Mark Cole. "Ultimately, Social Media remains a somewhat uncomfortable fit for SF: the whole notion of SF brings to mind far more heroic visions of the future, built on some wild-eyed extrapolation from the current speculations in advanced physics. Instead, we find the real world pioneers of the new media tossing out some of the most beloved predictions of the old future." Could have done with mentioning Charlie BrookerJennifer Egan and/or Tim Maughan (see "Limited Edition" and my review of Paintwork). Spends some time on Gamer; pretty interesting longish apologia for that film here.


"Temporary tattoos could make electronic telepathy and telekinesis possible." Charles Q. Choi investigates. In the works: henna-esque electrode arrays that can noninvasively measure neural signals. They are stretchable, bendable, and "barely visible when placed on skin, making them easy to conceal from others. The devices can detect electrical signals linked with brain waves, and incorporate solar cells for power and antennas that allow them to communicate wirelessly or receive energy. Other elements can be added as well, like thermal sensors to monitor skin temperature and light detectors to analyze blood oxygen levels." Here's the Neural Interaction Lab. I'm not getting any signal. Why am I not getting any signal? Argh I hate this things. Can help me with this CAPTCHA?

15 February, Russian meteor. Wikipedia. Batuman. Flourishing greyish market in #horsemeteor. McSweeney's: "The Only Thing That Can Stop That Asteroid Is Your Liberal Arts Degree."

Google Glass. Wikipedia. Gizmag. Official. Tech Crunch: Rich Kids. Cf. Lorqi Blinks' "Fred." Full disclosure: I'm Lorqi Wink. Also cf. "Limited Edition."

Doonsbury strip: myFACTS. Cf. "The Waldo Moment." Not as I'd hoped an exact rerun of the last one, "White Bear." Still best Black Mirror I've seen though I haven't seen them all. #FollowFebruary @ideasblack. 

Modern Meadow on the make to 3D-print meat. BBC article: "It eventually will be killed - not killed in the sense of killing an animal but killing the tissue construct." And: "In the case of meat, if you think about a hamburger, its lateral dimensions are much bigger than its thickness so that makes the printing considerably simpler." Certainly wouldn't want any uncannily-shaped meat. Current cost per patty c.$400,000 fries & slaw extra obv. "Bioink" contains the word "oink."

Eulerian Video Magnification. Colour shift algorithm amplifies the systole shimmer under the skin, the smoking nimbus of a candleflame, etc. SEE BABY'S FACE FLASH (NYT).

DARPA deep sea sleeper. "The UFP concept centers on developing deployable, unmanned, distributed systems that lie on the deep-ocean floor in special containers for years at a time. These deep-sea nodes would then be woken up remotely when needed and recalled to the surface. In other words, they 'fall upward.' [...] Depending on the specific payload, systems would provide a range of non-lethal but useful capabilities such as situational awareness, disruption, deception, networking, rescue, or any other mission that benefits from being pre-distributed and hidden. An example class of systems might be small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that launch to the surface in capsules, take off and provide aerial situational awareness, networking or decoy functions." Geoff Manaugh is reminded of Lovecraft's Cthulhu: "Only, here, it is a gigantic system of military jewelry laced across the seafloor, locked in robotic sleep until the day of its electromagnetic reawakening."


Planning: MAKING A MESS OF THE COAST. No. Title will change. Also SYNDICATE SERIES 1: ALLOPOIESIS. Also cass-cass STAG.
Submitted: INVOCATION to StoryBundle.
Writing: Meh.

Taken: Musil, MAN WITHOUT QUALITIES (reading it).
Taken: Hamilton (a), GREAT NORTH ROAD (ARC received TY).
Taken: Hamilton (b) (ed.), DEAR WORLD & EVERYONE IN IT (c/c TY).
Taken: Luna (ed.), latest HI ZERO zine (yess).
Taken: Croggon, BLACK SPRING (purchased for Kindle yess).
Salary: I don't see that here.

Khan leaves: sparse. Spies: dispatched to Brighton. One seems to have made it.

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