This is a long time coming, and I still intend to polish my thesis for academic publication, but in the mean time here’s a generalized extract that covers the phenomenology of affect, fear, the uncanny, horror, and something very much like trauma:
Here’s a bunch of mostly-nonpartisan voting information for my specific ballot. You can find most of this information for your specific location with a simple Google of “ballot.” Remember that, while your vote for the presidency is super important, your votes on the rest of the ballot will also be important, and may have a more immediate impact on your day-to-day life.
First, and most importantly, one of the most important things I think we can do for public safety is to vote against the NRA and the people it endorses. Luckily, they make this easy, as they give people grades – higher grades mean less gun control, while lower grades mean more care for the lives of their constituents. The grades database is here: https://www.nrapvf.org/grades/ Look through it all and find the people who will do more than invoke thoughts and prayers.
Now that the overt partisanry is over with, here are all the candidates on my ballot, along with their party endorsements and platform pages (if available). I won’t lie, I’m ordering them by my belief of who would be best for the position through their mix of ethics and experience, but the judgments I have made are not necessarily the judgments you should make. I also understand taking a principled stance of not voting, but I don’t plan to leverage my political power in that way. I’ll also be linking BallotPedia pages, for additional information. You can also find more information on places like OnTheIssues.org, VoteSmart.org, and GovTrack.us. If desired, you can also generally find their social media accounts through the platform pages, though the information on those accounts tends toward tl;dr kinds of brevity.
President / Vice President:
Hillary Clinton / Tim Kaine (Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Women’s Equality Party)
Jill Stein / Ajamu Baraka (Green Party)
Gary Johnson / Bill Weld (Libertarian Party, Independence Party)
Donald Trump / Michael Pence
Robin Wilson (Green Party)
Chuck Schumer (Democratic Party, Independence Party, Women’s Equality Party, Working Families Party)
Alex Merced (Libertarian Party)
Wendy Long (Republican Party, Reform Party, Conservative Party)
Sean Maloney (Independence Party, Women’s Equality Party, Working Families Party, Democratic Party)
Phil Oliva (Reform Party, Conservative Party, Republican Party)
NY State Senator (District 41)
Terry Gipson (Green Party, Women’s Equality, Working Families Party, Democratic Party)
Susan Serino (Independence Party, Reform Party, Conservative Party, Republican Party)
NY State Assembly Member (District 105)
Joseph Torres (Women’s Equality Party, Working Families Party, Democratic Party)
Kieran Lalor (Conservative Party, Independence Party, Reform Party, Republican Party)
I’ve been meaning to write a post or a series of tweets about how much Steven Universe, his dad Greg, the Saga series’ Marko, and Master of None‘s Dev mean to me, as an Autistic, mostly-cishet white man who wants to not be toxic. This is not that post. It is still about Steven Universe, but specifically about last night’s episode, ‘Mindful Education.’ Minor spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Mindful Education”
With apologies to the band ‘Rishloo,’ from whose song “Landmines” I drew the title of this presentation, and to the publishing company ‘The Onyx Path,’ from one of whose Kickstarter videos I drew the title for my arc in the presentation.
Sterbensfreude and its appendices are my attempt to seriously reckon with what I saw as a failure within phenomenological philosophy to account for consciousness as experienced in death (what’s known as a near-death experience, or NDE) and in another experience that claims a kind of death-status: ego death, as induced by meditation and by entheogenic/psychedelic drugs . Again, despite some reservations, I think this did rather well, and am mostly happy with it, especially as a first foray into phenomenology and philosophy.
From a friend of a friend, in response to https://ayadeleon.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/dear-white-peoplequeridos-gringos-you-want-our-culture-but-you-dont-want-us-stop-colonizing-the-day-of-the-dead/ :
“Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or sow-in) was the iteration (one of many) observed by the ppls of Ireland and Britain since before the Roman invasions, the violent imposition of Christianity, and the destruction of European peasant communities by capitalism and the rise of the modern European nation-states. Protective and cleansing bonfires were lit, the veil between the worlds was thinnest so faeries and spirits could more easily come into our world, and the souls of the dead returned to their homes and were invited to the dinners of the living. Divination and mumming and guising were practiced, candles were lit in windows to guide the dead, skulls of cows and other animals were painted and adorned and placed around the home, people painted their faces with ashes from the ritual fires and went door to door reciting verses in exchange for food.
“In 601 AD/CE, after centuries of violent but unsuccessful attempts to Christianize the common peoples of Europe, Pope Gregory the First issued an edict detailing a new strategy for Christian missionaries: rather than outlawing pagan religious practices, the authorities should instead co-opt them. Instead of cutting down sacred tree groves, they were to consecrate them in the name of Christ. Turn pagan gods and goddessss into either saints or manifestations of the Devil, turn the Celtic underworld into the Christian hell, turn faeries and spirits into angels and demons, and turn spiritual holidays into Christian ones, or place Christian holidays on the same dates and then ban any other coinciding spiritual practice. Thus Samhain became supplanted by Halloween (All Hallows Eve) on October 31st, All Saints Day on November 1st, and All Souls Day on November 2nd. But indigenous pagan practices persisted, and as the co-optation strategy reached its limits of effectiveness, the practices of the original pagan holidays of Europe were increasingly outlawed, policed, and punished. They went underground and persisted, despite several attempts by state and church to uproot them. The mass murder of hundreds of thousands of women accused of witchcraft throughout Europe during the Burning Times was in part another attempt to do this. And capitalism being what it is, the commodification of Halloween into what it is today was an inevitable progression from there.
“I wish white people in this country knew more about our deeper history. There’s a reason why we are so culturally and spiritually hungry: our peoples’ cultures were stamped out through rape, murder, theft and ecocide over the course of millennia. Becoming European, and later becoming White, made us a wandering ghost people severed from our roots and even the memory of them, to the point that we’ve come to identify with the very culture and forces that destroyed our cultures to begin with. And because we do not know ourselves, we steal and appropriate from other peoples who we have colonized in turn. We feel that we are missing something, but cannot name it, so we take from peoples who still have some connection to their roots, who still have names and memory for their own ancestral ways. Doing so is colonial violence, and not the answer to our own need for decolonization and healing.
“I can’t say that I know how to move forward, but a basic step has got to be respecting the cultural boundaries of others when they say, “No.” And if you are invited to participate, to do so with the upmost humility and respect. Do not mistake that invitation to your friends’/partners’ Dia de Los Muertos event for an invitation to then do nothing in the service of looking to/confronting/reclaiming your own ancestry and history – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
“May we make the best of our ancestors proud, the worst of them conscience-stricken, and may we struggle to be good ancestors ourselves.”
We may soon be able to use gel as a scaffold to 3D print human organs: http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/29/9414847/3d-printing-human-organs-gel-scaffolding
John Oliver talks about how mental illness is only really brought up as a scapegoat for bigoted violence by white men: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=7&v=NGY6DqB1HX8
A poignant meditation on how sometimes we need to grieve for estranged or ended friendships: http://jezebel.com/how-do-you-grieve-a-friendship-when-you-never-wanted-to-1734328274
The United States bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital about a month ago. President Obama has since apologized for the bombing. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/08/world/asia/obama-apologizes-for-bombing-of-afghanistan-hospital.html Since this article has come out, it’s also become clear that some of the U.S. operatives may have known that we were about to bomb a hospital and withheld that information from their superiors.
A pretty cool tweet about a gif of a raven: https://twitter.com/cox_tom/status/651067618900738052
An interesting post on the relationship between ideological culpability and personal responsibility: http://rachelandmiles.tumblr.com/post/130693145781/so-i-saw-rachels-post-about-the-2-year
Norwegian Air is hoping to start selling flights to Europe for about $70: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/norwegian-air-ceo-says-69-flights-u-s-europe-coming-n439686
Bees need fungi: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/09/446928755/could-a-mushroom-save-the-honeybee
Luckily, sometimes they also farm fungi: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28381-bees-found-farming-fungus-for-first-time-to-feed-larvae/
Maybe we need more api-mycologists?
Cool and creepy imageset featureing art by Zdzisław Beksiński: http://imgur.com/gallery/BEKhL
I always enjoy seeing posts about linguistic diversity across geography. This is a map of swears, along with some gendered and heteronormative slurs: https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/mapping-the-united-swears-of-america/
We might have found a star that hosts some kind of alien civilization (maybe): http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/10/the-most-interesting-star-in-our-galaxy/410023/
A very good analysis of positive and emotional masculinity in Final Fantasy X: http://femhype.com/2015/10/13/tidus-video-games-answer-to-toxic-masculinity/
One of the ways that patriarchy shows up in the workplace and in other professional arenas is in speech patterns: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2015/10/13/jennifer-lawrence-has-a-point-famous-quotes-the-way-a-woman-would-have-to-say-them-during-a-meeting/
I don’t agree with all of this article, because I think it should go a little further with its argument and tiptoe a little less around the feelings of people who support abusive practice. Beyond that, though, it is well researched and solidly written: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122785/gamergate-culture-war-people-who-dont-play-videogames
One of the ways that patriarchy creates an inequitable medical environment is that women’s pain is not taken as seriously as men’s pain: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/emergency-room-wait-times-sexism/410515/
Bradley Cooper is going to start collectively bargaining his wages alongside his female costars to try and do his part to alleviate gendered wage disparity: http://www.businessinsider.com/bradley-cooper-on-gender-pay-gap-2015-10
Contrast with Jeremy Renner, who is awful: http://www.pajiba.com/celebrities_are_better_than_you/jeremy-renner-says-its-not-his-job-to-negotiate-equal-pay-alongside-his-female-costars-.php
We should start having conversations around consent much earlier than in college: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/10/14/why-are-we-waiting-until-college-to-learn-about-consent/
New York City is going to be getting an underground park, and it looks pretty cool! http://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2015-10-13/inside-the-lowline-new-york-city-s-first-underground-park Too bad New York will be mostly submerged once Antarctica is melted.
You should tip well because your servers deserve to not live in poverty, but restaurant law should also be reformed so that they actually pay their staff well: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/opinion/why-tipping-is-wrong.html
See also: http://www.vox.com/2014/7/17/5888347/one-more-case-against-tipping
Chivalry, the medieval concept, is very different from chivalry, the patriarchical condescension toward women: http://bettermyths.com/chivalry-isnt-dead-you-just-dont-know-what-the-fuck-it-is/
Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil is something that I very much enjoyed, but its feminism game could have been better: http://fusion.net/story/119227/daredevil-might-be-blind-but-hes-still-perfected-the-male-gaze/
Amazon’s pricecutting for books and ebooks may have the effect of stagnating the cultural development of the countries where it has an established hold: http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/is-amazon-creating-a-cultural-monopoly
Systemic oppression by the police plays out in a number of ways, but exposure to police is a big one: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/upshot/police-killings-of-blacks-what-the-data-says.html
Playboy is no longer going to be printing nudes: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/10/13/business/media/nudes-are-old-news-at-playboy.html
Another interesting take: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/playboy-and-the-nouveau-bro/410542/
Harper’s government created a law in which one’s citizenship could conceivably be stripped as part of legal punishment. I really hope that the new Liberal government in Canada overturns this ASAP: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/10/14/new-law-makes-canadian-jews-second-class-citizens.html
A moving company has decided that helping to remedy domestic abuse is part of their business model: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/meathead-movers-helps-women-leave-abusive-homes/
A cool advance in one company’s approach to electric cars: http://www.wired.com/2015/10/arcimoto/
Chicago’s police are terrible and have illegally detained over 7000 people: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/homan-square-chicago-police-disappeared-thousands
Captain America has always been political, and in the beginning was an actual patriot (as opposed to a nationalist): http://comicsalliance.com/conservatives-vs-captain-america/
Some people have decided to boycott the new Star Wars because it’s not centering white men: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/10/19/about-that-dumb-star-wars-boycott/
Even though it’s organized by trolls and is just ‘trolling’ for a reaction, the effect is indistinguishable from sincere bigotry: http://www.jimchines.com/2015/10/boycotts-and-ironic-racism/
Also, the new Star Wars may just be bad. It probably won’t be, but Star Wars’ batting average isn’t good: http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/what-if-the-new-star-wars-sucks-too-1737539377
One person’s projection for what things are likely to happen in the new Liberal Canadian government: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/goodbye-f-35s-hello-marijuana-what-the-liberals-are-likely-to-do-first
A chemical that is nearly-ubiquitous in sunscreen is probably the direct cause of the coral reefs’ deaths: http://m.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1021/Why-sunscreen-may-be-killing-coral-reefs
An in-depth look at systemic racism in video games, as centered on game design’s difficulty in rendering Black hair: http://kotaku.com/the-natural-the-trouble-portraying-blackness-in-video-1736504384
Vincent Price was probably bisexual. While it is really not our business which celebrity has sex with whom, representation is also important: http://www.boom.lgbt/index.php/news-a/100-national/727-vincent-price-daughter-confirms-father-s-bisexuality
The tradition of threatening male adolescents who want to date female adolescents who are in your care is really condescending to everyone involved, and it should stop: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kasey-ferris/my-son-does-not-need-to-b_b_8338402.html
A great list of webcomics with Black leads: http://joamettegil.tumblr.com/post/129297660160/webcomics-w-black-leads-master-post-as-of-this Note: This is not actually the list, but is the post with a link to the most recently updated version of the list.
Some great pictures from early-20th-century Ellis Island: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/24/what-americas-immigrants-looked-like-when-they-arrived-on-ellis-island/
A roundtable for how to promote online diversity and prevent harassment: http://www.wired.com/2015/10/how-silicon-valley-can-solve-online-diversity-and-harassment/
Organic molecules were probably in our solar system when it was still a nebula: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1025/Ingredients-for-life-were-present-from-the-start-comet-study-suggests I find this especially interesting as a potential counterpoint to the theory of panspermia.
We’re finally leaving the ‘No Child Left Behind’ era! http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/10/24/obama-announces-end-of-no-child-left-behind-era-education-is-more-than-tests/
Crows learn from death: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/murder-crows-learns-death
Universities were built on racial inequality, and that legacy remains: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/injustice-at-universities-runs-far-deeper-than-racist-memorials/412207/
Quantum computing holds interesting potentials for cybersecurity: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329873-000-quantum-internet-could-keep-us-safe-from-spying-eyes/
Academic writing should be more accessible. In addition to the points raised within this article, I wonder whether its inaccessibility is part of the ‘higher education crisis’ today: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/complex-academic-writing/412255/
Academia.edu is a for-profit company that is not dedicated to transparency or to the advancement of academic interests: http://www.plannedobsolescence.net/academia-not-edu/
We need a better vocabulary of consolation and of grief: http://www.salon.com/2015/10/24/please_stop_telling_me_my_daughter_is_in_heaven/
The odds against coincidentally all-male panels are high: http://www.themarysue.com/all-male-panel-odds/
The FBI is backwardsedly discouraging scrutiny on the grounds that it might be driving up crime rates: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/james-comeys-crime-creationism/412585/
SXSW doesn’t understand harassment and it played into GamerGate’s agenda: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/buzzfeed-threatens-to-withdraw-from-sxsw-over-canceled-gamin
See also: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/27/this-is-not-a-game-how-sxsw-turned-gamergate-abuse-into-a-spectator-sport.html
At least they might be taking a full day to talk about harassment: http://recode.net/2015/10/27/exclusive-after-gamergate-misstep-sxsw-weighing-an-all-day-forum-on-online-harassment/
(Also, Gamergate has never stopped: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/28/gamergate-didnt-fade-into-obscurity-harassment-women-sxsw-panel As one of my other friends pointed out, it has also been around longer than the official “GamerGate” movement, but I think that there is also something about the movement that congealed and organized something that had previously been disparate.)
We need to take police officers out of schools. They are not helping anything except the school-to-prison pipeline, as the officer who threw a black girl for not putting away her cell phone and for not responding to his ‘authority’ demonstrates: http://heavy.com/news/2015/10/niya-kenny-assault-at-spring-valley-high-disturbing-school-south-carolina-student-video-arrested-standing-up-speaking-recording-charged-interview-mother/
Sonic and light-based tractor beams exist now: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/27/star-wars-tractor-beams-are-real.html
Pictures of old Finnish people with things on their heads: http://www.laravisual.com/old-finnish-people-with-things-on-their-heads/
A new design for ion engines could prove very helpful in enabling long-distance space travel: http://www.iflscience.com/ion-engine-breakthrough-could-take-us-mars-fraction-fuel
A very interesting take on immersion in haunted houses: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2015/10/haunted_house_attractions_in_japan_are_more_immersive_and_intimate_than.single.html
Hawai’i may not be legally U.S. territory: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34680564
On some of the ways that U.S. is currently set up to redistribute wealth upward, and on the commensurate need to add structures to aid in the redistribution of wealth downward: http://robertreich.org/post/132363519655 It reminds me of one of my Anarchist friends, who once said that the primary purpose of government, to him, was to guard against capitalism. I think about that a lot, and this is one of the places where it’s plainly necessary.
A new design attempt for a fusion reactor: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/new-nuclear-reactor-could-hold-secret-lasting-fusion
There’s a new kind of concrete that could help mitigate the possibility of flooding on roads: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider/videos/419013808296981/ There would still need to be something to deal with all the non-water substances that pass through the concrete. Some friends and I speculated that a layer of bacteria or of fungi might be useful for that.
An interesting examination of how certain speech patterns are privileged and others marginalized in U.S. culture: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=19934
Lujendra Ojha, a U of Arizona alumn, talks about his discovery of water on Mars: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/34390462/the-student-who-discovered-water-on-mars-says-it-was-a-lucky-accident
The States has a problem with gun violence. You may have heard about it. If you have not, last week there was a shooting at a university in Oregon, and since then there have been at least four school shootings since then.
This is the initial coverage of the shooting: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/shooting-oregon-umpqua-community-college-article-1.2381711 It has also been updated multiple times, most recently on 2 Oct, 2015.
Prior to the shooting, the shooter very possibly announced his plans on 4Chan. 4Chan’s community largely responded by encouraging him and suggesting ideas, and then, when they heard about the actual shooting, celebrated the massacre: http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/10/01/umpqua-community-college-shooter-apparently-announced-his-plans-on-4chan-yesterday/
This article discusses the various kinds of long-term costs that are associated with each individual bullet that hits a human body: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america
A fact sheet concerning gun myths in the States: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check
An article comparing gun violence to other causes of death in the context of how many resources we devote to addressing them: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/08/27/obama-is-right-that-guns-kill-more-americans-than-terrorism-so-do-lots-of-things/
As of August 26th, the States was averaging more than one mass shooting per day in 2015: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/26/were-now-averaging-more-than-one-mass-shooting-per-day-in-2015/
It is worth remembering everyone involved in the shooting except the shooter. Many of the shooters who survive cite glory-seeking as a contributing factor to their violence. Forget them. Remember the others: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/02/forget-oregon-s-gunman-remember-the-hero-who-charged-straight-at-him.html
Guns kill far more innocent people than criminals. Those criminals still deserve a better chance than Stand Your Ground laws allow, but even so: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/19/guns-in-america-for-every-criminal-killed-in-self-defense-34-innocent-people-die/
More gun control implies fewer gun deaths: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/10/02/gun_control_by_state_tougher_laws_mean_fewer_deaths.html
On how quickly many politicians seem to try to elide the reality of mass shootings: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/03/opinion/the-political-ritual-after-mass-shootings.html
On the rhetoric that surrounds those elisions: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/columbine-15-years-later
There were 994 mass shootings between 1 Jan 2013 and 1 Oct 2015. That’s 994 mass shootings (defined by having at least four people shot in a single incident) in 1004 days: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/oct/02/mass-shootings-america-gun-violence (Data source here: http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Main_Page)
Arthur Chu on the false link between ‘mental illness’ and mass shootings: http://www.salon.com/2015/06/18/its_not_about_mental_illness_the_big_lie_that_always_follows_mass_shootings_by_white_males/
John Oliver on mental health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=7&v=NGY6DqB1HX8
The University of Washington’s fact sheet on how the mentally ill are associated with violence, overwhelmingly as its victims and not as its perpetrators: http://depts.washington.edu/mhreport/facts_violence.php
Frequently, pro-gun-violence advocates will say that gun violence should be responded to with more gun violence, which is to say that if enough people are armed then no one will shoot each other, or that someone will murder the mass murderer. This kind of Cold War logic is not only terrifying but also anti-factual: as noted in the Mother Jones factsheet above, since we have begun paying attention to the circumstances surrounding mass shootings, we have not once found any instance of a ‘good guy’ shooting the shooter. This goes more detail into that particular null statistic: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/oregon-shooting-gun-laws-213222 Also, I once heard on a podcast something on the ‘good guy’ myth that’s stuck with me ever since: the podcaster said that he’d often heard people saying that “If you’re trapped in a movie theatre with a guy with a gun, you’re going to wish you had a gun too.” His response on the podcast was “No, I’m going to wish that guy didn’t have a gun.” That’s important, I think: I am much more interested in preventing the possibility of mass shootings than I am in using them to leverage one person’s masculine glory-seeking into my own masculine glory-seeking.
Each time a mass shooting gains enough media attention, the Onion updates and re-posts the article “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”: http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/03/445266632/-memeoftheweek-that-article-from-the-onion-about-mass-shootings
This is great and takes an important, statistically-backed perspective on how gender (along with a brief nod to race) informs how these shootings happen and where, but is really really uncritical and anti-factual with how it deals with mental health, as can be seen in comparison with some of the links above: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/mass-killings-in-the-us-w_b_8234322.html Its treatment of gender still makes it worth reading for me, though.
Places to get involved in anti-gun-violence advocacy, or to donate to if you can’t donate time: http://brokelyn.com/new-york-gun-control-groups-donations/
Aaaand the facebook post at which I have already collected most of this: https://www.facebook.com/frank.cernik/posts/903013256455526 As I find more links related to gun violence, I will do my best to keep both this post and that one updated, but one may be more updated than the other.
I have realized since the post to the Arthur Chu essay that posting individual links to interesting sites and articles would be exhausting. As such, I’m going to take a leaf from the excellent site The Toast and start posting linkrolls with brief notes on their content. I have a fair bit of catch-up to do, so this will be a longer post than most linkrolls.
http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/08/unreal-shiri-appleby-rachel-female-anti-hero The Lifetime network has created television’s first female anti-hero, and it looks like she’s getting some pretty good reviews so far.
http://www.themarysue.com/donald-trump-megyn-kelly/ Donald Trump is terrifying. I think that any given link that I post in reference to him could use the same single-sentence summary. He’s actually been featuring in all of my stress dreams of late.
http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/12/14/167194092/how-a-middle-school-principal-convinced-students-to-come-to-school Particularly dedicated principal treats students like people. In response, enrollment, attendance, and achievement all show marked improvements.
https://twitter.com/mrbiffo/status/630392201063866369 I love horrific imagery, and this is one of the better examples. Dentistry mannequins are awesome and I should use them to decorate my house.
http://mobile.wnd.com/2015/08/windows-10-spies-on-emails-images-credit-cards-more/ Part of why Windows 10 is being offered free for the first year is that it’s got major hardcoded spyware. I haven’t followed through to see whether anybody’s found a way to turn it off, but until I learn how to stop it, I won’t be updating.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/10/heres-why-goats-have-those-freaky-eyes/ Apparently, the shape of goats’ pupils gives them a kind of widescreen vision that lets them better scan for predators while they eat. Their eyes also can rotate up to fifty degrees either way, so they still get level vision even when their heads are at an angle. Pretty great! Lots of good research coming out these days about animal vision. Cuttlefish have zigzag eyes that allow them to perceive the polarization of light (not sure why that’s useful to them), octopodes’ entire skin is a visual organ that lets them perceive the colors that they use in their camouflage, and a cats have vertical pupils to help them gauge leap distance better. Great stuff.
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-inmate-transgender-20150810-story.html California’s paying for an inmate’s sexual reassignment surgery. This is excellent news, I think. Transgender and prisoner rights are super important, and I hope this is one of the signals of larger impending change. Also, I think I would be hard pressed to find a better use of my taxes than compassionate causes.
http://recode.net/2015/08/10/google-renames-self-alphabet-gives-sundar-pichai-better-title/ Google has split up into a bunch of companies, probably for business reasons that I don’t well understand. My partner’s running theory is that it’s so they don’t have to disclose as much of their income and expenditure in investor reports, which sounds plausible enough to me.
http://verysmartbrothas.com/dear-well-meaning-white-people-progress-is-fucking-painful/ I like Bernie Sanders, and will probably vote for him in the primary, but he isn’t perfect. Lots of people are paying attention to his racial stances, which I think is for the best. Hopefully he’ll listen, and maybe his listening will also inform whoever wins the primaries (and then the election).
http://m.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/0813/Are-drones-bad-for-wildlife Our tech could give bears a heart attack, but that same tech could also reduce the tens of thousands of animal deaths to poaching each year.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/08/13/sesame_street_goes_to_hbo_practically_it_s_great_symbolically_not_so_much.html This one is all in the title. In terms of practicality, Sesame Street going to HBO is very good for Sesame Street, but because HBO gets episodes 6 months in advance of public channels, it also makes explicit some large discrepancies in American social structures.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/california-becomes-first-state-ban-grand-juries-police-shooting-cases The more attention I pay to the news and to activists, the less likely I am to trust the police to do anything good. Any kind of check on their power over and facility within our institutional systems is a good thing. We need them to be better trained, too. They should be a force to reduce violence, not increase it.
http://theamericanreader.com/green-screen-the-lack-of-female-road-narratives-and-why-it-matters/ Road narratives, in which a protagonist leaves more-or-less just because they want to, are strangely lacking. This essay makes a compelling case for why that makes roads a more dangerous place for women.
http://www.salon.com/2015/08/16/we_have_autism_all_wrong_the_radical_new_approach_we_need_to_understand_and_treat_it/ Autism is beginning to get some good attention from a number of places. This essay argues that looking for ways to help Autists should first look at what we do well and help us to do it better, rather than looking at ways that we differ and trying to force conformity.
https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/1069739096400281/ Very moving short film.
https://twitter.com/ThingsWork/status/633412406610366464 Rays are badass.
http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/08/18/in-first-white-house-hires-openly-trans-staffer/ The Obama administration has hired an openly transgender staffer, and that’s a big deal.
http://project.wnyc.org/stock-photos/ Some amusing stock photos that show New York as it is to live in.
http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/never-published-tennessee-williams-horror-story/ There’s a new Tennessee Williams horror story out there!
A set of links regarding the Hugos, and how the Sad and Rabid Puppies deservedly lost.
http://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters/ And, in response:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T2oje4cYxw Just a funny video of a guy making puns at IKEA.
https://aspergersandmeblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/polyamory-and-autism/ I am both polyamorous and an Autist. This person’s experiences are not all like mine, but there is a lot of overlap and I think that what she has to say is important.
http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=384 I love this. Cantankerous ladies of classic literature for the win.
https://anamesajournal.wordpress.com/submissions/ I’m one of the senior editors at my program’s literary magazine, and we’re looking for submissions! If you are a grad student or were one in the last five years, I’d love it if you’d send us some art, poetry, fiction, or nonfiction.
http://gizmodo.com/the-first-human-head-transplant-will-take-place-in-2017-1730123128 This reminds me a lot of the short story Anna and Maria, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. Even beside the story, though, I think that this is super interesting: our bodies are integral to our self-conceptions, and so even if you could ignore the likely-traumatic experience of the procedure, I bet that the person who gets up from the operating table will be very very different in many regards from the person(s?) who laid down on it. I wonder if we’ll ever see the notes that the patient’s recovery counselor will take.
A pair of short essays on some kinds of style differentiation within martial arts. Might be useful in either signing up for a martial art or developing one for fiction!:
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/social-sciences-and-humanities-faculties-close-japan-after-ministerial-decree Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, citing a failing economy, is recommending that all universities cease supporting social science and humanities departments. Many universities are complying. This is horrifying.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/17/9338963/welcome-to-hell-apple-vs-google-vs-facebook-and-the-slow-death-of-the-web I don’t know a lot about online business models, but this does a good job (I think) of explaining parts of how they work, in the context of current dirty business fights between Apple, Google, and Facebook.
There’s a basically-evil dude in the pharmaceutical industry who is making clear that U.S. Pharmaceuticals are a system characterized by its abuse.
http://the-toast.net/2015/09/22/the-six-swans/ Mallory Ortberg’s excellent retelling of the fairy tale The Six Swans.
http://www.bustle.com/articles/112286-11-sci-fi-books-every-woman-should-read A short list of powerful science fiction works that are well oriented toward addressing important social issues.
A Whirling, Biting Mass is my first-ever term paper on the utterly horrifying #GamerGate movement and the properties of social media (including message boards) that allowed it to exist.