Linkblogging For 01/09/12

Sorry for the absence for a few days — and especially for not having the ebook version of the Kinks book finished yet. I’ve not been very well. I will, however, have a post up tomorrow on Mindless Ones about tonight’s Doctor Who.

Speaking of which… the reason there haven’t been any Bigger On The Outside posts for a while here is that I’ve decided to combine that book with the “Fifty Stories For Fifty Years” I’m doing on Mindless Ones, and put them out as a single book when they’re finished. During the next five weeks, while I’m looking at new Who on that site, I’ll post a couple more Bigger On The Outside essays which will fit into the book. I’m also going to start the next Beach Boys book next week.

I’ve also, though, been working on something I’m not allowed to talk about, but which is going to be *very* exciting…

Anyway, here’s some links:

Alex and Richard start their look at the Doctor Who New Adventures with Timewyrm: Genesis

Andrew Rilstone on the new Superman trailer and the Hero’s Journey. He’s wrong about Superman III, though, which is the best cinematic representation of Superman outside the Fleischer cartoons.

Peter Watts on free will

Ellie Mae O’Hagan asks when paid work became the only thing we value and, relatedly, Jennie asks politicians to stop talking about “hard-working families” — and at least one of them listened!

Alex on The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen

And Lew Stringer has a quick look at a Dalek comic strip from 1965

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4 Responses to Linkblogging For 01/09/12

  1. prankster36 says:

    Your thoughts on Superman III are kind of hilarious given that Chris Sims just recently reviewed that movie and proclaimed it to be great as well. Is that movie due for a re-evaluation?

  2. plok says:

    Oboy, that Peter Watts one. The hardline neo-materialist “free will” thing always reminds me of talking to a right-wing friend of mine, whose all-purpose sockdologer seemed to be “You see? COMMUNISM DOESN’T WORK!” Which made me want to reply: “is that honestly the only arrow you right-wing types have in your quiver? Is that supposed to open my eyes, or something? Have I once claimed that communism is the answer to all ills, to you?”

    For me, the free will “debate” is insanely structurally similar to the “how would you know if you were just a brain in a vat” debate, and we already have a pretty good answer for that one: that while it may be scientifically possible, it’s nonetheless philosophically absurd, because if by definition you can’t tell the difference then there’s no difference worth talking about. In both cases you can take it all the way back to the cogito: what can be known with certainty? Only that thinking requires a thinker….even if the thinker is nowhere else but in the thinking itself.

    No one asks how do you know you’re not just an empty vat without a brain in it, after all! Just like no one asks (if I may Heinleinize my position somewhat) what kind of particle has no mass and no energy…

    Anyway, to me the free will thing is just neo-materialism’s Communism Arrow. Why does anyone bother pointing out that non-physical substances can’t technically be “substances”? Why must “freewillists” be believers in the substance of soul, or else hypocrites? As well as hypocrites if you do, and hypocrites if you don’t…but hold on, I certainly don’t remember conceding that ground! Don’t even remember getting up to it as a matter of fact, heck the last time I checked we were still wondering if the universe was deterministic?


  3. plok says:

    Ooooh, I like that Superman stuff! Ended up taking a stroll through Lucid Frenzy as well because of it, where…more trenchant thinking, obv.

    Hadn’t seen the trailer before. It seems…off, definitely, especially with the flying Superman at the end. And does anyone else see a “walk across America” thing in there?

    (My God, I just realized…JMS was trying to do an O’Neil/Adams GL/GA thing there, wasn’t he? THAT’S WHAT HE WANTED IT TO BE! Oh no, now the effort’s got pathos to it…he tried but he didn’t know how…)

    One could imagine a trailer that just closed on a moving speck down below among clouds…what is it? A bird? A plane? One thing that hadn’t really clicked with me ’til Andrew’s piece is that the iconic Superman pose-with-cape thing may not be as well-known now, as it was in the late 70s…a staggering thought, but wait, no surely, SURELY kids still tie towels around their necks and stand with hands on hips like that?

    Or can I really be that old.

  4. Hal says:

    Yes, Mr Plok, you *are* that old!
    I have a soft spot for Superman III despite its flaws. I was interested to discover that other people had been terrified in childhood by the Annie Ross transformation/ possession scene. Jinkies! The concept of meek, “weak”, human Clark Kent really being what makes Superman *Superman* is great and how I see the character and that fight between unshaven sleazoid Supes and Clark is fantastic. I’d say it’s a much better film than Superman Returns (ack) or that JJ Abrams Star Trek abomination, yes really. Oh and who doesn’t love Lana Lang?!

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