February 18th, 2009

peej rated pg

APED: "pack rat"

I found you in a kitchen drawer,
The one I use for bric-a-brac:
Loose batteries, old keys, and more.
You were in the very back,
With things from long-forgotten days --
Scribbles, on a napkin? Why?
A poem I wrote once, in a haze.
Some dreams, I think, do best to die.
Small pieces of our older lives
that mattered, once upon a time;
the fantasy that lingers, thrives;
false memories, a siren's chime.
We know all this, and yet we hold
these pieces that we cannot use
around us, lest our world grow cold,
for false hope when our egos bruise.
An old love tucked away for me
a kiss inside a pocket's crease --
I have it still. I leave it be.
That old coat doesn't fit. Caprice.
We all have our kitchen drawers,
with memories of days gone by.
You're in mine, and I'm in yours.
It's easier than saying goodbye.
peej reads news

evolution and book publishing

It's not often that reading about book publishing gives you insight into human evolution, but that might actually have happened for me. I do mostly practical stuff, so I don't focus on evolution in the way some colleagues do, but the classic theory I was taught as an undergrad was that evolution had essentially stopped, because humans can now adapt our environment to suit us, rather than the other way round. This made intuitive sense to me. But there's a more recent camp that argues otherwise, and there's some evidence to suggest they have a point.

Natural selection, however, isn't the only reason why a gene might become more prevalent. It's also possible that the driving force is sexual selection. Among the most prominent supporters of this idea is Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, author of The Mating Mind. He believes that the rate of human evolution is accelerating, and that selection for sexually desirable traits is the driving force. "Our high rates of migration, outbreeding, and cross-ethnic mating are recombining our genes at unprecedented rates," he says.

What is more, the vast human population means that our gene boat is acquiring new mutations faster than ever. Miller also points out that people are far more likely to meet and have children with someone who is like them. "Assortative mating - for intelligence, personality traits, mental health, physical health, attractiveness - is getting ever more efficient through higher education, urbanisation, singles' ads, internet dating and speed dating," says Miller. Taken together, that is likely to mean that advantageous new mutations have a greater opportunity than ever to become fixed in the population.

Some folks think that a side effect of modern medicine keeping folks like -- well, me, asthmatic that I am -- alive, is that selection for good health is stopping; others suggest that because so many more people survive to reproduce, we're getting more chances at getting useful -- less obviously useful, like Shane Battier -- genes passed along. That evolution is actually going faster. That's not my specialty, and it seemed weird and counter-intuitive to me.

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cameron screw you

that script thing

Evening writing is still going well. Up to eighty pages, so only twenty to go. Parts I like, other parts don't do much for me -- annoyingly, the bits I like the most are the bits that are *least* like a FRIDAY THE 13th movie. I think the kills are pretty good, but I think my major character is the best one, and unfortunately the nature of a FRIDAY THE 13th story dictates that she's much less the focus after a certain point. It might be that the gimmick simply can't be readily reconciled with a traditional FRIDAY THE 13TH story. I guess I'll see after it's finished.

I do think some of my other characters come off pretty well, and I do like how the "Final Girl" bit comes out. So if it's a failure, it's a failure with some interesting bits.

I think that's a difference between my younger self and me today: ten or twelve years ago, I was convinced that everything I wrote was absolutely great, even if it was really shit. Now, I fully realize that I am capable of writing shit, but it's not traumatic; if my writing fails, I can still see the result as interesting, or at least educational. Not that I wouldn't prefer to write great stuff all the time, but if I fail, it's not horrible. This applies to other people's writing, too; I don't get offended by bad work as much anymore, because often as I learn things about what works and what doesn't, and that's interesting in its own right. The right kind of crap offers its own sort of pleasure.