27 May 2018

Semi-carnally

I’m reading a collection of Harlan Ellison stories from the mid 1970s. In one of the introductions he compares his literary style unfavorably to Cyril Connolly. Who? In the mid 70s, Connolly was a famous figure, apparently a dazzling writer but never able to write a great novel. He was mainstream enough to be part of a Monty Python joke, featuring in the “Eric The Half-A-Bee” song at the end of the Fish License sketch on one of their albums. ... Read more

24 May 2018

Video games: It's all about the story

I saw an article recently where someone wrote about the fact that he had realized he wasn’t going to finish any of the half dozen video games he had started playing – and that he was OK with that. This surprised me, so I looked for statistics on how many people finish video games. An item from 2011 suggests that 90% of the time people don’t finish a video game, but that’s based on an industry anecdote. ... Read more

21 May 2018

Facebook alternatives

A while back I posted about how online communication has changed, based on the experience of looking back at old e-mail and how we used to write. I proposed the idea of going back to mailing lists, as the easiest alternative to the social networking sites that are busy destroying society. Nobody seemed interested, but I’m not ready to submit to Facebook yet. I decided to go out and look for a viable alternative. ... Read more

14 May 2018

Overdrive

At the end of last month, Jeff Bezos gave an interview where he said: The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it. How much financial resource? $130.8 billion dollars. As one person worked out, that’s enough money to buy an entire house, at median US real estate prices, for every single homeless person in the USA — and still have $19. ... Read more

12 May 2018

This Is Actually Happening

I listen to a lot of podcasts. One I’ve just finished catching up on is “This Is Actually Happening”. It’s a little like Radio Diaries, or some episodes of This American Life, in that it’s basically just a person telling the story of something that happened to them. In the case of TIAH, however, the stories are generally cranked up towards 11, stories of the kind of experience you would have to remind yourself was real, and not just a bad dream. ... Read more

© mathew 2017