What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Linkee-poo, we can hang around by the pool

And early linkee-poo, because we're getting chock-a-block full up on the crazy.

Jay Lake shares some of the hard thoughts and situation reality going forward. That must have been a damn hard post to write. Thanks for sharing the process, Jay. And as always, I'll continue to hope for the best for you, no matter which direction that hope needs to go.

As a personal note, the only reason I'm not crying just at this moment is I am in a hallway at school about to go into lab. Fuck cancer. Goddamn fuck it that someone close to my age needs to deal with this. Because it sucks that we won't get to know Jay better (I've only met him in person at two cons, and didn't get much time even then, but he's a hoopy frood and those are always good to know). It sucks that we won't have more books and stories by Jay (we've already have lost some due to the time he's been in chemo). Some people feel these times bring them closer to whatever god they believe in. I'm not one of those people.

Donald Maas has a new writing book coming out and Writers Digest has an excerpt.

Have an ebook you're flogging? Here's a promotion, the-cheap.net is starting up their Santa Sampler program and are looking for ebooks their readers can sample and give feedback. The link is to their posting on Absolute Write. It looks like the-cheap.net will be asking their readers a few questions about your sample, like if they would be interested in reading the rest of your book.

The Electric Velocipede's kickstarter with some interesting support level gifts. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Readers do not owe one thing to an author. Robison Wells is wise. You want to see what authors do, go to a convention. Watch authors playing with each other, and then watch authors up on the podium. Especially the guests of honor. While authors are playing with each other, in my experience, they're having fun or whinging or being real, but when they're up on the podium that's the dancing bear routine. When I'm a panelist I'm trying to hold my own in a field crowded with Very Smart People™ saying Very Smart Things™. I've been on panels that everybody is very respectful of each other and I've seen panels where the exact opposite is in effect. But in the end, it isn't about the panelists… ever. It's about the audience, the readers and consumers of what we do. The panelists are there for the audience. Our job is to excite, inform, but above all else, be entertaining. The same is true when we write. Do we try tricks, do we do things for our own enjoyment? Sure. But the ultimate goal is to give the reader entertainment (note: there are many values of "entertainment"). In case you ever want to study people who do this well I suggest watching Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, and David Hartwell to name three people. Especially if you get to see John do his GoH schtick. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

It's not from Life Hacker, but it is a good tip. I guess there's a right way to eat Tic-Tacs. Who knew? Mentioned here because I've been using Tic-Tacs as a way to subvert the "getting a snack" impulse. I've found that what I craved was flavor. And while TT doesn't come in many, there are some nice ones. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

The arctic sea ice just hit a record low and why it matters. If you want the short hand, it's called an amplifying event. Also see #3, "In the past, scientists have underestimated the pace at which Arctic sea ice would disappear." Expect to hear how the "predictions were wrong" from the conservatives, who will conveniently forget to mention the predictions painted too rosy a picture. Also note #5 "The changing Arctic could lead to more extreme summers and winters in the United States and Europe." I guess it was a good thing I got the big snow thrower then. (Pointed to by Dan)

"However, several studies investigating economic mobility across a range of countries have found that Americans are less mobile than many of their European counterparts.2 Comparing rates of relative mobility across countries—a measure of how likely a child’s rank on the income distribution will mirror that of his or her parents’—shows that Americans are more likely than citizens of several other nations to be stuck in the same position economically as their parents." (link it to a Pew Charitable Trusts report PDF) America, fuck yeah! Oh, wait. I'm sure this will be spun by the conservative as "see what's so terrible about the Obama Administration" all the while ignoring this report is about generational differences (ie. 20 year spans). Oh, and it was published last year. As tweeted, "@HansRosling: Study finds it easier for West European kids than for US kids to achieve the American dream." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"The goal (of a news site hack) wasn't to draw attention to an otherwise ignored issue, or simply for the lulz; the hack was done to sow confusion and to poison the information stream… A black hat hacker could… create a network of Twitter bots set to retweet each other on command,… and drive up the visibility of certain hashtags and keywords. Done with the right target and message, and at the right time, such a network could potentially trigger sudden swings in value of targeted shares. The drop in value need not last for long; trading systems that know the stories to be false could swiftly snap up the briefly-undervalued stock. Conversely, the attack could be done in a way to cripple a particular company or stock market, or even to distract journalists from another story." This is where hackers do their best work, on the social network. And now with lots of systems becoming automated with little human oversight, hacking reality is going to come at more regular intervals. (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

Since I made the comment a while back, I guess NOM actually did call to have "every Wednesday be a Chik-fil-a day." How's that working out? Yeah, I haven't heard anything about it either (article is from the 14th of August). (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Hey big spender. Okay, well, the survey is just of individuals, and conservatives spend more per person when they visit strip clubs than do progressives, but there's no data about how many of each. I mean, you'd only need three conservatives to make up the revenue of nine progressives. But if your bar is packed with progressives, it might be better that way. I don't know. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Eric sums up the "need" for voter ID laws and how they relate to a Tea Party mentality. They are, after all, the true Americans. It's simply inconceivable to them that there's a diversity of opinion about anything. Everyone they know, everyone they interact with, everyone they look to for news and opinion, falls into a fairly narrow range of belief with a few eccentric outliers… The other explanation (for their candidate losing an election) is that there are shenanigans at work, that millions of votes were the product of fraud and/or that millions of voters were deceived; this explanation… also means you're right, and your values could only be thwarted through deception and treachery… the teabaggers… are never going to understand they're a minority within a party that itself faces some danger of becoming a minority, and so every election they lose… will be a sign to them the enemy has gotten wilier… they're going to think the problem is the frauds are far more insidious and widespread than they dared imagine, and they'll get worse and worse in their attempts to weed it out. Imaginary enemies are as hard to kill as they are perversely comforting to have in the first place.

And here it may be apropos to relink to Christine Lavin's We are the true Americans.

Catherine Schaff-Stump had a pretty similar response to the (rescheduled) opening night of the RNC.

Just in time for the election season, Janiece gives us a handy-dandy election language primer.

"Four years ago, describing Obama’s election as a risk was met with public disapproval. Today, questioning his very legitimacy has become a mainstream position pushed by some prominent elected officials in the Republican party." On how dissing the president has become mainstream. I can hear the conservative yowls when like is given for like. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"'The demographics race we’re losing badly,' said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). 'We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.'" Well, at least some one in the GOP is being realistic. "'The Republican line is that the overwhelming majority of blacks will vote for Obama because he is African American,' (Raynard Jackson, a black GOP political consultant) wrote. 'I find this thinking extremely insulting as a black Republican. The reason the majority of blacks will vote for Obama is because Republicans have not given African Americans a reason to vote for Republicans or Romney.'" Well, and they haven't given many of the rest of us a good reason either. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

Hey, I have an idea, now that some conservative governors are trying to walk back their obvious request for waivers on welfare, let's reply, "Oh, hey, sorry, misread your request to HHS Secretary Sebelius, you're approved request for a waiver is rescinded. Good luck with your request in Congress." Seriously, they wanted a waiver to be granted by Congress? I'm sorry, didn't you all pass civics class? And then there's the continuing attack ads against the President folksily stating he's "gutting welfare reform." And the comment "'Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,' (Ashley O'Connor, a top television advertising strategist for Romney), said." Or in other words, "I reject your reality and substitute my own" (quote from Adam Savage, not made in conjunction with the linked article). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"In sum, (Ann Romney) offered up a description of what feminists call 'systemic sexism,'… If it was Gloria Steinem saying the same words… Rush Limbaugh would be having an on-air heart attack… A thousand well-coiffed Fox News anchors would be rushing on air to denounce this liberal nonsense about a 'war on women.' Yet, there Ann Romney was, acknowledging that even conservative women know it to be true… She described sexism in fairly blunt terms." Unfortunately Ann seemed resigned to "It's how it is, isn't it?" No, Ann, it doesn't have to be. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

I'm so glad this election won't be about race, as our conservative friends love to tell us it isn't. Cause that would be bad. Although, good on the RNC for tossing those attendees. (Grokked in a roundabout way from Morgan J Locke)

Tweet of my heart: @Stonekettle: Honestly, is there anything more heartwarming than rich people reminiscing about how rough they had it in college?

Alligator Quotient: It's early in the day and they're still sluggish.

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