Monday, February 25, 2008

New Ops

Despite not being American and not really caring who becomes president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers' of America (SFWA) association, I go here to the blog of John Scalzi on the say-so of Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing. I have to admit that it is very unusual to read such an open and scathing run down of someone's opinion of another, and that even though I know nothing of the people involved, it was gripping.

What really caught my attention, notwithstanding the brilliance of the prose in the piece above, was one of the comments below in which Gianluca at comment 18 suggests that Mr Scalzi, should he give up the Science Fiction could make a living as a professional ranter. Like, that's a *job*?

I so want to be a professional ranter! I wonder what the qualifications are? And who gives out the jobs? If anyone knows, do tell. I have such good qualifications: I have ranted about Second Life, Education, Old People's Homes, charging for Genealogical information....

And another thing... with all the millions of people on the internet, (230 million on laptops alone, figure courtesy of another story on BoingBoing this morning about the laptop for every child campaign - note to campaign, as they keep reminding me, my children are still waiting...) isn't it odd how you bump into the same people over and over? I saw Pete Darby on the comments list for the John Scalzi blog. *waves*


Pete said...


There are some that theorize that the entire universe is populated by only a few dozen real people. There is no other rational explanation for always running into people you know from two doors down when on an Alpaca tagging expedition on another continent.

Others have suggested that, while even an insignificant dirtball may have six-billion people on it, quantum entanglement and basic good editing on the part of the management ensure that, wherever you go, you assured of a familiar face or two.

The alternative, that modern communications systems actually mean we communicate with a mind boggling number of people every day, of whom we edit out of our consciousness over 99%, is testament to both human efficiency at pattern recognition when we find the 1% of people we have some connection with, but also to the blind indifference we tend to treat the vast majority of the population.


Still, how did you know it was me? Of know of at least two other Peter Darby's with internet presence (a bow hunter in Arkansas and the Director of Water Services for Dover).

BTW if you go to tor books website you can sign up to their newsletter and get FREE PDF BOOKS every week, of which this weeks is Scalzi's Old Man's War, a modern classic.

Fee said...

I don't know how I knew... I did though. I suppose I reasoned that as a known fan of Cory Doctorow you were likely to be reading Cory's postings on BoingBoing and thus were likely to have followed the same route that I had followed to the Scalzi rant.

That Alpaca tagging thing has happened to me. Well, ok, not *quite* that... but I once went to Malham Cove in Yorkshire, only to hear the not-so-dulcet tones of the woman who sat behind a screen about six feet from my desk at work in the City... and then to a pub where we encountered someone from my home town.

The most extraordinary co-incidence I have encountered was when I discovered that my ancestors had lived in a small village called Trysull in Staffordshire, and a group of my colleagues, in the same week, announced they were going to a wedding in... Trysull. It seems that the editorial assistant who took over my job in the Publications department was from an old family which was established in the same small village in Staffordshire.

I like the idea that there are only a few dozen real people. But who are the unreal others and what do they want?