March 7th, 2011

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Would you like to read about supporting characters from poetic series?

The tip incentives discussion over on crowdfunding is still generating cool ideas.  Recently kytsune suggested this:

Lottery or vote-with-tip: In the case of stories with compelling and strong characters, giving people a lottery technique so that they can submit the name of a character they'd like to see a canonical side story written about and then using that to choose one (or more) to guide bonus stories might be another suitable reward.
I suspect that this could be adapted for use with serial poetry.  Right now, a majority of the contents in a poetic series come out of the Poetry Fishbowls, which have specific themes.  Occasionally an idea grabs me out of the blue, and I'll write that too.  But I haven't really offered an option for enthusiastic fans to request expansions that go outside the usual fishbowl activities.  Making that a tip incentive has potential; it's something that a lot of people would probably like, and it has less potential for overload than just throwing open the gates.

Thoughts?  Does this sound like something you'd enjoy?  If so, what kind of approach might appeal to you?
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Monday Update: 3/7/11

These are some posts from the later part of last week, in case you missed them:

How much evidence is "enough" ...?
Remembering Dossouye and Gbo
Read "Invincible Wisdom" in Torn World
Writing Tips
Torn Tongue: Color Comparisons
Falling into the Income Gap
Torn World Story Progress
Updates to "Serial Poetry" Page


The March 1 fishbowl went quite well. The Poetry Fishbowl Report gives a summary of the action, plus links to all the poems posted so far, the donor perk-post, unsold poetry post, etc. In particular, the epic poems "The Truth in the Tower" (a Fiorenza poem) and "Paper, Scissors, Stone" (a Monster House poem) are currently in microfunding. You can read the sponsored verses that are visible so far, or chip in a few bucks to reveal more verses. (One other epic is currently open for sponsorship. "A Periodic Table of Elementals" is ahead of production.  This is science fantasy.)

Winners have been posted for the 2011 Rose & Bay Awards in all categories except Fiction, which is currently doing its runoff poll. Please vote in the second round of Fiction polling if you haven't already. I won the Poetry category with the Poetry Fishbowl, woohoo! Thank you all for your support.

Currently in front of the canon board at Torn World: "Clouds in the Morning," "The Sky Rangers," "Cutting Time," "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal," "One-Tick Literature," "Words Between Brothers" (fiction) and "The Sugar Mouse" (poetry). In revision at home: "One Toy for Three" and "Water Dance." I have some more drafts waiting to be moved into the revision phase, and a story in progress.
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Elephantine teamwork

I'm intrigued by this experiment, showing that elephants understand teamwork.  Not mentioned are dolphins, who have shown similar teamwork skills in other studies.  Oh, and keas; they use teamwork not just to get treats in a study, but spontaneously to hack into garbage cans or destroy tourist cars.  I would like to see such a test applied to wolves, who are skilled at cooperative hunting.
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Enceladus Is a Hotspot for Astrobiology

I was fascinated by this news from NASA today.  I think we are getting close to finding microlife elsewhere in the universe besides Earth.

Cassini Finds Enceladus is a Powerhouse

PASADENA, Calif. -- Heat output from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus is much greater than was previously thought possible, according to a new analysis of data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research on March 4.

Data from Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer of Enceladus' south polar terrain, which is marked by linear fissures, indicate that the internal heat-generated power is about 15.8 gigawatts, approximately 2.6 times the power output of all the hot springs in the Yellowstone region, or comparable to 20 coal-fueled power stations. This is more than an order of magnitude higher than scientists had predicted, according to Carly Howett, the lead author of study, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., and a composite infrared spectrometer science team member.
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Folklore and Cultural Rights

This is actually a book review, but much of it reads more like an essay on what's wrong with copyright today and why folklore is an important part of culture. 

While copyright law can limit large-scale, organized activity ... it pretty much sucks at controlling small-scale, widely dispersed activity.  That is an infinite game of whack-a-mole and there are always more moles than mallets.  So, the cultural discourse is somewhat hampered but not actually halted.  Star Trek is an owned property, but that doesn't stop people from making unauthorized fanfic, songs, buttons, paintings, and other cultural tidbits using that material.  I'd be happier if the official policies were saner, but I'm also glad that the Internet makes it increasingly easier to work around the parts of the culture that get in the way.