A gardening state of mind

Much though I hate gardening, it does get me out into the sunlight and the fresh air, and it gets me working with my hands rather than with my head. What happens then is that my minds starts wandering. It came up with a couple of interesting bits and pieces today:

Country names

Isn’t it funny how countries with adjectives in their names never seem to live up to those adjectives for any length of time? For example, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Okay, so Northern Ireland remains a pretty accurate description. But I reckon that generally, countries should stick to old-fashioned, purely locale-based nation names. To do anything else is clearly tempting fate.


William Gibson and other cyberpunk authors envisioned “cyberspace” as a separate environment, where people would exist as avatars of their real-world selves, wandering around in a 3D environment. But that’s not the way it’s turning out. It looks to me like cyberspace is just going to be an extension of the real world. Web sites, weblogs, chat rooms, instant messaging, texting on mobile phones…we don’t need a separate avatar to navigate these information spaces.

Cyberspace right now is made up of a series of windows on the real world, that allow us to see views, or facets, or aspects of people elsewhere. We don’t see the whole person, just the side of themselves they choose to expose to that particular window. Cyberspace is thus more like science-fictional hyperspace (or wormholes), existing purely to enable very fast point-to-point links, rather than being a habitable space in its own right.


While uprooting a particularly vicious thistle larger than myself, a few disparate ideas that had been floating around in my head for a couple of years synthesized themselves into something that could make an interesting short story. This is the first time I’ve felt inclined to write any fiction in quite some time.

Maybe I should spend more time gardening. No, scratch that. Silly idea. I don’t think it’s the garden that makes the difference, I think it’s being away from the computer. Now that I’ve spent some time getting our garage tidied up, What I really ought to do is get my drums set up again. I’m feeling the need to hit some skins.