Showing posts from October, 2012

Bastard Manor: a stream of unconsciousness

Anyone who has seen any of my social media streams will know that every so often I spent some time proselytising the website . For anyone who doesn't know it's an aid to writing, a kick-start to the productivity. It taps into the addictive power of social media to force the user to write at least seven hundred and fifty words every day in pursuit of badges and an impressive streak. Since I first started using it in December 2010 I have filled it in every day religiously. Even though the site does now include the facility to schedule time off I am too superstitious about the whole process to make use of it. Suppose it doesn't work? Over the last 700 or so days I have variously used it to finish a novel, put together blog entries, write short stories and ramble incoherently. When doing the latter I often completely forget about what I'd written and so if revisiting the archive (not something I do very often) I can often be taken com

Received Stupidity

One of the most depressing things about today's society is how genuine achievement is looked down upon. Knowledge and learning are regarded as something embarrassing and best not talked about. I'm not talking about the age old jocks-versus-nerds thing - this is a phenomenon that has started appearing in all strata of society recently. Mention something that isn't run of the mill and perhaps could even be considered clever or interesting and more often than not the reaction you'll get - if you're lucky - is something along the lines of: "Oh this is obviously WAY above my head!" Fake little self deprecating chuckle and roll of the eyes at others there present. Subtext: Who does this fucker think they are knowing stuff? If you're unlucky... well I leave that as an exercise for the imagination. The problem seems to be that the lowest common denominator is now aspirational - a standard now being applied in areas outside knowledge and learning. Peop

Far Centaurus

Exoplanets - planets circling other stars - are being discovered by the dozen these days. Back in the dark times of the eighties and earlier some scientists doubted whether any other stars were accompanied by planets at all. Now you begin to wonder whether there's even such thing as a planetless star. Since the discovery of the first one in 1988 the number of confirmed exoplanets now approaches 1,000 and given advances in observational technology can only grow at an ever increasing rate. As such the news of another discovery is hardly a matter for excitement any more. Except the latest one. They've found a planet in Alpha Centauri . Alpha Centauri! A system whose official stellar classification echoes down the annals of SF literature, film and TV like the name of an old friend. Everyone's heard of Alpha Centauri. It's not that remarkable a system in itself - just a bog standard double star each of which is approximately the same size and magnitude as our own sun,