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Profile Information

Name: Richard
Gender: Male
Hometown: Portland, OR
Home country: USA
Current location: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Member since: Tue Apr 28, 2020, 11:30 PM
Number of posts: 89

Journal Archives

Portland, OR closes 100 miles of urban streets to autos!


PS, The council member Chloe Eudaly gets big props on this.

This is movement in the right direction.
Posted by SinisterPants | Mon May 4, 2020, 09:13 PM (3 replies)

The unexpected delights of too much time. (Jules Verne)

So, I was watching a Great Courses vid on the history of science-fiction, which led me to a Jules Verne novel I hadn't heard of.

"Paris in the Twentieth Century", written in 1863, written about the year 1960, not published until 1994. That's right, a Jules Verne complete novel went unpublished for 130 years. Crazy!

Not only that, I think it's one of the best things he ever wrote. It is dark, and cynical, and dystopian...a far cry from his usual techno-optimism.

Here's a quote:
“Literature is dead, my boy' the uncle replied. 'Look at these empty rooms, and these books buried in their dust; no one reads anymore; I am the guardian of a cemetery here, and exhumation is forbidden".

And the wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_in_the_Twentieth_Century

And a free PDF: https://epdf.pub/paris-in-the-twentieth-century.html

I think this might qualify as the first steampunk novel, Enjoy!
Posted by SinisterPants | Mon May 4, 2020, 05:57 PM (5 replies)

The shape of things to come

It's time to start thinking long-term (or at least past November).

Everything has changed, and even as we re-open, there will be no "new normal".

The nature of cities is going to fundamentally change for a long time. Music festivals, pro sports, great bookstores and restaurants are never going to be the same, the things that make cities desirable to many might never return.

Online education and medicine are probably going to be primary delivery systems. Food production and processing will change forever. Ways of interacting and romancing each other will change in ways we can't even predict.

The world economy right now is basically playing with monopoly money, but that's completely unsustainable (cf. Wiemar republic). Long-distance travel will be both rarer and much more expensive.

These are just a few things that you don't need a crystal ball to predict. It's gonna be brutal hard the next few years, no matter what. But it doesn't have to be all bad.

We could be heading for a more distributed, local, and egalitarian way of life. A rebirth of local music and art, a new respect for both nature and each other. Or we could be heading for the unending boot stomping on your face of neo-fascism.

I can't see the future, but I can see what's in front of my face. Progressives might finally have a lever big enough to move the world. Or we might end up abject slaves to Evil Corp (tm).

The choice, more than it's been in a very long time, is ours.
Posted by SinisterPants | Sun May 3, 2020, 03:05 PM (5 replies)

Any thoughts on Sec. State in the primary?

I've paid shockingly little attention to this race, it's probably the second most important job in the state.

From what I've seen and heard, I'm leaning Shemia Fagan. But that's based on limited information and I'm usually willing to be educated.
Posted by SinisterPants | Sat May 2, 2020, 10:35 PM (5 replies)
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