The Cost of Freedom

A few months ago some people I follow on Twitter started acting like idiots. I generally don’t follow idiots, which means that I probably knew or respected these people on some level at some time. But it’s really hard for me to respect them any more. What did they do that had me so up in arms? They were campaigning to get a book banned. I’m not going to tell you what book, because I don’t want to have that conversation. So imagine an idea you hold in utter contempt, or a type of written literature you consider harmful to … Continue reading

Obsession

I’m going to go out on a limb here and talk about something I don’t talk about in public very much–Jesus Christ. I’m also going to talk about James Hilton’s book Lost Horizon. And the wide world of geekdom.You see, Lost Horizons encourages a very strange virtue: Moderation. “If I could put it into a very few words, dear sir, I should say that our prevalent belief is in moderation. We inculcate the virtue of avoiding excesses of all kinds—even including, if you will pardon the paradox, excess of virtue itself.” The first time I read this I disagreed with … Continue reading

Seek Out New Life

“This is the voyages of the Starship “Enterprise.” Her five year mission to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.” “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” In 1969 we put a man on the moon. For a decade living up to that we thrived on anticipation. Our thoughts and hopes were … Continue reading

Firefox vs. Chrome

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who use computers, and those who understand them. This is not intended as an insult to those of the first group, as if you don’t know anything because you’re not a programmer. It’s like the difference between those who drink milk and those who own cows. Once not smarter then the others, and plenty of milk drinkers are fully educated on what farmers do, but really only the farmers are going to be able to tell a sick cow from a healthy one, and provide proper treatment. The same goes … Continue reading

You’re Doing it Wrong!

I just got back from PandoraCon where they had an amazing program designed specifically for authors. Instead of authors paying for a table they were then stuck behind forever, begging people to pay attention to them like a starving cat, authors were able to leave their books in the official bookstore, wander the con at their leisure, returning only for scheduled and posted signing slots, readings, and panels. It was an amazing opportunity that I took full advantage of. It didn’t work. I don’t know how others did, but I sold a grand total of 2 books over the course … Continue reading

Supervillain of the Day: The Audio Drama

Hey there! Hmm, look at all this brown! Oh yeah, that’s because we’re on my personal website, the Idea Factory. We’re over here because I managed to break the official website (backend only) and don’t have backups of the database or something… anyway! Here is your audio drama episode, on time as promised! (Apologies to the iTunes people.) Episode 4: Fire and Ashes: Part 1. And with that we also have a few announcements. Like the release of Supervillains of London! Click the pretty picture to go to the Amazon page: And of course there are all kinds of other … Continue reading

March of Progress

You are a scientist at the top of your field. The government has given you millions in funding, because they believe your research might be of long-term practical use to them. You’re weeks, maybe days, away from completion, and you find out that the government you believed to be peaceful and only wants your dangerous technology for the greater good of man is in fact building a weapon of mass destruction. Desperate you have to choose between letting them take the device and possibly killing millions with it, or destroy your research and bury yourself in some distant third-world country … Continue reading

Technlogy is Changing Your Life (And you Don’t Even Know It)

After the Windows 8 incident I suddenly started noticing all the other ways technology has improved in ways we don’t even realize. They’re coming up with creative new ways to do things we didn’t realize needed to be change. Such as ice trays. Remember these? These are what I had in my freezer my whole life. (Except when we had automatic ice makers, which is a completely different story.) They’re made of plastic. Hard plastic. To get the ice out you have to twist them into an S. We had some flexible ones, but after a few twists they would … Continue reading

Windows 8 and the Future is Here

I know, if I were going to write a review about the latest Windows operating system I’m a bit late. You’ve probably heard it already, multiple times, or else you don’t care. But this is different. Promise. To begin with, I don’t really like Windows. I like Ubuntu. This post isn’t really about Windows. This is about Windows 8, and how it’s a herald of the future. A few months ago I started thinking about buying a laptop. I thought about what I wanted in a laptop, I started staring at ultrabooks on Amazon, and finally I trudged over to … Continue reading

Every Office Joke Ever

I work in an office now. I’ve read Dilbert all my life, and Blondie for a good many years. My father is an Electrical Engineer by trade, and Staple is one of my favourite stores. I thought I understood the office thing pretty well. Let me tell you; there is a difference between understanding and experiencing. For one thing, it’s all true. Every joke ever made is based in solid fact. The water cooler gossip, the office party, the boss snapping at you to get back to work–it all makes sense now! To begin with, office work is mind-blowingly dull. … Continue reading