- How was yours? If you unfortunately missed it, Here is a good assortment of After Action Reviews by people who actually did something. i had a pretty good time for not doing much worth blogging about. This convention just keeps getting better.
If you missed the fun, you can rectify this by keeping your eye on penguicon.org, where registration for Penguicon 6.0, tentatively set for April 18-20, 2008, will soon begin. See you there!
i'm an excellent timewaster. Particularly now, with no job to go to, and my only schedule requirements set by caring for my father. Work on the house is proceeding, but somehow i find lots of time to read, listen to music, paint and bead, pet the cat, play with dolls, websurf, and watch hours of bad television, all while complaining i don't have time to get anything done.
i've even been known to roll the occasional Katamari ball, but have not become glued to that couch because i'm too cheap to buy my own PS2. i like first person shoot-em-ups, but i suck at them so badly my killer rarely used to get out of my yard in Postal, though the pitiful cries of the wounded and dying were music to my ears. i was so uncoordinated at Oni that i would run victory laps if i finished a training sequence. But i do love the virtual world. i lost the better part of a summer with The Sims, but gradually if i say, misplaced a piece of furniture, it became more fun to let my poor sim just suffer the consequences; the peeing, weeping, cyberswearing and flames being more entertaining than breeding, parties and acquisition of material goods. Just like real life.
So, i checked out Second Life a while back, and have to say i just don't get it. Drew at Toothpaste For Dinner, a webcomic i don't visit nearly often enough, has posted the spot-on My Adventures in Second Life. This is so true, from someone younger (and funnier) than me. Thanks, Boing Boing, for the very fun link!
You can't punch, but you CAN grope.
Generally, i tend to agree with Robert Anton Wilson that optimism is the best outlook, in terms of human survival strategy. Last year at this time Jim and i fervently hoped, and i pretty much assumed, that 2006 just had to be better than 2004 or 05. Of course, from a personal standpoint last year Jim's life ended, and the worst year of my life commenced. But with a much wider perspective, things on this planet also seem to be rapidly falling apart, and it's so difficult to even plan for the future.
If you need what my father calls a cheer-up, or just share an anxious, down feeling today, i urge you to check out The World Question Center 2007. The Edge Foundation annually asks experts in various science and humanities disciplines for their reasons for optimism. There are dozens, and they make totally compelling and inspiring reading. Some of them are obvious, or even idiotic, but there are thought provoking, even mind blowing perspectives and predictions.
Thanks to Boing Boing for the day- making link!
Today, October 3, is the International Day Against DRM (Digital Restrictions Management; that stuff that's crippling the legal CDs, DVDs and download you purchase). If you're unsure why DRM is a problem (or sure it isn't), take a look around DRM.info for a simple introduction, or The Electronic Frontier Foundation for the grand tour. For the lighter side, or to spread the word painlessly, find some videos here.
Izarra at the Penguicon t shirt table on Saturday. Amaia was there Sunday, but i was too tired by then to take any pictures.
i had the 5am to 10am shifts in Operations, and there was a wall opening between Registration/Ops and the Computer Lounge where Howard sets up the Chaos Toy. Think giant size Mousetrap game, under continuous expansion over the weekend. All day and all night, small children to folks past retirement age were adding to the paths, or just dropping a ball bearing onto the track and watching its progress through the pulleys, lifts, trampolines, and slides. The Chaos Toy has become a Penguicon tradition, embodying the playful spirit of science fiction and the DIY ethos of open source. At 5 or 6 am, probably the quietest time at the convention, the sound of the clacking gears and the plinking balls was so soothing.
Of the many conventions i've attended, Penguicon is the most ribbon happy. Ribbons attached to name badges, identifying committee, staff, security, guests, presenters and such are a longstanding practical tool for granting proper access to con members. WorldCon http://www.worldcon.org/ is the first place i saw frivolous ribbons - "3/4 of a Century of Boring Conventions" is one of our favorites. Room parties and con registration and bid parties give them away, and if you're giving out a desirable ribbon, you can swap for good ones without attending every room party and event. Folks liked my "Shiny", so i got the Browncoat's ribbon though i couldn't make their party. Seekers of (FNORD) Mad Skills, and Pain-In-The Ass Poindexter got me Sith Approved, Vote for Pedro, Supermans Pal, and Got Platypus? Zardoz, Con-Goddess and Elevator Con have to be 'earned', by having seen the movie, or time served. i saw a few true ribbon sluts who had ribbons touching the floor. Different conventions have different, and evolving 'ribbon ettiquette', and at Penguicon it's very OK to bring back and hand out previous years' ungifted ribbons, but attaching your old ribbons to a new badge is frowned upon. i wouldn't do that anyway, because the blend of ribbons on each badge helps recreate the convention at a glance, but i admit i love to see people with over six feet of ribbons, reinforced by staples or duct tape, wrapped bandelero-style around their bodies. This year i was a ribbon minimalist, with just 'Shiny' and a few golden oldies, but i'm already jotting down phrases for next year's convention. If i'm too busy to get to the best events, i need trades...
An extraordinary day of BoingBoing blogging... first check out Why Publishing Should Send Fruit baskets to Google by Cory Doctorow. Here's a taste:
Some day, electronic texts will substitute for print books: the convergence of superior technology and an audience raised to read off-screen will make treeware editions into luxury items and white elephants, the way that oil-paintings are today. It's certain to me that books will be largely represented as bits in the near future. It's likewise certain that bits will never, ever get any harder to copy than they are today. From here on in, barring nuclear holocaust, bits will only get cheaper and easier to copy, period. Anyone who thinks bits will get harder to copy is either not paying attention or kidding himself or kidding you.
It's not all valentines for Google at BB today; Chairman Cory also has Google Video DRM: Why is Hollywood more important than users?, and there is Xeni Jardin's up-to-the-minute coverage of Google protests by Tibetan exiles.
On a related issue, BB points to a great rant on John Battelle's Searchblog, Never Poke a Dragon While It's Eating:
Until the person leading this country values human rights over appeasement, and decides to lead on this issue, we're never going to make any progress. Congress can call hearings, and beat up Yahoo, Google and the others for doing what everyone else is doing, but in the end, it's not GYMA's fault, nor, as much as I wish they'd take it on, is it even their problem. It's our government's problem. Since when is China policy somehow the job of private industry?
Working on a rundown of a few dead tree magazines... will post when ready!