Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Linkee-poo, find me loose lipped and laughing, singing songs ain't got no regrets

Disney's Touché touch-sensitive technology. Yeah, sure, you might think you know what this is like, but just watch that video. I wrote an early SF short story that had something close to this (the part about directing a music player by touching your forearm), at the time I knew it was possible, but not to the extent I used it. I'm glad to see I was wrong and having that much control would be possible. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Go go Opportunity, the little robot that could. (Grokked from Matociquala)

More of the then things you should know about your own book.

Yesterday, John Scalzi had a great post on how being a straight, white male was like setting the game of life to "Easy" in the difficulty setting. As any SWM who has looked beyond themselves and has friends and acquaintances that fall into the "other" category, it seemed self evident and I thought, "hey, interesting way to put it." Note, he's not saying that life as a SWM is always buttercream and sausages, but even at the bottom, it's not the default setting's problem. I've been poor and middle-class and I've not had it exactly easy, I've been thrown out of work, I've been discriminated against because of being both white and male (and I don't believe I've encountered being excluded because I'm straight, at least not yet), but compared to my wife and several friends, I've had it easy. I haven't had to prove much in most circumstances, and while I strive for the high-jump clearance, the hurdles haven't been as high as they are for other people. And it shouldn't surprise anyone that John had to wield the Loving Mallet of Correction fairly regularly in the comments ("If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, all over this la-aaand."). Nobody screams louder than when the socially entitled have their entitlement thrown in their faces.

Karen Healey gives her own reasons for writing diversity. (Grokked from John Scalzi) For myself, I write diversity because that's how I see the world. I've gotten it wrong, and I've gotten it right. Just like I do with the science parts. Karen Healey's post has the line "You can presumably be a festering bigot and still write diversity really well and inspire people to improve the world." Think she's making that up? Have I ever told you about Forest Carter and The Education of Little Tree?

Thinking of photographing or filming police officers in the course of their duties? Then these seven rules will be very helpful. Also, speaking as a former councilman, just remember that most police officers are just doing their job, one for which they receive little thanks. Most police officers are also following procedures and protocols, of which they had little input. Not all police departments give their officers a wide latitude in discretionary behavior. As the post basically says, "stay calm, don't be threatening, don't interfere with what the officer is doing, know the law and your rights and protect them, be prepared." (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"The facts are pretty one-sided here. They suggest… the President and the mainstream Democratic Party in the United States are too far to the right and too beholden to the austerity mavens, and the Republicans are living on a extremist conservative moon base with Newt Gingrich." The economy and conservative philosophy, one screws the other. Now with handy reference charts showing where unemployment would be if we hadn't been shedding government jobs like a sheep being fleeced, and where the deficits would be without particular initiatives (like the Bush-era tax cuts). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Paul Krugman on the latest JP Morgan loss and bank regulation. (Grokked from Jay Lake) Yes, Virginia, regulation is sometimes necessary. We learned that after the collapse that sparked the Great Depression. And then, because we were some 70 years on, we forgot those lessons and the bankers all promised us that they had learned their lessons and would behave. And then about a decade after Glass-Steagall was repealed, down the rabbit hole we went. Again. Just in case you believe the spin going on by JP Morgan and their accomplices in government, here's a quick look at the facts. Yep, those people who actually know banking and economics know that what JP Morgan did was "speculate" not hedge. And that we're actually pretty good in knowing the difference.

What Eduardo Saverin owes America. And interesting real life take on the amount of privilege we enjoy in the US, how much the government really affects our lives for the better, and then a question of what do we owe back to make sure others have those same advantages. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

What do conservatives do when the reality of statistics catches up with their ideology, why the do "Karl Rove's The Math™" and come up with their own numbers. While history may be a bitch, reality is often a cast-iron bitch. Just ask Wiley Coyote about that. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Since the record setting warmth of 2012 is (so far) really just a North America and Western Europe phenomenon, I wonder if other countries are beginning to doubt this global warming thing because they're not seeing it this year? Yeah, I think they're smarter than that as well. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Alligator Quotient: I think they know something is up.

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