Review: Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers was first published in 1959. It subsequently was awarded the Hugo for best novel, and some would argue it’s Heinlein’s best-known work. It also, extremely more subsequently, was adapted into a film. In recent decades the film has overshadowed the book. The book deals with themes of war, maturity, equality, the franchise, discipline, … Read more

Is deliberately bad writing advisable?

Some people are stupid.  They don’t have a good vocabulary.  They don’t speak “proper” English. But in writing, and other forms of media, cinema, and television, dialogue is snappy, it’s vivacious, people use withering comebacks and adroit insults, they quote scripture or famous plays or books and other characters know the quote. People engage in … Read more

Speculative Fiction vs Fantasy and Science Fiction

I like to think that there is some value to writing about people living in space, or in worlds where magic works.  Reflecting on the human condition, what it means to experience the universe, even the enduring question of consciousness, human consciousness, might be putatively valuable when we’re confronted with the specter of general artificial … Read more

Living in a post-truth era

In attempting to define the sort of capitalist economies that grew after the industrial revolution, and especially in the post-post-WWII era, the idea of an information economy arose.  The 1980s and 1990s saw enormous gains in productivity from computerization, and there arose a need to understand what was going on.  How could the United States, … Read more

The enduring pseudanonymity of the internet

A long time ago, in a zeitgeist far away, the internet was a dangerous place full of strangers who couldn’t be trusted.  Since then it’s become an even more dangerous place, full of strange ideas and algorithms that act like medieval ensorcelments, beguilements, and gaeas, entrapping the unwary into strange vistas via machine learning and … Read more

Covid Time

2020 seems like it has lasted something like 40 years so far.  Every month, every week, sometimes even every day seems to bring some new nightmare.  My home, Oregon, is virtually on fire, and the Air Quality rating through most of Portland has been staying at levels marked dangerous or hazardous or avoid for days, … Read more

Magic: the Gathering

I wanted to share with you that I now write about Magic: the Gathering at, specifically the variant of the game called commander.  I’ve played magic for a long time, and I think it has some interesting philosophical worldbuilding that mostly flies under the radar. In 1993 Wizards of the Coast premiered a game … Read more