• "…what he fundamentally had right was the understanding that you could no longer run a country properly if the elites don’t understand technology in the same way they grasp economics or ideology or propaganda. His analysis and predictions about what would happens if elites couldn’t learn were savage and depressingly accurate." Timely, sad, accurate, and lovely writing from Tom. A particular twinge of sadness for our loss as I realise I'm now older than Chris was when he died.
  • "…a whole art form has developed in my lifetime. I remember for the first time reading: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I remember the first time I heard: "I believe in America. America has made my fortune." And I remember standing in an open field, west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here." This is quite baggy and in places unfocused, but every now and then, there are moments of sharp focus. Most notably: the relation of the impulse to write to the impulse to play games (an escapist impulse in Prebble's mind, but that's not a bad one), and the understanding that 'culture is culture'.
  • "Zugzwang is one of my favourite words, and an extremely useful one. Essentially, it's a condition where it would be better not to move, in a game where you have to move, such as chess. Strictly speaking, it describes a situation where that move will end the game, with the mover as the loser, but the definition in chess is looser, and only demands the loss of a piece or the worsening of the player's position. The player has to take the least worst option. It's a kind of judo – using the ineluctable forward momentum of the rules of the game to force the opposing player to do your work for you." The momentum of rules! I like that a lot.
  • "The CSM [player-run council] is a dirty election. It’s a third world election. Anything that’s allowed under the EULA in Eve is allowed in the election. You can buy votes, dead people can resubscribe and vote, you can scam people for votes, so it’s hardly an iconic democracy. So, this coming election, almost every major candidate you will see on the council will have been backed by a null sec plot. In advance, we’ve all met and spoken to one another to decide on the issues of the day. So I’m not going to be a voice in the wilderness. I’ll be speaking alongside people I’ve been fighting with or working with diplomatically for years."

    This interview is full of some great moments – nice to see the "1% problem" acknowledged by a player, but gosh, you can see the appeal of that 1%. This line was particularly acute.

  • "Command line work isn't a separate task that should live on its own—it's an integrated part of your natural workflow. DTerm provides a context-sensitive command line that makes it fast and easy to run commands on the files you're working with and then use the results of those commands." This looks great. Will report back on it.
  • "This is where I write about social & political stuff, mostly relating to sex. Yes, there's going to be a book. As an ex-sex worker, you can imagine what my bias is. Nevertheless, I am also a scientist, so will do my best to present the evidence base for each post." Brooke's new blog. This looks like it could be good.
  • "If Love Actually (2003) is of any worth whatsoever, other than to help DFS sell leather sofas every 5 minutes on boxing day evening, it is as the full stop at the end of an era in British cultural and political history that we should probably not mourn. I would suggest that the era in question lasted from 1992-2003, between John Major's General Election victory (and immediate capitulation to the foreign exchange markets) and the Iraq War. John Major originally coined the phrase to define this era: "a nation at ease with itself". Richard Curtis erected its most banal and characteristically saccharin monuments." This is great.
  • "It boils Digital Britain down to three Ms – media, music and movies – myopically ignoring the pioneers of new technology, and ?
    showing a blind spot for all creativity outside the so-called creative industries… Instead of empowering digital Britons, the bill follows the lead of music and movie corporations, who already apply a presumption of guilt to their customers. Instead of treating the web as a platform of possibilities, it recasts it as a tool for mass theft." Excellent, excellent leader from the Guardian on the frankly scandalous digital economy bill.
  • "…maybe this is the best of both worlds. An audience that, having crossed the barriers to entry, is by its nature more invested in our work; a public profile by which we have the means to occasionally reach into the mass consciousness, but which affords us the freedom to continue experimenting with subject, form, and style; an industry which is truly international; which is capable of producing both multi-million dollar blockbusters and single-creator labors of love (and releasing both on the same platform); which manages to be neither too big nor too small, and is the more vital, unique and exhilarating for it. We are a medium for us, and while there are more and more of us every day, we'll never be for everyone. In a way, that's beautiful." I think Steve's about right.