History is a lot of routine events following simple trend-lines, interrupted from time to time by wild panics with much screaming and shouting. At the end of TSCB, a relatively stable human-space was suddenly destabilized and thrown into an uproar by Tajemnica and her crew. What had been well-understood space was suddenly inhabited by a drastic alteration of power that seemingly nobody really understood but everyone feared. They wanted to protect their own position and perks. Suddenly, a great many plans were thrown into disarray. (The sequel, BTW, “Insanity’s Children,” picks up exactly where TSCB left off, and they run into some of the exact same problems that we have today with nobody believing the Dem Machine is this bad). Continue reading The day the wheels came off
I got around to making a font / number system for the Planet Mover text in the book. The original was deliberately low-res, specifically because I don’t have great artistic talents, and I wanted to give no more than a general impression of what they were. For print, I really need something higher resolution. So, after experimenting a bunch with pen and calligraphy pen, I stumbled upon a basic theme that seemed to work, and did the drawing for them in PowerPoint, not so much because it has great drawing tools, but because they are adequate and I know how to use them.
The PM message is in a constructed language (or at least the script and basic structures are), so it’s more regular and less flowing that something like Elvish.
Just the numbers and basic arithmetic symbols so far. Possibly more later. Continue reading Of fonts and numbers
Never really thought of myself as a trend-setter. I took a look at JK Rowling’s latest book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the other day.
It’s in a modified screenplay format. Wow. How exciting! Daring, even! Who’d ever think a book like that could sell? And to think that nearly all the one and two-star reviews of my book were because of the format.
Flight-sim AI beating good AF pilots. One step (not sure if it’s big or small) with interesting possibilities. A human “captain” in a fighter, with a “personal squadron” of AI fighters flying as his wingmen could be a game-changer. Or at the very least, very difficult to beat. Human for the operational/strategic decisions on the spot, and two or three (or a half-dozen?) unmanned AI “drones” with guns, lasers, missiles, and bombs, to carry out the details and defense.
H/T to Kirk
I’m looking to update a pic from the book, the one with the first page of the language translation book for the Planet Movers. But if we put a higher-resolution image in the printed book, the graphic needs something more detailed than :
Any font / language fanatics out there that would like to help create the actual symbols for the PM language?
I’m up to about 90K words on the founding of the monks of St. Possenti. I think I’ve covered most of the bases as far as how they came into existence and how they developed some of their idiosyncratic methods and traditions. Are there any that bugged you when you were reading, and made you wonder where/when/how they came into being? If so, now’s your chance to ask, so I can make sure I’ve got a fairly complete back story. I’ve still got a few minor gaps to cover, I know, but its mostly there.
So: anything you wanted to know about them?
Decided I needed to post something lighter.
Happy 4th, he said ironically.
America’s birthday. But the corpse of the freedom she represented has been dead a long time, and I don’t see any resurrection miracles on the immediate horizon.
I still love this nation, and think it’s the best one on the planet. But far too many of her citizens no longer desire freedom, they demand freebies. Too many don’t want opportunity, they want guarantees. The masses don’t want free speech, they want freedom from offense, and demand to shut down the speech of those they disagree with. They demand their opponents be wrapped and tied down like Harrison Bergeron. Too many of those in charge at all levels don’t desire challenge, they want sure things: they are risk averse, bureaucratic, and mindless rule-followers, and if judgment is demanded they want another rule passed by committee in which to wrap themselves for defense. Continue reading Happy 4th
The UK voted to leave the EU.
A few general thoughts: centralized, distant, bureaucracy-heavy control never works. It can’t. But people are lazy and easy to scare, so it’s easy to entice them into a honeytrap by promising them something for nothing and security. Orwell and Kafka and Rand understood it only too well, and people don’t want to hear the truth. But when reality is staring them in the face, they can wake up and make the hard decisions… because they see that although the short-term cost is high and painful, the long-term cost is crushingly unbearable. Congrats. UK. Now let’s see what you can do with the follow-through.
Updated thoughts: It’s likely that the powers that be, the global elite power-brokers, will try to make an example of the UK, making the break-up as painful and expensive for the people of England as possible and still not appear to take deliberate and public (i.e. visible) punitive actions. They will do it as a warning to anyone else that tries to gain freedom for the chains of distant bureaucracy and. The bankers will save their own, but make others pay the cost, for all their tears they shed. It’s going to be a particularly ugly few years for the islands. But if they suck it up and live up to traditional “stiff upper lip” standards, and face the economic reality of the bad end of the debt cycle when the debts come due and the soul-crushing spirit-suck of the welfare state, they will survive. If they cave in like an addict that can’t go cold-turkey and go back for another hit of easy credit and cheap immigrant labor and overlooking corruption and incompetence and the downsides to diversity, then they are doomed.
I really, REALLY hope Kratman’s Caliphate doesn’t predict the future. And this may well be the inflection point, the fork in the road, where Europe goes one way…or the other.
The school year is over, and yet another leave-replacement contract is done. Back on the search path for something in teaching (which I love, and most of the kids in my classroom like me), or maybe it’s time for a career-change if the money is right. My tech is a little dated, but I’m a fast learner, good speaker, decent writer, and can explain things to almost any audience. Anyone know of any open positions?
I’m doing all the normal job searches in the school districts that are a reasonable commute distance, but they mostly seem to want specialists (like a BS in bio to teach a bio class) and special ed, and while I’m “highly qualified” in five things (including science, math, and social studies) my MS in computer science doesn’t seem to be enough to generate much interest when they are winnowing twenty applicants down to the five they’ll interview. I’m good at connecting the classroom to the real world, if anyone wants that, and connecting different subjects that are usually taught as stand-alone and disconnected from any real meaning to life.
Eh, I’m sure something will turn up. But if you know of anything, a pointer in the right direction would be most appreciated.