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

Friday, September 9, 2011

Linkee-poo adds the snicker to the snack of his vorpal blade

An article on design and how to generate monster ideas by generating monster failures. Very applicable to writing with no rewrite. They discuss three factors that should help unleash those "monster" (read viral, spectacular, industry changing, impress your mom) ideas: 1) Fail Early, 2) Fail Often and 3) Fail Fearlessly. It's a slightly expanded version of the concept of Samuel Beckett's quote, "All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Fail better my peeps, fail better.

Carrie Vaughn and the fetish of wordcount. Several other writers have made similar comments about authors putting daily word counts on their blogs (most notably in my head, Stewart Sternberg). And I agree. That may sound weird from someone with a word count widget, but I use that as a whip to myself. It's a way of embarrassing myself into productive work. And as you can see, it's moved very little this year. And that maybe part of my point. It shouldn't be the pace of the progress that is the main focus, but that there is progress. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

What is the matter with people? Okay, I can see applause at the end of Rick Perry's statement (he defended his position with conviction and concise language), but applause when the question is asked about him executing more people than any other state? What the fuck is wrong with you people? Now, I'm on record as celebrating the killing/execution/assassination of Osama bin Laden, so you might think, "Well, he's one to talk." But as I said, I'm a cold-hearted bastard when it comes to war. And if you read that post fully you'll see where I'm saying, "I'm not normal because of this." Are we at war with our citizens? And then there is the possibility (and it's a good possibility) that Texas executed an innocent man. Eric does the honors here. "… (A)dvisers recalled asking a focus group about the charge that Perry may have presided over the execution of an innocent man--Cameron Todd Willingham--and got this response from a primary voter: 'It takes balls to execute an innocent man.'" Really? That's what you want? You really, really, really don't want to adopt that attitude (especially with me).

Seriously, I thought all the stories of the applause line were so much progressive myth making. That either it was a doctored video or there was just a few people doing it. The applause was so loud it interrupted Brian Williams in the middle of his question and caused him to ask a follow up focused on the applause.

Speaker Boehner invites Gibson Guitar CEO to Obama's speech to highlight "big government interference." Huhn. And I thought the Republicans were the party of law and order. Really, the US government seizes illegal materials from Gibson, and conservatives have a problem? But then they don't have a problem when the government seizes individuals' cash and property by Asset Forfeiture in our current drug laws (essentially "arresting" the asset) even when they're not charged with a crime? To get their property back requires the individual to sue the government and put up the dollar amount at least twice of what was seized. Plus, this isn't a "burdensome regulation", this is international treaties and law. Are you trying to say that we shouldn't stop companies from breaking the law? You might be interested in knowing that Gibson (and others) made a trip to Madagascar to figure out how to source the wood legally, finding none, only Gibson continued to purchase that wood. Oh, and the FSC has come out saying the Gibson wood was not certified by them. Dear Speaker Boehner, you've got your head in a place you don't want it to be.


Michelle Sagara said...

Carrie Vaughn and the fetish of wordcount. Several other writers have made similar comments about authors putting daily word counts on their blogs (most notably in my head, Stewart Sternberg).

wrt to wordcounts: I think all of the writers who post metrics do it to prod themselves. It’s public accountability.

I don’t post metrics and never have - but that’s more because I’m not interested in reading them as a reader, and assume other readers are like me.

I think Vaughn is speaking to the impulse to turn one writer’s personal accountability into a stick with which to beat ourselves because of our sense of our own inadequacy, and she is dead right there: there’s no point.

But...I don’t have a problem with metrics or huge wordcount posts because, as I said, I assume it’s part of the individual writer’s process. There’s a difference between writers posting their daily wordcounts and writers taking that post personally somehow, and I think that shouldn’t be conflated. One, the wordcount metrics are not about you; the other, feeling inadequate, is, to my mind, making it about you. The writer who posted those metrics probably wasn’t thinking about generic you at all.

Writers should post whatever they want on their blogs. Other writers should not somehow take it personally when they do - unless said writers are saying “hah, all of you guys are lazy asses that suck because you do not write as MUCH AS ME”, in which case, there are other problems

Steve Buchheit said...

MIchelle, I know for my own posting wordcounts it's a way to keep me honest about what I'm doing.

I can see that some people may take it as either a personal challenge or a way to measure themselves against others. I can also see some people using it as a way to criticize others.

For writers that post their word counts as a "better than thou" exercise, they have their own issues they should probably talk to a professional about.