The Null Device


Could this be the apotheosis of LiveJournal drama? Seminal teen-angst vampire-novel author Poppy Z. Brite kicked out of LiveJournal group, presumably because the moderator wanted the honour of smacking her down. Champagne comedy, folks. (via bOING bOING)

(I didn't even know Poppy Z. Brite had a LiveJournal; though, in retrospect, it'd be more surprising if she didn't have one. Which makes me wonder: does Trent Reznor have one?)

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Free wireless networking may save the world, if certain blogging hipster sci-fi authors are right, but it wasn't enough to save Niue. The Pacific island nation (best known as the home of the .nu domain), which had installed a free, island-wide wireless network and ushered in the new golden age of humanity ahead of the rest of the world, was flattened by storms which destroyed virtually all buildings on the island and killed an unknown number of people. The population of the island, which was 1,200 before the storm, is tipped to fall below 500, with the possibility that the independent nation may become unviable, and may be returned to New Zealand rule.

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Q: What did Socrates, Charles Darwin, William Butler Yeats and Andy Warhol have in common? A: Asperger's Syndrome or other autism-related conditions, or so Professor Michael Fitzgerald of Dublin's Trinity College claims in a new book.

He said: "Asperger's syndrome provides a plus - it makes people more creative.
"This is typical of people with the condition. They don't fit in, are odd and eccentric and relate poorly with others. Most are bullied at school, as Yeats was." And yet, said the professor, Yeats went on to prove that he had a hugely vivid imagination while remaining socially aloof - both classic signs of Asperger's.
"It proves that we should accept eccentrics and be tolerant of them," he said. "The nation is pushed forward by engineers, mathematicians and scientists."

Several questions arise: (a) how much correlation there is between eccentricity, creativity and autism-related disorders, (b) if the majority of innovators have a certain condition, and do so across all human societies, is it still a "disorder" or "syndrome" or merely a different biological subtype (much like insect castes), perhaps even one that is evolutionarily programmed to appear in a certain proportion of the population (by the expedient that ancestral populations that had the genes for it being so were more successful than ones which didn't)? (via FmH)

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