Materialist SF

I was talking about the recent events in the US "economy" and my latest fiction writing project the other day, and while the connection between the two seemed more direct in the moment and doesn't bear repeating I found that I uttered the following statement: "You know, there isn't a lot of materialist space opera/science fiction out there." And as soon as I had spoken the words, I knew that I had to be wrong.…

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novel progress

I've not been writing very much or very regularly in the new year, unfortunately. I've had a lot of obligations at work, and I went to visit my grandmother last weekend, which took a lot of time (both whilst there, but also in preparation). And lets not talk about Critical Futures, which is a full length post onto itself at this point. In any case, I've been doing some work on the new novel, which I have managed to put the finishing touches on the first third.…

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GNU Screen

This is a "isn't this really old piece of software pretty darn cool," kind of a post. GNU Screen is a terminal multiplexer, that dates probably from the eighties or there abouts, and it provides a sort of text-based windowing environment inside of a command line. Sort of. Before I started using it, I read statements like that and had no clue what Screen really did. I think a brief (and basic) overview of how screen works might be worth something.…

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3 Odd Properties of Blogging

Blogs are really awesome, and blogs are also really powerful tools for publishing and communication, and more than anything represent the world wide web "coming into its own." In recognition of this, it seems that everyone whose interested in the internet is out there trying to "crack" blogging and understand what makes for a really great blog, and if you listen to them, they'll tell you about how successful blogging requires a solid niche focus, dynamic content (including videos, audio, and pictures), strong clear headlines with interesting hooks, regular posting, and keyword optimized content.…

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Digital Collections

I have a lot of digital stuff certainly more than any of my computers have storage space for at this point, though to be fair we're talking about 500 gigabytes of various collections (music, video, backups, documents). Particularly given the price disks by the present moment in time, we're not talking about anything too absurd. During my recent computer juggling interlude, I realized that hard drive space wasn't nearly the issue I used to think it was, and I suspect my situation isn't terribly unique for lots of geeks, and space crunches are not often a technological problem, but rather a user problem.…

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A Catalog of Open Source and Free Culture

I've been writing recently here about open source and free software, and what happens to the practices and ideologies of these projects when they "jump species" and start affecting the world outside of open source. This is, I suppose, part of a larger response/digestion of Christopher Kelty's *Two Bits* monograph. Having said that, this post isn't a response per se but rather a catalog of all the various kinds of software and non-software projects that are connected in some way to open source and free software.…

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Monolithic Content Management

When I was writing about the redesign of tychoish.com, I mentioned that I needed to write an essay here about "monolithic vs. micro (kernel) approaches to content management." Referencing an old (and mostly settled) debate in operating system design [1], think it might be productive to bring some of these systems design perspectives to the problem of content management systems for websites. The analogy is imperfect for a lot of reasons, because it can operate on two basic levels.…

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