cdave: (Comics)
Subtitle: Juxtapositions. Or two things make a post.

I've been catching up some old Radiolab podcasts, and I've just finished listening to the episode Words.

This episode concerns four people or groups of people, who at some point have no language, and then later acquire it, and the changes that follow.

I'd read about the formation of creoles and sign languages before in some popular science book or another. The founders tend to have very simple structure, but children raised in that environment later develop a more complex grammar. What the Radiolab episode added was that this places certain limits on the founders' thought process, but if the next generation teach the adults their new structure, the adults can learn new ways of thinking.

Another interesting aspect is that toddlers who are able to speak, but are not yet able to form noun phrases like "on the LEFT of the BLUE WALL", have the same difficulty solving certain spatial puzzles as rats.

Then the episode finished, and the very next podcast was Flowers for Algernon.

Every piece of research in the Radiolab episode happened after Daniel Keyes wrote Flowers for Algernon, yet it fits so well as a response to that episode.
cdave: (Comics)
Let's look at the Evil League Of Evil's Sad Puppie's demands:

Larry Correia

First and foremost, you guys need to decide, once and for all, what the Hugo Awards really are. There are two choices.
It is the most prestigious award which represents the best works in all of fandom.It is a little award, for one little group of people, at one convention.
You can’t have both. Pick one, stake your flag on it, and we will proceed from there.

Brad R. Torgersen

So the totem is ours too. We have claim on it. It is “the most prestigious award” for everybody. And everybody agrees on this.
Either that, or change the branding, and call the Hugos, “The little award, for the little crowd at Worldcon.”


So it's clear they're simply asking for offical hugo award administrators to stop using the word "prestigious" on the one place it apears on their offical site.

The Hugo Awards about page

The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also responsible for administering them.


They're just asking for an edit to one page. Unless that's just a smokescreen to make it look like a barely resonable argument, and not what the puppies really want.

Not to mention that one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.

emphasis mine.
cdave: (Default)
Very busy at work. No lunch break today.

--

Why do cats sit on papers?

--

Some photo's of the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. Increasing large bundles of bank notes paying for nothing. An every increasing number of zeros added to new note issued. They knocked 10 zeros off the end earlier this year, and may have to do it again before the year is out.

--

Nurse led drop in centre say: I've likely sprained big trapezoid muscle, which would take around two weeks to start feeling completely better. So take ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. Full range of movement available from both shoulders. Excess movement in left should probably just an elongated tendon, talk to GP next time, but don't worry about it. So I won't.

--

Saw Bond in Basingstoke with: Fuzz, [livejournal.com profile] piesandmash, March and March.

America has exploding petrol. Europe doesn't.

As spotted byFran.

--

Read "Kitty and the Midnight Hour" by Carrie Vaughn (first recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] makyo over three years ago!) basically in one sitting. Train and tube ride home. A bit before going to sleep. Then a bit more as I was over 3/4 of the way through. Took around 2.5 to 3 hours.

Basic premis: A werewolf running a late call in night show on the supernatural. Werewolves, Vampires, and other unspecified things (and lists only get three items in before being interrupted) are real, but generally try and stay hidden from public view.

Cut for world spoilers. Not really plot spoilers. )

--

More love for the UK online battery shop. They spotted a mistake in some invoices from ages ago, so sent out a polite email with an updated invoice, telling me that I can ignore it, unless I was using it for VAT reasons. I like when shops own up to things without prompting.
cdave: (Default)
The other day the Google blog observed that "fewer teens are wearing watches now because they use their phones to tell time instead"

I'd been wondered about that myself a while ago. Fortunately I knew an author who was looking explain, the mythology of mobile phones and other modern fairy tales.

I don't normally read Fantasy, but I really enjoyed these. So I can only make obvious comparison to Gaiman's stuff where you're being shown the gritty stuff that lays just below and around our realities.

More on Banter-Latte )
cdave: (Default)
You might think that this comic strip about a cat's blog sounds silly, but cats' who own SF authors, or the power of procrastination.
cdave: (Default)
Did anyone hear about the mobile Sci-Fi library associated with the Folkestone Triennial on the Today show this morning? I can't find much about it online, and it sounded interesting.


The zombie apocalypse if it's not only humans affected.


Zombie meme )


LJ 'You may also be interested in' meme )
I think I prefer the original one. I'll probably add a few to my list. Although I'm not sure why. I've never been able do any sort of search based on it. I wonder who my humanist friends are?
seen at Rhionnach's
cdave: (Default)
When Watson told Holmes about some recent scientific discovery, Holmes replied with a statement to the effect that he'd try and forget it as soon as possible, as his mind was a tidy place, and he had no use for this fact.

I was just on the phone and realised that I couldn't recall the name of the person I'd been asked to on a message from. I'd remembered it for long enough to send the message by email, and had promptly forgot it.

Actually forget Holmes. Since I was away from my PC, I felt more like Manfred Macx when he loses his cyberware glasses in Accelerando.
cdave: (Default)
For no obvious reason, other than a geekish need to catalogue things, I have 6 custom friend groups for SF. The rules are that Journals go in the first one that matches where I primarily know it from. And no, I'm not posting them, because I've probably got some wrong, and I don't want to offend. I don't lock, read, or do anything based on them.
  1. SF Info - things like Orbital 2008

  2. Authors - Speaks for itself.

  3. Oxford crew- [livejournal.com profile] grahamsleight, [livejournal.com profile] despotliz, etc.

  4. London BSFA - People who regularly attend the London BSFA talks.

  5. Eastercon - People I've met at Eastercon. This is the largest list.

  6. Misc - Usually people who make interesting comments on a journal from the above list.

From reading the Eastercon reports of the epic trek to the curry house I realise that the Oxford crew actually have a name.

Third Row Fandom.

Look at the list again.

Weird huh.
cdave: (Default)
... just Thurday, and the bullet points: I'll try and turn them into a coherent report at some point soon.

Thursday:
Jonathan Coulton gig. Fail to recognise any of the fen who I knew would be there.

Did talk to a guy who'd come over from Oslo especially to see JoCo. Squeezed onto a table as, much to JoCo's surprise, the gig was completely sold out. Chatted to Ian, who it turned out was going to Eastercon on Sunday.

Friday: )Saturday: )Sunday: )Monday: )Egoboo )
I need to leave now, or I won't make tonight's BSFA pub meet!
cdave: (Default)
Amusing bit of flash fiction. What if wiki fiddlers had use of time machine?.

seen at Neil's single editor wiki.

Particularly appropriate give the edit-fest going on at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Arthur_C._Clarke#Date_of_Death>Arthur C. Clarke</a>'s entry today.
cdave: (books)
Charlie Stross is a Guest of Honour at this year's Eastercon, so I thought I'd better catch up on the month or so of his blogged I missed since I went on holiday. The man sure do generate some ideas.

The singularity is a theme often explored in his work. One definition of which is the point at which graphs for technoglogical growth reach infinity. So his post on the time for worldwide technological addoption dropping from 125 to 16 years caught my imagination.
Say you want to set a story 30 years out... Back in 1900 to 1950 you could do so with a fair degree of accuracy... But today, that 30-year window is inaccessible. Even a 15-year horizon is pushing it. Something new could come along tomorrow and overrun the entire developed world before 2023.


Here's Charlie's take on the future, after Moore's law craps out.

Also from his blog was a link to this tale of how ATM's could have brought down the UK banks in the '90s. Poor internal security lead to one bank going seriously rogue.

Eastercon LiveJournal exchange, regarding email notification of programme participants ... Autopope: 'I haven't heard hide nor hair from you.' Committee Person: 'Who are you?' Autopope: 'I'm Charlie Stross, one of your GoH's.' CP: 'Ah, it's you ...'

Seen over at the, invaluable to UK fen, ansible newsletter.

Finally here's a Audio version of Trunk and Disorderly, a Stross novella.

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