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Entropy Arbitrage Newsletter, September 2020

Today is Sitaday, 20 of Habniah 4113. [4113.06.20]

…assuming you follow the Common Calendar, of course, but I assume you probably do not. Or should. Ahem. Newsletter!

Entropy Arbitrage welcomed visitors from Australia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, and United States this month, which never fails to please me. Remember, all content is made available under the CC-BY-SA license, so if anybody needs to provide a translation, you don’t need my permission.

September’s Idle Thoughts

The third time’s the charm for the newsletter, I guess, so welcome again, subscribers new and old!

Pinephone

Well, after decades of dismissing cellular phones as useless for my life, I finally caved and bought a PinePhone. A phone that lets people reach me wherever I am seems self-important and frivolous, to me, but a cheap, pocketable, general-purpose computer with a long battery life that can also be a mobile phone in an emergency is something that can potentially fit into my life.

And if it can’t fit, then the SIM card can be removed, and it becomes a backup computer for light duty like note-taking and white noise generation.

I’ve run into some bizarre stumbles getting it set up, but expect a post or two on the blog about the experience, going forward.

Losing the War on Christmas

My local town used the long weekend in early September to put up their Christmas lights, so Labor Day appears to now be “occupied territory.” I assume that we’re protected from any encroachment further into the year than Valentine’s Day, because there is no holiday better fortified than the one backed by the candy, floral, and greeting card industries. But we could easily lose a decent chance of summer. Save yourselves!

Project Previews

I started working on two projects, this past month.

All Around the News

I have become increasingly interested in the economics of journalism, especially given the way that local media has been…well, it’s been doing something between falling apart on its own and in the process of being gutted by large management companies looking to exploit the brands and platforms.

So, previously a “secret project,” All Around the News will be an experiment to see what it takes to get headlines in front of people, what financial models work, and whether it’s possible to bootstrap a small media outlet to the point where it can afford to either hire reporters or (alternatively) sell the platform to journalists as a service for them to expand their reaches.

Expect a limited version—just with articles drawn from sources that allow re-use—to appear sometime this month.

Renewed Lease to Doomsday

When I released Seeking Refuge, I explained it as mostly being an accidental process of a tiny idea that got away from me and—with a few exceptions, where I lost track of where I was going with the story and felt the need to improvise—essentially wrote itself. Recently, I’ve been toying with a new idea, and it’s near the point where I see the entire story, so I may start writing it.

Like Seeking Refuge, Renewed Lease to Doomsday will borrow from Free Culture sources and try to indicate a larger world where other people can feel free to play. It’s also a piece that tries to break through the tropes of traditional superhero stories, rather than trying to work around them. Unlike the former novel, however, this one will have more structure to it, functioning more as a “season arc” than an introductory text. Potentially, I may also charge for it, at least at first, to see how well that model works.

I don’t expect to be able to release it until early next year—both for the sake of pacing myself and due to a copyright concern that perceptive readers might be able to use as a small hint as to where this might go—so I’ll be sure to post samples in each edition of the Entropy Arbitrage Newsletter until it goes out.

Media

In no particular order, here are some things I finished watching in September. No, I don’t remember when I started watching them.

Blog Posts for September 2020

In case you missed one and don’t like RSS readers, here’s a round-up of the past month’s worth of posts.

Articles I’ve Been Reading

You’ve seen some of these already in Friday posts, but here’s more from the sources in my RSS reader that I thought were worth reading.

Web Pages That Caught My Attention

These are pages I bookmarked, basically. They might be old articles, non-articles, fiction, or any number of other possibilities. You’ve seen the web. You know what it’s like out there. And you also know that half the titles are probably bogus, because people are terrible at setting their page titles to something useful.

That’s it for this month. Stop by the blog and leave comments or contact me however else you see fit.

—John







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