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Posts for June 20, 2008

It is immensely annoying that you can’t just download and install Firefox 3 on Linux (at least the Xandros distro that comes with the Eee PC) without having to install something called Gtk+ 2.10. Not least because you can’t just apt-get install the latter: you have to build it from source, and handle countless dependencies. Really, I thought we were supposed to have got past all that shit.

This page details the steps.

A Dream of Wessex, by Christopher Priest (Books 2008, 9)

This is the motherlode of all brains-in-jars/life-is-a-computer-simulation-type stories. Gibson’s and the Wachowski’s Matrixes can both trace their origins back to here - or at least, they should be able to. I’m not aware of anything older than this that quite deals with this idea.

At Maiden Castle in Dorchester in the near future (of the time the book was written; it’s now our near past) a scientific research project has been under way for several years. It involves ‘projection’, in which the particpants, their bodies unconscious, enter into a shared, simulated fantasy world. This consensus hallucination was intended to examine a possible future, with a view to suggesting answers to some of the problems of today.

But one of the participants has been stuck in the projection for two years (when the normal period is measured in weeks or a few months at the most); the trustees are getting worried about the costs; and a new participant is about to arrive and change everything.

It is excellent, and (of course) leaves you wondering how many levels of fantasy there are to reality - both the book’s, and ours.

New theme

Have just activated a new theme for this site. It’s called “MNML”:http://themeshaper.com/mnml-a-tumblelog-style-wordpress-theme/, and it’s designed especially for quick posts. As ever, I’m not quite sure about it yet, but we’ll seee.