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Zander Nyrond
Name: Zander Nyrond
Log of Smallship One - Passionate and Confused
I'm just, you know...I'm just the guy who does the thing.
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Watched this.

An interesting reimagining of Colossus: The Forbin Project, mashed up with a couple of other venerable ideas and some newer ones. Couldn't place from whom Johnny Depp was nicking his performance, so he might actually have been acting this time. Morgan Freeman is to Lucy and Transcendence as Gabriel Byrne is to Stigmata and End Of Days.

Some more spoilery thoughts...Collapse )

Anyway. Bottom line is that once again, the filmmakers give us a super-enhanced human being who is both less than human and remarkably stupid. I suppose that makes them easier to almost-beat, and reassures the audience that good old homo sapiens is still the best. But when the next thing really does come along (and it won't be AI or the Singularity or any other of the techie-buzzword host of false prophets) we'll know. Because she really will be better at being human than we are.
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Quoted from my friend Talis Kimberley-Fairbourn:

(Warning for suicide trigger)

* * *

'Sanctions' is the word the DWP uses.

What it means is: "You know that minimum amount you get in benefits, not quite enough to live on but you exist and your debts are only growing slowly? We're stopping all that. Live on nothing. Nothing. For several weeks. Or several months - we'll choose. Our call.

"Don't eat. Don't catch the bus to the library to use the internet. Don't have electricity in your home, even if you need the fridge to keep your life-saving insulin cool. Don't eat some more. Unless you walk to the Food Bank, and ha ha, you can't cook the pasta or the rice, can you? No electricity.

"Live on nothing. Or starve. We really don't care. We have targets, you see.

"So starve. Freeze. Despair. Kill yourself. That's what we mean by 'sanctions'."

* * *

So tell me, dear folk of this green and pleasant land, this kindly, fair-minded RICH country of ours - are you angry enough yet? Are you?

THIS is why I am doing politics. Because I AM NOT OK WITH THIS.
__________________________________________

And this is why I have been talking about politics, and blogging about politics, and making myself angry and depressed about politics, for some time; because I have seen this coming for thirty years, and every time I thought there was a possible other way, that someone decent was going to get into power, sure enough the pigs turned into people. And now it's happening, and people are dying, and it's possible someone reading this right now is thinking that it's right that they should do so. If that's you, read what Talis has written again, search your heart and conceive, just for a moment, that you might be mistaken.

There is one chance. One party in Westminster right now that is not okay with "sanctions." One party that, if it gets into power, will change this. None of the others will. None of the others will even try. I'm talking, of course, about the Green Party, and right away you're sitting back and making contemptuous noises, because obviously they've got no chance. Even their leader thinks they'll be lucky to get three seats.

Well, you can think that. You can certainly think that. And you can go and vote for your usual party in May, or vote for someone you don't agree with to stop someone else getting in, or whatever you do. Just be aware that you're voting for the status quo, and the status quo is that up there. The status quo is people dying of poverty in a rich country because the government wants them to. You are voting for that. Unless you vote Green, and tell everyone you know what is happening and that they should vote Green, and maybe put a sticker in your window or on your car. I'm sure there are stickers.

Never mind all the bullshit about dustbins in Brighton and the rest. This is life and death. Get the Greens into power in May, confound everyone's expectations, and people will live who would otherwise have died for no reason. I am not overdramatising, I am not lying, I am not deluded and I am not drunk. What I am...is angry.

Britain has one, very very slight, hope. You can tell me it's impossible...or you can help to make it possible. And if you choose the former option, please don't bother.

Vote Green in May.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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Just watched this.

It's odd how, every single time someone tries to imagine the human brain (by which they always mean mind, though the two things are very different) with its full potential unlocked, they can only think in terms of it ceasing to do things, such as feeling emotions, caring, keeping things in proportion or recognising reality. A person becomes super-evolved and immediately starts killing people without compunction, behaving utterly selfishly and forgetting what being human is about.

At the root of this, I think, is a pervasive idea that thinking, in its purest sense, is good and anything else is bad; that reason and emotion are not complementary but in opposition; that once we learn to think we are supposed to give up feeling, as if having learned to swim we should forget how to walk, or having learned to walk we should scorn crawling. It's a flawed assumption, and if taken seriously can lead to real evil.

Still, of its type it wasn't bad.
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Decision time. We will not be at the filkcon this year, for health-related reasons compounded by unwheelediness. Heartfelt apologies to everyone. You couldn't be more disappointed than we are.

Hopefully next year.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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Trying to find a way to convert an NWC file to a PDF file for emailing, I stupidly downloaded and installed something I should not have, and the laptop is borked. Its own screen is black, but the connection to the telly is working. Managed to get into safe mode, and Malwarebytes Free is having a bash at it now. Thank frod I put the episodes up yesterday.

Ain't life a hoot.

EDIT: Malwarebytes did the trick. Avoid installing anything that offers you something called Vosteran as an optional extra. It's not that optional, and it's nasty. And if you already knew this and thought everyone did, please don't laugh at me too hard. We learn by doing.
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Chapter nine of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire and part five of Sam Armitage's new adventure in the chronicles of Mary-Sue Montfitchet, "Northcombe," is available at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/guests for your perusal and enjoyment!

And these episodes go out with love to [personal profile] aunty_marion, whose birthday was yesterday.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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Great news! Sam has returned from the wilds of the north to the land of the band that's broad, and there will be "Northcombe" again! Look out for a new episode coming this weekend to http://www.avevale.org/index.php/guests for your pleasure!

(And, of course, there will be another chapter of Journey To Conservatoire as well. Watch this space!)

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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From Journey To Conservatoire, chapter twelve, this is Child 44.2:

Long one, too...Collapse )
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Chapter eight of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire for your perusal and enjoyment.

Sam Armitage's "Northcombe" will resume in due course. He has had to absent himself from internetity a while due to family illness. Good wishes will be welcomed and passed on.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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Chapter seven of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire for your perusal and enjoyment.

Sam Armitage's "Northcombe" will resume in due course. He has had to absent himself from internetity a while due to family illness. Good wishes will be welcomed and passed on.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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The new episode of Journey To Conservatoire will go up tomorrow. Northcombe is on hold due to family illness.

Apologies for the delay.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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This may offend you...Collapse )

EDIT: interesting. Only one commenter seems to have noticed my repeated statements that the crime (a) was a crime, (b) was perpetrated by murderers, (c) should not have happened, et cetera et cetera. Apparently, not condoning either the cartoons or the murders is not an option. Sides must be chosen and nobody is excused. Oh well.

FURTHER EDIT: and when I said they were trying to start a war, this is what I was trying in my fumbling way to hint at. I think this writer is correct; the thing was done entirely to polarise people and "sharpen the contradictions," and I have seen too many on the net who seem all too willing to allow themselves to be polarised.
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Chapter six of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire and part four of Sam Armitage's new adventure in the chronicles of Mary-Sue Montfitchet, "Northcombe," is available at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/guests for your perusal and enjoyment.

Many thanks to Sam for getting me over an awkward bit.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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Chapter five of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire and part three of Sam Armitage's new adventure in the chronicles of Mary-Sue Montfitchet, "Northcombe," is available at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/guests for your perusal and enjoyment.

And if you enjoy what you see, please consider leaving a donation on the Support Avevale page. I will be removing the Paypal links this week, so this is the last hurrah for Avevale as any kind of source of income for us. I will of course continue to write and publish on the site, and anyone who knows either of my emails can still donate that way if they choose, but there can be no question of my offering any kind of exchange of goods for donations.

Thank you for your support. It's been fun and it has helped in many ways.

New episodes next week.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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This is going on for ever. The situation was established ages ago and has been marking time for at least half an hour. The story has nothing useful or interesting to say, is too nasty to be fun and too thin to be dramatic. In other words, the mixture as before.

Gods, how many times?
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"...very successful and the best for some years..." (parrot_knight)

"...inexplicably inept and excruciatingly dull..." (stevegreen)

I wonder what we will think of it. It would be nice to be wrong again.

In other news, I made a fairly successful Christmas dinner last night, we watched some good films and some episodes of Murdoch Mysteries (good as ever) and The Librarians (great fun, and nobody kicking up any kind of fuss because they had a real Santa Claus) and hopefully today will be more of the same.

Love and happiness to all.
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...to all of our friends who celebrate Christmas, and to all of you whatever you celebrate, love and good wishes.

And may 2015 be a year in which suffering is relieved, fears prove groundless, and things begin at last to get better. For all of us.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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The internet is full of the fact that an astronaut on the ISS successfully 3D printed a wrench whose pattern was emailed up there from Earth. This is indeed a very cool trick and worth talking about for a while.

I find less compelling the idea being bruited about that this will solve all our problems for ever. But then, I've not been that enthusiastic about 3D printing in general. I think it's a fad, utterly dependent on the huge techno-industrial infrastructure we've developed on this planet over the last couple of centuries, and its continued usefulness is predicated on the continued existence of that infrastructure and its successful full-scale transmissibility to other planets. Both these preconditions seem to me very much open to doubt, both as to feasibility and advisability.

I don't actually know whether email can be made to work over interstellar distances, reliably and consistently. I don't know if 3D printing can be made energy-efficient and sustainable; from what I've read about it to date, it isn't, and while I have seen hints that a sustainable form of plastic can be made out of hemp, I don't know how practical that is right now. I gather that attempts to 3d-print guns have not been hugely successful, and long may that happy state of affairs continue; I do know that very few useful and/or complex things are made entirely of one kind of plastic.

My concern about advisability is more serious. Sure, we can maybe send out fleets of shining starships, whose computers hold the patterns for every conceivable artefact humanity might ever need, crewed by robots who can suck the raw materials from a planet and build huge factories so that when the first human colonists arrive the first cars and microwaves and warm-air hand dryers are already rolling off the assembly lines and nobody needs to know how to do anything. It would be far less work, and speaking as an idle waste of space I'm all for that.

But is that how we really want to colonise the universe? Is that the form of humanity we want to send out to the stars? What happens when the 3D printers break down, or the pattern buffers get corrupted or wiped completely, so that our first human colonists arrive on their new world to find huge stockpiles of useless plastic and a bunch of very large and expensive bricks?

Maybe I'm just an old Luddite sticking my head in the sand, but I don't think so. I don't think we're really, in our heart of hearts, all that keen on plastic. It's useful, but it isn't how we want to live for ever and ever amen. It's the easy option, whose only virtue is its easiness. I think that when people want to go to the stars they'll do it because they want to do things for themselves, and if they don't want that, they won't last long. And I think here on earth, doing things for ourselves is going to come back in a big way, sooner or later and one way or another, and that that might not be altogether a bad thing.

There's a place for easy replication, maybe--it works on the Enterprise--and certainly it's cool that we've worked out how to do it. But I know that I'm part of a generation of human beings many of whom would last about five minutes outside our technological cocoon, and that we are not the true heirs of humanity or fit claimants of the universe. Those will be the ones who, if they find they need a wrench they haven't got, can make one themselves. Or, better still, who remembered to pack the ones they were going to need before they left.
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Chapter four of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire and part two of Sam Armitage's new adventure in the chronicles of Mary-Sue Montfitchet, "Northcombe," is available at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/guests for your perusal and enjoyment.

And if you enjoy what you see, please consider leaving a donation on the Support Avevale page. I will be removing the Paypal links at the end of the year.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.
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Chapter three of Journey To Conservatoire is now up at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/episodes-plays/10-epsodes-plays/31-journey-to-conservatoire (spot the "deliberate" mistake in this week's episode), and part one of Sam Armitage's new adventure in the chronicles of Mary-Sue Montfitchet, "Northcombe," is available at http://www.avevale.org/index.php/guests for your perusal and enjoyment.

Originally posted on http://avevale_intelligencer.dreamwidth.org. Comment here or there or both if you wish.