owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
A tiny book I found almost by chance in the university library while searching for books on evaluating student writing.

I like Carol Bly even when I don't agree with her -- which is fairly often -- so I was curious about what she had against workshopping student fiction. Well, it's this:

If a student is workshopping a manuscript with a deeply felt idea or emotion, but that idea or emotion isn't coming through effectively yet, workshoppers will tend to focus on issues of technique, and this will feel, to the writer, like an invalidation -- even in a small way -- of the deeply felt thing at the center of the story. When you reveal a deeply felt thing and it gets ignored, you feel shame. You feel like it was wrong (too personal, too intimate) to say what you said. And the result is that, as a writer, you get subtly dissuaded from writing anything genuine or passionate; you focus on technique when you should be going deeper into the heart of the story.

(Also, workshops are a way of passing the workload in a creative writing class from professors to students.)

It's an interesting thesis and I can't help but thinking about it in connection with fanfiction; I certainly can't characterize fanfic communities as supportive utopias, but I think that on the whole they do tend to validate the hot squishy stuff at the center of the story. And I think that great fanfic is indeed hotter squishier more intense and passionate than even most very good profic. (I mean, that's also because restraint is explicitly valued in literary fiction...)

The class that I'm in currently actually is explicitly constructed with the aim of recognizing and validating the thematic and emotional content in the piece before we talk about anything technical -- I wonder whether my prof has read Carol Bly or if it's something he got elsewhere -- and at the start of the semester I actually thought it was going to be too nice-at-the-expense-of-honest. But I was wrong. "I can tell you everything that's wrong with your story" doesn't get a person much closer to being a good writer, especially if we want to admit that a BIG PART of being a good writer is being open and vulnerable with your emotions on the page.

(Which doesn't mean writing autobiographically, or melodramatically, or sentimentally. It DOES mean that the most important stuff in your toolbox as a writer is the stuff that is personal to your own mind and your own heart.)

[Linkspam] Monday, September 26

Sep. 26th, 2016 10:38 am
tim: A bright orange fish. (fish)
[personal profile] tim
'Ladies' Is Gender Neutral, by Alice Goldfuss (2016-09-15). "I hope this has opened some people’s eyes to what it feels like to be excluded, and how something so simple as a shirt that fits can make an impact."

My Childhood Was Appropriate For Children, by Annalee for The Bias (2016-09-23). "Bisexuality is perfectly appropriate for children, because many children are bisexual. Treating bisexuality as an ‘adult’ topic? As if it’s a deviation kids couldn’t possibly understand? That’s what’s not appropriate for children."

Valuing chronically ill graduate students, by Sarcozona for Tenure, She Wrote (2016-09-22). "None of my colleagues would ever say to me that they think I shouldn’t be a scientist or that chronically ill and disabled students should be barred from academia, but when there isn’t (adequate) funding for sick students, chronically ill students are effectively excluded from academia."

ADHD Tipping Points: Why people with ADHD suddenly seem to fall apart, and what you can do about it, by Emily Morson for Mosaic of Minds (2016-09-15). About why people with chronic illness (whether that illness is categorized as mental or physical) often seem to function normally up to a point, then fall apart during adulthood -- writte about ADHD, but I think it can apply just as well to C/PTSD and probably many other illnesses.

[CW: rape] Cockblocking Rapists Is A Moral Obligation; or, How To Stop Rape Right Now, by Thomas MacAulay Millar for Yes Means Yes (2013-10-20). Lots of good points in this, including the importance of noticing boundary-pushing, and this: "What can people do with unsubstantiated accusations? Quite a lot, actually."

Two pieces on the trash fire that is Out magazine's decision to profile professional harassment campaign organizer Milo Yiannopoulos:

Occupy Wall Street, five years on: fire in the dustbin of history, by Laurie Penny for the New Statesman (2016-09-17). 'Being on the left is, in some ways, an exercise in learning how to fail. Of course, all resistance movements eventually fail, because those which do not succeed in overhauling the existing order invariably become the existing order. Wilson, writing as Bey, reminds us that the Temporary Autonomous Zones are, by their nature, ephemeral. “Such moments of intensity give shape and meaning to the entirety of a life. You can't stay up on the roof forever — but things have changed, shifts and integrations have occurred — a difference is made.”'

Take the Cake: Fat Fury, Fat Love — Claiming 'Fat Space' In Activist Communities, by Virgie Tovar for Ravishly (2016-09-08). "I too feel intense pressure to be perpetually kind, patient, and educational whenever I write or speak about fat discrimination and body image. Often, I do genuinely feel kind and patient and educational. The problem is that when I don’t feel that way, I am expected to bypass feelings of anger or disappointment in favor of sublimation, with the idea being that this sublimation benefits me/all people (since I am a subset of all people)."

Why I Quit My Job To Live Off My Private Wealth, by Fiona Pearce for Reductress (2016-09-20). "Life is about choices, and you only get one life to live. The only way to take control of your destiny is to decide how you really want to spend your time—which is why I chose to quit my job and live off my vast personal fortune."

Syllabus and stats

Sep. 24th, 2016 09:49 pm
deborah: Kirkus Reviews: OM NOM NOM BRAINS (kirkus)
[personal profile] deborah
I've updated the online reading list for my Fantasy and Science Fiction class at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College.

Some random statistics might be interesting. I kept track of them for my own purposes, and then I had too much fun with pivot tables, so I'm sharing some of my results. Keep in mind these are often guesses on my part, because I only needed rough numbers, and I could be wrong.Many stats! )
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
I thought I would make a list of my favorite Geek Feminism Blog posts, since it's a bit hard to find some of the great older posts there. I omitted my own posts as well as most cross-posts. (Excluding cross-posts excluded some of my favorite posts, alas, but I wanted to focus on content originally published on the GF blog.)

2009

Why We Document, by Mary Gardiner. "But what makes it worth it for me is that when people are scratching their heads over why women would avoid such a revolutionarily free environment like Free Software development, did maybe something bad actually happen, that women have answers."

Questioning the Merit of Meritocracy, by Skud.

2010

But Women Are an Advanced Social Skill, by Mary Gardiner.

Is requiring Open Source experience sexist?, by Mary Gardiner.

Self-confidence tricks, by Terri Oda.

Geek feminism as opposed to mainstream feminism?, by Mary Gardiner.

How to Appear Incompetent in One Easy Step, by Amber Baldet.

When You Are the Expert in the Room, by Mary Gardiner.

Meritocracy? Might want to re-think how you define merit., by Terri Oda. "It’s not the intelligence of the group members that matters; it’s their social sensitivity."

"Why don't you just hit him?, by Mary Gardiner. "Harassment is not a private matter between harasser and victim, and it’s not the victim’s job to put a stop to it."

Letting down my entire gender, by Terri Oda. "You feel like changing the world rests in your hands, and you let the world down because you had to say no. You had to quit. You had to hide."

2011

On competence, confidence, pernicious socialization, recursion, and tricking yourself, by Sumana Harihareswara. "It’s as though my goalposts came on casters to make them easier to move"

Impostor syndrome and hiring power, by Mary Gardiner.

in memory of nina reiser, by mizchalmers

Geeks as bullied and bullies, by Mary Gardiner

Online harassment as a daily hazard: when trolls feed themselves, by Mary Gardiner.

On being harassed: a little GF history and some current events, by Skud. 'I didn’t quit because I couldn’t handle the technology, or because I had a baby, but because I had become fundamentally disenchanted with a “community” (please imagine me doing sarcastic air quotes) that supports the kind of abuse I’ve experienced and treats most human-related problems — from harassment to accessibility to the infinite variety of names people use (ahem ahem Google Plus) — as “too hard”.'

2012

What she really said: Fighting sexist jokes the geeky way!, by Jessamyn Smith.

How I Got 50% Women Speakers at My Tech Conference, by Courtney Stanton.

I take it we aren’t cute enough for you?, by Mary Gardiner. "I want to get this out in the open: people love to support geek girls, they are considerably more ambivalent about supporting geek women."

Pipeline Guilt, by Jessamyn Fairfield. "It’s a heavy burden to want to be the best example for women in your field, at the expense of your own happiness. And it’s easy to hear about the leaky pipeline and see it as prescriptive, implying that individual women have to choose to stay in the pipeline in order to help solve the problem."

How do you look for jobs in an industry known for biases against women?, by Terri Oda.

2013

Dear male allies: your sexism looks a bit like my racism, by mizchalmers. "Here’s what I want to tell you, dear male allies. It is such a relief. Listening to other peoples’ voices? Is incredibly moving, and humbling, and endlessly interesting. Shutting the hell up while I do it? God, how I love the sound of not-my-own-voice. Going into battle against racists and so forth? So much easier, now that I have a faint clue what’s actually going on."

Book Club: Three times a Geek Feminist walked away from Omelas (and two times she didn’t), by mizchalmers. "Now I think the best we can do is practise vigilance. To watch out for people who might be locking children in rooms. And to refrain from locking children in rooms ourselves."

Tech confidence vs. tech competence, by Alex. "This is in stark contrast to communities where tech competence is valued above all else: where people feel they have to hide their mistakes. In such settings we routinely observe low volunteering rates from people in marginalised groups, with low retention from beginning volunteers, because people are too scared to ask for help or too scared to admit that they don’t know how things work."

2014

It is easier now that I look like a guy, by Fortister. "Instead of spending my weekend hacking open source I spend my weekend figuring out how to defend the notion of my humanity."

Dropping the F bomb, by Skud. "Women in tech groups are not necessarily feminist. Some actively work against feminist ideals."

Initial Impressions of Mac OS Sierra

Sep. 21st, 2016 05:00 pm
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hey everyone. Subject of this entry is pretty self-explanatory. Last night I began the download process for Mac OS Sierra, Apple's latest release for the Mac platform. I let my system do its thing overnight, and this morning when I got out of bed and came in here the installation process was ready to begin. Thus far I have found Mac OS Sierra to be very good in terms of VoiceOver performance and performance in general. I like the enhancements which Apple has made to existing features, and thus far I've found some pretty cool new ones.





The feature I'd specifically like to focus on in this entry is Siri. I had previously heard demonstrations of Siri, and was impressed. I sort of wondered if it would ever be made available on the Mac, so consequently I'm happy to see it on here. I played around with it a bit earlier today, and it seems to be pretty cool. I thought I'd have to train it to call me by name and recognize my voice, but that hasn't been the case at all thus far. I'd still like to play around with it some more. Although I probably won't use Siri as much as some other people, it's nice that the good Cupertino folks have included it and I will definitely make at least some use of it.





As with Apple's prior releases AppleVis has all the nitty-gritty stuff that VoiceOver and Zoom users need to know, so I won't steal their thunder. But what I will say is that Apple has once again demonstrated their true and ongoing commitment to universal accessibility across their product line.
[personal profile] mjg59
There's a story going round that Lenovo have signed an agreement with Microsoft that prevents installing free operating systems. This is sensationalist, untrue and distracts from a genuine problem.

The background is straightforward. Intel platforms allow the storage to be configured in two different ways - "standard" (normal AHCI on SATA systems, normal NVMe on NVMe systems) or "RAID". "RAID" mode is typically just changing the PCI IDs so that the normal drivers won't bind, ensuring that drivers that support the software RAID mode are used. Intel have not submitted any patches to Linux to support the "RAID" mode.

In this specific case, Lenovo's firmware defaults to "RAID" mode and doesn't allow you to change that. Since Linux has no support for the hardware when configured this way, you can't install Linux (distribution installers will boot, but won't find any storage device to install the OS to).

Why would Lenovo do this? I don't know for sure, but it's potentially related to something I've written about before - recent Intel hardware needs special setup for good power management. The storage driver that Microsoft ship doesn't do that setup. The Intel-provided driver does. "RAID" mode prevents the Microsoft driver from binding and forces the user to use the Intel driver, which means they get the correct power management configuration, battery life is better and the machine doesn't melt.

(Why not offer the option to disable it? A user who does would end up with a machine that doesn't boot, and if they managed to figure that out they'd have worse power management. That increases support costs. For a consumer device, why would you want to? The number of people buying these laptops to run anything other than Windows is miniscule)

Things are somewhat obfuscated due to a statement from a Lenovo rep:This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft. It's unclear what this is meant to mean. Microsoft could be insisting that Signature Edition systems ship in "RAID" mode in order to ensure that users get a good power management experience. Or it could be a misunderstanding regarding UEFI Secure Boot - Microsoft do require that Secure Boot be enabled on all Windows 10 systems, but (a) the user must be able to manage the key database and (b) there are several free operating systems that support UEFI Secure Boot and have appropriate signatures. Neither interpretation indicates that there's a deliberate attempt to prevent users from installing their choice of operating system.

The real problem here is that Intel do very little to ensure that free operating systems work well on their consumer hardware - we still have no information from Intel on how to configure systems to ensure good power management, we have no support for storage devices in "RAID" mode and we have no indication that this is going to get better in future. If Intel had provided that support, this issue would never have occurred. Rather than be angry at Lenovo, let's put pressure on Intel to provide support for their hardware.

[Linkspam] Monday, September 19

Sep. 19th, 2016 05:35 pm
tim: A bright orange fish. (fish)
[personal profile] tim
Adult Film Site XHamster Buys Alexis Arquette Sex Tape, Immediately Destroys All Copies, by Don Crothers for Inquisitr (2016-09-18). Good.

White Woman at Her ‘Most Authentic’ When Appropriating Other Cultures, by Taryn Englehart for Reductress (2016-03-08).

To find Hillary Clinton likable, we must learn to view women as complex beings, by Caroline Siede for Boingboing (2016-09-15). "So why is Clinton critiqued for raising her voice like Sanders, speaking hard truths like Biden, and making an awkward Pokémon Go reference we almost certainly would have dubbed a “dad joke” had Kaine said it? Why do we find their flaws likable and Clinton’s flaws off-putting? Why isn't she seen as America's awkward aunt or nerdy stepmom?"

26 Things Emotionally Strong People Do, by Jeremy Radin (2016-08-25). "Emotionally Strong people have four emotions: strong, abundance, no I am not having a panic attack I’m just tired from being so busy manifesting what I am blessed about every day, and hashtag."

The lasting impact of white teachers who mispronounce minority student names, by Clare McLaughlin for Quartz (2016-09-07). '...it’s okay to make an error, “but it is not okay to ignore the mistake or not learn from it.”'

All 314 Bruce Springsteen Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best, by Caryn Rose for Vulture (2016-09-13). I feel personally attacked by this list in all sorts of ways, but I enjoyed reading it.

Mansplaining: how not to talk to female Nasa astronauts, by Laura Bates for the Guardian (2016-09-13). "In the meantime, here is a good rule of thumb for overenthusiastic men on Twitter to follow: if she’s wearing a Nasa spacesuit, take a minute to consider whether you really want to tell her how to do her job."

Why You Shouldn’t Label People “Low Performers”, by Ryan W. Quinn for the Harvard Business Review (2016-09-14). In general, labeling is a cognitive distortion. In specific, this article talks about why labeling employees as "good" or "bad" workers undermines an organization.

The Collective Gaslighting of the Trigger Warning Debate, by Miri (Brute Reason) for The Orbit (2016-09-13). "If people are telling you that they are trying to engage with trauma-related material and you insist that they’re actually saying that they want to avoid it–or literally ban it from being taught–you are gaslighting them. You are insisting that you know better than they do what’s inside their own heads. You are pretending that they said something other than what they actually said, making them doubt their own thoughts and words."

Real Talk: Women in Tech and Money, by Cate Huston (2016-09-15). "...if you know that part your career is likely to be over within ten years, you (if you are sensible) factor that into your financial planning. Looking at the data, it makes sense for women in tech to do the same."

Many deep questions about Star Trek

Sep. 17th, 2016 08:50 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Watched "Where No Man Has Gone Before" on the wall with the new projector! OMG!

Notes:

Massively shiny velour shirts!

Cannot remember how my perceptions must have changed from watching this till age 10 on a tiny black and white TV. Maybe saw color stills and just... in my mind my memories of it are in color! But they can't have been.

They carry around little stacks of what look exactly like bright colored 1990s floppy disks. Kirk has some on the bridge on the edge of his command chair, and they have them in sick bay, and everyone has their own stacks in different colors in the conference room. They have sort of built in ipads in the desk.

I adore the giant lithium power packs!

The psychiatrist, Dr. Dehner, is wearing pants. Yay, pants! Hilarious space purse on a big strap. The doctor (not McCoy yet) has both a giant leather space briefcase and a leather tool box on a strap.

The scene where Kelso gets strangled by the giant cable really was familiar. Once the cable started to move I remembered being impressed by that scene when I was fairly small.

It did not seem to occur to Dr. Dehner (even though I kept screaming it to her) that it was up to her and her mighty ESP equipped womb to bear the entire new race of Esper gods! It didn't occur to Kirk either!

Everyone is very into the constant racist aggressions on Spock! I know that only gets worse, too.

Can't wait to rewatch the whole original series... in order.... well rough order anyway.

It's important to Remember 9/11/01

Sep. 17th, 2016 10:55 pm
[personal profile] jazzyjj
What do I remember about 9/11/01? I was at home by myself. I was still living with my parents at the time, and they were both still working. On that particular Tuesday morning they left early for work, as they always did. My brother was and still is living in Virginia, and most of my sisters had left for the day. One sister was in the hospital having a procedure done, but she's fine. I woke up, got out of bed, and headed for the shower. After showering, I brushed my teeth and got dressed. I then headed downstairs to the kitchen, where my mom had set out breakfast for me. The kitchen radio was on and tuned to Chicago's public-radio station, as was and still is customary for my parents. I don't recall exactly what time of day I had arrived in the kitchen, but I do remember that it was shortly after the first hijacked airplane hit the Twin Towers. The radio was playing snippets of that, interspersed with a ton of commentary. Then not long after that the second hijacked plane hit, and there was even more commentary with sound bytes. I remember calling my mom at work to see if she and the students were okay, and her colleagues. Then I think I called my dad, or perhaps he called me. Fortunately everybody with whom I was in contact that day was safe and sound. Then I just went about my business. My sister and brother-in-law were not married yet but were still dating. He was actually deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Fortunately I didn't lose any family or friends in the attacks of that dreadful day. But my heart goes out to those who did lose loved ones.

Exhausted to the bone

Sep. 17th, 2016 03:13 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Deeply exhausted. Pep talking myself and asking zond7 to tell me reassuring things.
Last week I made the call at work to delay the release and then things got a bit better and caught up, and were looking good. But then Thurs. early afternoon this big old security issue drama unfolded (not really a drama, but oddly hooked into existing drama situation). Other stuff kept popping up in demanding ways. I did feel kind of happy that my friend is now running some things in another department, and I was able to support her reasonbly well and am also just like so glad she is incredibly capable and a good leader for that area. I also said no to many other things/teams who wanted a thing that is impossible.

Yesterday was long and draining. I had to wake up this morning and work a bunch. Then MORE things came up. I wrote a half assed email to deal with the more things, and cced people so that if it is overly half assed, one of them will correct it. (Also, so that the others who are newer can know the sort of thing you should do, even if my email isn't the best example of its kind).

Went to the cafe with Milo and caught pokemons and had a bagel and I finished the 3rd draft of one more poem. Then he went off to catch the bus to his dance class. (Popping..... he is learning a lot)

I tried to work further on the translation and kept realizing I was just staring off into space.

Then as I looked at what was left realized I left out 2 solid pages of a dense prose poem right near the end. It is about Nixon and Elvis, Vietnam and probably also about pinochet somehow. Fuck!!!!! OK. deep breaths!

Grocery shopped and got extra groceries for my friend. I am worried about him.

Exchanged messages with Mars woman who came up to me in the restaurant last night and we agreed to meet some time soon. Maybe I will have a nice local poet friend? I need poets to babble with.

I felt sort of despairing but then came home to lie in the sun in the flowery back patio with zond7 and the cat. I also sat on the side path and did some very minor weeding and watered the plants. All like, 100 times what I was able to do even a week ago!

But my overwhelming feeling is of sadness and failure like, "I should be able to crank at this translation for at least half a day.... if not all day... like 8 hours of work". Despite all evidence to the contrary that I have never, ever done this and have max 3 hours translating/poeting in me at the best of times.

Something about it being 1pm and you realize you have nothing left of energy!

I am resting and enjoying the day! I am nurturing myself and being nice to myself and I get to live in this nice place. Not beating myself up for not finishing the translation project.

I would like to ship the work stuff and have some feeling of relief, and I'd like to not have this book hanging over me. 10 more pages or thereabouts.

I emailed the editor what I have so far (just past the long airplane poem). Oh, god! I hope he doesn't hate it! It all feels kind of clumsy and in my usual M.O. I know it would take me ANOTHER YEAR at this pace to feel happy with it. At least 6 months. I need to look at 1 poem per day and like, meditate on them and let them cook. Also i have so many questions and uncertain bits. Oh, my god.

Super hoping I dont have to get together & ship another build at work (not inherently hard, but hard because it is the weekend and it's a process across several teams). now, on the other hand, I am proud both that I called the delay when I thought we needed it, and that I am capable of hustling (and getting everyone else to hustle, i hope only when necessary.)

I may have it in me to cook some dinner.... Actually that is amazing as a week ago I could not stand up to brush my teeth....

I think I am also having some withdrawal emotions/shakiness from the prednisone (day 2 off of it completely)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Two announcements, one Elementary and one for the rarer Holmesian fandoms:




Elementary Rolling Remix is open for sign-ups!

Someone makes a thing, someone else remixes it, it's passed to the next person to be remixed again, and on it goes until everyone has had a turn, and then it all goes live at once. Everyone gets two weeks to work on their thing, "remix" is interpreted very broadly, and there's an option to work cross-media (remixing fic into art into vids, say) or even to not work cross-media, depending on one's comfort zone.

Sign-ups are open through 9/21 at [livejournal.com profile] phoenixfalls's LJ.

Come play!




...and I'm helping mod More Holmes, an AO3 a collection for the rarer Holmesian fandoms.

Technically, you can always find all the Holmesian anything on AO3 by digging through the Sherlock Holmes & Related Fandoms tag; in practice, however, it takes a daunting amount of digging to find anything that isn't Sherlock BBC. (The other stuff is there! It's just swamped. And sadly, AO3's sort/filter functions are only effective if the BBC stuff is all tagged correctly in the first place, which... it isn't.) Not being able to easily find those smaller fandoms is a problem that has frustrated me for years, both as a reader and a creator.

Thus! The More Holmes collection! It's for the needle-in-a-haystack Holmesian fandoms, the ones where it's hard to get the word out that you made a thing, or hard to discover that a new thing has been made. If you make stuff/have made stuff, you should come add it to the collection; if you like to read/watch/look-at stuff, you should come poke around and see what's there.

Btw, people have been steadily adding works ever since we opened it, so it's worth checking in every so often to see if there's anything new. The collection itself sorts by creation date -- sadly, not by addition-to-the-collection date -- but all newly-added works are announced on our tumblr, which also has an RSS feed, for the non-tumblr people:
[tumblr.com profile] moreholmes / RSS
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