More Miscellany from the Internet

More Miscellany from the Internet

First, Brian Neimeier discusses that "works of art last" - the second half of an old saying many of us, including me until recently, only knew as "life is short." The equivalent Greek word is techne. That's a big clue that everybody before the Modern era would have put Michelangelo and Steve Jobs in the same general category. Both made stuff according to a standard. That's really what writing is. A carpenter makes a birdhouse by putting wood, nails, and glue together in the right configuration. An author makes a book by doing the same thing…

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i-Devices and Arkhaven Audio

i-Devices and Arkhaven Audio

For maximum compatibility, the audio files downloaded from Arkaven come as mp4 "video" files because while they are technically m4b files, many applications (like WinAmp) won't recognize them or play them well, and calling them mp4 results in a "least wrong" default that will still play the audio.In either case, since these are your files that you download - and back up if you're smart - you can't just spin up an "audible" app to download and listen to them in one easy place.The good news is that Arkhaven has an excellent guide to get you started. Nevertheless,…

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Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

First, as Cataline notes, we have a sequel to the excellent Soda Pop Soldier. You may recall I very much liked the first one, and am also looking forward to whatever is next in his Wyrd series. Brian Niemeier is promoting what sounds like a really cool series. Downside is that it’s on indiegogo - upside is that it’s promoting a cool sounding project. The title poem for Nightmare at Noon is well worth the time.…

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Nor Ogre Tears

I've got a soft spot in my heart for Alan Dean Foster. I don't think anyone would accuse the man of being a great writer, but he was certainly a consistent workman and craftsman who could tell a decent tale. He could take a movie script and turn it into an engaging read, but was also a prolific writer with several series of books of his own, as well as one-offs and short stories. His "Why Johnny Can't Drive" was one of the listed inspirations for Steve Jackson Games Car Wars. Most of the other short stories collected…

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Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

I’ve started on “Skin in the Game” by NN Taleb, the third book in his Incerto series, which included his book on Black Swans, and Antifragility. No, I haven’t finished it yet, so this isn’t a review, but an observation only one chapter in that this book, like Antifragile, will certainly give me a lot to think about. Even in the opening of the book, he ties together the Golden rule, the “silver rule”, reciprocity, game theory, and of course “skin in the game” – and how the lack of it leads to poor judgment, even tyranny. “Skin…

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Soda Pop Soldier

Soda Pop Soldier

Ages ago I read what was – at the time, for a younger self – a “groundbreaking” book by Neal Stephenson called Snow Crash. It was an interesting blend of real and virtual word technothriller, had some interesting ideas, a fun opening chapter, and despite putting out a number of books I’ve gladly reread like *Anathem, *SC did not age well. Mostly for it’s self-awareness, as demonstrated most clearly by the name of our viewpoint character, Hiro Protagonist. Nick Cole’s Soda Pop Soldier gets compared a lot to Ready Player One but I think this is another case of…

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Barnes & Noble Death Rattle?

Barnes & Noble Death Rattle?

I distinctly remember why I shifted to using B&N. The typical mall bookstore – I can no longer even remember the name now – was effectively dead, and B&N was huge. The SF&F section was reasonably well stocked with recent works and most of the “classics” and I had no issues finding Baen stuff. A full set of magazine shelves thoroughly up to date, and a lot of computer/programming books from when ever-evolving standards and documentation hadn’t made the concept of buying a book on, say, programming python, a laughing matter. Plus they had…

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Hiatus - Odds and Ends

Hiatus - Odds and Ends

You may have noticed a lack of posts the last few days. After nearly a couple years of posting every weekday, helping family move and a few other things including a clients network closet blowing up came together, and I’d rather not half-ass something up just to post. It all comes down to priorities. In this case, it’s been working out 4-5 times a week while keeping up with, and doing more to future-grow my work, and still post something 5x week. I decided workouts were more important with the time I had. Besides, I had a few…

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