* I have just become aware of Big Echo, an online journal of “critical sf”. I am still scratching the surface but there is some seriously interesting thought going on here.
* Ta-Nehisi Coates interviews Lupita Nyong’o and Chadwick Boseman about Black Panther and the cultural importance and impact of the movie.
* Donald Trump–who is undoubtedly the most destructive American president since Jefferson Davis–displays the typical Republican trait of caving to monied interests and completely missing the point of school shootings. Violent video games don’t cause school shootings. A sick and sadistic and cowardly culture of gun worship and the fetishizing of violence, perpetuated by the terrorist NRA, is the cause of school shootings. There is no interpretation of NRA rhetoric which does not directly translate to the advocacy of the murder of children. Emasculated president Donald Trump (and by extension, all Republicans) stands in unconditional support of this NRA message.
* Since the federal government is a wholly owned subsidiary of the big banks, cities are beginning to explore opening their own banks to fund local and regional investment, without local interests being at the mercy of the whims of parasitic speculators and parasitic shareholders.
* As of the posting of this list, I have 1,317 books entered into LibraryThing. I still have a dozen or so cookbooks to catalog, but for all intents and purposes I am completely caught up.
* An interesting, fun, and very strange article and comment thread, courtesy of Charles Stross. From the intro: “I am working (for reasons of my own) towards a comprehensive list of plausible techno-thriller plots from 2010 where the MacGuffin is named Satoshi Nakamoto.”
* Homecoming: How Afrofuturism Bridges the Past and the Present is an excellent article.
* Once upon a time I was a fan of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books. Then he starting carrying water for Ayn Rand, and the decent-but-not-great quality of his interesting-but-not-innovative stories declined sharply. Now he has distinguished himself as a jackass by publicly insulting the cover artist of his latest book. The internet, of course, is having none of this and is doing an excellent job of roasting Mr. Goodkind. It appears his behavior has cost him spots at a couple of conventions, and will likely make future business with the publishing industry more difficult for him. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
* Since students are protesting their presidentially (45) approved murder at the hands of NRA-backed second-amendment fetishists and other terrorists, members of the mainstream conservative fascist and fascist-adjacent community are sending them death threats and accusing them of being crisis actors, etc. This has not stopped the students from protesting, and indeed seems to be reinforcing their will and message. To that point it is important that students (and enforcers of student-affecting rules) know which rights are in play. The ACLU has helpfully published a page which clarifies students’ rights.
* Voyages in Sentence Space is a wonderfully strange tool which “bridges” the space between two arbitrary sentences with additional sentences along a “gradient” of meaning. From the example:
- I went looking for adventure.
- I went out on a mission.
- I shouted awkwardly.
- I stared incredulously.
- I feel desperate.
- I never returned.
- I never returned.
Sentences 1 and 7 are user input. Sentences 2 through 6 are generated to “fill the space” between 1 and 7. Here is an example I generated:
- His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god.
- His features seized his mistressmaker, and then.
- True Bailey leaped through little branches at them.
- Send Clayton taking off his shot.
- No more pictures stood in things.
- It has returned close to none.
- And none returned alive, save I.
Interesting and fun in an absurdist, surrealist way. The full article details the thought and technology behind the experiment.
* At the time of the publishing of this post, I have 1,091 books cataloged at LibraryThing.