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Posting hiatus

Wow, I've been quiet. Of course, so have most of the other people whom I know in person...

Not sure my readers have been missing out on much. Been trying responses to personal ads. This can take a surprising amount of time. Nothing I want to talk about.

By sheerest coincidence, I've finally resumed unpacking. Still have lots of boxes but a dent has been made.

Most exciting thing a few weeks ago was reading the Fleet of Worlds books. Not bad. Say what you like about Niven's overblown reputation as a hard SF author, he did come up with cool imagery and ideas, and the Puppeteers strike me as among the better aliens. Yeah, the justification from herbivory may be suspect -- though let's note suspicion is cast within the canon itself, when Nessus pulls the spin and kick maneuver -- but taken on their own, they're understandable yet plausibly inhuman, alien without being bizarrely random. And we see a lot more of them in these four books.

I read the B-5 Psi-Corps trilogy by J. Gregory Keyes. Not bad, 1st and 3rd were stronger, 3rd was kind of hilarious in places. 1st or 2nd had a neat twist: humans got telepathy in the space age, so most other species did too, so one can see it as a sign of advancement. Narns don't have telepaths: something else for Centauri to feel superior about, and call them barely sentient for. Oddly, Narns actually got telepaths pretty early.

I sang a lot at the last song circle in Waltham. Well, not a lot lot, there's only so many opportunities when going around a circle of a dozen. But a twinkle/alphabet mashup I made, Fighting For Strangers, One Misty Moisty Morning... okay, 3 isn't a lot. Guess it's that I didn't pass. We ended early too, host had a test.

I noted that our Bronze Iron etc. Ages are rather arbitrary. We could talk about the Sanitation Age, and why Europe took so long to reach it, or the Ideogram and Phonetic Ages, or the Place Value and Zero Age, or Warlord Feudalism Age vs. Centralized Bureaucracy With Roads Age.

Random unsourced quote:
"I think it was J.K. Galbraith who said that the countries where budding
capitalists and managers read Marx are doing the best in the world
economy - Germany, Japan (this was back in the late '80s), China..."

Relatedly, I added to ad reformatted my collection of leftist quotes by the Founding Fathers and related thinkers:

Good news:
Prussan Blue Gaede twins call themselves liberal, embrace medical pot,
still have odd Holocaust views

Oh right, I went to a Balboa dance workshop. Started off interesting, but I ended up overwhelmed, too much that I wasn't learning quickly enough. The past two Wednesdays I've gone to blues lessons at MIT Swing; they're kind of the opposite, spending two classes mostly on rhythm and very basic footwork.

I've checked out some books on India. First one has been interesting so far but the author passing on speculation that language developed 10-15,000 years ago makes me doubt his critical thinking. Still, stuff on the beachcombers, first humans out of Africa along the southern coasts; writing allegedly going away betweeen the Indus Valley Civilization and about 3rd-4th century BC; Veda origins datable due to a datable Mitannia treaty and the total ignorance of the IVC except as a bunch of ruins, with climate change (probably) having done in the IVC by 1800 BC. Oral and physical evidence regarding a lost river of the IVC. Meditator under pipal tree -- aka Buddha, these days -- going back to Indus Valley art. Vedas supposedly having near perfect transmission, with the same wording in different languages... this is where I start wanting a second opinion, especially given translation issues.

I hadn't realized that Pakistan got the Indus. So much for the Indus and the Ganges.

Oh hey, I didn't even mention the July 4th celebration. Wow. Yeah, so we (the geeky social circle I've been plugged into since January) reserved space along the Charles River in mid-afternoon. Fireworks were at like 10, tells you how popular they are. Top seat though, short of going up stories in MIT buildings: we were right in front of the barge the fireworks were launched from. The announcers kept refering to saluting our troops, Molly started snarking about bringing them home and giving them better veterans' benefits. Supposedly our stuff was being broadcast live on CBS to the nation? Wack. Boston Pops did an arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody, sans lyrics. Double wack. I snarked on Facebook that I "had a very good view of the Boston celebration of America's refusal to pay taxes for its defense from the French and to accept limits on stealing Indian land."

Fireworks! Pretty impressive. I also appreciated seeing sparkler
reflections in the skyscraper windows. red for "rockets red glare", and
bombs for bombs. red white and blue for flag but no flag shape. Smiley
faces and hearts but not many. Some very slow fall ones, like weeping
willows. "look at all the colors we can make finale" along with filling
the air with fireflies.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
would you be willing to sell the Psi-Corps trilogy? Its one of the few Bab 5 things I still don't have :)
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Can't, I don't own it. :) Borrowed #1 from the Boston Library, and #2 and #3 and the Sinclair novel from songnight hostess.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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