I started writing fiction in the early 1980s. I wrote my first two novels on an electronic typewriter. One of the most valuable (and traumatic) lessons I learned was the value of a skilled (as in cruel and heartless) editor. To be honest, my first novel turned out to be more learning experience than productive effort - although that certainly wasn't what I wanted to believe after finishing the first draft. It took some tactlessly honest editorial advice to shatter my precious delusions and allow me to see the flaws in my storytelling.
My latest project has resulted in an unexpected education in extreme computing - bleeding edge hardware and ways to use it that had previously been just a vague concepts on the fringe of my awareness. At this point I'm uncertain whether the experience has on balance been positive or negative.
The prosaic purpose of my labors is to test the various hardware and software combinations that will be offered by an on-line store (www.OpenBoxBuilder.com). I've been building custom servers and workstations for years, so the basic concept is just an extension of what I've already been doing.
There are some who suggest, with well documented justification, that television is a clear and present threat to rational civilization. While I may intellectually agree with the basic points of those who advocate TV avoidance, I have space to fill in the newsletter. So in the spirit of venal publishers and compulsive contrarians down through history, I'm going to write about how to watch "more better" TV!
This article will probably be available here in the future...
Animation started out as a way to create movies that would be difficult or impossible with live human characters - often because of costs. A couple poorly paid artists slaving away in dimly lit rooms were a lot cheaper than a whole movie production company and star salaries for the "talent".
Technology has made substantial progress in preserving the spark of life in ever more severely damaged bodies. Preserving the quality of life of the beneficiaries of our advancing medical skills has become an increasingly difficult problem.
The astronomical salaries paid to a relatively small number of sports stars and other celebrities of the media are a recurrent topic in public discourse. Some people point to the huge sums these individuals are paid and claim that this obvious disparity in incomes is evidence of the basic flaws in our free market economy, and justification for artificial intervention to restore "fairness". For every allegedly overpaid celebrity there are undoubtedly thousands who at least think they could do the job for far less.
All of the machinery of war is designed and employed to hurt people and destroy property. Regardless of whether it's an aerial bomb, artillery shell, shoulder fired missile, grenade, or landmine, all of the explosive devices of war are intended to cause death and destruction through blast and shrapnel.
War tends to be a desperate venture where concern over any potential post-conflict sanction for misusing technology is far outweighed by the greater concern of losing the war. Winners tend to rewrite history to absolve themselves of whatever means they employed in their victory. The costs of losing often couldn't be any worse regardless of crimes against humanity committed during the fighting.
Get in on the ground floor of the biggest money making opportunity of the next century! If you thought illicit drugs and alcohol were attractive profit centers, wait until the black-market cloning industry really gets rolling!
The US government recently announced it was making human cloning illegal - forcing one of the reproductive technologies I expect to become critically important in the future into the back alleys, basement laboratories, and offshore installations where proscribed sciences and services fester and mutate while awaiting the unlikely reawakening of rationality.