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Posts by Kate Paulk

Off to RavenCon

In about an hour I’ll be leaving for RavenCon – while I’m looking forward to the con, the drive… not so much.

So have fun storming the castle, try not to destroy the place, and be nice to your fellow Mad Geniuses (Genii? I’ve never been quite sure how which way English prefers – and knowing English, the answer is possibly “both”).

I shall be back next week with – hopefully – the after-action report. If I have sufficient brain to do it, it will be a faux Olde English after action report, otherwise just the plain ordinary sort.


To Raven I Shall Go

RavenCon approacheth (as it will be happening in just over a week) and yours truly is a guest this year, so let there be much rejoicing.

Seriously, I like RavenCon. If it wasn’t at the edge of the distance I’ll drive in a day, I’d treat it as my home con, especially since my other relatively close con (LunaCon) seems to have imploded, exploded, or maybe merely ploded.

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Harry Potter and the Funny Fanfics

When I need to de-stress – which is rather a lot of late, thanks to the work location (things are improving, but not anything resembling “good”, thanks to my medical issues interacting… poorly with the workplace), I’ll go trawling fanfiction for interesting, entertaining, and preferably funny pieces.

Since these are stressful times for all, I figured I’d share some of my finds with y’all – remembering of course that humor is very much an individual thing and one person’s wet-yourself-funny is another’s “meh”.

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Beating the Odds

A while back, I read a fascinating piece of non-fiction – Howard Bloom’s The Global Brain. Actually pretty much anything of Bloom’s is worth reading, although it can be slow going at times. The man has a way of drawing from multiple fields of science to produce interesting hypotheses, some of which ring awfully true.

The one that hit me most was in Global Brain, talking about how what he describes as “collective learning machines” (otherwise known as functional, growing anythings) need five elements to function: conformity enforcers, diversity generators, inner-judges, resource shifters, and intergroup tournaments.

He also theorized that they operate at all levels, from the microbiotic all the way up the scale to cultures and societies. Read more

Blast From the Past: To Forgive or Not to Forgive

So I ran into a complete “do not want” when I started to write this post, and instead went looking for something appropriate from the much earlier days of this post. And lo and behold, I found an old gem about how readers will forgive most things as long as you give them enough pleasure in the process. By which I mean if you give a satisfying story in some way, all sorts of technical issues will be forgiven because the readers liked enough about it to overlook the problems.

So without further ado, here’s the rest of the piece.

To forgive or not to forgive

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Escaping the Cave

Rather more often than I would have expected when I started doing this, I find the software testing blogs I read cross-pollinating my observations about writing in general and the industry. I ran across one of them today, talking about Plato’s Cave and how the allegory applies to software teams in the industry, particularly the tendency of those who have been in the “cave” for a long time to fight against any suggestion that there might be another way.

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And a Mystery is Solved

If you’ve ever had to deal with medical oddness (which is probably something like 150% of the readers here, because most of us deal with it at least twice over) and had to try to explain to the more normal folks why you just can’t do that – whatever “that” happens to be – you’ll understand the sheer relief that happens when you figure out why something is a problem.

In my case it’s rumbly bass that moves into the vibrating range. It’s given me trouble since I was an angsty teen, making me dizzy, vaguely nauseous, and leaving me feeling as though some bastard replaced my joints with rubber bands. Of course, that’s exactly what the mechanical room next door to my new workplace does to me.

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