May. 20th, 2011

greygirlbeast: (chi3)
So after three nights of 8+ hours and one of 10+ hours,, I haven't yet fallen asleep. Not after two doses of the weak stuff. So, I just took a dose of the Good Worker Bee pill, that I might be asleep by 5:30 a.m., 6 at the latest. That means, if I'm lucky, I can get six hours.

The victories against Monsieur Insomnia are fleeting, for he he a sucker of other people's cocks.
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Whatever this entry might have been, it's going to be this entry, instead. And you can thank Monsieur Insomnie for that, for keeping me up all night and into the day with his deviant shenanigans. I said deviant, not devious.

Um...

Trip recounting Part Two. Yeah, well that's not really going to happen. Or it's not going to happen the way it would have, had I slept. Insomnia's sort of like time travel. Shit still happens, but it happens differently than it would have, because the worldline's been altered.

Day Two. We went to the American Museum of Natural History. I have many fond memories of the AMNH. The last time I'd been there was May 2001, and I was there as a paleontologist researching mosasaurs. I sat in the dusty attic, filled with cabinets of fossils and labels written in Cope's own spidery hand, and worked on a project that I was never able to finish. The museum's changed a bit in the last ten years. Mostly not for the better. And these are the two things that cycled through my mind repeatedly while we were there on Wednesday.

In the Hall of Biodiversity, I sat down and made some notes about how natural history museums are - partly by necessity, partly by way of wrongheaded educators - going the way of the dinosaurs they display. Funding continues to dry up, and museums have to find ways to stay afloat. So, they become more and more like theme parks. It's called "infotainment," which requires "interactive" gimmicks, instead of hands-off exhibits with, you know, words and stuff. Add to this a maze of gift shops. I gag on that sickly portmanteau, "infotainment." Anyway, in my little black notebook, I wrote:

More and more, the old museum has been lost to the ravages of "infotainment." And to that add hundreds upon hundreds of screeching children*. The sense of sanctuary has been lost, that secular Cathedral to Science and Nature that was once the hallmark of good museums. The quiet dignity. I watch the people, and they file past, hardly even pausing to actually look at anything. Video monitors everywhere, sensory overload. Very sad seeing this.

Okay, I feel bad enough without harping on the Death of Museums right now. I'll come back to it some other time.

---

"Fake Plastic Trees" has sold to Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling for their post-apocalyptic YA anthology, After. I suppose, at this point, everything that postdates tomorrow is post-apocalyptic.

Also, while I have decided to write Blood Oranges before Blue Canary, it's not what I actually want to do. Many factors come into play. Blood Oranges is a peculiar lark of a book. Blue Canary is my future (I hope). By the way, with my agent's blessings, I'll be writing the latter as Kathleen Rory Tierney. Or Kathleen R. Tierney. But the R will stand for Rory, whether people know it or not. Someday, I may write another novel like The Drowning Girl or The Red Tree. We shall see. Time will tell. Regardless, all this is a change of direction of my choosing.

Yesterday...um...yesterday, I signed 600+ signature sheets for Two Worlds and In Between (which required two hours and forty-five minutes). I emailed stories to two editors for two anthologies. I answered email. The REAL mail came, and there was a chunk of granite (brick red with grey phenocrysts) from Ryan Obermeyer, which he picked up on the shore of the Red Sea, at Hurghada, during his recent trip to Egypt. Actually, the stone came from out of the water of the Red Sea.

My foot hurts like hell. If hell hurts, and they tell us it will.

Last night, good rp in Rift. The guild grows, and its story begins to unfold.

And I'm going to hit myself in the face now.

Deliriously,
Aunt Beast

P.S. -- My birthday soon. Please give me stuff.

* Once, when I was young, children actually knew how to behave in museums. Now, the teachers chaperoning field trips have probably been bullied by helicopter parents to the point that they're afraid of telling kids to keep it down, for fear of lawsuits charging them with stifling self-expression or some bullshit. So, we get these fucking brats with a sense of entitlement.

May 17-18, Part Two )

Data Loss

May. 20th, 2011 10:13 pm
greygirlbeast: (Eocene)
It's easy to imagine some of the questions that scholars* might want to ask when they look back on the story of our times. When did the last ice sheets melt away? At what point did the oceans finish acidifying? How rapidly were national boundaries reshuffled in response to sea-level rise? Some of these questions will be answered by written documents, but not necessarily as many as we might think.

Much of today's recorded history will eventually be lost simply because so many of its documents are electronic. The devices and codes that create and decipher them change so often in the interest of big business that they become useless within decades or less. Not to mention centuries. The effects of this are already apparent in my own home. I'm still saving some old-fashioned floppy disks that used to feed data into my TRS-80 computer back in the 1980s even though I'll never be able to read them again.


from Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth by Curt Stager

* Assuming there are any remaining.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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