Style is Part of the Substance

Style is Part of the Substance

Alexandru Constantin notes that not only is much of modern fantasy shallow in substance, but it also posesses no depth of style, rendering it almost unreadable. Most of all, all three of the books had pedestrian writing that lacked any hint of style. The prose felt like early young adult, middle school grade, nothing fancier than early Animorphs, and the plot and characters felt stolen from a overwritten D&D module. But to get back twitter and the whole point of this post. I posted about giving up on most fantasy because the writing sucks. People responded, we had…

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Risk-Shifting

Risk-Shifting

A long time before reading Taleb's Skin in the Game with his much broader application of the concept, I'd already realized that authority and responsibility had to match. Authority without consequence / responsibility for one's choices was the ultimate "power corrupts", and responsibility without any authority was to be a slave to the whims of others. One example of how some dodge consequence is by offloading the risks onto others. Take "companies too big to fail." They get the profits when doing well (and fat salaries even when not), but when they implode, others lose their jobs, and the taxpayers get…

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Pop Kult

Via Castalia house, an excellent post on how pop culture is more accurately, as Brian Neimeier puts it, Pop Kult (or "Cult"). The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult That said, I do think he's overlooked something: When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney…

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Just In Time... For Now

Just In Time... For Now

Cataline over at the Dark Herald recommended that if you want a computer upgrade, get it now. No big deal it happens every year. Vendors plan for it by stocking up their inventory. Nobody really likes stocking up their inventory since it ties up a lot of capital in way that can’t be quickly liquidated at need. But it has to be done and once fabrication starts up again the inventories smooth out as the surplus starts to run low. This year the fabrication plants didn’t start up again. Shortly, and I do mean very, very shortly the…

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Hatred of Boundaries and the Death of Meaning

Hatred of Boundaries and the Death of Meaning

This one had been bouncing around a while, but the following article caused me to finally say something about it: The term “at-risk youth” was commonly used in both penal and education codes in California – until now. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1 that officially wiped the phrase from the state’s language. The phrase will now be replaced by “at-promise youth.” Assemblymember Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), who penned the passed legislation, says the measure will change the negative connotation that comes along with the “at-risk” label. “I learned that words matter – and…

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Golden Rule of the Jungle

Golden Rule of the Jungle

Adam Piggot wrote an excellent writeup on why Duterte is so popular in the Phillipenes. Peter Grant added some excellent commentary. From Adam: I was speaking to one of the Filipinos in a private conversation when he brought up the subject of his president. He was most fulsome in his praise. Under Duterte the streets are now safe. His kids can happily play on the streets. Business is going well, and particularly without the criminal element extorting money from small family concerns. The man was so enthusiastic that I decided to ask a few other of the Filipino crew what…

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Brands are Shallow

Brands are Shallow

One expression I have come to loathe is "building your brand", and variants thereof, such as "personal brand." Fuck you. The term you are looking for is reputation. Even in its original context, a brand is: A brand (or marque for car model) is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others.[4] Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Initially, livestock branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot branding iron.In short,…

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What is a Song?

What is a Song?

Sounds like a simple question at first. The good news? I'm not going to go into music theory. Nevertheless, the question is serious. What exactly is a song? Pick up a score, a set of tabs, but it's not a song. Sure, I could learn to read it, and to some extent then, "hear" the music in my head, but it's not the song. Compare the following: Are they the same song? Why not? Sure, the arrangement is different, the singers are different, and in this case, the styles are radically different, yet there is a commonality there that any…

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