Apparently the writers of the HBO take on Game of Thrones pissed in the punch bowl again. There are so many enabling comments on my twitter feed (mostly from friends and people I know taking heat for saying, "This was a stupid thing for HBO to do" and retweeting the worst of the trollage). I understand rape is a convenient shorthand for may things in our culture (as is kicking or killing a dog - I erased and rewrote that line 3 times, so I'm keeping it in as an example of "things to do to make the character despicable", not as to make an equation of the seriousness of the crimes). But it's easy, and it changes things (both in real life, and it should in the story). Now, they could turn this into something that makes Sansa a stronger ruler, but my money is on "not". They will use it to cripple her. I don't have HBO, so I haven't seen the scene, but they say that the scene turned into character development for Theon and shifted off of Sansa. If so, this is a fail. Full disclosure, there are a number of rapes in my first book, but they're all implied (the aftermath of the last one is shown) and for an actual plot reason in the storyline. Because they didn't happen with a main character, there was no reason to have them on stage. I'm not proud of that, I'm sharing to say, "Yes, I fell for the easy route as well." I've learned from that. The runners for GoT should have learned from last season. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)
Seth Godin on avoiding the custom bully. Good advice for anyone working freelance (also for anyone working in an office with an overbearing boss). "Part of the challenge of selling custom work is that it sometimes seems that everything is up for grabs." Your talents and time (i.e. your work) are for sale, not your life. In this day and age, that's often forgotten. (Grokked from Jer)
"The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit." We're boned. I might have posted a link to this article before. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)
Terrorist. Gee, I wonder which party this asshat ran under?
The rise of the white-collar robot. Remember when They said, "hey, increase minimum wage and we'll develop robots"? Yea, they already were developing them.
And a little history on the Luddites. Just in case the robots come for your job. Same as it ever was.
Ever wonder what happens to you when you die? Well, for your physical body, we do know a little bit about that process. If you have very active imaginations and a weak stomach, you may want to avoid that article (no pictures). (Grokked from John)
The LA "Witch House." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
So, right after a major (school) shooting incident, that's not the time to talk about gun control. But apparently, in Texas, it's the perfect time to talk about expanding gun rights for open carry. Or at least pass laws that expand the right to open carry. Dear Texas, if you ever wonder why the rest of us think you all are nuts, here's an example of why.
"Two open-carry activists. One white, one black. Two very different police responses." Because REASONS. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
"The IMF… says the figure is an 'extremely robust' estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments." The hidden cost of fossil fuels, or what you have to pay because they're screwing up the world (also, there are some direct subsidies). This is exactly the same argument about Obamacare, what most people missed were the hidden costs to all of us by having so many of us not being insured. So, for fossil fuels, here are the costs of cleaning up after them, mitigating climate change damage (which is already happening), as well as health issues and other costs which come out of your tax dollar ($700b of that amount is what the US subsidizes). (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)
It's called fucking with your enemy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. On telling the tale about the Abu Sayyaf raid. Every now and then, it can backfire (classic arms race, you get a better sword, they develop a better shield). The key is to keep the scam running. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
Remember when Bristol Palin got pregnant during the 2008 presidential election cycle and us lefties pointed at the righties shouting J'ACCUSE! 'Cause, you know, pre-marital sex, unmarried mother, yadda yadda all the things the right likes to say are causing the collapse of Western Civ. But, hey, it's okay, she's gonna get married. That guy is going to do right by her. Only that didn't work out. And her most recent try of getting to the altar has fizzled out. So, yea, say, what's the right's word for that?
The paper on "How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics." I haven't read it all yet (it's an academic paper, which means it takes a little bit of time to work through), but I'm told on good authority that it's a worthwhile read. Pointed to here because you may need it to talk to your parents about the subject. I'm my quick look, there are some problems with the paper (such as the author claims that the general public held the belief that the news was "too liberal" when Fox News started, the footnote points to surveys done mid 2000s, but Fox New started in 1996). Also, there are plenty of "this is just the way it is" (typically the conservative view of the world and liberalism) without any proof or backing (note, no footnotes to these bald statements of "facts", such as "And even in cases where the dominant morning paper was the conservative one, loss of competition tended to push it toward the left; that is, leftward toward the center from a position on the right." whereas the author believes that with the consolidation of the newspapers, the liberal papers got even more liberal). There are also a few times where the subject of the sentence changes radically from beginning to end. (Grokked from TPM)