Charlie's Diary

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Fri, 31 Jan 2003

The skeleton iBook

An extremely cute DIY project for totally remodelling your Apple iBook. Needless to say I'm not doing it -- just extended by warranty by 2 years -- but I still think it's cool.

[ Link ] [ Discuss toys ]

posted at: 22:36 | path: /toys | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 30 Jan 2003

Danger, interviewer at work

Over on The WELL I'm interviewing Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing fame), my sometime collaborator. Got questions for Cory? Mail me.

[ Link ]

posted at: 18:18 | path: /promo | permanent link to this entry

Yet more marketing from our sponsors

I am happy to announce that I've just sold another couple of novels (at least, the contracts are on their way from my agent for signing). The two book contract with Tor is for the first two volumes of the Merchant Princes series, and will be sold as fantasy -- the titles are "A Family Trade", and "The Clan Corporate", and the first of them should be in the shops by December 2004.

(Sic transit the cutting-edge of post-singularity cyberpunk hardcore; but remember, I never promised anyone a literary movement -- just the best entertainment I can write.)

In other news, my short novel "The Atrocity Archive" has been nominated for the BSFA award, as has my novella "Router", while "Lobsters" is on the preliminary Nebula ballot. And I've finished a passable draft of "The Iron Sunrise". So I'm feeling pretty smug right now.

If all this news of novels is confusing you, you're not alone; I've got five books scheduled for publication in the United States in the two and a half years starting this August, and to make matters worse one of 'em is coming out in the UK under a different title. If you want to know about them, you can find the FAQ here.

[ Link ] [ Discuss shameless self-promotion ]

posted at: 14:13 | path: /promo | permanent link to this entry

Wed, 29 Jan 2003

Counting the dead, in advance

Jonathan Steele, writing in the Guardian, discusses the current official UN estimates of the human cost of "regime change" in Iraq:

WHO estimates that 100,000 Iraqi civilians could be wounded and another 400,000 hit by disease after the bombing of water and sewage facilities and the disruption of food supplies.

"The nutritional status of some 3.03 million people will be dire and they will require therapeutic feeding," says the UN children's fund. About four-fifths of these victims will be children under five. The rest will be pregnant and lactating women.

Although Iraq's population at 26 million is almost the same as Afghanistan's, UN agencies say the effect of war in Iraq would be far worse. Afghanistan is largely rural so that people have long traditions of coping mechanisms.

By contrast, Iraq has "a relatively urbanised population, with the state providing the basic needs of the population". Some 16 million depend on the monthly "food basket" of basic goods such as rice, sugar, flour, and cooking oil, supplied for free by the Iraqi government.

... Medact, the UK affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, estimates casualties could be five times higher than in the 1991 Gulf war. "The avowed US aim of regime change means any new conflict will be much more intense and destructive, and will involve more deadly weapons developed in the interim," it says in a report available on the first Gulf war, the UN calculated that between 3,500 and 15,000 civilians died during the war (plus between 100,000 and 120,000 Iraqi troops). A new war of the kind projected by the US could kill between 2,000 and 50,000 in Baghdad and between 1,200 and 30,000 on the southern and northern fronts in Basra, Kirkuk and Mosul. If biological and chemical weapons were used, up to 33,000 more people could die.

Medact examines detailed recent analyses by other specialists on the various tactics the US may use. The wide range of figures comes from different estimates of the degree of Iraqi resistance and the length of the war.


It would appear that the current US administration believe it's appropriate to respond to the 2900 civilian dead of 9/11 by murdering between ten and a hundred times as many civilians in Iraq. And Tony Blair seems to be a cheerleader for this atrocity.

This is why we need the International War Crimes Tribunal.

(Excuse me, please: I'm so angry right now that I'm not feeling very articulate.)

[ Link ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 13:56 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 27 Jan 2003

The torture chamber is full of brightly-coloured machine parts

Torture is a grisly, inhumane, evil business. But sometimes it throws up something that can only be described as surreal. Today's issue of The Guardian features "Alphonse Laurencic, [a surrealist artist] who invented a form of 'psychotechnic' torture, according to the research of the art historian Jose Milicua."

Mr Milicua's information came from a written account of Laurencic's trial before a Francoist military tribunal. That 1939 account was written by a man called R L Chacon who, like anybody allowed to publish by the newly installed dictatorship, could not have been expected to feel any sympathy for what Nazi Germany had already denounced as "degenerative art".

Laurencic, who claimed to be a painter and conductor in civilian life, created his so-called "coloured cells" as a contribution to the fight against General Franco's rightwing rebel forces.

The cells, built in 1938 and reportedly hidden from foreign journalists who visited the makeshift jails on Vallmajor and Saragossa streets, were as inspired by ideas of geometric abstraction and surrealism as they were by avant garde art theories on the psychological properties of colours.

Beds were placed at a 20 degree angle, making them near-impossible to sleep on, and the floors of the 6ft by 3ft cells was scattered with bricks and other geometric blocks to prevent prisoners from walking backwards and forwards, according to the account of Laurencic's trial.

The only option left to prisoners was staring at the walls, which were curved and covered with mind-altering patterns of cubes, squares, straight lines and spirals which utilised tricks of colour, perspective and scale to cause mental confusion and distress.

... According to the prosecutors who put Laurencic on trial in 1939, a jail in Murcia in south-east Spain forced prisoners to view the infamously disturbing scene from Dali and Bunuel's film Un Chien Andalou, in which an eyeball is sliced open.

There's more. Much more, all of which goes to suggest that the Spanish civil war was a vile and nasty affair, with atrocities committed by all sides -- Franco-era mass graves are still coming to light -- but leaves me pondering; what is the connection between torture and art? Fiction about torture in which it is described as an art form -- typically a performance art, practiced on living flesh -- are not so very unusual, but it seems to be much rarer for the real torturers to try to use art in a manner like this.

Colour me perplexed.

[ Link ] [ Discuss new art forms ]

posted at: 13:24 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Fri, 24 Jan 2003

Torture and the radicalisation of islamicists

Important article in The Guardian about the way systematic state brutality in Egypt -- typical of many Middle Eastern countries -- provides fuel for the hard-liners of Al Qaida and related factions.

"Torturing radical Islamists makes them more violent," Dr Suzan Fayad [a psychiatrist, who works with Nadeem, an Egyptian organisation which rehabilitates victims of violence] maintains. "Islamists don't believe too much in psychiatry and rehabilitation. They believe God will help them.

"In the early 1990s, the government began to torture Islamists. People said, 'Don't torture them; you will make them seek revenge, especially in upper Egypt where there is a culture of revenge killings.'

"It's torture that makes them angry and take up terrorism."

Hafiz Abu Sa'eda, the head of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, supports Dr Fayad's claim. He believes the main reason that another Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, became more extreme was the torture inflicted on its members.

"Torture demonstrates that the regime deserves destroying because it does not respect the dignity of the people," he said. "They began to argue that society should be destroyed and rebuilt again on the basis of an Islamic state."

Much more stuff, well worth reading; especially the point that western pressure since September 2001 has resulted in many middle eastern regimes conducting mass arrests of anyone vaguely suspected of islamist sympathies, increasing their use of torture -- and that this may actually be generating new hard-line terrorists, rather than taking them out of circulation.

[ Link ] [ Discuss 9/11 ]

posted at: 10:01 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 23 Jan 2003

Off again ...

I'm about to be away for another long weekend. However, dredging through the bookmarks for food for thought, I came across this: a reprint of As we may think, the classic 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush that many people cite as the first description of a hypertext system.

If you haven't already read this, read it now. The fact that you are able to read it this way is just one aspect of how it has changed our lives. Because, before this article, the idea of being able to work or think this way simply wasn't common (or even uncommon) currency.

This is how great ideas germinate ...

[ Link ] [ Discuss singularity ]

posted at: 18:11 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Wed, 22 Jan 2003

Background reading for the upcoming unpleasantness

It looks increasingly likely that Gulf War 3.0 is due to kick off in the next month, whatever the state of public opinion in the west. I've mostly tried to stay off the topic, because I don't think I've got anything constructive to offer. (As I said the other week, what John LeCarre wrote in The Times goes for me, too; I'm just trying to hang onto the fact that the noises coming out the White House are not a guide to the opinion of all Americans about the war -- or anything else, for that matter.)

However, here's something useful; a discussion, in historical context, of the different movements within Islam and an analysis of where the militants come from -- including the origins of the movement started by ibn Abdul Wahhab, spiritual father of the Wahhabites (to whom both the Saudi monarchy and Osama bin Laden are adherents).

Meanwhile, this is a brief run-down of Ba'athism, the ideology underlying Saddam Hussein al-Takriti's regime. It's by no means as comprehensive as the rather frightening discussion in Samir el-Khalil's The Republic of Fear, but the salient points are there; it's a secular, modernizing, national socialist regime, at the opposite end of the middle eastern political spectrum from bin Laden's mystic ascetism.

And here is a quick time-line of Iraqi history in the 20th century.

After reading these items, and bearing in mind the absence of evidence unearthed by the UN inspection process, it seems clear that the current war is concerned with enforcing the Carter Doctrine, rather than dealing with the roots of terrorism. But we knew that already, didn't we?

[ Link ] [ Discuss 9/11 ]

posted at: 16:22 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 20 Jan 2003

Nixie tube digital clocks

This is just so cool.

Nixie tube clock

[ Link ] [ Discuss toys ]

posted at: 20:18 | path: /toys | permanent link to this entry

Speaking of art as communication ...

Is this art?

(It's certainly an infectious meme, as witness its spread via LiveJournal. But what, exactly, is it communicating?)

[ Link ] [ Discuss new art forms ]

posted at: 11:53 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Tolstoy on Art

Leo Tolstoy's essay on the nature of art (written in 1896) is still worth reading today; in particular, his analysis of art as a form of communication, and of the quality of at as a function of a work's ability to infect other minds, is a striking foreshadowing of the theory of memes. (Other bits -- his insistence on sincerity as the highest value, and its presence in peasant art but not upper-class art -- look somewhat irrelevant or dated from a century's remove, but the core diagnosis seems sound to me.)

William Burroughs said "language is a virus". Well, I suspect if Leo Tolstoy were around and writing today, he'd probably say "no, language is an operating system; art is a virus."

[ Link ] [ Discuss new art forms ]

posted at: 11:52 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Wed, 15 Jan 2003

What he says

John LeCarre writes a cogent, concise, and angry comment piece in The Times.

All I can say to this is, he speaks for me, too. Nothing to add, nothing to subtract.

[ Link ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 15:43 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Tue, 14 Jan 2003

RFID chips considered harmless

RFID (Radio-Frequency ID) chips are turning out to be the latest civil liberties nightmare, according to Declan McCullagh:

RFID tags are miniscule microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from the initial radio signal to transmit their response.

It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything you buy that's more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags, which typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about 18 thousand trillion possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into clothing. And according to EE Times, the European central bank is considering embedding RFID tags into banknotes by 2005.

That raises the disquieting possibility of being tracked though our personal possessions. Imagine: The Gap links your sweater's RFID tag with the credit card you used to buy it and recognizes you by name when you return. Grocery stores flash ads on wall-sized screens based on your spending patterns, just like in "Minority Report." Police gain a trendy method of constant, cradle-to-grave surveillance.

You can imagine nightmare legal scenarios that don't involve the cops. Future divorce cases could involve one party seeking a subpoena for RFID logs--to prove that a spouse was in a certain location at a certain time. Future burglars could canvass alleys with RFID detectors, looking for RFID tags on discarded packaging that indicates expensive electronic gear is nearby. In all of these scenarios, the ability to remain anonymous is eroded.

I'm a paranoiac about civil liberties and privacy, but I have to say "I don't think so". Here's why.

In some contexts, RFID chips are clearly a good thing -- they're the answer to a retailer's dream, as a combined stock control and anti- shoplifting widget, and a bank's dream, as the solution to counterfeiting and cash counting. They're also good for you and me insofar as they allow us to indelibly label expensive consumer purchases and maybe register them with the police so that in event of a theft the stolen goods can be identified and returned to their owners (us). The problem is of course the ubiquitous surveillance aspect. What we need is a way of selectively anonymizing RFID.

I envisage a boxy machine about the size of a microwave oven or a front- loading washer-dryer. The machine is quite cheap, because basically all it is is a Faraday cage and a device for generating strong electromagnetic pulses (EMP). EMP fries microelectronics -- including RFID devices. When you get home, you simply dump your shopping bags into the machine and push the button to burn out any electronics that's tagged along for the ride.

Obviously you wouldn't want to do this to your iPod or laptop or phone, but those are already identifiable by their wireless network address -- and you can switch them off or leave them at home if you don't want to be identified. The big problem is involuntary identification, by RFID bugs buried in your underwear or the chocolate bar in your back pocket, and as long as we can burn out RFID chips we can preserve our privacy to as great (or as little) an extent as we desire.

[ Link ] [ Discuss Big Brother ]

posted at: 18:24 | path: /politics | permanent link to this entry

January Toys

Two toys have just caught my eye.

Firstly, some folks swear by Psion palmtops. Psion aren't selling them any more, but still support the machines. Getting them is difficult; for example, the Series 5MX (which originally retailed for £399+VAT) costs aboout £220+VAT via most companies who still hold stock, and auctions for £100-150 on (depending on condition). It now turns out that Morgan Computers have got a job lot of factory refurbished machines in, and are selling them for £99.95 (plus VAT and shipping), as new, under warranty. According to usenet discussion they're basically repaired machines cobbled together from defective ones returned under warranty -- but with Psion's guarantee support they're a bargain.

Secondly, a year or two ago Siemens came out with a widget called the Pocket Reader. This is a large pen-shaped OCR (optical character recognition) gadget. The idea is, if you see something in a newspaper or on a business card you just swipe your Pocket Reader over it, and import the data via a cable onto your PC later. They used to retail for £109 (plus VAT), but Maplin are currently offloading their surplus stock for £30.

Finally, it turns out there's a freeware Psion utility for sucking the data off a Pocket Reader onto a Series 5MX (or similar) palmtop -- indeed, there are reader clients for most OS's, including Linux at the support page.

Anyway. The combination of a Series 5MX and a Pocket Reader gives you an interesting gadget -- a pocket-sized OCR pen and a nifty little palmtop with a reasonable keyboard (some people can touch-type on them; I need the Series 5MX's big brother, the Netbook, to do that).

[ Discuss toys ]

posted at: 16:53 | path: /toys | permanent link to this entry

Sun, 12 Jan 2003

Patriotism begins in Photoshop

Propaganda image

Can you tell the difference between the genuine USAF security poster about hackers (down below) and these?

[ Link (Thanks, Ciphergoth!) ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 18:08 | path: /politics | permanent link to this entry

Against the fall of hype

With the second reel of "Lord of the Rings" in the public eye, it's worth occasionally revisiting old stomping-grounds -- including the tools of the trade of writing high fantasy. This is a link to a very useful essay entitled "On Thud and Blunder", written by none other than the late Poul Anderson -- famous SF writer and noted exponent of the genre.

Beneath the magic, derring-do, and other glamour, an imaginary world has to work right. In particular, a pre-industrial society, which is what virtually all hf uses for a setting, differs from ours today in countless ways. ... Far too many writers nowadays have supposed that practical day-to-day details are of no importance and hence they, the writers, have no homework to do before they start spinning their yarns. Not so! The consequence of making that assumption is, inevitably, a sleazy product. It may be bought by an editor hard up for material, but it will carry none of the conviction which helps make the work of good writers memorable.

(Lots of food for thought here -- especially if, like me, you're contemplating writing something not a million miles away from this territory.)

[ Link ] [ Discuss writing ]

posted at: 17:50 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 11 Jan 2003

Zen semiotics, US Air Force Security Poster Style

The US Department of Defense has a brilliant line in cheesy security awareness posters of the "Loose lips sink ships" variety; here's what happens when cliched 1940's style institutional art meets computer hacking and 50's B-movie SF art. (The original was found in the wild at, i.e. somewhere on a website at Andrews Air Force Base: but the link below points to a mirror site in case somebody with a clue tries to destroy the evidence.)

Clearly the same artist was at work who designed those comforting ubiquitous surveillance posters for London Transport and the insane logo for Admiral Poindexter's "all your database are belong to us" organisation.

[ Link ] [ Discuss dumb ]

posted at: 10:54 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Tue, 07 Jan 2003

Death and Taxes

According to legend, there's no escape from death or taxes. Now we have conclusive evidence that there's no escape from taxes in death, as that evil miscreant Saint Walburga (d. 777 AD) has discovered.

It seems the German TV licencing authorities are threatening legal action and a 1000 euro fine if she doesn't pay her TV licence right now.

(Meanwhile there's no escape from plumbers, as I'm discovering: about two hours ago my central heating boiler decided to die -- the pump's fine, but the automatic ignition ain't talking. It is, of course, the coldest day for about three years, with the temperature outside somewhere in the -1 to -5 degree range and the temperature oop north in the Great Glen possibly as low as -20 celsius. Why couldn't this happen in summer?)

[ Link ] [ Discuss dumb ]

posted at: 08:58 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 06 Jan 2003

Vernor Vinge in The Guardian

(Well okay, The Observer is the Sunday edition of The Guardian. Still worth reading ...)

[ Link ] [ Discuss singularity ]

posted at: 23:17 | path: /sing | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 04 Jan 2003

A night at the movies

Yesterday, I went to the Filmhouse (one of Edinburgh's two alternative cinemas) to see Mamoru Oshii's Avalon.

I'm not a film critic. I am not very visually literate, and I don't have the critical vocabulary for tackling this kind of media. It's even worse when I try to describe an experience like watching "Avalon", which is positively elephantine, pregnant with hidden meaning and weird symbolism. So here's a bit of background ...

Mamoru Oshii is probably best known as one of Japan's top anime directors. His best-known film, Ghost in the Shell, pretty much redefined anime as a mature, thoughtful medium for exploring science fictional concepts relating to the nature of identity in an age where personality is reprogrammable and bodies fungible. It has been said, with some justification, that about 50% of "The Matrix" was ripped off from "Ghost in the Shell"; certainly "The Matrix" was a glossier, high-budget Hollywood take on some of the thematic material that Oshii's monumental cartoon dug its teeth into. Because Oshii had complete creative control -- he was working with the sort of budget associated with a feature length animation, rather than the megabuck budgets of a Hollywood blockbuster -- he was able to work without compromise; while "Ghost in the Shell" has more than enough action to keep the Nintendo generation happy, its slow, lingering landscape explorations -- showing the layered archaeology of a century that doesn't yet exist -- were just the most obvious symptoms of the preoccupations of the mind behind the camera.

Now we come to "Avalon". This isn't anime; it's a real movie, filmed using genuine old-fashioned film cameras and human actors (and some insanely brilliantly stunning CGI work to bulk up the special effects). Oshii filmed "Avalon" in Poland, using Polish actors, and he's clearly been trying to synergise the anime tradition and style with something Central European. Most of "Avalon" is shot in sepia tones; indeed, one way of looking at it is that it's a classic art-house middle-European subtitled art movie in which the characters spend the entire film angsting about the nature of reality between cigarettes. (And shooting things up with helicopter gunships, tanks, and giant robots -- for this is Mamoru Oshii, after all.)

The basic premise of "Avalon" is simple. In the near future, we have a combination of direct brain interfaces and massively-multiplayer online roleplaying games. One of these, "Avalon", is somewhat illegal -- some of the players, seeking to reach an unclassified (and possibly non-existent) high level, end up brain-dead. A few extremely skilled players play the game for money. One of these, Ash, goes on a quest for the restricted level -- and discovers more than she bargained for.

It's what Oshii does with this simple-sounding background that is so stunning. He's made a movie that would be literally incomprehensible to any audience, as little as 30 years ago. Concepts like mind uploading, sprite-based animation, RPG character classes, and the emergent economics of MMORPGs glide past in the background without explanation as Ash searches for her key to the highest level. Meanwhile, keep an eye open for the continuity errors -- that aren't. Parts of this movie are shot in gaming hell, and parts are shot in the real world; telling them apart is the tricky bit. There are any number of sly existential posers bound up in the structure of the cinematic narrative that only bit me on the ankle on the way out of the cinema, in discussion with a group of friends. About the only conclusions we could reach were (a) we needed to see the movie again, at least twice, and (b) Oshii fucks with your head.

(Final taunting note: "Avalon" is not on general release yet. Miramax have apparently acquired distribution rights to it, but don't look for it in a mainstream cinema. It'll probably be easiest to find on DVD, although the canonical 2-disk commemorative edition is out of production.)

[ Link (Fan site ] [ Discuss Movies ]

posted at: 12:45 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Fri, 03 Jan 2003

The Kraken wakes ...

It lives in the deep ocean, it goes "bloop", and the US navy's sonar array keeps picking it up. Whatever it is, the sound it emits is at a very low frequency, implying that the animal producing it is enormous -- larger than a blue whale. Candidates include a 747-sized giant squid, or maybe great Cthulhu.

I always find it rather humbling to remember that there are vast reaches of the deep ocean floor that we know less about than the far side of the moon ...

[ Link ] [ Discuss strange wildlife ]

posted at: 14:56 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 02 Jan 2003

And now for someting completely different

Satanic hampsters?

[ Link ] [ Discuss ]

posted at: 13:46 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Wed, 01 Jan 2003

Gabe Chouinard sounds off in Locus

Gabe Choinard has a good rant in the current issue of Locus in this essay. It's a thought-provoking attempt to define the state and future of science fiction as a genre.

To leap unhesitatingly to his conclusion:

Our current cultural shift is one that requires fantasy. We've grown tired of the future, have grown tired of the promise of Progress that never really comes. We're tired of looking outward, and have turned our gazes inward. It's time to stop exploring the Outer Rim, and time to start exploring the Inner Being. Science fantasy allows that; hard SF does not. Likewise, science fantasy is more accessible to a generation of potential fans that have grown up on media sci-fi, such as the Star Wars movies. Science fantasy is a freewheeling almost-anything-goes subgenre that fulfills the needs of a culture that has developed a 'half-imagination' over the years.

I sort of half-disagree with his conclusions. Gabe has put his finger on a couple of important sore points, but I don't think he's identified the cause of the mallaise -- arguable, if it exists -- that currently afflicts written SF.

Firstly, I think to some extent he conflates the SF readership with fandom, and this is a mistake. While fans are readers, there are many readers of written SF who are not SF fans, and extrapolating from patterns of behaviour observable in fandom to the broader readership is not an entirely safe course of action.

Secondly, and more importantly, I think he's misidentifying the cause of the shift in the popularity of sub-forms of SF. To some extent, written fiction of any kind is a victim of marketing; authors don't generally sell their products directly to the readers, and a mallaise afflicting the distribution chain can be misattributed to the consumers (by the producers) or vice versa.

Most importantly, there are two reasons why out current cultural shift might seem to demand fantasy. One is consumer-centred; the hypothesis that our entire culture is teetering on a knife edge of incipient future shock suggests as a corollary that readers want to escape into an experience that reaffirms their sense of permanence -- like most genre fantasy, which rarely questions or overturns the initially established order. (SF is a literature of revolution, and potentially disturbing to a readership who want reassurance.) But there's another hypothesis that needs to be addressed -- the possibility that the pace of change is currently so fast that predicting even the near future has become problematic for the majority of writers, and the producers are therefore shirking the hard task of doing so and retreating into fantasy (which, after all, sells solidly and is easier to extrude).

Gabe clearly attributes much of the mallaise in genre SF to the readership. Me, I'm not so sure. And I'll probably have more to say on this matter in future (if I pull my finger out and write that critical essay I've been gestating for a couple of months, instead of working on the next novel).

[Link ] [ Discuss writing ]

posted at: 19:56 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

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Some webby stuff I'm reading:

Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

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