Loser's Guide Loser's Guide

 Loser's Guide to Life

Friday, February 16, 2007


I seem to have watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica, but you have to have seen lots of episodes to get anything out of it. Certainly it will be interesting to see what happens next with that guy.

What I can do for now is make a simple javaScript that would generate characters' names for future seasons. Output:

Hal “Forceps” Adamantine
W/O Ferrucio Tylenol
Jim Monbuddo McAllister
Dr Mary-Pat Iqbal
Didius Contumax Bolger
Et Al.

Et Al. could be a character who includes all the others somehow, a sort of philosophical thing. He comes from the planet Loq Sit.

What I never liked about space shows was their tendency to magnify fairly humdrum human interactions at the expense of the truly horrifying and awesome adventure of space flight. On any of those shows, the crew will have traveled some staggering distance in a totally hostile and unknown void (fit only for trembling in) just to meet some aliens who are bedevilled with some problem. I think there's an episode of Star Trek where they beam down to the planet and the aliens rush up and complain that they're all out of smokes, and Kirk has to come up with something.

I found the whole thing unimaginative where it counts. Suspension of disbelief, when it gets too massive, can turn into suspension of giving two hoots. What I want to know is, how the hell—

Yes, well, pretending they have like a machine that can do that and let's pretend they can transport themselves from orbit to the surface and they have this sort of little box that can tell whether there's any life on the planet and and and—

Yeah, well, you can just pretend I'm paying attention then.

I used to wonder how people managed to tie their shoelaces, for example. People would demonstrate, and I would watch closely and be baffled, like someone being shown a card trick. There was a bit towards the end where the magic happened that I couldn't quite master until I was six or so. It's the same if you go to a new job: People will show you the ropes, allegedly, and up to a point. But they like to keep some crucial stuff to themselves, because that's a pitiful source of pride for them, a bit of arcana known only to the true initiate and old hand. A few months into the job you discover it: Aha! So that's where they keep the manila envelopes. Okay.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.