Tag Archives: geekery

In Memory of Hotmail

It disappeared in the growing springtime:
The trees were budding, the students back from Easter,
And comments plugged all-new baseball jerseys;
The signal sank in the noise of the closing day.
What traffic stats we have agree
The day of its death was a spam-filled day

Far from its run-down
The bloggers posted on their WordPress pages,
The maker Tumblrs were untempted by the genuine crafts;
By mindful tweets
The death of the service was kept from the emails.

But for it it was its last afternoon as itself,
An afternoon of IPs and routers;
The address-blocks of its data were emptied,
The storage infrastructure was backed up,
Load was dropped from the balancers,
The flow of its data failed; it became its archives.

Now it is scattered among a hundred redirects
And wholly given over to unfamiliar aliases,
To find its content in another kind of index
And be cited with a foreign quote syntax.
The mails of a dead system
Are modified in the files of the living.

But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
When the flamers are trolling like toddlers in the threads of the blogs,
And the poor have the bad news to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in his epistemic closure is almost convinced of his freedom,
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something worth writing a blog post on.

What traffic stats we have agree
The day of its death was a spam-filled day

Originally posted on Making Light

A sonnet on Google Wave.

The sea has depths in which no net is cast,
With trackless kelpine forests where great squid,
Like Sasquatch in his mountains safely hid,
Dance dreaming with the fishes swimming past.
And human interaction is the same.
Beneath an email surface lies the deep:
Unmodeled work and social patterns creep
And spread in ways existing tools don’t frame.
If all that data made a single stream
(Instead of tossing users to and fro
Among their applications), it could flow
To ever-mounting heights: Hokusai’s dream.
It sounds like fun. I must confess I crave
To grab a board and surf the Google wave.

Originally posted on Making Light.

Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock

The lizard rests and thinks it’s quite alone
Since now that pesky Spock lies poisoned by.
But then the twisted scissors catch its eye
And darting to evade them, it meets stone.
For poisoned Spock, before it was too late
Was briefly vanished from the universe
Then, in a sudden, startling reverse
Returned when his disproof the lizard ate.
The stone, with reptile innards slimed, in paper
Now is wrapped. And thus it blunts the blades
Of snipping, snapping scissors. Then it fades
As phaser-blasts reduce its bulk to vapor.
I know the winning choice is purely random
But entry and amusement run in tandem.

Originally posted on Tor.com

Assumed Knowledge, Geek-Style

I’m not sure we’re doing right by the kids, in fannish terms. I think we may be giving them a less than complete basic grounding in SF&F types and memes. This will harm them in later life, in certain circles.

Fiona is fine. No worries there. She, contrary to most stereotypes, is clearly a science fiction girl. Whenever she sees a hooded and cloaked figure, she exclaims “Star Wars!” We don’t know if she’s thinking Obi-Wan Kenobi, Emperor Palpatine, Jawas, or Anakin Skywalker, but she’s definitely got the dress code crystal clear. She also calls all explosions “Star Wars”.

No, it’s Alex who seems to have missed out. I first noticed this when I was talking to him about Hagrid, from Harry Potter, and he hadn’t realised that Hagrid is a giant. He wasn’t clear what a giant was, either. I explained that it was a special kind of person who was very, very tall.

I explained that giants appeared in a lot of stories, from the Bible (Goliath) to Narnia (I’m trailing the film heavily around the house, having brought it up in light of the centaur that appears in the first Harry Potter film as well.) Then I explained that other special kinds of people in these stories were dwarves, who were very, very small.

“Other special people [my attempt at nonhuman character for the four year old set] in stories are elves, who are, um….foofy.”

Alex heard the word “elves” and put his arm over his head, with his forearm hanging down from his nose like a trunk.