Saturday, April 08, 2006

Book Review: Accelerando

Title: Accelerando
Author: Charles Stross
Grade: F-
Summary: Unreadable

I'm no real fan of the Singularity, but Charles Stross has written a number of pretty good stories around it, so I was looking forward to a good book. Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise are both excellent, so I figured this would be pretty good.

I could not get past page 40 in this. My current operating theories for this disconnect is that a) he's had a massive stroke, b) he lost the draft in a hard drive crash and had to rewrite the entire thing from scratch in an entire night, c) he won the Lotto and just doesn’t care any more or d) aliens ate his brain.

Its flaw was simple, it was logically inconsistent. Too many technological rabbits out of the same, tired hat, weird views of intellectual property, unrealistic views of human motivation and, what made it unreadable to me, too many A implies B errors. If technology B exists and logically depends on A, the effects of A must be seen in other places. In Stross' novel sentient AIs are common as pennies, depressingly so, yet none of them reach the critical point. Nope didn't buy it.

Doubtless many pro-singularity friends could read this and enjoy it and will probably take issue with my review. I'm not down on Stross who I still think is a good author, just this novel which I didn't

On Aging

Nothing makes you feel old like walking into a crowded schoolyard, screaming “Hey, can I play?!” at the top of your lungs, and being led away by policemen.

Sing it Brother!

More here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Happy Lucky Fun Delicious Anime

Keeping my promise to blog less with higher quality

More here

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Gonorrhea Lectim

From field corespondant Tara:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a
new virulent strain of a sexually transmitted disease. The disease is
contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior.
The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim and pronounced "gonna re-elect him."
Many victims contracted it in 2004, after having been screwed for the past
four years.
Cognitive characteristics of individuals infected include: anti-social
personality disorders; delusions of grandeur with messianic overtones;
extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information;
pronounced xenophobia and paranoia; inability to accept responsibility for
own actions; cowardice masked by misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial
smirking; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies towards evangelical
theocracy; categorical all-or-nothing behavior;
Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this destructive Disease
originated only a few years ago from a bush found in Texas.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Medical Update

Good News Column:
Genetic Testing: A-ok! Nothing like Huntington's, Cerebreal Ataxia, CAG-repition disorders etc.

Neutral News Column:
The MS doctors seem to think it's a complication of diabetes
The Diabetes doctors think the MS doctors are crazy.
The Chief Neurologist at UW thinks the MS doctors are crazy as well

Bad News column:
My GP found how to get leg reflexes, by involving part of my brain in something else. This is good news becuase it means my peripheral nerves are probably good. This is bad news because, "well, it means the problem's in your brain Mark"
I seem to be now be exhibiting the Babinski Reflex. This is new and also points to brain involvement.

Some Kinda Metaphor or Something

I love Bob the Angry Flower. I wonder what the author is trying to say...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Not Dead! Back from Hiatus

Howdy all,

Thanks for all the notes. No, I am not dead or even especially sick. Just busy with work and a new, completely unproductive hobby.

While all blogs are completely narcissistic enterprises, I decided that mine was getting an increasingly negative, whiney tone to it, i.e. complaints about this and that, rants about news articles, complete and total meaningless trivia etc. Not interesting, not fun and bordering on the anti-social. It's easy to descend into a cozy world of self-reinforcing diatribes and cranky rhetoric when your friends agree with you and, before you know it, you're well down the road to being a crazy shut-in with 5 friends and a lot of cats (or dogs, fish, chinchillas etc.)

So I took a break, got my head out of that, and now am thinking about trying again. This time with the view that things should be lighter and less self-involved.

So, from here forward, look for fewer but hopefully more entertaining posts.

A Strongly Worded Denial

Thaurloteion: hi
Toast171: hi
Thaurloteion: how are you/
Toast171: I'm okay. How are you? Getting ready for classes tomorrow?
Thaurloteion: good
Thaurloteion: not really, i'll do that tomorrow when the store is open
Thaurloteion: trying to find out where my classes are
Thaurloteion: but that service is down for maintenance
Toast171: they are at Drexel
Thaurloteion: thank you
Thaurloteion: i didnt realize that
Toast171: anytime son
Thaurloteion: what are you up to today?
Toast171: house hunting
Toast171: I'm gonna bag me a house!
Toast171: first tho, I need to bait the traps
Thaurloteion: bait the traps?
Thaurloteion: those are rats, not houses
Thaurloteion: you cant live in them
Toast171: I can't?
Toast171: Ratman does!
Thaurloteion: are you ratman?
Toast171: And those guys who talk a lot on the streets
Thaurloteion: those are bums
Thaurloteion: they live in boxes
Thaurloteion: or sleeping bags
Toast171: No! I am not Ratman! Who told you that??!! I deny it!
Thaurloteion: no one told me
Toast171: How could they? It isn't true! It isn't! WHo is spreading these lies?
Toast171: The rats will know! Oh yes, you can keep your secrets from humans, sure, but not the rats! The lovely, silky coated, bright eyed rats. They see all. They know!
Toast171: errr....
Thaurloteion: yes.....
Toast171: ... they know... that I am not the Ratman! Thats what they know!
Toast171: ask them!
Thaurloteion: of course...
Toast171: right now!
Toast171: go go go!
Thaurloteion: i'll do it later
Toast171: ok
Toast171: Good
Toast171: But don't ask Willard
Toast171: He's a liar
Toast171: and a rat bastard
Toast171: whatever you do, dont talk to Willard
Toast171: and if you do, don't beleive what he says
Toast171: and I *certainly* don't owe him any money! He cheats at cards...
Toast171: ...
Toast171: ...eerrr..
Toast171: I'm not Ratman
Thaurloteion: no
Thaurloteion: of course you're not
Toast171: whew!
Toast171: (that went smoooothly)