Links (2018-07-25)


  • AIX SMIT Running Man – YouTube. This is both tech and humor. You only need to jump to 1:50 (if the link doesn’t take you there) and watch through 2:25 but this animation is classic. It’s better than the bouncing penguin I have on my GKrellM.
  • The Art of Darkness » Seen Online. An especially good one with a couple of literary bits (the cellar and the letter) being among my favorites.


Big Pharma Is Watching You

  • Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You —… — ProPublica. This is directly about the health insurance industry rather than the drug manufacturers, but the point is that this is a long-winded article that boils down to: every detail we put out into the infosphere, no matter how seemingly unrelated and innocuous, and every detail health insurers can find, by any means, is being used to create general and faulty statistical analyses as well as specific dossiers on individuals which is resulting in or will result in negative influences on public policy and on your lives and deaths, exacerbating stereotypes and harming those who most need good treatment. The EU has laws (how effective?) which attempt to mitigate this; the US does not. (I got this from a SciAm reprint but the above link goes to the original.)
  • Walmart patents audio surveillance technology to record customers and employees – CBS News. And Walmart is listening to you. They claim they want audio to see how quickly things are being scanned (like the scanner doesn’t tell them that) or how many bags are being used (like inventory software doesn’t tell them that) or how quickly the lines are moving (like the already existent and no less problematic video doesn’t tell them that and more). (I neglected to post this in the last “Links” post but it fits well here.)


Science Fiction

  • THE SKINNER: The Battle of Forever – A E Van Vogt. Regardless of book publication date, I’ve read almost everything van Vogt wrote before 1963 and almost nothing after but Neal Asher’s encouraging me to open that second temporal front. (On the other hand, I have a very different take from Asher’s on Simak’s atypically thrilling and delightful Cosmic Engineers, which evoked a rarely felt sense of wonder I wouldn’t trade for any amount of supposed sophistication.)
  • Tyrannosaurus Ranch: Sharks, Ranked*. This isn’t science fiction but it’s not science, either. Apologies if any of the recent (or past) victims of shark attacks or those associated with them don’t appreciate this but it’s entertaining in the abstract.
  • Does That Sound Familiar? | Learn Fun Facts. LFF gets science fictional as it discusses Murray Leinster’s internet prescience. (For “logic” read “computer.”)


Links above go to SFE or Wikipedia biographies. Links below go to free fiction online.

Huxley, of course, brought us a Brave New World. Not everything Lingen writes does it for me, but she’s written several good things. Ditto Zinos-Amaro. Bronte wrote the powerful Wuthering Heights. (I’ve never seen any of the adaptations but I wouldn’t be surprised if none of them got it right.) Bretnor brought us many a Feghoot.

Stanley Asimov was Isaac’s brother and is in the ISFDB because he edited a collection of the Good Doctor’s letters. Klein brought us many author biographies in the pages of Analog. Wright brought us many Weird Tales.  And Adams brings us “Nightspeed” every month.

On Kubrick and Hyams, you learn something new everyday (perhaps not for the first time). I had no recollection that a major creator of 2001 and a major creator of 2010 shared the same birthday. 2001 is probably a bit overrated but superb and 2010 is a lot underrated and is also superb in its way. Nolan has been part of the creation of many films such as Memento, Insomnia, Inception, and Interstellar. (And he knows how to title a flick. But, speaking of 2001, Interstellar‘s greatest flaw is that it was a little too inspired by 2001 at the end. Still neat, though.)

Happy birthday, all!


As with “Mohs Scale 2-3,” here’s a track from an album that was in the running for an appearance in “Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 4-5).” (doo-doo-doo-doom city) Continue reading