Reader liberation

Sep. 2nd, 2015 05:53 am
supergee: (book)
[personal profile] supergee
When Lucian wrote the True History, someone must have said it isn't real literature because it isn't about real life. That theme has probably not been repeated quite as often as "The young have no respect, and their music is just noise." but there is always a market for attacks on pop lit, particularly the more imaginative sorts. The latest iteration is an attack on the "ordinary potboilers" of Terry Pratchett, which the critic has not deigned to read. There are also a series of intelligent responses. Her's one from last year.

Thanx to [personal profile] oursin

RIP Ned Brooks

Aug. 31st, 2015 03:03 pm
supergee: (mourning)
[personal profile] supergee
This has been a Year of the Jackpot in fandom: Art Widner, Peggy Rae Sapienza, and now Ned Brooks, stalwart fanzine producer and Southern Fandom Press Alliance member for many many years. All are great losses.

We are informed that although he was in his late seventies, he climbed up on his roof to repair it and suffered a fatal fall. A few years ago Max McGee, star of the first Super Bowl, died the same way at a similar age. I am not getting up on any roofs.

ETA: Local newspaper writeup

Code push done!

Aug. 29th, 2015 10:00 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 22:30: We've been done for about 30 minutes and haven't seen any issues, so please go ahead and let us know if you notice any problems!

Code push!

Aug. 29th, 2015 01:12 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
[staff profile] mark and I are planning to do a code push tonight! We will start working around 7pm Pacific time but since it's my first time, the actual push to the site probably won't happen until closer to 8pm Pacific time.

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push:

  • Rename swaps will accept rename tokens purchased on either account.

  • OpenID community maintainers will be able to edit tags on community entries.

  • Adorable new mood theme called "angelikitten's Big Eyes".

  • Username tag support for

  • Embedded content support for and

  • Additional space on the user profile page to list your Github username.

And as usual, many tweaks, small bugfixes, and the occasional page source rewrite.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!

Mathematics and the Pobble

Aug. 28th, 2015 07:50 am
supergee: (pythagoras)
[personal profile] supergee
New book on the irreducible complexity of math.

As it happens, I was there when Greg Chaitin began the quest that led him to this book. In 1962 he was in the Science Honors Program, a Columbia University summer school computer program for bright high school kids. I had been in it three years earlier, programming an IBM 650 in machine language and eventually a seemingly magical advance called Fortran, and I returned as an unpaid lab assistant when Greg was there. One of the issues discussed in the program is the halting problem: How do we know if a program can complete in finite time? Thinking about that leads to the kind of provability problems Godel discussed, and Greg came up with an advance on Godel that I do not pretend to understand.

(Confession: Greg was a nerd, even by the standards of a program for gifted high school kids. I must admit I mocked him for being one. We all know about the guy who really wants to beat up "fags" or at least laugh at them. Same thing. I was a latent nerd in full denial, and I took it out on others.)

Thanx to [ profile] andrewducker
supergee: (rocket coyote)
[personal profile] supergee
SJWs didn't invent women and minorities in sf. From Playboy, which also has a long and admirable history of science fiction, though nowhere near as long.


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