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Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? An analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). Part 3

Part 1
Part 2
So I have been subbed to /bitcoin since it had less than two thousand subs but haven't posted there in years. I think I took a break from researching bitcoin to take a foray into the world of conspiracy around 2014 and only got back in to it around the beginning of 2017 but with a bit of sense of skepticism and cynicism about everything. I think I returned to /bitcoin around that time but there had been a rift that had emerged in the community between those that said that bitcoin was censoring any discussion around big blocks but then also just censorship in general. This lead to the formation of /btc which became the main spot for big blockers to gather to talk about protocol development. Following the fork of Bitcoin Cash and SegWit (BTC) in August 2017 the camps were further divided when the fence sitters were denied their SegWit2x compromise. Many from the fence sitters then deferred back to the incumbent bitcoin as citing muh network effect, liquidity, and hashpower while some who felt betrayed by the failure of getting S2X through went to support BCH for some attempt at on chain scaling rather than through pegged side chains or Lightning Network.
Bitcoin cash initially went with a modest doubling of the blocksize to 2MB but implemented some other features like a new more rapidly adjusting difficulty algorithm to protect themselves against hashpower fluctuations from the majority chain. In about July of that year I had seen what I potentially thought was someone LARPing on /biz/ but screencapped, that segwit2x which was scheduled for november 2017 would be called off and then hashpower would switch to BCH causing congestion and chain death spiral on BTC and BCH would pump massively. I was partial to the idea as the game theory and incentives on a big block bitcoin should attract miners. About a month after SegWit2x was indeed called off while the BTC blockchain was hugely congested, BCH went through a violent pump reaching 0.5 BTC/BCH on a European exchange called Kraken while it also pumped ridiculously on American exchange coinbase. Shortly afterwards the market took a giant dump all over those people who bought the top and it has since retraced to roughly 30:1 or so now.
After that pump though BCH kind of gained some bagholders I guess who started to learn the talking points presented by personalities like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Peter Rizun and Amaury Sechet. Craig S Wright by this time had been outed as Satoshi but had in 2016 publicly failed to convince the public with the cryptographic proof he provided. To which he later published the article I don't have the courage to prove I am the bitcoin creator. In essence this allowed many to disregard anything he offered to the crypto community though his company nChain was very much interested in providing the technical support to scale what he saw as the true implementation of bitcoin. Following debate around a set of planned protocol upgrades between a bitcoin node implementation by his company nChain and the developers of another client Bitcoin ABC (adjustable block cap), the two parties both dug their heels in and wouldn't compromise.
As it became clear that a fork was imminent there was a lot of vitriol tossed out towards Wright, another big billionaire backer Calvin Ayre and other personalities like Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. Craig's credibility was disregarded because of his failure to provide convincing cryptographic proof but still people who wanted to pursue the protocol upgrades that nChain were planning (as it best followed their interpretation of the bitcoin white paper) pursued his variant, while others who followed the socia consensus deferred to the positions of their personalities like Wu, Ver, and Sechet but even developers from Ethereum and other protocols chimed in to convince everyone that CSW is a fraud. This was referred to as the hash war and was the first time that the bitcoin protocol had been contentiously hard forked.

Hashpower is the CPU cycles you can commit to the Proof of Work function in bitcoin and the majority will generate the longest chain as they have the most proof of work. To win the contentious hard fork legitimately and make sure your chain will always be safe going forward you need to maintain your version of the blockchain with 51% of the hashpower on the network and force the other parties to continue to spend money on building a blockchain that is never going to be inserted in to the majority chain. As well as this you need to convince exchanges that you have the majority chain and have them feel safe to accept deposits and withdrawals so that they don't lose money in the chaos. This is how it would play out if both parties acted according to the rules of bitcoin and the Nakamoto Consensus.

There was a lot of shit talking between the two parties on social media with Craig Wright making a number of claims such as "you split, we bankrupt you" "I don't care if there is no ability to move coins to an exchange for a year" and other such warnings not to engage in foul play.. To explain this aftermath is quite tedious so It might be better to defer to this video for the in depth analysis but basically Roger Ver had to rent hashpower that was supposed to be mining BTC from his mining farm bitcoin.com, Jihan Wu did the same from his Bitmain Mining Farm which was a violation of his fiduciary duty as the CEO of a company preparing for an IPO. In this video of a livestream during the hashwar where Andreas Brekken admits to basically colluding with exchange owners like Coinbase, Kraken (exchange Roger Ver invested in), Bitfinex and others to release a patched ABC client to the exchanges and introducing "checkpoints" in to the BCH blockchain (which he even says is arguably "centralisation") in order to prevent deep reorgs of the BCH blockchain.
>"We knew we were going to win in 30 mins we had the victory because of these checkpoints that we released to a cartel of friendly businesses in a patch so then we just sat around drinking beers all day".
By releasing a patched client that has code in it to prevent deep reorgs by having the client refer to a checkpoint from a block mined by someone who supported BCHABC if another group of hash power was to try to insert a new chain history, this cartel of exchanges and mining farm operators conspired in private to change the nature of the bitcoin protocol and Nakamoto Consensus. Since the fork there have been a number of other BCH clients that have come up that require funding and have their own ideas about what things to implement on the BCH chain. What began to emerge was actually not necessarily an intention of scaling bitcoin but rather to implement Schnorr signatures to obfuscate transactions and to date the ABC client still has a default blocksize of 2MB but advertised as 16MB.
What this demonstrates for BCH is that through the collusion, the cartel can immediately get a favourable outcome from the developers to keep their businesses secure and from the personalities/developers to work on obfuscating records of transactions on the chain rather than scaling their protocol. After the SegWit fork, many from the BCH camp alleged that through the funding to Blockstream from AXA and groups that tied to the Bilderbergs, Blockstream would be beholden to the legacy banking and would be a spoke and hub centralised model, so naturally many of the "down with central banks anarcho capitalist types" had gathered in the BCH community. Through these sympathies it seems that people have been susceptible to being sold things like coin mixing and obfuscation with developers offering their opinions about how money needs to be anonymous to stop the evil government and central banks despite ideas like Mises’ Regression Theorem, which claims that in order for something to be money in the most proper sense, it must be traceable to an originally non-monetary barter commodity such as gold.
What this suggests is that there is an underlying intent from the people that have mechanisms to exert their will upon the protocol of bitcoin and that if obfuscation is their first priority rather than working on creating a scalable platform, this demonstrates that they don't wish to actually be global money but more so something that makes it easier to move money that you don't want seen. Roger Ver has often expressed sentiments of injustice about the treatment of Silk Road found Ross Ulbricht and donated a large amount of money to a fund for his defence. I initially got in to bitcoin seeking out the Silk Road and though I only wanted to test it to buy small quantities of mdma, lsd, and mescaline back in 2011 there was all sorts of criminal activity on there like scam manuals, counterfeits, ID, Credit Card info, and other darknet markets like armoury were selling pretty crazy weapons. It has been alleged by Craig Wright that in his capacity as a digital forensics expert he was involved with tracing bitcoin that was used to fund the trafficking of 12-16 year olds on the silk road. There have been attempts at debunking such claims by saying that silk road was moderated for such stuff by Ulbricht and others, but one only has to take a look in to the premise of pizza gate to understand that there it may be possible to hide in plain site with certain code words for utilising the market services and escrow of websites like the silk road. The recent pedo bust from South Korea demonstrates the importance of being able to track bitcoin transactions and if the first thing BCH wanted to do after separating itself from Satoshi's Vision and running on developer and cartel agendas was to implement obfuscation methods, this type of criminal activity will only proliferate.
Questions one must ask oneself then are things like why do they want this first? Are some of these developers, personalities and cartel businesses sitting on coins that they know are tarnished from the silk road and want to implement obfuscation practices so they can actually cash in some of the value they are unable to access? Merchants from the silk road 1 are still being caught even as recently as this year when they attempted to move coins that were known to have moved through the silk road. Chain analytics are only becoming more and more powerful and the records can never be changed under the original bitcoin protocol but with developer induced protocol changes like Schnorr signatures, and coinjoin it may be possible to start laundering these coins out in to circulation. I must admit with the cynicism I had towards government and law enforcement and my enjoying controlled substances occasionally I was sympathetic to Ross and donated to his legal fund back in the day and for many years claimed that I wouldn't pay my taxes when I wanted to cash out of bitcoin. I think many people in the space possess this same kind of mentality and subsequently can be preyed upon by people who wish to do much more in the obfuscation than dodge tax and party.
Another interesting observation is that despite the fact that btc spun off as a result of censorship around big block scaling on bitcoin, that subreddit itself has engaged in plenty of censorship for basically anyone who wants to discuss the ideas presented by Dr Craig Wright on that sub. When I posted my part 2 of this series in there a week ago I was immediately met with intense negativity and ad hominems so as to discourage others from reading the submission and my post history was immediately throttled to 1 comment every 10 mins. This is not quite as bad as cryptocurrency where my post made it through the new queue to gather some upvotes and a discussion started but I was immediately banned from that sub for 7 days for reason "Content standards - you're making accusations based on no evidence just a dump of links that do nothing to justify your claims except maybe trustnodes link (which has posted fabricated information about this subreddit mods) and a Reddit post. Keep the conspiracy theories in /conspiracy" My post was also kept at zero in bitcoin and conspiracy so technically btc was the least censored besides C_S_T.
In addition to the throttling I was also flagged by the u/BsvAlertBot which says whether or not a user has a questionable amount of activity in BSV subreddits and then a break down of your percentages. This was done in response to combat the "toxic trolls" of BSV but within bitcoincashSV there are many users that have migrated from what was originally supposed to be a uncensored subreddit to discuss bitcoin and many such as u/cryptacritic17 has have switched sides after having been made to essentially DOXX themselves in btc to prove that they aren't a toxic troll for raising criticisms of the way certain things are handled within that coin and development groups. Other prominent users such as u/jim-btc have been banned for impersonating another user which was in actual fact himself and he has uploaded evidence of him being in control of said account to the blockchain. Mod Log, Mod Damage Control, Mod Narrative BTFO. Interestingly in the comments on the picture uploaded to the blockchain you can see the spin to call him an SV shill when in actual fact he is just an OG bitcoiner that wanted bitcoin to scale as per the whitepaper.
What is essentially going on in the Bitcoin space is that there is a battle of the protocols and a battle for social consensus. The incumbent BTC has majority of the attention and awareness as it is being backed by legacy banking and finance with In-Q-Tel and AXA funding blockstream as well as Epstein associates and MIT, but in the power vaccum that presented itself as to who would steward the big block variant, a posse of cryptoanarchists have gained control of the social media forums and attempted to exert their will upon what should essentially be a Set In Stone Protocol to create something that facilitates their economic activity (such as selling explosives online)) while attempting to leverage their position as moderators who control the social forum to spin their actions as something different (note memorydealers is Roger Ver). For all his tears for the children killed in wars, it seems that what cryptoanarchists such as u/memorydealers want is to delist/shut down governments and they will go to any efforts such as censorship to make sure that it is their implementation of bitcoin that will do that. Are we really going to have a better world with people easier able to hide transactions/launder money?
Because of this power vacuum there also exists a number of different development groups but what is emerging now is that they are struggling for money to fund their development. The main engineering is done by self professed benevolent dictator Amaury Sechet (deadalnix) who in leaked telegram screen caps appears to be losing it as funding for development has dried up and money raised in an anarchist fashion wasn't compliant with laws around fundraising sources and FVNI (development society that manages BCH development and these donations) is run by known scammer David R Allen. David was founder of 2014 Israeli ICO Getgems (GEMZ) that scammed investors out of more than 2500 Bitcoins. The SV supported sky-lark who released this information has since deleted all their accounts but other users have claimed that sky-lark was sent personal details about themselves and pictures of their loved ones and subsequently deleted all their social media accounts afterwards.
There are other shifty behaviours like hiring Japanese influencers to shill their coin, recruiting a Hayden Otto that up until 2018 was shilling Pascal Coin to become a major ambassador for BCH in the Australian city of Townsville. Townsville was claimed to be BCH city hosting a BCH conference there and claiming loads of adoption, but at the conference itself their idea of demonstrating adoption was handing a Point of Sale device to the bar to accept bitcoin payments but Otto actually just putting his credit card behind the bar to settle and he would keep the BCH that everyone paid. In the lead up to the conference the second top moderator of btc was added to the moderators of townsville to shill their coin but has ended up with the townsville subreddit wanting to ban all bitcoin talk from the subreddit.
Many of the BCH developers are now infighting as funding dries up and they find themselves floundering with no vision of how to achieve scale or get actual real world adoption. Amaury has recently accused Peter Rizun of propagandising, told multiple users in the telegram to fuck off and from all accounts appears to be a malignant narcissist incapable of maintaining any kind of healthy relationship with people he is supposed to be working with. Peter Rizun has begun lurking in bitcoincashSV and recognising some of the ideas coming from BSV as having merit while Roger has started to distance himself from the creation of BCH. Interestingly at a point early in the BCH history Roger believed Dr Craig Wright was Satoshi, but once CSW wouldn't go along with their planned road map and revealed the fact he had patents on blockchain technology and wanted to go down a path that worked with Law, Roger retracted that statement and said he was tricked by Craig. He joined in on the faketoshi campaign and has been attempted to be sued by Dr Wright for libel in the UK to which Roger refused to engage citing grounds of jurisdiction. Ironically this avoidance of Roger to meet Dr Wright in court to defend his claims can be seen as the very argument against justice being served by private courts under an anarchocapitalist paradigm with essentially someone with resources simply being able to either flee a private court's jurisdiction or engage a team of lawyers that can bury any chances of an everyday person being able to get justice.
There is much more going on with the BCH drama that can be explained in a single post but it is clear that some of the major personalities in the project are very much interested in having their ideals projected on to the technical implementation of the bitcoin protocol and have no qualms spouting rhetoric around the anti-censorship qualities of bitcoin/BCH while at the same time employing significant censorship on their social media forums to control what people are exposed to and getting rid of anyone who challenges their vision. I posit that were this coin to become a success, these "benevolent dictators" as they put it would love their new found positions of wealth/dominance yet if their behaviour to get there is anything to go by, would demonstrate the same power tripping practices of censorship, weasel acts, misleading people about adoption statistics and curating of the narrative. When the hashrate from Rogers bitcoin.com minging operation on BCH dropped dramatically and a lot of empty blocks were being mined, his employer and 2IC moderator u/BitcoinXio (who stepped in to replace roger as CEO) was in the sub informing everyone it was simply variance that was the reason when only a few days later it was revealed that they had reduced their hash power significantly. This is not appropriate behaviour for one of the primary enterprises engaged in stewarding BCH and encouraging adoption nor is the inability to be accountable for such dishonest practices as well. It seems bitcoin.com treats btc as their own personal spam page where Roger can ask for donations despite it being against the sub rules and spin/ban any challenge to the narrative they seek to create.
Let's see how the censorship goes as I post this around a few of the same places as the last piece. Stay tuned for the next write up where I take a deep dive in to the coin that everyone doesn't want you to know about.
submitted by whipnil to C_S_T [link] [comments]

Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? A analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). [Part I]

Bitcoin was released to the world in 2009 by someone (or a group) who authored a technical whitepaper, released the source code to the protocol and commented on a few p2p forums and mailing lists under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto for a few months prior and a few years afterwards before leaving the project. The project was left in the hands of Gavin Andresson who was another cryptographer that satoshi communicated regularly with on the forums and had been one of the first people involved in the project. Some time after satoshi left, one of his accounts was allegedly hacked and bitcointalk (the primary forum) itself was hacked so a meme kind of emerged that satoshi wouldn't be able to post again from his accounts or that posting from them would be dubious. In 2016 an Australian by the name of Craig S Wright was exposed by Wired and Gizmodo as potentially being the inventor of bitcoin. Craig then signed privately for Gavin Andreson, Jon Matonis but then when he was supposed to cryptographically sign to a journalist the method performed did not hold up to public scrutiny because he could have copy pasted a fragment from an earlier known signed message from satoshi and not generated it himself with the private keys. This cast a lot of doubt from many on the man's claims and he published an article saying he wasn't brave enough to sign.
Since then the term cryptocurrency has blown out massively to include anything with a distributed ledger technology, a token, a security, and has really just devolved into a cesspit of buzzwords and disinformation. Once satoshi disappeared in 2011 and left the repo in the hands of Gavin and the open source community, it left a power vacuum in the space for how to interpret the protocol, whitepaper and handle the development. Gavin Andresson brought some other developers on board from the forums and mailing lists, Shortly after Gavin gave some other developers commit access, bitcointalk was hacked and these new developers somehow deleted gavin from the github repo due to apparent concern that his account was compromised from the hack and afterwards once he validated his identity in certain accounts he was never given access again. Gavin stopped being involved with the project after that.
In the time following satoshi's departure a meme had evolved that satoshi had left because Gavin had met with the CIA to discuss bitcoin. This meme combined with the interpretation of what satoshi meant when he included the quote "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks" in the genesis block, the subsequent rise and fall of silk road and darknet markets, and the general lore of the space, his cypherpunk mailing list associations had led the scene to paint/project upon him as some kind of government hating tax dodging l33t h4xor demigod.
Although in the title of the whitepaper it was described as p2p cash, bitcoin as most know it is now is marketed as a store of value. Although it was defined as the longest Proof of Work chain of digital signatures, bitcoin as most know it in actual fact has segregated witnesses (signatures) in the protocol. Although satoshi attests to how bitcoin is designed to scale to giant block sizes hosted and mined in data centers that never really hits a scaling ceiling, it is being sold as that even at 1MB size, the damage has already been done and the blocksize should be 300kB because every user needs to be able to run a full node for bitcoin to validate their own transactions with the lowest hardware and bandwidth requirements possible. A high vertice count with everyone running a (non-mining) full node is said to protect the network against malicious actions by the big bad government while graph theory states that it is the degree of inter connectivity of the vertcies (edge number) that confers security of the network against sybil attacks as it brings the number of hops down.
This decoupling from the original vision has led to development and scaling of bitcoin stalling for many years which led to the proliferation of many alt coins rising up to claim they possess superior attributes to bitcoin or can work in conjunction with bitcoin in a gold and silver type relationship, or serve a different use case to bitcoin. The debate between the groups that represented the opposing roadmaps reached a climax with bitcoin itself forking into two now separate blockchains with the minority chain being declared the imposter by social media claiming hashpower and the market had chosen despite their chain changing on the protocol level to implement segregated witnesses and reject the block size increase. These two now separate chains both forked again to birth bitcoin gold and diamond on the segwit chain and bitcoin cash and bitcoin sv on the non segwit chain. At the non segwit chain fork, bitcoin cash implemented checkpointing at the protocol level whereas bitcoin sv maintained the original nakamoto consensus and sought to scale greater than the 32MB blocksize limit BCH maintained with 64MB blocks.
Following these forking events both BTC (segwit) and BCH (checkpoints) also implemented Schnorr signatures which was marketed as economising the size of a typical bitcoin transaction though in actual fact it can be used to obfuscate signatures and allow for the mixing of coins to mask the chain of digital signatures and essentially "anonymously" launder money. The BSV chain (now Stewarded by Dr Craig Wright) was then declared the loser of that hash war by people heralding the power of the market and the miners to democratize money. The problem with such a claim though is just like current polical democracy, this apparent democratisation of money was just as susceptible to the influence of those who control the cryptocurrency media and just like in politics, there is a cabal like group that exerts a disproportionate influence over the narrative and appears to serve the interests of those in on the racket rather than those it is allegedly informing.
The main forums for discussion of cryptocurrency originally were bitcoin.org, bitcointalk.org and /Bitcoin with all three of them for some time sharing the same moderator theymos. Coindesk and the bitcoinmagazine (started by ethereum devs) were some early sources, talking heads like andreas antonopolos (andreasma), peter todd (petertodd) and greg maxwell (nullc) being propped up as sources of knowledge on what is the best course of action for scaling and endorsing solutions like small blocks, second layer solutions and segwit as a necessarry bitcoin improvement protocol (BIP) while people like Roger Ver (memory dealers) and Dr Craig Wright (craig_s_wright) endorsing a block size increase. Because the core developers had chosen to scale with small blocks and lots of nodes on the network were signalling in support of Segwit any discussion of a big block alternative was considered discussion of an alt coin and deleted and eventually users banned from /bitcoin. Out of that incident /btc emerged as an apparently censorship free forum for the discussion of all scaling plans for bitcoin but was ultimately a partisan sub populated with dejected big blockers. After the BCH fork, discussion for bitcoin sv exists on a few subs /bsv (modded by BCHers), /bitcoinsv (moderated by the lead technician at nChain (Craig Wright's company) and /bitcoincashsv where many users have been banned from both /bitcoin and /btc.
Now this so far is just kind of a synposis of the history of bitcoin covering all three of the main contenders for the legitimate claimant of the name but the part 2 will look more at what kind of drastically different societies would be built upon the different versions of the protocol and what may seem like their subtle differences and which one is likely to succeed.
submitted by whipnil to C_S_T [link] [comments]

Been out of the loop for a while can i get brought up by everyone?

Hello
so i was a user that minnined .5 of a btc years ago back in like 2011/early 2012 on my own desktop with my gpu and since then been fairly out of the loop to whats been going on. i lost my btc due to not being smart with what back then was like $5 and deleted it. yes i feel real bad about that now knowing the value. in 2014 i got into ltc mined it for a few weeks got my self 2 and actually still have control of it and a few hundred dodge. and ended up minning on poolwarz for a while and never got anything out so lost again as i just forgot to take my coins out when i took my miner offline. but did get .01 out and have that in a wallet on blockchain.info using there ios app. and forgot about the whole criptocurrency since. now this week i start reading about this whole core vs classic battle going on and are very confused??? i think theirs xt and unlimited as well??
im also very interested in starting up a node with a raspberry pi 2 that i have extra now that the pi 3 is out. i have seen this 21 thing or Rokos. ??
is there still anyway for someone like me to earn/mine bitcoins
thanks for all the help
submitted by aselwyn1 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: WeAreA videogame developer AUA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-03-04
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
GabeN, what are your specs? Well, I'm a handsome man with a charming personality.
How do you feel about the Internet's obsession with you? It's entertaining for my friends.
U/Gl0we asks: SteamOS could potentially be the first commercial Virtual Reality OS - what plans do you have for the future of the platform? How do you want to tackle the harder problems like user input for example? U/remosito asks: What VR experiences are you personally looking forward to the most for Year 1 and 5? Have you personally played the HLVR mod that expands Valve's current VR implementation for Half-Life 2 into a full-fledged experience with body tracking? See this article for a short example of the great work that Wormslayer and adoral84 are putting together with the community's help. Finally - and I guess you get that question a lot - I wanted to ask about the title that everyone is waiting for and that lends itself perfectly for a VR adaption, due to its way of storytelling, the open world as well as the puzzle elements: Ricochet 2. Did the long development time have anything to do with evolving technologies such as Virtual Reality? Are you planning to bring full VR support to future titles, such as Ricochet 2? 1) Abrash was thinking about it for a while, and started to get serious around 2 years ago. He thought that we'd reached the point where VR problems were getting tractable. 2) User input is hard. We haven't seen a solution yet to the problem. It's in the next round of problems to tackle. We need to start doing experience fragments to help drive this.
U/Pingly and druidsbane ask: The vast majority of demos for the Oculus Rift are done with Unity. Does Valve have any plans to turn Source or Source 2 into a more user-friendly development system with a C++ API as well as easy tools and release it early to give VR developers a headstart? 3) Alex Vlachos is working on this now (getting Source 2 working well with VR). Unity is pretty useful for lots of things as well.
Hey guys! Thanks for doing this AMA! What was the strangest/funniest thing you guys received in the mail? - What is your favorite cosmetic item from TF2? 4Chan sent us a crate and offered to sell us a key to open it. We sold it on craigslist.
Hi! First of all, thanks for bringing Steam on Linux. 1) Do you use Linux in your everyday life? If so, what is your distro of choice? 2) Do you think that in the long run Linux will not only be the future of gaming, but also the future of desktop? 3) Is Valve planning to release any exclusive for SteamOS? Thanks in advance for your time! 1) Debian. 2) Probably. 3) No.
What do you think of twitch plays Pokémon? Very cool. Can't wait for twitch plays Dota 2.
Are you aware that a Redditor has to eat a hat now because you're doing an AMA? Edit: Hat should have to be a fedora. Post pics or it didn't happen.
Hi, Gabe! I've got a question about Steam Music. Forgive me if this isn't your area, or whatever. Is it possible for some sort of integration with services like Pandora and Spotify, in the future? I don't have a music library, per se, and mostly just use internet radio, so it'd be great if I didn't have to alt tab to change stations or skip songs. Could this happen? Yes, we've got some things in the works that we think you'll like.
What improvements will we see out of the Source 2 engine? The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won't work if users themselves have to create content.
Why did you choose "Valve" as the company name? Because it was better than "Rhino Scar"
Is there any specific reason why you're doing this AMA? To support the fund raising effort we are doing for Seattle Children's Hospital with the Heart of Racing effort.
Link to theheartofracing.org
What is your favorite non-Valve video game? Mario 64.
Link to i.imgur.com When is Ricochet 2? When we announced our products years in advance in the past and then were really late delivering them, it was pretty painful for both us and the community. We'd rather not repeat that.
Dear Gabe, I believe it was the year 2011. The event was Blizzcon in Anaheim, California. I met you, lone, in the lore area while you were browsing through your iPad. I came up and asked for a picture. You seemed particularly perturbed by my asking. But ever since that day, I have yet to shower. Your musk keeps me warm on a cold winter's eve. When is HL3 coming out? That's a long time not to shower.
Do you ever play games such as tf2 on a secret steam account? Yes.
You guys are my favorite!! How many hours a week would you say that you spend actually playing video games and whats your current favorite? Dota 2 and about 20 hours.
I am planning on majoring in Computer Science, and I want to someday work in game development. What do AAA companies look at, other than a degree? Past experiences, etc? We look for a history of shipping things. There is no substitute for shipping things that make your customers happy.
Hey Gabe. What is your stance on the current government issues both in America and Europe around privacy and internet rights? A couple of years ago I donated a million dollars to the ACLU.
Can we please get an update on when we are likely to see Counter Strike Global Offensive for Linux? It's being worked on but we don't have an ETA.
Seeing as you (valve) are now rolling out the steam OS and steam machines will be coming to market soon, what do you think your core target market is, the desktop, pc gamer, or the living room console player? We see Steam Machines (along with SteamOS and the Steam Controller) as a service update to Steam, porting the experience to a new room in the house. As we've been working on it, we've focused first on the customers who already love Steam and its games. They've told us they're tired of giving up all the stuff they love when they sit in the living room, so it seemed valuable to fix that.
Hey Gabe and friends! Thanks for doing this AMA! If Valve could borrow an IP from another company to make a game for it, what would you guys choose? Gabe: The Warriors Coomer: Groundhog Day, Heathers Wolpaw: God Hand, Saints Row Ido: Casablanca.
Has Dota 2's growth been unexpected? And where will TI4 be held? We knew there were a lot of people playing Dota 1, and quite a few of those people worked at Valve, so our hope was that we'd do a good enough job on it that those people would play Dota 2.
We haven't finalized where this year's International will be. We are pretty sure it will be at Key Arena in Seattle, but we haven't gotten everything finalized, and there is always a risk that our schedules and theirs won't align in some way. As soon as we get everything finalized one way or another, we'll get the dates out there for everyone who would like to attend. Should be fun this year.
Will Kaci return? Yes.
When did you start collecting knives, and which are your 2 favorite in your collection so far? Since I was a kid. There are lots of great knife makers working today. Two lesser known ones worth checking out are Kevin Cashen at cashenblades.com, and Elizabeth Loerchner at Link to ecloerchner.com
With the success of Dota2, and then with CS:GO, what do you think is the future for esports on the PC? Also, with micro transactions in the games helping fund prize pots for tournaments, when do you think we will see a tournament fully funded by micro-transactions? Giving the consumers of content a direct relationship with the creators of content is something we think about a lot. That is what drove our thinking about how the community could be more involved in the tournaments that mattered to them.
Hello! This question is directed to Eric Wolpaw. I'm sure you've had this questioned asked many times, and if that is the case I apologize for repeating the past, but I'm curious as to how the process of writing a game looks like? A brief summary perhaps. How many fresh pots of coffee per hour? Etc. Wolpaw: It's a lot of loose sketching at first, and then a lot of dot-connecting and backfilling as the game gets closer to being done. Lots of procrastinating, too. Lots.
Did you intentionally give 3:30 minutes notice of your canceled AMA on 3/3 just to torture us? No.
Have you ever found your interest in videogames waning as you've grown older, or do you continue to enjoy playing games as a hobby as much as you've ever done? It doesn't seem to be age dependent in my case.
What are your thoughts on Valve making new IP's? An IP is really a tool for a development team more than anything else. The key is to have clarity around what is uniquely of value in what you are trying to do and not waste your effort on things that don't directly contribute to that.
Are you able to go into any details as to why Valve's VR headset is "lightyears ahead of the original Oculus Dev Kit"? I'm not sure I'd agree with that. We are collaborating with them, and want their hardware to be great.
Question for Mr. Newell. Was there a point in your life when you considered selling/leaving Valve and get away from gaming industry to do something else? Not really. I really like the people I work with and being part of the community.
I have had the pleasure of being a part of the Steam community for over ten years. I joined when it all began in September 2003. Looking back to 2003, what were your (and Valves) goals and visions for Steam back then, and did it turn out as planned? Also, What is your vision for the Steam platform and PC gaming over the next ten years? I'm not trying to dodge the question, but we find it more useful to think in terms of feedback loops than in terms of visions/goals. Iterating with the community means that your near-term objectives change all the time. The key benefit to Steam is to shorten the length of the loop. Longer term, we see that working at the level of individual gamers, where we think of everyone as creating and publishing experience. "How can we make gamers more productive" sounds weird, but is an accurate way to characterize where we're going. It may make more sense if you think of it as "How can we make Dendi more entertaining to more people".
If there was enough community interest, would Valve accept crypto-currency such as dogecoin or bitcoin on Steam? There are two related issues: one is treating a crypto-currency as another currency type that we support and the broader issue is monetary behaviors of game economies. The first issue is more about crypto-currencies stabilizing as mediums of account.
You are officially on Forbes billionare's list,it must be satisfying to know that you have made that amount of money in your lifetime, but as many billionare's seem to be depressed (or mask it with something like an addiction) Are there any decisions you have regretted outside of your proffesional life? Opening any link sent to me by EJ.
Hello Gaben how hard was it to promote Steam in 2004? Any time you do something new, it can be challenging. There's basically a normal distribution of pain. With that proviso, it was pretty much in the middle of the pain curve.
Hello GabeN (if I may call you that), how are you doing? Here's my question: Before Steam Greenlight was introduced, what was the process of adding a game to the Steam store? We got bottle-necked pretty fast on tools and decision making which lead us to Greenlight, and is now leading us to make Steam a self-publishing system.
How old were you when you start programing? 13.
What was your first language? ALGOL.
Hey! We haven't heard any more about lower cost Steam Boxes for streaming from existing hardware. Is that something that's still on the agenda? Yes. We're making some progress.
Has the decision to allow publishers to have their own storefronts and manage their own "stock" gone forward, or was that just an idea being kicked around? We realized that a store ought to be UGC (not just for publishers).
Hi Gabe. No question, but its my birthday. If you wish me a happy birthday, my life will be complete. Happy birthday, Bajeezus.
Last updated: 2014-03-08 17:56 UTC
This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
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Been out of the loop for a while can i get brought up by everyone?

Hello
so i was a user that minnined .5 of a btc years ago back in like 2011/early 2012 on my own desktop with my gpu and since then been fairly out of the loop to whats been going on. i lost my btc due to not being smart with what back then was like $5 and deleted it. yes i feel real bad about that now knowing the value. in 2014 i got into ltc mined it for a few weeks got my self 2 and actually still have control of it and a few hundred dodge. and ended up minning on poolwarz for a while and never got anything out so lost again as i just forgot to take my coins out when i took my miner offline. but did get .01 out and have that in a wallet on blockchain.info using there ios app. and forgot about the whole criptocurrency since. now this week i start reading about this whole core vs classic battle going on and are very confused??? i think theirs xt and unlimited as well??
im also very interested in starting up a node with a raspberry pi 2 that i have extra now that the pi 3 is out. i have seen this 21 thing or Rokos. ??
is there still anyway for someone like me to earn/mine bitcoins
thanks for all the help
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[Table] IAmA: Charles Stross, science fiction writer

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-07-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Are you planning a kickstarter game like Neal Stephenson? If you did what would it be about? Reverse order: no, I'm not planning a kickstarter game. And I'm not really a game designer. (Writing novels takes up about 100% of my available working time.)
Fellow early adopter here. TI gave me a TIPC with a 1200 baud modem and sent me home. I tripped over the usenet and compuserve by accident. What happened to keep you off for 6 months?! Left university and got a job with a company who had no internet connection, back in the days when a 2400 baud UUCP dial-up cost £900 a year (or about a months' gross salary). Remedied this by changing jobs :)
Hallo Charles. I'm in the UK. I just wrote a book and (it looks like) a good publishing house are going to pick it up. It is sort of sci-fi. For starters, there's a long-standing (50 year old) flame war within the field over whether it's "sci-fi" or "SF".
My question: all agents I've spoken to think that while selling a book to publishers it's best to avoid using the term "sci-fi" if possible. Ideally they want to sneak sci-fi stuff in, "under the radar", so it can get the sort of backing that only a big publisher can provide. Secondly, all these labels boil down to is a bunch of marketing categories that tell bookshop staff where to file the product (which they don't know from a hole in the road) on the shelves where customers can find it. SF has traditionally been looked down on by the literary establishment because, to be honest, much early SF was execrably badly written -- but these days the significance of the pigeon hole is fading; we have serious mainstream authors writing stuff that is I-can't-believe-it's-not-SF, and SF authors breaking into the mainstream. If you view them as tags that point to shelves in bricks-and-mortar bookshops, how long are these genre categories going to survive in the age of the internet?
How do you feel about this? Cheers. Note: this skepticism breaks down in the face of, for example, the German publishing sector, where booksellers are a lot stuffier and more hidebound over what is or is not acceptable as literature.
Could you give an example or two of large British publishers that you think are doing a good job in this respect? Ignoring genre barriers, taking risks etc? AhahahaHA!!
Sorry, no I can't. But not for the reason you think. Thing is, my agent is based in New York. And due to a historic accident, my publishing track is primarily American -- I'm sold into the UK almost as a foreign import! So I'm quite out of touch with what's going on in UK publishing. (Even my Kindle is geared to the US store.)
Did you end up with an American agent because all the British agents passed on you? Or did you actually want to do things that way? A bit of both. I wanted an agent who would actually sell stuff. After two British agents failed comprehensively, I was reading Locus (the SF field's trade journal) and noticed a press release about an experienced editor leaving her job to join an agent in setting up a new agency. And I went "aha!" -- because what you need is an agent who knows the industry but who doesn't have a huge list of famous clients whose needs will inevitably be put ahead of you. So I emailed her, and ... well, 11 years later I am the client listed at the top of her masthead!
One last question (if you can be arsed). When you look at the publishing process (particularly the point at which agents have to sell books) what do you think needs to be fixed/tinkered with? Are editors too short-sighted? In your experience is their predilection for putting things in boxes limiting? Biggest message: find your customers and sell them what they want to buy. DRM is bad for business. Territorial rights restrictions are bad for business. Amazon are utterly hateful and evil -- they will kill you and establish a monopoly if they can -- but their one redeeming feature is that they're good to customers: so learn from them.
Basically if you could sit all the big editors down and briefly lecture them on doing their job what would you say? Thanks Charles. It's not the editors I'd lecture, but the senior executives who give the publishing CEOs their marching orders (editors are a level below that). All the editors I deal with are extremely smart, clueful folks who are often frustrated by corporate policies -- because the publishing houses are divisions within large media conglomerates, and they're small, low-profit subsidiaries at that (and so don't get much say in group-wide policy).
Have you considered selling books via Baen? They seem to have the right idea, and you're in the right genre. Link to www.baen.com. Not up to me, up to my publishers.
For someone who is unfamiliar with your work, what book would you suggest as a good starting point (if it's available for Kindle, I will get it as soon as I see your answer)? Any plans to follow in L. Ron's footsteps and start a religion? I'm an atheist (subtype: generally agree with Richard Dawkins but think he could be slightly more polite; special twist: I was raised in British reform Judaism, which is not like American reform Judaism, much less any other strain of organised religion). So: no cults here. Starting points: for a sampler, you could try my short story collection "Wireless". Which contains one novella that scooped a Locus award, and one that won a Hugo, and covers a range of different styles.
Thank you so much for releasing Accelerando as a freebie! I'd just picked up Stanza on my iPhone and was going through the free Sci Fi (or SF) books. That ebook got me hooked, so was a pretty savvy marketing move. Book depository is nothing new; there've been outlets selling books internationally via mail order for many decades -- the only change is that it's now easier to find and use such services.
So, is there an official term for "Polite Atheist"? Someone who doesn't believe, yet isn't offensive about it? I'm not sure. The trouble is, if you go too far towards being polite, the label that applies is "doormat".
Hi! Would you consider Halting State and Rule 34 Cyberpunk? I was heavily reminded of Neal Stephensons early books (the craziness of Snow Crash mixed with more current-day themes like Cryptonomicon). "Halting State" and "Rule 34" are cyberpunk only insofar as we are living in a 1980s cyberpunk dystopia, and these are very much novels of our time (plus 10-20 years). What I've learned during my life is that the near future is 90% identical to the present -- if you buy a new car today, it'll probably still be on the road in 2022. Another 9% is predictable from existing tech roadmaps: Intel's projected roadmap for where their processors are going, SpaceX's order book for satellite launches, and so on. And 1% is totally bugfuck crazy and impossible to predict. (Go back to 1982 and the idea that the USSR would have collapsed and been replaced by hyper-capitalist oligarchs would have earned you a straitjacket, never mind a book contract. Go back to 1992 and the idea that the USA and Iran would be fighting a proxy war on the internet would have ... well, ditto.)
While I love the Laundry books I consider A Colder War one of your best works, is there a chance that we will get another 'serious' story with Lovecraftian themes? Lovecraftian seriousness: well, book 5 or 6 of the Laundry series is due to get epically grim.
Case Nightmare Green? Yup.
It's always interesting to learn how different authors approach their craft. What's your "ritual" when writing? TL;DR: I don't have one.
Longer version ... (I want to apologize for keeping this short: I have carpal tunnel issues so I might have to switch to speech recognition soon) ...
I write exclusively using computers. Pens and typewriters can fsck right off -- I wrote my first half million words in my teens on a manual typewriter (had to trade it for a new one due to keys snapping from metal fatigue) so I am not a pen or typewriter fetishist.
I write almost entlirely on Macs, because: Windows gives me hives. (I first ran into Windows as of Win 2.11/386, back in the eighties. It did not leave a good taste. I then became a happy UNIX bunny. Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing. So I've learned to put up with its other foibles.)
I have no set writing routine other than: plant bum in chair in front of keyboard/on sofa under laptop, and start going. Oh, and I drink tea pretty much continuously at a rate of around 1 imperial pint/hour, which sort of enforces screen/keyboard breaks.
(I want to apologize for keeping this short: I have carpal tunnel issues so I might have to switch to speech recognition soon) I write exclusively using computers. Does this mean you use speech recognition while writing too? or have you been writing before the AMA and you're at your fatigue point? Speech recognition is utterly crap for writing fiction. If you try reading a novel aloud you'll soon figure out why -- written prose style is utterly unlike the spoken word.
Why Mac rather than Linux? (Esp. considering your background, e.g. Computer Shopper etc.) Excellent design values. ("Why drive a Porsche if you could drive a backhoe? The backhoe's got more torque and you can do cool things with it like digging holes in the road!" "Yes, but the backhoe isn't a Porsche ...")
It gets out of my way and lets me get stuff done. Seriously, Windows seems designed to make easy tasks hard and hard tasks impossible; Linux would be fine if it came pre-tuned to the hardware, but I've got a long term 30% failure rate getting any given laptop to run it properly with full device support -- I can do without the choice between badly designed, bulky, inconvenient machines that work with Linux, and taking pot luck that the latest well-designed sleek ultrabook will actually, um, boot.
TL:DR; I've reached an age at which I'd rather pay more for something that "just works" than roll up my sleeves, reach for a spanner, and make it work. Time is money, and the older we get the less of it we've got left ...
It's said that people have to write a million words of crap before they can rite good stuff. True, in your opinion? No. I wrote two million words of crap. Maybe I'm just a slow learner ...
Do you just put up with the carpal tunnel when writing? Up to a point. I don't want to permanently damage myself! On the other hand, a couple of days off the keyboard tends to make things somewhat better.
What are your views about people pirating your books? Back before the internet we had a name for people who bought a single copy of our books and lent them to all their friends without charging: we called them "librarians". Frankly, I couldn't care less about you loaning a copy of one of my books, on paper, to a friend. In fact, I think it's a good idea. Spreads the word, right? What I do have a problem with is people who sell my work for financial gain without paying me a cut of the proceeds. If money is passing hands, then the customer feels that they've paid for the right to read the work. But if they haven't paid me (or my publishers), then that's siphoning money out of my income stream. Today, we see some "file sharing" sites that rely on fans uploading cracked copies of ebooks, and which then make money off those books by charging for downloads (via cash subscriptions or advertising). Again: I take a dim view of this. They're making money off the back of my work without paying me.
2: Mr. Stross answered this question in far more detail while I was typing the above edit. Thank you! [Edit/afterthought] More often than not, piracy is a symptom of an under-provisioned market. People want to buy mp3s but can't? Piracy ensues. Then Apple strong-arms the music studios into the iTunes store and music piracy drops somewhat. The same, I believe, is also happening with ebooks.
Do you make a point of turning unpromising-sounding premises into something really extra-ordinary? Or are the back-of-book blurbs just over-simplifying? The back-of-book blurb is not written by the author (any more than the author paints the cover illustration). The sole job of the back-of-book blurb and the cover is to make a reader who is unfamiliar with the author or the book pick the product up in a store, because retail psychology studies show that consumers who handle the merchandise are more likely to buy it.
Hi Charlie! I've read much of what you've written, and I just have to say that you have a creativity rarely matched in SF - please keep it up. That said, what gadget do you think is going to have the greatest impact on the way we live in the next few coming years? Something like the Google glasses? Ultra-low power consumption ubiquitous embedded processors powered by ambient light or EM radiation are going to do insane things to our cities in the next 15-30 years -- far more significant than google glasses, which are just a slightly different UI (you can do much the same stuff already using a smartphone with motion/orientation/positioning sensors) ...
The radical transparency surveillance state that Brin predicted, open to all? Or data inequality leveraged by the HFT engines of the rich corporations to give them the edge to make a buck of it? Now add ambient genome sensing -- not human genomes, but the microbiome soup we live in (remember, sequencer costs are currently obeying Moore's Law) and start wondering where it's all going!
Been a fan for a long time. Got hooked via Accelerando (which I understand is something of an old shame at this point?), and stayed hooked via Halting State and the Laundry Files. Thanks for the AMA. :D. It's not an old shame, it's simply that I wrote it circa 1998-2004, and my views have changed somewhat over the intervening decade ...
Can you please expand on that? In what way did your views change? Accelerando is one of my all time favourites. Sure. See: Link to www.antipope.org
Link to www.amazon.com
Progress always get met with "but consider the ethics..". OK, let me ask you this: if you have a no-shit AI in a box, and it's running, when you switch it off/reboot it/reformat it/send it to the scrap heap, are you murdering a sentient being? Yes/No? Please justify your reasoning.
Now consider: your no-shit AI is the adversary in a computer game environment. What happens when you kill it (in-game)? What happens when you get tired of the game and delete it?
Hint: some fun background reading would be Ted Chiang's "The Lifecycle of Software Objects".
Have you ever used unused (or used) ideas from your D&D days in your stories, or vice versa? No. My D&D days are 30 years gone; it'd be a rare idea to survive from that long ago.
If you could meet any dead science fiction author for a day, who would you meet and what would you do? Roger Zelazny. And probably a pub crawl then a curry.
How hard was it for you to break into the US market? If I'd known how easy it would be, I'd have done it earlier!
If you could choose between The Merchant Princes becoming a video game, a movie series, a TV series, and a limited HBO TV series, what format would you choose? Who would you pick for a director and some of the leads? Would you want to do the screenplay yourself? None of those are media formats I consume, so I have no opinion on the options. (Nor do I have any idea who the currently interesting directors or actors are.) If I wanted to be in movies, I'd have gone into scriptwriting: the fact that I write novels should be a big hint about what I prefer to do!
(Final Q: I dislike Dr Who and Star Trek, so I shan't comment further.)
"I dislike Dr. Who and Star Trek..." This is like finding out your dad really can't beat up everyone else's dad. They've achieved cult following through character development, but as SF they both have gigantic structural flaws at the plot and tech level; great gaping internal inconsistencies! (Although I'm kind of fond of the meta-theory that explains Star Trek as being propaganda intended for external consumption by the Federation, which is actually the Soviet Union in Space in the 24th century.)
Next you will tell me Nutella doesn't really taste good. Damn you Charles Stross! Damn you to hell! I will still read your books, but I will do so with a smug expression of annoyance ;) Nutella is okay, but Marmite rocks as a sandwich topping!
You must try Vegemite. I like vegemite too.
(Alas - this may be TMI - I have a mild yeast intolerance; if I consume too much wheat beer or marmite or vegemite and my next morning will be exceedingly interesting, in a most unpleasant way.)
I saw that you started writing at the age of 15, novels at that. I'm a younger person myself, and for me and the rest of novel-aspiring-youth, what do you have to tell? Tips, motivation, etc.? Write. Every day, if possible.
Finish stuff.
Send it out, and when it comes back, send it out again.
Step 3 may be a bit premature if you're thinking about professional publication, but at the very least: workshop with other writers, learn to critique their work, learn to understand and listen to their criticism of your work, then apply the skills you learned dissecting other folks' writing to your own stuff.
Do you ever read something someone else has written and think "damn, now I cant do that". Who do you read? (if you have time) Yes, I sometimes get the "Damn, too late, [X] got there first" idea. But seriously? I have time to write 1-2 novels per year, and get roughly novel-sized ideas every month. I have to perform triage on my own writing impulses. So it's usually quite easy to shrug and write something else instead.
What I read: while I'm writing, I tend to go off reading fiction for relaxation -- especially the challenging stuff. It's too much like the day job. When I do get to chow down on a book, I try to read ones that are nothing like what I'm writing. So, as I'm currently working on a space opera (of sorts) I'm mostly indulging in urban fantasy.
Wow, I didn't realise the ideas flew in so fast. Is it morbid to ask if you worry about getting it all written before you die? (Im thinking of Terry Pratchett here...) Yes, I worry about that. I'm 47. I reckon I can count on 30 more writing years, averaging a book a year (I can't keep up the 2-2.5 a year I used to do these days). And these days I've gotten round to wondering, for each new idea, "do I want to be remembered for this?" before I get to the point of spending a year on it.
Asimov or Clarke? Neither, although I'm marginally less averse to Clarke's style.
Out of curiosity, what about Heinlein? (As a writer, at least - let's leave politics aside for the moment.) I have written a Heinlein tribute novel.
In general, who in sci-fi/SF inspired you, and/or inspires you now? (Unfortunately, while most authors who do that -- Scalzi, Varley, Robinson, et al -- pick Heinlein juveniles, I went for a dirty old man Heinlein tribute novel. Hence "Saturn's Children" and a novel that hinges on the word spung!).
Have you ever been afraid to actually publish a book for fear of what your fans may think? And how do you deal with writers block, or just actually getting the damn thing started? And lastly, do you read books that aren't in your current genre? And if so, what's your favorite? Publishing is the final step in making a book; if I was afraid to publish one, I wouldn't write it in the first place. (But in general, a little controversy isn't harmful: if anything, it gets people interested. I don't think most of my opinions, political or social, are so far outside of the mainstream that they'd cause massive outrage on a scale liable to provoke death threats or referrals to prosecutors for outraging public decency, so why worry?)
Writers block: when I get it, it's because my subconscious spotted that I'd make a huge structural mistake in constructing a novel before my conscious mind became aware of it, and threw on the brakes. So I've learned not to sweat it: take two days off, then back up a chapter, read through, and try to work out why I'm suddenly uneasy about continuing.
While writing a novel I almost completely stop reading books in the same sub-genre for the duration.
Hi there, funnily enough i just finished the Atrocity Archives, which i bought because i bought the Laundry RPG a while back. Awesome book. Loved it. Can't wait to run the game. So do you play Call of Cthulhu or the Laundry at all? Or are you just into the writing side? Strictly writing side. I was heavily into AD&D in my teens (late 1970s-early 1980s) but fell off the RPG habit in the mid-80s and have never gone back to it; my lifestyle today isn't very compatible with having a regular gaming group (too much travel).
Which do you enjoy writing more; the Laundry series or harder scifi like Glasshouse and Accelerando? That's a very hard question.
If I write too much of anything for too long, I burn out on it. So it helps to vary my output from year to year. That's partly why the Laundry books are coming out at 2-5 year intervals rather than every 12 months.
As someone who grew up reading Ian Fleming and HP Lovecraft, I think they're well worth the wait! (Just pre-ordered the latest iteration) Also, do you find it difficult to write your more abstract stories like Accelerando? I tried to explain it to a friend once, but failed miserably. Accelerando was murder. It took me more than five years, in the shape of nine stories. One of which (#5) was so difficult that by way of finding an excuse to dodge having to work on it I accidentally barfed up the first two volumes of the Merchant Princes series.
I am a huge fan of yours. Three of my favorite short stories are Missile Gap, A Colder War, and Unwirer. Well, I guess I just really love the whole "Wireless" collection. What inspired you to cross Lovecraft with The Cold War? Fear of nuclear annihilation. I'm a child of the cold war: I didn't live more than 10 miles from a major WarPac nuclear target until the Berlin Wall came down and the CW ended. Knowing you can die horribly at any moment because of decisions made by alien intelligences thousands of miles away who don't even know you exist -- there's something Lovecraftian about that, isn't there?
At what age did you start writing novels? I began my first novel when I was 15. It went through three drafts, of around 40,000 words each. If I find it, I'll burn it. (If you read it, you'd thank me :)
Hahahha I'm 15 now. Every time when i have to do an assignment for school, i don't really know how to start, could you give me some advice, please? Nope. Because I'm nearly a third of a century older than you, and any advice I could give you about school assignments would be slightly out of date ...!
The modern solution is to just wikiwalk until inspired. Or tropeswalk! Actually, no, don't do that. You'll get sucked into TVTropes and suddenly notice that the sun's peeking through your window, you're knee-deep in villain archetypes, and the assignment's due in three hours. Your warning comes too late. Actually, I was semi-immunized to TVTropes by being sent a copy of the Turkey City Lexicon by Bruce Sterling at an impressionable age: Link to www.sfwa.org
What do you think of TV Tropes, in general? Like all good things, it's possible to overdose on it.
But for someone who is starting out on developing their critical skills, just being aware of its existence is great: it can make the difference between trying to write a story around a cliche or an original idea, and better still, studying it can eventually clue you in on how to breathe new life into tired tropes.
One of the things that I liked about Halting State and Rule 34 was that they are set in a plausible near future where technology has made individuals much more productive than people from 50+ years ago. Given that with technological assistance one worker can now supervise many machines working to produce goods do you think that there will be a resurgence of a leisure class in the first world? Do you think that we are getting to the point where instead of overpaying people to do manual factory work there is room for another model that still resembles modern life? I have no answer to this question. Keynes asked it more than fifty years ago; something has clearly gone wrong, given that the folks with jobs seem to work endless hours while many people can't get a job at all.
Nice to see a bit of social marketing, it will be interesting to hear how it compares to the publishers' marketdroid efforts in terms of sales (if you can tease out the stats). Now the important question, favourite beer? My regular session beer is Deuchars IPA (Link to www.caledonianbeer.com) It's not an American-style bitterness wars IPA; it's a light, Scottish ale with just enough hops to tell you what it is, and it's weak enough that you can keep drinking it continuously for hours without any risk of waking up in a puddle with KICK ME tattooed on your bum.
Any other writing aids? Link to www.antipope.org
What's your policy/opinion on adverbs? I ask because guys like Stephen King encourage writers to murder every adverb before it ever hits the page, whereas guys like William Gibson (my favorite author) use them liberally. I have no policy, for or against: only a personal style. (Which is to say, I use them when I think it's appropriate to; for example, an internal monologue by a locquacious and verbose narrator is more likely to be larded with adverbs than an exchange of instant messages between cops at a crime scene.)
I'm a new but big fan. The first book of yours that I read only a few months ago was Accelerando and it absolutely blew my mind! Not only that but it made me very excited for the near future, I see Google Glasses as being a very exciting tech that leads into your vision. Bitcoin: probably not, but it's intriguing enough to be at the root of an entire interstellar finance system in "Neptune's Brood" (due next July, 2013).
PS I'm really looking forward to seeing you when you come to Perth West Aus next year. Maybe I can buy you a beer! Perth, beer? Sure!
Bitcoins as... urrrrgh. Okay. I'll have to read that, then. Hope you got the failure conditions right! I hybridised it with Chaum's digicash. With the added twist that participants in exchanges had to be in different solar systems. It's called "slow money" for a reason ...
How do you make sure you aren't "inadvertently plagiarizing?" I think up ideas a lot but am sure they have already been done somewhere or that I am ripping something off I have read and cannot recall specifically. Original creativity seems difficult. First: plagiarism requires you to copy someone else's words. You can avoid this by, er, not copying! Writing your own story around the same ideas is not plagiarism; at worst, it's being unoriginal.
thanks for the books...I love science fiction and appreciate the work that goes into putting out novels to entertain us. Having said that, you're right: coming up with truly new ideas is hard. But I've got a method: I look for a couple of obvious ideas that have been done before (try: folks who can travel at will to parallel universes; in their home world they're the aristocracy, because: magic powers) and then look for the second-order side effects: stuff that other authors didn't dig into (for example: wrt. the previous idea, what are the consequences of these folks' ability for the ongoing economic and political development of their world? Can it have negative consequences? If so, what are they?)
How long did it take you to become comfortable writing in the second person? I finished reading Rule 34 and it was the first novel* i had read in this style. It took me about a hundred pages of "Halting State" to get the hang of it, and another hundred pages to feel comfortable. I also needed a reason to start doing it (2nd person is the natural voice of the text adventure game -- "you are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike").
A trilogy? Does this mean that a third book is on contract, or that you just have it kicking around in your head? EDIT: Nevermind, you answered this already. Looking forward to it! "The Lambda Functionary" is on contract for delivery on July 1st, 2013 and publication around July 3rd, 2014. And I haven't even begun writing it yet. Ulp.
Connected intelligence (as in, human intelligence augmented by online sources) seems to be on the perpetual 'five years out' list - do you think projects like Google Glass will finally make this a reality? What sort of timescale would you envisage for mass-adoption? (crosses fingures for a 'yes') Hmm ... what's wrong with a smartphone with always-on 3G or 4G data and google/wikipedia? Doesn't that qualify?
How much pre-planning would you say that you do before starting on a new book? Or do you subscribe more to the "Let's just start writing and see where it takes us" camp? Both :)
No two books come out the same way. Some I write by the seat of my pants; others are planned in minute detail.
The one thing that does happen, every time, though, is that I never get to write a book until I've already been thinking about it for a period of months to years. Unless it's "Glasshouse" (time from initial idea to starting writing: 9 days).
Rule 34 was one of my favorite reads last year, but I found the title to be a bit of a red herring since (without spoilers) neither memes nor porn ended being a big part of the story's resolution (other than the department Kavanaugh is in when she started). Was that intentional? What is ATHENA if not a meme with legs? (The relative lack of porn I'll grant you ...) Link to www.antipope.org
Hi Charles, I'm Chinese and I live in Asia and most of the sci fi actually comes from the west. Is this due to cultural reasons, literacy or how technology/future seems to resonate more if written from a western perspective? Also, how can one become a successful sci fi/fantasy writer outside of Europe/America? I have no idea, frankly ...
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