TWITTER | @martingruner


    See, it's funny that the musical collaboration between Steven Seagal and Stevie Wonder is called "My God", because that was my first reaction, exactly.

    Hvis jeg hadde en krone for hver gang en eller annen full (eller edru) idiot har kommet opp til meg på byen og sagt at danskere høres ut som om de har en Kæehr-toouuffell i hællsen...

    Ja, så kunne jeg ha spart pengene i en høyrentekonto, og en dag brukt dem til å finansiere et huslån.


    Åpent brev til de idiotene som var å høre på Kulturbeitet imorges:

    Kjære dere.
    Vær så snill å slutte å referere til lesbisk eksperimentering som "pikekos."
    Det er ganske kvalmt, og så får det meg til å tenke på hvordan forsidene til Nye Lek må ha vært på 70-tallet.

    Og så kunne dere kanskje også slutte å snakke om homoseksualitet som noe ekkelt, som barn må skjermes for.

    På forhånd takk,

    Martin Grüner Larsen

    further evidence, if you needed it, that technology is doing weird shit to the world, part 1 in a series

    I just chatted with a friend of mine who's in China, in the middle of a rice paddy. in this house, to be precise. Which is, I think, in Guangxi province, near a place called Guilin.

    Meanwhile, two villages down, people are wearing their ancestors' hair on their head.

    This is a beautiful thing.

    Check out the New Orleans webcams. Things are going to really start happening in the next couple of hours.


    Gives a whole new meaning to "Basin Street Blues" that New Orleans in its entirety might be under fifteen feet of water in 24 hours.

    Ugh. This morning, I heard this could be the biggest natural disaster in the US ever.


    "My apartment is infested with koala bears. It’s the cutest infestation ever. Way better than cockroaches. When I turn on the light, a bunch of koala bears scatter, but I don’t want them to."
    (Mitch Hedberg)


    What a cruel fate: knowing that George W. Bush is reading your book, and yet, will keep on being a dangerous zealot. Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: a world history, is sharing the experience over at the Guardian. I love the edge of "and also, I'd like a pony"-desperation that creeps in at the end:
    All of this furore over common salt seems a little silly today. I hope Bush, with his interest in history, will realise that, in time, the fights over oil will look equally foolish. Could this lead to his abandoning his Texas cronies, realising oil is not worth hundreds of thousands of lives in Iraq, and that government has the ability to foster research and develop existing technology to move the world away from oil?

    Like cuttlefish we conceal ourselves, we darken the atmosphere in which we move; we are not transparent. I pine for one to whom I can speak my first thoughts; thoughts which represent me truly, which are no better and no worse than I; thoughts which have the bloom on them, which alone can be sacred and divine. Our sin and shame prevent our expressing even the innocent thoughts we have. I know of no one to whom I can be transparent instinctively. I live the life of the cuttlefish; another appears, and the element in which I move is tinged and I am concealed.

    (Henry David Thoreau, blogjournal, August 24th, 1852)

    Which, in addition to being well put, has as much to do with why some people choose to blog their personal lives anonymously as anything does.


    And suddenly after a week of translating texts about courses lectures and seminars he had forgotten everything he ever knew about comma-regler.

    Gaute påpeker denne herlige kognitive dissonansen mellom KrFs program og deres faktiske handlinger. Og jeg syntes den var så herlig at jeg like gjerne stjal den.

    Akkurat denne typen påpekelser er vel noe av det blogging er best egnet til. Jeg håper så mange som mulig bruker anledningen. Jeg skal selv forsøke å få tid til det i valgkampen, siden jeg ikke selv har stemmerett.


    On the other hand, those spam blogs commenting my posts are getting to be mighty annoying.


    Språkteigen på radio: "Det er faktisk ikkje forbode å skrive feil, du får verken politi eller lensmann på døren."

    Ragnfrid (over oppvasken): "Men Æ tar dæ!"

    [Ragnfrid når hun leste denne posten: "Det heter døra, ikke døren. Det er hokjønn."]

    [Ragnfrid da hun leste denne posten igjen: "Den gang da, hver gang når!"]

    blogger for word

    A delightful new feature of Blogger is a handy little toolbar, which permits me to post this directly from Microsoft Word.


    Blogger introduces censorship by the mainstream

    This is bad news: Blogger has added a censorship "feature."

    Basically, they're allowing you, the reader, through the "flag" button which now appears on the navbar, to determine whether or not my blog has questionable content. To me, this goes against everything that blogs are supposed to be about. If you go after spam blogs, that's fine with me, and illegal content is illegal content, and should be deleted. But blogs are all about saying things that might be unpopular or disturbing. If you want to turn blogs into just another flat, uninspiring format, this is the way to go. But blogs aren't supposed to be like that. They're supposed to be the place you can say the things you can't say in mainstream society. As the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen put it (in An Enemy of the People): "The minority is always right." And this is just another way for the majority to trample on them.

    (And anyway, this feature is just going to be abused by trolls. )

    It's stupid and I don't like it.

    Update: should we start a petition or something? I'll link to anybody posting analysis or commentary on this subject, if you leave a comment.

    What I want Blogger to do, immediately and specifically is this: to ensure us that this feature will never be used for anything other than combatting spam blogs.

    Evan Brown makes some good points re: the vagueness of the terms of what constitutes abuse. Reminds me of the Patriot act, in a way.

    "Adorno er her!..."

    "...festen kan begynne!"


    notat fra oversetterarbeidet

    Ord som det engelske språket trenger:


    (foreslår at praxis øyeblikkelig populariseres)




    takk for sist













    [Denne posten oppdateres fortløpende. Forslag mottas.]


    Innvandrere er skumle og farlige. Bare les FrPs nye brosjyre.

    Noen tanker jeg gjør meg:

    1. hvor ofte leser man pressesitatet "gjerningsmannen var av norsk opprinnelse"?
    2. hvor ofte leser man pressesitater i det hele tatt? Er ikke sitater noe man siterer?
    3. hvor ofte leser man om mennesker med pistol i Norge?
    4. hva er karakteristikkene til ungdommen på bildet? Er de ikke at han er
    a) av en annen etnisk opprinnelse enn norsk
    b) truende
    c) bevæpnet
    5. Er dette da ikke en fremstilling som har til hensikt å signalisere at folk som ikke er etniske nordmenn er truende, kriminelle og bevæpnet?
    6. Er ikke jeg en innvandrer?
    7. Er jeg derfor truende, kriminell og bevæpnet?
    8. Prøver fremskrittspartiet å si at jeg er farlig, truende og bevæpnet?
    9. Bør jeg ikke, dersom jeg ikke er verken farlig, truende, kriminell eller bevæpnet med noe skarpere enn en bordkniv, være grovt fornærmet?
    10. Vil ikke denne fornemmelsen av å bli grovt fornærmet øke risikoen for at jeg kjøper en gønner og en finlandshette og peker den mot noen, f.eks. FrP-velgere eller -politikere?


    That crackling sound you hear is the sound of the electricity generated by Duchamp spinning like a propeller in his grave.


    Dear diary blog

    [Wow. Wrote this a few hours ago, after having read 100-year-old dead people, and it showed. The language was all stiff and crackly and ornamented. Jazzed it up a bit later on, but some of the mothballed stuff still shows.]

    One of the great strengths of the weblog format is the temporality. Weblog posts are not just dead things that sit there, but are set into time. They are writing made specifically for the here and now. Writing as a process.

    Lately I've noticed a few blogs which have chosen to focus on this aspect of the format, using it to heighten the experience of existing texts. Some clever people have started posting old diaries and epistolary novels, one day at a time. This causes the reader to experience the work as it was written, and as it was, in some sense, experienced itself, by the author.

    The blogs in question:

    First off, the epistolary novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, is being blogged. It'll run through the fall until the story ends on November 6th. By coincidence, I'm currently rereading this myself. To be honest, I think that when you drop this particular piece of writing into a blog, entry by entry, the way it is written, it reveals the work's lack of realism [Well, duh. It's a vampire novel]. It is, quite clearly, written to be read, not to be written. Nobody writes their diary like that. There is much in the vein of "but now my life is about to be in danger so I must run. Goodbye, my beloved Mina!" Stoker continually (to the point of repetitiveness) uses the schtick where the character's writing is interrupted by story events, in order to bring the reader "closer" to the story. It works like a charm at first, but does get a bit tedious.

    Second, the diary of Samuel Pepys is, as far as I can tell, in its third year. Pepys was a high ranking official in post-Cromwell London back in the 17th century. He is generally acknowledged as the most well-known diarist ever. The blog itself is a fantastic piece of scholarship, with much erudite discussion and a great many explanatory hyperlinks to secondary characters and historical events and customs referred to in passing. The whole hypertext as it presents is very interesting, as a result. A greater text than the original.

    The Barbellionblog is publishing the diary of W.N.P Barbellion, a nom de plume of Bruce Frederick Cummings, a young, aspiring zoologist and writer, who died in 1919 at the age of 30 from multiple sclerosis. His diaries, collected as The Journal of a Disappointed Man, are considered to be some of the best contributions to the genre (though they were clearly written with a certain amount of self-consciousness, and edited for publication, this does not detract from its value). I guess today that one can think of him as the grandfather of something that ended up becoming blogging.

    Franz Kafka's diaries
    awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, to find that they had been transformed into a blog. Both available in German and English, they only date texts when Kafka himself wrote it down (which, apparently, he didn't do very often). The texts don't look easier to understand than the rest of the man's output.

    My personal favourite so far: the Blog (so to speak) of Henry David Thoreau, the author of Walden. It is in "reruns" now, but I greatly enjoy the writing. Beautiful, liquid prose, even for the everyday. I'll just post the first, random quote, which I like.
    On Conantum saw a cow looking steadily up into the sky for a minute. It gave to her face an unusual almost human or wood-god, faun-like expression, and reminded me os some frontispiece to Virgil’s Bucolics. She was gazing upwards about 45°. There were only some downy clouds in that direction. It was so unusual a sight that any one would notice it. It suggested adoration.
    Bing! Temporal poetry. Which is to say, poetry in motion.

    Learn the difference between legal, and ethical, you fucks. Sending someone off to be tortured might be legal. It is not. Ever. Ethical.


    If I had seen this when I was a kid, it would have scared the living bejesus out of me: Sun Ra's remix of the Pink Elephants-sequence in Dumbo. Careful: big video, about 17 Mb.


    I didn't comment on the Hiroshima memorial day, but in respect for the hundreds of thousand innocent, civilian dead, and what surely must be one of the greatest single-act war crimes of all time, I thought I'd share this fascinating little howler: my number one candidate for most insensitive post ever. This guy says: "Served you right, motherfuckers, now let that be a lesson to you." That's a direct quote.

    This sort of language is all over American right-wing blogs. "You brought it on yourselves", "that's what you get", "that's the price you pay" etc. I propose the following rule of political discourse: you are not allowed to say things this big unless you actually fully understand what you're saying. For instance: unless you are capable of saying it directly to the face of each and every one of the victims.

    As if we needed another reason not to like celery, or to stand firm in our knowledge that it is a vegetable concocted in the lower pits of the Inferno, it turns out that celery has negative calories. That's right. It costs more energy to digest it, than you receive. It's not even real food! In my book, the only proper place for a stalk of celery, is lying on the bar next to my bloody mary.

    I thought this was an urban legend, but Snopes confirms it.


    Postmodernismen er død, eller ikke.
    Du hørte det her først. Si det videre.

    Oh. My. God.

    I pressed my lips against the sky, and licked the stars into my mouth. She took my body into hers, and every movement was an incantation. Our breathing was like the whole world chanting prayers. Sweat ran in rivulets to ravines of pleasure. Every moment was a satin skin cascade. Within the velvet cloaks of tenderness, our backs convulsed in quivering heat, pushing heat, pushing muscles to complete what minds begin and bodies always win. I was hers. She was mine. My body was her chariot, and she drove it into the sun. Her body was my river, and I became the sea. And the wailing moan that drove our lips together, at the end, was the world of hope and sorrow that ecstasy wrings from lovers as it floods their souls with bliss. (p400)
    - Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts -

    Yes, it's the Guardian Bad Sex awards. Read the whole thing, if you possibly can, but try not to have a heart attack from the bad writing.


    Hvis du ikke har hoppet trampoline i et kvarter, stått av, og så forsøkt å hoppe, så har du ikke levd.

    (Det kjennes ut som om du er laget av betong. Bakken hopper opp og treffer deg under føttene. Plutselig skjønner du at tyngdekraften alltid er der. Det er et illusjonsbrudd så sterkt at man kun kan le.)

    Here are the recently deceased Robin Cook's columns for the Guardian.

    They're well-written, with a whole lot of ethos. He was an excellent writer, and a sound political mind. He seems to constantly advocate solid long-term solutions, over the cheap ,short-term populism. I'm still sorry he's dead. And I'm sorry I didn't find these articles while he was still writing them.

    Small town blog makes good

    Vår mann i NRK (Gaute Z) informerer meg om at illustrasjonsfotoet til denne saken i NRK Østland er illustrert med et pixellert bilde av min (Vestlands-)blogg. Som om den var en ussel forbryter. He he.

    Foriøvrig sa en blogger jeg kjenner presis det samme forleden dag: at vedkommende var lei av det evinnelige maset om alltid å holde seg oppdatert på bloggene, fordi det tok så mye tid, og hvis man ikke gjorde hver dag, så falt man av lasset. Jeg kan sagtens kjenne meg igjen i det. I grunnen leser jeg færre blogger nå enn jeg pleide. Men de jeg leser syntes jeg til gjengjeld er mye bedre og mere tankevekkende. Altså mer kvalitet enn kvantitet.

    Warnock's Dilemma

    I just stumbled on something, which I find puts words to something I think most bloggers experience. It's called Warnock's dilemma. It describes, basically, the different reasons possible for there not being comments or replies to something you post (this can, if one valued or put some effort into whatever it was, be a source of insecurity).

    The problem with no response is that there are five possible interpretations:

    1) The post is correct, well-written information that needs no
    follow-up commentary. There's nothing more to say except "Yeah, what he said."

    2) The post is complete and utter nonsense, and no one wants to waste the energy or bandwidth to even point this out.

    3) No one read the post, for whatever reason.

    4) No one understood the post, but won't ask for clarification, for whatever reason.

    5) No one cares about the post, for whatever reason.

    I'd also like to add a 6th possible explanation, which is that sometimes a post delves into emotionally (or politically) very dangerous territory, and it is seen as too dangerous to reply. A common thing I've seen is that someone will confess to suffering major depression, or describe that their mother just died or something of that type. and noone will reply. This might be because of a sense of embarassment (the blogger got too personal), or it might be out of respect (I don't know you, so I have no right to comment on something of this magnitude).

    Another side of this (the political/economic side) is that sometimes replying to a post means voicing opinions in public, and could get you in trouble, if you say the wrong thing. Maybe you won't get that job, or that promotion, or whatever the power currency is in your line.

    Good to have words for stuff you didn't have words for.


    And now Ibrahim Ferrer is dead too. What is this? The conspiracy against good people having a field day?


    Robin Cook is dead. He died while hiking.

    He was one of the only people to speak up against the Iraq conflict, back in the day. And he resigned from the government because of it, with a speech which was one of the finest pieces of political rhetoric I've heard. Read it, or watch the video. It's fantastic.


    I rest my case.

    En liten regulering i de norske regler for plastisk-kirurgisk etikk. KRIGSTYPER.

    Jeg får litt følelsen av at alle disse krigstypene gjør at den dagen det faktisk blir krig blir Dagblabla og Verdens Gnag nødt til å publisere en avis som er tre meter bred og to meter høy for å få plass til ordet "KRIG".

    Men hva ville illustrasjonen til denne overskriften være?


    The Balkans

    I've uploaded some photos from our trip to the Balkans to my new Flickr account.

    I figured you wouldn't want to see all the holiday snapshots, so these are just a few pictures of Mostar and Sarajevo, which might be of general interest.

    And good morning to you too.

    om det å ikke lengre forsøple sin symbolsfære

    For noen måneder siden kom jeg til en beslutning som jeg tror på alle måter har gjort meg til et bedre menneske.

    Jeg besluttet meg for å slutte å kjøpe og lese Dagbladet, VG eller BA.

    Jeg føler meg liksom renere hele dagen igjennom. Det er noe med at min kulturelle omverden er mindre fylt av dumskap, griskhet og egoisme. Jeg aner ikke hvor stor Jennifer Lopez' rumpe er, eller hvem Britney Spears gifter seg med denne uken. Jeg aner ikke om Røkke har kjøpt seg hytte, og den eneste måten jeg vet at Idar Vollvik har kjøpt seg båt på er fordi det sto om det i en sarkastisk kulturanalyse i BTs kronikkavdeling. Jeg føler meg sunnere, sterkere og klokere. Jeg føler meg som et bedre menneske.

    Jeg har i etterkant av dette humret overlegent nesten hver gang jeg så på forsidene av de ovenfor nevnte avisene. Ved flere anledninger har jeg talt maks en eneste skarve nyhet på forsidene deres. En eneste nyhet, resten sport og kjendis. Noen ganger er det ikke en gang den ene nyheten. Ikke en nyhet! På forsiden av Norges to største aviser!

    Og så, idag. En liten notis i BT for noen dager siden har blitt til fem fjærløse ryper. En ung kvinne (som jeg foriøvrig kjenner perifert fra gammelt av. Vært på noen av de samme festene, etc.) som legger ut bilder av seg på internett drar ut på et populært badested. Klær av seg. Hennes mann tar noen bilder, de blir tilsnakket av politiet, drar hjem, legger bildene ut på nettet.

    Hva angår det meg? En ikke-sak. En ubetydelig lokalnyhet. Noe for enhåndsdatabrukere.

    VG, krigstyper: HUN GA BERGEN NAKEN-SJOKK! medfulgt av et bilde av den unge kvinne i en dobbeltdekkerbuss på Bryggen.

    BA: tilsvarende. Hele forsiden et bilde av en naken rumpe på en Harley.

    Jeg trodde jeg var i fy-avdelingen på Narvesen.

    Men det er selvsagt greit. Jeg mener, det er agurktider, avisen må ha noe å skrive om selv når det ikke skjer noe, etc. Det er sant. For en naken kvinne - unnskyld: en NAKEN-SJOKKERENDE kvinne - er selvsagt langt, langt viktigere enn:

    - Den største sikkerhetsoperasjonen siden andre verdenskrig i London, etter nye terrortrusler.

    - Kampen om nedleggelsen av hjørnestensbedriften i Skien.

    - Innsettelesseremonien av en konservativ president i et land som er godt på vei mot en ny midtøsten-krig, og den samtidige sultestreiken til en journalist i landet.

    -Den nye, radikale, amerikanske ambassadøren som har begynt i FN.

    ...etc. Det tok meg to minutter, ikke det engang, å finne de saker.

    Hør her. En naken kvinne på en Harley er ikke sjokkerende. Enn ikke på en dobbeltdekkerbuss eller noe annet transportmiddel, med mindre nevnte transportmiddel er på vei mot meg i høy hastighet. Det hun er, er en unnskyldning. Og en dårlig unnskyldning oven i købet.

    Jeg er lei av denne mediakulturen, og det er på høy tid at det blir en intern oppvask. Hvis folk er dumme nok til å få mer lyst til å kjøpe avisen når det de egentlig har lyst på er Nye Lek, så må pressen selv ta affære. (Og foriøvrig så tyder jo de siste undersøkelser på at det nettopp ikke er porno-sladd(er)-aviser publikum har lyst på, til tross for at det er det de kjøper, kanskje i mangel på reelle alternativer.) Hvis det hadde vært en anstendig pressekultur, burde disse aviser ha blitt hengt ut i alle andre aviser i landet. Menneskene som har ansvaret for den retning disse aviser går i er en skam for sin profesjon. Der. Jeg sa det. Hvorfor sier ikke andre det?

    *Nå skal det sies at det hender at jeg leser Dagbladets kulturavdeling fremdeles, men det er stort sett når jeg kjenner noen som skriver på debattsiden. Og i så fall leser jeg den stort sett på kafe. Og at jeg sjekker tvprogrammet på VG.no. Men ellers aldri!


    the lytton awards

    The reason I quoted the tight and well-organized prose of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton yesterday is because I nearly split my sides laughing when I came over the Lyttle Lytton awards. The competition is for making the absolute worst possible first line for a novel ever. There's some really strong entries. This year's winner:

    * John, surfing, said to his mother, surfing beside him, "How do you like surfing?"

    But honestly, I think this years awards was a low water-mark to the previous years, so read all the entries. Some personal favourites:

    * Jennifer stood there, quietly ovulating.

    * "Tasty waffle?" Jim suggested alluringly, prodding me with the afore-mentioned breakfast food.

    * I know who the murderer is, Kevin blogged.

    * Juicy, their love was like forbidden fruit: tasty.

    * Sing, O Muse, of Tiffany's wrath on Triple Coupon Day.

    * In anticipation, John licked his own lips.

    * The night passed like a kidney stone: painfully and with the help of major sedatives.

    * Turning, I mentally digested all of what you, the reader, are about to find out heartbreakingly.

    It's almost like poetry. In fact, one could argue (Roman Jakobson might've) that it is poetry, packing so much badness into sentences. This is artfully crafted, compact, effective badness.

    [Update: Teresa Nielsen-Hayden got to it before I did, damnit. Here's her take on it.]


    That explains why they're so smart

    It may seem unreal, but it is a fact: regular sex enlarges women's breasts. Sexual excitement intensifies the bloodstream, which may add 25 percent to a woman's breast size. Furthermore, women can raise their IQ with every orgasm that they experience.

    Quality journalism from the old-school bastion of free speech, Pravda. I pretty much chose that quote at random. They're everywhere in the article.

    "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

    --Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

    If you're looking for a blogzine named after a retirement home, and run by my brother and his girlfriend, look no further than Shady Acres.

    Latest installment: an introduction to the both byzantine and machiavellian Finnmärck political scene. Don't miss it.


    "There are three major types of Molasses: unsulphured, sulphured and blackstrap. There are also three major grades of molasses: first molasses, second molasses, and blackstrap molasses.

    * Unsulphured molasses is the finest quality. It is made from the juice of sun-ripened cane and the juice is clarified and concentrated.
    * Sulphured molasses is made from green (unripe) sugar cane and is treated with sulphur fumes during the sugar extraction process.
    * Each season, the sugar cane plant is harvested and stripped of its leaves. Its juice is then extracted from the canes (usually by crushing or mashing), boiled until it has reached the appropriate consistency, and processed to extract the sugar. The results of this first boiling and processing is first molasses, which has the highest sugar content because comparatively little sugar has been extracted from the juice.
    * Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slight bitter tinge to its taste. Further rounds of processing and boiling yield the dark blackstrap molasses, which is the most nutritionally valuable, and thus often sold as a health supplement, as well as being used in the manufacture of cattle feed, and for other industrial uses." (Wikipedia)
    Christ on a bicycle, how long can stuff possibly take?

    I'm not really here, because I'm in seclusion, writing stuff. However, the Procrastination department of Grüner inc. wants you to have a look at the following:

    * Wired has an interesting look at the 10-year anniversary of the web as we know it - they're counting from the public offering of Netscape stock. I didn't think you could be more enthusiastic about the internets than Ted Nelson was, back in the 80's, but the guy who wrote this story actually is, and I have to say, he makes it work:

    The scope of the Web today is hard to fathom. The total number of Web pages, including those that are dynamically created upon request and document files available through links, exceeds 600 billion. That's 100 pages per person alive.

    How could we create so much, so fast, so well? In fewer than 4,000 days, we have encoded half a trillion versions of our collective story and put them in front of 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world's population. That remarkable achievement was not in anyone's 10-year plan.

    The accretion of tiny marvels can numb us to the arrival of the stupendous. Today, at any Net terminal, you can get: an amazing variety of music and video, an evolving encyclopedia, weather forecasts, help wanted ads, satellite images of anyplace on Earth, up-to-the-minute news from around the globe, tax forms, TV guides, road maps with driving directions, real-time stock quotes, telephone numbers, real estate listings with virtual walk-throughs, pictures of just about anything, sports scores, places to buy almost anything, records of political contributions, library catalogs, appliance manuals, live traffic reports, archives to major newspapers - all wrapped up in an interactive index that really works.

    Man's got a point.

    Gets into very interesting territory later on. Starts talking about the internet as one big intelligence, comparing its structure to the human brain. It's not the first time I've heard this idea. First time was in Neuromancer, which brings me seamlessly into items two and three:

    * William Gibson has begun blogging again (...again). He says he's writing a new novel.


    *Judith Reisman, an anti-anything-to-do-with-sex activist who has the ear of the American conservative right talks about how porn enfeebles the mind, by addicting you to "erototoxins".

    Thanks to the latest advances in neuroscience, we now know that pornographic visual images imprint and alter the brain, triggering an instant, involuntary, but lasting, biochemical memory trail, arguably, subverting the First Amendment by overriding the cognitive speech process. This is true of so-called “soft-core” and “hard-core” pornography. And once new neurochemical pathways are established they are difficult or impossible to delete. (...)Pornography triggers myriad kinds of internal, natural drugs that mimic the “high” from a street drug. Addiction to pornography is addiction to what I dub erototoxins -- mind-altering drugs produced by the viewer’s own brain.

    See, the only problem with this is: it's not true. Or rather, it's true, but sex does it alot better than porn does, and we're hopefully not outlawing that. "Latest advances in neuroscience", my ass. We've known that all stimuli permanently alters the brain since the birth of neuroscience. In particular, we are well aware that pleasurable sexual experiences tickles the brain in many ways. But the human race is born addicted to sex, in much the same way that we are born addicted to air and food, and there really isn't anything I'd want to do about that.

    "Overriding the cognitive speech process." Stop it! You're killing me!

    This is pseudoscience at its worst. The idea, of course, being that since porn users are addicts, the government can (in fact, should) make pornography illegal, and this would be the first step in a restriction of freedom of speech (which might be a good thing, because then you wouldn't be able to say that the Nazi Party & the holocaust were the creation of the "German homosexual movement" and get away with it), and reproductive rights (abortion, homosexuality, anything other than missionary between married couples).

    A novel approach to sexual ethics, I must admit. To be honest, I've never heard of or seen anything quite this dumb before.

    (But you shouldn't use porn anyway, because masturbation makes your palms hairy.)