The other day I read Blood Grains Speak Through Memories, a scifi short story by Jason Sanford. 📚

This 2016 Nebula Award finalist presented an interesting, far-future, pro-eco biotech setting with just enough world-building to make it work. In the end it was a tale of loss, betrayal and humanity. I liked it because I could almost feel the numbness and pain of the main protagonist, even though the world itself felt a bit weird.


Goodreads is not good anymore 📚

I just want to keep track of my reading, and I want good recommendations and maybe get into discussions over books I’ve read. By now, GR feels just like a data mining machine to me which it probably is (thanks, Amazon). Do you have any recommendations for me? I’ll try to use this here M.b account for that … It’s a bit unstructured (in comparison to Goodreads et al) but it also feels like a throwback to the good ol' blogging times (G-blog represent!

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Finished The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. 📚

I didn’t like it; I don’t get the hype about it at all. It’s got a few interesting ideas, sure, but the storytelling was clinical, the characters were 1.5-dimensional at best, and the dialogs were wooden. What am I missing here‽


Started reading “The Three-Body Problem” 📚 today — in English. I’m curious to finally see what all that fuss is about. 😏

A few months back I gave its German edition a go but that felt terribly wooden, somehow. The English edition is more to my liking so far.


I’m going to miss the astrophotography feature of the Pixel 3a. (Switching to an iPhone SE 2020 in a few days to see whether iOS14 does something for me.)

These photos are nothing special per se but the fact that my affordable phone took them, that is something.


How small satellites are radically remaking space exploration is a nice quick overview about the ongoing small-sat and small-rocket space industry revolution. 🚀

Now, two emerging technologies may propel NASA and the rest of the world into an era of faster, low-cost exploration. Instead of spending a decade or longer planning and developing a mission, then spending hundreds of millions (to billions!) of dollars bringing it off, perhaps we can fly a mission within a couple of years for a few tens of millions of dollars. This would lead to more exploration and also democratize access to the Solar System.

In recent years, a new generation of companies is developing new rockets for small satellites that cost roughly $10 million for a launch. […] The concept of interplanetary small satellite missions also spurred interest in the emerging new space industry.


Cancel Culture and the Problem of Woke Capitalism - The Atlantic:

If you care about progressive causes, then woke capitalism is not your friend. It is actively impeding the cause, siphoning off energy, and deluding us into thinking that change is happening faster and deeper than it really is. When people talk about the “excesses of the left”—a phenomenon that blights the electoral prospects of progressive parties by alienating swing voters—in many cases they’re talking about the jumpy overreactions of corporations that aren’t left-wing at all.

Good article, not a condemnation of activism but a call for actual change, and a better direction for all our energy.


Indi Samarajiva: American Passports Are Worthless Now (Map) due to the US being governed by COVID-19:

At the same time, you can’t trust Americans. Americans have poor hygiene (low masking rate) and at least 40% of the population can’t be trusted to even believe that COVID-19 exists, let alone to take it seriously. They’re likely to refuse testing, not report symptoms, break quarantine, and generally NOT follow rules. Americans have a toxic combination of ignorance and arrogance that makes them unwelcome travelers.

Yikes. Rings true, tho.


We visited the #Munich zoo today. I petted a sleeping piglet. 🐖 Good times are good


“Something something #vanlife”, I think