Friday, September 22, 2017

Did Anyone Record my Debate with Austin Petersen?

I debated him at the Young Americans for Liberty national convention on anarchism vs minarchism. I unfortunately did not record the debate, and YAL didn't either. 

It occurred to me that, since nowadays practically everyone has a smartphone which doubles as, among many other things, a recorder, someone in the audience probably recorded the debate. If so, I would be interested in getting, and webbing, a copy.

A commenter has now pointed me at a recording of the debate that someone has webbed.

I live in a world where almost everyone in my audience has a video camera disguised as a phone in his pocket and where I can put a question to the world at large, as I did in this post, and get an answer in three days.

For those unhappy with how rarely I post here nowadays, the main reason is that I am active as a commenter on my favorite blog, Slate Star Codex, which I highly recommend. I will continue to post here from time to time when I have something I feel like writing about.

On another subject, Eric Raymond has an interesting post up today, arguing against the destruction of Confederate Statues on the grounds that they, the treatment of Lee in the North as well as the South as a hero rather than a traitor, and a bunch of other things were part of a successful attempt on both sides to heal the wounds of the Civil War.

Reading it, it occurred to me that it parallels what is happening at the end of my second novel, Salamander. There has been a rising attempting to reverse the result of an earlier succession struggle, it has failed, and the victorious incumbents are deliberately offering very generous terms to the losers for essentially the same reason Eric describes.

The issue comes up in the sequel, which I am currently working on. The following is the relevant passage, spoken several years later by a secondary character who was involved in the rising and is now arguing against another attempt:
“Don’t know if you remember, but a bit before the mountain blew up, all Earl Eirick’s food stores went up in flames. Figure the Prince and his mages did it somehow. With no food and no Forstish army, we were in pretty poor shape. Prince could have offered terms a fair bit worse than he did, asked for the Earls’ heads, maybe some others, maybe mine. Sent all of us he didn’t trust north, put his people in the holds. From where he sat, we were traitors tried to bring in a Forstish army, take his capital, mebbe kill him and his brother. Not a lot we could have done to stop him once the rest of the royal forces showed up–can’t keep an army in the field without food.
“I was the one brought the Prince’s terms back to the Earl, good terms considering. Duke Morgen gave ‘em to me–didn’t even know the Prince was in the keep till he stood up to guarantee ‘em.
“One part you don’t know, cause I never told anyone but the Earl. Morgen’s daughter that’s Princess Mariel now, Prince’s wife. Maybe widow. At the College with me. Knew her pretty well. After I got the terms from her father, Prince endorsed them, still wasn’t sure we could trust ‘em, considering what rode on it. Asked Mari. Prince had proposed to her during the siege. Figured she should know.
“She said they would keep the terms. And why. Prince and Duke wanted to tie the kingdom back together, had worried about it a long time. Reason to give us generous terms. Reason to keep them. Told Earl Eirick. He accepted the Prince’s terms. They kept them.
“Try to break up the kingdom, steal the throne from the Prince’s heir, I’ll do what I can to stop you. Asgeir too.”


Unknown said...

I believe this is a recording of the debate (not my recording):

Patrick said...

Since you bring it up, David, do you have any estimate on when you will be finished with the sequel to Salamander? (Or an estimate of its progress, if time-to-completion is too uncertain.) Some of us are quietly but eagerly awaiting its publication.

David Friedman said...

I'm afraid I can't predict it. I wrote quite a lot of it several years ago but couldn't figure out a way of bringing the plot threads together to make an effective ending. Recently I started work on it again, wrote some more and have more of an idea how it ends, but I'm still not sure I can make the ending work.

Part of the problem is that I'm a softy. I don't like killing off characters I like, and rarely do it, and I suspect readers can recognize that. That makes it hard to build up tension for the ending.

At this point the draft is at about 90,000 words, so novel sized, and I have been working on it. So I might get a finished draft in a month or two, might get stalled again, can't predict it.

If anyone wants to see the draft as it currently exists and comment on it I am always happy to have beta readers (perhaps alpha readers for an unfinished draft?), but I can't offer a prediction of when.

The working title is Eirick, who is the son of Lord Iolen, a much nicer person than his father, as Mari comments as one point, and the central figure at the beginning of the book. But there isn't really a single protagonist. My guess is that the eventual title will be "brothers," since there are at least three pairs of brothers (in one case oath brothers) who play an important role in the story. The first being Eirick and Prince Kieron's son Kir.