The Null Device
Warren Ellis (he who knows all too many scary goth camgirls) writes a commentary on the intersection of the geek/tech and goth subcultures:
Sometimes I think of LiveJournal as the world's biggest technogoth community. LJ has been both lauded and derided as a space for people with black clothes and strange hair to work out their alienation and disaffection in electronic public. That hasn't stopped it being successful, and it hasn't stopped it being a tool for national and international networking. As a piece of "social software," it's not flawless, but its influence and effect has been huge. If nothing else, several thousand alt.models, often very ambitious and creative, seem to have hooked up together with this thing. An army could be formed. That would be an army worth supporting with taxes. In fact, it could probably be paid for by Paypal donation links.
(Though I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of goths forming an underground army. It's too easy to imagine paramilitary groups of real-life Blackshirts, motivated by the nihilistic tirades of Marilyn Manson and the cryptofascist bombast of VNV Nation, and filled with contempt for the inferiors who wear coloured clothing. First they came for the jocks, but I didn't speak out because I wasn't a jock, and so on. But I digress)
Though I was wondering whether LiveJournal was another one of those Gothic Internet Startups of the Not-So-Long Boom, like Dimension X (now part of Microsoft) and Netizen (no longer around). I once had the idea of a parallel history where the boom doesn't end, and the goth subculture evolves into a sort of tech-industry freemasonry, with membership and initiation essential for getting any sort of consulting gigs; and the usual goth-club "courtly intrigues" and catfights happening behind the scenes. It'd make a decent setting for a story or a novel.
Looking for something to spend your millions on and alleviate your ennui? Try secretly raising a second family under an assumed name, like Douglas Cone of Tampa, Florida did for some 30 years.
Science has discovered techniques for manufacturing high-quality diamonds, potentially indistinguishable from mined gems. De Beers are, as you can imagine, running scared. However, this disruptive technology promises to do more than wiping out the diamond industry as we know it; for example, cheap, manufactured diamond would be an ideal substrate for ever-faster microprocessors, being able to withstand extremes of temperature better than silicon can. (via Slashdot)
This week's Onion has some good bits on the front page, such as "Last Great Party Of Life To Result In First Child", and the following classic:
WASHINGTON, DC -- Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed H.R. 2093: the Economic Equality Initiative, with the express purpose of shooting it down "just for kicks" Tuesday. "H.R. 2093 will level the economic playing field, spreading the wealth among the rich and poor," said Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX), visibly fighting back snickers. "We must pass this bill to stop the fat cats from getting fatter while the average Joe struggles to make ends meet. Also, I'm the Queen of Bavaria." Following 10 minutes of uproarious laughter, the congressmen stepped out of the chamber to smoke cigars lit with a bill that would allocate $115 million to clean up hazardous waste sites.