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Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 11:48
Now that [personal profile] katta has reminded me of the existence of the Doctor Who spinoff Class written by Patrick Ness, I've watched the whole first series. And now that I've watched the finale, and am chock-full of Feelings, I want to talk to y'all about it.

Talk to me! Especially about just in case of spoilers )
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 09:09
Hahaha, when I started typing the post title, it autofilled for me. Yay?

I can always tell when I'm particularly anxious because I avoid opening emails (more than usual). I have several very important ones in my inbox, including one that I wanted to get, regarding getting a replacement fitbit charger. They might be saying, yes, we will send you one. They might be saying no, you must buy one. Neither option is the end of the world. But the email sits, unopened.

I am in a terrible position. I mean physically. I'm lying on my back on the couch and typing on my lap. It's comfy. Too comfy. I can't afford to waste a day sleeping. I should get up. In just a moment...

Back to the dissertation today. If I can find a non-scary way of approaching it.

I apologize to those I owe emails.
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 08:39
So I've been missing Dreamwidth/Livejournal lately, but also feeling a bit out of the habit of blogging--that is, I think, "What should I write? What's the use in writing? What would actually connect with the people I want to connect with?"

So, anyone with ideas: let me know?

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 30

What kind of stuff would you be interested in me writing about

View Answers

Narratives of how my life is going
27 (90.0%)

Personal introspection (psychology/trauma/spirituality)
29 (96.7%)

Meta about psychology and culture
29 (96.7%)

Squee and speculation on my current fandoms (Check Please, Yuri on Ice, etc)
18 (60.0%)

Fanfic and stories
17 (56.7%)


Feel free to elaborate in comments!
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 15:00
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Remember this cardigan I started back in March? I almost made the Cardipalooza deadline in May, but abandoned it a bit shy of the deadline when I ran into problems and decided it would be better to take a break than to try to push for a deadline. I picked it up again now that it’s finally getting cool again, and I finally finished it last weekend.

Acorn Trail Sweater

Acorn Trail Sweater

The pattern is Acorn Trail. It’s a beautiful sweater, and I’ve found Amy Herzog’s sweater fitting books really interesting, so I was eager to try one of her patterns. With judicious use of a highlighter I didn’t even find the pattern too hard to follow despite the many possible adjustments. I did somehow make the body section longer than I intended and had to do a run for more yarn, but to be honest it’s a nice length and while you can spot that the last skein is slightly more grey if you look a the sleeve joins at the shoulder or in the button band, it’s not as bad as I first feared.

Acorn Trail Sweater

I thought I would prefer to do a pieced sweater because most of my knitting is on the go, and doing pieces meant I could still easily carry it around. But it turns out I’m not great at seaming and I don’t much enjoy it, and even while I was knitting I spent time wondering why I was making seams when I could just put things together in 3d in the first place. In the end, I *did* convert the sleeves to be knit in the round rather than flat because I couldn’t honestly think of any reason not to do so, but I did the rest of the pattern as written. Still, I found I was constantly sad I couldn’t try it on as I went and adjust it all more precisely, so I think next sweater I try may be a more seamless affair and probably top-down. The current leading candidate is Lush, but something else may well catch my eye before I get to making it. I’m guessing right now it’ll be after the 2017 Rose City Yarn Crawl before I’ll have time for a sweater again.

Acorn Trail Sweater

The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Bobby Blue, which I picked up from For Yarn’s Sake. That was the first yarn store I visited when I moved here, I think! It’s very conveniently located next to the woodworking store in the same mall as the chocolate shop.

The yarn is soft and lovely and washable. I would totally use this again, although maybe not for a sweater since getting enough in one dye lot was hard even with For Yarn’s Sake’s fairly large collection. I did stripe it to even out the dye lots, but that last skein is still noticeable to my eye. The colour did bleed a bit when I washed and blocked it, but nothing dramatic, just enough that I’ll be careful if I decide to use the remainder in some colourwork.

Acorn Trail sweater detail

The buttons I picked up at Black Sheep at Orenco, and aren’t they cute? They’re probably a bit impractical since star buttons can be kind of finicky in knitting, but I liked the look of them and honestly, I mostly wear my cardigans open since work is pretty warm for sweaters. Although it did snow this week, so it’s cool outside!

Acorn Trail Sweater

Many of my knitwear photos are self portraits since my husband’s photographic passions are more about architecture and landscape than people. (I on the other hand, am mostly about people and flowers.) But he was kind enough to help with these and as always, the two of us working together results in much funnier expressions. He did a really nice job, although I cheated and gave him a 50mm prime lens so he had no choice but to be a bit more close up than he normally would be.

Acorn Trail Sweater

So that’s it! I’d guess that the sweater was under 2 months of work in total, but with a 6 month gap in the middle. Honestly, I thought it would take me longer! I’m pretty proud of my first me-sized sweater, and I’m sure it’ll be the first of many.

Acorn Trail Sweater

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 01:32
1. People called out sick again today and it was kind of hectic, but I still only had to stay an hour or so late.

2. I got a decent amount of translating done tonight after work. I'm really excited about how much manga I'm going to be posting this month. :D

3. I stopped at McDonald's for dinner and the fries were hot and fresh! (That's really what I was jonesing for, so it would have been disappointing if they weren't, but I was also braced for disappointment because I feel like about nine times out of ten, whenever I get fries from any fast food place, they're always the last dregs of the old batch.)

4. Chloe face!

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 22:49
[It's December Days time. Topic suggestions still welcome, but this particular topic is brought on by necessity.]

Get met by the south end of a southward traveling spear.

Experience the unique phenomenon of being struck by lightning. But not so unique as to live through it.

Be caught in a sandstorm and drown as the particulates jam your lungs and prevent oxygen exchange.

Stab yourself in both eyes in a regrettable pitchfork accident.

Piss off the god of fortune and be cursed with bad luck forever.

Be volunteered to permanently substitute into Loki's place under the Midgard Serpent while suffering Prometheus's punishment.

Get stuck in a time loop consisting solely of the moment in which your flesh is stripped from your bones by a nuclear incident.

And then, after all of that, be exposed to the truth of the triumph of entropy. Watch the universe go out until you are the last being left and realize they're is no more time and your karma is still unclean and you must re-experience it all again until you can get it right the whole time instead of only up to a point.

And then, maybe then, you will decide not to smash my window and steal my tablet, whomever you were. Because you took what was not yours. Even though it was old and dying and needs a very specific charger to work. Even though it probably would have been replaced soon enough.

At least the universe waited six years or so between break-ins. Can we turn the encounter rate for that down to zero now?
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 20:40
Let's try this again now that the site migration is over...

The medium that I've chosen for scheduling office hours is a site called Sign Up Genius. It is pretty easy to use in my experience, and all of my kids' teachers use it for conferences, parties and such. You don't have to have an account on the site to sign up for time slots, which is pretty great - just give them your email address. They will send you a confirmation and a reminder, and nothing else. But if for whatever reason you have trouble claiming a time slot using that site, you can also comment here and I can take care of it for you.

I am only doing signups for a week at a time, because that's about how far in advance I can be fairly confident of my availability. Each week will start on Friday, and I'll post the signups for the following week on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Each signup slot is scheduled to run 90 minutes, but since they're non-adjacent, it's OK if we need to go longer. Anything Dreamwidth-related is fair game: we can talk about code you're writing, code you want to write but don't know how to proceed, code someone else wrote, or things that don't involve code at all (I hear such things exist). My only request is that you don't take more than two slots in a single week, to make sure there is enough of my time to go around. Of course, you're still welcome to catch me on IRC at other times if I seem to be around, and PMs are open 24/7. :)

Here's the link for my available meeting times for the seven-day period starting December 9:

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 21:09
A long time since I posted one of these, some old links...

Do not turn Brexit into Britain's version of Bush v Gore

Interesting comparison noting that attempts to involve the courts in the decision about whether or not parliament must vote on the triggering of Article 50 inevitable force the courts to make a political decision.

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Determine Which Shakespeare Play You Should See First With This Flowchart

Fun infographic/flowchart.

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My Dartmoor Walks: Friday 14th October - Fernworthy Reservoir Uncovered

Lovely photographs of two bridges, three stone circles and misc other stone things revealed by unusually low water levels at Fernworthy Reservoir on Dartmoor.

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The cult of Wetherspoons: why does the pub chain inspire such devotion?

It must be said I generally consider Wetherspoons' to be samey but reliable, so it is interesting to read this discussion highlighting aspects such as the lack of territorial locals and to learn about the carpets!

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Robotics team program new Tate Liverpool art installation - University of Liverpool News - University of Liverpool

Several people I work with were involved with this, including the boss! By some bizarre piece of circular acquaintance I'll also ran a Lego Rover workshop associated with it last weekend, though because the Tate asked the Girl Geeks who asked our Outreach Team and not because I work with the people involved!

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Donald Trump and the rise of white identity in politics

Interesting article that attempts (not entirely successfully) to disentangle the concept of a sense of white identity from racial prejudice (in, for instance, the form of ideas about white supremacy). One is left with the feeling that there is a whole lot more going on here than is touched upon in the article, but its clearly an area that is likely to become more important.

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Dad Spends $1500 On 3-Year-Old’s Halloween Costume; Recreates Scenes From New Wonder Woman Movie | fulltimephotographer

This is actually pretty cool and the finished results look great. While $1500 seems like a lot to spend on a three year-old's halloween costume I don't suppose the resulting Internet coverage has done her Dad's career any harm!

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Fact-checking Clinton and Trump is not enough

Interesting, if only for the analysis of how framing and delivery can influence our perception of the truth of a politician's statements.

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Facebook's problem is more complicated than fake news

Interesting counter to the idea that social media filter bubbles are responsible to the diametric assumptions and worldviews people seen to have.

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The surprising origins of 'post-truth' – and how it was spawned by the liberal left

Interesting article that seeks to (briefly and therefore somewhat superficially) trace the lineage of "post-truth" from the advent of post-modernism, through the dot-com boom and the rise of the spin doctor to our current reality.

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Why Trump is right, and wrong, about killing off the TPP

This article argues that recent "free trade" agreements have in fact not been free trade agreements. I'm not qualified to judge, but would be interested in [livejournal.com profile] philmophlegm's input.

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New study indicates Moon's formation was more energetic than previously thought.

I'm vaguely interested in the puzzle that is why the Moon is the way it is, not for any specific reason just that something that feels like it ought to be well-understood by now, really isn't.

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Deep in the Amazon jungle, Brazil's 'hidden cities' are in crisis

"The “deep” Amazon is now surprisingly urbanised yet its cities are largely invisible in academic and political debates. In the 21st century, it is generally taken for granted that towns and cities are connected by roads. However, in the Brazilian state of Amazonas almost a million people live in dozens of roadless cities of 3,000 to 70,000 residents. These settlements are wholly reliant on rivers."

I just had no idea. The rest of the article is fairly obvious once you grasp that fact, though.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 19:16
[personal profile] ivy has very kindly acceded to my request and unlocked their post about Krav Maga and self-defense:

So, in short, if your self-defense level of desired investment is "I want to take a class once and then be done", go to a Rory Miller weekend seminar the next time he's in your area. If you are able-bodied and willing to go train regularly, consider Krav. If you are not able-bodied, talk to me about your body and your intentions -- I can recommend other things. If you are considering a firearm, talk to me/see previous post on that topic to figure out if that's going to match your lifestyle and threat model.


Your martial arts questions can go here, if you have them! There are many experienced martial artists reading, so you can get lots of perspectives, too, not just mine.

So if that's a direction your thoughts are currently trending in, for whatever reason -- go, ask. Trained martial artists are standing by to take your calls. *g*
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 18:27
If you've ever engaged in any form of non-internet activism, whether that's phoning a representative or going on a demonstration or volunteering for a political group or practicing civil disobedience or whatever, would you consider writing it up?

(Note: I'm purposely omitting internet activism, not because it doesn't have value but because it's something that we've got pretty much covered, and that's -- relatively -- a comfort zone for many of us. We are going to have to try to find ways to do more, to the limits of our various abilities.)

I was thinking about how hugely helpful it's been to many people just to have posts saying "I phoned my representative about this, and this is what it was like". A lot of us are thinking we need to learn how to find ways of being more activist even though it's challenging and scary for us.

And we also have a lot of people who have been or are involved in various ways, whether it's being part of ACT-UP actions or stuffing envelopes for a political party.

So -- please, share. If you've done something -- what did you do? how did you get into it? what happened? what was it like?

We need to share any skills and stories we have (and not just the stuff that sounds dramatic and cool and involves chaining yourself to things -- envelope-stuffing matters too).

Please comment with a link to anything you write, or post directly in the comments. Thanks!
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 09:50
[CW: violence against women]

27 years ago today, 14 women were killed in an act of sickening violence at the École Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They were targeted for being women and for being engineers.

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

The man who murdered Bergeron, Colgan, Croteau, Daigneault, Edward, Haviernick, Laganière, Leclair, Lemay, Pelletier, Richard, St-Arneault, Turcotte, and Klucznik-Widajewicz said — before he killed himself — “I am fighting feminism”.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 15:04
Links are not unqualified endorsements, they are "I found this interesting, thought-provoking and/or worthwhile enough that I could not close the window before linking". In some cases, in the absence of titles I've used a line or something sufficient to remind me what they are.

snickfic: Why You Should Join Your Local Democrats

brendanmleonard: Just going to leave this here (Korematsu)

annleckie: You can still send letters

quantum-displacement: Anti-Trump Masterpost

Tweets from Jared Yates Sexton: When people start talking about Trump's "revolution", tell them he lost the popular vote

Tweets from Moshe Kasher: There's a fundamental misunderstanding of what these protests are about. No one believes they will effectively stop a Trump inauguration.

Tweets from Dan Olson: Here's the boring, pragmatic, bureaucratic nightmare instead

rockscanfly: The elections we refer to as Midterm Elections are held every four years, at the half-way point between presidential elections.

egregiousderp and others: To all of my friends out there and ESPECIALLY my trans friends, if you hadn’t done so now, PLEASE GET A PASSPORT.

Relevant link for the above: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/gender.html -- as long as you can get "a medical certification that indicates you are in the process of or have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition" (with NO REQUIREMENTS about what that treatment is or isn't, or any requirement to provide the details, just that it's "correct" for you), you can get a passport which then provides photo ID with your correct gender on it

Tweets from Tehlor Kay Mejia: It’s important to stay vigilant about the other transgressions going on with Trump, but examining this Hamilton thing isn’t frivolous.

leupagus: So you want to get #involved but are totally fuckin’ baffled: POLITICAL HOMEWORK FOR THE POLITICALLY DUMSQUIZZLED

Tweets from Elliott Lusztig: Hannah Arendt in her book The Origin of Totalitarianism provides a helpful guide for interpreting the language of fascists.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 10:06
I've been on and off work due to stress for the last month or so. For the last couple of weeks, I've been focusing a lot on self care and reducing stress. Yesterday was my first day of phased return to work with reduced hours and responsibilities, and it was a success, I'm going to work another 4 hours today and the plan is to try this 5 days a week until the xmas holidays then start ramping up in the new year.

I identified a while ago that posting here would be a nice way to get thoughts and feelings off my mind at a slower pace than Twitter and with a small audience of understanding people who I've known for a long time. However, there's been so much going on in my life that writing a first post with all the context for the rest just seemed too big and overwhelming. I decided that I'd try to write out the shortest possible 'elevator pitch' description of what's gone on, which has resulted, thanks to my tendency towards verbosity, in a reasonable length entry with a 'To Be Continued' ending...

Getting diagnosed with ADHD and thinking I had all the answers at last )

And then I went to BiCon, Nine Worlds and Autscape...
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 02:06
1. Today was really chilly and overcast, and sitting at my desk with my electric blanket on just made me sleepy and I didn't do anything for most of the morning and early afternoon, which was bumming me out because I really wanted to get a lot of translating done, but I had a total turn-around this evening and ended up translating a whole lot, including finishing up three chapters of various series.

2. I was really not feeling like making dinner, and was considering actually going out to get food, but I neither wanted to get dressed nor spend money (and none of the ordering-in options sounded appealing, either), so I ended up making dinner after all and it was delicious! I made fried rice, so now I have a bunch left for more dinners, too.

3. The kitties were so cute today. Just so incredibly cute. They were curled up together on the sofa all afternoon, and every time I went out there, they were still curled up together, but in a slightly different pose, so I got so many pics of them being sweetie cuddlers. :D

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 02:02
My brain has been acting up on me, and last night was not the greatest of nights. (I was, in fact, reminded of 1999.)

Then I went off to dinner with Purple, who gently observed that I seemed to be about half-speed, then held my hand while we complained about politics. He had a touching level of faith in the unwillingness of Indiana parents to not ask for their children to be tortured in the name of Getting Straight. And I provided some thoughts on the torture facilities euphemistically known as "wilderness survival camps" and their ilk.

And I got back home, and found that my sweetie's dating site profiles very cheerfully mention a primary partner. Me. I am touched beyond belief.

So a mixed bag, but getting better.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 08:45
For one week, the Center for Reproductive Rights has someone matching all donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000, specifically for their Roe Defense Fund:

Donate here.

(They're a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so foreign donations are fine.)
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 00:21
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

[personal profile] bethany_lauren asked what I'd like to do but haven't been able to. I'll try to qualify that with a "yet", but the truth of the matter is that I may never actually be able to do it.

I'd like to engage in international travel. Some part of it is just getting out of the country and broadening perspective. And that needs more than the ability to take a day trip into the city closest to the border.

Another part of it is to experience new food, culture, and art, among other things. I'd like to go about doing it not looking and sounding like the horrible ignorant American. I don't think I'll be able to avoid it, but I'd like to cut down on it as much as possible. Which hopefully means being able to go with others, or to have a local friend at my destination points who can show me both the tourist destinations and the places the locals go.

In addition to seeing people and sights in Europe, where I would have more than a few circle connections to make, one of the places I've really wanted to go is Japan. There's more than a little technofetishism involved there, to want to see the lights and the sounds, but also to make a pilgrimage of sorts to various shrines and sacred spaces away from the metropolitan areas. There's a want to see the fashion and the cultural neighborhoods and people expressing themselves in dress that doesn't happen here outside of very specific environments and places. There's a thing, possibly, about being the strange rather than the expected. About getting so far outside of my own environment so that I can actually see it properly.

And there's a desire to indulge in some unfettered childhood by going to places like the Ghibli museum, to admire the work and the willingness to let the work be touched by everyone. Maybe to take a look inside libraries open to the public and see what's going on somewhere else.

They're all pretty shallow reasons to want to go somewhere else - mostly to gawk and stare and indulge a little bit in somewhere else, and then come back home. To observe something else at work as an outsider and to take in someone else's expression of self as entertainment or without fully appreciating them for themselves and all the work and significance that went into it. It's probably a good reason not to go anywhere, at least not until I can manage to not go somewhere as a tourist. I can be strange, a person a head taller than anyone else, but the idea would be not to stick out or be a bad guest.

There's also the money thing. Which would take a lot of savings, debt reduction, and otherwise good fortune to be able to have enough surplus to make the trip. That's not happening any time soon.

So, until then, I'll keep it as a small flame somewhere.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 01:27
Few things make me question my commitment to pacifism faster than being serenaded at 1am by a neighborhood cat in heat.

At least I just solved a months-old DW support request mystery while lying awake in bed. So there's that.
Monday, December 5th, 2016 23:03
Bruce Cockburn, "The Trouble with Normal"


  • Trump’s lies have a purpose. They are an assault on democracy., by Ned Resnikoff for ThinkProgress (2016-11-27).
    "If Bush and Rove constructed a fantasy world with a clear internal logic, Trump has built something more like an endless bad dream. In his political universe, facts are unstable and ephemeral; events follow one after the other with no clear causal linkage; and danger is everywhere, although its source seems to change at random."

    "Bannon is a skilled practitioner of the “darkness” strategy, but he is not its inventor. The real Master of the Dark Arts is another Karl Rove equivalent: Vladislav Surkov, a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin."

    "... Surkov then let it be known that this was what he was doing, which meant that no one was sure what was real or fake. As one journalist put it: “It is a strategy of power that keeps any opposition constantly confused."

    “Trump gaslighted me,” Fields later told Terris for an article about the incident. “I worry now that he’s gaslighting the country.”

    "It is tempting to take solace in the belief that, if Trump cannot be taken literally, his extreme rhetoric might conceal a secret moderate streak. But that hope would be misplaced. Non-linear warfare is intrinsically authoritarian. The president-elect is speaking the language of dictators."

    “Surkov’s philosophy is that there is no real freedom in the world, and that all democracies are managed democracies, so the key to success is to influence people, to give them the illusion that they are free, whereas in fact they are managed,” writes Sakwa. “In his view, the only freedom is ‘artistic freedom.’”

    "First, social media companies need to be held accountable for facilitating the spread of misinformation. Men like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, through their greed and stupidity, have shepherded authoritarianism to power in the United States. By embracing a facile definition of “openness,” they’ve sought to reap the traffic benefits of right-wing propaganda while ignoring its disastrous social consequences....

    Second, journalists need to understand what Trump is doing and refuse to play by his rules. He is going to use the respect and deference typically accorded to the presidency as an instrument for spreading more lies.... That is the choice every news outlet faces for the next four years: Subservience and complicity, or open hostility. There is no middle ground."

    "For the next four years, Donald Trump will seek to shred any institution that threatens his ability to unilaterally determine what is real." [emphasis added]

    The politics of "do it for the lulz". It's like 4Chan collectively got itself elected president.
  • Why I don't like the term "AI", by Chris Martens (2016-12-05). 'But ultimately, it's not the first word in "AI" that bothers me, that makes me hesitant to adopt it as a field I identify with -- it's the second one, intelligence. My issue is not just that "intelligence" is poorly defined and hard to measure, but actually that it highlights everything I find culturally wrong with computer science as a field: a false dichotomy and prioritization of the "smart" over the "dumb", the "rational" over the "emotional", and a supposition that these qualities are immutable and acontextual.' (Full disclosure: I'm quoted in this blog post.)
  • Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it, by George Monbiot for the Guardian (2016-11-30). "As usual, the left and centre (myself included) are beating ourselves up about where we went wrong. There are plenty of answers, but one of them is that we have simply been outspent. Not by a little, but by orders of magnitude. A few billion dollars spent on persuasion buys you all the politics you want. Genuine campaigners, working in their free time, simply cannot match a professional network staffed by thousands of well-paid, unscrupulous people." (n.b. I think any analysis that only considers the role of money in politics without considering the role of racism in politics is incomplete.)
  • ‘Don’t play identity politics!’ The primal scream of the straight white male, by Hadley Freeman for the Guardian (2016-12-02). "It boggles my brain that this even needs pointing out: political elections have always played identity politics. The difference is that the game was heretofore entirely weighted towards the white straight male, which I guess is why it comes as such a shock to that demographic when they are not at the absolute forefront of every single political discussion now."

Political science

  • [CW: neo-Nazi propaganda quoted in a critical context] "Fascism is not to be debated, it is to be smashed", by [tumblr.com profile] smarmygryffindor (2016-12-05) "this is why i say not to argue with fascists, at least, not seriously. if you do, argue with them calmly at first and post sources and all that shit to prove that you’ve got facts and reasoning on your side for the sake of others who will read it, and under no circumstances let them piss you off or upset you. then, once you’ve made your point well enough, just start fucking with them back. don’t make the mistake of thinking arguing with fascists is a debate; it’s all for show, all about who can make the other one look worse. so it’s vital that you point out how fucking inane their talking points are, yes, but it’s also vital that you let them (and everyone else) know that you Are Not Taking Them Seriously. Because you shouldn’t, no one should. You don’t have to prove that human beings deserve rights and racism is wrong."
  • [CW: domestic violence, graphic violence against women, anti-Black slurs, queer eliminationism] Trump's Cabinet, by [tumblr.com profile] quantum-displacement (2016-11-19). The juxtaposition of the list of necessary content warnings and the title says it all, doesn't it?
  • Trump, Cabinet could avoid millions in taxes thanks to this little-known law, by Drew Harwell for the Washington Post (2016-12-02). It's important to maintain our sense of outrage at Trump's unprecedented level of corruption -- that will be key to surviving kleptocracy.
  • Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President, by Richard C. Paddock, Eric Lipton, Ellen Barry, Rod Nordland, Danny Hakim and Simon Romero for the New York Times (2016-11-26). Likewise.
  • Shy Person’s Guide to Calling Representatives, by [tumblr.com profile] actionfriday (2016-11-18).
  • What is the social purpose of David Brooks?, by grapesmoker (2016-12-03). "His sociology is risible, and his lack of self-awareness is legendary; this is, after all, the man who unironically taught a class at Yale on the subject of humility and assigned them his own columns."


  • Men Dump Their Anger Into Women, by Emma Lindsay (2016-11-29):
    "So many men I know are unable to live a happy life when they don’t have a woman who stops them from feeling the negative feelings that accompany their poor life decisions. It’s notable that they often do not stop making these poor life decisions."

    "Why do angry men deserve sex and I don’t? Why do angry men get women devoted to their emotional caretaking?"

    "...we raise men to be angry by default."

    "I’ve noticed that when I am forced to endure male culture too long (say, working as a programmer) I also start having trouble identifying my own emotions."

    "The only men I know who go to therapy are either gay or in a very bad place. Straight men don’t go to therapy for a tune up, like I do, or many of my female friends do. "

    "Most men in my social circle manage their emotions with alcohol, drugs, work, women, or some combination of the above."

    (I'd add only that Lindsay's comments about how men are raised do not apply only to men who were assigned male at birth, and only apply to men.)
  • Lawyers: New court software is so awful it’s getting people wrongly arrested, by Cyrus Farivar for Ars Technica (2016-12-02). Another one about software, license agreements, economic incentives, and moral responsibility. "All lives matter, especially those who are being wrongfully put behind bars due to computer problems."

    The article asks: "How do you blame software?" I don't think this is actually a complicated question. How do you blame a bridge? You blame the people who make it (and -- maybe more so -- the people who profit from the labor of those who make it.) It's time for everyone to hold the software industry liable for professional negligence.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 00:58
Your friends keep telling you that you have a lot of love. You are an intense, passionate person. You love hard, and even you know this. But throwing your love down a well is wasting yourself.

A told you tonight that you deserve someone who actually likes you to also love you. Do you believe her? You trust this woman quite a lot. You should believe her. R told you that you just need to actually hear affection from the people you fall for...because you keep falling for people who have no affection for you. Do you believe her? Because you also trust her with your deepest self.

You've spent the day/evening telling C and K about how unlovable you feel. You've unspooled it so many times that you are starting to actually buy your own damn story, not just feeling unlovable but believing you are unlovable. Maybe, just maybe, you are not unlovable. (Also, K is wrong and a little bit dumb to say that you are hard to love. That was rude. She should stop that.)

Even if you are hard to love, you are this little ball of very human gifts and treasures.

Maybe you should trust your friends and stop buying the lowest common denominator. It turns out that they actually like you, which is more than we can say about the people you date.

Monday, December 5th, 2016 21:24
Doing more access/subscription clean-up, but very sluggishly. If I added a journal of yours that's defunct or otherwise outdated, please notify me? (If you feel comfortable, obvsly -- comments are screened)

Move to new flat is in its late phase, I hope to be available again soon-ish. If it goes well, I'll update again in December. If not, then I'll see you in January 2017!

For people who have my old address: I'm moving to a different district so I'll have to rent a new P.O. box. The new address will appear on the profile page eventually. Until then, please do NOT send me any snail mail! Thanks <3

P.S. the saga of my knee is NOT over, but it's more like an annoying sequel than an actual blockbuster of pain. I'm only mentioning it because I'm grumpy that it's still acting up. Grr!
Monday, December 5th, 2016 01:50
1. Had another long day at work and ended up staying until closing because someone called out sick, but I did get everything done that needed to (urgently) get done, including the timecard stuff, so yay. And now tomorrow I can just relax and enjoy my day off.

2. There was a bunch of packing paper in the boxes that came yeterday, that kind that's all one long roll of crumpled brown paper. I left a huge pile of it out in the living room for the kitties and they have been having so much fun playing in it.

3. I have this small electric blanket that my mom got me for Christmas several years ago and at first I was like, man, I don't think I'm really going to use an electric blanket, but it turned out it was perfect for using at my desk. I've been getting a lot of use out of it the past few days.

4. I managed to snap a shot of Molly just as she was opening her mouth to take a bite of the recycling bag.

Sunday, December 4th, 2016 22:32
I visited the shrine and asked for peace.
I visited the shrine and pleaded for strength.
I visited the shrine and offered anything to know how to do it.

And of course the price is always higher than blood when what you want is in your blood and your heart and your veins. The price of peace and strength is living through the extraction.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 21:02
Well, the past month has been grim but I'm somehow holding on to sanity. That's been my major focus. I've had more anxiety and depression symptoms, my sleep patterns are fucked, my job search has dropped off significantly, but I'm holding on with grim determination and kittens. And a well-timed visit from [personal profile] commodorified.

I joined my union's Social Committee last spring because I think my workplace needs more opportunities for people to talk and laugh and spill their woes in more than moments snatched from work. We finally got a lot of people out to an event this week, hosting a holiday party at a local cafe--more than half the shelter's employees came out. That was promising, as was a union meeting with a newer, more capable rep from the national union and some definite action items. For one, we're making official protests about scheduling mistakes, overwork, and lack of coverage.

However, the Executive Director who hates the union just happened to have a coffee date for three hours in the cafe where the Union party was being held. So she smiled brightly and waved to everyone who came in. The entire time. When we've made previous requests for management to stay away from Union functions.

Even if it wasn't meant to be a display of intimidation and contempt, it felt deeply childish of her.

In case I can't get out of the shelter soon enough (ie. yesterday) I've put in a request to stop working my current shift beginning the first week of January. Even if I can't get away from the shelter at large, I can get away from my scatterbrained evangelical co-worker.

Check Please! fandom continues delightful and rewarding for me on a personal level. I struggle immensely to write longfic, but I get good responses and engagement from the kinds of things I am capable of tossing off. Yuri on Ice, meanwhile, is that new kid who's really funny and intriguing but you don't know if they're actually worth spending that much time with--to wit, it might still be queerbaiting, and I haven't found much good fic.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 19:46
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

In case you were wondering, this is the life cycle of materials for many library systems. It doesn't quite have as much visual imagery as your nature documentary, but it is hopefully interesting.

Materials start with a purchase order or decision from the librarian in charge of the collection the materials will end up in. In larger libraries, these selection duties may be divided up among multiple librarians. In smaller libraries and in school libraries, selection is often the provenance of one person and their often-underfunded budget. The selector has to be pretty widely read on which materials their community would want to have in their library. The exponential growth of publishing, both online and in print, makes total knowledge a near impossibility, and the people that suffer the most are usually independent presses and publishers and authors, because their works do not always appear in the review publications used as a time-saver, and because those places are also not often in the databases of the large companies that help libraries do the work of buying and preparing their materials.

Each item that has been selected, once bought, will need to have an appropriate record created for it in the library's catalog. Original cataloging these days is mostly farmed out to companies like OCLC, and records (almost always in the MAchine Readable Cataloging format (MARC)) are purchased from them so that there can be mass importation of the new items into the catalog, once each item has the unique barcode attached. So, items bought from distributors, records bought from the same. Each item will need to be prepared with a spine label indicating the call number for the item, any additional information, like genre, attached to the spine, and then a barcode attached. This work is often done by hand, which can sometimes serve as a first quality check on the materials.

Once cataloged and prepared, items can be circulated, and are usually distributed first to fill requests made by users for the item when there was a record, but no items. After the initial flurry of requests, items eventually settle into the locations where they have been assigned, to be requested and sent around or checked it at their leisure. It's usually at this step - checking in for requests and the shelves - that I actually see materials in my branch. More often than not, new things go to a particular shelf or display to try and catch the eye of novelty-seekers for a quick checkout, or they join a thematic display to catch the eye of someone interested in a particular thing. After they've spent time as the new hotness, most material then settles down for the rest of its life in the proper place on the regular shelves, arranged on the order prescribed for its material type. Popular things get checked out repeatedly, sometimes not having a lot of time on the shelf before going out again, at least while they remain popular.

Some of our materials suffer wounds from usage, both intended and not, at this stage. Some things can be patched, other damage isn't enough to pull the object, and some of our materials remain popular enough that the sheer volume of usage ages and harms them. More than a few of the initial run of any given title suffer fatal damage, whether all at once or over time. Some of the genius involved in selection is knowing how much attrition there will be and allowing it to happen such that the amount of copies that are left after the wave is exactly the right amount that was desired for the long-term.

Those that are not sacrificed at the maw of the public in their desire are then subjected to the back side of the life cycle of the material - deaccession, or more informally, weeding. Every library has a limited space available for its materials. Only, perhaps, the Library of Congress would have sufficient space and mandate to house every work produced. To make room for the new things that will be coming, old things and unpopular things must make way. Not everything that is old or unpopular will be sent off - the "classics" are often spared such a fate, until a new edition with a different cover arrives as an attempt to be attractive to the current audience. Items with relevance and information that is unlikely to change may be kept on for years, even if they only go out on school assignment times. But the majority of things will eventually fade away from popularity, and will not turn out to be classic works, and ask they will effectually be caught in the weeding process and removed from the shelves. Depending on the policy and the material type, some things are recycled, others are sent onward to a Friends of the Library sale, and still others are sent to a surplus warehouse, where they are often resold on Amazon or other websites and eventually become part of someone else's collection until their eventual inability to be used any more.

Sometimes certain books get reordered for another to in a new copy, but for some books, that stint is the only time they will sit on a library shelf. The constant pressure of new materials always beckons and demands that only that which is either really good or really popular stay.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 19:19
Previously unread.

This is the second book in Novik's Temeraire series and it continues strong. Our intrepid hero, Laurence, is in a foul mood as the book starts, having been forcibly separated from Temeraire, due to a, ahem, little diplomatic snafu with the Chinese imperial court. And this is massively problematic, as a lot of the British Empire's economy rests on having somewhat open trade there.

The Emperor of China is demanding the return of the Celestial dragon and, not entirely surprising, neither Temeraire nor Laurence are very well pleased with this idea.

Then, lots of stuff happens.

I'm still liking this series and I think on the balance I like this one better than #1.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 19:19
Book list )

Seven books. Maybe that should be "only seven books?". Linear extrapolation to year's end says 98 books. This is probably a reaslitsic, although possibly low estimate. It's likely to be within 5% of the right value, at least.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 19:09
Previously unread.

This is the third of Saunders' Commonweal books. Judging from contents, it takes place a year or two after the end of the last book (or I have a crapy short-term memory, this is entirely possible). We follow our magical apprentices through a series of happenings. The viewpoint character changes throughout the book, pretty much every chapter change also has a viewpoint change. Our different POV characters have different voices, at least to some extent, but I would not try to pinpoint the speaking character (apart from one, which is super-easy to tell) purely from a snippet of text.

All in all, eminently readable.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 17:07
So, I apologize in advance - this post will be of limited interest to people who don't speak Russian.

Mostly, I just spent most of the weekend self medicating with this musical artist I LOVE and have loved deeply for years, and catching up on his new material, and this post is basically a collection of my favorite things of his (basically EVERYTHING) and a primer for Russian speakers who may not be aware of him. There's also stuff for English speakers! But ultimately the videos are in Russian.

Valentin Strikalo present )
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 02:01
1. It was super busy at work today, plus we were short some people, so I ended up staying until closing and basically running around all day stocking stuff and not getting anything else done. :p However, the thing I had been planning on doing today, correcting people's missed timeclock punches for the end of the pay period, is not due until Monday morning, so I should be able to get that finished up tomorrow instead. (And if worst comes to worst, I actually can access the timeclock software from home, so I could even do it tomorrow night after work.)

2. I had a big bowl of ramen for dinner and that was the perfect thing on a chilly night.

3. The stuff Carla shipped back from her folks' all arrived safely today (including a glass bird statue that has a lot of sentimental value and would be irreplaceable).

4. The cats were super noisy and hyper this morning, but I managed to ignore them after I fed them and went back to sleep for several hours. (And then when I woke up again, they were curled up in the bed next to me so angelically.)

And here's an angelic Chloe napping the other day:

Sunday, December 4th, 2016 00:07
The first weekend of December is always busy, but this one was busier than most. It started Friday night with a fun holiday symphony concert downtown with my mom. The second half of the program featured a live soundtrack performance accompanying the film The Snowman, which was amazing.

For the past three years, our church music director has asked us to perform for the holiday open house at a downtown landmark on the first Saturday, so our recorder consort dressed up and played carols for 45 minutes. Then we grabbed lunch and picked up the kids just in time for their weekend swim lesson, which was more exciting than usual because about 40 minutes into our hour, someone pulled the fire alarm and we had to evacuate the building.

After that, I got Robby to drop me off at H&P's house. Heather's birthday is in a few days and she decided she wanted to go see The Secret Life of Pets at the dollar theatre, so that's what we did. It wasn't a great movie, but it had its funny moments.

Since I needed a ride home, I ended up staying at H&P's house after the movie longer than I intended, and forgot to take an allergy pill today. Heather gave me a Zyrtec, so I'll probably sleep 12 hours tomorrow. But first, I have to get through a busy Advent service and yet another afternoon concert performance that we're usually asked to help out with on the first Sunday of December.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016 00:11
Anyone who tells me I don't have a dating type is obviously misguided because hoo boy, do I ever.

I've caught up with two high school boyfriends (yes, those existed) this year; and sometimes, I can't distinguish between the two because their tone and conversational style is so similar. This is to say nothing of the sort of queers I am into, all of which fall in a particular mold.

And when I say "caught up with" I certainly don't mean "hooked up with." That is a bridge too far, even for me.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 20:25
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

The title is part of how I would translate the special skills of librarianship into some sort of role-playing game.

Also known as "the librarian is a freaking expert, listen to them." Not just because every full-qualifications librarian has at least two degrees, but the average librarian has seen and responded to queries that are weirder than what you would think of as weird. Yes, weirder than that. Yes, that too.

[personal profile] jenett has a tag that indicates the true nature of the librarian, a nature that only Night Vale has come close to scratching the surface of - Secret Masters of the Universe. (No relation, as best I can tell, to the cartoon starring Prince Adam, nor to the fanfiction that would eventually become Fifty Shades of Grey.) Libraries and archives and museums are the outward manifestations of our abilities, but the real magic is in the people themselves.

In the era of big data aggregating everything it can about you so as to more effectively predict your behavior, usually as a consumer, but also as an activist, political figure, or person of interest, it seems like machine learning and algorithm can create a profile of you that knows you far too well for your own liking. Those systems fail, of course, on a regular basis by suggesting inappropriate things, or by placing you on a list that restricts your movement without your knowledge or without the ability to appeal. Or, more chillingly, it cheerily exposes secrets of yours without your consent or knowledge, often by data breach. Your public library may be one of the few places where you can talk to humans about preferences and be assured that they will not be fed into some sort of corporate or governmental database. We keep a minimal amount of requestable records at all times.

Beyond that, librarians are skilled at human-computer interactions, which allow us to leverage a bevy of tools and materials to assist you in your information requests, and with much less risk of running into fake news, unsubstantiated rumor, opinion masquerading as fact, and paywalls as one might with general Internet access. Undergirding data at large are classification systems, indexes, catalogs, taxonomies, and finding aids. Metadata webs, triples, annotations, and other ways of making meaning out of the sea of possibilities. We know about them, and therefore can use them to produce what you are looking for, often at higher quality and speed than you will spend looking for it yourself. And we're willing to teach you how it's all done, if you like.

And that's before we get into the part where we're often better than the algorithms about what kinds of materials you might enjoy after you finish your current crop.

And there's also the programming, where we're giving teenagers space to grow into themselves and pursue their interests, telling students that it's okay to crush gender stereotype, or to tell gender to go get fucked.

And there's also the part where librarians are likely responsible for helping you get to literacy, through evidence-based Story Times and other options that teach language, script, and other important aspects of communication to the very smallest.

And in between all of those things, we also check out, buy, maintain, and refresh our collections to make sure they're appealing and relevant.

Librarians are experts at so many things that are invisible infrastructure. Cross them, or remove them, at the peril of seeing how much they actually did for your community.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 20:13
*Signal-boosting with permission, this brilliant offer from [personal profile] rosefox:

I'm offering free training over Skype for anyone who wants to learn how to effectively call their elected representatives and ask them to support bills or otherwise take useful action. If you're interested, PM me. Feel free to let others know about this offer; it's available indefinitely.

*More fashion for the apocalypse: ThinkProgress's "Resist" t-shirt raises money for their "Trump investigative fund".

*[personal profile] swan_tower is starting a tikkun olam-inspired thread on the 1st of each month,on DW and on LJ at [livejournal.com profile] swan_tower, where people can talk about what they're doing to help repair the world (and yes, I think it can be helpful and inspiring to see what others are doing).

*Via [personal profile] sovay: Kellogg's have pulled their advertising from Breitbart, and Breitbart are outraged, evidently because they HATE CAPITALISM AND FREEDOM and don't want large companies to be free to spend their ad budgets how they want in order to maximize their sales. Why do you HATE FREEDOM, Breitbart?

The current editor-in-chief is quoted as follows:

“Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice,” he added. “If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.”

This is evidence that they either have no sense of irony at all, or too much of it, in that vacuous way: "we'll say they're being prejudiced and bigoted towards our prejudice and bigotry, tee hee, and then their little liberal brains will have to explode!"

Yes, I discriminate against white supremacists. Deal with it, fuckers.

(Worth dropping Kelloggs some messages of support, maybe, as they're getting the full Gamergate masses unleashed against them.)

*The Hamilton Mixtape has dropped. This is not irrelevant. We need art and we need fight music and Hamilton is and remains an inspired and tactically-brilliant claiming of the myth of America as belonging profoundly to immigrants, black and brown people.

As well as the aforementioned "Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)", notables for me at the moment include Dessa covering "Congratulations" (a song Angelica had when the show was first staged, cut when it went to Broadway -- and I can see the dramatic reasons for cutting it, but it's great and a great cover), "Wrote My Way Out" with Nas, Dave East, Aloe Blacc and one Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the demo of "Valley Forge" (part of which turned into part of "Stay Alive"), which feels spookily apposite. Congress, I beg of you, justify your existence.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 01:32
1. I stopped at the store on the way home tonight, totally not planning to buy anything for dinner, since I already had something at home, but I happened to walk past the Marie Calendar's chicken pot pies and they looked so good and it's been ages since I had one, so I got it and it was the best dinner and now I wish I'd gotten more (except the freezer is jam-packed again and there's no room for them anyway).

2. I did a bunch of translating this evening. Feeling pretty good about that.

3. Work was hectic this morning, but I managed to come home pretty much on time.

4. Since I work weekends, I don't have that "yay Friday" feeling many people with more traditional work weeks have, but my weekend days are late days, and then I have Mondays off, so I do always feel a little bit "yay Friday" because it means I have three days in a row where I don't have to set my alarm.

5. Snuggly Molly.

Friday, December 2nd, 2016 16:03
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about games as practice for schoolwork and other such things. Most 'edutainment" games are correctly excoriated for failing to be fun as well as informative.

Thankfully, the games I get to talk about now make no pretense of being informative or educational. And at least one of them actively mocked the idea of educational games.

Before diving into my history of video games, I'm staying in the present for a bit. Board and card games of today tends to be running in the direction of the Euro-style game, where strategy and slightly complex rules are the defining characteristics of the game. There are a lot of great ones in this vein, like Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Galaxy Trucker. They're entertaining to play and they have a sort of minimal story holding them together.

There's also been a rise in social and storytelling games recently, and outside the storied genre of the pen and paper or computer-assisted role playing game, which has been reliant on good storytellers (some of which even acknowledge this by calling their managerial roles Storytellers) for as long as they have been publishing modules and magazines. Social games have been around for a while, but Apples to Apples (and its significantly harsher cousin, Cards Against Humanity) are both games that encourage lobbying, social engineering, and exploiting personal knowledge of the players to get ahead (and have a laugh). That's not any different if you're a Mafia/Werewolf player, but it's a leak out from the LARP-ish area. Which brings me to Dixit, which takes this idea of storytelling and personal knowledge to the logical conclusion, asking players to choose artistic scenes based on a phrase spoken by one of the other players. But, like any good story, it can't be too obvious or too inaccessible - the way to get ahead in Dixit is for almost everyone to choose correctly. The story has to have more than one meaning.

The idea of games as storytelling exercises is, for me, likely a consequence of having grown up in the era of adventure games, first with text parsers, then graphical environments. It would be no small surprise to find that most of my childhood shelves were stocked with the offerings of Sierra, Dynamix, and LucasArts games, each offering interesting characters, comedic and serious moments, and either death at every step or many comedic ways to have things fail without killing the character. Save early, save often. The irreverent commentary and sly SF jokes of the Space Quest series vibrated with the more high fantasy of the King's Quest and Quest for Glory series, where jokes were actually waiting just underneath the surface. These games made the more surreal puzzle offerings of Gobliiins or the childhood adventures of Willy Beamish easier to work with, culminating in stories like the adventures of Laura Bow, Betrayal at Krondor and Betrayal in Antara going for serious, Torin's Passage a bit more lighthearted (and Freddy Pharkas a complete send-up of the Wild West story), and then resulted in putting their stamp on Half-Life, which took everything learned from those previous game ideas and put them into a story told entirely from the first person perspective, with no cutaways, cutscenes, or shifts. It was a crowning work, and came basically after the adventure game genre was thought dead.

It never died, but it certainly did transmute. Because adventure games are primarily about telling a story, and so many people thought that a story by itself cannot carry a game, and that it needs mechanics and gimmicks to go along with it. I think we might have finally gotten back to realizing why we play games in the first place - to immerse ourselves in another world, whether that's just to shoot zeds, to explore the past by examining its evidence, or to follow someone through their own memory and experience, listening as they tell us their own stories.

So, if you asked me what my favorite game was, I'd probably just give you a list of two of recommendations based on what you wanted to get out of the game. If I have favorites, it's because of certain things in them. And possibly, because of the stories they tell.
Friday, December 2nd, 2016 11:23
The downside of having a laptop with a 128GB SSD is that things can fill up quickly if I don't keep an eye on them. Earlier this week I installed Parallels Desktop, and the Ubuntu virtual machine I created took up 9GB of space, which put me dangerously close to the 90% threshold. So I did a disk space audit (using the nifty DaisyDisk).

I found the El Capitan upgrade installer that I cached before Mac OS Sierra was released, which took up 6GB. I moved that to a thumb drive. (Still running Yosemite, because if it ain't broke...)

I also discovered an 8.5GB cache of Apple Music files from streaming music. Deleting those got me back down to 76% disk usage.

Also taking up significant disk space but not deleted: my HD copy of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (6 GB) and my Steam copy of LEGO Marvel Superheroes (6 GB). Because what if I got stranded somewhere with only my laptop and no internet? :)

The other thing I thought about deleting but didn't was the XCode.app which is almost 5GB. That will probably be the next thing to go if I start running out of space again, because realistically I'm probably never going to create a GUI app if I spend all my time on web apps and command-line scripts.
Friday, December 2nd, 2016 08:28
Now that the big DW maintenance event is over and I've gotten my first solid night's sleep in a week, I can start thinking about other things, such as: the holiday movie season!

I did pretty well in November, seeing 3/4 of the films I wanted to see that came out that month, but the next six weeks are going to be something of an avalanche, so I'm going to make a list here ordering them by release date and highlighting the ones I want to make sure I see in the theater, as opposed to waiting for the DVD release.

- Moana (out now) - getting great reviews, family friendly, but not a must-see.

- La La Land (12/9) - looks amazing and I love musicals, but not a must-see.

- Collateral Beauty (12/16) - love the actors and I cry every time I see the trailer, but not a must-see.

- ROGUE ONE (12/16) - I will see it at least twice in the theater because Star Wars. But probably not until 12/17, because 12/16 is our symphony chorus performance.

- Assassin's Creed (12/21) - I haven't played any of the games yet, but my friends want to see it and I will probably go along.

- The Space Between Us (12/21) - I've been seeing the previews for this for so long, I thought it was on DVD already, but I do want to catch it at some point.

- Sing (12/21) - this is a borderline must-see and probably will-see, because it is animated and includes singing.

- PASSENGERS (12/21) - Chris Pratt & Jen Lawrence in spaaaaaaace, hi have you met me?

- A Monster Calls (1/6) - I've been holding off reading the book because I want to see the movie unspoiled, but it looks like the sort of children's story I love. (See also Pete's Dragon & The BFG, from earlier this year.) And I know Patrick Ness is great, so I have high hopes.
Friday, December 2nd, 2016 02:04
1. I got out and did some errands today even though I really just wanted to stay home.

2. I got a ton of translating done. Very happy about that.

3. It's so windy tonight. I love it!

4. Chloe toes.

Friday, December 2nd, 2016 01:12
Mark Shuttleworth just blogged about their stance against unofficial Ubuntu images. The assertion is that a cloud hoster is providing unofficial and modified Ubuntu images, and that these images are meaningfully different from upstream Ubuntu in terms of their functionality and security. Users are attempting to make use of these images, are finding that they don't work properly and are assuming that Ubuntu is a shoddy product. This is an entirely legitimate concern, and if Canonical are acting to reduce user confusion then they should be commended for that.

The appropriate means to handle this kind of issue is trademark law. If someone claims that something is Ubuntu when it isn't, that's probably an infringement of the trademark and it's entirely reasonable for the trademark owner to take action to protect the value associated with their trademark. But Canonical's IP policy goes much further than that - it can be interpreted as meaning[1] that you can't distribute works based on Ubuntu without paying Canonical for the privilege, even if you call it something other than Ubuntu.

This remains incompatible with the principles of free software. The freedom to take someone else's work and redistribute it is a vital part of the four freedoms. It's legitimate for Canonical to insist that you not pass it off as their work when doing so, but their IP policy continues to insist that you remove all references to Canonical's trademarks even if their use would not infringe trademark law.

If you ask a copyright holder if you can give a copy of their work to someone else (assuming it doesn't infringe trademark law), and they say no or insist you need an additional contract, it's not free software. If they insist that you recompile source code before you can give copies to someone else, it's not free software. Asking that you remove trademarks that would otherwise infringe trademark law is fine, but if you can't use their trademarks in non-infringing ways, that's still not free software.

Canonical's IP policy continues to impose restrictions on all of these things, and therefore Ubuntu is not free software.

[1] And by "interpreted as meaning" I mean that's what it says and Canonical refuse to say otherwise
Thursday, December 1st, 2016 16:17
...with a pic of the ladies on the bed.

Cats! )
Thursday, December 1st, 2016 13:22
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Board and card games have been a part of my life since the very beginning of memory. Computer games followed shortly after, but the requisite manual dexterity to move and push buttons at the same time would come later on in life, as would the necessary keyboard and mouse skills. We'll get back to that in a bit.

I don't remember much of games like Candy Land or other toddler games. Presumably, they got played all the same, but memory for me tends to start around five or six years of age, and I already know that at those times, I was intellectually ahead of my social development. Early games in memory, then, are games like Sorry!, which have relatively complicated rules about movement of pieces, and a little dose of strategic thinking, once more than one of your pieces is on the board at any given time. That game could also be a good one for a card counter to start learning on, if they were so inclined.

The random element of Sorry! may have been a little too much for me, even though it got played a lot. Perhaps because the large numbers encourage counting in multiple, but also that there's a card that requires you to count backward and one that lets you split the number among as many pieces as you can move, so there's a little bit of addition and subtraction practice there, too.

Cribbage is also a favored card game in the family. Not just because of the low numbers it takes to play, but also because there's maths practice there, counting, adding, keeping a running total in your head, finding lots of creative ways to add up to 15.

Pinochle and Wizard help with bidding and tricks and trumps games, as well as figuring out how to keep a handful of cards all together. Hearts is there for when you want to get gently annoyed with each other for a bit and really practice your card counting.

I mention the math practice a lot because in games that involved a bank, like Payday or Life (not Conway's Game of Life), it always fell to a child to take on the role of the banker. The older children were wise to this, and happily deferred to the younger children on the matter. A child doesn't necessarily realize it, but playing games of this sort provides plenty of maths opportunities that won't occur in schools. (Payday, for example, uses simple interest as a core mechanic for building score.)

Surprisingly, we're not a Scrabble family, not really. Our linguistic pursuits tended to Boggle, so that we could show off the variety of language we had, rather than being constrained by point values and grid placements. Or spot-the-object games, where being able to describe objects by alternate names could often net useful points.

We don't play Cluedo with Dad any more, not since he was able to successfully win on one room, with one or two cards shown him.

I'm not entirely sure where the divide between "games are fun to play with children" and "look at all the lovely practice kids get" was for my parents, but considering how much they discouraged the use of computer and video gaming in favor of other activities, I suspect the weight falls a little bit more on the practice side. At least for the early years.

Right now, the library does occasional programs meant to help young people with their reading and math skills, and the specifically math-focused games always seem dry to me. We get to play a fractions game by building pizza pies. This game has a mechanic where you roll two number dice and an addition of subtraction symbol, along with an endless loop that you have to get out of by reaching the exit exactly. They're serviceable, certainly, but I've always felt that things that are supposed to be games should be enjoyable first and educational later.

Which brings us to Math Blaster. Which I enjoyed playing its early days incarnation, with an alien running back and forth between rockets, where you had to stop them at the one that would launch into the correct solution. And the incarnations of the Carmen Sandiego series (of which World was the only one I could finish - after a while, the time constraints on USA and Time started to get ridiculous to me, expecting me to chart a path where I only needed one clue to get to the next destination, but also to consistently pick the interview that would provide details about the suspect so that I could eventually collect the warrant necessary.) And an okay game called Headline Harry, where the player was a cross-time newspaper reporter collecting the facts and key words on an important historical event - but on a deadline against a tabloid that would distort the events if they made it to print first. (You had to figure out what time period you were in amongst a couple of possible stories and then input the correct people, places, and so forth.) At the time, all of these games came with a reference work that was supposed to be instrumental to your success in helping you decrypt the clues and go forward.

My absolute favorite of the bunch of those sorts of games are the Dr. Brain series. Puzzle-solving at its finest, with adjustable difficulty, no less, across a wide range of disciplines from art and music to logic, programming, and cryptography. Sadly, with the general demise of the Sierra brand, Dr. Brain hasn't been around for a couple decades.

So there was plenty of "edutainment" in my early computer gaming as well. I'm not surprised that I went into school pretty confident that I could handle whatever it threw at me, at least in terms of the schoolwork.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016 12:37
As a holiday/end of the year celebration, I'm going to be putting out as many chapters of various series as I (and any collaborators) can manage, and to start the month off, I've got another new chapter of Musume no Iede!

Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 4 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: As with so many Shimura Takako series, the cast just keeps growing and growing, and this chapter focuses on Haruna, the older sister of last chapter's new charater, Miyu.

Chapter 12: Jenny's in a Bad Mood

And since that finishes off volume two, here's a full volume download for those who want it.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016 10:35
So, here we are.

What magic have we wrought? What pain and suffering shall commence from the decisions made heretofore? We know not now but must instead rely on that most vainglorious of companions: the Future.

For what the Future holds she shall not say and instead shall reveal it in her own time.

Mercy go with us all.