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Via Clive Thompson and Boing Boing: Wired Love, a novel about an online office romance. Or rather an on-the-wire romance, because the novel was written in 1880 and its heroine, Nattie, is a telegraph operator. There's also some references to faxes (in development at the time), and when one character suggests it would great if people could just carry around some pocket deice that would enable voice communication I began to suspect I was reading a literary hoax; but if it is then the author, Ella Cheever Thayer, has a fake wikipedia biography and does the best imitation of 1880s American dialogue I've ever read.

She's also strikingly modern in that her cast consists mostly of young single men and women *not* living with their parents (they all live in the same building with one of two contrasting landladies), another new social trend of the time, although not one commented upon directly in the text.

All this makes it a bit disappointing that the second half does suffer somewhat from the rom-com cliche of "complications that could be resolved in ten seconds if the characters would just communicate":

"Hey -- I've been wondering -- my snoopy landlady says you and my hot opera-singer friend are in love. Is that true? I mean, it's ok if--"

"What?! No we're not. She's cool and all, but I'm in love with you."



"<3 Say, good thing I asked instead of just breaking up with you with no explanation."
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Andrew is rewatching all of Ray Bradbury Theatre in preparation for an upcoming panel. I know Bradbury didn't much like communications technology, and I personally find phones nightmarish, but I find I sympathize with everyone else in 'The Murderer' who has to deal with the guy randomly smashing their radios, faxes and cel phones; and especially with his wife and kids who have to deal with him suddenly whipping out a gun in the house and shooting the tv set and all the appliances.
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green_trilobite's email has been refusing to receive since yesterday afternoon; even though the same email address on my laptop, with the same router, is fine. He tried talking to tech support last night and finally gave up around ten pm. I went on the phone with them after dinner today; after an hour or so of trying things, they decided the problem was with the MacBook and gave me Apple's number; I'd been talking to someone there but my call was dropped about ten minutes ago; since I hadn't yet been assigned a case #, but they had taken down my home phone #, I've been waiting in hopes she'll notice we got disconnected and call back.

ETA - fixed it. OK, in retrospect, that was an obvious thing I should have tried right off the bat - look at the settings on the computer that worked, and match them on the other computer.


Sep. 19th, 2011 09:24 am
moon_custafer: (Default)
Made this to be an LJ icon, but if I shrink it to 100 pixels square, the text is too small to read:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I don't want to change the text because that's an actual newspaper story; a slightly letter setting than the picture, but I imagine telegraph operators had been chatting between official messages for a few decades before the rest of the world noticed.
moon_custafer: (covetin)
How come no one ever tries to claim Chartres was built with help from extraterrestrials? Flying buttresses and keystone arches are *way* more complicated than pyramids.
moon_custafer: (Default)
I’d sort of like to see an SF story in which all our machines act up, but it turns out they’re *not* rebelling against humans, because they don’t see us as masters – they see us as the landscape through which they move. Instead they’re fighting a civil war among themselves over some issue that we organics can’t comprehend.
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Dave Malki! Creator of Wondermark, has been posting lately on the history of technology, a subject I assume he came to through collecting 19th-c images for his webcomic.

For the last few weeks he and his readers have been digging up “damn this modern technology” screeds from different eras; and have at length got back to Socrates vs. the written word. The pattern that’s been coming out, though, is less a straight “curmudgeons vs. new stuff” and more of a “centuries-long, back and forth battle over whether the spoken or the written word is superior.” Go read it, it’s well worth a look.

Via Craft

Oct. 31st, 2010 02:24 pm
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I forwarded this experiment in telegraphy-from-scratch to Dave Malki!, partly because it's interesting, but also because it reminds me of this cartoon of his from a few months ago.

ETA - Mr. Malki! has been busy accidentally upsetting Glen Beck's apple cart this week, so he may not have seen the immaculate-telegraphy project yet.
moon_custafer: (Default)
Episode 21 is up:

Patrick wakes up w/o a hangover because he's still drunk. We don't know who's kidnapped Carl, but Dr. Marj apparently does. Managed to mention this strip yesterday at a panel discussion at Polaris on bionics - you will notice that when the characters have communications devices implanted in their ears, I still have to give them a "talking on the phone" gesture so we know that's what they're doing...


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