The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘forum activity’

The Future Is What You Make It

Posted by BigWords on October 29, 2009

Some of the strange notions that pop into my head can be disregarded as meanderings, but when I happened to mention a super-internet idea to a friend (the concept of which is really hard to explain here, but I’ll try) there were some aspects I had to concede were good. Maybe not to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but to me they seemed a sensible way forward once the kinks could be worked out. It is, of course, gonna play into my NaNo novel, but the idea of creating a customizable and completely interchangeable internet experience needs expounding…

How many social networking platforms are out there? Too many. In the future of my NaNo there will be an identity card style homepage for everyone, where they can use whatever they want to share with the world. Compatibility issues will be a thing of the past, and the entire internet will be one large social networking scene that has multiple sub-categories for individual likes and dislikes. Into comics? There will be a check button to join that category. Into films? Yeah, check button. Into mind-altering substances? You guessed it, another check-button…

Forums, which I kinda have an addiction to joining – and spend all night surfing for great threads to haunt – should be one area which future software can really improve on. I like a lot of forums the way they are, with maybe the exception of really slow ones like the NaNo set-up. A meta-forum, where millions of different forums (yeah, I’m not using fora here, just ’cause) will merge into a single entity would be great for hot discussions. Threads splitting and merging and splitting again as the number of commenters adding their voices increases…

A person would never have to join another forum again. Join one, and you join them all. A geek’s dream come true.

E-mail, which has been getting tweaks and nudges ever since its’ creation, would – I am certain – be replaced by an IM / SMS-type communication between individuals. When processing power has achieved the ability to create real-time VR, which is quite a few years off even yet, we will have avatars speaking for us in voice communication so real that it would appear animals could talk. This is something I really want, even though I know I’ll probably never live to see the concept realized… Damn limited human longevity we currently have to accept.

If bleeding-edge technology lives up to the promises of various experts, we will see a rise in e-commerce that will make even the largest internet companies of the modern world seem like fly-by-night operators. Hundreds of billions of transactions made every minute, with exponential growth thanks to a subservient robot workforce that can load in new software to accomplish even the most complex of tasks. This will, naturally, see the end of shopping centres as a place to buy product, but it might just reestablish the locations as a place to congregate with friends. I’ve never been one to believe that a completely digital existence will ever come to pass.

I’m still undecided on cybernetics as a point I should bring up in my novel, because the issues which arise from medical procedures to augment human bodies is one which has been covered to thoroughly – and so well – elsewhere. William Gibson is the standard SF text for that kind of thing and, along with Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, is in no need of a reheated and half-hearted answer from myself. There may be minor allusions to the procedures available, but the more I think on the things which would need to be addressed the more I worry. It’s not enough to parrot accepted ideas… My story has to go somewhere new.

The one area I will be completely avoiding, due to the terribly complex and ever-shifting debate on, is the file-sharing one. Never have so many intelligent people been involved in an argument with so many half-assed assumptions in the history of the internet. I can’t even begin to explain why some of the utterances made my music chiefs are so stupid, because every time I begin to make a balanced argument for file sharing they decide to change their objections… “We’re losing money,” (no, you really aren’t) “It’s immoral,” (and the music industry is?) “File-sharing is evil,” (and music producers are all saints?)…

Added to the confusion which exists about copyright, and you have an impossible task wrapping a fiction around the subject which is less stupid and unbelievable than the truth.

You will, of course, be able to see whether I have managed to think this concept of a super-internet through thoroughly enough when November rolls around. Ye gads, two and a bit days to go… I’m gonna have to sit down and really think about the opening scenes if I have any hope of sounding at least semi-coherent. Time has flown by so quickly that I haven’t even managed to begin working out where some of the jokes and references I want to use can be dropped in…

I may just pop over to Microsoft to talk with someone about setting the internet to rights after November… I kinda like the idea of putting Facebook out of business.

Posted in Misc., Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s Just A Question Of Self-Restraint…

Posted by BigWords on October 22, 2009

As NaNo lasts an entire month, I figure that I’ll have to drastically alter my internet habits. The forum activities will be hard to give up, but if I stick to two or three rather than my usual round of three-to-four hour surfing then I’ll be able to give more attention to my writing. The NaNo forum is going to be one of my main haunts, but I can’t give up AW for any novel. Hell, I’ll probably need some of the advice therein to get my story fixed up nice ‘n’ presentable.

Film and game forums will be banned from my computer for the foreseeable future though, as those are distractions, and I probably shouldn’t be browsing 4chan in the first place… TV Tropes might have to be given a miss as well, despite being one of the most useful Wiki’s on the net – yes, it is much better than the one you’ve all heard of. The one which pops up at the top of every single fucking Google search. I have spent longer on TV Tropes than Wikipedia these last few months, and not a single minute has been wasted time.

Can I stay away from ‘Quote Of The Day’ sites? Hmmm. Might need to ponder that. I certainly won’t be bothering with online dictionaries or thesauruses, seeing as how the NaNo WIP will be posted here anyway. I do so love the spellcheck WordPress has, even if it isn’t filled with as many obscure and wonderful words as I would like. There will be no reason to mess around on music sites because I have enough CDs to listen to different songs all the way through November, and I’m not going to need any browser games.

Am I missing anything?

Oh yeah… Torrents. Downloadable goodness. I might as well fill up some of the space on my hard drive while I’m busy writing, and the entertainments which will be ready for me at the end of the month can count as my little reward to myself for keeping focused. The idea of staying in for a month is beginning to appeal to me, especially when I take into account the money I will save by not going out. I might even end the month with some money to spare – not likely, but I can dream, can’t I?

It’s lucky that I don’t have any ongoing subscriptions to sites, so I’m not gonna lose money by not visiting anything, and there’s nothing I particularly need to subscribe to anyway. My book blog (not abandoned, simply neglected) won’t be getting any attention during the writing frenzy, but neither will my Triond account – which I still haven’t written anything for due to all my running around these last few months. I guess I ought to check in on my mail every day, even if only to delete the spam…

This NaNo thing is a really good idea for people who spend too much time online.

Seriously, I can really imagine it being suggested to people who have big problems with constant web activity, and it’s benefits aren’t limited to keeping people off chatrooms and forums. There are lots of therapeutic reasons why writing for a month can be beneficial. All hail The Office Of Letters And Light, saviors of the human race. If it wasn’t for an enforced break from my usual routine I would have the urge to see what is going on around the internet…

I won’t be buying DVDs, games or books. There are some magazines I might pick up, because life without at least a few little luxuries would be intolerable. That is a lot of free time I’ll be making for myself. Other blogs are a big temptation, and I’ll do my best to steer clear of the more engrossing ones, otherwise I’ll end up spending the better part of a day engrossed in someone else’s life. Which, interesting as that may be, isn’t gonna be the most productive use of my time.

The biggest difference the lack of downtime will bring is in my ability to find weird stuff, which I seem to have a knack for. So that means I won’t be bringing you stuff like, uh… Well, this:

Disneyland Memorial OrgyMy words will have to be compelling enough on their own…

I’m getting rather nervous about this idea now.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Worst Films Ever Made? Not Quite…

Posted by BigWords on October 18, 2009

This morning I spent five or six hours browsing various forums in the hope that some ideas would miraculously come to me, but things have been quiet all over. Jeez, where is everyone? Some forums have become ghost towns these days, and I’m not just referring to small and underpopulated ones. In an effort to distract myself from the forthcoming apocalypse month of writing ahead of me, I decided it might be a good idea to watch a film.

There are plenty of DVDs to choose from, amongst a rapidly expanding collection of pretty much anything and everything, but I decided to stick with a couple of films I had remembered loving when I first bought them. Unfortunately I soon realized that my brain had filled in gaps and added scenes that weren’t in the films, polishing them up a bit and making them into classics of the low-budget bargain bin. Jeez, I should have known better than to trust my memories of them.

The Exterminator, a schlocky revenge movie with a very miscast Christopher George, seemed to be even cheaper than an Ass-ylum flick. I wanted to enjoy the ludicrous violence and stupid plot, but I simply couldn’t muster the energy to accept the obvious deficiencies. It was painful to watch the film, as I know that revenge movies can transcend the ghetto of low budget filmmaking. Maybe it was just because I wasn’t in the mood, maybe it was the poor transfer, but there is nothing to bring me back to the film again…

Though I kinda enjoyed Spontaneous Combustion, Tobe Hooper’s dumb pyrokinetic horror flick, I felt there was something missing. Brad Dourif, an actor who is no stranger to low budget films, is always watchable, but somehow looked like he wasn’t on top form. I’ve heard a lot of real hostility to the film expressed, and while I acknowledge that Hooper isn’t exactly the greatest director, the negativity people have for this film seems overkill. It isn’t bad. It isn’t great either, and that is the problem.

I’ve wasted most of the day on these films, and I still haven’t kicked off any ideas that might be of use for my NaNo.

Damn…

I even tried (re-)reading the awful-yet-hilarious Vittorio, yet Anne Rice’s most overblown and melodramatic novel is still to ridiculous to contemplate reading in the mood I’m in. Sixty pages is the most I have ever managed, but today I barely got past page twenty, which probably says more about my patience than it does about the book.

There isn’t even any decent television shows to keep me occupied while I try to tick away the days until I can begin to put words down for my New Idea… Though it would be kinda neat if I actually had a decent idea to go with the title of New Idea. Watching DVDs and (failing to) read books isn’t helping in the slightest, though I do have plenty of ideas as to what I’m gonna avoid like an ebola-infected chimpanzee. Today might not have been completely wasted, as there are still things to learn from bad stories.

There’s no point in playing with pseudoscience when I’m trying to make things easier on myself. Telekinesis (and the variations thereof) has a lot of problems that would need twisty-turny dialogue to explain. The revenge threads that have run through some of my previous stories is feeling rather used up, and I don’t think I have much more to say about that, so I’m now stumped as to the driving force which will propel a character (who hasn’t presented him or herself) through a world (which has yet to solidify) with some semblance of logic.

I’ll keep thinking on stories, and hopefully won’t have to resort to a collection of short stories for my NaNo.

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If anyone is wondering what the worst film ever made is, and many people have valid suggestions as to that particular answer, I’ll give you five of what I consider the worst…

  1. Batman & Robin
  2. Transformers: Rise Of The Fallen
  3. Tank Girl
  4. Fantastic Four (Roger Corman)
  5. Howard The Duck

Feel free to argue amongst yourselves. I’m off to brainstorm…

Posted in Misc., Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Stuff, Old Stuff, Weird Stuff & My Stuff

Posted by BigWords on October 10, 2009

I’ve added quite a number of things to the blog upon my return to the interwebs, and even though I’m not quite up to speed (internet weeks aren’t like real weeks, because time works differently online) I have managed to get most of the essentials done. There are programs which still haven’t been loaded onto the laptop, but they can wait while the important business of maintaining this little corner of the internet is attended to.

Two sayings have been running through my mind as I contemplate the quickly approaching NaNo date (November 1), and I guess that the sentiments are widely held because of their ubiquity:

A change is as good as a rest.

Variety is the spice of life.

Those may seem to be simplistic ways of viewing our day-to-day lives (whatever that entails), but they have the nugget of truth that I feel is true in more ways than they are facetious. I like them. I’m also taking the advice oft given that “having a break from the usual routine” can do wonders for the weary soul. That translates as something more akin to a 180° than a slight shift in behavior. I’m almost beginning to feel relieved that I don’t have to do some things.

This post is a change from my usual meanderings, being – as it is – a rough guide to this blog. I’m also prepping my brain for a completely new story for NaNoWriMo. There may be more on that subject once the date comes around…

New stuff (here on my blog) includes a list of places I frequent. Jeez, that sounds so fucking sleazy written out like that, and I’m wondering if ‘frequent’ (as a word) is now associated too deeply with cottaging and dirty old men outside school gates. I would try to think of  a better word if my brain wasn’t so frazzled at the moment, but right now I’m struggling to come up with ways to phrase things that aren’t completely lame-beyond-comparison.

I also attempted to write a Bucket List, but my pathetic attempt fell short of the normal 100 things by quite a way. 95 entries to be exact. Am I that hopeless right now that I can’t even come up with the things I would love to do before the Grim Reaper decides I’m too tasty a snack to ignore any longer? I am, without a doubt, beyond redemption right now, and I can only apologize about my uselessness at filling the list.

Must do better will be my epitaph.

Old stuff which has will been added around here is covered by some of the opening text from my zombie apocalypse magnum opus. (I know, I know… I haven’t typed it up yet, so be patient) There is probably more stuff I can find on my external hard drives, but I need to install some software before I can fully appreciate the wonders which are located on them.

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Whatever the positives or negatives of the companies, the adverts currently spamming British television for gold to sell have been getting rather annoying. After the ridiculous claims have been sifted out of the message they present (gold is not better than cold hard cash) you can begin to see them for what they are… And to have Anne bloody Diamond presenting one of them is beyond a fucking joke.

This is – you may remember – an individual whose claim to fame is being a gob for hire. She would say whatever a person wanted for some cash, like the good little worker bee she is. I remember reading her ludicrous comments in the aftermath of the Bulger case, and she really isn’t the most intelligent person on the planet, never mind the country. It is a hidden message that you would have to be slightly brain-damaged to take the advert seriously.

I’ll expand on this when I find the courage to read some of the crap which she’s written.

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That is all for now. I’ll post something more substantial when I get around to loading in all the stuff I need onto the laptop and get things set up how I like.

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