"That's an impressive simulation," Voy said politely, taking his face away from
the viewing cup, which for psychological satisfaction was placed by the window
of the satellite that looked down on the planet below.
Privately he had his reservations, his doubts, on whether a planetwide
simulation of the depth that he had seen in the viewer could be entirely
clean, consciousness-wise, but he was too polite to voice them here.
"Not a simulation," Slyt's voice was amused, something like triumphant,
something like contemptuous.
"Pardon me?" Voy asked, thinking of the horribly unenhanced things he
had seem, scenes of suffering, of limitation, of futility.
"You can't have that many volunteers --"
"Not volunteers. People. Naturals." and Slyt was openly sneering now, "They live
down there; are born, and live, and die."
Voy just stared at him, silent, recalling in particular one face seen
in the viewer, one face looking down at one death, and the depths and
the mundane agony in the eyes.
"You can't mean --"
"They are born," Slyt repeated, "and live, and die forever.
It's all they ever know. And they are mine."
"No. No you cannot --"
"You're a long way from the Hub, Domiciliant Voy," he
said, spitting the honorific like a curse,
"This is my world.
There are no sorcerors out here to protect you."
And at this he gestured with a finger, and Voy heard a door open
behind him, and felt armed men stepping out, about to touch him.
Of course, as Slyt should have expected but had persuaded himself was impossible,
Voy was a sorceror himself, and in less than an eyeblink a certain amount of
his ponderous mass had exfoliated and replicated and gained control of not only
Slyt and his minions, but all the automatic and semi-automatic functions
of the satellite, and in less than a day they had spread themselves
planetward and outward, finding brains and fixing the usual bugs,
finding wars and ending them, finding hunger and feeding it,
finding the recently dead and reviving them, and in
general converting the entire terrifyingly awful planet into a
basic unadorned Hubworld, way out here on the edge of nowhere.
Voy would have to cut his itinerary short now, and return to the
Hub, to sort out what punishements were to be meted and what was to
be done with this unplanned new member of the family.
Before leaving, on a whim, he went down to the planet, and his systems
found one particular face in one particular city.
The particular death those eyes had been looking at when Voy saw them
in the viewing cup was now again a particular life.
Voy came up to them in a park, his bulk moving lightly over the
new-risen grass; the man of the eyes was dandling the
small live-again girl on his knee.
They both looked around at him, all their eyes met, smiling,
civilized, something amazed and joyous, confident and young, in the
man and the child.
He drifted away again, toward the node that would take him back
into space and back home.
But he carried with him still his first sight of those eyes, as they had
looked without hope on that death, and something moved
uneasily within him.
Goodbye to Arthur C. Clarke, with deep gratitude.
I have for some reason a very vivid memory of sitting somewhere
(at Gramma Jean's house?), curled up, reading a battered copy of
Tales from the White Hart, and even in those relatively light
and rather gimmicky stories feeling a certain sense of wonder.
I don't know who Galatea Gynoid was talking about
the words will do nicely for Clarke.
I think he would have liked them.
(Heck, maybe he even read them.)
I'm liking this new Governor
It may turn out that one of the decade's most significant positive developments in the
Progressive movement in New York was brought about by an introduction
service and some investigators with politically-suspect motives.
He's for gay marriage, he's for abortion rights, his father
(Basil Paterson-who-is-legally-blind) was a real Heavy Hitter
in the Progressive cabal.
In sharp contrast to Spitzer, Paterson-who-is-legally-blind seems
to be liked by all.
And in the hijinks department, not only did Paterson-who-is-legally-blind
and his wife both have affairs (how equitable is that, eh?),
but he obtained his extramarital sex for free (as far as we know),
rather than for the tens of thousands of dollars that Spitzer spent on it.
This can only bode well for the fiscal health of the state.
Ian, who is always a forgiving and understanding guy, suggests that
we should regard Spitzer's prosecution of escort agencies, not as
sleazy above-the-law hypocrisy, but as a cry for help, an attempt
to save others from the addictive snares of lust in which he found
himself involuntarily and through no fault of his own entrapped.
"It's too late for me," we imagine him saying, "but you others can
save yourselves! Run while you still can, I'll stay behind!"
This inspired notion caused great hilarity at the lunch table.
And speaking of Ian:
I noticed this a while ago but forgot to mention it --
Garfield minus Garfield.
I love it.
And so do we, dear reader, and so will you!
Also from Ian, a very good
explaining the origins of and solutions to the financial crisis
(the British accents make it especially effective).
(Speaking of which Diana points us to the related story about the time
the front fell off.)
And finally, also on the subject of the financial crisis,
Subprime Primer also throws great clarity on the situation,
using stick figures.
Your attempt to log out failed, you have been automatically logged out.
If you still wish to
log out, please log in again and retry the log out operation.
Sadly I can't say that I've had this exact error message, but it seems
entirely possible; we were talking at lunch about various applications
that make you log in before you can log out, if your "session" "times out"
I've got a monster in my pants
and it does a nasty dance
That's a subset of the B-52's, apparently from a 1991 album called
"Fred Schneider & The Shake Society", and as featured memorably
(Not to be confused with some sort of
with a similar name.)
Speaking of Eliot Spitzer (narf narf), here are
Salon person and
Bright saying rational things about the whole mess.
Although we tend to get crazy about things sexual in this culture,
there are in this case good reasons to be down on Spritzer (who the
news on TV just now rather amusingly referred to as "the resigned Governor").
Primarily there's the hypocrisy; if he'd been prosecuting adulterers and
then turned out to be one himself, that'd be a similar bad thing; same
for Internet gambling, marijuana distribution, or anything else in that
There's also what or whatever he's done to his wife and family.
But, as I'm sure I commented somewhere back around Clinton, we don't
really know, or deserve to know, what actually happened there.
They could have an open marriage, with all sorts of permitted
hijinks on both sides, and we'd never know it (see remarks above about
getting crazy about things sexual).
The Masses would probably be more freaked out by a politician with
a nontraditional marriage than we are by one that clandestinely hires
This particular class of starship
comes from a rather dark time in your future history. Indeed, the NCC-1701 was the spearhead
for a 5 year campaign of economic and ideological conquest by a crypto-socialist federation
of planets. Their activities largely consisted of seeking out new life and new civilizations,
and lecturing said civilizations on some perceived ideological flaw in their society,
which they then corrected through the application of various forms of super-science
and heavy weaponry. These lectures were usually delivered by the ship's captain, by
all accounts a rampant egotist, whose duties also included sexual intercourse with
local females in an attempt to spread the Federations genetic legacy throughout the
That from a noteable Second Life weblog, from a noteable series of posts about
a cross-country trek. It reminds me, of course, of my own
less well-documented Trek from
Hughes Rise to Chief, 'way back when I was just a month or so old.
I have as usual been doing too many things to even mention all of in SL.
The above weblog and others that I've been reading are by the folks that
have put up a bunch of sims called "Extropia", on a utopian-futurist
theme (as opposed to the so common as to be a cliche now dystopia-futurist
theme that's all over the grid).
Extropia has lovely builds and
a nice clean website,
and for just 250L / week (less than a dollar), one can rent a little
chunk of land with a 224m2 cross-section and space for 100 or so prims,
which I've done and am so far enjoying decorating and meeting the neighbors,
although things keep distracting me.
One of those distractions was a sudden invitation (apparently the originally
scheduled audience somehow didn't show up) to the first show (I think) of
the ZeroG Skydancers' latest piece, which was lovely and fun, at which
someone introduced me to a guy who works for the SS Galaxy, an absolutely
enormous (three whole sims!) cruise ship which is
but of which I hadn't heard before (the grid is So Big).
A few days later the guy pinged me and asked if I'd like a helicopter tour
of the ship.
I was waiting for a friend to log in at the time, but when she did
I asked her what she thought, and she said cool, so we got a very
memorable aerial tour; said friend (the formidable Callipygian Christensen)
has posted some postcards
to her Snapzilla
(I took some, too, but they're all up in SL, and besides she's a way
better photographer than I am.)
And when we were all done, the guy gave me a certificate for a free
week's rent in one of the ship's staterooms; woot!
At some other time, a different friend teleported me off to an
Extremely Amazing build based on a Sims 2 neighborhood (an obvious
thing to do in retrospect).
Here's a hysterical video
of the SL build and AVs in action; nearly the same video could have
been made in TS2.
(The other Nylon Pinkney videos there are also well worth watching;
we've got such fantastic creatives!)
So that's all been very amazing (and I didn't even mention the
Giant Snail Races, the live music at the opening of a new BDSM-themed
sim, planting sunflowers for charity, etc, etc).
Back in Real Life, the little boy seems to be gradually shaking off this
flu or whatever it is, the little daughter isn't sleeping enough, no
more college acceptances have arrived since the last update, and M and I
are in the constant state of proud fatigue that comes from having two
teenagers in the house.
All the data in the world,
I wanted to use this to find the name of the most-recently-born
Catholic Saint, but as far as I can tell I'd have to learn some
special query language and API to do it, and that just seems Wrong.
Due presumably to our
long-standing interest in
toad sucking, a reader points us at
toad suck dot org,
which (among other fun things) includes another explanation of
the origin of "toad suck", which doesn't involve the hallucinogenic
properties of toad exudate (and perhaps for that reason doesn't really
But give it a look; it includes a picture of a toad in a straw hat!
vs Animation, just because it's so well done.
Which came first?
"At long last we know," said the Chicken to the Egg, as they lit their post-coital cigarettes.
oooooo, nice one!