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Reading list 2019

This is a list of books I've read/listened to in 2019. Goal: 30. Achieved.

  • The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov
  • Dirty Weekend - Helen Zahavi
  • A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind - Shoukei Matsumoto
  • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K Dick
  • Citizen of the Galaxy - Robert A. Heinlein
  • A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick
  • The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  • To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Philip Jose Farmer
  • God Emperor of Dune - Frank Herbert
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne
  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  • Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
  • Silence on the Wire - Michal Zalewski
  • Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? - Mark Fisher
  • Words Made Flesh - Florian Cramer
  • The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe
  • Food of the Gods - Terence McKenna
  • The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark
  • The Sands of Mars - Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
  • Radicalized - Cory Doctorow
  • Anarchy Works - Peter Gelderloos
  • The Stainless Steel Rat - Harry Harrison
  • Sphere - Michael Crichton
  • The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Markets Not Capitalism - Gary Chartier
  • Battlefield Earth - L. Ron Hubbard
  • Alefen - Jorge Luis Borges
  • Ender's Shadow - Orson Scott Card
  • Who Fears Death - Nnedi Okorafor

just do it

As indicated in the previous post I have some major anxiety about putting my things out there be it texts, projects, code, music, opinions or what have you. If you add the component that English is my second language and while I'm ok at it I realize that my English is far from free from errors and stupid mistakes.

On the other hand I feel, fuck it! This is my space and people don't have to read it and if people find this and laugh at it, let them.

I try to invoke the diy spirit and "just do it".

Maybe something good will come out of this. Maybe it will quietly wither away. In the long run, who cares?

solarpunk in a cyberpunk world


This is a shower thought regarding the relation between solarpunk and its predecessor cyberpunk I haven't given this much thought but it might have some merit to it, or not. I have some major anxiety about voicing thoughts and opinions in public but here goes nothing.

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on a "combination of lowlife and high tech" featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order. - Wikipedia

Solarpunk is a movement that encourages optimistic envisionings of the future in light of present environmental concerns, such as climate change and pollution, as well as social inequality. - Wikipedia

I believe that solarpunk can be seen as a subset of cyberpunk. Maybe subset is the wrong word but the solarpunk attitude seems to fit perfectly into the cyberpunk way of viewing the world.

While cyberpunk was a foreboding warning of things to come many of us who has been following this genre increasingly have a crawling feeling that we are now living it 1, albeit a mundane boring version of it, probably without a sexy antihero saving the day. Sure, we have no general artificial intelligence entities nor a true cyberspace but our world looks, at least more and more like the dystopic world the scifi writers of the 80's and 90's envisioned.

When we live in a pretty dark world with bleak future prospects, what to do about? If we simplify the options one can either accept things as they are or dream of something better. Clearly, solarpunk nicely fits into the latter.

I believe that the solarpunk narrative can be seen as set within the "larger" cyberpunk narrative. Or a reaction/anti-reaction to it. Solar embedded in cyber.

Imagine a typical cyberpunk story. There will be a group of crusty hacker punks fighting the arm of some almighty megacorp. There will be exciting tech that has found unexpected use on the streets and all the other usual stuff, high tech - low life.

Life for the (trans) proletariat will probably be very hard in this world. Some of the more rebel minded people will most likely group together and try to build something better and greener in the shell of the old. This group of people might not be depicted in the novels and the movies but I find it very easy to imagine them in this context (though I'm very interested in seeing examples of solarpunks in gritty cyberpunk settings).

I'm conscious of the fact that I'm mixing reality and fiction when discussing this but that is part of the point. Who can tell the difference between fiction and reality nowdays anyway?

One can argue that the world we live in is far from being anything close to being cyberpunk and that would make this whole line of reasoning mute however if we just play with the idea and take it as a given I think the solarpunky reaction to modern society brings up many interesting points. Solarpunk not only wants a greener future but also better world for everyone. Many, if not all, seems to be leaning towards some form of social anarchism. But wait, there is more. They are trying to make this a reality today.

While I'm personally a bit too nihilistic and cynical to fully embrace solarpunk I find it to be a much needed breath of fresh air in the boring dystopia that is our world today.

End of rambling shower thought.


the 20-minutes into the future. virtual reality, increasing authoritarianism, climate change, pollution, wars, influencers, the psycedelic renecanse drones, private armies, china vs usa vs russia, schenzeng, facebook, bitcoin, silk road, cypherpunk, state run hacker operations (see stuxnet), drm, chinas creditscore system, smart phones, increasing wage gaps, late stage capitalism,capitalist realism, the "gig" economy, ccc & defcon, hackerspaces, the infosec industriy, the snowden revelations, 2016 us presidential elecion,iphones, tiny houses, biohacking, housing market going to hell worldwide, copyright laws, gentrification, g8 hamburg, the pirate bay, ransomware, the panama papers,capitalist realism, militarization of police, the right to repair movement, farmers buying ukrainen hackers to mak their tractors work, rojava, techwear, apple, analog and digital minimalism, fake news and massive disinformation operations, driverless electric cars, GNU/Linux + all the bsd flavors, the popularity of mr robot, cannabis normalization, alexa, google home, siri, hong kong protests, NSA, privatization of the commons, amazon, telecomix, rain forests on fire, tinder dating, revenge porn, deepfakes, 4chan, arabiska våren, crypto wars 2.0, private survalience companies, increasing total state survalience, anonomous, designer drugs, survalience capitalism, the death of physical news papers, pokemon go.

the list goes on...

Our current world is a strange place.

Godzilla (1954)


I've decided to take on the mission to watch all Godzilla movies. Why? Well, why not. Life is boring. I'm following this list. Decided to write a few words on every movie. There might be spoilers. I've already watched the 10 first movies so expect the associated posts to be on the short side.

Starting with Godzilla (1954) [imdb].

This is a classic scifi/horror flick from 1954 that holds up pretty damn well today (65 years later!). It has a more serious tone compared to latter movies in the franchise.

Godzilla clearly represents the Japanese fear of nuclear annihilation, people smarter than me has probably written thick in depth dissertations on this subject.

It corresponds well to my preconceived notions of how (old) Japanese movies look and feel.

Speaking of looks, it looks truly great! Both in terms on cinematics, lighting and special effects. It is crusty beautiful eye candy all the way through. The acting isn't maybe top notch at all times but it doesn't disturb me in the slightest.

My biggest grudge with this movie is probably the ending. The magical Deus ex machina Oxygen Destroyer saves the day. On the other hand it's not that bad and gives the movie a good scifi feeling.

Good shit, would watch again for sure.

Song of the week [39]


Decadence Within - A Breath Of Fresh Air

Some good old anarcho-punk to start things off.

We bend in the wind of the system's power,

they raise their fist and we always cower.

Our personal freedom is the key to it all,

the only way to smash down their walls.

Found it on the second release of Overground Record's Anarcho-Punk series VA Anarcho Punk Vol 2 Anti-State.

Bonus: Here is a good read on Dedadence Within