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Psychophant

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Psychophant last won the day on January 29

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About Psychophant

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 10/01/1966

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  • old username
    JRE
  • tweet?
    Psicofante

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  1. Back home, though feeling a bit under the weather. There must have been something dodgy either in the fast food shawarma, eaten in the traffic jam to the airport, or in Alitalia's business class lasagna. It is not as clear cut as it may seem... Got six free hours yesterday morning, so we got one hour at the Pyramids and five hours in traffic. Still breathkaking, like few human made objects are.
  2. In Cairo, settled in a big hotel+casino (only foreigners allowed) when not dodging traffic in an armoured SUV with an armed driver as escort, visiting companies that in most cases were set up by Lebanese or Syrian exiles, discussing Saudi Iranian politics over coffee, and how Dubai is going to implode in any moment now, considering that our host set up a Dubai subsidiary five years ago when he expected Egypt to implode, any moment now... And some details you will not see in the Western news, such as a potential war over a dam in Ethiopia, halving the Nile flow... Or the horror show that used to be Lybia. If a visit falls through on Thursday I might be able to see the pyramids and Tutankhamon's room, before flying to Rome. There may be photos, if I am lucky.
  3. This reminds me of the old board, the fashion for Myers-Briggs tests that gave us a clear majority of introverted, and over half the results were INTJ or INTP, which represent less than 5% of the general population.
  4. According to him (we had a discussion in the old board, now lost): And (a potentially useful note here), in rereading my books (or at this point reading them) in one massive draught, read them in this order if you want them to make the most (or any) sense: RANDOM ACTS OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE, HEATHERN, AMBIENT, TERRAPLANE, ELVISSEY, and GOING, GOING, GONE. My Russian novel, LET's PUT THE FUTURE BEHIND US, can be read whenever you want to read it independent of anything else.
  5. Started Infomocracy, but work, traveling and housework is cutting in my read time. I am currently worried someone at Google could be considering it a strategic plan... I have not yet started with Killing Commendatore, but read a mini-format Murakami's short story, Birthday Girl. Unusual in having a female main character, it is interesting but extremely short. I also squeezed in Dave Hutchinson's novella Acadie, a classical hard sci fi with a twist. I was wishing it wre a full novel instead, till the twist shows why it was a one-off, and yet it makes it much more credible. Recommended.
  6. We saw Alita last Sunday. Quite good as a spectacle. The kind of movie you need to see in a cinema. I liked most of the cyber, and how she really behaves as a teenager with berserk tendencies. I never was in the anime/manga, so I cannot say how it rates. At home mostly series, most of them old. I just finished with Justified (almost jumped the shark but managed to end with dignity), and now alternating the 3rd season of True Detective with Northern Exposure in DVD. I am a bit down with Counterpart, as I liked the first season but not so much the new one.
  7. I found another one yesterday while strolling in the evening through Florence. It may be a bit old, as it has suffered some vandalism, and it is very similar to other works.
  8. Thanks. Once I read Killing Commendatore I will have read all his works published in English, so this is quite interesting, though unsurprising reading. Men without women goes from strongest to weakest, in my opinion, but it is still a set of excellent short stories. However his point of view is so obviously masculine that I wonder how does a woman relate to his male characters. Maybe reading Banana Yoshimoto or Hiromi Kawakami. I find that the Japanese are actually living in our future, so their literature encapsulates our current urban alienation and humanity at the same time, in a way few other nationalities get., as for them it is the past.
  9. Trapped in Sunless Skies. It is even better than Sunless Sea, where I spent something like 400 hours and thousands of lives. To avoid if you do not like dying in stupid ways or reading carefully walls of text. And you get to drive a steam locomotive through the sky, learn a new vocabulary, and really affect the universe in meaningful ways. Except as a MP (from what I have seen).
  10. A Street Artist I have seen in different Italian cities. These photos are spread through a period of four years. The Chronology is newer first. Modena Modena Bologna Bologna Modena Modena Firenze Sienna Sienna Pisa Firenze Firenze
  11. I will shamelessly make this thread mine... You could see our home there... Annecy Rotonda, Palladio Bologna
  12. The Delaney I was thinking of was The Fall of the Towers. At the end of the day I went with Murakami's short stories. He really rubs the spot. And before I finished the Abercrombie. I could have done without the last 100 pages. And without the Hero Ex Machina.
  13. Wonders of this age. I received Infomocracy today with my yearly Murakami dose (Men without women and Killing Commendatore). I still have the Ack Ack Macaque omnibus in the to read pile, while I am trapped in the middle of Vance's Madouc (reread, but still a pleasure) and Abercrombie's Best served Cold. I am also plodding through Glantz' Operation Barbarrossa, but that is a longterm project. I am not sure yet what to do... Probably I should finish at least Abercrombie's, but he has killed or maimed the only characters I liked, so it is starting to feel like a chore.
  14. Thinking back, the only books that had me really impressed in the last years is Hannu Rajaniemi's Jean Le Flambeur series, though they are not for everyone. They highlight how difficult it is to see posthumans from a human perspective. Quantum Thief is the first and easiest of the three, so if it does not click, the others are worse. The kind of book (I had a similar experience with Borges and Samuel Delaney) where I could not really explain what it is about, only feelings and sensations, in this case that this is how the future may taste.
  15. Interesting times at work, in the middle of an automotive industry meltdown in Europe. NDA'd to hell, so hard to say much, but between the fake diesel concern (not that burning oil products is a good thing, but diesel+urea is clearly better than gasoline), the semi-fake Brexit closures (using Brexit as the excuse to close facilities in UK), we are in the middle of discussions about building a new plant abroad to supply the tire industry. So traveling and learning about weird foreign customs. And how actual business deals are inextricably linked to excessive alcohol consumption, and usually too much food. It gets worse as you move East, maybe because there the interchangeable corporate drones have not made much headway, and correctness is not a virtue. So much business traveling sucks the pleasure out of traveling, so when we have some free time we go traveling for pleasure, which somehow ends up in a little culture, a lot of shopping, and foodie concerns. Returning some joy to what otherwise I do for duty. Who would have thought I would end up not wishing to travel to Florence next week, even considering I may have have a free half morning and dinner at Florence's Harry's Bar (similar to Venice's, but without tourists). Fortunately our material reduces fuel consumption and therefore the carbon footprint. Otherwise I would feel I am singlehandedly responsible for the flooding of Holland, just by flight hours.
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