October 18th, 2008

smirking-winslet

In A World Where...

...Speculative Fiction Rules Apply To Voting

In Star Trek episodes, cultures are often so homogeneous that entire planets are defined by a couple of odd bumps on their heads and weird clothes. And except for one or two, they all think the same way. It is too easy to paint with such a wide brush, whether you are designing some off-world SF culture or looking at big chunks of the current American electorate.

But I tell you, there are days when I look askance at some of the supporters on both of the two major sides in this 2008 Presidential election... and wonder what they hell they were thinking.

Perhaps Nothing

I'm apparently not alone in such thoughts. Author Patrick Rothfuss, whom I first met at ConFusion and was one of the authors brought in to talk to us at the WOTF Workshop this summer, has an interesting blog post on PSA - Why You Shouldn't Vote. Patrick can be quite an amusing guy and he's not one to pull punches. His basic premise it that he'd rather uninformed and idiot voters not decide the issue.

Unfortunately, that's not how our democracy works. No one is likely to agree their are either uninformed or an idiot and volunteer not to vote, and anyways, I'd hate to see the mechanisms a government would put in place to force the issue. So rumors and lame reasonings are going to be a factor on both sides. In Purple America, perhaps it doesn't matter and that part of both sides will just cancel each other out.

I was also struck by some of the comments -- I didn't read them all -- but many were lengthy and many came from non-Americans. Interesting. And I'm delighted that Patrick decided to write what he did and not just sit and fume or hide his thoughts from public scrutiny.

But...

Whatever happened to schools teaching civics? I'm just sayin'.

Dr. Phil
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perfect-winslet

Autumn Release 2008.1

Sigh -- Just Not Taking The Time

I carry a small Sony digital camera with me, but don't take nearly enough pictures with it. Of course, there's only so much wallpaper you can put on a PC (grin), and taking the same route day after day doesn't present enough really good opportunities -- or else it'd be massive amounts of some sort of Project called Dr. Phil's Really Long Commute, which probably wouldn't be of interest to too many people.

But The Colors!

Last weekend, driving to/fro Port Huron MI, the combination of the sun and blue skies made for eye-popping fall colors. Just the week before the leaves were thinking of changing and then suddenly it's all these great yellows and golds and oranges and reds. Much better colors than last year. On Monday, I realized that the weather changes had coaxed fall color season here in West Michigan, too. By Wednesday, I realized that though there was still some green trees and a lot of greens sprinkled in some of the colors, that there were an increasing number of bare trees showing up.

The great fall colors of 2008 were going, going, going fast.

My Drive

About a third of the way home, there's this neat little lake. So Thursday I snapped one picture from the road. Alas, the tinted window was rolled up and there's motion blur plus some focus issues -- should've set the camera to infinity -- but it gives you a little taste of one of the prettier bits of my commute:


Deer Camouflage

Today I was driving home from the P.O. Box -- nice comment from Sheila Williams at Asimov's saying my "story is nicely done" before rejecting it (grin) -- when I had to stop and turn around. I don't do that enough, always pushing onward all the damned time. But there was this great field of dried field corn with some trees beyond it, and I went back for a picture:


Go You Northwestern...

So now I'm setting up this LJ entry, and have ESPN2 burbling on in the background as Northwestern beats Purdue in Evanston for the NU Homecoming, 48-26. And I have some very attractive new wallpapers, too.

Dr. Phil
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