The Czar, the Sultan and the Uncle Sam

As predicted, things are getting hairy all over again in Syria, a place where too many conflicts are going on. The casus belli this time is the little town of Manbij, in the northern part of the country. Actually is controlled by Kurds, with logistic support from the US. Russians and Americans found themselves together against the will of the Turkish government to seize the town, a move that greatly enraged the leadership of this regional power. Check here the story, from Stars and Stripes.

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Between Black and White

Melencolia

Melencolia I (B. 74; M., HOLL. 75)
*engraving
*24 x 18.8 cm
*1514

One of the most curious changes in the mainstream approach to everyday news is the growing oversimplification of the narrative; I mean, instead of facts we get factoids, the space needed to explain matters or to introduce an argument has been dissolved. Facts and figures are presented to the public in a pre-arranged set, in order to align with the political (or ideological) side already represented by the magazine (or any other kind of news outlet). So, we basically have a loop of self-assuring news, ready and served on a virtual silver plate to an audience that will use such news on the social media scene in order to reassure its beliefs and/or to bash the “others”.

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Writing science fiction – more free tools for the trade

asf_0034

In my latest post (here) I’ve suggested a couple free MOOC in order to acquire more knowledge about selected matters, the idea is to keep myself in touch with the latest development of science and to suggest the same to my fellow writers.

This concept may apply in many different fields of writing, like thriller or mystery, and it’s not only about what will happen tomorrow but it’s also about what is going on today – in order to get the feeling of what will happen tomorrow.

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Writing science fiction – free tools for the trade

science_fiction_quarterly_195505

One of the biggest challenges for a writer who wants to write science fiction is to be up-to-date with the most recent developments of real world science, not to mention the constant upgrade of the speculations about the nature of our universe. We all know that a science fiction novel (or whatever format) is not an essay about some peculiar field of science. We also know that without enough scientific (or para-scientific) elements in the story we’re not writing science fiction but some kind of fantasy (that’s not a problem, of course, but we’re talking about sci-fi right now).

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The War Is Not Over (2)

Ukraine orthographic map

There are many conflicts that are out of the media beat, including the ongoing confrontation in Ukraine between national government, Russian-sponsored separatist and Russian armed forces. Said conflict is in progress since 2014, with a significant portion of Ukraine – the Crimea region – de facto annexed by Russia in spite of every international treaty.

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The War Is Not Over

Syria orthographic projection

Syria orthographic projection

The war against ISIL is not over. While the mainstream media are busy with Donald Trump and Theresa May, the multilateral conflict against ISIL rages on with uncertain results. The black flag of the insurgents is still up in Syria and Iraq (not to mention an unknown number of their members who escaped from Libya and are still unaccounted for). At the present day, we have five different battles going on between ISIL and various aggregation of allied forces with no end in sight. It looks like that the end of the self-proclaimed caliphate is still far from reality.

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