Odds’n’Ends

Comment spam is really something! I have received spambot messages extolling my insight, articulation, and brilliance. Then they try to sell me the GUCCI LOUIS VUITTON ELECTRIC CIGARETTE ANTIDEPRESSANTS and I realize spambots talk like that to all the blogging girls. Despite feeling a bit cheapened by the experience, I still find some linguistic gems hidden in the broken, discordant and illogical messages.  Here are a couple of examples:

“… mimics the act of tobacco smoking from building a inhaling air supporting this real emotion.” No way!?  Not only do these e-cigs have “novelty, seasonings, and maybe overstated claims regarding safeness,” they build an inhaling air supporting real emotion!

Another spambot tells me that “Both girls and boys really feel the impression of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.” This could have been the dark conclusion to an ad for condoms, or the happy conclusion to a dating site ad, but I think they were trying to peddle antidepressants. I don’t know about you, but a complete lack of clarity in any advertisement makes me want to approve their link as a comment on my blog & go to their site &  friend them on Facebook & follow them on Twitter me & invite them over for dinner!

Penrose tiling via Wikipedia

When not engaged with Philosophy of Mind, Penrose does math things.

When I’m not partaking of spammy goodness, I’m reading The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose, physicist.  Penrose takes a stance against proponents of strong artificial intelligence (AI) circa 1989. To oversimplify, strong AI holds that the act of performing an algorithm is synonymous with understanding. If a sufficiently complex algorithm could be created , and if there were computational machinery that could carry out the algorithm, strong AI would hold that the machine would experience an understanding indistinguishable from the understanding of a human mind carrying out the same algorithm. Penrose found this viewpoint to be absurd as well as dangerous, at least in the sense that it would distract research away from areas that might reveal something closer to the essential truth of mind. I’m only into the book about 40 very slowly read and very densely intellectual pages, but already I’m hooked. That’s a good thing, considering this is research for my next novel. I think that after finishing The Emperor’s New Mind, I’ll skip ahead a couple of decades in philosophical inquiry and read everything I can by Nick Bostrom and other members of the Future of Humanity Institute. Ray Kurtzweil, some robotics, a bit of William Gibson and I’ll be as ready as I can be to write. This is going to be fun!

I am also reading The Imaginings by Paul D. Dail. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there are scenes that take place in the underground tunnels of a partially constructed, possibly cursed mansion  that combine psychological anxiety and good, old-fashioned scary. I haven’t joined GoodReads yet (shame on me, I know, but Facebook just about broke my spirit and made me wish I could write novels for a different species), but I plan to join and make a review of The Imaginings one of my two first reviews of indie horror. The other book I am going to review? The Well, by Peter Labrow. He manages to combine so many different types of scary without losing sight of the humanity of his characters.  I read (half of) another indie horror book by a big-name in the biz and that one didn’t come close to matching the complexity or creepiness of either The Imaginings or The Well. Yet another reminder that big sales don’t mean big time enjoyment for this humble reader.

I need to start updating my manuscript with the edits I got back from my efficient, friendly, and very professional copy editor. Why am I dragging my feet, ya’ll?

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

– William Gibson, opening line of Neuromancer.

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7 thoughts on “Odds’n’Ends

  1. A nice mix of “odds and ends.” Annoying as they are, I really like the spam comments, too. There has to be a story in there somewhere, right? Kind of like the beginning of “The Great and Secret Show” where the main character discovers a pattern in the “dead letter room” at the post office. You should run with it 🙂

    And thanks so much for the mention of The Imaginings. So glad to hear you are enjoying it so far.

    I can completely understand why you are dragging your feet. It usually took me awhile to get back to work after receiving my manuscript back from an editor or my agent (previous agent, that is). For me, it was a pride thing… as in, it took me awhile to swallow it and realize the editor/agent was right. Good luck to you.

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

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    • Maybe it is a pride issue, this waiting on the edits? I’m also trying to figure out the logistics of it. I don’t want to print out all of the edits, but it will not be any fun to have two copies of the book open on my laptop. I think I am spoiled by my four-monitor setup that I have a work; me-as-a-software-developer gets a lot more computing power than me-as-a-writer!

      I’ll have to check out The Great and Secret Show!

      And, you’re welcome for the mention!!

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  2. Hey another Penrose fan! I haven’t read a ton of his stuff, but I was introduced to him via reading Douglas Hofstadter (he has a lot in common – Metamagickal Themas is just some great mind-expanding stuff). That research reading list is just pure awesome, especially William Gibson. I was a huge cyberpunk fan back in the 90s, and while it’s basically a dead genre these days, I think there’s a lot that can still be done with it. Intrigued in seeing what you write!

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    • Thanks for stopping by! I’ve just added Metamagickal Themas to my research reading list. It looks like an excellent addition! That makes two of us who will be interested to see what I write using this material. I have a general idea, several character specifics, and a certain knowledge that there is much, much more that I’ll discover as I get to know the story.

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  3. Just got another goody in my spam filter: “…it has the lakes and rivers, right from snorkeling, snorkelling, windsurfing in addition to, on top of that, windsurfing.” Snorkeling with one ‘l’? Who does that anymore, now that there’s the deluxe double-l version? Big fan of the formulation x in addition to, on top of that, x. Example: Today I will (wil?) be revising in addition to, on top of that, revising.

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