Yes, an inconsequential post. A mere update. The kind of thing for which the weblog was invented, but whose current home is on Facebook and Twitter where ideas are few and gibber rules the roost. But I’m in a nostalgical state of whimsy and the urge to talk trivia is upon me.
Why this [...]
A few days ago, Smashwords wrote to its authors to say they were being forced to censor certain erotica titles on the insistence of Paypal. Now I don’t read or write erotica but I care very much that other people should be allowed to. I also care that corporations should not be allowed to [...]
(This review first appeared in the New York Review of Books.)
Belief comes first, rationalizations follow behind. That is the basic theme of this new book on belief by professional sceptic, Michael Shermer. Belief comes first because we’re wired that way, Dr. Shermer says. We see patterns in everything (sometimes even when they aren’t [...]
Three's a good start.
(This review first appeared in the New York Journal of Books on 15th September 2010)
Danbert Nobacon, whose penname seems to be derived from an old knock-knock joke, is best known for his part in the rock band Chumbawamba. (“I get knocked down, then I get up again.” Yes, [...]
I hope my favourite sci-fi newsletter, Ansible, won’t mind if I reproduce the following paragraph verbatim. Not only is this matter one that outrages me, but Ansible’s treatment of it is just brilliant. Anyway, enjoy:
Peter Watts, Canadian sf author beaten up and pepper-sprayed by a US border guard in December (see A270), was [...]
Dear Mr. Conroy,
I see from your recent announcement that you and the Labor Party are still determined to go ahead with installing national Internet filters. As an Australian writer, I cannot stress how strongly opposed I am to this measure. Whatever your good intentions for filtering child pornography – and I give you [...]
I ran the complete set of posts from this blog through the Wordle program. Wordle calculates word frequencies, translates them to physical sizes, and uses this information to lay out the most frequent words in interesting ways. The image below, therefore, shows you just what I talk about most in this blog. If you [...]
A bit of Australian internal politics, guys. You might want to just retweet this and move on if that’s not especially interesting to you. However, if you ever read an Australian book, read on.
Those who have campainged hard to ensure that parallel importation restrictions on books are not removed or amended, [...]
There is a petition up on the GoPetition site, addressed to, “THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT” which people concerned about the government’s insane plan to lift parallel importation restrictions on books can sign. The text is as follows:
The Australian Government is considering whether to [...]
Well, you all know I’m home by now. I just want to summarise my experiences at the Byron Bay Writers Festival before I forget.
The BBWF is only the second writers’ festival I’ve been to but it was similar to the other one in many ways. The big differences were in the venues. The [...]