Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Thurs.

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* If you were offered a true statistic about an alien civilization, but only one, what would it be? MR, true to form, wants information about “the real rate of return on capital.” I’d want a measure of the class inequality in their society; “infant mortality rate” is suggested in the comments, but of course we don’t know what their lifecycle is like so that answer might not tell us anything. “How many other civilizations have you exterminated?”, also from the MR comments, seems a good choice too…

* David Foster Wallace, Viking Poet.

* All six hours of The Staircase, a true-crime documentary set right here in Durham, is now available on Google Video. Jaimee and I watched this a few years ago and quite enjoyed it. The discussion in the MetaFilter thread is preoccupied with the documentary’s veracity, but this aspect doesn’t really trouble me; I don’t think the film presents itself as an objective or dispassionate approach to “the facts,” which is not something I think documentaries are really capable of achieving in the first place. The film is very engaging and not deceptive, which is good enough for me.

* This Indexed fantasy league is incredibly flawed. There’s no way a single zombie could defeat a werewolf, a vampire, an elf, and a ghost to win the championship; I believe the word you’re looking for is zombies.

* Anarchism and science fiction: a reading list. Via MeFi.

* Two more Civ V previews from Gamespot and IGN.

* And please be advised your doomsday seed vault is functioning perfectly.

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