non-binding poll

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:53 pm
yhlee: heptagon and flame (mirrorweb) (hxx emblem Liozh)
[personal profile] yhlee
Because I realized there's no point in my writing prequel-to-hexarchate (or even prequel-to-heptarchate [1]) stories about all-new characters if nobody wants to read about all-new characters in the story collection. :]

[1] I had this great idea about the heptarchate's founding but.

NOTE: I make no guarantees.

Poll #18837 hexarchate story collection
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 4


What *existing* characters would you like to see more stories about?

View Answers

Shuos Jedao
1 (25.0%)

Kel Cheris
3 (75.0%)

Shuos Mikodez
2 (50.0%)

Kel Brezan
0 (0.0%)

Kel Khiruev
2 (50.0%)

Andan Niath
0 (0.0%)

Nirai Kujen
1 (25.0%)

mystery POV #1 from Revenant Gun that Yoon evilly refuses to divulge
1 (25.0%)

servitor POV #2 from Revenant Gun
2 (50.0%)

someone else that I will mention in comments
0 (0.0%)

ticky the tookie tocky
2 (50.0%)

Weekly Reading

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:05 pm
tamsin: (Gunnerkrigg Court - Kat & Annie)
[personal profile] tamsin
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
It's available for free online here. A really affecting story. What made it for me where the small details, like the water buffalo wanting to wallow and jumping into the soy sauce.

What I’m Reading Now

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
I really like Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, so I picked this up at a book flea market. I'm not very far in yet. I'm currently at the point where professor Challenger invites the protagonist back into his house after having bodily thrown him out a moment before. He's certainly a memorable character. I loved the interaction with his wife.

What I Plan to Read Next

Probably This Census-Taker by China Mieville since it needs to go back to the library soon.

In which the Bittern is pissed

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:16 pm
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

they wanna make me their queen

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:55 pm
musesfool: Batwoman (your name in the title)
[personal profile] musesfool
ZOMG this day! Board meeting imminent!

I just wanted to let people know, in case they didn't and were interested, that Alice Hoffman has written a prequel to Practical Magic about the Aunts, and it's coming out in October: The Rules of Magic! I only found out the other day!

I love both the book and the movie, though they are very different, and I'm excited to read the Aunts' story! #please don't suck!

***

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:56 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I just spent several minutes trying to figure out where the hell the mysterious rustling noises were coming from.

One of my cats (Alex) was entirely hidden within the depths of a shoebox-size Priority Mail box. He has just now emerged, and his sister Erin has vanished inside.

No cat photos because I don't have an X-Ray camera.
umadoshi: (walking in water)
[personal profile] umadoshi
I'll work backwards (chronologically) in this post.

I just finished registering and paying for the Friday evening class (for which [dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear and [dreamwidth.org profile] seolh were already registered), so I guess it's now a definite Thing That Will Be Happening. Time to spend the next week and a half trying to get back in the habit of stretching regularly. >.>

There was some uncertainty before I successfully got registered. The online registration process was straightforward for the trial class, but two things happened almost simultaneously re: the actual class. 1) I got a follow-up email from the studio saying they hoped I'd enjoyed the trial class and listing the beginner timeslots that still had openings...a list which did not include the one I wanted (AKA the one my friends were already registered for, not to mention being the only one that could conceivably work with Casual Job going on), and 2) the online class schedule/registration form showed "(3 Reserved, 5 Open)", but didn't have a "sign up now" button (which some others did). TBH, I still have NO clue what's going on there, but after exchanging some emails with the studio, we established that the class did have openings, and now I've given them money, so I should be good to go.

As for the actual trial class on Friday, it could get long, and involves fitness talk, so I'll put it under a cut )

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:06 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] randy_byers !  Wishing you a magnificent day.
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I posted on my other blog about supporting a new New York City Council bill that would require city agencies to publish source code used to make decisions.

On MetaFilter, I posted about a transparency case pending before a California appeals court; the EFF and ACLU have submitted amicus curiae briefs saying (to simplify) that the right to due process includes the right to inspect source code used to convict you. Evidently the creator of the closed-source DNA testing software doesn't think so. As is often the case on MetaFilter, there are very lucid explanations in the comments regarding complicated technical issues.

And I really like the photo I used to illustrate the potential for algorithmic bias.

O17, "We Shall Not Be Moved"

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:46 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Last night, I visited the Wilma Theater for the first time to see the world premiere opera "We Shall Not Be Moved," which focuses on the violence that comes of racism, poverty, guns, and bigotry. It was intense, as you might imagine. It did not end well for anyone, though the ending is not entirely without hope. If you squint. I did not feel depressed afterward, perhaps because I had experienced all this as really good art and art uplifts. That sounds weird, but it's true.

Those of you in NYC, the show is going to be at the Apollo, and tickets go on sale next week, I believe.

There are two primary, opposing points of view: a Latina cop, and a group of teenagers on the run, looking for solutions through cryptic messages from the past (dancers in white sweats, notes dropped on the floor of an abandoned house). There are shootings. There's a school closing. There's a plot twist which I guessed pretty quickly but was still dramatically effective. There was a lot of really good singing and dancing, but not as much spoken word as I'd expected.

I'm not sure how I feel about a male countertenor (John Holiday) playing a trans boy, but damn was he a good singer. The bass (Aubrey Allicock) was also particularly fine, I felt (I have a weakness for basses, so caveat emptor). The bass did most of his second act singing while lying on the floor or propped in someone's arms, which was impressive.

I most loved the choral singing by the entire cast, as you might expect if you know me. My favorite solo was at the end, sung by one of the female dancers - I want to hear that piece again, several times; it was mesmerizing.

Music by Daniel Bernard Roumain, libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, choreography by Raphael Xavier and Bill T. Jones, directed by Bill T. Jones.

Presskit.

PhillyVoice article.

I got home about 11:30 pm, then had to shower and wind down, so I am pretty draggy at dayjob today. Our first choir rehearsal of the season is tonight, 7-9 pm. *blinks*

Daily Happiness

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:47 am
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I actually slept in until ten, which is not something that usually happens lately even if I have the opportunity.

2. I had a nice relaxing day and didn't go anywhere or do much of anything.

3. Cooler weather means cats in the bed.

various update stuff

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:38 am
aurumcalendula: gold, blue, orange, and purple shapes on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] aurumcalendula
…and congress is trying to get rid of the ACA. Again. *swears under breath*

Irritatingly the abrupt changes in temperature (and humidity considering how dry my hands were a few days ago) means intermittent nosebleeds for me. ...and I just remembered mother is visiting this week, which means the next few days going to involve some amount of frantic cleaning.

The hummingbirds are still around! (although I never seem to have my phone nearby when I see them)

I’m really enjoying Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (and I’m thrilled Billie gets her own game!) There’s also going to be new Star Trek soon! (although I would prefer it actually aired on tv *grumbles about having to buy streaming services to see it*)

Every day is exactly the same

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:40 pm
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
[personal profile] gwyn
Oh, I totally forgot to mention in my last post--you remember a while ago when someone had asked me about translating my Groundhog Day/time loop fic I can't remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends) into Russian, only they had to remove the comment in order to get help translating it through some kind of fest? And I thought it was so strange but it turned out to be some kind of fandom battle where teams compete against each other, so everything had to be anonymous? Well, the translation was posted the other day (or at least, I think it's still the same person involved, though the poster had a different user name, but I can't imagine who else would have been interested in translating it), so if you were ever inclined to read that fic in Russian, you can now! Не могу вспомнить, как это началось (но расскажу, как закончится) is here on AO3.

I also forgot to mention some of the TV I've been watching during recovery. There were some shows everyone told me required absolute attention, which is not often how I watch TV these days, so I kept saving them for when I'd have time to really watch.

The Expanse was the first one, and I can see why people like it (I've only seen the first season since it's free streaming on Amazon; I'm not gonna pay 20 bucks for the second season, though), but it suffered from the same thing that pretty much all SF and fantasy suffers from that I really, really hate: it's still largely a show about men, with one or two roles for "strong" women, who are stuck representing all of our gender. One woman on a spaceship with all guys, one woman in politics surrounded by all guys…I'm just so fucking weary. And the small supporting female roles are all defined by their relationships to men--the police captain or whatever she was, the other woman, both defined by their relationships to creepy skeevy Thomas Jane, Juliette Mao by defying her father, by the men she's dealt with in the past. Maybe the second season is better, I have to hope so. I like the worldbuilding, but this hundreds of years in the future and women are still barely in the story; I have no more patience for stories where we're writing alternate worlds that suffer from the exact same myopic shit we have now.

[personal profile] belmanoir watched GLOW with me, I think we saw the first three, maybe four, episodes? I liked it, but I have to agree with a lot of what I saw in complaints about the show--Ruth is a terribly unlikeable person to hang your show on from the beginning. Not being likeable isn't inherently bad, there are great shows with horrible characters at the center, but she doesn't have a strong enough character to make you want to follow her on the path to redemption the way a lot of those stories do--when you have an unlikeable protagonist, you really have to beef up a lot of the other things to make them compelling. The other problem we both had was that they're spending way, way too much time on the men and not enough on the secondary female characters. Especially the wrestling dynasty girl, I want to see way, way more of her, and I don't give a fuck about the men. It's a huge mistake to spend so much time on the skeevy director guy or Piz the producer, especially in a story about these women. The '80s stuff is hilarious, though, and I love the soundtrack and I'm interested to watch more, I just hate knowing that they're going to keep spending so much time on the guys.

I've seen the first few episodes of Sens8, and I'm baffled by why people love this so passionately. But I'm hoping it gets better as it goes along; as it is right now, the only character I care about is the Mexican actor and his boyfriend, but that's not a lot of screen time. I mean I get that people like it because it's one of the few shows with main storylines of gay and lesbian and trans people, and I can definitely understand that, plus there's the international stories instead of it being yet another subset of white America, but…nothing's sparking with me so far and some of the stories are so over the top ridiculously unbelievable and stupid that I'm gnashing my teeth--but I'll stick it out at least through the first season to see if it gets better.

I watched all of the first season of Bojack Horseman and…wow, was that fucking depressing. It's billed as a comedy, of course, but I never laughed once, not even at all the fun it pokes at Hollywoodd or the guest voices or anything. It's just so goddamn bleak. It took me a while to get past the bizarro concept (the style of the world, with animals being partly humanistic and partly animalistic, and vice versa, is something that creeps me out beyond words), but I really wanted to embrace the show because I know a lot of people who love it so much, but I didn't expect it to make me wish I'd never woken up after surgery. I sometimes feel like that's all that's left of the future, this sort of miserable existence where you're just wasting time till you die, and the show made me feel that x1,000. So thanks, show, for making my already suicidal tendencies even more pronounced.

I'm self soothing by watching the first three series of The Great British Bake Off, which they won't show here for inexplicable reasons (on PBS and Netflix, season 1 is actually season 5, and season 2 is season 4, which just…why). It was interesting to see how the show evolved. I was kind of disturbed by one contestant because she was so clearly an abused woman, she showed every behavior I ever saw working at the shelter years ago--either abused by a husband or possibly a parent farther back, but since there was no husband in any of the home segments or the finale and her children said some really telling things, I'm betting it was an ex-husband. Good on her for participating, though, but it made me really uncomfortable many times because I kept wondering if the producers realized how it was coming across on screen. Still, it's fun to go back and see some of the things I've heard about in the show but never saw, and the show honestly, even when you're tense for the people you want to win, is so pleasant.
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
I was nearly welded today.

Our main building, containing cafeteria, store, offices, classrooms, is under construction. An enormous scaffold surrounds the front doors. Today, exiting with a sustaining bannana in one hand, I heard the burr of welding and then felt a sudden hot-cold shower on the left side of my head, just about the region of the parietal lobe. I put up my hand and plucked a speck of grit from my hair.

As I crossed the quad and mounted the stairs to my building, I began to work out that I'd been sprayed with tiny bits of metal -- little curled chips of aluminum were in my hair and speckled my sweater-vest like glittering lint.

It was not a great cascade of sparks or anything -- just a smattering and a peculiar sensation -- but Jesus. That could have gone into my eye. I spent the whole of my lesson on proper quotation partially convinced that a speckling of tiny holes might newly pepper my skull, like a thought-colander.

The Thought-Colander

After Ted Hughes

I imagine this midday moment's sensation-salad:
Something hot but lifeless
burrows into the occipital
makes a blank page of this field where
newly kindled hallucinations move

(etc.)

Sorry, Here's "The Thought-Fox" to Make Up for That

Actually by Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox,
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.


* * * * *

I feel like "midnight moment's forest" must have kinship with Hopkins' "morning's morning's minion" from "The Windhover." Discuss.

Fine, Here's "The Windhover" As Well

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

* * * * *

Nobody alliterates like our Gerry.


Downdates (What an Update Isn't)

I skipped the monthly reading post for August because, well, there was so little to discuss. I have trouble directing sustained attention under conditions of anxiety (such as term prep). Combining with September will give the list a more respectable heft.

At least I'm transparent in my machinations.

Likewise I think if I'm writing a report on how the term is going -- which is an idea I like a lot as a way to chronicle the development of this course I love -- it'll have to be a biweekly report at best.

A propos of some (very positive) recent events -- I wish I didn't feel so terrible when happy things breathe themselves across the membrane.1

Something wonderful takes place and afterwards it feels like a crisis -- I can't be happy because I'm so convinced that it was secretly a disaster or I am about to make it one.

Too much jouissance. Not enough swimming laps and meditation.

{rf}

1. Isn't transpire a great word? All those spire words are a gift basket from Latin: conspire (to breathe together); inspire (to breathe in); aspire (to breathe on); expire (to breathe out) -- my library card is about to breathe its last -- what else? What others? I love them.

2. Actually, if I weren't so tired I might write though the whole of "The Thought-Fox" just for the exercise.

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