Sunday, June 29, 2008
It's going to be mad, crazy, fun stuff.
You get elements of that when reading Little Brother -- set, presumably, in 2010. If I had gotten this at that age, it'd even be more clear than 1984, which was, after all, not a horror story of 1984, but of 1948, just still relevant.
In Little Brother, you've got something that's a clear political tale. It's not a book that you'd describe as subtle -- the political message is clear -- but the world is described exactly as you'd imagine it.
It is the San Francisco that I recognize from my trips there gone horribly wrong -- not an idealized city by any means, where the city changes radically just by moving one block from tourist land to a more unsavory world.
And just like that two block trip -- the world that Doctorow describes is one that's just a little bit farther away from the one that we are today, where the terrors of Abu Ghraib get set up shop in San Francisco.
It's impressive because it also teaches you a lot about technological history -- and how technology mixes with politics.
There are some books that if I was growing up today, and read them now, they'd have a huge impact -- the saddest thing, for example, about reading Harry Potter as an adult is, well, you're reading it as an adult. Reading Little Brother is a bit like that.
And one of the things that I like the book is that it is very tempting for people to get so worried about the application of technology that they become techno-phobic -- where this is absolutely not. It's a tool -- and the tools can be used for as much good to make it a better place than it is to make it a worse one. At the end of the day, this is still a work by someone that believes that tech can make the world *better* -- and not just worse.
It's a book to read, think about, and discuss. You might disagree with it in places -- but that's the best part, really, that you can disagree. And in whatever way you can, try to figure out ways so we don't fall into a world where things really do get that bad.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The Science of World Of Warcraft
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Certainly as we come to our tenth CONvergence we know exactly how much work an ambitious guest list is with something like two dozen guests. It's a challenge logistically, and it's a challenge to manage -- and it's something that really we've had ten years to prepare for.
And it's exactly because of that experience which makes stories like Jumpcon or FedconUSA so tragic and maddening -- it's difficult for all of us who love conventions, especially those of us that spend many, many hours working for free on these events. Especially when we're fans of media science fiction -- and like to see them a part of our conventions.
Like FedconUSA, this is very sad to see, especially for those fans that bought into it.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Keeping Track of CONvergence 2008
posting pictures to websites like Flickr, and using services like
twitter or livejournal to record what you're doing. To help everyone
find these messages, I'm encouraging people to use the tag CVG2008 to mark
entries related to the convention on whatever services you are using.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wii (and Wii Fit)
I'm very limited on games to start with -- just Wii Fit and Wii Sports.
Amazingly, this is the first video game console I've ever purchased -- growing up, the preference was always towards getting computers instead of an Atari 2600. And despite a number of friends getting Wii consoles, it wasn't something I had succumbed to yet -- but the idea of a Wii Fit was really compelling to me and pushed me over the edge. I went into the total "It Must Be Mine!" phase.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wow. A Political Commercial That Is A Shocker
If that's an advertisement in June -- imagine what we'll be seeing by October.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I think one of the useful things is that we're finally starting to see more technology that helps people exercise better -- I know that it's something I need to do more of -- and having technology "tricks" to exercise more will help a lot more. It's why I'm hoping to find a Wii and a Wii Fit one of these days, for example.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
But it is one of those valuable "buyer beware" lessons. Convention running can be risky -- especially the large conventions with a number of media guests. It is not the first time a story like this has happened, unfortunately.
And one of the reasons why I'm more fond of the community-based conventions like most of the ones in the Twin Cities (including CONvergence) -- they're cooperative ventures). When you see that a convention sells tickets instead of memberships that's usually a warning sign.
Very sad to see though.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
New JoCo Song!
Sunday, June 08, 2008
I came of age politically with Bill Clinton, and perhaps because of that, it has surprised me at times when the politician that Obama reminds me the most of....was Bill Clinton of 1992.
My impression was that Hillary Clinton had a campaign strategy that would beat a variety of different candidates without as much name recognition quickly -- but not the avalanche that the Obama campaign has become.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Looking at History
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