November 5th, 2008

talk talk

by our command.

i'm still thinking about politics; sorry. worldbuilding-wise at least. i've sort of grown used to having conflicting impulses; the part that says to give up the illusion individuality for the greater whole, & the part that says "don't let those people take your guns, you fools!" & i've reconciled them as separate adaptive strategies. what if i can consolidate them? i mean, there are plenty of distributed authority models i admire, right? & the idea of a self-reinforcing secular ideology fits right in with that. the upcoming technological panopticon, where everyone is always online, always has a camera? can easily pair up with a "one gun, one vote" system. make your citizens semi-autonomous. it still leaves the problem of the lowest common denominator, of those who opt out of the system selfishly or stupidly. i guess what i'm just thinking about is the benefits of the monolith, but through information sharing making that fundamentally not a single juggernaut. swarming, rather than forming institutions. i know, i know, the neal stephenson i just finished is showing. still, i'm think tanking. intelligentsia & nomenclatura & trismegistus & all that rot. i normally talk about the dismantling of the family & the end of aristocracy. what about considering the opposite? make the family a government cell. or some families, at least. i am just running scenarios in my head.
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i don't

dark banquet by bill schutt, illustrated by patricia wynne.

i should start by mentioning that the coffee i’m drinking is called “dark magic.” between dark magic coffee & a book called “dark banquet” I’m having a pretty gothy morning i guess. the machine here is some kind of crazy widget; you put this denny’s creamer shaped pack in, & bang! out comes coffee, & the plastic rind disappears. speaking of specialized mechanisms, dark banquet is a book about blood feeders in nature. your ticks & your leeches & yeah your big money vampire bats. i should mention at the outset that this book is gorgeous. It is just barely over the top; just the right amount of red embossed pictures of the aforementioned critters providing breaks in the chapters, & nicely illustrated with accuracy & humor by patricia wynne. the tone of the book is pop science, & it leans more towards the pop than most of the nonfiction reading i do. a lot of the facts & the science was old hat to me, but it didn’t drag on & seemed succinct; if i didn’t know anything about biology, i would still be able to handle this, but knowing some things, it didn’t hammer me in the head like i was a dummy. this is almost more adventure memoir in parts, coupled with some basic rundowns of how these bloodsuckers work, but i learned a few things here & there, & seeing things i knew already in context helped it all gel together. clot together i guess I should say!