My old friend Stephanie B is in town, and Kam just left for Burning Man (this is beginning to sound like the title of a Cory Doctorow novel), and what with reading and editing and going to work and being slightly under the weather, I just haven't had time or energy to post lately.
Stephanie B, btw, is not to be confused with the other Stephanie B; maybe I need a better system for identifying people.
Which brings me to a digression, or maybe a sidebar:
In the computer world (geek alert! but this paragraph tries to oversimplify for non-geek comprehension), this issue is solved through the use of "namespaces": you specify not just a name, but the context from which you're drawing that name. Like, in certain versions of the RSS feed-description language, you can use elements that aren't part of the actual language by specifying where those elements are defined. For example, you can use the "creator" element from the Dublin Core set of element definitions by writing "dc:creator". The "dc:" indicates that "creator" is defined in the "dc" specification, and you give the system the URL where it can find the dc specification, and all is fine.
So maybe I should define a set of namespaces that I can attach to names. "sf:Stephanie B" might indicate that I know her through sf circles, while pa:Stephanie B would refer to the one I first met in Palo Alto, though that seems like an arbitrary way of describing her. Clearly, this requires more thought before I implement it.
That digression really got away from me, didn't it? Sorry. I haven't had enough sleep lately; I keep stupidly staying up to the point where I can't keep reading 'cause my eyes are drifting closed every couple of paragraphs, and then I've been sleeping fitfully for no apparent reason. (Don't worry, authors; when I fall asleep while reading subs, I re-read later.)
My digressive mention of Cory's book up above led me roundaboutly to Jon Carroll's quasi-review of said book (though only part of that column is talking about the book per se); sadly, I've gotten out of the habit of reading Jon Carroll's column regularly, even though he's still my favorite columnist in the world. I especially liked this line from that particular column:
When I started writing, I was sure that words were my friends—they could get me work, they could get me laid.
And this bit from the end of the column startled me:
The person who controls language controls perception, and the person who controls perception can pretty much get anything he wants.
Which isn't too far from my remark that Control over communications is control over reality.
And now I think I've digressed enough for one entry. More, perhaps, soon.