(no subject)

Nov. 28th, 2015 09:54 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
I returned home from my ten days of travel with a bit of under-the-weather level lurgy. I think i'd been fighting it since leaving Ohio, and possibly had the cold reinforced my nephew & niece who were both under the weather, as well. I had a good bit of sleep and reading, and Friday tried to catch up. I spent much of today at the Meetinghouse, where we were trying to have a fundraiser without customers.

Someone bought one of my prints!

For Thanksgiving, Christine had an attack of the blues that was not particularly surprising. Indeed, when i think of some of the holidays in our early years together, she greets holidays now in a much better state of mind. I read a novel and made way through the backlog of email. While i had skimmed it on my iPad while traveling, my habit is to file it on my own hard drive. Somehow, reading email on the iPad (or my phone) feels ... hampered ... unlike reading novels on the iPad.

It's a bit chilly here and i surmise many of our neighbors (whose heat diffuses into our space) are out of town.

Tomorrow is going to be busy: i managed to get myself committed to overlapping Meeting things from ten am to six pm.

book giveaway

Nov. 28th, 2015 09:02 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
Please get these books out of my house! (Extra contributors' copies.)

Free giveaway: leave a comment and I will pick someone for each book by random number generator. Shipping's on me anywhere reasonable on the planet (Finland is fine, Antarctica maybe not so much).

- Warrior Women, ed. Paula Guran. This includes my short story The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars," as well as Jane Yolen, Nalo Hopkinson, Aliette de Bodard, and others. (NOTE: This is not strictly a sword & sorcery anthology; "warrior women" is defined very liberally, and the anthology appears to be broken into thematic sections.)

- Meeting Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan. This includes my short story "The Cold Inequalities" (new), as well as works by Nancy Kress, Gwyneth Jones, Ramez Naam, and others.

I will pick winners at some point during the coming week and let y'all know.

This is being posted on both Patreon and DW; you can post either place (but please just pick one or the other :p).
holyoutlaw: (me meh)
[personal profile] holyoutlaw

The weather was crisp, with frost riming the grass and leaves in the park. Good work kept us warm, though, and the sun shone through the thinning canopy to help.

Thirteen people were Friends of North Beach Park Saturday, ranging in age from 8 to 80 and from completely new participants to those who have been to every work party (a better record than I have, in fact).

The main goal of the day was to install plants. Some areas had been cleared by volunteers, and other areas had been cleared… by trees falling. In fact, in the last week and a half, two trees have fallen in North Beach Park, an alder and a big leaf maple.

This picture shows two fallen alder trees. The more recent one is in the center of the picture.

Two fallen alder trees. The more recent one is in the center of the picture.

This picture looks along the fallen maple trunk, from the root ball towards the crown.

Looking along the fallen maple trunk, from the root ball towards the crown. In the foreground are two replacement trees, a big leaf maple and a grand fir.

A fallen tree is an important part of the forest ecosystem, and the deciduous trees in North Beach Park are at the end of their life spans. The problem is that there aren’t enough young trees to take over the canopy. North Beach Park is lucky in that we do have younger deciduous and coniferous trees (ranging from saplings up to mid-canopy), but if we hadn’t started restoring it, the forest would be in serious danger. The canopy gaps create light cones to the forest floor; in a healthy forest, this would create a great burst of energy for the next generation of trees. However, in an urban forest, the danger is that the invasive plants will really take over.

The forest floor of North Beach Park is in better shape than it was when we started. There are nearly two thousand plants installed, ranging from trees to groundcover. These will benefit from the new light from the canopy gap, and the nutrients put into the soil by the decaying wood.

Today, in fact, we planted two trees at the base of the new falls and some falls from last year: a big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and a grand fir (Abies grandis). This combination went into at least three places. We also planted a number of shrubs, groundcover, and wetland plants, including several that are underrepresented or were nonexistent in the park before restoration.

In all, we planted nearly two hundred plants. The table below lists what we planted.

  Genus Species   Common Name
Abies grandis grand fir
Acer macrophyllum bigleaf maple
Amelanchier alnifolia serviceberry
Asarum caudatum wild ginger
Dicentra formosa Pacific bleeding heart
Gaultheria shallon salal
Juncus acuminatus tapertip rush
Mahonia nervosa low Oregon-grape
Myrica californica Pacific wax myrtle
Petasites frigidus coltsfoot
Prunus emarginata var. mollis bitter cherry
Tiarella trifoliata threeleaf foamflower
Nicole, Morry, Julie, Kirstie, and Lina (with Jesse nearby) work in the Central Valley. Can you find them all?

Nicole, Morry, Julie, Kirstie, and Lina (with Jesse nearby) work in the Central Valley. Can you find them all?

Jesse found a bug!

Jesse found a bug!

The stalwart crew!

The stalwart crew!

Our next workparty will be January 23, 2016. We’ll be doing a lot of planting then, too, if you want to join us.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

I suspect that even the Thameses

Nov. 28th, 2015 09:21 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
Would find meeting the locus genii of the Fraser river ... unnerving.

(no subject)

Nov. 28th, 2015 07:42 pm
sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
[personal profile] sraun
Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] kayshapero

(no subject)

Nov. 28th, 2015 06:04 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
It's been driving my mother-in-law so nuts that her boys won't eat anything more--she's been stuffing them with chocolate-covered peanuts and tangerine segments all afternoon--that she's now switched to me and has deposited a plate of shrimp with cocktail sauce next to me.

cut for pics )


Nov. 28th, 2015 02:40 pm
cofax7: Cordelia Naismith is dangerous (Bujold - Cordelia)
[personal profile] cofax7
So, lots of stuff going on. Health, work, family, blah blah blah.

In the middle of all that, though, I adopted a new German Shepherd. Meet Jetta:

Read more... )

She's a rescue. Which means that she's overweight, hardly trained, barely housebroken, tennis-ball obsessed, and suffers from separation anxiety. On the other hand, she loves people, is very snuggly, and has figured out pretty quickly that every time she goes in her crate she gets a treat, so we're learning to get along.

It will take a bit longer to get her used to having her nails clipped, though...

Oh, and the name is not for the car: it's a nickname for Bridget, except the original spelling was Gette, and it would be impossible to get anyone to pronounce it right. And since she's jet black, it seemed to work.

Star Trek: Renegades!

Nov. 28th, 2015 11:03 pm
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
[personal profile] starlady
The Kickstarter for Star Trek: Renegades episodes 2 & 3 is in its final days and still needs about $46,000 to meet its goal.

The first episode is available to watch in its entirety for free on YouTube. The series, which is independent and fan-funded, takes place in the original universe approximately ten years after the events of Nemesis.

You can back the Kickstarter at a variety of levels and help make the next phase of Star Trek happen!
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

I’m just going to post these tweets here as a reference point so we can pick this conversation up later after I get back from the Big Box.

Every once in a while, some disturbed person absorbs the language and logic of white evangelicalism’s Satanic baby-killer fantasies and, not realizing it’s all a disingenuous game, acts on it. “Pro-life” evangelicals are then forced to condemn that person’s actions in an awkward dance that forces them to admit, at least implicitly, that they do not take their own words and arguments seriously — and thus that no one else should take them seriously either.






(no subject)

Nov. 28th, 2015 04:36 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Last chance on the Anniversaries; I'll be catching up the lists tonight and probably ordering tomorrow.

Talk to me!

Nov. 28th, 2015 04:09 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
I seem to have borked my gmail account, which at least settles the question of whether i was going to keep it or not.

HOWEVER, if you're used to finding me on gchat, you see the one serious problem, here. I can't reach any of you and it's awful.


If there is some other chat client you're on, or if you don't mind getting chatty texts from me, please leave your info here (all comments screened)


Nov. 28th, 2015 03:59 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Stroking my beard is villainous and stroking my cats is villainous but stroking my beard with my cat isn't.

(no subject)

Nov. 28th, 2015 12:33 pm
onyxlynx: Red hat shape, two yellow squares simulating glasses, blue "turtleneck" on brown background. (Externalities)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 In about half an hour, I will be tasting banana-nut-poppyseed bread.  

Mmmmmmmm, banana-nut-poppyseed bread.

I link, therefore I spam

Nov. 28th, 2015 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

The Christians and the Pagans: Part 1

Nov. 28th, 2015 08:56 am
tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
[personal profile] tim
This post is the first in a 3-part series.

When I worked at Mozilla, my co-worker "Bill" (not his real name) emailed me on my personal account to tell me that I would be less angry if I found Jesus like he had. At the same job, when I was on my way out, another co-worker, "Ted" (also not his real name), told me that "people here think you're only interested in politics and not in code."

I thought about Bill and Ted when I saw Eric S. Raymond (ESR)'s latest hot take: "Why Hackers Must Eject the SJWs".

What unites Ted and ESR is the belief that interest in "politics" precludes interest in engineering -- or, perhaps, interest in the wrong kind of politics. What unites Bill and Ted is the assumption that there are some outside interests that are acceptable for engineers to have (like being a Christian, and converting others to one's faith) and others that are not (such as social justice).

As per Joanna Russ's system of categorization for tactics used to silence women's writing, the rhetorical strategy that Ted and ESR shared is that of the pollution-of-agency attack:

Pollution of Agency attacks use a woman's character or traits attributed to her considered to be negative to deny the quality or importance of her work. Sex and sexuality, mental health status, or physical attractiveness are common traits or actions used in a pollution of agency attack.

-- "Russ Categories", Geek Feminism Wiki

While pollution-of-agency attacks are disproportionately used against women, they're also used against anyone else who threatens conservative control over a particular domain of cultural production, whether it's science fiction writing or engineering. The script that both Ted and ESR followed is that having the wrong political views (specifically radical or progressive ones) devalues an engineer's work, regardless of any intrinsic properties of the work (indeed, may justify ignoring that work altogether). ESR's attack was particularly effective because it used the term "SJW" ("social justice warrior"), which has become shorthand for that group of people whose work must be either attacked or ignored because they hold political views that challenge your own stronghold on prestige and power.

What unifies all three stories is the question of what it costs to hold a particular ideology in tech. Being seen as an "SJW" has a cost: the effort it takes to contend with pollution-of-agency attacks. Being seen as a Christian engineer does not have this cost; while people may disagree with your views, they won't question your competence or the legitimacy of your work just because you are a Christian.

Husband, Father, Christian, Fascist

The reason why Bill and Ted could coexist at the same organization -- why my right to be there was questioned because of my interest in "politics" while Bill was welcomed despite his constant efforts to use the workplace as a forum for religious evangelism -- lies, I think, in a certain archetype about what it means to be an engineer. ESR himself described one version of this archetype in "A Portrait of J. Random Hacker", an appendix he added to the Jargon File. Subsequently, using ESR's term, I will refer to this archetypal engineer -- a fictional person who many engineers are anxious about emulating as closely as possible -- as "J. Random Hacker", though my characterization of JRH will depart from his.

J. Random Hacker identifies as an apolitical man who also isn't religious in a way that would set him apart from his underlying culture. He could lack religious views altogether, or he could subscribe to the religion that is dominant in his culture. Although I'm going to be using Christianity as a metaphor for monoculture in this essay, I could just as easily have used atheism. The important thing isn't the specifics of the belief system so much as that J. Random Hacker doesn't rock the boat when it comes to views outside a narrow construction of "technical" discourse. Likewise, JRH certainly isn't apolitical, since he participates in society and therefore takes part in power relations -- but he holds a set of political views (such as the view that it's desirable or even possible for a person to be apolitical) that support existing power structures rather than challenging them.

In other words, J. Random Hacker presents himself as non-ideological. Ideology, he says, would only get in the way of getting work done. But without ideology, we wouldn't know what work is worth doing or what methods are acceptable for getting that work done. J. Random Hacker is just as ideological as any SJW; the difference between them is the broad acceptance, or lack thereof, of their ideologies. J. Random Hacker knows that he is ideological, and lives in terror that his secret will get out. He is uncomfortable around SJWs because he fears that any engagement with other ideologies will highlight that his own beliefs are not necessarily normal, natural, logical, or rational, but rather, continge on the needs and desires of the interest groups to which he belongs.

At Mozilla, I saw the Hacker and SJW archetypes clash during the Planet Mozilla Controversy, and later, from a distance, during the Gamergate coordinated harassment campaign when a member of the Mozilla ops team expressed concern about whether Mozilla would appear to be "supporting misguided Social Justice Warriors".

The first debate was about whether hate speech against people in protected classes is a normal, natural thing for J. Random Hacker to engage in, or whether it needed to be highlighted as harmful to the community. Disagreeing that hate speech harms the community amounts to consensus that the community doesn't need people who don't match the J. Random Hacker pattern.

The second conversation reflected the double standard applied to "Social Justice Warriors" vs. harassers: to appear to support "misguided Social Justice Warriors" would contaminate the purity of Mozilla as an engineering organization, whereas supporting harassers of women would not, because, indeed, women themselves are a threat to the purity of the J. Random Hacker archetype, and thus misogynist harassers do the work needed to protect the in-group from contamination. Gamergate strengthens the archetype by continuing to ensure that it won't be spoiled by what women might have to contribute; "SJWs", on the other hand, would harm it with the introduction of ideology (but really, of foreign ideology).

It is a truth universally accepted among some of us who use Twitter that the substring "husband, father" is a red flag in a bio. Sometimes the substring appears as "husband, father, Christian". You might protest that I shouldn't be assuming things about people just because they're husbands and fathers, but that's precisely my point: I'm not. I'm assuming things about people who feel the need to foreground their identity as husbands, fathers, Christians ahead of descriptors that mean something. There is nothing especially unique about being a husband or father; knowing that someone is a husband and father tells you very little about them (for example, it doesn't tell you whether they're a loving or a controlling husband, or whether they're a nurturing or an abusive father). Someone who needs to tell you that he is a husband and father, who describes his identity in terms of the women and children he feels he controls, is doing something more specific: he's flagging the purity of his identity. Which is to say, at least from his point of view, his lack of identity; his lack of ideology. Don't you just hate "identity politics"? It was easier when politics was only about advancing my identity.

Some people would see me as a Christian because of the religion I belong to, and that's fine, although I don't identify as one. I'm also not especially attached to the label "SJW" other than that it's a fun form of alchemy to reclaim terms used to attack and use them as terms of pride. I'm less interested in accepting or rejecting either label for myself than in asking what "SJW" signifies within the cultural context of Anglophone engineering culture, and likewise for "Christian". I think that it's important to some people to identify as "Christian engineers", and important to them to maintain the conditions under which nobody blinks at that, because to identify yourself as Christian (within the scope of the broader interest groups that the tech industry serves) is to unmark yourself, to assert yourself as in the majority or dominant group. "SJW", on the other hand, is a catchall for whatever the in-group doesn't want polluting their air.

Whether somebody is self-identifying as "husband, father, Christian" or declaring that we must eject the SJWs, their concern is with the maintenance of in-group purity and the consolidation of power. Professing disdain for ideology and a preoccupation with the purity of one's identity -- whether it's husband- and fatherhood or fidelity to the J. Random Hacker archetype -- are aspects of fascist ideologies. To declare oneself as a husband, father and Christian reflects fascist-influenced thinking: it is predicated on a choice to distinguish oneself primarily on the basis of a single identity (that of the technically meritorious engineer), and to organize one's other life choices around minimizing the edit distance between oneself and J. Random Hacker. Of course, these choices aren't exactly choices, since we don't choose our genders, among other things. That's the point of the "husband, father, Christian" avowal: it's an avowal that you are a person who has the privilege of opting out of marginalization.

To be continued!
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The LP just came out!

Bit sad Arlo didn't end the set with This Land but singing the whole thing would probably get him on a no fly list.


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