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June 05, 2011

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ejh

Ah yes, BioShock

Cian

The dry contempt of the writer is rather nice:

"If people are allowed to opt in or out, you can have a successful dictatorship," the goateed Friedman says, wiggling his toes in pink Vibram slippers.

and

When asked what his team is working on right now, Friedman leaps up and writes "SEASTEADING" on the whiteboard, circling it and drawing four lines down, "RESEARCH, LAW, BUSINESS, MOVEMENT," underlining each before collapsing back into his chair and checking his phone.

Alex

It's somehow telling that the only organisations to actually do any of this stuff are, yes, Women on Waves, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, pirate radio, etc. The libertarian versions get to the point of putting together some PowerPoint presentations and starting committees, but then it all goes quiet. They never seem to actually set sail.

CharlieMcMenamin

Interesting you quote China Mieville. In many ways the plot of his Iron Council, with its anarcho-syndicalist ragtag-army-on-a-train forever laying tracks to escape the state, is a sort of leftie riff on the whole floating Randian paradise idea.

ajay

Escaping by train while laying the tracks in front of you as you go would probably seem like an original idea if you hadn't seen "The Wrong Trousers".

CharlieMcMenamin

Touche ajay. I quite like Iron Council, but of course its not in the same league as the The Wrong Trousers...

Chris Williams

_Tyger! Tyger!_, surely? There's that Veblen bit when the owners are arriving at a party using progressively more wasteful means, finally trumped by yr man laying out his own railway track in order to do so.

ajay

There is a certain Wallace & Gromit quality to a lot of Mieville's stuff, now I think about it. Preston the Remade Sheepdog, for example.

Alex

finally trumped by yr man laying out his own railway track in order to do so.

*digs ship canal to arrive in yacht*

ajay

A bit of lateral thinking shows that the ultimate bit of one-upmanship would be to uproot the party venue and move it on the back of some sort of mighty crawler transport to one's own estate. "I don't go to parties; the parties come to me."

"Crisis energy, Gromit! We'll tap crisis energy! That's the ticket!"
(Gromit the Beetle-Headed Woman cannot speak, of course, but raises her antennae to indicate resigned tolerance of the latest lunatic invention)

dsquared

I would top the train, canal and earthmover guys by simply arriving in a normal minicab, after having invited British Aerospace to submit a non-competitive tender for calling the cab for me. Now that's wasteful.

Alex

I'll beat it.

I'll get BAE to call the cab, give them the wrong address, and then ring up and ask them to change it.

Jakob

I think we can keep doing this: offer minicab tenders to both BAE and Boeing, award the contract to one (which one doesn't matter...) and await the inevitable lawsuits.

CharlieMcMenamin

Halliburton are surely the schlachtbummeler's procurement agency of choice for ordering a cab in these circumstances.

Chris Williams

I'm sorry, but Alfred Bester has left the building.

dave heasman

James Blish's "Cities in Flight" from the 50s posits NYC floating through interstellar space hawking its expertise. The mayor was modelled on LaGuardia and I'll remember his name as soon as I post this.

belle le triste

John Amalfi.

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