Friday, 27 March 2015

Mundane time travel

Time travel will be used for the most mundane purposes imaginable. Corporations will hire multiple copies of the CEO for all management positions. Employees will be forced to go back in time so as to never have any time off - sick days will be a thing of the past, because you'll just come back when you're well. On the plus side of that scheme, you can have whatever preferred schedule you like. Two days on, five days off? No problem, as long as you're in the office Monday to Friday. Three months of leave per year? Go for it, just come back to the beginning of your holiday when you're done. It would get tricky to track, and some employees would, as a result, burn out a lot faster than others. Some, who take a lot of time off, would age a lot faster than others, who don't. That would be weird.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Time travel, used this way, would lead quickly to the tech singularity.
PPS - Because corporations will want whole research eras to be done, literally, yesterday.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Cinderella is not an insulting name

With the movie "Cinderella" opening in Australian cinemas today, it seemed time to make this observation. To me, it's never made much sense, in the story of Cinderella, for her name to be an insult. I mean, I do understand that it's meant to refer to her menial household labour, especially cleaning the chimney, but from a purely linguistic point of view, "Cinderella" is a remarkably beautiful name. Flowing and feminine, and reminiscent of the common observation that "cellar door" is one of the most beautiful phrases in English. "Cinderella" and "cellar door" are just a couple of letters away from being anagrams of each other.

So, to me, using "Cinderella" as an insult name has the same kind of meaning as saying "We'll call you Rainbow McBeautifulface Sexybody Unicorn Glitter! Ha! See how you like that!" You know they're trying to be insulting, but it's just coming out all wrong.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If you want an insulting name, just go for "Poop".
PPS - It's not as creative, but there's no chance of confusion.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Shopping online

I don't do a lot of my shopping online. This might be weird for someone of my age and technical expertise, but it's been informed by several bad experiences. First, there have been a few times when I've got what I ordered, but it wasn't the right thing. I bought a $199 router from Kogan, paid $9 shipping to get it to me, waited four days for delivery, then had to send it back because I was mistaken about its capabilities. The return shipping and the restocking fee cost me a further $38, so by now I'm out $47 and back to square one. If I had just walked to Dick Smith instead, 5 minutes down the road from my house, I would have had the correct device in my hands immediately. Oh, and I still don't have my money back, more than two weeks later, so there's that, too.

The other thing is that Australia Post delivery drivers don't bother looking for our front door. We live in a townhouse complex with a lot of little twisting roadways and paths, so I understand that it can be hard to find a particular house number, but they don't even try. They get to the mailbox, toss in a "sorry you weren't home" card and sod off again, leaving me to pick up the package from the post office during office hours anyway, or on Saturday morning, which is when I can actually get there. While there's supposed to be parcel pick-up outside those hours, the arrangement where I live is that this is done from the PO Box bunker, and that parcels are not kept there, but inside the shopping centre. Guess whether the PO Box attendant can get to your parcels outside normal shopping hours. Go on. Guess.

So online shopping hasn't exactly sold me. I don't trust the delivery drivers to actually bother delivering, and I don't trust myself to order the correct item without talking to someone about it. Does this make me a shopping luddite? Yeah, probably. So what? It's still working for me, and until online shopping can actually provide me some savings or benefits, I think I might stick with bricks and mortar for now.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I do order flowers online now and then from our local florist.
PPS - They regularly misspell our street name, and they abandon flowers on the doorstep, but it does seem to mostly work.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The perfect house is a myth

Will you ever have the perfect house? Of course not. Your circumstances and needs change, so the perfect house for you this year might not be the perfect house for you next year.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We need our houses to be more adaptable.
PPS - Perhaps that's what makes it perfect.

Monday, 23 March 2015


Today I'd just like to let you know that the good people of PodCastle, a weekly fantasy fiction podcast, have done me the great honour of publishing my story, "Lord Darq, Regis and the Orb of Power". You can find the audio file on their site. I've been a fan of PodCastle for ages now, so it's super-cool that they're the ones to publish my first ever sale!

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's only 5 minutes long.
PPS - Go. Listen now.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Motivation is BS

I recognise that a lot of people find exercise "too hard". They "can't get motivated" to do it. I've had people ask how I find the motivation to get up and go for a run. You want the real, honest-to-goodness answer?

I don't.

I'm not motivated to run like that. I don't have some magical inner coach urging me to get up and at 'em, that reaches down through my laziness and bad moods and pulls me up by my collar to get myself moving. That's the secret. I frequently don't *want* to go, but how effective should that really be as a method of stopping me? If someone put up a little sign at the foot of your bed that said "I don't want you to go running", would that stop you? That's what your lack of motivation is: a little sign somewhere in your world that doesn't want you to go and do anything, and the only reason it's standing in your way is that you are sitting there paying attention to it.

Next time, try this: set a time to get some exercise. When that time comes, stop what you're doing and go exercise. When your "lack of motivation" comes up, picture that little sign and ask why it should have any power over you at all, then go exercise, because you are the only reason you aren't getting over your own lack of motivation. When you need groceries, you go get them. When you need fuel in your car, you go get it. When you need water, you go and get it. When you need exercise, just go and get it. Motivation is not in your way.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - "But how do I get exercise with this little sign here?"
PPS - You ignore it. That's how.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

How I'd spend one billion dollars

If I were a billionaire, I'd build a hotel in the city and just let my friends and family stay there for free forever, with free food from the kitchen, free laundry service and all those things. I want my family and friends to have everything they need for survival, to allow them to focus on the bigger things in life.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Or if someone wanted to do this for me, I'd have no objections.
PPS - I prefer a river view. If that helps.