As you may have heard, Google is axing Google Reader this summer (and iGoogle in November). This totally sucks because I'm dependent on both of them. I like (mostly) how Google Reader organizes the feeds and doesn't show me already read articles. There's a small problem with some RSS feeds pushing data into the stack, but frankly all of the other services I've looked at have it even worse. And I like how in iGoogle I can have my twitter feed in one column and right next to it is my RSS feeds. So far all the other services I've looked at put them on separate pages (at that point, why not just have twitter open in one tab and the feeds in another tab). Also, navigating other services and how they handle the RSS feeds… well they all feel cumbersome and more dedicated to new wire feeds than social media feeds. Also many of them are "trying to replicate the look of a news magazine/newspaper." Just stop it people, the internet is different than paper. We interact with it differently. So, I'm still looking for a replacement for iGoogle and Google Reader.
Dr. Doyle goes there. That place all writers get to when you know you've gotta be the bad person and write something very uncomfortable. I've hit that place a few times, mostly on the "the bad, and sometimes the hero, needs to do something very violent or callous." And it takes me a while to get to that place in my head that allows me to say, "this isn't me, this wouldn't be my choice, but it would be the character's choice." Such as leveling an entire building to create an acceptable landing zone for a troop drop ship.
A guide to Victorian Era slang. Just in case you may need it. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)
Sarah LaPolla on the importance of the first five pages. (Grokked from Miranda Suri)
Hugh Howey's advice to aspiring authors. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
Being tired while trying to write is not necessarily a bad thing. But do make time to clean up the mistakes afterward.
Explaining the "story spine."
Why Charlie Stross doesn't self publish. There's also a good dollup of inside baseball of publishing in there.
Tobias shares the story of how in the name of austerity we're screwing over our future. With an example from the Soviet Union.
Jim Hines answers the questions about how old a child should be before talking to them about rape. Yea, what he said. Let's alter the question a little bit. How old should your child be when you talk to them about grand theft/larceny? The conversation doesn't start there, it starts with respecting other people's property. And that you should be instructing your child on little by little form the time they learn how to use their hands. So how do you talk to a child about rape? It starts with helping the child realize that other people are not there for the child's gratification. That other people have their own feelings, thoughts, hopes and everything else and that it's not okay to impose your will on them. And that can happen as early as 2 (IIRC, that's when children realize they are not an extension of their parents and have their own agency - otherwise known as the "Terrible Twos" and "NO!"). But given how many kids and tweens hands I've pushed away from the candy bowl at Halloween (usually followed with a quick, "Don't grab, if you ask nicely I will give it to you" - when they're older they need to say "Trick or Treat", but I give a pass to the younger kids), I don't think we're doing such a good job on those basics (to be fair, there are also plenty of parents who remind their kids "What do we say?" after I give them candy).
"A swath of science fans expressed shock Wednesday upon learning that a popular science Facebook page is run by a woman." Oh noes, my science has cooties in it. Sigh. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
"An empathy that never moves beyond that first step and that first epiphany is morally indistinct from selfishness. To take that first step without the next one is only to move from 'me first' to 'me and mine first.'" Fred Clark on Rob Portman's epiphany and how it just doesn't go far enough. For me it was the "the board is tilted against me" move to "the board is titled against us" to the "a lot of the boards out there are title to disadvantage the most people" that changed me from conservative to progressive. My politics haven't changed all that much, but my world is much wider and I consider much more than I used to.
"The homeowner heard his burglar alarm sound, grabbed his gun and went to investigate… the (homeowner) said he told the teen to leave and fired a warning shot… Caleb didn’t stop, and the homeowner fired again, striking and killing the teen…" Guns don't kill people, but they certainly help. In this case, because we have such a screwed up mentality surrounding guns and are made afraid of situations that really don't happen, one teen is dead, and family is without their son, and a neighbor now has to live with the guilt that it was because of him. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"This isn’t me describing them in such ridiculous terms. This is them describing themselves." The stories we tell ourselves. Or in this case, the stories conservatives tell themselves. Now with video.
And wow, I can't believe I had a linkee-poo post I never got to posting. Below are some slightly older links. Sorry, folks, things continue to spin out of control over here.
The conservative reaction to the Orson Scott Card writing Superman thing. Again with the martyrdom and vast tyranny of having to be nice to people and realizing that what's a personal belief is not necessarily the way society should be organized. Now, if OSC had been fired, or never hired, because of his views that would be one thing. But what really happened here was a group of consumers told a business exactly what would happened in the marketplace if they continued their current course of action. Is there a difference? Yea, there is. It may seem like it's murky, but it really isn't. As I've said, in the previous two jobs I was told to my face that if they had known I was a progressive, they wouldn't have considered hiring me. So before you whine about how unfair the world is to OSC and conservatives, just know that my first response is, "FU, that's what's been happening in the workplace for years, only now conservatives and conservative viewpoints are no longer the privileged/entitled standpoints that they used to be." (Grokked from Jay Lake)
A CPAC panel on minority outreach spirals down in a way no-one could have predicted. Shocked, shocked I am… (Grokked from Jason Sanford)
More on that CPAC panel and the shake out. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"That’s what you get when you prioritize political technique and ideological checklists over creative engagement with ideas." While that remark was made specifically at Marco Rubio, it pretty well explains what has happened to the GOP post election. (Grokked from Jay Lake)