Worlds of Yesterday

by Felix Gilman on June 4, 2012

More than two centuries ago, our Founders laid out a charter that assured the rule of law and the rights of man. Through times of tranquility and the throes of change, the Constitution has always guided our course toward fulfilling that most noble promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve the chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. America has carried on not only for the skill or vision of history’s celebrated figures, but also for the generations who have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. On Loyalty Day, we reflect on that proud heritage and press on in the long journey toward prosperity for all.

— Loyalty Day Presidential Proclamation, May 1 2012

Red Plenty is so unusual in its structure and concerns, and it does what it does so well, that after reading it one wonders if there’s a Red Plenty Method that could – should – be generalized to tackle other problems. Teams of graduate students could construct knock-off Red Plenties, not as good as the original but still pretty good and efficiently targeted to meet increasing requirements. First I want to see them tackle the above Loyalty Day Proclamation, almost before irritation, was to wonder how the Red Plenty Method would approach it.  The stories of a generation of US policy wonks – earnest, careerist, idealistic, and/or cynical – required to press on in the long journey toward Prosperity, first figuring what Prosperity means, while doing so in a way that is faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents, as interpreted by political actors in the most bloody-minded way possible, in the context of political institutions that reduce every idea to crudely weaponized slogans. Anyway I suppose this is as good a place as any to make a formal request for Red Plenty Extended Universe franchise fiction.

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Multitasking and Peripatetic Philosophy

by John Holbo on June 4, 2012

I’m sympathetic to a number of points made here (via Andrew Sullivan). I have been trying to institute anti-distraction mechanisms in my own life. Forced offline time. I have little doubt pretty much everyone ought to, these days. At the same time, I’m a big believer in effective multitasking. My philosophy is: peripatetic philosophy is healthy. [click to continue…]