The audio medium has it’s advantages, but there are quite a few disadvantages as well. There are quite a few good posts (or “essays”) of Eliezer’s that I doubt I’ll ever podcast, because they contain illustrations or graphs which can’t be translated into audio. Even the ones that are translatable lose something. People who haven’t seen one in it’s original format probably don’t realize that they are often heavily inter-linked, to remind a reader of points made earlier. For example, this line from Fake Explanations contains a separate link for each word: “And as we all know by this point (I do hope)” It has led me on many a groovy multi-hour wikiwalk.
In unrelated news, I recently toured a local sports stadium as part of a corporate event. We got to see the press room, with fancy audio equipment! I posed with one of the microphones, putting on a “serious broadcaster” face. There’s nothing like photo-bombing coworkers to remind you not to put on airs. :)
I first read this story a looooong time ago. I don’t even recall how long ago, but it’s entirely possible it was near the date of original publication. It stuck with me. It was one of the first stories I read that eschewed good-vs-evil in favor of “almost no one is evil, almost everything is broken.” I figured if the story had enough lasting power that I still occasionally thought of it, I could certainly podcast it here, and the incredibly generous Mark Rudolph was ok with me doing so. If you want to check out his other work, he has another story and a poem at Strange Horizons as well.
I’m kinda surprised I was able to find “Words of Love” actually. Not until recently have I started to retain the names of stories, novels, and authors. I grew up with a library card, and thus my reading materials were impermanent. They always disappeared when I was done. I didn’t have many friends as a child, so I didn’t have anyone to discuss the stories with and so no reason to be able to identify them with short labels such as Title or Author. If a related topic ever came up in conversation I’d simply describe a story’s plot or premise. I never realized what a disservice this was to the author, and never changed that habit. It wasn’t until I joined a book club a few years ago that I actually started to pay attention to such things as “Title” or “Author” and now I wish I’d been doing it all along.
Finding “Words of Love” was a process that came and went in fits and starts over a number of years, with much Googling and brain-wracking. I’m still surprised it happened. From vague memories of a plot and a world, to a direct link to the original publication is quite a feat, and one I haven’t been able to replicate often. The internet rocks.
I am indebted to Ginny for not only voicing Twilight Sparkle, but also for so fantastically singing those lines from Julia. And she is just a fantastic person all around! You may know her for her cosplay, or from previous parody videos. She is currently working on a project to recreate many of the Disney songs that were cut from the final versions of Disney’s animated movies. She stars in (and produces) videos bringing those songs to life – full costumes & the works. The first one is out now – Megara’s Ballad “I Can’t Believe My Heart” from Hercules. You should go check it out, either on the Geekiarcy Home Page, or directly at YouTube. The next one will be out in a couple weeks!
I wanted to get a very raspy, post-apocalyptic dystopia voice for the narration of this episode. Fortunately I’ve had some prior experience in how to do that, but it required some help from friends. First, I gathered a lot of them in a confined space and we all talked loudly for many hours, in order to put a lot of prolonged stress on my vocal cords. While doing that I drank a fair bit of alcohol, to really dehydrate me and get that authentic “Water is a scarce resource” sound. And I even choked down a couple cigarettes, to really rough up the airways. Finally I went to bed and slept several hours, to let all the abuse settle in and develop into that hoarse, dying sound.
This was in no way a party. Not even a little bit. At all.
Yeah ok, I threw a party. But I timed it to coincide with the recording of this episode, cuz I knew the effect it has on my voice the next day. #ForTheArt.
In other news, Phil and Kaja Foglio of Girl Genius are the NICEST PEOPLE EVER. Not only did they agree to record a few lines for some random con-goer’s podcast that they’d never heard of, BUT after he fucked up and had to come back a couple hours later begging them to do it again, they graciously did so!!! OMG SO HAPPY! And they were so cool about it all! Come Jan/Feb when all the updates are finalized and uploaded, their voices will be included!
I never know which essays to pick when I do these episodes. There are soooo many of them, and they are all just spectacular. I don’t have any plans to do them all, partly because there’s so many, partly because some of them wouldn’t translate into audio very well (diagrams and such), and partly because quite a few of them are already available (for a small fee). So I’m trying to just pick a few that aren’t a great inferential distance away from an average listener that hasn’t read the Sequences, hopefully ones that such a listener would find enjoyable and interesting enough to maybe go and find the Sequences and read them for themselves. I’m never sure if I’ve done a very good job of that or not.
Yup, Evangelion is the reason I associate apocalyptic quasi-religious anime with old crooner love songs.
Note: I’ll be at the Denver Less Wrong Meetup on Weds Oct 15th, 6:30pm, at Strange Grounds. I’ve been meaning to go to a LW Meetup for a long time, and with one being hosted almost in my backyard by a friend I just plum ran out of excuses. Come hang out with us!
I really like the ending to Trust in God. I’ve never been a fan of “The End” endings. I prefer mine to feel like jumping-off points. IMHO the best ending is one that can be summarized as “and after that nothing was ever the same again.” It leaves an entire world wide open and alive and rich. I keep hearing that the ending of Snow Crash was terrible, but I never would have figured that out on my own. To me it was a perfectly fine ending. I’m very much of the opinion that nothing ever ends, except maybe when you die, and even then it only ends for you.
Request for help: I’m wracking my brain and flogging google trying to find a story, but I’m not having any luck. I figured I’d try here. A few years ago I read a short story about a company that requires its employees to work sealed off from the outside world, to preserve trade secrets. The employees also install a memory lock in their brains, which prevents them from remembering anything that happens in the workplace when they are not at work. These two coworkers really loathe each other, but they don’t know each other outside of work. By happenstance they meet out in the real world and start dating. Shenanigans ensue when they meet in the office again and realize who they are. Worse, one of them is already in a relationship with a different coworker, but of course no one remembers that outside the office. I recall enjoying it quite a bit, maybe someone will have read this and can remember what the story is called, or some way to find it? Or knows someone who may?