A Plethora of Pictures

Yeah, I’ve been delinquent for a while now.

It’s partly because things that pay generally get higher priority than things that don’t. It’s partly because writing my preferred sort of post (crunchy science or science-related politics) takes longer to research and write than the easier fiblets or tub-thumpery. It’s partly because the story I most recently fibletted (“Defective”) has been kicking my ass for three months; I spent hours on it every day, including weekends and Christmas and New Year’s, rewrote the damn thing from scratch three times, and it still sucked. (Although apparently it doesn’t suck any more, since it was ultimately accepted.) To a small extent it’s even because my Bethesda VR releases seem to play well enough for a few hours and then stutter to a fucking crawl, freezing and frame-dropping every couple of minutes, and I can’t figure out why.

For the past month or so, though, it’s mainly because I went over a year without updating the gallery, and somewhere around a hundred-fifty pieces accumulated in the meantime. And curating, thumbnailing, coding, and annotating those contributions might not be the most mind-taxing job, but it’s gotta be one of the more time-consuming ones.

Anyway—as you’ve probably gathered—it’s finally done. And man, is there some cool stuff in there or what?

As usual, contributions are spread across the Rifters, Sunflowers, and Blindopraxia wings. As usual, the vast majority of it lands in Blindopraxia (119, compared to seven new Rifters pieces and only five in the Sunflowers wing). Contributions range from fan art to body art to animated gifs, and a bunch of Blindsight Valentine’s Day cards you may have already seen. (Not to mention one guy who builds Blindsight NFTs.)

There was also some sonic stuff this time around, ranging from ambient to “math metal” (although I don’t know exactly what that is). Sadly you don’t get to hear that just yet—at least, not on this site—because the gallery’s basically a visual delivery platform; I could just line up a bunch of ugly hyperlinks but I’d rather maintain a certain level of elegance, and this has already taken way too long. So the musical stuff is still in the wings. It’ll show up eventually.

In the meantime, the usual suspects have added new stuff, and a few new suspects have joined the club. I offer up a few highlights here to whet your appetite, but reams of new material wait in the galleries themselves. Indulge— and as always, click on any image you want to view in greater detail (not that I should have to spell that out by this point).

And now, with this particular deck cleared, I shall try to post a bit more regularly in the future. Assuming I can get Dogmeat to stop jumping around between frames like a teleporting hellhound.

Another lurfck. One of my favorite Sarastis



“Make a Wish. Ryuki-draws.


Cunningham reads the classics. “ein”.


A close-to-spot-on portrait of Lenie Clarke by kee-nah-mee.

“Noviss42”


“Head cheese”, by Yura Miron. Click to animate.

“Lurfck”. No, I don’t know what it means either.


The Japanese edition of “Freeze-Frame Revolution”.


“Ectopic Dysplasia”, YamiEA


“SingingWhalebone”


“Anti-jager375”


“Mother”. SingingWhalebone


“Haunted”, by mysterious newcomer “Radio Breakdown”


Scramblers go to church. No, really. itsozaki.


One of a myriad interior illustrations from the MAG Blindopraxia duology, which I only just discovered even though those editions came out in 2015.


Siri in the funhouse. “deepspace_ksw”.

Perhaps the world’s first Blindsight NFT. By Oleg Soroko.



This entry was posted on Friday, January 21st, 2022 at 10:25 am and is filed under art on ink. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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singingwhalebone
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singingwhalebone
8 months ago

Hello, Dr. Watts!
You always get best fan art.
Thank you again for highlighting my works in this post. I’m very honored.

p.s. – that radio breakdown person is also me. I’m terribly sorry for all that mess with the nicknames.

Nestor
Guest
8 months ago

You get the best fanart.

I drew a picture of a Charlie Stross character once, he didn’t even notice. It’s nice you acknowledge your fanartists.

I should probably draw you something, but I sort of lost the habit, and I’ve been unable to rekindle it.

Also congrats on not foaming at the mouth at the mention of NFTs… I am not involved in them and there seems to be a lot of grift and waste, but some deserving people should be profiting from it too, and too many of the artists I follow just seem to reflexively reject the whole concept.

Trottelreiner
Guest
Trottelreiner
7 months ago
Reply to  Nestor

Personally, I think somebody should try to name some species after Dr. Peter (Josephus) Watts.

Some Chiroptera or Araneae would be nice, I guess arachnologists are nerdy, err, cool enough we could go with both extant or extinct ones, with Synapsida, mammalogists seem to be somewhat more, err, respectable, so it would likely have to be an extinct one.

Sorry, just stumbled over this exhibition about fossils named after rock musicians[1] while looking for this paper on the Senckenberg page:

Patterns of eukaryotic diversity from the surface to the deep-ocean sediment.

So 2/3 of the eukaryots in the deep ocean are unknown, Sadly they don’t say “how” unknown, as in “part of known phylum or not”. It seems they went for ribosomal sequences, so one could try some phylogenetics,

Apparently parts of the deep ocean might be somewhat similar to the shallow seas before the Cambrian Substrate Revolution[2],

No Behemoth, but maybe some extant rangeomorphs?

[1] It’s Qiliania graffini, not Quiliania. Err, let’s just say I talked about the same band lately with another molecular biologist…
[2] “ In addition, if organisms depended upon the relatively sharp water-sediment interface that the combination of mats and minimal vertical bioturbation produced in marine soft sediments, then, in response to this widespread change in substrate character, they also could have become restricted to soft substrate environments where these conditions still prevailed.
The most likely environments in which to find such conditions are in the deep sea, where: (1) mats built by chemoautotrophic and heterotrophic microbes occur (e.g., Hagadorn and Bottjer, 1999; Simonson and Carney, 1999; and references within); and (2) biogenic reworking, although highly variable, may be several orders of magnitude less than on the shelf (e.g., Thayer, 1983; Gage and Tyler, 1991).”

Last edited 7 months ago by Trottelreiner
Helward Mann
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Helward Mann
8 months ago

Hey Dr. Watts,

Thank you for the gallery update and the comments, they made my evening 🙂

I was very much intrigued by this comment:
“For my part, I always imagined that whatever passed for Sarasti’s “childhood” was spent in a glorified terrarium under strictly controlled conditions.”

That’s what I imagined as well. However, when I saw this piece of art by DeepSpace-KSW for the first time, it came to my mind that young Jukka could have faced a serious existential crisis at some point. He had probably quickly surpassed humans in his intellectual abilities and he knew it for sure. Yet, he had to follow their orders. How did he explain it to himself? Or he just never reflected on it? (Which I don’t believe, as vampires probably still reflect on existential questions sometimes).

Either way, I would love to learn something about Jukka’s childhood/youth/the period before the Theseus mission 🙂

ein
Guest
ein
8 months ago

Thank you so very much for sharing my artwork, glad you liked it! Really appreciate that.

Also a little remark – this one (https://rifters.com/real/gallery/gallery-blindopraxia.htm#prettyPhoto%5Bpp_gal%5D/248/) added to Ryuki Draws’ gallery is actually from YamiEA.

(And yes, we definitely do know each other.)

Nestor
Guest
8 months ago

Speaking of NFTs, Zero HP Lovecraft crowdfunded a 200 luxury book limited edition of his latest book as NFTs, and uh, it seemed to work out well for him.

https://coingeek.com/zero-hp-lovecraft-new-book-now-available-on-canonic/

Don Reba
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Don Reba
8 months ago

Aww. Read “my Bethesda VR releases” to mean you are making VR games and was briefly excited.

yaw man
Guest
yaw man
8 months ago

Given the ongoing environmental impact of the Ethereum blockchain, this is just about the last website I would have expected to see an endorsement of NFTs or their promoters. I appreciate the even-handedness shown towards the fans, but I am disappointed that it’s explicitly advertised as an NFT.

Here is a two hour video for anyone who is undecided on the issue but wants to spend a lot of time learning about it anyway:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ_xWvX1n9g

Ashley R Pollard
Guest
8 months ago

yaw man,

For those of us, that is me, I suggest that instead of having a two hour long presentation that instead you break it down into bite size chunks.

I can always find time for a 5 to 10 minute video, but committing to a two hour presentation is most likely to get a hard pass.

yaw man
Guest
yaw man
8 months ago

I agree it’s delusional to demand you watch a two hour video. The author has already split it into chapters between five and twenty minutes long, if that helps. Here’s an iceberg’s tip:

  • Art is systematically stolen by bots trawling online portfolios and fraudulently resold as NFTs
  • Assertions that they’re a new way to buy art are misleading
  • Promises that artists may collect royalties from secondary sales are generally false
  • Assertions that it financially benefits artists are false in the mean (money goes variously to miners, exchanges, marketplaces, malware authors, and scammers)
  • It is considered bad form in the field NOT to sockpuppet and lie for good press and higher prices
  • The infrastructure generates e-waste and heat like a small industrialized country
  • Proposed solutions to energy consumption, like proof-of-stake, will not be adopted because large stakeholders prefer the status quo in the short term (hmmm…)

There is so, so much more not to like, but I hope that’s enough to inform your gut feelings on the matter.

Personally, I found those points so egregious because of my own participation in the gig economy. Eyeballs determine whether I live or die. My labour is cheap. I am meat with an IP address. I take exception to anyone trying to make this state of affairs even worse.لْ

Nestor
Guest
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

The smbc is fairly accurate. I don’t think NFTs are inherently more energy intensive than any other ethereum transactions, so that argument sort of generalizes to all crypto. (Aside: Ouch, my bitcoin. It just had one of it’s regularly scheduled collapses)

My take is there is a lot of this monopoly money floating around and I’d like some of my peeps to get some (Then turn it into food and shelter and maybe more art)

It’s not like I’m getting paid for any of this shit myself.

Natch. Well never mind then.

yaw man
Guest
yaw man
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

I’m sorry to jump down your throat like that! I think I tend to interpret neutral attention as unwittingly contributing to their perception as a legitimate thing that everybody is doing. It was unfair and a little rude of me to expect that much self-censorship from anyone, and I’d definitely blown things out of proportion.

Post Scriptum
Sorry if I’m replying twice: the fancy new plugin rollout took effect while I wrote my comment and I’m not sure whether it was eaten.

Don Reba
Guest
Don Reba
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Looking forward to more news about the VR game.

singingwhalebone
Guest
singingwhalebone
8 months ago

Peter Watts,

Peter Watts: Goddammit, how many aliases do you have?

Not as many as I could’ve had! These three for art, then another two for fanfiction, and a couple more for personal use.

Peter Watts: At this rate I’m gonna end up with one prolific fan in all of Russia

Well, you already have one prolific fan-hivemind in all of Russia…
My name is Legion; for we are many.

Jan S
Guest
8 months ago

A healthy artfandom is a good thing for a writer.

yaw man
Guest
yaw man
8 months ago

Peter, I’m sorry to jump down your throat like that! I think I tend to interpret neutral attention as unwittingly contributing to their perception as a legitimate thing that everybody is doing. It was unfair and a little rude of me to expect that much self-censorship from anyone, and I’d definitely blown things out of proportion.

===

Ashley, I agree it’s delusional to demand you watch a two hour video. It is split into chapters between five and twenty minutes long, if that helps. Here’s an iceberg’s tip:

– Art is systematically stolen by bots trawling online portfolios and fraudulently resold as NFTs
– Assertions that they’re a new way to buy art are misleading
– Promises that artists may collect royalties from secondary sales are generally false
– Assertions that it financially benefits artists are false in the mean (money goes variously to miners, exchanges, marketplaces, malware authors, and scammers)
– It is considered bad form in the field NOT to misleadingly generate good press and inflate prices.
– The infrastructure generates e-waste and heat like a small industrialized country
– Proposed solutions to energy consumption, like proof-of-stake, will not be adopted because large stakeholders prefer the status quo in the short term

That’s a tiny cross section that doesn’t even come close to capturing the big picture. There is so, so much not to like.

Personally, I found those points so egregious because of my own participation in the gig economy. Eyeballs determine whether I live or die. My labour is cheap. I am meat with an IP address. I take exception to anyone trying to make this state of affairs even worse.

Ashley R Pollard
Guest
Ashley R Pollard
8 months ago
Reply to  yaw man

It’s okay. I’ve book marked it and dip into the segments when I remember. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t allow me to easily save what I’ve watched, but It is both entertaining and informative.

KSW
Guest
KSW
8 months ago

Russian mafia a.k.a. hivemind thanks you for this update; and me, as one of the units, must say that time spent selecting, uploading and formatting all the data, the very fact you pay attention to what’s collected and share it with the visitors are startling unique to me. the consequences of collecting – commentaries, thoughts, guesses, let’s say motvation to tell more details – are fun to read and watch, and the experience is priceless. thank you for letting us play and hunt in these wordbuilt fields, Dr. Watts.
+
planned to do more Rifters related ink stuff, still haven’t given up. happy to see my Lenies in the gallery 🙂 and, btw, Mandelbrot (alive and not injured) is really present in that picture-full-of-symbols; probably you couldn’t find the cat because i didn’t draw the little predator exactly as it was described in the books, or you simply have a certain image in your mind – and all of that’s also fun and interesting to watch 🙂

P. S. it’s literally northern fly agaric/amanita. sort of local meme mixed with references to the use of natural psychedelics; i don’t take them to draw what i draw, but the idea of using blacklight sounds nice, maybe i’ll finally buy a lamp and some fluorescent acrylics to play with.

D'Artagnan Flewelling
Guest
D'Artagnan Flewelling
8 months ago

Just wanted to drop a note that your writing is inspiring and mind-altering. Thank you, sir.

Deneb
Guest
Deneb
8 months ago

Was reading up on the climate change column you often update, and what came to my mind was to recommend you the book “How to blow up a pipeline” by Andreas Malm.

Darklink14
Guest
Darklink14
8 months ago

Hey Peter.
Since VR got brought up did you see they are attempting to solve/alleviate the endless walking problem in VR with saccade tracking?
https://research.nvidia.com/sites/default/files/pubs/2018-08_Towards-Virtual-Reality/paper_0.pdf

Lars
Guest
Lars
8 months ago

Happy Birthday.

Lars
Guest
Lars
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

File 770.
How Glyer finds out I don’t know.

Andy
Guest
Andy
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

The date’s on Wikipedia for one, so it would take more effort NOT to find out.

Way belated happy birthday by the way, Dr Watts, hope it was a good one!

The K
Guest
The K
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

I really really REALLY want to know your middle name now. I bet it is either something hilarious like “Athanasius”, “Eustace”, “Josephus” or something to that effect, or something deeply boring and mundane. Either way, im dying to know!

The K
Guest
The K
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Peter Josephus Watts does have a certain ring to it, though.

Tim
Guest
Tim
7 months ago

Hi, Dr. Watts.

Sorry, for off-topic, I have a question:

Have the fact of 2021 widespread wildfires in Canada and air temperature anomalies somehow affected your view of Canda as the relatively safe place for the next ~10-20 years? And if Canada is not safe then what would be your next candidate for the safest place, and why?

I’m really interested in scientific prediction.

Carbonman
Guest
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

The current work being done by dedicated political fascists drastically increases the likelihood of this occurring in the near future. Even if the supposedly ‘democratic’ politicos manage to keep the US a functioning democracy, they will cave to the need to keep their subjects placated.
There is no one to turn to for assistance, not NATO allies or even our current adversaries; they will be too busy dealing with their own climate change consequences.

Tim
Guest
Tim
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

If we are taking into account not only climate but also geopolitical matters then none of the countries in northern hemisphere are safe, imo. Small remote island states like New Zealand or Madagaskar are relatively safe when we will try nuke each other to oblivion (long before the climate catastrophy unfolds, maybe, as soon as the next week).