Truly

Friday 27 March 2009, 09:09

Where have ye been all the day, fair son of mine?
Where gat ye your dinner this long lonely while?
I did eat with my sweetheart, who put me on trial
I was flogged for my crimes and all covered with bruises
They were red and white and they were green and yellow

Mistakenly thought to be djinn

Sunday 4 April 2010, 17:41

First appeared in talk.bizarre, July 1997

You must know that Man was not the first of the Earth's masters.

A great many unusual people may be seen in the marketplace of Damascus on any hot summer day, but the Adept was definitely out of the ordinary.  She strode, alone and proud, though the crowd which parted unconsciously.  Foreigners have written that one veiled woman looks like any other, but even the quality of the material of Fatima's veil distinguished her from the rest.  The locals, accustomed to making the most of whatever they could get, stared outright, all as if they'd never seen a woman before.  They undressed her in their minds as she passed by.  The year, in your infidel's reckoning, was 738.

Race

Friday 2 April 2010, 17:37

This is a re-posting of an item that first appeared in Livejournal, in October 2004.

One day the Fox met the Bunny, eating grass at the edge of a big field.  "Hey," he said, for no particular reason, "let's race to the other side of this field." "Okay," said the Bunny.  So she hopped and he ran, and the Fox made it across the field just a little bit ahead of the Bunny.  "I win!" he said, and went on his way.  "Bye!" called the Bunny happily, and went back to eating grass.  The Turtle had been watching them, and he said, "I want to do that, too."

Colour, social beings, and undecidability

Monday 9 August 2004, 12:01

Okay, it's been about two months since I posted my piece about colourful bits, and I really should have posted a follow-up before now, but better late than never.  First of all, here are ten other places that carried the story, in no particular order:

What Colour are your bits?

Thursday 10 June 2004, 11:54

There's a classic adventure game called Paranoia which is set in an extremely repressive Utopian futuristic world run by The Computer, who is Your Friend.  Looking at a recent LawMeme posting and related discussion, it occurred to me that the concept of colour-coded security clearances in Paranoia provides a good metaphor for a lot of copyright and intellectual freedom issues, and it may illuminate why we sometimes have difficulty communicating and understanding the ideologies in these areas.

An article based on this one and its follow-ups, by me, Brett Bonfield, and Mary Fran Torpey, appeared in the 15 February 2008 issue of LJ, Library Journal.

Light and speed

Sunday 2 February 1997, 12:13

It's not so easy to find a primitive, backward culture anymore. Satellite constellations can lay down a gigahertz on every square kilometer of the Earth's surface and where there's a signal there will be receivers. We need not even mention the orbitals. The painters may be naked - they may be using mud pigments and hair brushes. You might mistake them for a tiny group of prehistoric people somehow cut off from the march of progress for thousands of years. That would be a mistake. Machines dug this cave, the hair for the brushes was grown by bacteria in a bottle, and the design taking shape on the wall does not represent an animal to be hunted. Not exactly.

Counting coup

Sunday 4 April 2010, 09:23

First posted 21 June 2004.

Forgive me, I did not return your call
But through no fault of yours, your offer stings
I know it is not about me at all
You'd count me coup and gain a feather more
What are you saving up to, will you say?
How long until you earn your angel wings?
Or are you weaving head-dress for the day
You'll lead your painted soldiers off to war?
You say you're guilty, and you've cause to be
You say I've been deprived of many things
You'd pay your debts to someone, maybe me
But charity like that I would abhor
Please understand, no matter what was said
Your pen was dipped in blood I never shed

Rootbeerman don't care

Saturday 3 April 2010, 09:30

First posted 21 April 2000.

Rootbeerman at the back of the McDonald's hunched over he chicken nuggets. He always super size it, and he always eat a cherry pie cause he don't care. Donuts for breakfast, Pizza Pops for dinner, Rootbeerman drink root beer at every meal and that how he got his name.

The sing-song of unknown Kadath

Sunday 11 August 2002, 19:25

Not always was Antarctica a cold and barren wasteland, but a lush green continent of ghoulish degraded tribes. They were grey and they were rubbery and dined upon corpses. They made a nameless sacrifice and danced upon a mountaintop and called up the Lesser God Yig.

Time travel chaos game

Monday 5 April 2010, 13:19

Re-posting of an article first posted in May 2007.

Okay, here's a game sketch.  This idea is supposed to be a game that could live on a Web site somewhere, support a large number of players, but be fun to participate in even if you are brand new, or only connect occasionally, or if there are few or no other players.  Kind of like Wikipedia - except that my idea would actually know it's a game, unlike Wikipedia which thinks it's an encyclopedia.  I'm posting this here to make it harder for anyone to patent.