greygirlbeast: (white2)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
So, I'm about two hours late beginning this journal entry, because freelancing means enduring bullshit from all directions when you least expect it. Though, a smart freelancer expects it every fucking second of every fucking day. Still, I might yet get some work done before midnight.

Seems I caused a recent kerfuffle over my opinions on ebooks. And here's what I don't understand: The proponents of ebooks have won, so why are they so defensive? Can you not allow the loser to be sore? Can a winner be so insecure he or she must wage an evangelical battle to convert all us lovers of actual books? The battle, if ever there were one, is long over. Think of it as the Battle of Serenity Valley. Think of me as a Browncoat. Think of ebooks and their industry and consumer proponents as the Alliance. Dumb analogy, I know. Fannish to the bone and all. But still apt. I've lost the war. I didn't even win a single battle in the war. Regardless, I will not go quietly into that good night (thank you, Mr. Thomas). So, allow me to hold my unpopular and irrelevant opinions, and to express them in what is my own bloody LiveJournal without running off to whine when you broke the First Rule of CRK's LJ: Do not poke the angry beast with a point stick. Or, stated another way, don't make contentious comments guaranteed to piss me off. In the old days, this was called trolling.

Speaking of this subject, here's a very much appreciated bit of information posted here by [livejournal.com profile] aliceoddcabinet:

Let me tell you a little story about the Domesday Book.

Completed in 1086, it held a record of many of the daily doings of everyday life and people in Great Britain at the time. It was like a proto-census. Sort of. Around 1999, the BBC thought it would be great idea to do another
Domesday Book for the New Millennium. So they got all this great information, including voice recordings, and digital video and all sorts of cool cool coolness. So they completed it.

On some random kind of Videodisk. And now, with very few players that can access the material on these Random Video disks, the million dollar project is now...well, rendered moot (mute, as well). The original
Domesday Book? From 1086? Written in Latin, written on paper is still available to be viewed at the British National Archives. And can be read by anyone who knows Latin. Hell, by anyone with a Latin Dictionary.

So there's my little Parable.


And, ebook evangelists, you really think you'll be able to go back read those Kindle ebooks you're buying in a decade? Really? Ha, ha, and ha (good name for a law firm). That was the sound of the Last laugh, which is to come.

Anyway.

Yesterday, we saw a matinée of Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s The Thing, a prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982, a remake of Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks' 1951 The Thing from Another World, a film version of John W. Campbell Jr.'s short story "Who Goes There?", first published in Amazing Stories in 1938). I liked it quite a lot. There a lot I want to say about it, but I don't have time at the moment. Maybe tomorrow.

A little reading. I read (in analog, thank you) Gary Braunbeck's pretty decent novella "Tessellations," and also "A selachian freshwater fauna from the Triassic of Kyrgyzstan and its implications for Mesozoic shark nurseries." Very, very amazing stuff. Just think: fossilized mermaids' purses. Also, "A new species of Laccognathus (Sarcopterygii, Porolepiformfes) from the Late Devonian of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada."

The new Brown Bird album, Salt for Salt, is incredible. Just had to say that.

Here are some "behind the scenes" from our weekend filming of the trailer for The Drowning Girl and Stills From a Film That Never Was (by the way, Kyle and I are talking about a mix-media/book mini-tour in galleries this spring in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Providence, and Boston):





At Moonstone Beach, the clouds and mist (view to the east, towards Point Judith).



At Harbor of Refuge, sea gull on "Boomer Rock." View to the south. Sailboat in the distance.



View from Harbor of Refuge, east towards Point Judith Lighthouse.



Left to right: Nicola, Brian, Sara, Ryan, and Kyle (at Harbor of Refuge, view to the northwest).



The granite jetty at Harbor of Refuge; view to the southwest.



Kyle gazes in awe at the sea; view to the south.



Geoffrey, foreground, and Sara; view to the west.



Spooky, who, like the honey badger, doesn't give a fuck.



Another view of the Point Judith Lighthouse (to the east).



Kyle photographs Nicola (view to the northeast).



The crew walks the jetty (view to the north).



Panthalassa, showing the way to Africa (view to the southeast).

All photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac

Date: 2011-10-18 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
That Domesday Book story is exactly the scale of thing too much SF gets wrong about information availability in the future in general.

Date: 2011-10-18 07:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-18 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenjen4280.livejournal.com
I love the shot of Moonstone Beach, view to the east. With the mist, those buildings look much more shanty-like than I'm sure they actually are. I don't have the words for it, but it seems a bit Lovecraftian to me.

I can't wait for the trailer. I think it's amazing that you've had the energy and wherewithall to organize a whole video shoot.

And yeah, where ebooks are concerned, count me among the Browncoats. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the headbanding, the font, the thickness of the paper, the whole experience of reading a book. It's really just that simple.

Date: 2011-10-18 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I think it's amazing that you've had the energy and wherewithall to organize a whole video shoot.

I didn't. I owe this to many other people's efforts.


And yeah, where ebooks are concerned, count me among the Browncoats. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the headbanding, the font, the thickness of the paper, the whole experience of reading a book. It's really just that simple.


Thank you!

Date: 2011-10-18 07:56 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
From: [personal profile] sovay
(by the way, Kyle and I are talking about a mix-media/book mini-tour in galleries this spring in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Providence, and Boston)

Good. That would be exactly appropriate.

My copy of Two Worlds and In Between arrived this afternoon. It's a pretty, pretty book.

Also, something should be titled "The Last Laugh, Which Is to Come."
Edited Date: 2011-10-18 07:58 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-18 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

My copy of Two Worlds and In Between arrived this afternoon. It's a pretty, pretty book.

Good to hear it's arriving. Thanks for the news!

Also, something should be titled "The Last Laugh, Which Is to Come."

Agreed.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vulpine137.livejournal.com
Love the pictures, when I ever make my way back up to the North East, a visit to Moonstone must happen.

As for the Thing, I was actually wondering what you, and a few other authors would think of it. I came in hoping for a decent movie that didn't screw up the links to the 1982 version too bad, and I was happily surprised by the result.

Finally, as in many things...I'm a fence straddler. I buy ebooks because the Kindle is easy to read and carry around, especially if I'm going somewhere to wait for unknown number of hours. I don't have to pack 4 books to keep from running out say at the mechanic. But I buy real, paper books, for those that actually are more than just a few hours of entertainment. I know I'll have them in 20 years. Plus some books are like friends...the kindle doesn't have that feeling of intimacy.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I came in hoping for a decent movie that didn't screw up the links to the 1982 version too bad, and I was happily surprised by the result.

Yep.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:14 pm (UTC)
witchchild: (Library Cthulhu)
From: [personal profile] witchchild
Said parable is exactly why this librarian is NOT all agog over ebooks and journals going exclusively electronic and such.

I have heard that when Salman Rushdie gave his archival materials to Emery, he also gave the computers on which he wrote some of those manuscripts. Specifically because that way no one had to worry about any loss of integrity with any "upgrades" to the word processing program.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Said parable is exactly why this librarian is NOT all agog over ebooks and journals going exclusively electronic and such.

And the thing is, not only is this obvious, but planned obsolescence is built into the business model, but everyone's so gadget crazed, they either haven't thought of it or won't believe it.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
I love those clouds over Moonstone Beach!

I'm in total agreement with you on e-books and media in general. What convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt was the amazing and nearly tragic story of the early NASA tapes and footage, and how they were left behind by technology and format changes. They would have been lost utterly, all the early orbital history and moon landings, except for heroic efforts in locating not only the tapes (which were destined for the landfill), but the last remaining machines that could run them, so they could be transcribed to newer (probably equally doomed) electronic media. I'll keep my books, and I guess I'll always be a Browncoat, too.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

What convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt was the amazing and nearly tragic story of the early NASA tapes and footage, and how they were left behind by technology and format changes. They would have been lost utterly, all the early orbital history and moon landings, except for heroic efforts in locating not only the tapes (which were destined for the landfill), but the last remaining machines that could run them, so they could be transcribed to newer (probably equally doomed) electronic media.

Another wonderful example. The only difference being that the original format was electronic. But yes, unless the data is continually updated, for all time, to new devices, it will be lost.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flameelf.livejournal.com
...or remember all the old movies and other filmic stuff that was allowed to deteriorate over the decades and never converted. Movies lost FOREVER. Or music that never passed into CDs much less MP3s or other file forms.

The fact that any modern system of 'recording' is perpetually upgrading and changing the formats makes paper and books all the more essential. We NEED a history we can HOLD.

Grey :)

Date: 2011-10-18 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

...or remember all the old movies and other filmic stuff that was allowed to deteriorate over the decades and never converted. Movies lost FOREVER. Or music that never passed into CDs much less MP3s or other file forms.

The film stuff hits especially close to home.

We NEED a history we can HOLD.

I think this might be a new motto of mine. Thank you.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timesygn.livejournal.com

Can a winner be so insecure he or she must wage an evangelical battle to convert all us lovers of actual books? ... Think of it as the Battle of Serenity Valley. Think of me as a Browncoat.

As an e-book "author" who has hopes of one day becoming a real author ... I couldn't agree with you more.

You can't take the sky from me.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

You can't take the sky from me.

Nope.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cucumberseed.livejournal.com
There was a terrible moment earlier this year, when I made the mix CDs for Readercon where I realized that the only CD player on which I could simply play the things (because I did not trust iTunes to tell me the truth about the state they were in just yet) was in [livejournal.com profile] darkpaisley's car.

The day job involves archiving, which is a task that I have become convinced that humans simply lack the long-term thinking skills and foresight to be very good at doing. Almost a quarter of our archives exist on tapes for machines that no longer exist or function. Only once have we actually lost data on a server that we needed to retrieve of one of those old formats. Retrieving it involved ebay and a soldering iron. And I am pretty sure that someone "cleaned" the machine we pieced together the last time the office moved. We are, sometimes, very disappointing creatures.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

The day job involves archiving, which is a task that I have become convinced that humans simply lack the long-term thinking skills and foresight to be very good at doing. Almost a quarter of our archives exist on tapes for machines that no longer exist or function. Only once have we actually lost data on a server that we needed to retrieve of one of those old formats. Retrieving it involved ebay and a soldering iron. And I am pretty sure that someone "cleaned" the machine we pieced together the last time the office moved. We are, sometimes, very disappointing creatures.

This is one reason we know so little about past civilizations. You'd think we'd have learned, but between hate and stupidity...

Date: 2011-10-18 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oldfossil59.livejournal.com
I'm hoping to be found buried under my voluminous stacks of books, a dry and withered husk, before the ebook invasion reaches my library.Of course I'll be clutching a copy of my favorite CRK book in my cold,dead hand.

"Salt for Salt" is quite good,isn't it? (I have it playing in the store this afternoon). I'm so glad you like it!

Thanks for wonderful photos and journal updates about the exciting book trailer, it truly sounds like it was an intense and gratifying weekend of creativity.

Date: 2011-10-18 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

"Salt for Salt" is quite good,isn't it?

It is superb.

it truly sounds like it was an intense and gratifying weekend of creativity.

I think I'm still in post-collaborative shock.

Date: 2011-10-18 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
Wow. I've honored my tradition of disliking how I look with facial hair yet still having it whenever pulls out a camera. It's like I'm in the Witness Protection Program or something. (I also presume that the only reason the camera didn't break was that Sara balanced things out.)

Date: 2011-10-18 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

I love that photo. If you look at it right, there's almost this forced perspective thing going on.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Same here! Also, Geoffrey looks stoned.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I've honored my tradition of disliking how I look with facial hair yet still having it whenever pulls out a camera.

Shaving is an option.

xoxo
C

Date: 2011-10-18 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whiskeychick.livejournal.com
I liked the color of your shirt, for what it's worth.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I liked the color of your shirt, for what it's worth.

Purple rocks the casbah!

Date: 2011-10-18 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mastadge.livejournal.com
Can a winner be so insecure he or she must wage an evangelical battle. . .

Only almost always.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Only almost always.

This just baffles me. I guess its fear of their foes getting a second wind.

Date: 2011-10-18 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everville340.livejournal.com
Seems I caused a recent kerfuffle over my opinions on ebooks. And here's what I don't understand: The proponents of ebooks have won, so why are they so defensive?

It's almost as if society in general has become so completely anesthetized to the essence of what freedom of speech was meant to be that through the eyes of some everyone is "entitled" to their own opinion until the very second it becomes clear it's even the slightest bit different.

If disliking ebooks is wrong, then I don't want to be right!

[Kerfuffle happens.]

Date: 2011-10-18 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Yeah. You say, this is not the place to argue about this, you delete contentious posts (including my own contentious replies), and entitlement rules "censorship."

If disliking ebooks is wrong, then I don't want to be right!

Fucking A.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aliceoddcabinet.livejournal.com
If you're thinking about doing a little mini-tour, we'd love to have you come and speak at the Athenaeum. (Also, you might get 6 mos free courtesy membership out of it).

I was thrilled to have my little parable quoted. I got it from Alberto Manguel's BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BOOK "The Library at Night".

Also, a Browncoat. I think Librarians are Browncoats by nature.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

If you're thinking about doing a little mini-tour, we'd love to have you come and speak at the Athenaeum. (Also, you might get 6 mos free courtesy membership out of it).

Let's talk. I think we could work something out.

I think Librarians are Browncoats by nature.

I think I may have hit on something. Maybe I should make an icon.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whiskeychick.livejournal.com
There will never be a good, long-lasting substitute for a tangible product. I bought my first ebook two weeks ago. Only because I can get the the reader app on my phone and its for work. Books that I enjoy, authors I love. I want the real thing I can hold in my hand and one day pass my collection down to my children.

Yeah, I can be a sappy bitch sometimes.

Your weekend shoot looks divine. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

There will never be a good, long-lasting substitute for a tangible product.

Word. As they are wont to say.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfsilveroak.livejournal.com
Nothing will ever replace the feel of a new page being turned under my fingers or the scent of a newly printed book as the ink is still drying.

They'll take my books the day I die. If I'm not buried with them first.}:P

Date: 2011-10-18 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

or the scent of a newly printed book as the ink is still drying.

Or when the pages are yellowed and a hundred years old. And not the least bit obsolete.

Date: 2011-10-18 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfsilveroak.livejournal.com
Oh yes, that aged, musty, dusty scent is awesome too}:P

Date: 2011-10-18 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizliz13.livejournal.com
Kick ass picture of Spooky. Very nice.

Date: 2011-10-18 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I thought so, too. But she was in pain and in a mood.

Date: 2011-10-18 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

Though it isn't a terrible photo of me, which is a change.
That was pretty much the only comfortable position I could sit in. Damned spine! Why do we need those things, anyway!?

Date: 2011-10-19 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Why do we need those things, anyway!?

So we don't ooze.

Date: 2011-10-25 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizliz13.livejournal.com
Oh, no. A good picture of a bad memory, then.

Ha.

Date: 2011-10-19 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waristerrorism.livejournal.com
I covet Spooky's shoes. Also, wrote this on an iphone. Trending! (jk).

Re: Ha.

Date: 2011-10-19 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

She is very fond of those shoes.

Long term storage of information

Date: 2011-10-19 09:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iwakura lain (from livejournal.com)
As much as I like books (I really do) as much do I think that paper isn't the right choice to store/transmit information over the ages. Paper must be stored in a very controlled environment with regards to temperature and humidity or it rots away very quickly. There's a reason why most documents, books, etc from the past are not on paper (the Domsday book for example was written on parchment). Add to that the fact that most books printed in the first three quarters of the 20th century are rotting away due to the acid-based paper used then (that nice yellow pages you love ? that's your book disintegrating itself).

While that's not nearly as fickle as the aging problem we have with digital formats it's still depressing. As a whole our species is still not very good with passing information down the ages. Not even in our Modern Time ...

Re: Long term storage of information

Date: 2011-10-19 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

(that nice yellow pages you love ? that's your book disintegrating itself).

Wow! I didn't know that! (Yes, that's called sarcasm.)

The problem of acidic paper is much more complicated, and I'm not going into that here. But.

I've held books that were hundreds of years old that received no conservation whatsoever. Yes, some (not all) were in bad condition and needed restoration. But the only special environment they'd been treated to was a roof (the library wasn't even air-conditioned). They were, despite whatever damage they'd received, still functional, which is to say readable.

I have floppy disks, diskettes, cassette tapes, etc. that are no more than twenty or twenty-five years old. They might be in good shape. They might not be. I can't tell, because the technology to access the data either no longer exists or is difficult to lay my hands on. I'll stick with crumbly books. Their conservation needs seem far more practical.

Not even in our Modern Time ...

Modernity is a curious concept. Five hundred years from now, our descendents (assuming we survive as a species), will likely laugh at our presumptuous usage of it (which you may have intended here sarcastically; I wasn't sure).

Re: Long term storage of information

Date: 2011-10-19 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iwakura lain (from livejournal.com)
Old books aren't the problem, that's why I've written "in the first three quarters of the 21nd century" because that's the time when most books were printed and when acadic paper became common.

A house (with a roof) is a controlled environment, but I was more referring to the transfer of information when a civilization breaks down, as every civilization has done before so will our. And then paper-based books stand not a good chance, but I agree with you that digital media will be even worse.

The problem isn't easily solved and would probably need lots of money, so I don't think that this will change anytime soon ...

And yes, "Modern Times" was meant sarcastic ...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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