Pandemic lockdown bright sides? No.

So has my Muse fled the scene forever, or is she merely suffering pandemic burnout?

Psychologists are reporting a rise in “pandemic burnout” as many people find the current phase of lockdowns harder, with an increasing number feeling worn out and unable to cope.

The Guardian

So here I’ve parked, this past year, largely confined to home with computers and ideas for books on all sides, shielded from such distractions as a social life. Liberally supplied with food, water, tea … Read more

Global panacea: Shift into virtual realities?

As predicted, the worlds described in MOM and Genesis 2.0 lie just down the road. I wrote this “science fiction” in full knowledge it might soon be better described as history. And I was right. Consider the exponential advances of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and nanotech; see what transformations they have already wrought. 

Read the MAGIC CIRCLES novels for a preview of how the human condition might soon be further shaped, for example, by a global pandemic — one far … Read more

A la mode du jour

Aphorism du jour (hot off the press)

One good thing about blogging: you can present nearly any proposition you like, and nowhere is it written you must provide hard evidence to support it. 

So I’ll let the following rip just because I’m in the mood and because I don’t have to please academic supervisors or my mother or anybody.

A few weeks ago we saw how our preferred books, movies, music and choices of underwear, rather than being determined by … Read more

Altered states, alternate realities

This week’s post follows on from last Thursday’s look at the selfie culture found within coffee shops of a certain standard. 

Trying to account for what I witnessed, I was stuck by the notion that many of my fellow citizens seek refuge in new and improved realities. And these realities are socially and digitally engineered according to criteria that remain opaque to mere humans – including, arguably, the IT whiz kids responsible for the tech underlying these new cognitive dimensions. … Read more

Realities we inhabit: A bestiary

Alternate universe #1

Cutsie coffee shops: Where do they all come from?

After many years in the trendy Ari Samphan area, I’ve moved to quite another flavor of Bangkok neighborhood. Like Ari, however, this one comes replete with fashionable coffee shops, and, as with the Ari area, the trendier the physical plant the cuter it is – the more it’s garnished with flounces and flowers and filled with comely young ladies dressed to the nines and brandishing camera phones. … Read more

Pandemic pandemics

It’s nice to see Joe Biden tackling so many urgent issues right out of the starting gate, for one thing issuing executive orders that veer away from the previous administration’s willful abdication of any responsibility, past, present or future, for climate change.

It’s also encouraging to see him elevate his top science advisor to cabinet rank.

True or false? Respect for the authority of those with specialized training and experience is declining in inverse proportion to increasing respect for authoritarian … Read more

Fashion statement du jour: IoT wrist monitor

In line with much of the general population, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. Neither a world leader with many responsibilities nor a wild young lad, I’m merely an insomniac.

Recently – yielding to Sara’s incessant advice that I buy a smartwatch – I acquired an Apple Watch. I still wasn’t too sure why I’d done this, so Sara badgered me into loading it with an app called AutoSleep. Every morning, now, AI independently verifies my latest defeat in … Read more

Dopamine addiction: The haikus

Enough with the novels, already. Time to spin some haikus, eh?

I admit it: the internet is eating my mind. And here are some related haikus, straight from the poet, by God.

Self-portrait: Tenuously me

Spring day darkening:

the locust digital swarm

eats my absent mind.

Read on for the essential lowdown on dopamine addiction.

Dipping for Dopamine

Delivery vehicles,

Every damn Like

A dopamine fix. 

Proto-cyborg Lament

The battery defunct,

My 5G iPhone is dead.

I am diminished. 

OxymoronRead more

101 ways social isolation is good for you

#1 Recover the pleasure of sinking into a long novel.  

I’ve started serializing Kicking Dogs on this site (the next chapter appears next Tuesday). This novel is just 242 pages long. Hardly more than a brochure and, ideally, it’ll leave you wishing there was more of it. 

MOM and Genesis 2.0 are longer. Much longer. But ideally, again, they’ll leave you wishing there was more. (In fact more of the Magic Circles series of novels is on … Read more

Pandemic books, pandemic reviews

Barbara Smaller, https://lithub.com/six-cartoonists-on-critical-failure-one-panel-at-a-time/

I’m posting a new Kicking Dogs chapter every Tuesday, and an independent item every Thursday.

Let’s kick off this week’s SIDECAR post with a seven-year-old item from Jack Shackaway, my collaborator and, incidentally, the hero of my novel Kicking Dogs.

Selling novels: What it takes
I’m probably over-reacting, but it’s already getting harder these days to take pride in thinking of yourself as a writer, since so can anybody with the price of a computer and

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