Quick Hits

Item 1: We are so living in the future now, says William Gibson:

Say it’s midway through the final year of the first decade of the 21st Century. Say that, last week, two things happened: scientists in China announced successful quantum teleportation over a distance of ten miles, while other scientists, in Maryland, announced the creation of an artificial, self-replicating genome. In this particular version of the 21st Century, which happens to be the one you’re living in, neither of these stories attracted a very great deal of attention.

But don’t just rely on the excerpted graph! There’s a lot more — about the nature of science fiction (in particular, and fiction in general), about the way that Gibsons novels have evolved over time, and about the idea that the future isn’t going to be The Future!! anymore but rather just the future, with stuff followed by more stuff followed by more stuff. This is, in essence, the basis of the grim meathook future, which still contains the best description I’ve ever heard of the future: “it holds what the past holds: a great deal of extreme boredom punctuated by occasional horror and the odd moment of grace.” (via)

Item 2: I’m always amazed at the willingness of people to whine about air travel. (“A flight attendant on my last flight didn’t smile at me, am I entitled to compensation?”) So with that in mind, the good folks at the AAdvantage forum presentthe stupidest, most inconsequential thread ever. By design. It’s a thing of beauty.

Item 3: I wasn’t aware there was a point behind Van Halen’s infamous demands about brown M&Ms. It turns out there was a very good point, and who ever knew David Lee Roth was so sneaky?

Item 4: Depressed? Angry? Bored? As your attorney in this matter, I strongly advise you to ensure you get your daily dose of adorable assed animals. You will thank me later.