Archive for June 8th, 2005

The Memepire Strikes Back

Okay, I admit, I’ve kinda been procrastinating on this book meme that Phila tagged me with, because I, like, already did one, and I’ve been generally distracted by various goings-on, but here goes:

Number of books I own: Jeez, that’s a toughie. I’d guess I probably have at least four or five hundred here, and maybe two or three times that in my mom’s garage in California. So we’ll call it an even 2,000. Of course, I’m about as good at estimating this sort of thing as Christopher Walken was in that census sketch…

Last book I bought: I’m not sure if that’s actually changed since the last book meme, so I’ll say either 1602, a graphic novel that takes place in an alternate past where a whole bunch of the Marvel heroes were roaming around in 1602 instead of modern times, or Gridlink’d, by Neal Asher, “where the main character is a government agent who has been gridlinked (connected to the cyberuniverse in realtime) for so long that he’s started to forget how to be human. His eccentric and mysterious boss has him disconnect from the net to reconnect with his humanity while investigating a massive teleportation disaster, while being chased by a crazy vengeful terrorist and his goons and evil psychotic android.” And did I mention that the terrorist may be in the pay of an enigmatic space alien composed of a three giant spheres that calls itself “Dragon” and is able to create dinosaur-men to do its bidding? Or that the evil psychotic android likes to collect souvenirs from its victims (kid stuff, like a rubber ball or binoculars) and arrange them around himself when he’s not killing people?

Last book I read: Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan. I think I had just started in on it when the last book meme rolled around. Essentially, the main character is some sort of terrorist or anarchist, who was killed and had his mind (which was stored on a hard drive at the base of his skull, as is customary) put in deep storage for a while, but got pulled out of it and “resleeved” in a new body to investigate a 350-year-old filthy-rich guy’s apparent suicide, because the filthy-rich guy doesn’t believe that he would kill himself when he knows full well that he has a backup copy of his mind in a remote storage facility. Devious, twisty stuff, set in a very intriguing, seedy and coherent universe that hangs together very well. May one day be a Major Motion Picture, although that looks like it’s stalled right now.

Five books that mean a lot to me: Wow, that’s another serious toughie. There are a lot of books that I really like, but I don’t ordinarily form emotional attachments to them. I’ll take a stab at it, but my choices are going to be a little strange…

Queen Of Angels, by Greg Bear. I scrounged this from my older brother’s paperback collection many many years ago, and it totally blew my mind. Not only was it the first book I read to really explore the possibilities of nanotechnology, but it had a description of how the mind works that profoundly resonated with me – very compartmentalized, with independent agents and personalities for different tasks and functions.

The Book Of Strange Facts And Useless Information, by George H. Morris. My first and very favorite book of trivia, which I got when I was probably about 10 or 11. I’m pretty sure my love of trivia started here.

National Geographic Atlas, 1981 Edition. Just a bloody huge honkin’ book with all kinds of good stuff in it. I loved that book as a kid, and used it to memorize state and world capitols, and to find weird/cool place names, like Sexmoan in the Phillippines. I also remember noticing that almost every town & city in Madagascar started with an A.

World Almanac And Book Of Facts, 1989 Edition. Another great source of trivia, with fascinating facts like the number of female urologists in the US between the ages of 55 & 64 (two), which I tormented my college suitemates with for weeks, if not months. Plus I needed to get caught up on my world capitols, since there were some new ones.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson. I only have a hazy recollection of the actual content, but I have fond memories of my dad reading it to me as a kid. My dad is very cool. And a bit weird.

Theoretically, I’m supposed to pass this along to five more people, but I’m a little hesitant to do that, since this is so similar to the book meme that passed through the blogosphere just two months ago. So I’m going to make my link in the chain more of a voluntary, opt-in one: If you didn’t get the last book meme, or if you’d like to do another, please do, and let me know so I can take lots of credit for it.

Codename V. has already asked to be included.

3 comments June 8th, 2005 at 06:49pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Books,Memes

And The Award For “Clunkiest Metaphor Of The Week” Goes To…

Tom Friedman, of course. Don’t trip over it on your way to the podium, Tom!

Every time I visit India, Indians always ask me to compare India with China. Lately, I have responded like this: If India and China were both highways, the Chinese highway would be a six-lane, perfectly paved road, but with a huge speed bump off in the distance labeled “Political reform: how in the world do we get from Communism to a more open society?” When 1.3 billion people going 80 miles an hour hit a speed bump, one of two things happens: Either the car flies into the air and slams down, and all the parts hold together and it keeps on moving – or the car flies into the air, slams down and all the wheels fall off. Which it will be with China, I don’t know.

Wait… I thought the world was supposed to be flat? I’m so confused now. Also, wouldn’t you really need a minivan or an SUV or something for that many people? Even so, I think you’d have a lot of people sitting on laps, and that’s terribly unsafe.

People will pay money for this?

4 comments June 8th, 2005 at 10:59am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media

Flower For Eschaton

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One last thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, Atriots and non-Atriots alike. I’m not a sappy person by nature, but I was touched and a bit amazed by all the well-wishers and kind words. The internets can truly be a wonderful place, when inhabited by the right people. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome.

6 comments June 8th, 2005 at 07:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Birthday Toy Postmortem

Seven PS2 games from for under $100 (um, total, not each), $37 of which is God Of War.

Not bad, not bad at all.

June 8th, 2005 at 01:06am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

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