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justbeast


The Sarmatian Protopope

his desires inscrutable but surely base


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Back from Penguicon
monkeys & robots
justbeast
Back from Penguicon. Need about a week straight of sleep to catch up.

The con is a soothing blend of Linux and hacker-lite events, gaming, and scifi and fantasy literature/fandom (my soul felt at peace). Although I suspect that catvalente felt slightly less at home, since the fantasy or poetry contingent there is less strong, and she was on horror and webcomic panels. The hotel is well laid out if gigantic -- the curved hallways are endless, and slightly paranoia-inducing while you're in 3am sleepless delirium. And I am seriously surprised at the caliber of panelists and special guests they keep having, for what is still a small to medium convention.

The programs and panels themselves were an embarassment of riches -- I went to way more panels than I usually do, and still managed to miss several brilliant-looking ones.

* By happy accident, I ended up sitting next to Vernor Vinge at breakfast (kindly sponsored by Subterranean Press). By not so happy accident, I spilled my coffee and narrowly avoided hitting him. I did get to fanboy briefly, and mention that his True Names and Other Dangers was the book that truly introduced me to the Net (and modeming, BBSs, virtual worlds, etc), even before Neuromancer.

* Eliezer Yudkowsky is very smart. I suspect, however, that given the power, he would legislate against suicide, assisted suicide and other such similar voluntary death. (How does he feel about abortion, I wonder?). Which is displeasing.

* The con suite was well-run, and had much delicious food.

* There are very few (or no) occasions on which having a fuzzy green tentacle on your left arm can fail to improve matters. It's great for when you're in the audience and asking questions, or when explaining to somebody why they should buy a book of brilliant nested fairy tales. It especially adds a certain gravitas when you're a panelist on the Anime and Comics panel, and the person next to you is a veritable schoolgirl (a president of a highschool anime club), and looks at you dubiously when you get your anime history wrong. Yes, I know this from first person experience.

* Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak is incredibly smart and well-spoken, and I got to go to dinner with him and a couple of other brilliant webcomic peoples (Rob Balder, Jennie Breeden, Eric Milikin).

* catvalente and I took part in some sort of inexplicable lolcat type meme photos involving lots of people ironing and a guy in a Tron costume, all orchestrated by Randall Munroe of xkcd. Cat played the dead chick on the floor.

* theferrett, in proper attire and makeup, looks remarkably like Tim Curry from Rocky Horror.

* I got to meet briefly Megan Rose Gedris, artist and author of I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space (as well as YU+ME dream and possibly others), which looks just brilliant.

* Got to spend some much-missed time with mishamish and babymonkey, yakavenger and blazepoet, and sheryl67 and rbradakis

* Got to finally meet in person bleakenigma and tygerdsebat

* On getting back from the con exhausted, Cat and I proeceded to watch 28 Days Later (I've never seen it before). Which prompted the contractually obligated discussions of what we would do in case of zombie apocalypse. (Our plans would definitely involve fighting our way to the shore and stealing a sailboat). But, what can I say, I need a lot more skills for all of this; my post-apocalypse-readiness-meter is way low.

* Happy Birthday Misha!
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Which prompted the contractually obligated discussions of what we would do in case of zombie apocalypse. (Our plans would definitely involve fighting our way to the shore and stealing a sailboat). But, what can I say, I need a lot more skills for all of this; my post-apocalypse-readiness-meter is way low.

These things are necessary! Andy and I figure we'll grab my bros and head for the desert. It may not be good on natural sources of food, but at least it's sparse on the population and we'd knock over a supermarket on the way.

We've also discussed the relative merits of heading up the nearest mountain range. I think it just depends on which way is most clear.

Edited at 2008-04-21 08:58 pm (UTC)

*nods*!! Either way, one has to plan for these things carefully!


* yuki_onna and I took part in some sort of inexplicable lolcat type meme photos involving lots of people ironing and a guy in a Tron costume, all orchestrated by Randall Munroe of xkcd. Cat played the dead chick on the floor.


Will they be putting it on their website? I am consumed by curiosity ;-D

Ditto! Also: Jealous! I watch a lot of CSI/L&O and would love to be the body.

Stealing a sailboat has always sounded good to me -- not sure about powered boats (a lesson from Dawn of the Dead). I guess learning to sail needs to go on the life list. Maybe bring along a Razor scooter to sling on one's back for quick getaways on shore. ...That go-bag is getting heavier and heavier!

Am trying to figure out what those lolcat meme photos would translate to, and failing. Let us know if they're ever published.

Just remember that there are many type of zombie attacks.

Fast zombies require a different plan than the slow zombies.

And much fun was had by all!

I think we might have to have a post-apocalypse-readiness discussion... this is seriously important stuff.

Did you mean mishamish? Or did you really mean misha?

*hugs!*

No, you are correct, of course. His name mentally collided with his username.

Just keep the heads

(Anonymous)

2008-04-22 12:37 am (UTC)

I wouldn't legislate against suicide or assisted suicide, but if I had the power to do so, I'd require cryonic suspension of the head afterward. Nobody should be trapped in a sick, decaying, pain-ridden body - but then nobody should die, either. Ordinarily I'm a small-l libertarian on nearly all such matters, but I make a special exception for death - real death, with the brain destroyed - because it's the only truly irreversible mistake.

As for abortion, like most transhumanists, I'm a personhood theorist. Anything without two neurons to form a synapse isn't a person.

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Re: Just keep the heads

justbeast

2008-04-22 01:23 am (UTC)

Thank you for the reply first of all; most unexpected. :)

Ok, that makes sense, I can agree with that.

Now comes the part where I have to think carefully, though. Because on the one hand, I feel that people own their bodies and lives, and should be given a choice even for total oblivion. So that they should be given a choice whether they want the heads kept, and the possibility of eventual resurrection.
But on the other? Ask me how I feel about authors (especially really good ones) destroying their work, Virgil-style in a fit of madness or self-doubt. Or about books (or film or games) going out of print and disappearing into the void. If I had to be honest, I know I would do everything in my power (legislation, secret cabal-style subterfuge, etc) to save the work from disappearing. Even though I know the authors own the work, it is theirs. Still. Possibly I feel differently about works than about people because I value works more (I feel there will always be more people). Or, no, perhaps it is because I feel people can give consent (on what should happen to them), and works cannot, they're non-sentient entities.

In any case, this is not an easy question, sure.

You know there was a "Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse" panel at Penguicon this year, right?

You should have been there. We had a blast!

It was the first time I've been on a panel and it was amazing how much the audience got into it.

I sat in on a tiny part of that panel, but then had to run! :)

In general, there were a ton of programs that I just had to miss, scheduled across from each other.

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