Linkery, Linkery…

I have a huge list of links marked “to post” which, to be honest, I find kind of daunting. I used to post links a lot more, but lately my blog is mostly devoted to housing my ongoing project, Blogging Ezra Pound’s The Cantos, along  with occasional posts on SF or Korea-related issues.

But I have had a few tabs open on my browser for over a week, which seem worth posting to me, and having been delayed for my critique group’s meeting by an annoying fridge-related disaster (though less delayed than another member), I am now sitting in a coffeeshop. While I’m taking a break from reading Bulfinch’s Mythology for the course I’m teaching, I figure I’ll post those links, and a few more while I’m at it.

Korea-Related

  • Lately, a group named Mannam has been trying to host supposedly foreigner-friendly events. Why? Who are they? What do they want? Believe it or not, some expats have even asked me, not that I’ve ever heard of them. But Zackary Downey has a series of posts up at his blog, Scroozle’s Sanctuary, worth reading if you want to know more. (Especially the last few posts.) Short version? They’re linked to some kind of religious, er, “group.”
  • Marry My Asian Daughter. Saw on Facebook. Funny, sarcastic responses from the daughter’s perspective.
  • If you think your workday is tough in Korea, you should read what it’s like working as a driver for the Seoul subway system.
  • Speaking of the subway system… box-cutter-wielding sociopaths are not an everyday occurrence, but you never know when they’ll strike. And since society here really doesn’t want to talk about mental illness or alcohol addiction seriously, people like this wander freely. When I talk about narrowly evading assault a few times a year, I mean avoiding people who try to start fights, spit at me, shout, come at me. No idea whether they have box cutters. But the possibility of escalation is real, and this is one reason bystanders don’t act: they might end up stabbed, even just for speaking to someone harshly. Maybe it’s true in all big cities, but I never saw fear of that like I have here. (Nor have I seen people so quick to fly off the handle. But maybe Canada’s unusual. I don’t know.)
SF-Related:
  • The Boolean Gate by Walter Jon Williams: want.
  • The First Knight of Ramadan. An amusing video by a Muslim geek struggling to balance religious obligations with his geek identity. It interestingly connects with the idea I’ve posted about here before, about how the early formulation of SF fandom was really a vehicle for something we take for granted today: a social space for formulating identity on grounds other than those of race, religion, or homeland which dominated in America until SF fandom appeared, but which had begun to be either unattractive or unworkable for young, urban Americans by about the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Check out this trailer for my friend Tina Connolly’s upcoming fantasy novel, Ironskin:

Most of those SF links are dated: I have things to say about the more recent goings-on in SF — the Readercon thing, the reevaluation of bigotry in the work of early authors, and so on — but that’s all in this huge post I’d like to edit down to non-huge size. So… more on that soon.

And now, with people messaging me to meet and have dinner, I should end this.

8 thoughts on “Linkery, Linkery…

  1. Seeing your link to my complete free mp3 reading of Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth, encourages me to mention my more recent unabridged efforts of:

    At the Mountains of Madness:
    http://cthulhuwho1.com/2010/12/20/h-p-lovecraft%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%93-at-the-mountains-of-madness-complete-%E2%80%93-read-by-william-hart-%E2%80%93-as-a-tribute-to-the-upcoming-guillermo-del-toro-james-cameron-universal-3d-movie/

    The Hound:
    http://cthulhuwho1.com/2010/12/27/h-p-lovecrafts-the-hound-1922-read-by-william-hart/

    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (being uploaded now in 25 sections, at a pace of one section every three days):
    http://cthulhuwho1.com/2012/08/28/h-p-lovecrafts-the-case-of-charles-dexter-ward-in-a-free-unabridged-reading-and-performance-by-sag-aftra-actor-william-e-hart/

    I hope you’ll listen to these yourself, and perhaps mention them if you enjoy them.

    Either way, Thank You for thinking of CthulhuWho1!

    Will Hart

    1. Wil,

      Excellent! I appreciate you posting, and will indeed check those out…

      Personally, I’m ready to start exploring other early authors of the weird, in an effort to shake off the all-too-powerful hold Lovecraft has on me… because I think it’s time to move beyond for me, too. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a bit of old HP sauce (groan) once in a while. :)

  2. The husband and wife team of John Case put out an excellent sci-fi Tesla inspired read called Ghost Dancer: http://www.johncase.com/GhostDancer.html

    It also deals with the wonderful world of how the U.S. government not only uses eminent domain to seize land, but also to seize intellectual property and patents (like Tesla’s missing papers). Can you imagine the upheaval that would happen if oil was usurped overnight as the prime energy source on the planet and the job losses in just the auto industry as well as the entire (or most of the) economies of several countries on this planet?

    Talk about your conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. To say it was an interesting/scary read is an understatement.

    1. John,

      Wow, there are a funny number of parallels with a project I’m thinking of undertaking, though in a different angle. A Tesla-like figure (one scientist, but also his backing organization); an AI programmed to think like Ayn Rand, instead of Rand herself; US-based global copyright consortia cracking down on a new technology (rather than US government patent/IP seizures); but also some independent military operations, and some other stuff. Hm!

      The book sounds fun, though hell knows when I’ll ever get around to it. Still trying to tear through all the paperbacks on my shelf. But I’ll keep it in mind for when I’m more free to browse for new things. :)

      As for oil being usurped, well… it has to happen eventually. If we were smart, we’d be working that transition now, but… we’re not. Not really. (Not working that transition, but also we’re just not very smart.)

          1. Hell, there is even plenty of “evil money” in education nowadays. Just look at that garbage the teachers and union pulled in Chicago the last couple of weeks.

            We live in a world where every kid can instantly have access to the best teachers the world has to offer from their own homes thanks to technology, but evil money trumps the education of children. Every child should have the best we have to offer as no child ever asked to be brought into this messed up world in the first place and then have out-dated teachers, unions, and politicians keeping them stuck in a mostly failed bricks and mortar system designed centuries ago.

            We actually now live in a world where kids can study at their own paces, not be bullied at school, and study classes outside the basics that actually interest them. It really boggles my mind that we aren’t doing it yet.

          2. John,

            I wasn’t following the situation in Chicago. What “garbage” did they pull? You mean the strike? I don’t know… unions strike. From what I gather, American teachers are pretty poorly-renumerated for their work. In a strike, aren’t both sides responsible for resolving the dispute?

            But as I say, I wasn’t following the situation, and don’t know much about it.

            As for technology facilitating a much better education free from bullying, substandard teachers, and blessed with individualized pacing… I generally agree that we can do much better than we now are, though kids will still need a place to go to do this stuff, at least in the case of families where a single parent (or both parents) doesn’t work from home. So you’re probably still going to get bullying and some crappy people supervising the kids.

            Also, I worry about the idea that tech magically makes a much better education possible. I don’t think you can simply cut teachers from the equation so thoroughly or so simply. Kids will still sometimes need individualized help with problems. Kids will still sometimes struggle and need encouragement from someone not in the family. And of course, that’s another thing: kids need a place outside the home where they are free from what can be an oppressive pressure from parents.

            (In my experience, questioning the Bible was something I couldn’t do at home without getting into trouble. But one or two of my teachers — at a Catholic school, no less — were quite supportive and encouraging of me bringing intellectual questioning into my reading of that text; that was really, really important for me at the time, and helped me immensely.)

            Besides all that, I think we’ll need far more brilliant minds devoted to figuring out exactly how to structure such a system… we certainly don’t have anything in place right now that would be workable, not on the scale you’re talking about. And certainly nothing I’d feel comfortable transitioning to right now. A lot of kids in the 70s and 80s went through a more “experimental” program in education that made them feel good about themselves (nice) but didn’t teach them things like math very well. I fear if we suddenly shifted over to tech, it’d be in the hope that tech would magically fix things. (The way some Korean parents seem to think sticking their kid in a room with a white person will magically make their English better.)

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