Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: March 2013 (page 1 of 4)

Magazines in the internet age

Contrast this io9 article with news that Flipboard just created 50 million magazine editors. Which is more exciting? Is it io9 with it nostalgia for a “world where what you read online comes to you in silos. Instead of a feed reader, you can get an app that organizes your app subscriptions on a nice digital bookshelf where they look just like a bunch of paper magazines in a bookstore” or the one about Flipboard allowing you to curate your own magazine, where “where each user tacks pieces of content into collections that other users can follow. Flipboard users with good taste and and lots of friends could suddenly become influential drivers of attention to news articles”? I’d go for the latter.

Robot ant society

Scientists build a small-scale robotic ant society. Having recently read Daniel Suarez’ novel Kill Decision, the implications are almost scary.

Bellamaine

Caught BellaMaine on KEXP Live Performance Podcast. Very nice music. Reminds me a bit of The Innocence Mission.

Philip K. Dick letter on impact of Blade Runner

Amazing letter from 1981 written by Philip K. Dick predicting the impact of the movie version of his novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Calling the movie “super-realism”, he raved about the movie to someone involved with it. Interesting, he also bemoaned the current staleness of the 1981 science fiction world, and that Blade Runner would breathe new life into science fiction. Which, probably is quite true, as it inspired the cyberpunks and so much other sf that followed.

Google Glass and privacy

Does Google Glass render privacy obsolete? The whole Glass issue reminds me of Charles Stross’s novel Accelerando. This may just be the beginning of a very interesting future.

Tom Jackson reviews Cory Doctorow’s Homeland

Over at reason, Tom Jackson has a review of Cory Doctorow’s novel, Homeland. This novel is a sequel to Little Brother, and rife with current affairs in terms of computer, privacy, copyright, internet and other tech related matters. Jackson notes the protagonist]s occupation, which continues some of the main issues I found with the ending of Little Brother. Marcus Yallow, after being subjected to horrible persecution by government agents, still looked at reforming the system from within as an option. Yallow now “works for a politician, and he doesn’t give up on the democratic process, even after some difficult encounters with political reality.”

The myth of corporate dystopias

Interesting article at National Review, laying into sf movies and books with themes of the corporate as evil overload. Lists several books and movies with this theme, and then debunks the power of corporates. There is little coercive force behind corporations, but apologists of government force often splutter and come back with “but what about the evil influence of McDonalds or name-your-most-hated-company?” The power of the market is what they say they fear, but this really masks their distaste of popularity of things they don’t like.

Breaking Point

The sequel to Kristen Simmons’ Article 5 novel is now available, and looks just as interesting as the first one.

Huxley vs. Orwell

Which one better predicted our future? A graphic face-off between George Orwell’s 1984 future and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World future. Being familiar with both, and I find the latter unlikely as a whole, but parts of it each seem very true. Neither one should be dismissed, as those who want control will seek it through any means.

Pacheco on libertarian sf

Writer Anthony Pacheco has some thoughts on libertarianism and science fiction. I think there are a few more writers and books worth mentioning than the ones he covers.

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