Hive Mind

I’ve been scanning a good deal of old documents for archiving recently. Whilst scanning, I’ve been fascinated watching JPthebeeman’s videos on youtube.

I’ve read a lot of science fiction (and fantasy) that features ‘the hive mind’ but I didn’t really understand the idea until I saw this:

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2018, the latter half

It’s been a strange kind of 6 months here at EB Towers.

Job searching (and finding and still not a start date in sight) – my savings are dwindling but I’m so glad to have left teaching behind (though I still feel a profound loss of the meaningful interactions the job provided). Interviews gave me a good reason to look back favourably on my career in education.

I’ve been obsessed with CNN and MSNBC news channels on Youtube (though I have tried several times to watch Fox News as balance and failed miserably), tracking the progress of American politics, following developments since well before the mid-terms. For some reason, I’m reminded of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” which I’m currently re-reading. My viewing proved a valuable distraction from the political mess here at home in the UK.

I also watched (avidly) the first series of National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” which was very enjoyable and informative. I hesitated to watch the second series but was glad I did as that was where some interesting issues were explored. It was satisfying seeing writers explore the kinds of ideas that Ursula K Le Guin explored so thoroughly in her thought narrative “The Dispossessed” (probably my favourite adult novel). Interesting to see how NatGeo suggested Big Business concerns (for want of a better term) and lobbyists might influence colonisation of the red planet. Again, I was reminded of “Dune”!

I’ve re-read some of my favourite books / authors – UKLG, Joan AIken, Robert Westall, Rosemary Sutcliff, Helen Griffith, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman… and Frank Herbert (“Dune”).

I jumped ship on Twitter because I was checking the feed far too regularly. An ill thought out move because it stole from me a pm channel to some people with whom I rather liked communicating. I’m not impulsive by nature but that move was! Fear (of procrastination) was the mind killer!

The Earth Balm iBook and music re-recording seems to have been placed on the back burner (or the cold corner furthest from the back burner) but I’ll return to it when I’m working again – like the maxim “If you want to get a job done, give it to somebody busy”, I think I may have to take my eye of something to keep it in focus (if you understand what I mean). There is a “Dune” connection here but I think I’ve exhausted the ‘gag’.

I’ve regained a love of listening to music (usually at bed time, on headphones and while reading) including religious choral music, ‘world’ music, electronic and (occasionally) rock.

The very good bloggers of WordPress have provided me with many texts to look forward to reading when I’m once again in receipt of salary. They know who they are and I’d name them but for fear of missing somebody. Take time to go through the ‘blogs that I follow’ tiles to enter a kingdom of riches.

As always, family provides the very best reason to get up of a morning.

Hope everybody’s 2019 will bring creativity, satisfaction, calm and prosperity. Thanks to everybody anybody who has taken the time to visit this bubble in the hypertext ether. Very special thanks to anybody who came back for a second dose or more.

Good health and happiness to all.

iBook project update 1

I’ve finally begun the iBook project in earnest. I’m recording ideas in an A3 sketchbook (my favourite planning format) and have made much progress. My decisions are provisional and may be drastically altered at some later point but I now have the following fairly concrete intentions:

  • The iBook will follow a loosely sequential timeline but will be presented out of chronological order.
  • The narrative will have several alternative timelines that will not be ‘author resolved’.
  • The reader will not need to follow the book’s sequential structure.
  • The book will make use of all of iBook Author’s capabilities – html widgets, video, audio, text, Javascript interactivity etc.

There are several apps which I have owned for quite a while but not used and there’s a steep learning curve to one of two of them which I’m enjoying scaling. I’ll post updates here as often as I can or I feel pertinent. Below are two video tests of video exports from the html within Tumult Hype.

 

 

RIP UKLG

I’m currently knee deep in supply teaching work and trying to work on the Earth Balm Music material, learning much about the limitless possibilities of music software and my limited abilities on the piano keyboard on the way. I have a day’s break today and just as well because I feel compelled to post about the passing of the great Ursula K Le Guin. The news has finally made up my mind for me – she is my favourite author of all that I have read (and she is in some high calibre company with Rosemary Sutcliff, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Philippa Pearce etc.). Her characters are so well developed, her books explore ideas about social systems and politics so subtly and she handles big plot moments so delicately. I’m about to radically thin out my book collection and I’m keeping all of my UKLG books as I know I’ll only regret losing them if I pass them on. Please, let her be known as more than just a science fiction / fantasy author because she was so much more.

Ursula_K_Le_Guin
Photograph of author Ursula K Le Guin. Source Wikipedia, credit Gorthian.

Here is a quote from Ursula’s Wikipedia page:

Le Guin exploits the creative flexibility of the science fiction and fantasy genres to undertake thorough explorations of dimensions of both social and psychological identity and of broader cultural and social structures. In doing so, she draws on sociology, anthropology, and psychology leading some critics to categorize her work as soft science fiction. She objected to this classification of her writing, arguing the term is divisive and implies a narrow view of what constitutes valid science fiction. Underlying ideas of anarchism and environmentalism also make repeated appearances throughout Le Guin’s work

Bradbury

A very informative presentation by the late Ray Bradbury in which he talks about the importance of metaphor in short stories:

Thanks again to Calmgrove for introducing me to Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.

The Left Hand of Darkness

This is it (The Left Hand of Darkness), the book I’ve been waiting to read and the book generally regarded as “Ursula Le Guin’s masterpiece” – Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. I bought it today in Foyles, Bristol along with Carlo Rovelli’s “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics“.  It was on the shelves at Waterstones too but I couldn’t find the Rovelli book there and wanted both. I know, I could have bought each from different stores but that would be alien to me. UKLG books are a puzzle, they seem to be either in all book shops at any given moment or in none at all in another given moment. I keep eyeing up Melvyn Peake’s “The Gormenghast Trilogy” but I’m too mean to pay the £18 cover price.

Looking forward to reading these – I may have to go to bed super-early!!

lhod

carlo rovelli