Adventures in Dining, Part 1: The Case of the Scurrilous Scrotum.

The relationship between chili peppers and my scrotum has always been a difficult one. It got off to a rocky start back during grad school, when I was making vegetarian tacos in the nude.  Having crumbled a bunch of hot dry chili peppers into a bowl, I absently reached down with the same hand to […]

Posted in: misc, public interface by Peter Watts 40 Comments

Post Human

There’s this guy I almost knew, Mac Tonnies. A fan of my books, a writer of his own (I never read After the Martian Apocalypse, his book about the “Face on Mars”, but I read some of his short fiction), and a paradoxical amalgam of UFO buff and skeptic: someone who embraced the phenomenon while […]

Posted in: misc by Peter Watts 17 Comments

The Exception That Doesn’t Exactly Contradict the Rule

Position statement here. While replying to a batch of comments on a recent thread, I encountered the following sentiment from Seruko: I am somewhat troubles by the lack of self-pimping. I really wanted to read ‘The Island’ but didn’t know it had been published until a month or so ago. If you can’t shill for […]

Posted in: misc, public interface by Peter Watts 22 Comments

Flowers for Hobbie-J

A single gene.   A single tweak.  Synapse speed boosted by perhaps a hundred milliseconds, tops. Transgenic Genius rats.  (PopSci story here.) Who’da thunk it would be so easy?  And how long before I can get these NR2B boosters in a nasal spray?

Posted in: Dumbspeech, neuro, sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 14 Comments

Islands, Eclipses, and Sundry Other Things

I’m going to sneak in a few bits of self-aggrandizing tub-thumpery here, in the hopes that the last few postings have mitigated the ‘crawl’s tendency to list to all-about-me.  First, however, a bit of housekeeping:  I’ve just learned that anyone posting comments on this blog is forced to enter their name and e-mail up front.  […]

Posted in: ink on art, writing news by Peter Watts 20 Comments

PRISMs, Gom Jabbars, and Consciousness

It’s Saturday night. I could be drinking now. I should be drinking now; a friend of mine has been liberated from his wife and larva for the weekend— a greater cause for celebration than he’ll admit publicly— and I should be out there helping him kill brain cells. And yet I have chosen to stay […]

“And God and the Economy
 Have Blessed Me with Equality”

A couple of papers on the nature of religious belief came down the pike last week. One was high-tech, analytically complex, and neurological. The other was low-tech, analytically naïve, and all evo-psych handwavey. It also claimed to rebut the whole school of thought embodied in the first paper, although I don’t think it did— yet […]

The Return of the Pimp.

You may remember my hearty endorsement of David Nickle‘s short-story collection, Monstrous Affections, a while back. You may have dismissed that praise as reflexive pimpage on behalf of a friend (you can tell Dave’s my friend because no character with his name has ever appeared in any of my novels only to be brutally crushed […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 16 Comments