jesse_the_k: Macro photo of my Blue Heeler Lucy's deep brown left eye (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Sue Smith, Independent Scholar, writes

I am proposing a disability and science fiction panel for the
Centre of Culture and Disability Studies
Liverpool Hope University (UK)
Disability and Disciplines: The International Conference on
Educational, Cultural, and Disability Studies
5-6 July 2017.

The conference is looking for work that is interdisciplinary in nature. For example, I am putting forward a paper proposal that draws upon a range of disciplines that intersect Disability with Cosplay, Feminism, Psychoanalysis and Film Studies in order to examine a particular fan’s response to the female character, Imperator Furiosa, from the recent film, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Similarly, I would be interested in papers that intersect with other disciplines in their examination of disability and science fiction.

Please feel free to get in touch informally in order to discuss suggestions
sua.smith@ntlworld.com

More on the conference as a whole
http://ccds.hope.ac.uk/ourconference.html

Known Issues Update 12/2

Dec. 2nd, 2016 10:21 am
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
  • The site may occasionally be slow to respond or have trouble connecting as we tune servers and databases, or you may receive Gateway Timeout errors.

  • Comment notification emails may be delayed due to database load.

  • Inbound email (post-by-email and comment-by-email) may be delayed for a bit while your outgoing mail server catches up with the switch.

  • Email sent to your username@dreamwidth.org address may be more likely to be marked as spam, due to our mail server changing its IP address.

  • The site search database may be missing entries and comments and will catch up over the next few days, as database load allows. Entries and comments posted since the site came back up will be added to the index as they're posted.

  • Logging into other sites using your Dreamwidth OpenID is working again! Yay!

  • Loading embedded content over secure connections should be fixed!

  • There is a known problem with trying to rearrange elements on the Beta Update page because a script element isn't loading properly. We'll try to get that fixed today.


Let us know if you see anything else odd with the site that isn't listed here!

(no subject)

Dec. 1st, 2016 12:14 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We have now cut over to our new hardware! If you can see this, the site should be working for you.

Things you don't need to tell us about:

* The site may look a little weird or naked for a while as your computer/network/ISP/etc catches up with the switch.
* Comment notification emails should be going out properly, but inbound email (post-by-email and comment-by-email) may be delayed for a bit while your outgoing mail server catches up with the switch.
* The site search database is a few days out of date (missing entries from the past two days) and will catch up over the next few days. Entries and comments posted since the site came back up will be added to the index when they're posted.

Known issues:

* Accessing the site will be slow for a while as the caches warm back up, and you may receive Gateway Timeout errors.
* Due to the occasional database connection problem due to high load and site slowness earlier, some comments did not generate emailed notifications and those notifications can't be re-sent. New comments made since we resolved the DB problems are generating email notifications, but slowly (due to the general database slowness).
* Logging in to other sites using your Dreamwidth OpenID is broken (& we'll fix it as soon as we can!)

Let us know if you see anything else weird!

(no subject)

Dec. 1st, 2016 09:17 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are now within our maintenance window for today. The site will go into read-only mode when we're ready to begin the maintenance, and will be unavailable for at least most of the morning. Watch our Twitter status account for updates!

Reminder: Downtime tomorrow

Nov. 30th, 2016 10:06 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
A reminder: the site will be down/in read-only mode tomorrow for server maintenance for at least a little while. (Some people may also have trouble accessing the site even after it comes back up, depending on your network/computer/ISP settings.) We're beginning the maintenance window at 10AM EST/7AM PST/11PM UTC, and to be on the safe side, we're setting a window of 8 hours for possible downtime. It probably won't take that long, but there's also a (very small) chance it may take longer! We'll keep you updated on any changes with our off-site status Twitter account.
tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
[personal profile] tim
[CW: suicide]

Elizabeth Waite was a trans woman who committed suicide last week. I did not know Elizabeth, but several of my friends did. In an article for the Daily Beast, Ben Collins described what happened after she died (CW if you follow the link to the article: it quotes extremely transmisogynistic and violent comments and images, including some that incite suicide.)


The night the article describes, I sat in my office after work with Elizabeth's profile open in a tab, watching the stream of hateful comments pour in almost faster than I could report them to Facebook. My friends had mentioned that members of an online forum known for terrorizing autistic trans women were flooding her profile (particularly her last post, in which she stated her intention to commit suicide) with hateful comments. Since I didn't know Elizabeth and wasn't emotionally affected by reading these comments in the same way that I would have been if I had known her, I felt that bearing witnesses and reporting the comments as abuse was work that I could usefully do. Since many of the comments were obviously from fake accounts, and Facebook is well-known for its desire for good data (read: monetizable data), specifically accounts attached to the names people use in everyday life, I reported those accounts as fake as well.

And later that night, I watched dozens and dozens of emails fill my inbox that were automated responses from Facebook's abuse reporting system. Most of the responses said this:


Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the comment you reported for displaying hate speech and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards.
Please let us know if you see anything else that concerns you. We want to keep Facebook safe and welcoming for everyone.


screenshot of the quoted text

Because the posts in question were eventually made private, I can't quote the comments about which a Facebook content reviewer said "it doesn't violate our Community Standards", and in fairness to the person or people reviewing the comments, some of the comments weren't obviously hate speech without the context that they were in a thread of people piling on a dead trans woman. Facebook lacks a way to report abuse that goes beyond "the text of this individual comment, in the absence of context, violates Facebook's Community Standards." That's part of the problem. If trans people were in positions of power at Facebook, you can bet that there would be a "report transmisogynist hate mob" button that would call attention to an entire thread in which an individual was being targeted by a coordinated harassment campaign.

Likewise, even though Facebook is notorious for harassing trans people for using the names we use in everyday life as our account names, when I reported an account with the name "Donny J. Trump" for impersonation, I got an email back saying that the account would not be suspended because it wasn't impersonating anybody:

screenshot of the aforementioned text

Facebook's tools don't address this problem. Imagine you're the family member of a trans woman who just died and whose profile is receiving a flood of hateful comments. Dozens of users are posting these comments -- too many to block, and anyway, what good would blocking do if you don't have access to the deceased person's account password? The comments would still be there, defacing that person's memory. Reporting individual comments has no effect if the harassment is conducted by posting a series of memes that aren't necessarily offensive on their own, but have the effect of demeaning and belittling a person's death when posted as comments in response to a suicide note. And getting an account converted to a "memorial account" -- which allows someone else to administer it -- can take days, which doesn't help when the harassment is happening right now. Again: you can look at Facebook and know that it's a company in which the voices of people who worry about questions like, "when I die, will people on an Internet forum organize a hate mob to post harmful comments all over my public posts?" are not represented.

But Facebook doesn't even do what they promise to do: delete individual comments that clearly violate their community standards:

Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their:

Race,
Ethnicity,
National origin,
Religious affiliation,
Sexual orientation,
Sex, gender, or gender identity, or
Serious disabilities or diseases.


Out of the many comments in the threads on Elizabeth Waite's profile that clearly attacked people based on their gender identity or disability, most were deemed by Facebook as "doesn't violate our Community Standards."

At this point, Facebook ought to just stop pretending to have an abuse reporting system, because what they promise to do has nothing to do with what they will actually do. Facebook's customers are advertisers -- people like you and me who produce content that helps Facebook deliver an audience for advertisers (you might think of us as "users") are the raw material, not the customers. Even so, it's strange that companies that pay for advertising on Facebook don't care that Facebook actively enables this kind of harassment.

If you read the Daily Beast article, you'll also notice that Facebook was completely unhelpful and unwilling to stop the abuse other than in a comment-by-comment way until one of the family members found a laptop that still had a login cookie for Elizabeth's account -- they wouldn't memorialize it or do anything else to stop the abuse wholesale in a timely fashion. What would have happened if the cookie had already expired?

Like anybody else, trans people die for all kinds of reasons. In an environment where hate speech is being encouraged from the highest levels of power, this is just going to keep happening more and more. Facebook will continue to refuse to do anything to stop it, because hate speech doesn't curtail their advertising revenue. In fact, as I wrote about in "The Democratization of Defamation", the economic incentives that exist encourage companies like Facebook to potentiate harassment, because more harassment means more impressions.

Although it's clearly crude economics that make Facebook unwilling to invest resources in abuse prevention, a public relations person at Facebook would probably tell you that they are reluctant to remove hate speech because of concern for free speech. Facebook is not a common carrier and has no legal (or moral) obligation to spend money to disseminate content that isn't consistent with its values as a business. Nevertheless, think about this for a moment: in your lifetime, you will probably have to see a loved one's profile get defaced like this and know that Facebook will do nothing about it. Imagine a graveyard that let people spray paint on tombstone's and then stopped you from washing the paint off because of free speech.

What responsibilities do social media companies -- large ones like Facebook that operate as completely unregulated public utilities -- have to their users? If you'd like, you can call Facebook's billions of account holders "content creators"; what responsibilities do they have to those of us who create the content that Facebook uses for delivering an audience to advertisers?

Facebook would like you to think that they give us access to their site for free because they're nice people and like us, but corporations aren't nice people and don't like you. The other viewpoint you may have heard is: "If you're not paying for the product, then you are the product." Both of these stories are too simplistic. If you use Facebook, you do pay for it: with the labor you put into writing status updates and comments (without your labor, Facebook would have nothing to sell to advertisers) and with the attention you give to ads (even if you never click on an ad).

If you're using something that's being given away for free, then the person giving it away has no contractual obligations to you. Likewise, if you are raw material, than the people turning you into gold have no contractual obligations to you. But if you're paying to use Facebook -- and you are, with your attention -- that creates a buyer/seller relationship. Because this relationship is not formalized, you as the buyer assume all the risks in the transaction while the seller reaps all of the economic benefit.


Do you like this post? Support me on Patreon and help me write more like it. In December 2016, I'll be donating all of my Patreon earnings to the National Network of Abortion Funds, so if you'd like to show your support, you can also make a one-time or recurring donation to them directly.

denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
As we prep for tomorrow's server maintenance, the site may look weird or 'naked' (no styling, images not loading, etc) on and off over the next hour or so. If you notice it, there's no need to report it: if it happens, we did it on purpose.
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Adaptations by Adrian makes outerwear designed for us. I've had two of their capes, and they're wonderful. The capes are custom made, so you can make sure they're short enough to clear your wheels or long enough to cover your back bag. details )
jesse_the_k: Bitmapped "dogcow" was subject of Apple's Knowledge Base 13, and appeared in many OS9 print dialogs (dogcow)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Suddenly three spam ads appeared on my Calendar app (both Mac & iOS). I didn't see a .vcf attached to an incoming mail. They're not flagged as "found in mail," nor are they assigned to any of my calendar categories.

How is this possible? How do I stop it happening?

If I decline the calendar item then the spammer knows my address. When I select to delete it, the options are "cancel" and "decline." How do I get rid of it without alerting the spammer?

I thought I didn't have to worry about this because I used a Mac.

Grr. Argh.

ETA: answers in first response.

Maintenance window - Thursday Dec 1

Nov. 28th, 2016 03:48 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
There will be a maintenance window, with some downtime, on Thursday, December 1, starting at 10AM EST/7AM PST/3PM UTC, for server maintenance and upgrades. To err on the side of caution, we're calling it an 8 hour window (so, until 6PM EST/3PM PST/11PM UTC), although we don't expect that the site will be in maintenance mode for the whole time.

We'll remind you Wednesday night, and again when the site is going into maintenance mode.
tim: Solid black square (black)
[personal profile] tim
Talking Heads, "Life During Wartime"


A Trump presidency would literally be unconstitutional. Would? Will?

Electoral College must reject Trump unless he sells his business, top lawyers for Bush and Obama say, by Judd Legum for ThinkProgress (2016-11-24).
This is where the Electoral College comes in. Tribe notes that the Electoral College was “originally conceived by Framers like Alexander Hamilton as a vital safeguard against the assumption of the Presidency by an ‘unfit character’ or one incapable of serving faithfully to ‘execute the Office of President of the United States [and] preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.’”

“[T]o vote for Trump in the absence of such complete divestment… would represent an abdication of the solemn duties of the 538 Electors,” Tribe said.

This view is not a position of disgruntled liberals. Richard Painter, Bush’s Chief Ethics Counsel, was in complete agreement with Tribe and Eisen during a recent appearance on CNN. “I don’t think the electoral college can vote for someone to become president if he’s going to be in violation of the Constitution on day one and hasn’t assured us he’s not in violation,” Painter said.

Resisting normalization

  • No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along, by Charles M. Blow for the New York Times (2016-11-23).
    Let me tell you here where I stand on your “I hope we can all get along” plea: Never.

    You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.

    I don’t believe you care much at all about this country or your party or the American people. I believe that the only thing you care about is self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment. Your strongest allegiance is to your own cupidity.

    I also believe that much of your campaign was an act of psychological projection, as we are now learning that many of the things you slammed Clinton for are things of which you may actually be guilty.

    You slammed Clinton for destroying emails, then Newsweek reported last month that your companies “destroyed emails in defiance of court orders.” You slammed Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for paid speeches and conflicts of interest, then it turned out that, as BuzzFeed reported, the Trump Foundation received a $150,000 donation in exchange for your giving a 2015 speech made by video to a conference in Ukraine. You slammed Clinton about conflicts of interest while she was secretary of state, and now your possible conflicts of interest are popping up like mushrooms in a marsh.

    You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.

    I am not easily duped by dopes.

    I have not only an ethical and professional duty to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.

    I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, but rather to speak up for truth and honor and inclusion. This isn’t just about you, but also about the moral compass of those who see you for who and what you are, and know the darkness you herald is only held at bay by the lights of truth.

  • Making White Supremacy Respectable. Again., by Katherine Franke for the Los Angeles Review of Books (2016-11-21). Franke connects the dots excellently between the normalization of white supremacy and brocialist class-only analysis that decries identity politics:
    Let me be blunt: this kind of liberalism is a liberalism of white supremacy. It is a liberalism that regards the efforts of people of color and women to call out forms of power that sustain white supremacy and patriarchy as a distraction. It is a liberalism that figures the lives and interests of white men as the neutral, unmarked terrain around which a politics of “common interest” can and should be built. And it is a liberalism that regards the protests of people of color and women as a complaint or a feeling, ignoring the facts upon which those protests are based — facts about real dead, tortured, raped, and starved bodies. The liberalism Lilla espouses reduces these facts of human suffering and the systems of power that produce that suffering as beside the point.
  • Prejudice, “Political Correctness,” and the Normalization of Donald Trump, by Julia Serano (2016-11-22). Lots of great points to take away here about the blame game that white male leftists play to blame their own failures on vulnerable groups:
    So unsurprisingly, in the wake of the most shocking U.S. presidential election outcome in recent history, many pundits have decided to place the blame, not on the horribly blundered mainstream media election coverage, nor the millions of people who actually cast their votes for Donald Trump, but rather on activists on the left who have pushed too fiercely for “identity politics” or “political correctness.” Their thesis (whether stated explicitly or implicitly) is that if Democrats simply ditch all this “political correctness” nonsense, then they can win back many of those voters.

    And frankly, I cannot think of a worse possible takeaway message from this election....

    So how do activists accomplish changing these social norms? Well, there are a number of ways, although they tend to fall into one of two camps. There are “soft appeals,” in which the activist makes a thoughtful, well-reasoned case on behalf of the group, or in which members of the group demonstrate (through their everyday actions) that they are non-threatening, competent, moral, etc., and thus deserving of acceptance. In a perfect world, soft appeals would be sufficient to bring about increasing acceptance, but unfortunately there is one big problem: Soft appeals only work if members of the dominant majority are open to changing their minds. Some are, of course, but many others are stubbornly resistant to relinquishing their prejudice....

    To put it another way, “political correctness” is not an ideology, nor is it a specific set of behaviors. It is simply a slur that people utter when they want to dismiss an expression of social justice activism that they do not like. One person’s “political correctness” is another person’s common decency or righteous activism....

    It is also crucial to note that, while many people resent activist attempts to change social norms, we are not the only ones engaged in such actions: Those who harbor prejudices are also constantly trying to assert and/or change social norms, albeit in the opposite direction. And yet, these latter attempts do not face similar scrutiny or smearing. If I promote gender-neutral restrooms or pronouns, I will be dismissed as being “politically correct,” whereas North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (who championed HB2, the law that criminalizes trans people who use public restrooms) is never described as “politically correct” (even though he has clearly engaged in political attempts to enforce a social norm of his own creation).

    Trump repeatedly bragged about wanting to destroy “political correctness” — once again, the term acts as a euphemism for dismissing or dismantling social justice norms. Trump ran the most explicitly racist and xenophobic national campaign of my lifetime. He made numerous blatantly misogynistic comments, and we learned of numerous accusations that he sexually assaulted women (not to mention his own bragging to that effect). He openly mocked a disabled reporter and called deaf actor Marlee Matlin “retarded.” In any other recent election cycle, any one of these incidents would be disqualifying, let alone all taken together. These acts would have been disqualifying because, after many decades of social justice activism and advocacy, we had firmly established social norms that deemed these sorts of blatant discriminatory acts to be beyond the pale, to be simply unacceptable. Granted, prejudice most certainly had not completely gone away, but the fact that there was a steep social price to pay for overt expressions of discrimination helped to keep the most extreme bigots at bay....

    And now, in the face of the biggest potential rollback of social justice norms in the last fifty years, some political pundits are urging Democrats to reject “political correctness” (by which they mean social justice activism). Seriously, are you kidding me?....

    You know what: I would *love* to stop talking about being transgender. It would be absolutely wonderful to live in a world where I didn’t have to constantly consider that aspect of my person. But you know what? I don’t have the privilege of not thinking about it, because there are shit-tons of people out there who hate me, harass me, and who wish to criminalize and silence me *because* I’m transgender. “Identity politics” is not an expression of narcissism (as some pundits seem to believe), but rather a form of organized activism to resist those who wish to disempower and disenfranchise us. Donald Trump ran a campaign that constantly stoked hatred against minority/marginalized groups; he selected one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-women’s reproductive rights politicians in the nation to be his running-mate; he is now tapping white nationalists to play high-level roles in his administration. All of these prejudices have long histories. And yet somehow, these pundits have the gall to claim that *we’re* the ones who are making this about identity?

  • Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today., by Timothy Snyder (2016-11-15). I don't agree with all of this, but "Do not obey in advance" is a good reminder.

Moral courage

  • [CW: Nazis, Holocaust] Trump: The Choice We Face, by Masha Gessen for the New York Review of Books (2016-11-27):
    The difficulty stems from the realist tradition in politics. In contrast to what is sometimes called idealism, the realist position holds that the political world is governed not by morality but by clear and calculable interests. Alliances and conflicts turn into transactions with predictable outcomes. The realist reasoning is applied most clearly and most often to international relations, but it has seeped into all political life, turning virtually every conversation into a discussion of possible outcomes.

    Realism is predicated on predictability: it assumes that parties have clear interests and will act rationally to achieve them. This is rarely true anywhere, and it is patently untrue in the case of Trump. He ran a campaign unlike any in memory, has won an election unlike any in memory, and has so far appointed a cabinet unlike any in memory: racists, Islamophobes, and homophobes, many of whom have no experience relevant to their new jobs. Patterns of behavior characteristic of former presidents will not help predict Trump’s behavior. As for his own patterns, inconsistency and unreliability are among his chief characteristics....

    We cannot know what political strategy, if any, can be effective in containing, rather than abetting, the threat that a Trump administration now poses to some of our most fundamental democratic principles. But we can know what is right. What separates Americans in 2016 from Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s is a little bit of historical time but a whole lot of historical knowledge. We know what my great-grandfather did not know: that the people who wanted to keep the people fed ended up compiling lists of their neighbors to be killed. That they had a rationale for doing so. And also, that one of the greatest thinkers of their age judged their actions as harshly as they could be judged.

    Armed with that knowledge, or burdened with that legacy, we have a slight chance of making better choices. As Trump torpedoes into the presidency, we need to shift from realist to moral reasoning. That would mean, at minimum, thinking about the right thing to do, now and in the imaginable future. It is also a good idea to have a trusted friend capable of reminding you when you are about to lose your sense of right and wrong.

  • Thanksgiving Discussion Guide by Showing Up for Racial Justice. Thanksgiving is past, but study now for your holiday gatherings with racist family members (if your family is white).

Calling it what it is

  • Hey, Republican parents who said you didn't know how to explain gay marriage to your kids: any tips on explaining neo-Nazism to mine? -- [twitter.com profile] cberedjick (2016-11-22).
  • If you voted for Donald Trump... by Tess Rafferty (2016-11-21).
    I am tired of trying to see things your way while you sit in your holier-than-thou churches/white power meetups, refusing to see things mine. Did I just lump you in with white supremacists? No, you did that to yourselves. You voted for the same candidate as the KKK. You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK. For the rest of your life, you have to know that you voted the same way as the KKK. Does that feel good to you? Here's a hint---it really shouldn't, especially if you call yourself a Christian.

    I'm tired of pussyfooting around what offends your morals while couching what offends mine, because racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia offend mine.

    Let me say it right here---if you voted for Trump, I do think you are a racist. I do think you're homophobic. I do think you're a misogynist. Racism, and homophobia, and misogyny are all a spectrum, and you're on it. You might not be a 'cheering while a black man gets lynched' racist, but boy, did you just sell them the rope and look the other way.

  • The Identity Politics of Whiteness, by Laila Lalami for the New York Times Magazine (2016-11-21). "A common refrain in the days after the election was “Not all his voters are racist.” But this will not do, because those voters chose a candidate who promised them relief from their problems at the expense of other races. They may claim innocence now, but it seems to me that when a leading chapter of the Ku Klux Klan announces plans to hold a victory parade for the president-elect, the time for innocence is long past....

    No, the top issue that drove Trump’s voters to the polls was not the economy — more voters concerned about that went to Clinton. It was immigration, an issue on which we’ve abandoned serious debate and become engulfed in sensational stories about rapists crossing the southern border or the pending imposition of Shariah law in the Midwest.

    If whiteness is no longer the default and is to be treated as an identity — even, soon, a “minority” — then perhaps it is time white people considered the disadvantages of being a race. The next time a white man bombs an abortion clinic or goes on a shooting rampage on a college campus, white people might have to be lectured on religious tolerance and called upon to denounce the violent extremists in their midst. The opioid epidemic in today’s white communities could be treated the way we once treated the crack epidemic in black ones — not as a failure of the government to take care of its people but as a failure of the race. The fact that this has not happened, nor is it likely to, only serves as evidence that white Americans can still escape race."

  • White nationalists? Alt-right? If you see a Nazi, say Nazi, by Lindy West for the Guardian (2016-11-22).
    the US press has been floundering in a gyre of panic over the internal taxonomy of racists....

    Not a Nazi, then, just a guy who’s shaken hands with a whole bunch of them. That’s fine. We’ll wait and watch....

    One defining aspect of alt-right white supremacy is that it vehemently denies its own existence … This erosion of language is an authoritarian tactic designed to stifle dissent. If you cannot call something by its name, then how can you fight it?"

  • The Rise Of The ‘Alt Right’ And Religious Right Are Chillingly Similar, by Katherine Cross for The Establishment (2016-11-23).
    The history of the Republican Party these last 30 years is the tale of a flesh-eating virus....

    The racists Trump has courted will destroy the Republican Party as we know it, but that slow, violent death will catch us all in its wake, with potentially devastating consequences for American democracy—and what may rise in its place should comfort no one....

    The tragic reality is that just as Reagan exploited the resentment of white Christians, now the resentments of white men in general—especially white people who feel dislocated by social progress—have been harnessed into a potent brew that has actually brought fascism into power here. Though a minority in this new movement, young whites who’ve expressed their nihilism and outrage through trolling and harassment campaigns like GamerGate, or through sites like 4chan, also have been politically aroused. To a party desperate for young blood, they provide a likely target.

Done this week (20161121Mo - 26Sa)

Nov. 27th, 2016 09:57 am
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

So I took the week off from work. I'd originally planned to return from Orycon Sunday afternoon, and go in to work Monday and possibly Wednesday. The best-laid plans... Monday was occupied by the drive back from Portland, Tuesday by medical stuff (including a urology appointment on short notice for Colleen), and Wednesday by waiting for the tech from Acorn to show up and do the proper inspection that the tech who had arrived early on Monday had failed to do. So.

Spent much of the week on personal software projects. Wednesday and Thursday I was mostly hacking in my .emacs file, fixing some long-standing annoyances with html-helper-mode (and incidentally lj-update-mode, which is partially derived from it). Friday and Saturday I worked on the build software for my website Songs pages -- you can see the results (so far -- there's still quite a bit of prettying-up to do) on LookingGlass Folk's Songs. The LgF page was the main motivation -- it's been a broken link on the site for years. The secondary motivation was putting my songbook on GitHub.

In the course of doing this, I finally got around to writing tests for the makefiles -- predictably, they turned up lots of bugs. By no means complete, but I now also have an easily-extensible test framework that I can use for the rest of MakeStuff and my other make-based projects like Honu.

Thursday we had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. Glenn spatchcocked the bird -- this was my introduction to the technique, which lets a 16-pound turkey cook in two hours with a beautifully crisp skin. Recommended. There were just Colleen and I, Glenn and Naomi, and N's kids. The YD had dinner with her boyfriend's family, and Chaos spent the day working on term papers. The tenants ate at C"'s parents'. (I may have to go to subscripts.)

Fair amount of political stuff in the links; not going to re-hash most of it because apparently Post-Trump Stress Disorder is a thing, and I haz it. I can, however, recommend moem's Cybersecurity for the Trumped series, and Tor Browser.

Notes & links, as usual )

jesse_the_k: Underwater picture of chubby woman stroking and blowing bubbles with a grin (lynne cox swimming)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

After reading Ursula K. Le Guin's essay on the election, I was, for a few moments, able to breathe deep and focus on the long view. I recommend it to all, especially the anxious & paranoid:

begin quote
My song for many years was We Shall Overcome. I will always love that song, what it says and the people who have sung it, with whom I marched singing. But I can’t march now, and I can’t sing it any longer.

My song is Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.

Though we’ve had some great scholars of peace, such as Martin Luther King, studying it is something Americans have done very little of.

The way of the warrior admits no positive alternatives to fighting, only negatives — inertia, passivity, surrender. Talk of “waging peace” is mere glibness, you can’t be aggressively peaceful. Reducing positive action to fighting against or fighting for, we have not looked at the possibility of other forms of action.


end quote

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2016/11/21/the-election-lao-tzu-a-cup-of-water/

Thanks to [personal profile] sonia for the link.

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

Nov. 24th, 2016 10:17 am
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

It's time for another year's worth of gratitude. On the whole, 2016 has not been a great year -- about the best I can say is that I -- and my family -- lived through it. OK, here we go: This year I'm grateful for...

  • My family. All of it -- family of blood, family of choice, Colleen, Chaos and Neko, Naomi, Glenn, the Roo and The Duchess, Mom, the relatives we hardly ever see, ... the whole crazy bunch of us. They're what's keeping me alive.
  • Our wonderful house, Rainbow's End. For all its plumbing problems, it's still a great place to live. I will miss it when, sooner or later, we can no longer afford to keep it.
  • Music. The songs that keep us going: "The Mary Ellen Carter" in particular; "Gentle Arms of Eden", "Quiet Victories", and "Kitchen Heroes" as well; and we've recently added "The Bells of Norwich" and "Millennium's Dawn" to that list. Songs of hope, determination, and defiance -- we need them now more than ever.
  • Friends. Thanks for the late-night conversations, the hugs, the blog comments, the words of encouragement and comfort, and just knowing you're there. You know who you are, and I love you.
  • Work. I'm getting weary of it, but I'm glad my employer still wants me, for the moment.
  • Hope. Pandora, 2016, you're a bitch, but at least you left us that one.
    Here's hope to heal your sorrow,
    Now that the old dreams are gone,
    And the past has turned into tomorrow,
    In the light of the Millennium's dawn.



No thanks to most of what 2016 has brought us, aptly and obscenely summarized in The 2016 Song. Not safe for work, because 2016.

Done last week (20161113Su - 20Su)

Nov. 21st, 2016 10:10 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Rough week. Even a con, with a concert that came off well, didn't help all that much. My anxiety--or whatever it is, because alexithymia--levels are through the roof, even after cutting back on coffee and Facebook time.

Getting through the concert did reduce my stress quite a bit; that effect lasted through the rest of the weekend. A couple of great conversations; the one we had Sunday evening/night reminded me a lot of the conversation I had with Naomi all those years ago at OVFF, which arguably led to a lot of what's happened since. So, yeah. Friendship is good. Making new friends is wonderful.

I'd originally planned to leave Sunday afternoon. I'm incredibly grateful to Naomi for giving me an excuse to stay on the extra day. I wouldn't have missed that conversation for anything. (That's assuming, of course, that I'd known about it ahead of time. One can't exactly schedule such things. One can, however, be open to them when they happen. I seem to be moderately good at that; it's just getting started that's so rare.)

The concert. Well. Of course, being totally frazzled leading into it, I neglected to record it. I'm hoping that the woman who recorded it on her cell phone gets back to me -- of course I neglected to get her contact info, too. The set list was drastically revised after the election; what we ended up with was:

  • Kitchen Heroes
  • Quiet Victories
  • Windward
  • Nemesis
  • Mary Ellen Carter
  • Bells of Norwich
  • The Times, They Are A Changin'
  • Gentle Arms of Eden
  • The Dreamer
  • Ship of Stone
  • Millennium's Dawn
  • Most of them had new arrangements--N has started composing harmony lines. Millennium's Dawn, with her harmony and the new last verse, worked particularly well. Bells of Norwich was new to me, as was the guitar part for Nemesis. You know things are going to be different when QV is the second song in the set.

    Oh, yeah: the bad stuff. Colleen's stairlift finally broke past my ability to jury-rig it. Much cursing, while I set up the sofabed in the Rainbow Room. (Although that was another good reason to stay the extra day at the con -- the sofabed is horribly uncomfortable.)

    ...Aaaaand the ... ugly? Maybe. N handed me a card that said "YOU MATTER". Which is something Colleen says to me quite frequently, also. That started a train of thought, because it reminded me of an article that had come by earlier in the week and that I felt... odd... about. Some initial reactions below in the notes. I know it's meant to be encouraging; to make me feel good about myself or something like that. It doesn't, though, and I can't figure out why.

    I really hate important stuff I can't figure out. If it was a server I'd be busy analyzing logs and cursing the lack of comments in the code. Come to think of it,...

    Notes & links, as usual )

    tim: Solid black square (black)
    [personal profile] tim
    Again, no nice formatting due to the high number of links I was sifting through.

    http://echothroughthefog.cordeliadillon.com/post/153393286626/how-to-call-your-reps-when-you-have-social-anxiety

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/217831/what-to-do-about-trump

    http://joshuafoust.com/this-is-not-normal/

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/19/hamilton-mike-pence-trump-voters-safe-space

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/18/george-takei-they-interned-my-family-dont-let-them-do-it-to-muslims/?utm_term=.87d582b3aac4

    https://blog.valerieaurora.org/2016/11/18/spreadsheet-of-signs-of-fascism/

    https://thecorrespondent.com/5696/were-heading-into-dark-times-this-is-how-to-be-your-own-light-in-the-age-of-trump/1611114266432-e23ea1a6

    [Syllabus for white people to educate themselves -- I haven't read all these links yet, but I plan to] https://docs.google.com/document/d/1By9bUjJ78snEeZuLXNGBdlVMJgEQWMEjR-Gfx8ER7Iw/mobilebasic#heading=h.bi12zdslqy3z

    https://milenapopova.eu/2016/11/dear-liberal-friends-you-do-not-have-the-tools-to-fight-trump.html

    https://storify.com/miniver/how-fascism-accumulates-power-by-testing-people

    http://bust.com/feminism/18550-white-working-class.html

    http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/11/13/questioning-safety-pin-solidarity-revealed-why-i-cant-trust-white-people/

    [also re: safety pins] https://www.facebook.com/amadi.lovelace/posts/416858352035561

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-told-conservatives-to-work-for-trump-one-talk-with-his-team-changed-my-mind/2016/11/15/f02e1fac-ab7c-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html?utm_term=.c460b3ffaf1e

    http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/11/15/right-now-theres-not-much-to-do-but-survive/

    https://www.facebook.com/anand.kalra/posts/10107350655399473

    And one non-election-related link, because we need it:

    http://queenmobs.com/2015/11/addmtv-the-mountain-goats-this-year-2009/

    Grateful for ...

    Nov. 20th, 2016 11:12 am
    jesse_the_k: Alan Cummings, all glammed up in blue eyeshadow and filmy red dress vamps in lime green room under the words "drama quee (Alan the drama queen)
    [personal profile] jesse_the_k
    Highly Local Nature Movie: The red-tailed hawk who glided around 8 feet above the street in front of my house, perched on a bare maple tree, but failed to catch any squirrels.

    Friends to spend time with.

    Bella has finally understood that she's to sit and wait for my sign before going through a door. I've tried to be a consistent trainer, but this took eight months.

    Euphoria by Lily King is an exhilarating fiction inspired by elements of Margaret Mead's life. Whee!

    Libraries that offer me lots of Margaret Mead to explore.

    All these things above, which I can think about while the political situation (still?) reduces me to paranoid, wailing tears.
    jesse_the_k: ACD Lucy stares hard at the closed front door, ready for anything (Lucy expectant)
    [personal profile] jesse_the_k
    ETA: This game is now available for iPhone for FREE

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hext/id1169807227?mt=8


    If yes, can you do it for for me, with a particular open source game?

    I hope this is possible )

    Happy to trade: I can offer beaded jewelry (or source materials); nicely formatting a ~Word document; or actual cash.

    Page generated Dec. 3rd, 2016 02:22 am
    Powered by Dreamwidth Studios