DIARY 2004















Mon, Nov 22

<23:54> Returning to the age-old mystery called the What's Up Paradox, it seems there is another surprising effect. While there's no time/energy to node about at times of increased activity, the converse situation of boredom also keeps me from journaling. Guess it's intermediacy time.

I've watched three Doctor Who episodes lately; the only ones I could find from the usual BitTorrent sites. One was a movie, Dr. Who and the Daleks, and the two other were long episodes, so they are all pretty comparable to each other. I found the movie and the episode called Pyramids of Mars not so stimulating; it seemed the stories were too stretched out from the usual half-our format. Still it was nice to experience what goes so deep into the mindset of a British geek.

The other episode was named City of Death, and it was better by all means. The comedy, both intentional and unindented was somehow better, and the cherry on that cake was a minor role played by the Python John Cleese towards the end. The story also seemed to have enough substance to cover a full movie length. It makes me wonder about the quality of Doctor episodes in general; hopefully the bad ones are the glitches.

Another recent movie viewing was Immortel, which I could describe as the Fifth Matrix Element; so well it combines the stylistic cyberpunk values of two of my favourite movies. The story is unfortunately hollow, though. It's one of those films which give a very powerful viewing experience, yet leaves nothing to ponder upon the ending credits. Which was the point where it occurred that the movie was based on a comic series, explaining a lot of the stylistic choices.

Sat, Nov 13

<00:06> Read Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card. This is a parallel novel to Ender's Game, and tells the story of Bean, a cold inhuman intellect as the protagonist himself puts it. His character is a good starting point for my interest in this book; Bean is beyond everyone else in Battle School when it comes to sheer intelligence, and he has to learn painful lessons on how that's not enough when it comes to leadership and other human relations. But even more so, this is a book about hacking and social engineering, which IMHO is a new and different twist in the Ender saga. It looks like Card has gotten more into hacking lately, and he has found it so fascinating he decided to use the ideas as a major basis for the book ;)

An interesting general bit about the book is that Ender's Game seems quite pale in comparison; Card's writing and visions seemed to undergo huge development during the original four-part saga, and taking that level back into a story of the Battle School times is weird. In addition, I've imagined the challenges involved in writing such a parallel story; it is basically describing the same course of events from the point of view of another person. I feel a need to get back to Ender's Game just to check how well it works out, but that might turn into an unconscious search for logical mistakes, which is not what I'd want. Besides, the parallel saga continues and I want to read on :)

Risto A. Paju