"2065. The entire planet is hit by the effects of climate change. One of the few places that remain habitable is Antarctica, where corporations have built private cities. Hebe and Ciro
get back together again. She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." [NSFW, Via]
posted by homunculus
on Sep 21, 2014 -
Uncomfortable in His Own Skin ‘Your Face in Mine,’ by Jess Row, a Novel About Changing Race: [New York Times]
"When literary fiction dares examine the issue of race at all, it is usually done in an exceedingly tone-deaf way (think William Styron’s Confessions Of Nat Turner or Kathryn Stockett’s The Help) or from a somewhat safe remove (think Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue). It always seems as if the story is accompanied by a blaring announcement that it’s time for this (white) protagonist to learn something. Sometimes the pedantic drum-banging can get so excessive it drowns out everything else, including the inclination to tell a good story. If nothing else, the debut novel from Jess Row, Your Face In Mine, is a refreshing plunge into the deep end of the race conversation." [A.V. Club] [more inside]
posted by Fizz
on Aug 31, 2014 -
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts
is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials
, heartbreaking eulogies
, and agonizing run-ins with fascists
) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting
science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed
2006 novel Blindsight [full text]
-- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room
, the Philosophical Zombie
, Chernoff faces
, and the myriad quirks and blind spots
that haunt the human mind.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Aug 25, 2014 -
On April 8, 2013, I received an envelope in the mail from a nonexistent return address in Toledo, Ohio. Inside was a blank thank-you note and an Ohio state driver’s license. The ID belonged to a 28-year-old man called Aaron Brown—6 feet tall and 160 pounds with a round face, scruffy brown hair, a thin beard, and green eyes. His most defining feature, however, was that he didn’t exist.
I know that because I created him.
posted by spock
on Jul 28, 2014 -
Indelible Ink: The Deep History of Tattoo Removal
By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, documentation of tattoo removal was often found in accounts of Europeans in contact with cultures overseas—particularly, although not exclusively, societies in the New World. The failed effort to remove the English pirate’s facial tattoo was not the only attempt at such a procedure in the early modern Atlantic world. A number of French, Spanish, English, and Native American sources suggest that people of the period could regret their permanent body modifications just as much as modern people do.
Tattoo removal in the past, however, reflected something more powerful than transient personal taste. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 3, 2014 -
The Names They Gave Me.
From the essay:
" 'Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.'
My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.
'Don’t let them give you an English nickname,' my mother insists once again, 'I didn’t raise amreekan
My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth."
By Tasbeeh Herwees in The Toast.
posted by sweetkid
on Jan 17, 2014 -
Passweird - Passwords too gross to steal.
This website will create for you a password that is not only secure*, but is also so utterly repulsive that not even the most hardened criminal, identity thief, NSA agent, or jealous boyfriend would ever want to use it. *ish, but probably not. Don't use these for real.
posted by Rock Steady
on Dec 30, 2013 -
This year's critical darling essay collection -- Junot Diaz's favorite read of the year (#)
, Michael Robbins's pick for best book of the year (#)
-- is White Girls
by Hilton Als. Mentions of Als are infrequent on Metafilter, so I thought I would share a Readlist collection of his stuff
(that has a bit of overlap with the book).
posted by AceRock
on Dec 16, 2013 -
[T]he parrhesia in social media may set individuals against one another in pointless struggles for authenticity while precluding them from uniting politically to fight for shared goals against those remote elites. The satisfaction of those games, the “self” and “truth” that emerges from those compulsions [...] make the present tolerable or even pleasurable while altering nothing about a general condition that makes people feel overburdened, depressed, precarious, excluded, humiliated. There is a pale satisfaction in making a limited truth in the moment, even if it has no effect on the distribution of power or the way one is known by society.
In a series of recent posts at The New Inquiry
, Rob Horning writes about the construction of the self in social media as novelistic pleasure
, ego depletion
, and Foucauldian truth game
posted by RogerB
on Nov 23, 2013 -
"So why might a guy want to go on the lam? [The author of How To Disappear Completely and Never Be Found
] lists three categories: legal, financial and psychological. He missed one. Scepticism: a cynical itch to find out whether the advice is sound and, if so, whether it's still relevant almost 30 years after it was published. Which is how I came to be...a 'lamster'
." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange
on Sep 18, 2013 -
This St. George's Day sees news of the next attempt
to redress Britain's superhero shortage: Englishman
, who looks like Iron Man crossed with a mediaeval crusader.
The series promises “brand new, quintessentially English characters, including Greenbelt and Dry Stone Wall”. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Apr 23, 2013 -
Are Your Facebook Friends Stressing You Out? (Yes.)
- "The finding, which is similar to one determined last year, is nice as a headline: It's both unexpected (friends! stressing you out! ha!) and ironic (the currency of the social web, taking value rather than adding it!). What's interesting, though, is the why of the matter: the idea that, the report theorizes, the wider your Facebook network, the more likely it is that something you say or do on the site will end up offending one of that network's members... Unsurprisingly, per the study's survey of more than 300 Facebook users, 'adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety.'" [more inside]
posted by flex
on Nov 27, 2012 -
You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say.
"Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits just by looking at the person's shoes." Virginia Postrel responded
: "The study made a solid contribution to research on first impressions, but it was hardly earthshaking. By getting so much attention, however, it demonstrated a sociological truth: People love to talk about shoes. Even those who dismissed the research as silly often felt compelled to call radio stations or comment on websites, providing details about their own choices. Why this fascination with footwear? " [more inside]
posted by flex
on Oct 15, 2012 -
The person you used to be still tells you what to do
: "We work from conclusions made years ago, usually with no idea of when we made them, or why. Most of our standing impressions are probably based on a single experience — one instance of unpleasantness or disappointment that turned you off of entire categories of recreational activities, lifestyles and creative pursuits, forever." (via notnamed)
posted by flex
on Oct 8, 2012 -
"I don't see anything anti-American about not wanting to become an American citizen; it's similar to the fact that I don't know how to swim. I'm not anti-water; it just never mattered that much to me and my life is fine without it." Why I'm Still Not An American
, an essay from a British green-card-holder with complex roots and complex feelings.
posted by Phire
on Sep 17, 2012 -
"Take everything you know and imagine about Freddie Mercury
: the iconic British rock star, the philandering partier, the serial maker of testosteroned-anthems, and flip it around to something less familiar: Farrokh Bulsara, a demure, bucktoothed Indian boy in a Bombay boarding school, listening to Lata Mangeshkar, playing cricket." -- Janaki Challa writes about the contradiction in the openly gay image of Freddie Mercury the performer and his much more private cultural identity off it.
posted by MartinWisse
on Sep 6, 2012 -
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 27, 2012 -
"Truman told Jack that he was frankly surprised that anyone who knew him well did not immediately recognize the inspiration behind Holly Golightly. And yet, everyone seems to agree that the true identity of Holly Golightly, nee Lula Mae Barnes, is a great mystery, and that her true inspiration can never be known. Well, that was yesterday, this is today. I’m here to clear that up. Spoiler: it was Truman’s mom. Mystery solved. Let’s break this down and find all the parallels between the two, if their virtually identical birth names were not enough." Lillie Mae Faulk – The Real Holly Golightly
, from The Gloss's Shelved Dolls
series. [more inside]
posted by taz
on Jul 12, 2012 -
The National Association of Afro-Swedes calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Roth after photos and video surfaced of this "living" cake
, which was part of a celebration of World Art Day. The cake's creator talks
a bit about the cake.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy
on Apr 19, 2012 -
On August 31, 2004, a naked, bruised man was discovered
behind a Burger King at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Highway 17 in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He had no memory
of who he was. Fingerprint and DNA searches were unsuccessful
. His identity continues
to remain missing
posted by vidur
on Dec 5, 2011 -