Each morning I stand on the old Roman road going into London from the west. It is called Bath Road because, spoiler alert, it connected Londinium to Bath. I ride the bus past where the shepherds would gather to trade outside the city limits, then into town proper.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to PKD's Exegesis if he had been a Londoner. The seemingly-wacky fictional premise that our world is a holographic overlay atop the 'real' world of the Roman empire feels a lot less wacky when you spend your time Roman-journeying into a Roman-town to do Roman-business and then Roman-journey back out, exhausted, each day of a mostly-Roman calendar. Especially after just getting back from Rome.
The meeting rooms of my office look out over a plague pit/graveyard attached to the church where criminals would receive Last Confession on the journey in between the Old Bailey and the Tyburn, where they would be hanged. Looming on the other side of this plague bit is the gleaming, irregular space ship belonging to everyone's favourite search engine/drone business. I was on stage in the space ship again this week, then got wildly business drunk in it, then led the after party drinking through Covent Garden. In fact, this has probably been one of the busiest weeks of the last few years, careening between business drinking, spreadsheets, CEO pitches, breakfast meetings and no working days of less than fifteen hours each. It sputtered to a pleasing end with some afternoon gins in a Soho metal bar with the Scarlets, sitting at a table with a large Ouija Board carved into it, talking grimoire spirits and setting the magical world to rights.
Then it was back on the Roman road for a wildly interrupted commute home, thanks to a double-change of buses and a wander through Notting Hill between them (in the rain), because leaving Londinium the Friday of a long weekend is a recipe for disaster.
What is so interesting about the hologram metaphor is that it appears to have gone full Star Trek... it's on the fritz. We are days out from an election here in the UK and anyone expressing the genuine belief that one side or another could bring actual change is treated with awkward suspicion. The whole world can now catch glimpses of the decaying zombie centurion behind either hologram asking for your vote as the programme sporadically sparks on and off. Even inside the spaceship talking to other (news) publishers, everyone knows that the Ukraine narrative is complete garbage, the US Presidential (s)election is a farce, the economic data are a child's crude attempt at fiction.
Yet here we all are, Romaning away. If I wasn't so tired, I would find this fascinating. However I am that tired, but I still miss all you chumps, so let's just pretend the following weekend links were woven together toward some kind of meta statement. Something about rutted cart tracks on Roman roads keeping you on the same route, even as you clatter through an Age of Wonders? Yeah, that'll do it.
- Trevor Noah Isn’t the Problem. You Are.
- Magical Thinking.
- The Man Who May One-Up Darwin.
- Narcos, Police Unite in Adoration of 'Warrior Saint' in Brazil. (Shout out to Andrew Chesnut!)
- Sharing the Sea with Sharks.
- 500 Years Of NYC Skyline, In One Time-Lapse Elevator Ride. (Awesome.)
- The Oregon Trail Generation. (Yes to all this.)
- Sci-Fi's Difficult Genius. (That's Gene Wolfe, if you're skimming the list.)
- What's Really Happening in Baltimore.
- Forgotten Wonders of the Digital World. (Even for a non-gamer, this is fascinating.)
- Re-burying Anglo Saxon Kings.
- Not science fiction: Miami wants to predict when and where crime will occur.
- A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse.
- Assange: How 'The Guardian' Milked Edward Snowden's Story. (This is Julian Assange at his absolute, absolute best.)
- Cremated human bones in pot found in Crossrail dig suggest gruesome ritual.
- Syntheism Now. (Erik has a fascinating chat with Alexander Bard. Good background brain food for your weekend.)
Jeff Kripal on America and the religion of no religion.
Some of this is very good and very important. Some. Any model of biospheric degradation that fails to account for the impact of the shadow state (weather modification having been a stated military goal for more than forty years) is necessarily incomplete. I'll probably archonology all this stuff when/if I ever get time.
And let's close out with some more sharks. It's the weekend, after all.