Archive for the 'The Blog' Category

What I’m Working On

Posted in The Blog on November 23rd, 2008

I’ve got three different things I’m working on right now.

  • A series of posts of DRM and the future of transactions/media. I’ve been mulling this over for a while and I think I’m ready to post on it.
  • One or two big posts on financial issues. I’ve seen a lot of people lately advocating buy-and-hold or dollar-cost averaging as investment strategies and I want to layout why these are terrible ideas for anyone who actually wants to retire at a meaningful age. I’m writing some simulation code to run different scenarios to demonstrate the problems with these approaches.
  • Getting back to the literature blogging. I never managed to blog about my favorite 5 from last year and this year is almost over. oops.

I’ve got the next week reasonably free besides seeing friends and family. So hopefully at least some of this will happen.

vasectomy no more sex bitch

Posted in The Blog on March 20th, 2008

“vasectomy no more sex bitch” is apparently one of the search strings that someone found my blog through. The mind really boggles as to what they were looking for.

A Responsible Return to Blogging

Posted in The Blog on August 4th, 2007

The last few months have been much too silent on this blog. I have been consumed by the demands of the actual world, forcing me to neglect the care and feeding of my digital world. This is not a promise of a continued flow of posts; rather it is a tentative step towards finding a better balance between doing the work that gets me paid and spending a few moments jotting down some thoughts for all two or so of my readers.
Given how zealously I guard my free time, blogging has recently become something of an enemy. As long as I regard blogging as something that takes away from my time, rather than something that I do with my time, it will exist in this perilous limbo state. Hopefully a gradual return will end up moving this space up my list of priorities.
I have also just added the ability to post to my blog by email. Hopefully the convenience of this format will encourage more posting. We shall see.

Online Authors

Posted in Books, The Blog on March 23rd, 2007

Alright, so I’m 25 years old and theoretically an adult. But I’m still giddy as all get out that Elizabeth Bear linked to my blog. In the old days (read, 5 years ago), you might have a chance to run into a favorite author at a fan convention or possibly even get a reply to a letter that you sent to them. These days, authors are out here on ‘teh Internets’ engaging in conversations with their fans and building communities around their body of work. It is a radically different way of doing business and one that I think is slowly, but surely, changing how the publishing industry works.

John Scalzi is probably a prime example of the phenomenon. His blog, the Whatever, is one of the more popular science fiction blogs out there and is definitely one the prime examples of someone who has built a community around his blog. William Gibson may have a popular blog, but people read it because he is famous, not because what he posts is inherently valuable in a blogie sense. Most of Gibson’s posts (at least the ones that are longer than a few lines) have been excerpts from works in progress: these are always interesting, but are not about community in the way that Scalzi’s blog is. Scalzi is famous because of his blog. Without his blog and the publicity and audience that it brought, maybe he doesn’t win his Campbell award.

Why does his blog work for him like this? You read it for a while and you get the sense that you know this guy and, more importantly, that he is the sort of person you want to know. So what does having a popular blog get Scalzi?

One is the desire to read his books. Because I feel like I can identify with Scalzi it then stands that the books that he writes are going to be interesting to me the same way his blog is. And sure enough, I’ve got my share of Scalzi books on my shelves and I’m currently stalking the rest for their paperback release (there are very few authors who I buy in hard cover these days. With 200+ on the wishlist, I can afford to wait a bit longer for the paperbacks and not run out of stuff to read). So Scalzi gets money from me because he has a blog.

Two is that he has the ability to pimp out his friends and fellow writers. I’ve got a whole bunch of books either bought or on the wishlist because Scalzi has said nice things about them on his blog. Cherie Priest, Charlie Stross, Peter Watts, Susan Groppi, Chris Roberson, Kelly Link, even Elizabeth Bear: I have already or will soon be giving you money because of things that John Scalzi said about you. In the case of Elizabeth Bear, I’ve bought 4 of your books and pimped you out to a bunch of my friends. Cherie Priest I’ve got one of your books and convinced someone else to buy it as well. Etc. and etc. Because I like John Scalzi, I’m willing to trust his opinion and spend my money on you. In essence, this goes back to the whole small stories things I wrote about previously. Because I have nowhere enough time to keep up with every new science fiction and fantasy author who comes around, I have to rely on people to filter them out for me. Because I trust John Scalzi’s taste, I trust his condensed version of who is worth reading.

Third is that he has my attention for any hair-brained scheme that he can cook up. Like his current SFWA presidency gig. The reason that he can attempt to run such a campaign is that he has a whole crazy group of people like me that enjoy the community that he has built. We’re all willing to listen to what he has to say, maybe blog about it, maybe talk to someone about. His messages gets out there. With that sort of power he could, dare I say it, rule the world.

The reversal here is important. In the old days, authors wrote books which might build a community if they got popular. But these days authors can build a community which can then launch their books. Have audience, will write.

The Delay

Posted in The Blog on March 12th, 2007

Sorry about the long delay in posting. I’ve got a bunch of stuff I’m working on, but I’m currently bogged down with coding projects. As soon as they start wrapping up and I have a more normal schedule, I’ll get back to posting. The things I’m currently thinking about are:

  • Rape, in particular the issue of rape in Iraq vs. America. And the larger theoretical issues about rape raised by Kipnis.
  • A system for saving, filing, and accessing quotes and other information. In essence, a tool for managing memes and drawing connections and correlations between data.
  • The Idea of small stories and how that plays into soundbites and shortened attention spans.
  • RIchard Dawkins
  • What is Free Will and will we ever be able to prove its existence (or non-existence as the case may be
  • Plus a long waiting piece on the male conversation (and lack there of) about sexuality.

So yeah, lots of stuff on deck at the moment. Looking towards having new posts up tomorrow night at the latest, but no promises.

In the beginning

Posted in The Blog on February 18th, 2007

So everything is a little dark now. I’m still in the process of teaching myself CSS and all the other fun things I’m going to need to know to actually edit some of these templates and create my own layout. Until then, just bear with me.