Print Story Look at the sky, look at the river
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Mon Jun 04, 2018 at 01:36:18 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Watching, Me (all tags)
Reading: "Pimp", "Gnomon". Watching: "Solo". Links.


What I'm Reading
Pimp by Iceberg Slim. Cult autobiography that I've been meaning to read for ages. Has a half-horrific, half-romanticised account of the author's life as a pimp before and after the second world war. Fairly interesting if not believable in every way. It's apparently very influential everywhere from picaresque fiction to rap music. I should probably have read it when I was younger and more thick-skinned: I found the violence against women pretty horrible.

What I'm Reading 2
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway. Science fiction set in a future UK where everything is monitored by a computer system which also assists with electronic democracy where citizens' panels plan laws and actions which the public then vote on. An investigator has to replay the memories of a someone who died under a brain interrogation, which lead her into several stories.

I really enjoyed this for about the first two thirds. It's well written and wildly creative. A bit reminiscent of "The Raw Shark Texts".

However, I had a few niggles about it. I think it could have done with some severe editing, a lot of the text is decently written but doesn't go anywhere. The ending is well worked out but the book keeps going too long after it's explained.

Also it's probably just me because I like the idea of trying new forms of democracy, but I would have liked to see more about how this could work. And it was also disappointing to see the obvious reveal where it turns out to be a dystopia with a cabal secretly in charge. I feel like we're oversupplied with dystopias and could use a couple of utopias for variety.

Overall though, a very good read.

What I'm Watching
Saw Solo: A Star Wars Story at the cinema. Pretty much what the reviews said: a slick and professional space adventure, lightweight but entertaining, not enough new angles or drama to be really memorable. OK entertainment.

One oddity: the projection was very dim which might be deliberate or a mistake.

Me
Another injury, managed to come off a bike on some cobblestones. Minor scrapes to arm but I've hurt my leg and been walking with pain and a limp. Wish I could have rested the leg more but having to go shopping, clean house, cook, wash up, and take G out means I've had to be on it a lot. Still, seems to be improving.

Links
Sociecononomics. New Progressive Economy Forum has a blog. Long hours and low productivity: UK workers should be working less. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour vs. the Single Market. Audit's existential crisis.

Article: Charles Stross on a grim possible future.

Video. Cannonball pov.

Pics. Wooden bomber model.

Sci/Tech. Who's started making CFCs again? What is the most sophisticated piece of software/code ever written? Uber's self-driving car fatality. Invisible asymptotes: long article on online businesses and social networks.

Random. Etymology of cockpit and joystick. Art: 2-man reenactment of 1974 East Germany-West Germany Match in Munich's Olympiastadion Broken fast food chains.

Politics. Centrists Are the Most Hostile to Democracy, Not Extremists.

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