- Lightning Round: We Finally Have a Trailer for "Furious 7. - Let's Drive Some Fast Cars Out of Planes! - In Grantland's summary of the trailer for furious 7, there's a brilliant bit about what the trailer for Fast/Furious 8 (a crossover with Gravity) will look like:
INT - A CARGO HOLD CONTAINING NUMEROUS MUSCLE CARSI would watch this.
ROMAN SITS AT THE WHEEL OF ONE OF THE CARS. HE IS WEARING A SPACE HELMET.
ROMAN: "Dom, are you sure about this?"
LETTY (V.O): "Nervous, Roman?"
DR. RYAN STONE: "Don't worry, Roman. I've done this in my underwear."
CARGO DOORS OPEN, REVEALING THE SURFACE OF EARTH FRAMED BY STARS.
CLOSE-UPS OF VEHICLE IGNITIONS AND STICK SHIFTS. THE MUSCLE CARS BACK DOWN THE RAMP AND BEGIN PLUMMETING THROUGH SPACE. ORANGE AND YELLOW RE-ENTRY FLAMES LICK AT THE CHASSIS.
- William Gibson Has No Idea How the Future Will See Us - An interview in which Gibson speculates how the future will see us (spoiler: nothing like we see ourselves):
The one constant, it seems to me, in looking at how we look at the past, how we have looked at the past before, is that we never see the inhabitants of the past as they saw themselves.Heh. I'm looking forward to checking out Gibson's new novel, The Peripheral. Potential Hugo nominee? Time will tell!
We have a very detailed idea of what the Victorians were like. They're not really very far away, but they were different. Their view of themselves is nothing like our view of them. They probably didn't think they were puritanical and kinky. They probably didn't think that conditions of child labor were that problematic. I'm sure they didn't think that colonialism was a problem - it was a feature, not a bug. Their whole business was based on it. We see them very differently, and I think that the future won't see us as anything like we see ourselves to be.
- I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup - An interesting take on the tendency to politicize everything, and that the lines aren't necessarily as clear cut as we think.
Compare the Nazis to the German Jews and to the Japanese. The Nazis were very similar to the German Jews: they looked the same, spoke the same language, came from a similar culture. The Nazis were totally different from the Japanese: different race, different language, vast cultural gap. But although one could imagine certain situations in which the Nazis treated the Japanese as an outgroup, in practice they got along pretty well. Heck, the Nazis were actually moderately friendly with the Chinese, even when they were technically at war. Meanwhile, the conflict between the Nazis and the German Jews - some of whom didn’t even realize they were anything other than German until they checked their grandparents’ birth certificate - is the stuff of history and nightmares. Any theory of outgroupishness that naively assumes the Nazis’ natural outgroup is Japanese or Chinese people will be totally inadequate.
- Windows 93 - What would Windows 95 have looked like if it were released two years earlier? Probably not this, but it's a goofy exercise and fun to check out anyway.
- Interview: Bud Webster - An interesting interview with a guy who works for the SFWA's Estate Project, basically a place that tries to keep track of copyrights after an author's death (a non-trivial task):
CARL: What constitutes due diligence when determining whether a story is public domain?
BUD: A good question, but one that doesn't have a simple answer. You can't just Google a name, not find anything on the first screen, and assume that the estate is dead. Nor can you find one source offering the work for free and claiming it's PD and not look further. That ain't no way diligence, due or otherwise. For me, due diligence is looking for as long as it takes to find an answer one way or another. If that means asking a few people, fine. If it means checking the Copyright Office website for specific renewal notices, searching for the possibility that the magazine that originally published a story may not have registered copyright then looking further to see if the author did at a later time, then that's equally fine. I will point out here, though, that to my direct knowledge the information at the CO website is not always accurate; in one specific case, an e-publisher checked the status of a novel there, found no notice of renewal, and issued the book. When the author - still alive and writing, I'll point out - found out about it, he was able to show the publisher his paperwork proving that the rights HAD been renewed. To the publisher's credit, they immediately issued a check in the amount the writer asked for. So, due diligence? It's whatever it takes. Now I know that's not terribly responsive, and it's certainly NOT a legal definition by any means, but it's what I do.
As per usuals, lots of interesting things on the internets for yous to checks out: