Science Fiction and Fantasy

Three solutions to the Fermi Paradox

Three solutions to the Fermi Paradox

That’s the #3 answer to the Fermi Paradox: scientific development marches in tandem with resource extraction, and it’s impossible to become sophisticated enough to
colonize another planet without exhausting the resources of the planet you’re on.


Rules for Writers (Terry Bisson)

Terry Bisson’s Rules for Writers (of SF Short Stories):

37. No wizards or dragons. They will make your short story seem like a part of a longer, less interesting piece.

38. Don’t meander or digress. You can pretend to meander for misdirection. See below.

39. Misdirection is interesting. SF readers like puzzles.

40. Fights are only interesting in real life. They are boring in stories.

41. Novels are made out of characters and events. Short stories are made out of words alone. They are all surface. Polish.

42. Plot is important only in time travel stories. They must have a paradox. This limits their range severely.

43. Symmetry is more important than plot. A short story must make a pleasing shape, and close with a click.


Walk on Woks!

In a recent dream there was a minimarket with a Jackie Chan theme; the manager had trained the staff to do various stunts while going about their work. In particular, he kept wanting them to do this thing where they would move on all fours with their hands and feet in pots.
“Walk on Woks! Walk on Woks!” he kept shouting.



So last time we played a superheroes game, it was suggested that the PCs protect their secret IDs by wearing hoodies and hooking up LEDs near their faces, because (I claimed) this will blind phone cameras.

Turns out this is an actual product, and it really doesn’t look very impressive/effective.

Asides Software and Programming

ACM Classic: Reflections on Trusting Trust (Ken Thompson)

The press must learn that misguided use of a computer is no more amazing than drunk driving of an automobile.

via ACM Classic: Reflections on Trusting Trust.