Pensive poses.

'Writerly good behavior' is a nice phrase. It makes me think about when I was an entering freshwoman at Radcliffe College (now subsumed in Harvard) in 1947. The President of the College paternally informed us girls that we were there to learn gracious living.

Yeah. Uhhuh. A bunch of crazy, graceless, passionate, adolescent female intellectuals ravenous to learn everything Harvard would teach us… and we were there to learn good behavior? Ladylikeness? How [to] set a pretty table and pour tea?

Fortunately, Harvard gave us a superb education, which equipped some of us, at least, to begin to learn how and when to overturn the table and the tea urn. And why.

There’s a few typos in this pretty short discussion, but the shorter something is, the less excuse you have for not reading it.

I’ve also been reading Le Guin’s thoughts on anger, posted on her blog. It’s not that anger isn’t valid, but it can only go so far in addressing an issue.

I’ve never live podcasted before. What a great experience. What a great crowd. <3

I’ve never live podcasted before. What a great experience. What a great crowd. <3

It turns out that a bear’s bathtime habits are much like mine.


'We may not have the premeditated lies of Deus Ex, but we do see extraordinary feats of storytelling when governments overstep or mis-step,’ says Pacotti. ‘To me, at least, some of the malaise of the Deus Ex dystopia has been present during the years after 9/11, during which torture, mass surveillance of civilians, and disregard for due process have all been touted as necessary for fighting terrorists. It’s the story of totalitarianism nicely wordsmithed by the West and provided free of charge back to the rest of the world.’

This is such a good retrospective and analysis of Deus Ex, examining its themes and extrapolations, as well as discussing just how prescient it could be.

It's not as complex as it first seems, but it's damn hard.

perform a sort of dance in the desert, careful where I tread. It’s a slow dance, in part because there are mines scattered about - so many mines - but also because any misstep I make could offer a dangerous opportunity, could present a sudden vulnerability.

This was one of the smartest wargames I’ve seen in a while. As well as making me feel like I was playing a very well-designed tabletop game of cardboard and counters (the sort of wargames I kind of fell out of love with as a kid), it emphasised the importance of supply lines and deployment. This isn’t just a game about using numbers and values to win battles, it’s also about space, positioning and even timing. That can be quite a rare thing.

Well, how would you spend your Wednesday evening?

Well, how would you spend your Wednesday evening?

Sometimes I reblog things.

Sometimes I reblog things.

(Source: screenshotsofdespair)

That man is very big.

The best nation is that which either wins a space race to Alpha Centauri, blesses the world with twenty Wonders and Great People, amasses a tremendous pile of cash or captures four rival capitals. While all victory conditions are possible, the game is most often nudging you toward the latter. From the earliest days of your civilization, you must always prepare for the ever-present threat of conflict. This is a world forever on the brink of war.

This is unfortunate on a number of levels. Particularly some of the barbarians.

A sunset in south London.

A sunset in south London.

This looks a bit like a scene from the Kubrick version of The Shining.

It’s a slow and methodical business of finding beetles under rocks. You peek around every corner, peer through every window and squint into each loft space you pass. It’s not uncommon for gunfire to come from nowhere or for aliens to announce themselves with sniping or grenades well before you spot them. An unscrupulous commander may not mind firing back into the unknown, lobbing grenades through dark windows or blasting down walls with missile launchers.

I forgot to mention that I reviewed this X-COM/UFO remake. But I did. So here it is.