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By TheophileEscargot (Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 08:32:16 AM EST) Reading, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Tunnel Visions", "Abandon the Old in Tokyo". Watching: "United 93", "Micro Men". Web.

What I'm Reading
Picked up Tunnel Visions: Journeys of an Underground Philosopher in the library. Anecdotes and homespun philosophy from a man who took a temporary part-time job as a station attendant after returning from a round of travel.

Interesting light reading, read it in pretty much a single sitting. The anecdotes are better than the philosophy, which is pretty much pointless.


What I'm Reading 2
Abandon the Old in Tokyo by Yoshihiro Tatsumi is a kind of "alternative" Japanese comic from the Sixties and Seventies. self-contained stories, mostly gritty stories of life amongst menial workers scraping a living in the vast cities at the start of Japan's boom.

Very good stories, often quite haunting. Mostly sad but with traces of black humour. Black-and-white art is very well done, with realistic slumped postures, and crowd scenes deftly handled. Liked the way one story goes by with the protagonist never speaking a word: everything is told by the people around him and the pictures themselves. Worth looking out for.

What I'm Watching
Finally saw United 93 on DVD, after accidentally renting cheap Flight 93 instead.

This was definitely a lot better .Tense, documentary-style reenactment of September 11th flight that fought back against the hijackers. It's pretty plainly done. Think it relies on the viewer knowing that this is a true story. Doesn't over-romanticize the characters, or even cover them in much depth.

Not unmissable, but worth seeing. WP.

What I'm Watching 2
Saw Micro Men after Vulch mentioned it. BBC comic drama about the rivalry between Sinclair and Acorn computers in the early Eighties.

Pretty good, told the story well, and certainly put Clive Sinclair in a new light for me. Found it more drama than comedy myself. Thought the last scene with Clive Sinclair in his C5 being overtaken by huge Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard trucks was quite haunting.

Review, review. Worth watching. You can get to it on Iplayer for a couple more days.

Charles Stross weighs in on Ron Moore comment that Star Trek writers used to just put "Captain, I've tried to tech the tech" in the script, leaving the consultants to fill in the details, MeFi.

Pics. Respect your pet or prepare for war. Stars over Easter Island. Hexagonal London. Surreal Line: Tube ads and passengers.

Random. World's not ending in 2012 say exasperated Mayans. Dyson makes fan. Sea mucus increasing, video (via).

Video. Chord installation in Kingsway Tram Tunnel. Argoman info, via.

Articles. Pitfalls of tolerance. Content companies technophobia. Cave bats threatened.

< Rambling #6: Wandering Ghosts, Spookier Pastures | It's half past October. >
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(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 08:51:45 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth

advertiser ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 08:57:08 AM EST
I think Mr. Ha might make his own war-game outta it, given his love for hex games..

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 08:57:53 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth

[ Parent ]
I don't know, Sealion was pretty far out there by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 09:26:40 AM EST

[ Parent ]
I've wishlisted the Tokyo book by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 08:57:05 AM EST
Sounds fascinating.

I read the London Underground philosophy book years ago and the only bit I can remember is the young lad getting caught wanking in the newsagent's booth. Shows how my mind works.

The hexagonal London is brilliant.

It's political correctness gone mad!

When are you going to see Hirst's paintings? by darkbrown (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 09:28:22 AM EST
I want to know if you think they really are shit, or if everyone's saying their shit because he's trying to do proper art for a change.

tech the tech by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 10:15:11 AM EST
This is news? I thought it was just understood. People have been making particle-of-the-week jokes for decades now.

BSG and B5 were a bit better than ST, but I don't know of any SF show that was truly hard SF. Not many movies other than 2001.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Well by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 10:50:49 AM EST
As I said on Metafilter, this is a bit like a chef admitting his recipes just went "put the meat in the pot and spice the spice" since he was happy for the spice guy to sort out that stuff.

It does explain why it was sometimes so bad. Like when they spent the whole episode running around trying to fix a deadly virus in the ship's computer, and at the very last second thought of restoring from backup. Even back then they just looked like idiots. But the writers didn't care that this was obvious, and the consultants didn't care about narrative tension.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
my favorite take by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 06:49:03 PM EST
on "teching the tech" came from Alex Epstein.

So what is the audience really following? In ST: TNG, of course, it was the characters and the moral argument. In HOUSE, it's mostly watching HOUSE be a jerk and then be right. And the human drama of whatever patient they're nearly killing this week.
It's bad when the story outside-the-tech is either too thin, or when the details of the tech are too stupid for a relatively knowledgable audience.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
Dyson makes fan without blades. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 06:51:35 PM EST
Well except for certain definitions of blades.

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