We all have to make sacrifices due to the economic climate he thought guiltily seeing the lost goat posters on the lamp posts.

Essentially this is a one line short story (I’ve tweeted it already) that came to mind after listening to Regulars by Frank Oreto on Pseudopod.

Pseudopod is a podcast series specialising on new short story form horror stories. However this one could have fitted in my lapsed “” project.

The plan for South Quays has changed in detail, but it was going to be a fiction blog based on the lives of people on the South Quays of an un-named Irish city. Originally the stories were going to be based on a “house of negotiable favour” as the term itself comes from a polite Victorian term for something frowned upon (i.e. he moored himself to her south quay) and I came across the term in “The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters“. Neo-Victorian fiction I know, I can only assume the author reused the term as it sounds right.

But it moved in my head at least from a single perspective to a wider one. In the last fifteen years Ireland has changed, and the landscape changed with it. But people, on the whole, don’t. The lives lived on the turn of most centuries are similar in loves and needs.

But things have changed.

The hermit no longer needs to be in a cave on the mountain. He can be in an apartment, sealed off from the outside world and living alone. His body found years after his death due to complaints about the smell from neighbours or unpaid bills calling the bailiff around to find the corpse.

People still fall in love and get married, but the details of the courtship and the wedding has changed. Also instead of boy meets girl, boy meets boy is also acceptable.

Immigrants have always come to the country, now their reasons have changed. And emigrants leave (again) and farewells take place.

Which is a better fit than the stories generated by the Wondermark Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Cenerator 2000 (also available in automated form).

I’m looking in to getting it going again either this weekend or next weekend. Since I have to do a new WordPress install (I borked the last one after moving servers) I could make it an multi-user version if anyone wants to join me on the South Quays.

take care,
Will Knott

I feel

At the moment, I’m too tired. I had a long drive last night.

Driving in sub-zero temperatures, freezing fog forming overhead, hanging under road lights like dew filled money spiders webs; it felt like hidden, fragile beauty forming overhead, only to last until the dawn.

I feel tired. I feel that you’ll be interested in “we feel fine“. Jonathan Harris’ We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale. Simply, it parses blog posts for the words “I’m feeling” or “I feel”. It seeks emotions using cold technology.

I’ll let this TED video explain what he means.

Some RSS readers may need to click through to see the video content.

I feel I can leave it right here. Good night,


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Looking at your Johnson

Recently I posted about the short comings of stereotypes (and when they are necessary).

Well Lee Hopkins points out the shortcomings much better than I did, and gives a similar reason… attention span.

While I pointed out that a stereotype in necessary for a 30 second advert (even if you intend to show that the stereotype is incorrect) Lee does one better… he tells a story.

—quoting Lee Hopkins…
“Johnson!” barked the bulldog-like senior manager, “Get in here NOW!”

But Johnson failed to appear.

“JOHNSON!” screamed the bulldog.

Still no appearance of the missing subordinate.

Who immediately feels some sort of pity for Johnson? Who feels some form of anger towards the bulldog-like manager?

Why? You don’t know the context.

For all you know Johnson could have been away photocopying confidential information to pass to a competitor; the bulldog’s shouts might have been a cry for help because they’re having a heart attack — the screams no louder than a whisper to an outsider’s ears.

But this is the Age of the Instant Judgement, when we make snap decisions that can affect lives without taking the time to understand the context.

He goes on to point out that a lot of the blogging world and the entire Web 2.0 world means that there is a lot of first reactions. With the high output of posts and blogs, we skim posts. We skim information, a long post tends to be something put aside for later digestion (and might be removed from your reader, or memory when the next nugget of information arrives.

Slightly depressing, eh?


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