J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Eyes On The Prize: My Current Vision for a Messy Utopia

These days, reading the national news is like watching a whirlwind of shit in high definition.

Emboldened white supremacists, the orange racist-in-chief, plans for an expensive useless wall, a government actively working to roll back environmental protections of every kind. Not to mention the very real possibility of nuclear war.

So I’m writing this post to remind myself what kind of world I’d like to live in. What kind of policies I’d like to see in place, in a more sane world.

I don’t believe in the pursuit of perfect utopias. Reaching that high is like flying too close to the sun. You have to start with a clean slate to build a perfect society, which means destroying everyone and everything and starting over. Which has been tried, several times in history, and generally ends in mass starvation and/or genocide. So no thanks.

The alternative is a messy utopia, one that builds on pretty good systems that already exists, one that takes a more-or-less empirical approach to solving problems, and one that doesn’t require perfect moral behavior on the part of its citizens. I’ve written in more detail about this idea here.

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Music Update: Three New Releases, Still In The Game

Arturia V collection (emulated, in my Macbook)

I’ve always hesitated to call myself a musician, composer, or even music producer. I can find the keys on a keyboard the match the melody in my head, but mostly I make beats, basslines, and sculpt sound with digital waveform transformations and effects. Sometimes I work alone, sometimes with a friend next to me. I like working both ways, the former to dig in and get work done, the latter to get out of my own head and expand the canvas–two minds are usually better than one.

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Goals Are Falling Like Dominoes

Regular readers of this blog will know that my journey toward becoming a published writer (and hopefully soon a published novelist) has been one of endurance and perseverance rather than overnight success. In other words, a bit of a slog.

Just like every other writer in the history of the world. At least 99.9% of us.

That said, in the last few months, good fortune has smiled on me. Or the hard work has paid off. Or a little of both.

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Changing Social Norms Don’t Present an Existential Threat

I read recently fired ex-Google employee James Damore’s “left bias” manifesto with much interest. I think a lot of people (especially younger white males) feel the same way he does.

Damore’s memo starts off with some reasonable assertions that there are statistical psychological differences, on average, between men and women. No problem there, even though some of the broader generalizations struck me as outlandish, and weren’t backed by evidence. Damore goes on to assert that Google has a politically and culturally left bias, which makes me wonder what he was thinking when he signed up to work at a Silicon Valley tech company. Finally, Damore makes the leap that because the gender and ethnicity gaps in tech are not solely due to bias (but also because of innate biological differences), that Google’s diversity programs are discriminatory, and therefore they should be eliminated or opened to white males.

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I Have Seen the Future of Local Transportation


As regular readers know, my family gave up our car about a year-and-a-half ago. Our lease ended, we turned in the car, and we didn’t get another one. The idea was to go one month without a car and see if we could get around with biking, walking, public transportation, Lyft, and the occasional rental.

Overall the experiment has been a success. I’ve written about the experience at length in the followings posts:

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Limited Free Subscriptions to Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores

A few months ago my story “The Fo’dekai Artifact” was published in the online speculative fiction zine Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores. Since the site is subscription based, I wasn’t able to share the story via direct link unless you were subscribed (and some did subscribe because of my story–thank you).

Anyway, some good news for science fiction/fantasy/eldritch fans who read this blog … editor Fran Eisemann has kindly offered me some free subscriptions to give out to readers. I’m not sure exactly how many, so sign up while the links are hot:

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