October 18th, 2008

Ellen Ripley 1


Yesterday, I wrote 2,117 words on Chapter Eight of The Red Tree. So, that's one day down, two to go. And I am so near the end of the novel. It really is unnerving. Knowing that, whatever I came here to say, I have to make sure it's said, because the curtain will be coming down soon. And it has gone to such a very dark place, this story. I do not mean ghoulies and ghosties dark (though there are both, after a fashion), or guts and gore dark, or even murder and mayhem dark. This is a darkness of the mind. There is no worse place to become lost than within the confines of one's own mind. There is no less forgiving environment. But, yes, a very superb writing day yesterday, though it left me feeling withered and disoriented.

Spooky baked oatmeal cookies (with raisins).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, subpress is still taking preorders on A is for Alien, and the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds is available. Thanks.

After the writing, and the reading what had been written, Spooky went to the market. I stayed in (too weary for eyes on me, and the autumn sky) and read "Superiority, Competition, and Opportunism in the Evolutionary Radiation of Dinosaurs" (Science, 12 September 2008), which examines the question of just how dinosaurs managed to come out of the Triassic so much better off than their crurotarsan contemporaries (non-dinosaurian archosaurs, including phytosaurs, aetosaurs, 'rauisuchians,' etc.). No clear solution presents itself at the present, only that the survival and radiation pattern could not have followed from the traditional view that it was all a simple matter of some innate dinosaurian "superiority" and competition. I also edited the Wikipedia article on aetosaurs, because it needed editing. Of course, it still needs editing. I don't know how long it's been since I stepped away from editing paleo' articles on Wikipedia. A long while now.

Anyway, last night we resurrected the ritual of Kindernacht, and had hot dogs and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone again. And then, of course, we played World of Warcraft. We're trying to get our blood-elf characters up to the level of our night-elf characters, and then we'll do the same with our Draenei before going back to Mithwen and Syllahr. So, right now, Shaharrazad and Suraa are dug in down at Tarran Mills in Hillsbrad, helping the local undead polish off an unsightly infestation of humans. We've poisoned puppies, murdered farmers and councilmen, killed cattle with wanton glee, and collected thirty human skulls for a bored undead soldier. He gave us shiny magical rings in exchange. Poor Zhar'los (Shah's big blue minion). He just wants to go home to the Nether.

Addendum: Two hands.

On the one hand, there's this, a short (and, to me, deeply unsettling) entry on the phenomenon of "time displacement" from Wikipedia:

Time displacement in sociology refers to the idea that new forms of activities may replace older ones. For example, Internet users may substitute time online for attention to functionally equivalent social and media activities (face to face interaction, watching television, reading printed media, etc.). Earlier, television had a similar effect, shifting people's time from listening to radio or attending movie theaters to watching television in their homes. Those technologies have shown to lead to significant declines in out-of-home socializing, in-home conversation, housework, personal care activities, and even sleep.

The wiki refers to a study —— Paul DiMaggio, Eszter Hargittai, W. Russell Neuman, and John P. Robinnson. "Social Implications of the Internet," Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 27: 307-336 (Volume publication date August 2001), (doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.307).

But. On the other hand (thank you acephalemagic), we have the promise of LOVE. Which sounds pretty much exactly like everything I've lamented Second Life's utter failure to become, and which I do fear, for if LOVE comes to fruition, it shall surely seduce me. Said seduction would only create more time displacement, and....

Less future now, please.
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