serious

Lost cellphone, and a couple of stories

Not my phone, obviously, but someone else's. We found it down the back of the sofa last night. I don't suppose any of you lost one during your visits (or, indeed, residence, in the relevant cases)? If it helps at all, going by the Simm it's on O2.

Also, while reading Usenet groups, as one still does, I came across recommendations for a couple of stories, which are both very good.

The first is by an interesting (and dead) bloke called Hal Draper, and concerns the social dangers of extreme librarianship. Written in 1961, too, which makes it even better.

MS Fnd in a Lbry

That title reminds me of a piece called "MS thrown from a moving train" than my friend Alexie once had rejected by Interzone. Anyone seen Alexei about?

The second story is by Terry Bisson, and is on his website. It's a more recent piece, having been nominated for a Nebula in 1991.

THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT.
  • Current Mood: Cheery
  • Current Music: The Clash - Revolution Rock
Like the library one. It pre-dates search engines, of course, which kind of invalidate the whole thing. Still a nice little story though.

I occasionally see Alexei in the street outside here - I think he visits Chris & co. Haven't spoken to him in years though.
What do you mean the concept of search engines invalidates it? What's a search engine if not an index..?
An index is a fixed thing, unchanging after creation, and while the return from a search engine is an index, it is a newly created one based on the original content. In the story the original content is lost because of a loop in the indexing; there is a large volume of indexing because of the need to keep all possible cross-references. If there was a search engine capable of creating that on the fly there would be no need to keep anything other than the content and the search engine. If the search engine breaks the data would still be available, albeit difficult to navigate, until a new search engine can be installed. It also allows for the concept of backups, since the volume of data would be smaller.

I still like the story though!
Alexei bought me a pint for illustrating his story. What a nice bloke!
I'd read the Meat story before, but hadn't seen the Draper one. Thanks for the link.
"They're Made Out of Meat" has long been one of my favourite short stories. Thanks!