April 29th, 2013

cat

RIP wiki & Guns don't kill books-- wait.

Oddly (or not so oddly?) I seem to have no guns/violent icons! So have a kitty. I don't think I've ever used this one yet.

It's a sad thing, but wiki will fade to uselessness sooner rather than later. I listened to a story about it on NPR a while back, and I'm seeing the same thing myself. Not enough folks update it anymore. The generation who created it and kept it up to date are now raising families and don't spend so much time online, and kids nowadays only want to use it and don't want to do the work of updating it (and should GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN). Of course, I'm to blame as much as kids; I tried to update it once when I found an error, but gave up because it was taking too long, and never made another attempt.

So often I'll go to look up something, a new show, new author, whatever, and there's no wiki page for it. It always gives me an odd feeling -- can something exist if it's not on wiki?

Speaking of looking things up, a really odd thing happened yesterday. When I first posted about Old Man's War, people commented that John Scalzi seemed like a nice guy. I agreed and said I was happy he was. After that, I wondered what would happen if I encountered a book I really liked, but found out something about the author that would make me not like or respect him. I couldn't figure out the answer.

The very next book I read that was not by Scalzi, it happened! Last night I started a new book, fell in love with it (stayed up an hour late to read it), then googled the author. He is, to put it mildly, a gun nut. (Suddenly the realism in the space military book made sense.) Soon I didn't like the book as much. Problem is, the book took a turn at the same point that I learned that about the author, so I think it's not totally what I learned about him that changed how I felt about the book. (I'd hope how I felt about the author had NO effect on how I felt about the book, but that doesn't seem to be the case.)

The author makes me sad. Among other things, he said "I like George Takei, but I find it amazing that somebody who has been personally put into an internment camp by his government can hold the position that only the government should have guns." To me, that's backwards. The fact that he was placed in a camp but still is against individuals owning guns speaks volumes about how much he feels in the subject. (Though I understand how the author views it, too.)

The whole gun thing is such a can of worms. It makes me so sad. Just thinking about what the author believes leads me down roads of thought that make me sad and annoyed -- the misleading and incorrect "logic" in the "If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns" argument, the pain and harm guns do, all the shootings, crime... and this guy is pro-them.

I really wish I could separate my feelings towards the author from my feelings towards his book. I don't know if it's normal not to be able to. But now I see all the shooting in the book (military battles on US soil) through vision colored by knowledge of his real life opinions on the matter.

This is the first time I've ever been sorry I googled an author. Usually I discover good, interesting things. :/