Done last week (20170813Su - 19Sa)

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:44 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

The last pod has been emptied -- it will be hauled off on Wednesday -- so I guess that means we're officially moved in. So many things we really shouldn't have taken! (And a few we should have, but gave away instead...)

We decided not to go to Oregon to see the eclipse. Just didn't start soon enough; maybe we can get to 2024? Tough decision, but we hadn't planned far enough ahead; with the expected traffic we probably wouldn't have made it, we would have had to scramble to find someone to care for the cats, and the room was expensive.

A lot of overload/stress/depression/anxiety problems, especially Monday and yesterday. Yesterday was particularly bad -- I felt drained pretty much all day after a morning meltdown. I probably need to bunny more.

There are continuing problems with the cats. Bronx is still pretty sick, and Ticia spent much of the week hiding under the bed. We finally set Colleen up in the brown recliner, with her usual bowls of water and treats. That seems to have worked, or at least helped. She's still awfully skittish. May have to do with the kittens. Especially Bronx.

Notes & links, as usual )

Announcement: RainbowCon 2.1

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:09 pm
mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)
[personal profile] mdlbear

RainbowCon 2.1 (our second convention, in our third year, thanks to a brief hiatus for moving) will be held on May 4-6, 2018! North American Guest of Honor is Cat Faber; Overseas Guest of Honor is Gwen Knighton Raftery. We are hoping there will be a toastmaster, but we don't have a name to announce for that yet.

Location is 4414 Skyline Drive, Freeland WA (on beautiful Whidbey Island), and there is information about local hotel options for people who want them. The new location has two acres of outdoor space in which we can spread out, hold our traditional maypole dance, and have outdoor song circles around the fire pit. Keep your eyes open for our neighborhood deer, who like to browse on the lawn.

We're still doing free membership but accepting donations to offset the out-of-pocket expenses of bringing our guests here and running this thing, for those who are able and willing to contribute. We welcome members who want to run events -- workshops, games, theme circles, or whatever. RainbowCon is a participatory event... everyone's welcome to take a turn at leading if they want to, but nobody is required to do more than show up and have fun!

Please contact nrivkis@fastmail.com with membership requests, or questions about the convention. Ditto if you want to be part of the programming. It will be really helpful to us if we can get early memberships, because then we'll be able to block out hotel space nearby.

We look forward to seeing you here!

jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
... is a Kickstarter-funded project that's almost over. I'm so lucky to be able to fund it.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lynnemthomas/disabled-people-destroy-science-fiction-uncanny-ma/updates

Uncanny Magazine -- whose editors have personal relationships to disability -- picked up the mantle of "create a wonderful anthology themed by marginal creators" from Lightspeed.

Even if you can't contribute money, Uncanny is posting free essays from SF writers about the connection between SF and disability. The essays are wonderful, and I've learned something from every one of them.

I kept meaning to post a highlight entry, and wowza [personal profile] beatrice_otter has done it for me!

So, go read this post and read wonderful essays

http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/354745.html

Parting Thought

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:51 pm
jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I'm headed up north for my customary two-week sojourn by a cool lake (as pictured in the icon).

I'll leave you with this handy keyboard tip.

When I realize I want to delete a lot of text in the middle, I start a new line before and after. That way I can use the triple-click or keyboard commands without fussing with selecting between words.

Hard reading -- Roxane Gay: HUNGER

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:08 am
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I started reading this via audio, narrated by the author. Technically excellent; both writing and reading. The subject matter, however, has given me thrashing screaming nightmares.

Contains: shame, sexual violence, shame, internalized misogyny, eating disorder, shame.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it.
jesse_the_k: Cartoon drawing of original Mac with screen displaying the "happy Mac" smile indicating successful boot (old Mac)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
is "Future Tense," a collaboration between Arizona State University, the New America foundation and Slate.com.

The reports look at the impact of technology on society. They're piecse extend beyond the gee whiz to always consider technology's political impacts as well as social justice concerns.

What initially caught my eye is their sensible assistive tech reporting. No inspirational nonsense, no "this one gadget will change everyone's life!"
two samples that spoke to me )

I find their weekly newsletter handy, as it's got has just the right amount of teaser text plus links to the full stories.

http://link.slate.com/join/3qk/newslettersignup

HIV Crisis in Deaf Community

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:04 pm
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

The HIV Crisis In The Deaf Community

This excellent article highlights big troubles.

https://intomore.com/into/a-sign-of-trouble-the-hiv-crisis-in-the-deaf-community/f8ff168f3766425d

Just one story:

A gay Deaf man new to DC attempts to set up an interpreted appoint at a queer friendly clinic; after waiting for 45 minutes he's escorted to a room with a video relay interpreter:

begin quote

All I wanted to do was to set up an appointment at a later date with the doctor and a live ASL interpreter. That’s all I want.

She looked at the note, smiled, and wrote, “We don’t do that here. ASL interpreters are expensive. This is a cheaper alternative.”

I looked at the note, shook my head, “No.” I got the feeling that this was not going to be a “Deaf-friendly” nor “Deaf accessible” and got up and started to leave when she grabbed my arm. I looked at her quizzically with her writing furiously on the note. She wrote, “You do qualify for our services but you have to understand, we can’t afford it.”

I looked at her disappointedly and wrote: “I find it ironic that the HIV-positive community is knowledgeable with the ADA law and uses it to the betterment for the community and yet can’t provide for their own.”

quote ends
Some context: Since Washington DC is home to Gallaudet University, they have a very large and skilled interpreter workforce. Two videos with ASL, captions, and audio )

I’m a breathing body

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:28 am
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Part of my daily healthwork routine is silent meditation. I avoided meditating for decades because I thought I had to be a serene person to do it. I learned otherwise. Using audio guidance or timer, I concentrate on my breathing. I become my breathing body. My breath is a constant companion, always happening until I’m dead.

Concentrating on my breath helps me relax and it also reminds me that everyone on the planet is also a breathing body. This commonality calms the terror attendant on our current moment. My ideology, my fears, my impairments aren’t magicked away, but I am always a breathing body, just like everyone else.

It’s called meditation practice because that concentration is a skill. While I’m meditating I find myself thinking about the past or planning for the future. This is the magic moment. When I notice I’m thinking, I softly name it, and then return to my breathing.

I learned to meditate via an 8-week MBSR class, mindfulness based stress reduction, offered by my therapist. Since then, I’ve loved using Insight Timer, the meditation tool for iOS and Android. You do have to create a login, but they haven't spammed me. Insight Timer has tons of useful features, but at its most basic it’s got a great timer, with lovely bells, background white noise, and finely adjustable intervals. When you’re online, Insight offers hundreds of guided meditations, including introductory lessons for absolute beginners. (Other audio available: yoga guidance, Dharma talks, affirmations.) Excellent search functions let me bookmark (for example) just the 10–19 minutes long, secular, male voice, meditations designed for pain.

https://insighttimer.com

All of the audio content is also available from this web site.

Nifty Beading Videos with Captions

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:34 pm
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Are available from Jill Wiseman

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4PihGJSYFNMqzxC4k-dh6w

I downloaded a couple to take up north with me when I disappear at the end of the week until September.

Done last week (20170806Su - 0812Sa)

Aug. 13th, 2017 02:59 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Very domestic this week. Mostly, putting up shelves and getting stuff unloaded from the pod and unpacked from boxes. Some things are still in the pod. I do, however, have the shelves up behind the beds, modulo a couple of missing brackets. Nothing much on them yet, but it's a start. I also got Colleen's pole set up, so that she has something to grab onto when she wants to get out of bed.

Cricket and the kittens were sick, so a lot of time and worry went into their care. They have spent a couple of nights in with me and Colleen; we have been a little short on sleep as a result. It's amazing how few kittens it takes to constitute a thundering herd.

Not much going on, other than that. We are gradually finding out how friendly people are here -- that's nice. Several nice little conversations with total strangers.

Notes & links, as usual )

jesse_the_k: Text reads: "I'm great in bed ... I can sleep for days" (sleep for days)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
goofy context )
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1359105317722370
is the intro to the special issue of the journal, with actual science, but behind another paywall


I'm not making light of the underlying issue. I've been sick since 1988, I know the PACE trial is evil, it just amuses me what my unedited brain creates.
jesse_the_k: Sprinter with right AK prosthetic leg, shot from neck down (prosthetic sprint)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Spent great day with Sasha-feather

Made beet root/sweet potato/kale/onion chicken curry soup with yogurt. So tasty i got to eat the whole pot!

Watched a delightful educational video on YouTube. I'm on mobile so I can't embed*
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7KSfjv4Oq0
But the animation is stellar, the narration Oh So British, the captions excellent, and I actually learned something!

Also finished a six-hour BET/CBC coproduction "The Book of Negroes." Watch for free on the CBC site if you're in Canada; currently on HULU in the US. Beautifully filmed. More on the substance anon.

Revised my site style/layout -- again.

*That is, YT won't offer the full embed code, even when I request desktop site. is there a trick I'm missing?

Naming the problem

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:22 pm
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
This is a follow-up to my article "Refusing to Empathize with Elliot Rodger: Taking Male Entitlement Seriously".

As I mentioned initially, Lundy Bancroft lists a number of tactics abusive men use in conversations. In Why Does He Do That?, he notes that when one of the abusers he works with attempts to use one of these tactics on him or another group participant, and Bancroft calmly names which tactic it is instead of reacting, the abuser usually gets even angrier. So in that spirit, I thought I would compile a list of responses to my article and classify them according to the abuse tactics they use.

Here is a subset of Bancroft's list of conversational abuse tactics in p. 145-146 (n.b. all page-number references are to Why Does He Do That?)

  1. Sarcasm
  2. Ridicule
  3. Distorting what you say (this was one of the most common responses I saw, in which the interlocutor would make up a caricature of what I wrote and then attack that, instead of engaging with the actual ideas).
  4. Accusing you of doing what he does, or thinking the way he thinks (AKA projection, as discussed on p. 142)
  5. Using a tone of absolute certainty and final authority -- "defining reality":
    When Mr. Right decides to take control of a conversation, he switches into his Voice of Truth, giving the definitive pronouncement on what is the correct answer or the proper outlook. Abuse counselors call this tactic defining reality. Over time, his tone of authority can cause his partner to doubt her own judgment and come to see herself as not very bright. (p. 82)
  6. Not listening, refusing to respond -- I've rephrased this as "dismissal", since the original list was concerned with in-person conversations where one person can literally ignore the other. Online, the equivalent of this is not ignoring, but replying in a way that doesn't at all engage with the content, rather labeling it in ways that create negative sentiment without actually trying to refute ideas. Dismissal is not ignoring (it's great when people ignore things they don't like or don't care about!) -- the effort that the abuser puts in to communicate "I didn't read this, I didn't think it was worth reading, but I'm still going to attack it" shows that it is important to them that the person being abused not be heard. (Compare Kathy Sierra's "Trouble at the Kool-Aid Point" and my own previous discussion of false dismissal.)
  7. Changing the subject to his grievances
  8. Provoking guilt
  9. Playing the victim
  10. Name-calling, insults, put-downs. I'm calling out "insulting intelligence" as its own subcategory:
    The abuser tends to see his partner as less intelligent, less competent, less logical, and even less sensitive than he is.... He often has difficulty conceiving of her as a human being. (p. 63)
    One of the primary rhetorical weapons used against underrepresented people in tech is that we're not intelligent, and indeed, that was a large part of what made the original manifesto abusive.
  11. Threatening to harm you
There are others, but I listed the ones that are most relevant to online conversations. And I would add two more:
  • Demanding explanation, where the interlocutor asks for more justification either in ways that make it clear they didn't read the entire piece, or didn't read it carefully, or don't actually want to debate and are just asking in order to steal attention. Sort of like a human denial-of-service attack. The person demanding explanation is like the type of abuser Bancroft describes as "Mr. Right":
    "Mr. Right tries to sanitize his bullying by telling me, 'I have strong opinions' or 'I like debating ideas.' This is like a bank robber saying, 'I'm interested in financial issues.' Mr. Right isn't interested in debating ideas; he wants to impose his own." (p. 83)
    "It is frustrating, and ultimately pointless, to argue with someone who is certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that his perspective is accurate and complete and that yours is wrong and stupid. Where can the conversation possibly go?" (p. 144)
    Demanding explanation is abusive because it's deceptive: the abuser who demands an explanation holds out the promise that he is reasonable, he can be persuaded, and the conversation can go somewhere positive if you just explain more. In reality, he is not open to being changed by what he hears, and is just trying to waste your time and/or entrap you for more abuse. Demanding a 1-on-1 conversation also reflects entitlement to the time and attention of the writer, who has already provided plenty of explanation. It is pretty obvious to me when someone is asking questions out of genuine openness to change, and when they're doing it in a rude and entitled way.
  • Gaslighting; Bancroft discusses discrediting extensively (p. 125, p. 146) but doesn't call it out in the above list. "You're too sensitive", "You're overreacting", and -- when not justified, other than by the purported oversensitivity of the writer -- "You can't make that comparison, it's ridiculous" are all forms of gaslighting. They attempt to make the listener doubt their own perceptions and judgment. I included gaslighting comments under "ridicule", but it's worth pointing out that this is a common and insidious form of ridicule, since it seems superficially reasonable (of course we all think that nobody should be too sensitive, or react too much, though the boundary for how sensitive it's acceptable to be is rarely discussed).

The analysis

I read:
  • All of my mentions that were replies to tweets (from me or other people) linking to "Refusing to Empathize with Elliot Rodger, or that linked to the essay without replying to me.
  • Two comments on my Dreamwidth post that were screened and that I deleted.
(I excluded a lot of mentions that could also have gone on this list, but were replies to tweets unrelated to the essay. My favorite one of those, though, was a response to a picture I posted of a display of boxes of LaCroix sparkling water, which said something like "looking for something to drink so you can get fatter?")

The following table lists all but one of the responses, along with the abusive tactics each one employs.

There was one response that didn't use any of the abusive tactics above. It was illogical (blaming Marc Lépine's actions on Islam because Lépine's father was Algerian), but may have been written in good faith, even if it was ignorant.

So in short:

  • 27 critical/negative replies
  • 26 out of 27 use at least one abuse tactic identified by Bancroft; most several
  • The remaining one is illogical / primarily based on religious stereotyping.
  • No substantive criticisms. At all.
I am often wrong, and many times, people have had critical things to say about my writing. Sometimes they were right. Often, they were non-abusive. But something about this essay drew out many abusive responses, while no one had a genuine intellectual criticism. When you call out and name abuse, a way that you can tell that you were right is that the abusers get more abusive. I'm sure there are places where this essay falls short, logically, or could be better expressed. But no one has pointed them out.

CW: verbally abusive comments; slurs )

Conclusion

The dominance of abuse in the negative responses to my piece doesn't prove I'm right, of course. It doesn't prove there's no good argument against my core theses, and it doesn't prove I didn't make any mistakes. But given that a lot of people were so eager to debunk my article, if there was a good argument, don't you think one of them might have found one?

I think giving names to abusive conversational patterns is extremely powerful and I think it's important to distinguish between criticism and abuse, and notice when the only thing people can seem to muster up in response to anti-abuse discourse is more abuse.

jesse_the_k: Rubik's Cube puzzle with all-white faces labelled in braille (Braille Rubik's Cube)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
In conversation with yesterday's Mingus essay, here's Deaf-Blind poet John Lee Clark addressing forced separation because of deaf-blindness, which he calls distantism:

begin quote
Each form of social bigotry has its distinctive personality and its unique set of intertwining evils. excerpt and context )

Comrade Detective

Aug. 9th, 2017 10:43 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
So there's a six-part miniseries on Amazon Video right now called Comrade Detective. It purports to be a rediscovered buddy cop show from mid-eighties Romania, Eastern Bloc propaganda/entertainment. It isn't; it was filmed in Romania in 2017, with Romanian actors, and then dubbed into English by actors like Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nick Offerman, and occasionally guest stars like Debra Winger and Daniel Craig.

Leonard heard about it on Twitter and suggested we try it. I thought it was going to be sort of a longform SNL skit. And then I thought it was going to be kind of a nostalgic buddy cop show with a few jokey swipes at Cold War anti-American propaganda. And now we've watched all but the last episode and I think the show is doing, or trying to do, something much more interesting, and is using and critiquing the copshow form better than Life on Mars did.

It's useful to me to think of Comrade Detective as having four audiences (1 & 2 being Watsonian and 3 & 4 being Doylist):

1. the in-universe Romanian political censors
2. the in-universe Romanian citizenry (purportedly the main audience for the show)
3. the actual main audience, mostly middle-class US residents
4. Amazon corporate & media critics

Audiences 2 & 3, plus some of 1, are reasons that people do or say things in Comrade Detective (e.g., claiming that the Romanian healthcare system is the best in the world, or arguing that health care is more of a fundamental human right than freedom of religion); audiences 1 & 4 are reasons people don't.

But I want to watch the final episode before I make strong claims. Anyone else here watching?
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