Tag Archives: debate

Less like moderating than refereeing

Looks like my first stint as a panel moderator will be rather more challenging than I expected. Let’s see …

First Jetse came out in defence of short reviews.

Then Niall took him to task for it (and generated a, shall we say, lively comments thread).

Then Jonathan put in his two pence (generating another busy comments thread that includes a visit from ((a possibly justifiably irate)) Andy Cox).

Meanwhile, Gabe sits tight on the other side of the Atlantic, wishing for an opportunity to deploy his critic-fu mad rant sk1llz, and A. R. Yngve certainly has reviews on his mind (although I’m not sure if he’s coming to the con or not).

And there was me thinking this was a topic hardly anyone would care about. I’m not known for my leadership abilities, so this may end up as an exercise in herding cats … metaphorically angry cats, with metaphorical guns.

Still, life’s a learning curve, isn’t it? 🙂 Updating from a little after midday Friday (public transport permitting); until then, hasta luego, amigos.

How to know you’re winning an argument

When people arguing the other side retreat into irony, desperate and irrelevant worst-case scenarios or a combination of the two, you’ve got to be on the right track. Here’s Scott Edelman in his column at SciFi Weekly, talking about the print/digital reading debate:

But—how can you predict the future of publishing and have nothing to say about the aftereffects of a possible nuclear war?


Whether you think such an event might occur this decade, this century or this millennium, you should ask the next question, which is—how will we be able to read electronic stories once there’s no electricity? We won’t be able to read e-books on our computers by candlelight. A disaster of that magnitude might take us back to the basics of paper and ink. In fact, we may arrive at a time when it will be as if anything that had existed only in electronic form—such as this editorial—never existed at all.

OK, I’m pretty positive he’s doing a slightly ironic overstatement thing here. But even that is a bit lame, really – is that all a columninst and editor-in-chief of a major online magazine can come up with as the end for a piece of the rise of digital media? Bit of a red herring argument, really – it’s almost as if he wants to completely avoid having a serious opinion on the issue, which is a weird stance for an editorial column to take. 

Chimerism, or an embarrassment of souls

Looks like there’s an accidental religious theme to my posts this week, but I couldn’t let this one slip by without some commentary. If the destruction of an early-stage embryo is the destruction of a soul, as espoused by Dubya and friends, how many souls does a chimeric human have? Continue reading Chimerism, or an embarrassment of souls