On the game

London’s rich, saturated with events, fascinating people, ringing phones, history and more tosh like that. There’s not enough life in a person to do it all, which is why it’s worth doing none of it.

Edit: And that’s what happens when you use blogger to make diary notes, boys and girls. Sorry!

The Trouble With Tribals

Doris, leaning alluringly against a pillar, scanned the room. Glimming over the coms and non-coms alike, she automatically homed in on her fellow tribals. One caught her eye, a thick-set lady with a creeping moustache. “Hey”, she hollered “have you tried the new Ving Rames? What do you think of the new riffs?” The lady swung round, her face a mass of hypertags between which Doris could just make out a face and a large floating nametag ‘Marla’. Marla glanced at Doris’ tags and growled.
Doris moued, disappointed and lounged back against the column. The ballroom was full of people, mingling, laughing, but all the ones emblazoned with attractive tags were deep in conversation with their peers. If only you could choose your personality and your cross-over, thought Doris, maybe she’d meet more interesting people. She’d just been too introverted as a youth and had ended with some strange tastes. Why should anyone give her a second look after they’d seen these tags?
A tap on the shoulder made her jump. Looking round, at first she couldn’t see anything; no tags, no glowing nameplace, then her eyes adjusted. There was a man standing in the shadows, a tall man in a loose black suit, kinda handsome in an undernourished way. However, he was nearly invisible behind her filters without the tags and she was disconcerted, not knowing how to approach him.
“I can hardly see you there. Could you turn your tags on, so I can tell who you are?” His unenhanced voice whispered to her, below her hearing. “What?”
“I said, I don’t have any.”
“don’t have any?” Doris was perplexed.
“I’m Boyce, I’m a Gabriel.”
Instantly Doris’ infotap popped up a range of options, flashed by relevancy and the man;s characteristics. Top of the list was the Gabriels, a secularist organisation. The filters detected her gaze resting on it and brought it up. “The Gabriels” it said “a denomination of secularists noted for their restrictions on the use of modern devices such as tagnodes and other physically intergrated technologies founded by former singer and anti-technology guru Peter Gabriel. Their difficulties at communicating mean that they are sect in decline, with their numbers worldwide approximating…”
“…I said ‘are you okay?’” Boyce was shaking her arm. “You zoned out on me there.”

Face Off

Scientists show we’ve been losing face for 10,000 years – Newspaper Edition – Times Online: “The human face is shrinking. Research into people’s appearance over the past 10,000 years has found that our ancestors’ heads and faces were up to 30% larger than now.

“Many men then would have had the shape of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s head while women might have looked more like Camilla [the Duchess of Cornwall]. By contrast, Tony Blair and George Bush are good examples of the more delicate modern form.””

Us throwbacks have a genetic base then, with our lantern jaws, ill-fitting teeth and heavy brow-ridges. At least it’s reassuring to know (as the article says) indicates that they can’t attribute a reason to why the cranial vault has grown and the face has shrunk; that to me is a signifcant failure of imagination. The decreased solidity of the human face could be explained by a reduction in the need for defense, by the increased importance of voice in communication, by a slow degeneracy into pygmies, by a slow rise into sylphlike aliens, or any other arbitrary position you care to take. Having said that, perhaps they’ve considered this and made a deliberate effort not to judge what the cause is, as there’s so much evidence for every theory…

Edit: Or perhaps rather than rising into aliens, we’ve come from them. The Website at The End of the Universe points to the theory that we portray aliens as short on physical features because of the way newborns perceive their parents, as a prototypical human face. Why are all our physical features being eroded into this odd abhuman conformity? I’m sure one-time football commentator David Icke has an opinion on this…

In other news… I unexpectedly got given the day off today, so I lazed in bed until 1 p.m. reading Grendel by John Gardner. A nice short book, about Beowulf’s foe, the monster Grendel. With a nihilistic dragon, an animalistic mother and the structuralist humans endlessly encroaching and growing, Grendel is brought across as a casually violent existentialist, wanting to believe man’s myth-making but crippled by their initially hostile reaction to him and his fundamental loneliness. I’ve a feeling it’ll bear endless re-reading (especially if you’re an ex-english student made to study Beowulf in the original Anglo-Saxon, I suspect.)

Blowing Dust?

Local London Forecast – Blowing Dust.

Blowing Dust? What the hell does that mean? Shouldn’t it say Cloudy or Overcast? Anthropomorphised particulates sounds creepily post-apocalyptic; I wonder if I’m going to get warnings about;

‘Decreasing fallout levels; cephalomutant activity is likely to increase in your area. Do *not* open your bunker door, not even if they make noises like your long-dead puppy. Check your seals.”

AGH! That’s just reminded me I’ve not fed my Nintendogs for a week! (Hoperfully, they’ll have run away by now so I can stop worrying.) – Sign up to hear from your MP about local issues, and to discuss them with other constituents – Sign up to hear from your MP about local issues, and to discuss them with other constituents: ““So, the voting is over. The politicians vanish to Westminster, and everything carries on as before, right?”

Wrong. Between elections the internet is really starting to challenge politics as usual. As part of this change, we’d like to put you in touch with your new MP. Not for a specific purpose, but in order to hear what they’re working on, to debate their thoughts in a safe, friendly environment, and generally to build better, more useful relationships between constituents and their MPs.

If you enter your details, we’ll add you to a queue of other people in your constituency. When enough have signed up, your MP will get sent an email. It’ll say “20 of your constituents would like to hear what you’re up to – hit reply to let them know”. If they don’t reply, nothing will happen, until they get an email which says there are now 100 people; 200 people; 500 people – until it is nonsensical not to reply and start talking.

When your MP replies, it won’t be one-way spam, and it won’t be an inbox-filling free-for-all. Instead, each email will have a link at the bottom, which will take you straight to a forum where the first post will contain the MP’s email. There’ll be no tiresome login – you can just start talking about what they’ve said. Safe, easy and democratic.”

A good idea – sign up please!

Jeff Minter Speaks!

Xbox 360 Movie Player

I interviewed the llama-crazed visualisation genius Jeff Minter a few months ago; the first half of the interview was on our first cover-disc, the second half is available here on our website. Tis a pity they cut out him shouting ‘Vindaloo’ at the camera and a lot of what he says is bleeped out, especially towards the end. I apologise for the welsh speakers in the background as well.


(Frequently Used Profanities.)

Mine are “Piss N’ Blood”, “Arsebandit”, “Fucktarts” and “Kant”. What are yours?

(This is actually a dead clever way of increasing my hits by using obscene language; I get enough of the “sexy gril” hits anyway…)