Category Archives: Meta

New content up! First drawing, a vingnette

I received a concept drawing this week of a main character in the first PHJ book. Mayana comes from an evolutionary colony which is shorthand for: we dump you on a planet with some tools and you do the best you … Continue reading

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Inspiration for the writing cave

Just ordered this from Amanda Makepeace (isn’t that a lovely name?), will go up on the wall of fame above ye old computer, amongst the watercolors from old buddy Chris.

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A novel is like stringing a necklace, each moment, a pearl

I’ve been reading a lot about the art of writing. Everyone has a list of things you should do, things you shouldn’t. And then of course they go ahead and tell you to ignore half of the rules, depending on … Continue reading

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The scarcity of entrepreneurship

I’m reading William Scholz’s excellent post on the future economies here. He has some very incisive observations about the direction we’re going regarding production – in this case, production of concepts and ideas. And he posits the demise of the … Continue reading

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Cuba’s Special Period and the “un” Triumph of the Revolution

Cuba’s Special Period and the “un” Triumph of the Revolution. A heartbreaking article by thirdeyemom. Can we PLEASE in my lifetime normalize relations with Cuba? One wonders what the point is now…

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On writing, one’s voice and the intimidation of virtuosity

I read a gripping story on Lightspeed yesterday (http://bit.ly/1lj69Pp), How to Get Back to the Forest by Sofia Samatar. It’s what I call a virtuoso performance—the story grabbed me right off and didn’t let go—it was like taking a deep … Continue reading

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Why space travel will have to be a mercantile monopoly, Part 1: It will need perfect software, and it will need to make money

Mercantilism used to be the norm. Countries waged economic war by launching expeditions using state-of the-art vessels (sailing and steam ships) to capture monopoly trade by whatever means possible – bribery, threats, even warfare (like the Opium Wars in China). … Continue reading

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Why space travel will have to be a mercantile monopoly, Part 2: Quality = time * $$$

There is an old saying: software can have quality, features or be on time. Pick two. Those three factors – features, time, and money – define the software development process. Features are the definitive characteristic – that defines the battleground, … Continue reading

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Why space travel will have to be a mercantile monopoly, Part 3: Competition=crap software

Why will it take a monopoly for us to conquer interstellar travel? Because software written in a competitive environment is always riddled with bugs. Note the qualifier here: a competitive environment. I could probably say all software with some confidence, … Continue reading

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Why space travel will have to be a mercantile monopoly, Part 4: No one tests enough

Complex systems require complex tests. Remember 42? Douglas Adams’ conceit that the entire world was a computer built to answer a question and the answer was 42? Adams was, I believe, quite the technologist. He even wrote a computer game … Continue reading

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