23 July 2014

Artisan Mustard for the Link Sausages

... because It's Always Better With Snark™... or at least some analysis.

  • Congratulations to the nominees for the Man Booker Prize, awarded (after a rule change) to the best English-language novel published in the UK, without regard to the nationality of the author. Unlike US-based prizes, speculative fiction doesn't have enough cooties to be excluded from this archly literary competition... but the converse, sad to say, is not true; this nomination almost certainly kills the chances of the four works of speculative fiction at any of the speculative fiction prizes. At least, it's four works of speculative fiction among the eight (out of thirteen) that I've read thus far!
  • Just once, I'd like to see a serious (and seriously popular) comic/graphic novel and/or H'wood adaptation thereof that did not rely upon application of extreme physical force outside the boundaries of law by the purported hero/heroine as the only real solution to abuse of power and/or force by the villains. Unfortunately, I don't see it happening any time soon; when the closest one gets is Life With Archie, something is extremely wrong with the entire industry segment. That it explains why so many of us who have literary chops are perhaps unduly skeptical of graphic novels — but only perhaps — links back rather disturbingly to the preceding sausage on the platter. Those of us who are paying attention might instead quote a fictional Florida governor, "Crime. Boy, I don't know."... and thoroughly enjoy Bartlet's ripostes, both immediately and several episodes later. Which, one should add, did not involve wreaking bloody vengeance upon the miscreant (either one), but instead applied intellect and moral force.
  • And, as a corollary, RIP Dan Markel and condolences to his family.
  • Meanwhile, various legislative bodies have decided to deliberate incompletely on copyright. Over There, certain public responses have been compiled into a "report" that will not influence the final legislation... because, just like Over Here, the actual hearings will exclude those whose interests are most at issue.
  • Here's an interesting look at DRM for e-books (article links to the actual piece) that, unfortunately, neglects a full historical analysis, which would reveal that:
  • ... the ultimate problem with e-books, with personal film libraries, and with music is not copyright; it is not technology; it is a distribution system/industry structured around mercantilism (including the neofeodality and warfare!) at a time when capital returns — and, for that matter, the daily lives of the actual content providers — are judged, and even ruled, by the incompatible comparative advantage rubric. That this resembles the struggle between "artistic impression" and "technical proficiency" in competitive ice-skating is more than purely coincidental, and leads to a decade and a half of utter bollocks from people who don't understand basic math but pretend to apply conclusions drawn from bad statistical models.