And early morning linkee-poo because the list is getting very long. I had some time yesterday to catch up with reading. We may have a double-dip later on today (depending on the quality of links I can find), but I thought I should clear the baffles of all this good stuff.
Chuck Wendig with 25 things about antagonists. As #5 says, "Like Krishna, except a total jerkoff."
John Scalzi on the self-made man. When I think back on how many people helped me, and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself, how much I've been offered, and the chances (and second changes) to prove myself, it beggars the mind. BTW, I'm one of those people John helped, both directly and indirectly. So John ranks up there in my own list. Whenever I get to writing my own acknowledgements, it'll probably be as long as the novel itself.
On how not to talk to someone about their feelings. This is what happens when the Stories We Tell Ourselves™ become our modern mythology. If you have a terrible disease, you should struggle valiantly and be positive, and if you live right you'll get better. To which I'll echo the sentiment on the post, bullshit. This is the same phenomenon like that idiot former senator saying that if only there were people "man enough" in the Aurora theater, the shootings wouldn't have been as bad. Bullshit. It's stereotyping to the max when we force people to behave in ways that match our personal mythology. That person in the wheelchair isn't a brave survivor who works hard to prove they're "just as good". That cancer survivor isn't the positive thinking, everything will turn out fine, thanks-be-2-jebus hopey-dopey person in your head. Just like that American Indian probably thinks that well fracking is a very good thing because it brings jobs, and no he doesn't have any peyote to share. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"To elide that one of the reasons we spend so many hours in front of our screens is that we have to misses the key point about our relationship with modern technology. The upper middle class… is WORKING MORE HOURS and having to stay more connected TO WORK than ever before. This is a problem with the way we approach labor, not our devices." A short piece on our changing relationship to work. When I worked in Dallas, I developed a loathing of mesquite trees (groves of which I drove by on the way into work down there). As my very intelligent wife commented, the trees were just a good focal point for displacing my feeling about working in Dallas. In the same way we blame our gadgets that allow us to be connected to work 24/7 for our cultural tendency to be workaholics and the employment pressures to be that way. But as a recovering workaholic myself and avid griller, I still can't use mesquite chips to this day. You can also think of this in the same light as banning costumes and masks in movie theaters as a response to the Aurora, CO shootings. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
Fred Clark has way too many good links for me to cherry pick from.
When you can't attack the data, attack the person. Because of the perception and short term focus of people, we'll never realize we're the preverbal frog in the water pot reaching a boil (also, while often quoted, the frogs actually do leave long before the water boils). What's worse about our short time focus is that even though the US is having a horrible summer, it's not horrible everywhere. And to quote Ned Stark, winter is coming. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"(Professor Ursula Heise, eco-critic in Stanford University’s English department) says she’s found that some of our stories have become tired… and others at times delusional." The stories we tell ourselves. This time about the environment. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)
How much did Republican brinksmanship over the debt-limit last year cost us? Well, besides our securities rating, the toll is $1.3 billion. Thanks, jackasses. Hey, you know how you're always talking about reducing government spending? That's like 4 years of Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding. You know, the thing conservatives say costs too much.
The two tax plans explained graphically. See, the Democratic plan keeps all the middle class tax cuts, whereas the Republican plan allows the 2009 Stimulus Cuts to expire (increasing the middle class tax burden). The Republicans also want to extend the Estate Tax Cut (which you may remember only applies to less than one half of one percent of us). I'm not sure the difference in focus between the two parties could be made any clearer here.
In case you're ever wondering, that "bastion of liberalism" Jon Stewart also takes the "liberally biased main stream media" to task when they screw up. It's not just Fox News (although they often provide the easy target because they get so much wrong - see the resurgent Fox News can't go to Canada because they have laws against lying while reporting the news).
"In a separate analysis, CBO adjusted its projections of the budgetary impact of (the House Republican plan to have a) full repeal (of Obamacare) to account for the Supreme Court’s ruling. If the GOP got its way and did away with the law, they would increase deficits over 10 years by $109 billion, and leave tens of millions of people uninsured." Now it should be clear that anybody who claims they're for "reduced government spending" and "cutting the deficits" would come to the conclusion that supporting Obamacare would be the wise choice to make. Unfortunately none of the anti-ACA movements (Conservatives, Tea Party, etc) are actually for those things (reducing spending and cutting deficits), they're just against Obama and for Conservative Control of Power.
You know how here in the US the Romney Campaign is saying they won't criticize the president while overseas? They're saying something different to those people they'll be visiting. And while not from Romney himself; "'We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and (Mitt Romney) feels that the special relationship is special,' the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: 'The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have'." Good this this isn't about race. Say, what does the "AS" in WASP stand for again? (Grokked from Jason Sanford)
While the Justice Department revs up it's lawsuit against PA Voter ID laws, Pennsylvania is forced to admit on record that there has never been an investigation, prosecution, or any hint of in person voter fraud in the state. Ooo, how do you think that will hurt your chances in court, PA? Now, that's doesn't mean it'll be a cake walk for the DoJ. They'll have to prove the effect of the law will disenfranchise voters (IANAL, but I don't think they have to prove the intent of the law was to do so, only that it would). Given that PA has already admitted that 750,000 registered voters don't have the required photo ID (at least not through the state), they might have a tough go of it. (Pointed to by Dan)
Former Sen. Russell Pearce offers what passes for an apology these days. Basically he says, "I don't think I'm wrong, but I realize you're pissed, and I'm tired of fighting this, accept my apology." It's like John Sununu apologizing for the words he choose, but not his sentiment, in saying he wished President Obama would learn to be an American. They think it's about the words (or at least they think we're dumb enough to think it's just the "words") when it's their sentiments and brain dead world view that is what is really offensive.
Tweet of my heart: @ClarionWest: Our 2013 teachers: Elizabeth Hand, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Justina Robson, Ellen Datlow, Samuel Delany. Apply in December. - That looks like a fabulous line up. Six weeks, huh? Hmmm. Probably still won't be able to do it.