With the dissertation over, I can get back to blogging some more. So here, have some links:
Not such a good idea: Why you should think twice about online voting – a good article setting out the flaws with online voting.
I work in PR – and we’re all terrible people – Also, water is wet. But this is an interesting insight.
Hard to be a god – An interesting essay from Ken Macleod on the intersections of SF and politics.
If the Hinkley C nuclear deal looks astonishing, that’s because it is – The strange economics of nuclear power are getting stranger.
My current reckons on Tim Farron and the Lib Dems – A good summing up of the current state of the party by James Graham.
Atomic – Flying Rodent proposes a new direction for the military. “I put it to you that the track record of unusable weapons has proven beyond doubt to be vastly superior to the performance of the ones that we actually can deploy.”
18 Scientists On What They Actually Think About Climate Change – Yes, it’s Buzzfeed, but it’s interesting.
Why we don’t have electronic voting – A simple explainer of the myriad problems that need to be solved before it could happen.
9 questions about Saudi Arabia you were too embarrassed to ask – Sure there’s something we can all learn from this.
How To Tell If You Are In A Soft Science Fiction Novel – “There are Core people and there are Rim people. Core people wear silver, gender-neutral clothing and love fascism and artificial light. Rim people wear floor-length WWII-era trench coats and love modified libertarianism. These are the only two kinds of people. Plus there’s one ocean planet full of mermaids.”
A few more of these, from a wide period of time:
British SF and the Class System: Science Fiction Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed – Very interesting post on SF as an expression of middle-class dreams of the future.
Oh my god. I just witnessed the single greatest moment in human history – The effortless cool we all wish we could display in certain situations.
I hate to disagree with Bradley Wiggins, but mandatory cycle helmets would be a terrible idea – Tom Chivers succinctly sums up the arguments and evidence for and against mandatory cycle helmets.
Thanks (but no thanks) – A couple of weeks old, but a great post from British Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith about some of the unwanted attention and comment she receives.
It’s a rich man’s world – American democracy, bought and paid for.
Or, how liquid democracy gets you the sack in the end.
How The German Pirate Party’s Liquid Democracy Works – Sounds like an interesting way for members of an organisation to discuss things. And no need to get pre-approved for discussions by the police.
SF, big ideas, ideology: What is to be done? – Charles Stross on whether SF is a genre of ‘big ideas’.
The Fandom Issue: Marvelous – “At what point is the triumph of comic-book culture sufficient?” Some interesting parallels between geek culture and the Tea Party.
How a stranger carrying a rucksack got within 10 feet of Nick Clegg – Why, it’s almost like security theatre isn’t necessary!
Sacking people is easy to do – Not that I recommend you should, but John Band points out that people complaining about red tape preventing them doing it don’t have much of a leg to stand on.
And a majority that aren’t election-related.
Electoral Services: I know they’re only doing their job, but… – Jennie Rigg on the last-minute rush to get nomination papers in, which many people who’ve been candidate and/or agents will read with a few knowing nods.
How to write a generic SF novel – Paul McAuley provides some useful advice: “No matter how technologically advanced your future society might be, its sociology and economics are basically those of the seventeenth century. Also its battle tactics.”
BNP Candidates 2011 – Lancaster Unity has discovered there’s a dramatic fall in the number of candidates the BNP are standing in local elections this year, though there is a rise in former BNP candidates standing for other nationalist parties.
Russian bloggers accuse authorities of cyberwar – Twenty years ago, which of these things would have seemed the most weird: the existence of sites like LiveJournal, Russian democracy or DDOS attacks?
72 mandatory pitstops per race – Duncan Stephen has a sneak preview of the latest plans to improve Formula 1
Here we go again…
Future U.S. History Students: ‘It’s Pretty Embarrassing How Long You Guys Took To Legalize Gay Marriage’ – I’m surprised I took this long to link to something from The Onion, but maybe that’s because it’s not as funny as it used to be. Which, of course, they’ll also be stating as true in the 2080s.
What the EU Did Next – Interesting blog collecting a number of essays on the EU
The literature of ideas; or, please stop laughing at me – Very interesting post from Pornokitsch on the description of SF as the literature of ideas – “The phrase is made more pathetically self-congratulatory by its grandiosity”
Del Boy And The Shale Sale – Zelo Street puts the boot into the increasingly ridiculous James Delingpole
Android marriage, gay pirates, and other ways to poke fun at anti-gay activists – Towleroad on some of the more bizarre theories being proposed, such as how gay marriage will lead to people marrying androids, and how men dressed as pirates are abducting strangers. Sometimes, bigotry just satirises itself(via)
Ken MacLeod explains how SFnal ideas are germinated:
taking the usual SF approach to such humane, beneficial developments (how could this advance be grossly misused, and what are the military applications?)
(Note: with minor tweaks, such as the addition of the phrase ‘and won’t someone think of the children?’ this also works as a Labour Party policy generation tool.)
When It Changed does sound like a rather good collection, though.