STTNG – Qpid (Review)

Picard is looking forward to giving the keynote address at some archaeology conference the Enterprise is hosting. PLEASE tell me some kind of emergency is going to happen? There’s a ring at the door and … … it’s Troi. And she’s come to tell him to get some rest. And to tell him what a…

Look Who Doesn’t Like Free Trade

They said the Second World War ended. I can’t help but notice a certain, um, theme to this graphic: It’s graphic representation of the results of a Pew Survey of popular support for a free trade agreement with the United States in Europe. Notice how support is both strong and broad: nearly all member states…

Tough Movement is Tougher than you Think

Benjamin Bruening has an interesting squib in the fall 2014 issue of Linguistic Inquiry about "defective intervention." That’s when a phrase blocks a movement or agreement process even though it is incapable of participating in it.1 More accurately, "has been rendered" incapable of participating in it: in most examples taken to be instances of defective…

The Plagiarism that Probably Wasn’t

Here’s an interesting little problem: someone named Peter Gallagher is suing Joss Whedon et al claiming that The Cabin in the Woods substantially copies from his independently-published 2007 novel The Little White Trip. That first link goes to a pdf of the lawsuit which, starting on page 11, helpfully lays out the similarities between the…

STTNG – Nth Degree (Review)

The Nth Degree opens with two strikes against it: we’re watching the crew perform in a play, and Lt. Barclay is one of the actors. Barclay’s performance is crap. Which is saying a lot, because he’s playing Cyrano de Bergerac to Beverly Crusher’s Roxanne. If you can’t out-act Dr. Crusher, you officially suck donkey balls.…

What I Wish Had Been Clearly Said

George R. R. Martin’s latest, and ostensibly final, Sad Puppies post raises a critical point in a tone deaf way. If you distill all the point-by-point responses down to their essence, it basically comes down to telling Larry Correia that it would have helped, like a lot, to have done some kind of documentary spadework,…

Gaming the Gaming System

The interesting thing about the Sad Puppies controversy is that both sides make some kind of claim to dislike factionalized voting. That’s the objection to Sad Puppies essentially verbatim: that they’re "gaming" the system in the sense that few people who weren’t on their list have a chance of winning this year. They "stacked" the…