Archive for May, 2007

Take a Day Off, the Muse Takes Two

Posted in Writing on May 29, 2007 by Patrick

I didn’t write all weekend, and now of course I just can’t get started.  There’s something to be said for days off, of course, but there’s also something to be said for momentum in all creative endeavors.



Posted in Magical Systems, Speculation, Techniques on May 22, 2007 by Patrick


An exploration of a rather more traditional Qabalah than most people are used to. Some of this may be revolutionary; I haven’t decided yet. There does seem to be a strain of one-true-way-ism, though, in the undertow. But he’s right: this arrangement does appear more logical.

Copyright Explained

Posted in Political, Writing on May 19, 2007 by Patrick

Here’s a video explaining copyright law using clips from Disney.  It strikes me as quite appropriate — and really kind of useful.

Comfy Chair

Posted in Techniques on May 18, 2007 by Patrick

In every list of magical tools in any book ever written on magic (and yes, I’m guilty of it too), there’s a discussion of the wand, the pentacle, the cup, the dagger, the sword, the other wand, the yet other wand, the staff (which is the wand for people who go to roleplaying conventions), and so on . . . but no one ever mentions the most important magical tool of all.  The comfy chair.

BBC NEWS | Technology | DRM group vows to fight bloggers

Posted in Political, Writing on May 4, 2007 by Patrick

BBC NEWS | Technology | DRM group vows to fight bloggers

Via Boingboing. How odd.


Posted in Political, Weird, Writing on May 4, 2007 by Patrick

Some symbols are so powerful that, even though they convey no meaning in the linguistic sense, it is illegal to say them. For example, it is illegal to say 09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0, to post it on a blog, to publish it in a public place.

I find the entire issue of copyright complex.  Certainly, it can be reduced to simplicity: copying and transfering copyrighted information — such as my book, say — is a crime.  But just as the printing press changed the entire concept of intellectual property, making it possible to “own” words and ideas, so does the internet change the way we must approach copyright.  Yet no one making laws about the internet has the slightest notion how it works or, in some cases, what it is (“Someone sent me an internet Monday and I didn’t get it until Wednesday!”).

I am in favor of protecting copyright of movies, music, books, and all other forms of intellectual property.  A number, however, is not intellectual property.  Making it intellectual property has some rather odd implications for accountants.

Moreover, preventing people who pay for a movie from making a copy for their own use goes beyond copyright.  The concept of intellectual property has never denied a customer from making a copy for his or her own use.  Making a profit or interfering with sales of a piece of intellectual property that belongs to another — yes, that’s forbidden.  So if I rip a copy of a movie for my own back-up, that is legal.  If I rip a copy of a movie and share it on the internet — of course that’s illegal.  But companies have no right to prevent the former if they wish to avoid the latter.  Or, more accurately, they have the right, and I have the right not to buy such things.

It is hard, even for a staunch supporter of intellectual property rights like me, not to recognize that copyright in this country — and worldwide — is in a shambles, not least of all because of the internet, but also because of corporations like Disney who exploit copyright for purposes other than its intended function.  Copyright exists to encourage artists to create; it expires to encourage artists to create new things as old ones become public domain.  The creators of a piece of art have the right to own it; however, the public has a right to own intellectual property in the public domain.

Finally, copyright protection doesn’t exist so jackasses in suits and ties can sue old ladies, children, and college professors for posting a goddamned number on their blogs.