Monday, April 26, 23:26 CDT
As usual, there's been a mass media feeding frenzy since the news of the recent murders in Littleton, CO. There's something increasingly disturbing in the depths to which so many media outlets are willing to sink, and the lack of respect they show for people hurt by a tragedy, along with the standard fear mongering and finger pointing.

Every time an act of incomprehensible violence reaches the attention of enough people to turn it into a media event, we see endless variations on the "this is why they did it, this is what's wrong with society, this is who and what to fear" theme. And it's all bullshit. The kind cranked out by frightened people searching for an easy answer, or by manipulative scum riding the crest of public attention - it makes little difference.

If there's an obvious truth here, it's that there aren't any easy answers. No simple causes that can easily be rooted out. And this won't be the last time.

Not that it matters any. They'll go on, trying hopelessly to frame an evil and foolish act in a way that makes some kind of sense. Or cynically manipulating the currents of public opinion until the next headline comes along.

Ok, I'm done. For the moment.

p1k3 / 1999 / 4 / 26

Sunday, April 25, 22:10 CDT
A local library is having a used book sale - Over the past couple days, I've found 30-some books, for around $30. I begin to understand how some people's to-read stacks can get so huge that they have no hope of ever reaching the bottom. (About the notion that buying used books deprives authors of income: Firstly, if I enjoy a book, I'll probably buy more of the author's work in the future, and recommend it to others. Secondly, it's a crime to let a good book go to waste. And thirdly, have you seen the selection available in the average mall bookstore lately?)

p1k3 / 1999 / 4 / 25

Sunday, April 18, 0:51 CDT
Just finished watching Smilla's Sense of Snow. A very good film, shading towards excellent, if not for the weak ending. It's sort of thriller/mystery/SF, set in Scandinavia, with some brilliant acting by Julia Ormond. I love movies like this.

I've been trying to keep up with rec.arts.sf.written lately. Not that I've been very successful, but it's still enjoyable. I should really post once in a while, but I keep thinking of a quote... "It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.".

Speaking of rasfw, I just saw a post there with a link to an outline Larry Niven wrote for a Known Space novel to end all Known Space novels. Myself, I'd love to see this one actually get written some day...

p1k3 / 1999 / 4 / 18

Wednesday, April 7, 23:32 CDT
There's a review of The Matrix up over on AICN that does a pretty good job of conveying the coolness of the film. Reading the review would, however, be a big mistake if you haven't already seen it.

The more I think about this one, the cooler it seems, despite its flaws.

Updated my software page a bit. (Well, ok maybe a few bytes, but not much more than that.)

p1k3 / 1999 / 4 / 7

Monday, April 5, 23:10 CD(aylight savings time sucks)T
A belated happy Easter, all.

I installed Debian 2.1 last night. Waiting until midnight was probably a mistake... I still feel sleep deprived. 'tis cool to have a shiny new installation, though.

I saw The Matrix earlier today. I have some big problems with some basic elements of the plot, mostly of the "give me five minutes with your script and I'll show you a cooler, more realistic way to do that" variety. That said, it's a cool movie, the visuals are impressive, and it manages to be decent science fiction (though not cyberpunk, as I was sort of expecting).

p1k3 / 1999 / 4 / 5
tags: topics/sfnal

Saturday, April 3, 2:36 CST
Well, we've been had. Or perhaps I should say *I've* been had... Others figured this one out considerably sooner, as I probably should have.

The UF/BeDope/Segfault thing was impressive. It obviously took quite a bit of effort and coordination. Somehow, though, I'm having a hard time just saying "good one, guys", and shrugging it off. It seems like somewhere here, a line was crossed between humor and simple dishonesty.

Still, it's thought provoking, and the longer I think about it, the more amusing I find it. Maybe we all need a good *whack* to the complacency every now and then. A reminder of how subjective reality can be.

p1k3 / 1999 / 4 / 3