Freedom from, freedom to.

There’s a reason why most prominent libertarians are straight, well-off white men: because they don’t need government to intervene on their behalf. They occupy a default position of privileged dominance that has historically infringed upon women, the poor and minorities.

They like to paint government as an oppressive force, because it has taken away some of their privilege – although they prefer to call it “freedom” for propaganda purposes […]

Libertarians don’t want to actively discriminate against any particular group, at least not officially, but they do want to dismantle government-imposed safeguards that protect those vulnerable to discrimination and make society fairer – a clear sign that people who drift towards libertarianism do so because they have likely never felt oppressed, marginalized or exploited.

Aleks Eror on demographics.

2018-01-15T07:58:48+00:00 22nd June, 2018|Tags: culture, politics|0 Comments

CSFG panel recap: Authors vs. platforms.

So as mentioned previously, last Wednesday I was on a panel at our local SFF writer’s group, talking about author platforms along with co-panellists Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Chris Andrews. It wasn’t a super-formal panel, and I didn’t take notes, but I’m sure some of the discussion will be of interest to some people, so I’ve done my best to recap the salient points below…

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2018-06-22T14:02:23+00:00 22nd June, 2018|Tags: blogging, csfg, publishing, sff, writing, xp|0 Comments

Blockchain is useless.

It’s been a decade and yet there’s still no good use case for blockchain. In particular, it’s spectacularly bad at handling the one thing it’s supposed to be “good” for, i.e. payment transactions, mostly because it’s like ten thousand times1 too slow when compared with existing systems.

I suppose it’s worth pointing out there are a lot of technologies that are “useless until they’re not”, with computers being the elephant in the room; Steve Jobs was imagining the iPad decades before the technologies existed to create one, while one of the earliest forms imagined for a “home computer” was as basically a single-use kitchen bench with a recipe screen displayed in the middle. Point being, whatever blockchain’s actual use ends up being, I suspect it’s going to be about as related to payment transactions and “smart contracts”2 as the kitchen-bench-punch-card machine is to, well. An iPad.

  1. Strictly speaking, about eight thousand five hundred and seventy-one times too slow. ^
  2. A concept so monumentally stupid I have difficulty imagining how ignorant in multiple subjects someone would have to be to “invent” it. Except, oh wait lol. Libertarians. ^
2018-02-08T08:15:23+00:00 21st June, 2018|Tags: tech|0 Comments

The Discourse.

Whenever people talk shit about “Tumblr social justice” I think about this time I use to work with this military lady who was kinda butch and tough, and who got into a serious motorbike accident. She was off work for like a month, and when she got back we were casually chatting, as you do, and she mentioned her injury and I said something like, “What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?” But then quickly added, because I remembered The Tumblr Discourse about disability and trauma and able-bodied people demanding explanations and justifications and so on: “But you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to or it’s too painful or whatever.”

And this tough-ass biker chick nearly fucking cried, because she’d been through this whole fucking ordeal, and then had finally returned to work, and had spent the whole week cheerfully fielding intrusive fucking questions from people demanding she relive her trauma to satisfy their curiosity and the only person who’d thought maybe that wasn’t okay and had given her even a teeny bit of space had done that because of ~the discourse~ on the Blue Hellsite.

So, like. Yanno. Tumblr has problems, no lie. But also sometimes, just sometimes, it can help to make things a little better.

2018-06-22T08:48:59+00:00 21st June, 2018|Tags: culture|0 Comments

Well-trod.

Our governments are torturing children.

Refugees caged on Manus Island are committing suicide, their families left to learn of their deaths through the media. Disabled people of all ages are dying and will continue to die in the UK of gross neglect. None of this is conscionable; none of it need happen. Billionaires are privately funding enterprises that ought to be public because they can’t conceive of a better use for that much money while workers employed by their companies die sleeping in cars or collapse on the job from gross overwork or subsist on food stamps.

I want to say that the world can’t continue like this, but I know it can. It has before; we’re at a familiar crossroads, and the path down which we’re headed is slick with history’s blood. That’s why it’s so goddamn terrifying.

Foz Meadows on crossroads.

2018-06-20T09:32:32+00:00 20th June, 2018|Tags: politics|0 Comments

Author Platforms discussion.

Just a quick reminder that tonight I’ll be at the Hellenic Club in the City, talking about Author Platforms for the CSFG with co-panelists Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Chris Andrews.

I’ve been a member of the CSFG for a few years now, and they’re all lovely people and an excellent resource for Canberra-based speculative fiction writers. Membership is $30 a year (or $20 for concession holders), but if you’re not sure if the group is for you, you’re more than welcome to come along to an initial meeting to check it out.

2018-06-15T07:20:19+00:00 20th June, 2018|Tags: csfg, writing|0 Comments

Linux is wild.

So what do you do when your OS’s update utility constantly opens Dwarf Fortress for no discernible reason? Why, ask the internet, of course.

Even better: it turns out there’s a completely logical explanation for what’s happening. Computers. Go figure.

2018-01-11T09:49:22+00:00 19th June, 2018|Tags: tech|0 Comments

Out of a job.

The republic humans move slowly.

“I know that now,” Rose says. “But… Usually he seems incongruous.”

Davey starts panicking again. “No problem,” he says. “I do have a ship. ”

I don’t have to be afraid. The shuttle docks with a big shining orbital station, all white and glass. No one sees in, because voidspawn can’t be a problem. It’s not the same as being there.

“I know spells, y’know,” I say instead. “The goblin temples are always riskier than their owners.”

This is worse than the jumpsuit. But everyone needs their bedtime stories. It’s something familiar.

Novels by Botnik predictive keyboard.

Why bother to actually write a sequel to the DEMONS IN SPACE project when I can just feed the first book into a bot and predictive-keyboard-mash out the sequel. Genius!

2018-01-11T09:46:46+00:00 19th June, 2018|Tags: SPACE DEMONS, tech, writing|2 Comments