Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Perverse Entertainment

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  • Kracklite,

    Oh yes, Turtle Diary. Haven't read that one, but several others by Hoban. I did see a film adaptation years ago and that's worth finding in DVD. Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Gambon, Jeroen Krabbe, Nigel Hawthorne. Script by Harold Pinter. It's a real delight.

    There are also a couple of telefilm adaptations of The Lathe of Heaven and LeGuin liked the one made in 1980. There's a nice interview with her in the DVD edition I was able to find.

    Good video rental places should have them.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Hey Ian, you're back! Thoughgt you'd been crushed under falling masonry.

    I recall that Hoyle's Black Cloud was actually quite intelligent.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I recall that Hoyle’s Black Cloud was actually quite intelligent.

    damn, s'true...
    I seem to have conflated Black Cloud and either a story, or SF TV episode, from the dimly remembered past in which the boffins' brains fry because of all their preconceptions, whereas the humble gardener/handyman can communicate with the data-cloud-like etheric entity...

    ...oh well, luckily there'll be another extinction period along soon to cover that literary gaffe!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7885 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Been a while since I read The Black Cloud but I thought the guy's brain fried because he couldn't handle all the information the cloud downloaded into his brain (possibly because of preconceptions).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • son of little p,

    solly i dropped the -ly, i was under definite stress - muchly 'preciate your grandly suggestive expansiftications..

    Since Apr 2011 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • son of little p,

    although the idea of an 'osmosis' neatly omits to mention the key active element coursing constantly throughout the whole shebang - that is, mimesis (or largely unconscious imitation of that judged to be in closest proximity to the collectively-desired object(ive')

    Since Apr 2011 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    MIMESIS:
    biol.
    close external resemblance between animal & another animal- or inaminate object.

    In your case, I hesitate to use blunt objects ("fuckwit") or herd-words - say, a blunder of conspiracy theorists - and will restrain myself to suggest - go look at yourself in a mirror. After Kracklite's suggestion for you coming of some kind of age-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • son of little p, in reply to Islander,

    you are so far away ma'am from the awful truth of mimesis (as the pre-eminent 'cognizant' property of all higher animals and thus the one that has gotten us in to all of this most human, human trouble) that i must conclude you have become, over time, almost pathologicallly behooven and helplessly bound to the idea and/or conceit of the 'biological', sporting as you do however a daffy fondness (nonetheless) for what you like to call 'language' in your spare, some might even say "spiritual" time...

    Since Apr 2011 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    Oh, it’s trying a different track now. Bigoted epithets didn’t work, tantrums didn’t work, lies didn’t work, so now it’s trying some clumsy parody of that-there high-falutin’ talk.

    You know, the sheer emotional neediness of trolls is quite fascinating in a way, that pathetic dependence that they have on validation through opposition. I haven’t felt such morbid interest since I dissected a frog in seventh-form biology.

    Troll-burger. Yum.

    It’s so appropriate to this thread’s title of course.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kracklite,

    Goodness, I even know a sauce to go with trollburghers!*
    I dont think they’d like it though-

    And you’re right Kracklite – the neediness is a dependence on validation – through any means whatsoever.

    You know, I never dissected anything in my biology classes (entirely seperate from my law classes)? Because – even at UoC in the mid-late 1960s – if you brought along a fresh-caught flounder (dead just now) and showed how you broke it down (and cooked the results after) you did get grades…


    *Sauce for troll-burghers:

    you need sufficient blueberries OR cranberries per person eating
    and an adequate amount of aquavitae
    let sleep - o, for a month or so? - in a closed container-
    at the last possible moment, before you begin to eat the trollburghers (I dont give a damn as to what you do with them) throw is some genuine Norwegian nitroglycerine annnnd !
    Explode

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Kracklite,

    Here’s a question, what would be your favourite aquarium pet?

    One of these would go down a treat.

    It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and unforming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.” (At the Mountains of Madness, 1931)

    On the subject of ’Baiter. I have always thought of the rantings of the far, ignorant, right as being nothing more than the manifestation of resentment, they resent paying for anything and resent those those that can’t.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    Yeah, a couple of notes:

    I’m having fun because it gives me an opportunity to take my Doug Piranha persona out for a joyride.

    I’ve known two or three people who could be classified as psychopaths, and while this isn’t T’ Standard and I won’t throw the label at anyone I find amusing/disagreeable/pathetic, a behaviour that is characteristic of (if not limited to) psychopaths is the treatment of other people as machines that light up if you press the appropriate buttons. Dribblette is looking for buttons to push to make the pretty lights flash. All it wants is to see is pretty flashing lights.

    When Dribblette is frustrated, Dribblette will get angry at first, and then it will try another button to push. The trick is never to let it wind you up, because that is the thing that will gratify it. It’s just like the rats that had electrodes implanted in their pleasure centres that would keep zapping themselves and forget to feed themselves until they died of thirst or starvation. It’s hopelessly dependent on the buzz. It has no vision of any further objective.

    I predict that it will try a few more strategies, and then when it sees that it’s getting nowhere, it will declare victory and flounce away until the next time it’s bored. It should be banned eventually, because while it may be ephemerally entertaining, and someone like me can see it as material (there might be a paper or short story in this down the line somewhere), a lot of other people are going to get bored themselves and we don’t want it sullying a more serious thread.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kracklite,

    In it's last incarnations, it just got frantic-

    now - not least because I think our host is keeping both eye & finger on the extinction button- it's just making limited provocative sorties - which add nothing to the knowledge of our world-

    which engages, one way or the other, the whole of my attention-

    cheers, us all-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    Yes, that's what I find so existentially depressing about psychopaths or those that adopt their behaviour. They add nothing. They do provide entertainment if you can avoid being ensnared by them, but in the end... well, John Ralston Saul put it so nicely paraphrasing Hannah Arendt in saying that they are the incarnation of the evil of banality.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    In other news... Rodders has named his child "Liberty".

    Anyone remember The Young Ones? There's this classic line: "This is the band Radical Posture, and my name is Alexei Yuri Gagarin Siege of Stalingrad Glorious Five-Year Plan Sputnik Pravda Moscow Dynamo Back Four Balowski. Me Dad was a bit of a Communist, know what I mean?"

    There is what I call HSP - Hippie Parent Syndrome, related to CPS - Celebrity Parent Syndrome - some poor person is cursed with a name like Sunshine or Apple or Moon Unit because their narcissistic git of a parent sees their child as some sort of animate accessory to show the world how incredibly cool they are.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    it’s just making limited provocative sorties

    You're right, of course. It's probing, testing limits and not going too far, but seeing just how far it can go to get a response. No grand explosion is likely, nothing that will get it definitely banned in this incarnation. There'll be another strategy, a declaration of victory, or it will quietly vanish.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Now This is interesting...

    Political liberalism and conservatism were correlated with brain structure
    Liberalism was associated with the gray matter volume of anterior cingulate cortex
    Conservatism was associated with increased right amygdala size
    Results offer possible accounts for cognitive styles of liberals and conservatives

    The amygdala being part of the limbic system.

    The American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean. maintained that the structures of the limbic system arose early in mammalian evolution (hence "paleomammalian") and were responsible for the motivation and emotion involved in feeding, reproductive behavior, and parental behavior.

    Whereas...

    The neomammalian complex consists of the cerebral neocortex, a structure found uniquely in mammals. MacLean regarded its addition as the most recent step in the evolution of the human brain, conferring the ability for language, abstraction, planning, and perception.

    ref
    So there you have it... Those Righties are just not as evolved as the best of us.
    :-D

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Kracklite,

    There is what I call HSP - Hippie Parent Syndrome, related to CPS - Celebrity Parent Syndrome - some poor person is cursed with a name like Sunshine or Apple or Moon Unit because their narcissistic git of a parent sees their child as some sort of animate accessory to show the world how incredibly cool they are.

    Usually in the name of celebrating their offspring's "uniqueness", of course.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Well, I've come across other studies that also find a correlation between neurology and openness to new experiences and ideas, but I've seen plenty of (nominal) left-wing ossification and authoritarianism - Trotter, for example. I'm also dubious about sorting people into goodies and baddies according to physical characteristics, or arguing that biology is predestination.

    I know, you put a smiley there, so sorry if this seems a bit po-faced.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Kracklite,

    Addendum re the Trotteroids: I mean that those who might be inherently conservative and authoritarian have found niches under the left banner.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Openness to new experiences and ideas is only so valuable. There are some ideas that are just plain bad, and some experiences I know I never want to have. So the conservative brain is still a vital part of the species - it's the part, on the whole, that has got us to where we are.

    Indeed, it's actually a vital part of the ability of the species to have new experiences and ideas. Small groups form with ideas that soon become conservative within the group, even if they are radical to the rest of society. These groups protect and nurture each other in a conservative way within their radical context, and occasionally, produce the really big ideas that propel the entire species forward.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Kracklite,

    I’m also dubious about sorting people into goodies and baddies according to physical characteristics,

    This is a little beyond Phrenology as far as it goes but it does lend itself to the concept of shape-shifting reptiles, not entirely excluding Trotter, although he does have a good folk singing voice.
    ;-)
    Smiley face for the less po faced...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    As for Palin and Bachmann being “over already” I can but hope. Apart from Obama actually losing, my next biggest fear politically is Palin winning.

    Don't worry, she won't.

    On the issue of Trump running, I've heard that if he wanted to run in the primaries he would be required to file a financial disclosure with the Federal Electoral Commission, which he won't want to do. So really, his running is a joke suggestion. But then, we knew that.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

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