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Crazy Dave
Date: 2015-05-29 16:53
Subject: Killing time (travelers)
Security: Public
Tags:fiction, films, morals, sci-fi, writing
Complaining about bad physics in time travel movies is pointless (but good fun afterwards), but there's a character reaction that always breaks my suspension of disbelief.

There's a trope in time travel stories where the viewpoint character jumps back into to their own body, changes the past, and then returns to their body in present day. They only retain memories of the original timeline, but the world around around them has changed. I've seen it in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Project Almanac. The thing that annoys me is how their friends respond to their return.


Example timeline (story protagonist's perspective):

α timeline year 2000 Bob α (age 20) Bob's best friend Alice gets killed
α timeline year 2001 Bob α (age 21) Bob becomes a scientist and start work on a time machine
α timeline year 2011 Bob α (age 31) Bob leaps back in time
ß timeline year 2000 Bob α (age 31) MIND in Bob ß (age 20) BODY Bob saves the world, and leaps home
ß timeline year 2011 Bob α (age 31) Bob finds that (with no memories of these changes) he's a millionaire now, married to Alice!

Alice finally gets to thank Bob for saving her life.
Thus the movie ends happily. But it never rings true for me. What if we think about what Alice has experianced? This should be simpler, as she never travels in time.


Example timeline (friend's perspective):

ß timeline year 2000 Alice β (age 20), Bob α (age 31) MIND in Bob β (age 20) BODY Alice β sees Bob save the world
ß timeline year 2001 Alice β (age 21), Bob β (age 21) Bob β has no memory of saving the world
ß timeline year 2002 Alice β (age 22), Bob β (age 22) Alice β falls in love with, and marries Bob β. They set up a company together.
ß timeline year 2009 Alice β (age 29), Bob β (age 29) Alice β and Bob β company is doing so well they become millionaires
ß timeline year 2010 Alice β (age 31), Bob α (age 31) Bob α returns to “his body” replacing Bob β.

The question is would Alice β be glad to see Bob α or devastated at the loss of her husband and business partner?
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2015-04-22 19:17
Subject: Flowers for Radiolab
Security: Public
Tags:juxtapositions, podcasts, science, science fiction, sf
Subtitle: Juxtapositions. Or two things make a post.

I've been catching up some old Radiolab podcasts, and I've just finished listening to the episode Words.

This episode concerns four people or groups of people, who at some point have no language, and then later acquire it, and the changes that follow.

I'd read about the formation of creoles and sign languages before in some popular science book or another. The founders tend to have very simple structure, but children raised in that environment later develop a more complex grammar. What the Radiolab episode added was that this places certain limits on the founders' thought process, but if the next generation teach the adults their new structure, the adults can learn new ways of thinking.

Another interesting aspect is that toddlers who are able to speak, but are not yet able to form noun phrases like "on the LEFT of the BLUE WALL", have the same difficulty solving certain spatial puzzles as rats.

Then the episode finished, and the very next podcast was Flowers for Algernon.

Every piece of research in the Radiolab episode happened after Daniel Keyes wrote Flowers for Algernon, yet it fits so well as a response to that episode.
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2015-04-17 15:34
Subject: Let's just give the Sad Puppies what they're demanding.
Security: Public
Tags:conventions, sci-fi, sf
Let's look at the Evil League Of Evil's Sad Puppie's demands:

Larry Correia

First and foremost, you guys need to decide, once and for all, what the Hugo Awards really are. There are two choices.
It is the most prestigious award which represents the best works in all of fandom.It is a little award, for one little group of people, at one convention.
You can’t have both. Pick one, stake your flag on it, and we will proceed from there.

Brad R. Torgersen

So the totem is ours too. We have claim on it. It is “the most prestigious award” for everybody. And everybody agrees on this.
Either that, or change the branding, and call the Hugos, “The little award, for the little crowd at Worldcon.”


So it's clear they're simply asking for offical hugo award administrators to stop using the word "prestigious" on the one place it apears on their offical site.

The Hugo Awards about page

The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also responsible for administering them.


They're just asking for an edit to one page. Unless that's just a smokescreen to make it look like a barely resonable argument, and not what the puppies really want.

Not to mention that one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.

emphasis mine.
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2014-04-30 09:20
Subject: Obligatory XKCD post
Security: Public
Tags:comics, lj
Oh, because Facebook has worked out SO WELL for everyone.
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2010-05-07 18:13
Subject: PSA: Cheap glasses sites rip off?
Security: Public
Mood:annoyedannoyed
Tags:online shopping, rant
The last company I bought glasses off online was a highstreet opticians who were branching out. But they seem to have closed shop now. So I went looking elsewhere, and may have been stung. Thought I was a bit savier that this. Ah well.

I've ordered a pair of cheap glasses, and they've not even processed the order yet according to the online tracking. The site seemed to be a UK company, with a UK number, but no-one was answering. I looked a bit further and it's registered to an office with about a hundred other companies. Looking further still I found 4 online opticians all registered by the same overseas agency.

perfectglasses.co.uk
glassesexperts.co.uk
exclusiveeyes.co.uk
eyeexperts.co.uk

They don't answer their main lines either, but I seem to have found a chink in MAK Media & Creations Ltd.'s airwall. The person on the end of line said he'd get someone to look into it, and seemed very surprised that his number was on their site. So here it is in case it disapears +44 20 70 60 70 55.

These two site don't seem to be registered to the same company, but have bits of the same text on their site, so I could be wrong, and plagerism is wrong anyway.

cheapnewglasses.co.uk
facefurniture.co.uk
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2010-04-29 10:53
Subject: Costume idea
Security: Public
Mood:amusedamused
Tags:costume, online shopping
Photobucket
Any steampunk fans? You've got until the end off office hours to a bid on these funky glasses.
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2010-04-27 15:48
Subject: It _is_ a small world after all!
Security: Public
Mood:surprisedsurprised
Tags:fandom, games, small world, social networks
Case a:
I turned up early at the V&A for a Sandpit (Pervasive Gaming) evening. I wanted to have a look at the Echo Bazzar \ Fallen London game in particular. So did a lot of other people. And the main organiser was running 15 minutes late. The queue filled the balcony beside the Silver gallery, and all the way down the stairs to the sculpture corridor.

In order to beat the queue, they insisted the first few groups come in in groups of 10. I was with hawkida, viclet, Floo, and Archdeacon (nee StarShirt on this blog), so was halfway there. We grabbed the nearest 4 people to us and set off to solve a series of puzzles round the museum.

On the way we lost the Dutch Couple, who figured out that you could just play the game individually, and kept running another pair of Joinees, but that sort of thing isn't that unusual when you live in the same city.

The Small Word part was when went to the pub afterwards, and convinced the other pair to join us down the pub. It turns out that h4nchan hadn't been to a Sandpit before, but had been to Hitchcon, and recognized a few fannish names. So we swapped Social Network contact details. The first thing I spotted is that she was a fellow DFC subscriber! A rare breed :) The first thing she spotted was we just missed each other at Uni. She would probably have used some of the Jingle packages I put together for student radio station!

Case b:
I'm not under any illusion that all of the couple of thousand regular UK litcon goers know each other, but I really was shocked to find that Paul Cornell does not know the Fishlifters!

Case c:

Today, I joking tweeted that there was no Snow in St Albans (Since a lot of people tweeted about snowfall locations at the start of the year), and it turns out an old colleague had also had his London office shut, and had been moved to St Albans!
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2010-04-23 10:02
Subject: Andriod Apps
Security: Public
Mood:geekygeeky
Tags:android
Harrumph. Looks like official UK update of HTC Heros from Android 1.5 to 2.1 has been pushed back by two months. Think I'll be rooting my phone soon, and installing a custom ROM.

In the mean time here's dump of all the apps I have on there at the moment. I'll add descriptions reviews a q-codes soon.

My Andriod AppsCollapse )

All of those are free, but I intend to pay for a few of full versions soon.

Apps I'm still think about / trying to find the right one of include:
To Do list. (GTD tie in? Tie in to Gmail tasks / Don't forget the milk, etc).
Replacement for the Call log, as it doesn't show the time of recent calls on the main view.
[ETA]
Locale. Clever App that switches on and off setting and Apps based on locaction, battery level, etc. But costs $10.
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2010-04-21 11:41
Subject: Lunch time poll: Voting Dilema
Security: Public
Mood:contemplativecontemplative
Tags:london, political, poll
In my local seat the two parties who most stand a chance of winning there have:
  • A rebellious incumbent MP who votes against his party (usually in the direction I'd want), but whose party I don't want in power.
  • A local councillor for the party I'd like to see in, who doesn't really impress me with his literature, and website (and hasn't replied to an email from 5 days ago asking why I should vote for him).


Would you vote for local candidate or national party?

Candidate
11(52.4%)
Party
8(38.1%)
Spoil Ballot
2(9.5%)
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Crazy Dave
Date: 2010-04-09 11:52
Subject: Eastercon Mini-report
Security: Public
Mood:busybusy
Tags:con, eastercon, fandom
... or If I Don't Write Something Now I Never Will.

This was a very different convention for me personally. I was definitely far more a participant than a consumer. Oh, and I actually got about 7 hours sleep, and only drank 3 pints, each night. Unheard of!

To begin with I was on 4 programme items. No wait. 5. Oh and that. 6 then. The 2 on comics went reasonable well I felt. The panellists largely had some overlapping experience, but some things that were new to each of us. And sufficient audience participation to show that they were involved with our discussions. For the two on the future of Eastercons, I largely sat back and listened to what the other people in the discussion were saying. Think I learned a lot, and hope I did manage to get my perspective across when I did speak.

The "Star Wars: A Small Hope" cabaret was great fun to do, and seemed to be well received. It did take a large chunk out of Saturday, as we only managed to start rehearsals a few hours before the show, and needed much repetition to get it tight. Hats off to adelhied for pulling together a top notch script and props collection in the weeks pre-con. fuzz57, frankiemouses you were magnificent. Thanks to j_lj for lending us the lightsabers, one of which was found under the stage after he'd left the con. And to C for pinning me into a Leia dress without complaining :D
{ETA: And big thanks to the mighty tech crew for the Madonna headsets, and to the Cabaret organisers, and to our two sheet holding gophers, and the c ConCom, and everyone else who helped make Odyssey happen!}

The last other programmed item I was on was the Eastercon Bid Session. It was interesting. In short I'm now Head of Programme at Illustiorous, Eastercon 2011. Eep. The other news from that session is that Olympus 2012 will be the subsequent Eastercon.

The rest of the con was largely taken up with: Illustrious work (committee meetings, ticket sales, and programme idea discussions), Programme Ops / unofficial Ops Rover work, occasional gophering, dances, and seeing one or two programme items a day. Distressingly little left over for socialising, so I apologise if we didn't get to chat, or if I left after too little time.
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