No Humans Allowed

Once again: Whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/21 08:00

Why bad technology dominates our lives, according to Don Norman

We have unwittingly accepted the paradigm that technology comes first, with people relegated to doing the actions that the machines cannot do. This requires people to act like machines, ever ready to take over when things go wrong.

... Whenever I wander around a city, I often stop to examine some unique thing I’ve noticed. Why? Curiosity: It’s a natural human trait. My curiosity frequently leads me to insights that have helped me in my career. So why is this wonderful, creative trait of curiosity given the negative term “distraction”?

This brings back to mind a line I return to often, one I believe came by way of Theodore Roszak: whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

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Tags: society  technology 


Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 1: The Origins

How my new novel 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' began with a failed fan theory about 'The Matrix'.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/19 17:00
In the weeks leading up to the release of my new novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, I'll be making a series of posts to serve as an extended introduction to the book — its origins, its influences, its themes, its setting and characters. Enjoy.

(See all entries in this series here.)

Sometimes I think the best ideas bloom in the most unlikely places, because the more unlikely the origin of the idea, the more fascinated we are with the possibility of making some of it.

When I trace things all the way back, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned came from a failed fan theory of mine. But failed in a good way.

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Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Behind The Scenes  creativity  projects  writing 


Welcome to the Fold: Give It Away Now (July 17, 2018 Edition)

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/17 17:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie.

Many other books from other authors are also available in this lot, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


The Uncertainty Principle

What did Bertrand Russell mean when he said, "Do not feel absolutely certain of anything"?

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/16 08:00

Bertrand Russell once listed a series of guidelines for intellectual integrity. I'd like to discuss them all at length, but I'll start with the top of the list: Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

This is a view shared by Sir Karl Popper, the godfather of falsifiability. His stance was that any position we take should always be regarded as tentative. But he also made it clear that the further we go, the more work would be required to overturn an existing position. It was far easier to unseat the Ptolemaic or geocentric view of the universe than to unseat the Einsteinian view of the universe, in big part because each unseating builds on the successes and learns from the failures of the prior one. Unseating Einstein would take more effort than I am capable of visualizing, but I'm one man and I'm not even a physicist. The door has to remain open. But not just so that any old thing can walk through.

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Tags: Bertrand Russell  Karl Popper  philosophy  science  skepticism 


Watts Up

On how social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/15 08:00

Social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing:

How Wattpad Is Rewriting the Rules of Hollywood

“This is a whole bunch of information the industry never had before,” Levitz tells Vulture. “We can go to the audience in a story and see not only if they like or dislike the lead male character. We can read the comments that actually say, ‘Yeah, this is where half the audience decides they like him and half the audience decides they hate him.’ We can look at whole chapters that don’t have any comments and drop the right pieces out. We can draw up two casting videos of two potential female leads. And through our social feeds, go, ‘What do you think?’ And we’re gonna get tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of comments that are gonna point us in one direction or another.”

First off, full disclosure: I'm flirting with the idea of using Wattpad for a future story or two, just to see what the experience is like.

That said: What strikes me most about getting feedback like this is how it's more useful for the marketers than it is for the authors or the audience. 

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Tags: creativity  creators  publishing  writers  writing 


Court And Spark

It's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/11 17:00

I think it's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

I'm not the biggest fan of my own work. I find countless problems with it — it's too contrived here, it's too needlessly complex there, it's too removed from human behavior, etc. I have to stop myself from polishing it to death, and then I still find things wrong with it long after the fact. Whatever it is I'm aiming at, it always seems to be left of where I end up hitting. It always feels like there's too much of the story between me and whatever it is I'm trying to express. And so on.

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Tags: creativity  writers  writing 


Psycho Fandom, Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/10 17:00

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out:

Even if your interest provides a number of benefits, even if it connects you to people, those connections may not be healthy or involve too much pathology. In some cases you may be better of without the community.

It’s not just “does my interest connect me to people” it’s “does it connect me with healthy people and communities?”

I think the bigger problem is that most people have no idea what constitutes a pathological community connection, or a pathological community for that matter.

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Tags: fandom  psychology 


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