July 31st, 2003


For catnik

Computers have no souls. There isn't anything that can be blamed when they go wrong, not that would make the victims of their maliciousness feel any better. Computers are the only medium in which we invest a lot of energy, a lot of emotion and creativity in our art. Whether that be visual, writing, programming, music... at times a lot of people have lost hours -- or days -- of work with no real way to get it back. And computers are the only medium in which this can happen without us being able to blame anyone.

Silicon dream
Captured so brilliantly
Like a butterfly on a board
A blink of an eyelash
Or an agonising five minutes
The image is gone
Lost forever
It could be remade
But never the same
Like waking up
From a silicon dream

My poetry really does suck, but I had to try.
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Shiver me shurikens!

"As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of that is that it is no longer acceptable to say so. To criticise popular taste is to invite the charge of élitism, and to defend distinctions of value -- between the virtuous and the vicious, the beautiful and the ugly, the sacred and the profane, the true and the false -- is to offend against the only value-judgement that is widely accepted, the judgement that judgements are wrong."
— Roger Scruton, An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy

This quote works well for pointing out why politeness (not offending against the only currently held value judgement) is actively detrimental to reasoned debate. It also goes on to generate a form of Sturgeon's Law, but with a non-fixed crap coefficient. It's a good indicator of the way the forum has been going up to the ToJ[1] as well.

So yes. I've had to hit the library and charity shops to get reading material as the parents are on holiday for two weeks, yet before 8 in the evening I have no internet connection. I was rather lucky in what I found; as well as the philosophy book referenced above there was an introduction to Foucault, a copy of Catch 22 (something I've been meaning to buy for a long time, for 50p no less) and the only Dark Future book I didn't have[2]. Thing is, this just made me think of all the other books I haven't got around to tracking down (Tolstoy, I'm a looking at you!), which saddens me. I'm nowhere near as well-read as I should be.

So yeah, the family is gone for two weeks. This is a good thing in general, but the lack of decent net connection is going to be more painful without them around for me to complain at. It's also weird as this house just feels so fucking big. I'm used to a place with my room, a bog, a poky bathroom, and a kitchen. Now I have a three-bedroom semi to myself, replete with everything and it's just freaky. Especially as I'm still sleeping in the smallest room in the house (yup, I checked, the bathroom is bigger).

Aaron, where's this e-mail and the comments on the ficion, old love?

But now I get to think about post-nuclear pirates and the world just seems so much better. Arrrrr!

[1]: It's fortunately starting to revert, but is buried in a large pile of excrement about the ToJ. Fortunately, these threads can be corrupted: I ended up talking with Ethan in one about Chinese literature and pulp novels. Which just goes to show why he rocks.
[2]: Dark Future was a Games Workshop game that was being phased out as I was getting in to the hobby, around 1990. As it wasn't tuied to any of their other games, it never saw the light of day again, which is a shame as the novels are great for a fun read, especially if you're British and can get the references (Ken Dodd as a pop star, Margaret Thatcher writing her Grantham series of trashy romance novels, ad infinitum). The whole thing is great for a bit of near-apocapyptic cybergoth weirdness.
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