On the cheery side

Mar. 28th, 2015 07:40 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin is singing along to Janelle Monae songs and all is peaceful. <3

as usual....

Mar. 28th, 2015 07:21 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I had like 3 nice days and now am weirdly ill again. Bah!!!!!

Reflux or something. allergies. i slept most of today. I keep just falling asleep. Can't walk around without coughing painfully. eating hurts. why! I hate this. It was nice out... at least I fell asleep in the sun a lot. its like i suddenly have painful bronchitis from ... stomach acid? not for the first time. Am taking Dexilant (which i've been on daily for like, a year) and drinking carafate to help with the pain. it barely helps.

another amusing story

Mar. 26th, 2015 05:31 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
I had forgotten this but my mom reminded me. During our trip to the Dude Ranch over 10 years ago (Moomin was maybe 3 or 4?) There was a scene where a little girl younger than Moomin had accidentally locked herself into the bathroom, sort of an outhouse dealy in between the different cabins. The little kid was screaming, and people were all crowded around freaking out and trying to tell her what to do, and suggesting different things like calling the fire department and I walked up to this scene, took out my leatherman which I was wearing on my belt, and unscrewed the hinges off the door without really consulting anyone. As I recall I muttered something in the way of informing them what was going to happen. Problem solved. My mom says it was pretty hilarious. I think now I find it more amusing than I did then. Like then I would have just felt momentarily smug at getting to use my leatherman, like, perfect opportunity. Now I see a little more how odd or maybe alien that must have looked to everyone else and it must have made them feel slightly silly. I probably didn't do the human interaction part correctly at all or defer in the proper gendered way to whatever Dudes were taking charge of what was to be done. Not making any big deal out of that just doing it swiftly before anyone could object. So, I am now extra smug. Maybe I was then too and have just forgotten it. It is nice that my mom liked it and considered it characteristic but it also felt a little like she considered it characteristic of my being able to shoot lasers out of my eyeballs unexpectedly when I was a baby.
[personal profile] mjg59
One project I've worked on at Nebula is a Python module for remote configuration of server hardware. You can find it here, but there's a few caveats:
  1. It's not hugely well tested on a wide range of hardware
  2. The interface is not yet guaranteed to be stable
  3. You'll also need this module if you want to deal with IBM (well, Lenovo now) servers
  4. The IBM support is based on reverse engineering rather than documentation, so who really knows how good it is

There's documentation in the README, and I'm sorry for the API being kind of awful (it suffers rather heavily from me writing Python while knowing basically no Python). Still, it ought to work. I'm interested in hearing from anybody with problems, anybody who's interested in getting it on Pypi and anybody who's willing to add support for new HP systems.

New fic: "Spangled"

Mar. 23rd, 2015 05:58 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Spangled (142 words) by brainwane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Astronomy, Wistful, Sonnets
Summary:

In the 1940s, if you looked up from Brooklyn at night, you could see the stars.



I was showing my friend Elisa the "something doesn't smell right" thread and [community profile] cap_chronism, and she reminded me that also Steve Rogers would be surprised that he can't see the stars at night. So I wrote this sonnet.

a maiden i will dee!

Mar. 22nd, 2015 02:33 pm
erika: (sga: 5 o'clock somewhere!)
[personal profile] erika
Josh and I are going to couples' counselling in preparation (or not, as it may turn out) of moving to Colorado.

Colorado. Josh's half-sister——Jess, who he'd never met until two weeks ago——lives there.

She just broke her engagement three months before the wedding. Everything's been paid for. She needs support, and Josh wants to be there for her in ways he couldn't before.

It's all such a long story. I just thought I'd mention it. You remember how shit happens in my life and then I'm like, no, it cannot POSSIBLY get any weirder than this?

It does. It always does.

(mostly I'm writing because I know it'll bite me in the ass if I don't, not because I want to examine it. This is a new thing for me, or at least the recognition of it is.)

Basil

Mar. 21st, 2015 11:09 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

Basil the standard poodle
This is Basil, the standard poodle next door. Sanguinity and I spent the week taking care of him and his kitty. Basil’s interests include playing ball and not being alone. <3 <3 <3

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

(no subject)

Mar. 21st, 2015 09:02 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

"Once, years ago, in a job interview (with people I didn’t like) when asked, “what’s the next thing you’re working on?” I said: “A biography of the trees in Karstula, my grandfather’s village.” That did the trick, the lights went out in their eyes. Boy do I know my trees."

Stephen Kuusisto

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

I Invite First-Timers To WisCon

Mar. 21st, 2015 04:15 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
crossposted from Cogito, Ergo Sumana

I have been to WisCon three times (2009, 2010, 2011) and I am going again this year, yay! If you enjoy my writing, you might like WisCon, and -- especially if you've never tried it before -- you should consider joining me in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, May 22-25 (Memorial Day weekend).

Smart, funny conversations. Mary Anne Mohanraj and me at a past WisCon, photo by E. J. FischerSome of my best WisCon memories are of really funny panels (I enjoyed serving on the "Must Pleasures Be Guilty?" and "Imaginary Book Club" panels, and watching "Not Another Race Panel"). Some are of friendly semistructured interaction like the clothing swap at the Gathering on Friday afternoon. And some some are of formal and informal discussions where incisive people tossed around ideas that gave me new thoughts for the rest of the year. I expect to get all of that this year, and if you decide to come, I'll happily tell you which panels/panelists/parties/workshops/etc. look promising to me!

Relevant sessions. You can create a free account to look at programming signups and indicate your interest in attending -- the deadline is March 29. The programming committee does take those numbers (how many people demonstrate interest in attending something) into account when rejecting or scheduling specific sessions. And there's an Overflow/Spontaneous Programming (a.k.a. unconference) room throughout the convention -- for topics people want to discuss that aren't on the schedule -- where we can hold impromptu sessions about vidding, open source, self-directed learning....

Accessibility lane at WisCon, photo by sasha_feather, CC BY-NC-SAGreat accessibility. I especially love the Quiet Space to regroup, the free-flowing traffic lanes marked in the hall with blue tape, and the rule that speakers use microphones so the audience can hear better. They all help me enjoy the con more, and they help other attendees, which means I can enjoy their company. And overall, I find WisCon participants care about being intersectionally feminist and inclusive (example: discussion and renaming in the Floomp dance party). Sometimes folks make mistakes, as we all do, but we apologize, and fix it, and (although I know other people have had different experiences*) I trust in WisCon in the long term and am happy to recommend it to others, including people who have never been to a scifi con before. It was my first!

First-timers welcome. The site gives you detailed directions to the venue. There's usually a first-timers' dinner (small group expeditions to local restaurants, I think), and orientation sessions, early in the con, to help first-time attendees and first-time panelists (tips) and first-time moderators (tips). If you feel better showing up someplace for the first time if you're being useful, check the checkbox to volunteer, e.g., for a couple of hours in the con suite stocking free food for everybody. And I would be happy to help you meet folks (my credentials from a shy previous WisCon first-timer).

Another world is possible. I cannot overstate how much it has influenced me to participate in WisCon, which asks everyone to influence programming, provides accessibility and childcare and a comprehensive program guide, and nurtures and amplifies feminist voices. And WisCon communicates thoroughly with its community via blog, Twitter, Facebook, an email newsletter and printed, mailed progress reports, and more. This includes talking about really difficult stuff like owning up to past mistakes in handling harassment reports and disinviting a Guest of Honor (if you've never been to a scifi convention, think "keynote speaker").

A gateway to more. I've made friends, started watching or reading new stuff, and joined Dreamwidth to keep in the feminist fannish conversation year-round.

I skipped WisCon for years basically because I had other travel commitments for work, and this year I'm so glad to be coming back. Feminists of all genders who enjoy science fiction, think about coming to Madison in May.



* Kameron Hurley posted "Burn it All Down: Wiscon’s Failure of Feminism" before the WisCon con committee permabanned a particular harasser. As this year's cochair said in criticizing the previous decision for a temporary ban, "WisCon bills itself as a feminist sci-fi con. And compared to some others that I have attended, it is definitely better at paying lip service to being feminist than any of them."

time zone lords

Mar. 19th, 2015 03:20 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I am in the trippier bits of Crown of Stars book 4.

One protagonist is going through a fabulous feminist hero-journey ascending through the seven celestial spheres while taking off all her clothes, processing her trauma, and finding out some more of the Real Truth about alternate Charlemagne's descendants.

The other protagonist has been thrown back in time through standing stone gateways instead of dying, to something like 2000 BC or cave-people time and is having mega adventures saving the world from the alternate history Aztec elf aliens, encountering dwarves, merfolk, centaurs, sphinxes, phoenixes, and accidentally getting the snakebite universal translator superpower. He manages to keep his faithful hounds, Rage and Sorrow, alive through it all.

They keep accidentally having visions of each other and imparting new revelations and reinterpreting everything. Meanwhile Zond7 has just been texting me from taiwan where he is pausing on the way to Manila and I want to send him lapis lazuli rings, phoenix feathers, strange mystical fire, planetary daimones, cave paintings, and the underground marketplace where the dwarven beings hang out with their earth elevator train cars and rivers to trade with the freshwater river merfolk.

Instead I am complaining about having a cold and he is texting me photos of his breakfast and a hello kitty store.

Pretty much the same thing....

I made it through the morning at work, barely and then fell asleep for a while in the sun. taking the rest of the day off to blow my nose and nap some more.

The Sarcasm Gap

Mar. 19th, 2015 08:31 am
tim: Mike Slackernerny thinking "Scientific progress never smelled better" (science)
[personal profile] tim


Who doesn't love to make fun of homeopathy? It's important to differentiate yourself from other people, especially on the basis of perceived intelligence and on socially prestigious understanding of science. Most people know very little about science, especially scientists, since specialization means that nobody can deeply understand all that much. So making fun of pseudo-science is a useful way of raising yourself up by putting other people down.

But I wish skeptics would train some of their razor-sharp wit on another pseudo-scientific medical treatment that is widely believed to be effective: intentional weight loss. Sure, homeopathic cures can be found in any CVS, but if you actually talk to your pharmacist, they'll tell you those cures don't work (possibly while looking sort of embarrassed). Weight loss, on the other hand, gets recommended by almost every single medical professional you can find, for everything from tonsillitis to toenail fungus.

Losing weight in the short term is easy for most people, but the vast majority of people who lose weight through intentional means gain back all the weight, and more, within five years. This process begins a pattern of frequent weight cycling which has serious health consequences; fat people who lose weight end up in worse health than fat people who remain at their natural weight. So while intentional weight loss is more effective than homeopathy in that in a tiny minority of people, it does produce long-term results (whereas homeopathy does nothing), it should concern you more than homeopathy does since unlike homeopathy, it actually has harmful results. If you're bothered by non-evidence-based "cures", then intentional weight loss should bother you since there's no evidence that it's either possible (again, for almost everybody) or that it leads to improved health outcomes (for anybody).

Are skeptics afraid to take on a foe that's worthy of their intelligence and humor? Is it fun to make fun of those you believe to be stupid, uneducated, and dupes of the supplement industry? And is it not fun to make fun of medical doctors -- educated people who nevertheless recommend non-evidence-based interventions that do more harm than good? If so, why?

Swimming today and good PT progress

Mar. 18th, 2015 05:57 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
I felt like I was getting a cold last night, woke up feeling more sure, but was able to work anyway and have my meetings. I then went and took the bus to the pool for my Wednesday PT. Glad I went.

I feel invigorated when I do it even when it can be a bit painful. I missed one week, and then last week was not able to keep up or do all the things and felt unstable in the water (was still walking with a cane, not always able to put my weight on my right leg) Today I felt very bounced back, and back to my baseline from a month ago. I still can't bend all the way over or bring my knees up both at once and am cautious about bringing up my right knee. But, this is awesome.

Differences from 4 months ago pool and now:
* I can stand in the pool with my feet pointing "up" towards the shallow end
* I can walk back and forth the whole time with only some pauses for muscle spasms
* 30+ kickboard presses (pushing it downward, or back and forth in the water) instead of around 5
* 30 or more squats and do them in shallower water, from maybe 5

From the daily home PT exercises, I notice that my stomach is way stronger. With the lower abdominal exercises, I started out not even able to tell where the muscles were, or if I was doing the exercise at all. Now I can feel them all tense up and can keep them solid for a long time through many reps.

Here are my exercises! Once or twice a day I do complete sets and during the day I do some extra if I think of it.

* lie on back, knee hold 10 seconds each, alternating, 3x
* ankle loading, sit, lean on knees, raise heels, lower very slowly. 10x
* standing hamstring stretch at wall. 10-15 seconds 2x each
* Theraband ankle push (Lying down or sitting)
* Sit to stand. Sit in a chair, slowly stand up with body straight and knees bent, like doing a squat, then sit again. For many years I got up by leaning on my arm sideways favoring my bad side.
* Squeeze a kickball between knees, lying down, do arm raises sideways while tensing transverse abdominus 10-30x
* butt squeeze (What it sounds like) 30x at least (hurts on right side, i have like no muscle there)
* clamshell leg thingies but lying on back using theraband around knees (I can't manage these sideways despite YEARS of doing them; 9 months in ankle boots killed it)
* ankle cross move with theraband (I mostly skip this, it fires off a world of pain)
* Bridges (Absolutely not, nope)

I need more knee-strengthening. My ankles still always hurt. LIke it hurts to move them around even non-weight bearing. Progress there is really slow.

This is the longest I have stuck with PT in a consistent way. Combination of my life being more structured/stable, good physical therapist luck (they are great), warm pool that I can get to, and the pain/insomnia behavioral therapist, who is also great, and having the money to do all this.

On brackets, awards, etc

Mar. 18th, 2015 01:58 pm
[personal profile] yendi
I tweeted this yesterday:



That was a reference to the annual Public Radio Bracket Madness, in which Criminal -- which is a ridiculously under-appreciated masterpiece -- is matched against the powerhouse of This American Life and solidly getting its ass kicked. That's because the voting is a straight-up popularity contest, and unlike college basketball, upsets just aren't likely to happen here.

It's something I've been thinking about since the Grammys (which I didn't watch, since the list of better things to do ends up being like one of Perry Cox's rants), and the hullabaloo over Kanye being upset that Beck won an award instead of Beyonce.

With a few exceptions, awards of any sort serve as vehicles for the industry in question to either promote itself, or to reward their own.

There's nothing wrong with any of this. All industries have internal rewards, and most have outreach programs as well. If you make the movie that most pleases other moviemakers*, why shouldn't you get an award from them (see most Oscar winners)? And if you make one that makes a fuckton of money, why not get an award for that, too (People's Choice, MTV Movie Award, etc).

This applies across the board, whether it's the industry, critics, or the public. Hell, there's a 20th-Century Art Bracket going on right now in which one of Marc Chagall or Salvador Dali will fail to make it to the second round, in spite of both being better** than, say, either of Cornell or Modigliani (and artists like Vasarely, George Segal, and Agam aren't even on the list).

It applies, yes, to the Hugos and Nebulas (both of which suffer every bit as much as the Oscars from campaigning), although I do occasionally discover something new and worthwhile in the novella categories as a result.

And sure, there are exceptions, often juried ones. The Shirley Jackson Awards consistently turn up hard-to-find works that are worthwhile. The National Book Awards tend to have interesting finalists. World Fantasy is hit-or-miss, but when they hit, they hit big (and when they miss, Song of Kali stays in print forever). And the mystery awards (particularly the Edgars) tend to turn up some superior stuff (note that Ben Winters's Last Policeman series received an Edgar for the first book before finally getting some Dick recognition*** for the second in the series). But these are exceptions.

I'll repeat, since people love to get touchy about awards, that there's nothing wrong with this. Awards make people money. Therefore, people might want to win awards. Nothing wrong with wanting it or campaigning for it, and nothing wrong with an industry giving out awards to help their own (assuming that the rising tide lifts all boats).

But as a consumer, I really, truly, could give a flying fuck about awards. I pay attention in case I can learn about something new, but for the most part, my reactions are either "meh, so that was nominated/won," (and there may never be a year as predictable and, as a result, as dull as the 2015 Oscars on this front****). When something or someone I love wins an award, it validates the award, not the winner.

My point being, while I understand Kanye being upset, no one thinks that Beck is magically a better artist because he's got a(nother) gold statuette, and no one thinks the less of Beyonce because she has one less gold statuette

*I loved Birdman (I called it pretty much a perfect movie, and while I admit I wrote that in the afterglow of the experience, I do stand by what I said). But Hollywood loves movies about moviemakers. Three of the last four best picture Oscars have gone to films about movie making.

**If you're one of the people bothered by the lack of "I think" or "in my opinion" throughout this piece (a false and borderline trollish wank I'm seeing too often these days, especially on Twitter), get over it. Any junior high rhetoric teacher will note that words like that undercut arguments, and that anyone with decent reading comprehension can identify opinions.

***Yes, I could have phrased this differently. But why in the world would I have wanted to?

****The exclusion of Selma on the nomination front was huge, but after that, I don't know of anyone who lost their Oscar pool for the Big Six.

Don't Go to Grad (School)

Mar. 16th, 2015 11:29 pm
tim: Mike Slackernerny thinking "Scientific progress never smelled better" (science)
[personal profile] tim
With apologies to Reel Big Fish
Don't go to grad (school)
You'll get old and snide and overqualified
Don't go to grad (school)
You'll be so disappointed
When you end up an adjunct in Riyadh
Don't go to grad (school)
Oh yea yea yea

I hate to ruin the magic
I hate to kill the dream
But once you fail your prelims
Well you'll know just what I mean

You might think that it's cool to hang out with scholars
And chase knowledge instead of almighty dollars
But no one gives a fuck and your reviews all suck
And there's no novelty in your Ph.D
You will hate education
And no one's going to read your dissertation

Don't go to grad (school)
You'll get old and snide and overqualified
Don't go to grad (school)
You will be so damn terrible
You will disappoint your mom and dad
Don't go to grad (school)
Oh yea yea yea
It's a losing bet
That you will regret

And even if you make it
All the way to MIT
I don't think you could take it
The egos and hypocrisy
Everyone is so fake when it's visit day
And they ingratiate 'til you matriculate
And rejection fears will make all ideas
Bland and boring, your reviewers all snoring
Your advisor will become a jerk
Faster than you can write "Future work"

Don't go to grad (school)
You'll get old and snide and overqualified
Don't go to grad (school)
You will scrimp and be frugal
till you leave to work for Google
Don't go to grad (school)
Oh yeah yeah yeah
Your passion will be lost
Like opportunity cost... alright!

And if you think that the joy of research
Will help you cope with the unknowns
Wait till you quit and go bankrupt
And you can't discharge your loans
Nobody cares what you have to say
Tenure-track is dying anyway
You'll be stymied by self-doubt
And critics will find fault till you burn out

Don't go to grad (school)
Don't even try you will regret it yeah
Don't go to grad (school)
You will be so disappointed
When you end up an adjunct in Riyadh
Don't go to grad (school)
Oh yea yea yea
So just drop out now
deborah: Kirkus Reviews: OM NOM NOM BRAINS (kirkus)
[personal profile] deborah
Let me talk briefly about one of the many reasons I love Kirkus Reviews and my editor.

I've reviewed for many journals over the years, but Kirkus is the only one I've stuck with. Kirkus is also one of the only two major review journals with anonymous reviews. Kirkus claims to have an editorial voice, which is why the unsigned reviews, but while the Children's and YA Editor, Vicky Smith regularly grooms my words, she almost never modifies the thurst of the content without discussing it with me first. Sometimes she asks me for a clarification, a polish, or -- if I've crossed the line from the necessary honesty of which Kirkus reviewers are proud, to the brutality of which we're sometimes accused -- textual support to justify a surfeit of negativity. Sometimes she gives me context I didn't have (such as a publisher's indication they've changed some wording) and asks me to rewrite. Maybe once or twice in my years at Kirkus, at most, she's simply disagreed with me and rewritten in that light.

All of which is far more than she need do, because I am a writer-for-hire both legally and artistically, and while I craft reviews of which I'm proud, my job is to create reviews in the Kirkus editorial voice.

Years ago, I reviewed for another source which did have the reviewers sign the reviews. Each of those reviews was signed with my name. And every one of those reviews was edited extensively. Those edits were comprehensive in word, tone, and thrust, sometimes completely changing my judgement and analysis. As one point I wrote to the journal asking for more feedback about what they wanted me to be writing in the first place, explaining that I felt uncomfortable having my name on "work which has been so greatly modified from my original as to be scarcely recognizable," which was putting it mildly. They misunderstood, explaining they were grateful to get the sense of the reviewers' opinions, even on reviews they just then rewrote.

I began to get very uncomfortable when I realized how often they were mellowing out my negative reviews (or flat out making them positive), which happened most frequently when I complained about racial stereotypes in books. Tonight, I happened across one such review from many years ago. It was one of the only reviews I ever wrote where they kept the word "stereotype," though they made the assessment of the book much more positive than I did. I assume they kept the word because I provided textual support: six quotations, including awful representation of Native Americans, East Asians, and indigenous South Americans. One of those quotations was a massive othering of the protagonist of color starting from the book's opening pages, while several others were repulsive depictions of a non-Western country's everyday elements as being nasty, superstious, and like unto gothic horror.

Eventually I realized that I was simply unwilling to have my name on the reviews as they were rewritten. Honestly, there was a part of my brain that said "if Debbie Reese critiques something said under my name, am I willing to stand behind it?" [1]

So here's why I love Kirkus:
  • If I can provide textual support for an assessment, my editor has my back.
  • Vicky has never once suggested I'm too sensitive to representation issues in fiction; she's only asked me for textual support.
  • If the judgement is changed in a review, she usually tells me why and I trust her decisions.
  • She's asked me for a second opinion when she wanted a confirmation on a review that mentions a group I'm a part of, and I assume she does it with reviews I write as well, which adds to my confidence.
  • My name's not on the reviews anyway, woohoo


In short, Kirkus++.




[1] I second-guess my reviews all the time. I still regret reviews in which I was, in retrospect, overly concerned with a social justice analysis which was inappropriate for the length of the review and the depth of the problem. I also regret reviews in which I let deeply problematic elements of a book slide. It's a perennial balancing act. To anyone who thinks reviewers shouldn't address social justice concerns in their reviews, I obviously think you're profoundly mistaken, and I can write about that later if anyone wants, but that's another story for another post.

I also second-guess my reviews for other reasons. Was I too kind to a bland waste of paper? Was I overly influenced by an author's fame? Did I conflate my taste with quality (in either direction)? Did I ignore the value a book would serve to its readers despite all its problems? Do I need to stop reviewing when I'm battling migraine aura? That's why I recommend trusting more than one professional review source, especially if you're buying on a budget for a collection (eg librarians, teachers). Personally I recommend Kirkus and PW, but YMMV.

[back]

#WeNeedDiverseBooks

Mar. 16th, 2015 11:35 pm
deborah: Kirkus Reviews: OM NOM NOM BRAINS (kirkus)
[personal profile] deborah
It's really quite impressive how many conversations between Kirkus reviewers about books end with one of us asking, Why is everyone so racist? :(

Crown of Stars hijinks

Mar. 16th, 2015 07:44 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I am reading book 3 in the Crown of Stsrs series and have started a wiki to keep track of things: http://crown-of-stars.wikia.com

I love books where I have to take notes or re-read to really get wtf is going on. It is very satisfying. I don't think you *have* to but it's pleasurable to flip back to book 1 and see the connections and hints & how it all ties together.

Currently: mind blown as I realize parts of the family tree of both of Liath's parents. But only part. I don't have it figured out yet. Muahaha!

Spoilers below
Read more... )
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
'There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.'

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

When people call out abuse, microaggressions, or macroaggressions (the last one also being known as oppression) within your community, some people are going to want to defend that abuse because they like the way things are and don't care who gets hurt or excluded. This is the "fuck you, got mine" approach. One way for them to do this is to position themselves as being more authentic or more central members of the community than the dissenters are. It's the "fake geek girl" strategy, weaponized to gatekeep people interested in social change out of the community.

Geek culture, specifically, isn't a majority group (although it's complicated, since geek culture also controls access to the most elite jobs within what's essentially the only remaining accessible middle-class profession). But when dominant groups intersect with non-dominant groups, people in the dominant/non-dominant intersection tend to win. For example, you can be a Christian engineer and no one will think less of you as an engineer, no matter how much you display your Christian identity in the context of being an engineer, hacker, or geek. The same is true about an atheist engineer, because what engineers value is being dogmatic and doctrinaire, not ideological fine points. However, accusing somebody of being an "SJW" can, if you play your cards right, delegitimize them as an engineer, or hacker, or geek. This is because "SJW" is shorthand for having a marginalized identity or believing that marginalized people shouldn't have to subordinate themselves to powerful people in order to be accepted. In geek culture, if you start a campaign to give somebody a reputation of "just caring about politics" (which is to say, political interests that aren't aligned with the dominant group's interests), that can be a very effective way of taking away their professional credibility. The Christian engineer never has to worry about this form of pollution-of-agency attack, at least not with respect to their religious beliefs.

While the details are most certainly not the same as the trajectory of the civil rights movement in 1960s America, there is a common strategy: the consolidation of power by othering people who demand the redistribution of power. If you can convince people that someone who wants a more equitable distribution of power is automatically not authentic, not real, not one of us, you've convinced them that the only way to be part of something, to be accepted, is to accept abuse and oppression.

To say, "It doesn't have to be this way" is to expose yourself and your reputation and credibility to every kind of attack possible, because "it doesn't have to be this way" are dangerous words. They inspire fear in those who find it more comfortable to believe that it does have to be this way, that all women should stay indoors at night (instead of men learning not to rape), that people who don't like being verbally abused should "just grow a thicker skin" (instead of everyone learning not to be abusive), that children should patiently wait until they're big enough to hurt smaller people (instead of parents respecting their children's boundaries). What those using the "outside agitator" / "fake geek girl" defense wish for is making "it does have to be this way" a self-fulfilling prophecy by scaring everyone who can imagine a different reality into silence and submission. But as long as we recognize that, they won't get their wish.
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