Inventing the Future

летающий фаллос and the New Wild West

In December, 2006, flying phalli disrupted a Second Life press conference at a CNET event reflectively dedicated to making money in SL.

Two months later, US Presidential candidate John Edwards had his SL headquarters vandalized in a roughly similar way.

It took just over a year for the world to take the next step, when Russian chess champion cum opposition politician Garry Kasporov had a real world open meeting disrupted by a remote controlled dildo helicopter.

I find it interesting that it didn’t happen here in the US. Of course, five years earlier, cybersage William Gibson had published Pattern Recognition(1), in which Russia is depicted as a tech-hip wild west.

I don’t think the New Wild West is Russia or grassroots politics or astro-turf. It’s cyberspace. For better or worse, what happens there isn’t staying there. And, anyway, how real was the Buffalo West?


1. The netspeak prose didn’t really work for me, and I didn’t think Gibson’s rendering of a female protagonist felt authentic. But it’s easy to forgive these because they don’t really interfere with the spot-on, absolutely compelling ideas. Terrific, thought-provoking read.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

AT&T Falls Back on “It's All About Google” Strategy

For some years now, the opponents of Network Neutrality have had the same basic fallback strategy: When all else fails, make it about Google. So no surprise that AT&T, in a letter supposedly about the rather technical issue of “traffic pumping” opens with an attack on Google and Net Neutrality. Because if we have learned anything from our national healthcare debate, it is that it is more important to make this about how awful the other side is rather than debate the merits.

More below . . . .

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My Thoughts Exactly

Salon loves them some Sundman!

Or rather, they used to. For some reason I just checked out Salon.com’s “Best of Salon2003” list. It includes 32 articles, four of them by me. I remembered that the Loebner article made the list, but had forgotten that the Human Genome one did too-also. Holy crap. I musta been a contender.

This discovery, I think, calls for a repeat-performance link to this little Wetmachine chestnut about the time I got snubbed by Salon editor Joan Walsh. (See, there are some perks to getting laid off. It gives you endless hours to spend polishing your peerless prose, for which you might even get a party invite, not to mention a few hundred bucks, or whatever it was they paid me. If I ever get laid off again (God forbid!) and have time on my hands, maybe I’ll ring up Joan and pitch a few idears.)

OK, lunch break over. Here endeth my little diversionary walk down literary lane.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Picture, if you will. . .

I continue to struggle with my little novella The Pains. Perhaps it’s fitting that a story about a humble human of common decency but no particular kozmic talent who is evidently picked by the universe to redeem the world through his own suffering should not come easy. Or, actually, the story came mostly easy; it’s the prose, dammit, the words, that are long-dark-night-of the soul-ing me to death.

Anyway, I have written a few more chapters which will be up soon, and a few more beyond them are in the queue. I can’t believe I’m still working on this thing! But I will finish it! Oh yes! It will be mine!

Those of you who’ve read any of our story thus far have seen this illo:

The Cell of Lux

In the meantime, mostly as a prod to myself, here’s a nice little illustrated summary of the book by its illustrator Matthew, AKA Cheeseburger. Take a look.

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My Thoughts Exactly

What Digby said

All hail Digby.

If you’re not familiar with Digby, by all means, do yourself and the cause of democracy a favor and get familiar.

Those of you who are among Digby’s regular readers know that until recently very few people knew whether Digby was a man or a woman, and still today, even after Digby’s speech, only her close friends know her name or what she “does for a living.” All I know about her are (as of a few days ago), (a) what she looks and sounds like, and (b) that she is and for some while has been the best writer writing about current events in the USA. She is passionate, informed, funny, angry, brilliant, and a magnificent prose stylist.

This is the first, but it will certainly not be the last of time that John of Wetmachine joins the exponentially growing phenomenon of bloggers putting up posts entitled “What Digby said.” (Meaning, of course, “I hereby emphatically endorse what Digby said.”) Digby, the Tom Paine of our era.

That is all.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Wetmachine use marketing mixes for good marketing

By way of Slashdot I come across this marketing professor’s test case of bad prose that he uses against grammar checkers.

Actually I thought his paragraph contained some useful insights that I might profitably use in my unending quest to build the brand loyalty and success and memic mindshare of Wetmachine(tm) home of “One-stop-shopping for all your technoparainoia needs(sm).” I’ve modified the text below accordingly.

—————————Demonstration Paragraph Begins—————————-

Marketing are bad for brand. Wetmachine is good brand. Wetmachine’s is good brand. Wetmachine’s are good brand. Wetmachines’ are good brand. Finance good for marketing. 4P’s are marketing mix. Wetmachine use marketing mixes for good marketing. Internets do good job. Internets help marketing. Internets make good brand. Gates do good marketing in Wetmachine. Gates build the big brand in Wetmachine. The Gates is leader of big company in Washington. Warren Wetmachine do awesome job in marketing. Wetmachine eat Wetmachine.

—————————Demonstration Paragraph Ends——————————

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My Thoughts Exactly

Book Swap Musings

I’ve published two books that I wrote. Since doing that I’ve developed an appreciation for self-publishers and self-published books. (Would now be a good time to mention that my Acts of the Apostles won Writer’s Digest’s National

Self Published Book award, first in a field of over 300? No? It wouldn’t?)

Anyway, from time to time reports of various self-published books have caught my eye, and I’ve written to the writer/publishers to suggest a book swap. In this way I’ve grown a collection of about 20 self-published books. Some of them have been awful, none have been great, but a few have been not bad, not bad at all.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a technoparanoid thriller about nanotechnology gone amok, written by a guy about my age in Wisconsin.

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