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Comment Re:Nothing for us furrinners? (Score 2, Insightful) 750

1. The question applies perfectly well to all you otherworldly heathens, if you don't give a shit the correct answer is "Imperceptible."

2. The vast majority of Americans (which is what we are called, if you have some pedantic stick up your butt about there being all sorts of American countries you ask a Canadian if they are an American and see if they appreciate the subtle nuance, we are the Americans in this world, get over it) don't vote for Republicans. About half of them rarely vote at all, closer to two thirds in mid-term elections. The rest of us, it's about half, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, vote for Republicans. Of those who do, a fair number have a clue, they are voting in their own clear if narrow and selfish self-interest (see estate tax, capital gains tax, etc.) Clueless voters-for-Republicans are a clear minority in the U.S.A.

Which isn't to say we aren't idiots, but I'd think an erudite denizen of the international community could take the trouble to understand precisely what kind of idiots we actually are.

Comment Re:Well, then I made the right decision (Score 1) 356

Stephenson's last 5 books have all made the NY Times best-seller list - Anathem hit their hardcover fiction list at number 1. While I don't agree with your criticisms of Cryptonomicon, I think not tackling the Baroque Cycle is absolutely the right decision - for you. You wouldn't like it and you wouldn't like Anathem.

I doubt Stephenson is under any illusion that the directions he's taken has lost him some fans of the early works, but the idea that it has put him some kind of financially unsustainable position just isn't true. And while you represent one pole of reaction, I represent another one - I find the direction his writing has gone from Cryptonomicon so satisfying that I have bought everything since that book new, first edition hardcover - something that isn't true of any but a tiny handful of authors for me.

Comment Re:Very disappointing review. (Score 1) 356

One thing that's clear from recent talks, interviews etc. is that Stephenson is doing exactly what he is aiming to. People hoping for some "return" to the Snow Crash era of his writing need to just give it up and move on to other authors. He doesn't want to go back there and he's not going to.

While I don't think the review author really got inside this material, I think in one essential respect his review is quite accurate: if you didn't like the direction Stephenson was going from Cryptonomicon on through the Baroque Cycle, you're probably going to like Anathem even less. If you like the Baroque Cycle you're certainly not going to listen to the review of someone who gave up on it after the first book. Of course, if you came out of that several thousand page investment with a smile on your face chances are, like me and everyone else defending Stephenson's recent career in here, you finished Anathem long ago anyway.

So the only person the review is really potentially misleading to is people who haven't read Stephenson, and honestly they probably shouldn't start with anything later than Cryptonomicon as the introduction to his work.

Which is not to say this review doesn't suck, because it definitely does.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Noooo!

So I made this joke (which you should NOT READ if you dislike SPOILERS of any kind and are really good at codebreaking. And haven't read the 6th Harry Potter book. And intend to. And somehow managed to get this far without the ending getting spoiled anyway by the various internet trolls who take sick pleasure in the dismay of strangers): and yea, it did please me as excessively nerdy and pleasantly obscure.

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Journal Journal: Nothing and Beingness

The three thousand gods and the thousands religions that serve them, the neoconservatives, the deep ecologists, the panarmaggedonists, the pole shift watchers, the alien presence seekers, the the illuminati hunters, the kung fu masters, the cthonic interpreters, the anubian appraisers, oh Lord, the eight thousand lights lining the path of illusion.

User Journal

Journal Journal: bah

bah. go try and give something away, someone comes along and thinks they should keep it for themselves. so the password is changed again. I expected creative trashing, at least. I guess it will just have to rot.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What DO I expect? 2

It always comes as a surprise that anyone reads any of this... and more of a surprise when it elicits response. And that makes me feel like I should say something more on the subject, and then things get complicated. It's easy enough to complain... so much easier than coming up with anything truly constructive. Which was my point in the first place, and I don't feel any closer to a solution.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why the hell do I bother? 4

You know, almost every time I go off on one of my tirades about our critically imbalanced, for-hire "democratic" system of government in the USA I get modded way up (most recent example - indicating that a lot of people feel the same way. But so what? I mean, how many people would even bother to go to the laughable work of pasting the above link in to check the actual comment this journal refers to? We are the society of the ultra

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Merest Shred of Truth

Is a third side possible? What I'm struck by more and more often is that the general tone, theme, apparent goal of advocacy, whatever its political or ideological flavor, seems to be all the same. Bombast, rhetoric apparently chosen for flair rather than veracity, relating to the opposing viewpoint only through making a charicature or straw man of it, through ridicule or attack.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Agamemnon 1

Chorus: Why do you cry out thus, unless at some vision of horror?

Cassandra: The house reeks of death and dripping blood.

Chorus: How so? 'Tis but the odor of the altar sacrifice.

Cassandra: The stench is like a breath from the tomb.


User Journal

Journal Journal: sorry, just a touch more

What now. Whatever it might be it seems it comes without reward or at least the kind of reward I want now. And what's later? Later doesn't exist so if it isn't now then it isn't and so it seems reasonable to ask, what's in it for me? In an immediate, gratification sense. And how is it that all the live in the moment stuff I get stuffed down my throat takes a holiday in this wretched world of self improvement. And yet here I am. So many have said so and yet here I am. Killing. Seven. M

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