21 posts tagged with PeterWatts.
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An Offense Against Nature Itself

SF writer, biologist and all-around harbinger of doom Peter Watts (a partial previously) has another animal story for us. Warning: some moderate levels of bondage and magical testicles.
posted by maudlin on Sep 12, 2015 - 11 comments

"I think we only use 10% of our hearts."

Peter Watts: No Brainer.
For decades now, I have been haunted by the grainy, black-and-white x-ray of a human skull. It is alive but empty, with a cavernous fluid-filled space where the brain should be. A thin layer of brain tissue lines that cavity like an amniotic sac. The image hails from a 1980 review article[PDF] in Science: Roger Lewin, the author, reports that the patient in question had “virtually no brain”. But that’s not what scared me; hydrocephalus is nothing new, and it takes more to creep out this ex-biologist than a picture of Ventricles Gone Wild. What scared me was the fact that this virtually brain-free patient had an IQ of 126.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 28, 2015 - 48 comments

Spock the Impaler

Spock the Impaler: A Belated Retrospective on Vulcan Ethics - Peter Watts As you know, Bob, Nimoy’s defining role was that of Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock, the logical Vulcan who would never let emotion interfere with the making of hard choices. This tended to get him into trouble with Leonard McCoy, Trek‘s resident humanist. “If killing five saves ten it’s a bargain,” the doctor sneered once, in the face of Spock’s dispassionate suggestion that hundreds of colonists might have to be sacrificed to prevent the spread of a galaxy-threatening neuroparasite. “Is that your simple logic?” The logic was simple, and unassailable, but we were obviously supposed to reject it anyway. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Jul 7, 2015 - 68 comments

There's no such thing as AN octopus

The intelligence of octopuses is increasingly recognized, but nature is more creative than us glorified chimps ever realize on first blush. You see, octopuses are just full of neurons, but their nervous structure raises all kinds of uncanny questions--What is "intelligence" for an octopus? What is it like to be an octopus?--because most of them are in its arms. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Jun 4, 2015 - 26 comments

Pones and Bones: A Trip to Anti-Narnia.

Peter Watts (previously) tours the FX house responsible for Hannibal's bodies. Meanwhile Neil Marshall and Vincenzo Natali are to direct episodes of the show.
posted by Artw on Mar 23, 2015 - 29 comments

Some notable SF/F/H short fiction from 2014

Locus Magazine has published its 2014 Recommended Reading List. BestSF.net has given its Best SF Short Story Award for 2014. Tables of contents have been announced for The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirty-Second Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois, Year's Best Weird Fiction, Volume Two edited by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly, and The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine edited by Jonathan Strahan. And several writers have called out their favorite stories of the year too, e.g. Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado and Sofia Samatar, Usman Malik, and Fran Wilde, Michael R. Underwood, Tina Connolly, and Beth Cato. Quite a few of these short fiction selections from 2014 have been published online in full. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Feb 3, 2015 - 28 comments

My Book, The Movie

They would ask me what actors I saw in the roles. I would tell them, and they’d say “Oh that’s interesting.” And that would be the end of it. --Elmore Leonard, in 2000, on the extent of his input for Hollywood's adaptation of his novels
For authorial input on film adaptation, try My Book The Movie, by Marshall Zeringue, also of The Campaign for the American Reader, the page 69 test (previously), and the page 99 test. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 29, 2014 - 6 comments

Meet Portia

Portia is a jumping spider that eats other spiders, through complex layers[PDF] of visual recognition and planned, trial-and-error[PDF, html] movement, even losing sight of it's target. How does a hunter get to be smarter than the prey, while having the same number of neurons, not even as many as a honeybee? Well, that's the interesting part ... [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 28, 2014 - 7 comments

Through the Eyes of a Monster, tales from a different vantage point

About 40 years ago, Edward D. Wood, Jr. published a number of short stories in "girly" mags (cover images likely NSFW), but those stories haven't been republished, until now. Blood Splatters Quickly collects 32 stories from Ed Wood, and you can read The Day The Mummy Returned on Boing Boing. If you like tales told by the monsters, io9 collected more of such stories, videos, and video games, and there's a related AskMe post, looking for stories where humans are the monsters, many of which can be read online, as linked below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 23, 2014 - 7 comments

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

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 fasciitis) 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. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), 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 - 84 comments

“The link between surveillance and fear"

A Suicide Bomber’s Guide to Online Privacy is the title of a keynote talk that Peter Watts (previously) gave to the International Association Of Privacy Professionals' Canada Symposium.
My immediate reaction was that this had to be some kind of cruel hoax. But they hooked me anyway, with what basically came down to a double-dare: “You’ve got a chance to talk to the regulators who enforce privacy law and the executives as big companies who make decisions about what to do with your data – what do you want to say to them?” Well. Since you ask.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 20, 2014 - 32 comments

"So yesterday, we saved him the trouble."

Author Peter Watts (many times previously) eulogizes his cat Chip [more inside]
posted by figurant on Nov 18, 2013 - 36 comments

RIP Ronald Francis Watts

Peter Watts eulogizes his gay Baptist father.
posted by infinitewindow on Jan 18, 2013 - 21 comments

The short, unique life of Zombie Pidge

Step 1: Compose your post to MetaFilter: Description: An inspirational Holiday Tale from Peter Watts. Step 2: Justify using the words "inspirational", "holiday", and "Peter Watts" in the same sentence: I'm grading on a curve. Step 3: Do you want to warn us about any pictures? Yes, I'm warning you. (Remember last time?) Seriously, some animal lovers may want to skip this.
posted by maudlin on Jan 6, 2012 - 18 comments

Kick biological determinism in the balls

His vows: "We come here today in defiance of biological reality. We know that mammals are not monogamous (except for a few species of meadow vole with abnormally high levels of endogenous oxytocin) ..."
Her vows: "Your vows make it clear why I love you: your intellectual rigour, and your honesty, and your eloquence, and the way you leaven these with profanity – they’re the very things that I fell for, even before you made an x-rated cephalopod reference on a rooftop patio ..." [more inside]
posted by memebake on Aug 30, 2011 - 14 comments


Blogging the Hugos: Decline (part 1, part 2, part 3), is a series of blog posts covering some dystopian trends in recent Hugo nominees and itself winner of the of the BSFA award for non fiction. Meanwhile the 2011 Hugo finalists have been announced, with Mefi favorites featuring strongly: In Best Novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (previously), In Best Short Story The Things by Peter Watts (previously). Doctor who features heavily under Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (too many posts to mention), but has strong competition from Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury.
posted by Artw on Apr 24, 2011 - 27 comments

Peter Watts presents: Flesh-Eating Fest '11

Peter Watts presents: Flesh-Eating Fest '11 (NSF the squeamish pictures several clicks further into this link). SF writer Peter Watts (aka The Plastinated Man) has survived a near-lethal bout with necrotising fasciitis (Wiki link with disturbing image at the top). Part 0 (Mildly icky picture of a small sore on his leg.): "Anybody know what this thing is?" Part 1 (no images): "Some of you may have heard by now that I got hit with a serious case of necrotising fasciitis (more luridly known as “flesh-eating disease”) late last week. I’m told I was a few hours away from being dead." Part 2 (no images): "Let us start with the fact that I contracted flesh-eating disease during the course of getting a skin biopsy — that it was being all precautionary and taking proper medical care of myself that nearly got me killed." Part 3 (ohgodohgodohgod - very graphic photos): Recovery at home shown in words and pictures. Some of the photos show cute cats and a smiling, competent home nurse. Most do not. You have been warned.
posted by maudlin on Mar 2, 2011 - 106 comments

The Island

The Island by Peter Watts (previously), winner of this years Hugo Award for Best Novelette. An audio version is available over at StarShipSofa (previously), itself a Hugo recipient.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2010 - 31 comments

Better Smile When You Cross That Border, Part II

Remember Peter Watts, the Canadian sci-fi writer who in December was arrested and charged with assaulting a border agent, resisting arrest, and being an asshole after being pulled over for inspection while leaving the US because his rental car had Washington plates? He was today found guilty of "failure to comply with a lawful command" by a Port Huron, Michigan, jury. Part Three, The Sentencing, will take place April 26. Watts faces up to two years in federal prison. [more inside]
posted by FlyingMonkey on Mar 19, 2010 - 138 comments

I shared my flesh with thinking cancer

The Things - The Thing from the point of view of the thing, by Peter Watts (previously, previously, previously)
posted by Artw on Jan 4, 2010 - 49 comments

FizerPharm: Flexible ethics for a complex world

Peter Watts on Vampire Domestication (embedded Flash video, must click to start). The mythical corporation FizerPharm ("Trust. Profit. Deniability.") share their detailed research into the evolution and possible commercial applications of Homo sapiens whedonum. You will learn: How and why the "crucifix glitch" came about. Why you should run from a blushing vampire. How many kilograms of human are needed to make one kilogram of vampire. How vampires resemble two year old humans, domestic shorthaired cats, and lungfish. And why "survival of the fittest" should be reconceptualized as "survival of the least inadequate". [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Dec 24, 2006 - 19 comments

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