Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jazz hands?

I recall hearing somewhere (at least, I'm pretty sure I heard it from someone in-person, as opposed to reading it) about a guy whos name had an asterisk in it. The decided-on pronounceation was to say the first part, pause and do "jazz hands", and say the second part. Who'd I hear that from, and what was the name?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stuff I've read this week

Maps in a Mirror (center): 675 pages. Read cover to cover in eight days. I think there may be something wrong with strange about me. Contains a whole mess of Orson Scott Card fiction, and bits of him commenting on it. Quality is all over the map, because this spans his entire career at least up until publication. (But does not cover his entire career. It's only a collection.) I could probably comment on individual stories, if asked.

Epic (left): 364 pages. Read in a day or two, but certainly under 48 hours. Took a break from Maps in a Mirror to read this. Set on a distant planet where economic life and a large fraction of the economy are based around a video game. YA, but there are strong undercurrents of moral and economic philosophy.

The art of Thinking Clearly (right, open): around halfway through, I've read something like 150-160 pages. A collection of short essays (generally 3-5 pages) on thinking errors. Each prevents the error in a colloquial way, some evidence and/or arguments for it, and usually some clues for how to avoid it. I'm not sure how useful it is. It's generally not perscriptivist, but I don't know whether that's a good thing. Though it probably is.

Not mentioned: the large amount of internet reading and downloaded computer-only reading I did this week. Nor the chunks of magazines I read.

Also not mentioned: The first three episodes of season one of Star Trek: Voyager I watched, the first three episodes of BBC's latest Sherlock I watched, or the episode or two of Star Trek: TNG I watched. I'm pretty sure I watched a bit of TNG, anyways. I liked Voyager better, so that's what I stuck with.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Efficiency and Creativity

I was thinkin' about science fiction and technological explosions. A scifi writer and utopian once said something about how "machines will eventually take over so much of what we currently do with manual labor, humanity will be in a state of enforced leisure. What an envied thing it will be to work!" (That's not even close to an exact quote.)

Humans are, of course, really inefficient at a lot of things.

How does one measure efficiency of creativity?


All I really want is to save everything I ever see in my browser to disk somewhere so I can see it again as I first saw it if I want to, no matter what happens to the originating site or original file in the interim. If we conveniently ignore disk-space and copyright/'intellectual property' issues, is that really too much to ask?

Apparently, yes. It seems it really is.