Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age

Confabulation Engine is a podcast of Speculative Fiction conversations, with digressions. Book talk out of alignment with consensus reality. Featuring William Cunningham and Catherine Weiss.

We did a trial run on this concept about a year ago with this hour and a half meander through all of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books.

For our first official episode we enthuse our way through the baroque future described in Neal Stephenson’s girl power epic, “The Diamond Age”.

Noteable digressions include:

A Video of DNA splicing.

MakerBot.

Solving three mysteries at the same time.

Turing Machines.

Genesis P-Orridge

We’ll be releasing these monthly for a while, we hope you enjoy them!

the bleed

I’m paralyzed with intentions. Every time I move toward one action the pull of five others stops me. There are a dozen photoshoots, three web projects, a comic, some videos, two audio projects, and lots of physical artwork.

If even two of those get done this year it’ll be an accomplishment!

These rabbits are going to be important.

rabbit soldier

They are still being drawn up from somewhere convoluted in the thinkmeat. They are like the manikins, but completely different. These manikins.

dressing

They come from the same place, down in the wet convulscape, as he does.

Rabbit sketch

They are among the roots of a show.

This happened on twitter, I found it brilliant, so I’m putting it here because my site my rules ok?

For no reason other than that I came across an old dream journal last night Thursday is now: Disturbday!

dream journal may 28 1990 monday

dream journal may 28 1990 monday

I was 20 and insufferable with Lovecraft and weird sexual hangups.

I will not be making very many pages of this genuinely creepy document public. So, “enjoy”.

ugh

Pomplamoose. Being visually inventive.

I share respected international journalist, correspondent for The Atlantic and former Jimmy Carter speechwriter James Fallows’ love of this duo.

So it’s lovely to see them back in the game.

Jack Conte here describes how things went sideways for a bit, in a circuitous presentation about his new and worthwhile venture, a way for regular people to collectively patronize creativity that is more day-to-day than Kickstarter.

Mostly when I watch them, I notice the, to me at least, heartbreaking details of the house they clearly live and work in. Heartbreaking in the sense that it’s a thing I would have loved to have done, if it were possible when I was young with the capacity to absorb financial shocks, and had I had the imagination to conceive it.

What they are doing, or the guys responsible for Rocket Jump, or Corridor Digital, is a version of the box ramen fueled internet startup, but with entertainment rather than software as the outcome.

They aren’t the first artist collectives to bootstrap members, but these have a newer quality colored by tech startup culture. That’s not the best culture to emulate, though it seems like these creative takes on it are following a bit more humane path. The tech startup is like house flipping: inflate the value of as simple an idea as possible and sell it high as soon as you can. These creative starups seem to be using the same general template but the end result is creator owned small businesses instead.

This idea deserves a more thoughtful treatment than I can spare the glucose for right now.

So here, have a little improbable combination of Pomplamoose, Ben Folds and Nick Hornby.

Fair enough I suppose.