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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo has scrambled brains

Dear Subconsciousness, thank you for taking my three days that I could sleep in and fill it with dreams of job performance anxiety at both the day thing and the reboot. That isn't tiring at all.

Ferrett Steinmetz gets an agent and talks about what that means and how he (and many other authors) respond to that happy news.

For your creativity, 10 steps to boosting it. Let's see, 2-4 no time, 5 not for a long while, 6-8 see 2-4, 9 that's hilarious, 10 I keep trying to. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley, I think)

Fifteen productivity secrets (or OCD manifestations) of very prolific writers.

At the risk of promoting the "how to write" book industry, mostly populated by other writers, the five indispensable guides for fiction writers. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

The cuddlification of Cthulhu. Well, mostly the crass commercialization of Cthulhu. Oh noes, there's a War on Cthulhu! (Grokked from Tor.com)

Kameron Hurley on the abuse women writers (and professionals) face in their every days lives and their reactions to it. I wasn't quite sure where to log this one, in politics or with the writing links. In the middle of her essay, she states how she's just tired. I am too. Seriously, I lived through the 90s. Didn't everybody else? Why the hell are we still having to fight these damn battles (that's rhetorical, it's because the opposition never gives up or gives in, and every few years there's a whole new generation of misogynists).

A designer goes to a conference and learns what's been happening in the industry. Nominally a story about debriefing employees who go to conferences (that the company may or may not pay for), but also states outright what I was seeing in the aughts and late 90s. I know the difference between good design and half-assed design. I know how to provide my clients with designs that work for them and portray their companies (or themselves) they way they would want to. And I know how expensive and worthwhile spending money on design and art is. I know how to sell that. The problem is nobody is buying it. When I started in the business it was very clear that quality was the goal. Now it's all about the speed of execution and cost.

Photography students swallow film and print the results. Um. I wonder if anyone has explained the chemistry of film to these students beyond the "you use alkaline and acidic processes to develop film - hey, our stomachs have acid in them." You know, like poisonous heavy metals, carcinogens in the film… probably not. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Sometimes the medical profession does right. For some reason I can now see a branded line of Monster Spray, but then I'm cynical and jaded. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"They're now beginning to worry that almost three decades of dead brush buildup is contributing to the area's fire risk, and a large fire could distribute radioactive material beyond Chernobyl's exclusion zone." Not like that's worrying at all. (Grokked from Dan)

And with news of that other nuclear accident theme park, Fukushima, they may have to dump 300,000 tons of contaminated water into the Pacific. But don't worry, because the plant has been leaking a lot of contaminated water already and it may be safer to just dump the stuff than to try and continue to contain it. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Any creative knows that finding the right clients for your brilliantly crafted designs is more than half the battle. It’s too often that something you’ve built with blood, sweat and tears ends up falling down the rabbit hole of the internet, and no Google search in the world will welcome it into the top ten results." I think I see the problem here. While this is from a call for self-promotion ideas, part of the problem afflicting design is this exact philosophy. True on the macro-scal (your tastes matching up to the needs of the client), on the micro-scale, finding a client for "your brilliantly crafted designs" is bass ackwards. You find a client who's needs match to your skills, and then you create the brilliant design for the client, not for you, the designer. Design is communication, not art (yes, I know this is a big controversy, sorry, I was schooled this way).

Ten ways to show love to someone with Depression. (Grokked from Jason Erik Lundberg)

So, they call a dust storm a haboob and some idiots lose their shit over it. What year is it again? (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Eight reasons why young Americans aren't political dissidents. Not to mention the slew of laws that criminalize anti-establishment behavior including "free speech zones" and having to register for parades and free speech activities. Also, there's the factor of prosperity, or the lack thereof. With the death of the middle class we have a system where those at the top don't want to lose what they have and those at the bottom don't want to lose what little they have. Those at the bottom have just enough and spend all their energy just trying to live. That is they don't have enough to think about how the system is stacked against them and want to change it and just enough to give them a stake in the current system. The perverse thing about conservatives wanting to cut back on the social safety net is it would throw enough people into the category of "nothing to lose" who might actually then change the system. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Eric has some thoughts about our longest war. I don't agree with Eric on all his points, I still believe going into Afghanistan was the right thing to do, it was just horribly mismanaged because we fought the wrong war (we were still fighting a set piece battle and suffering from the delusions that we were going into France during WWII). The drone war was bungled because it was given to the CIA instead of the Pentagon. There were lots of mistakes like that. Including being distracted into Iraq.

"It’s not necessarily the case that everyone who favors defunding health care for low-income women is a rage-filled misogynist, but it probably is the case that every rage-filled misogynist favors defunding health care for low-income women." And there happens to be a lot of them.

You may have heard me compare modern conservatives and their movement as a longing for the "better days of the past." And you may have also heard me discuss the modern conservative business movement as longing for the golden days of robber barons and child labor. You may have thought I was been hyperbolic with my commentary. I'm dead serious. "Lawmakers Grothman and Born told reporters from the Journal that they had heard from a diverse array of businesses that support the 7-day work week, but when asked to provide examples, they were only able to provide the names of groups belonging to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce network." A 7-day work week, destruction of unions, removal of minimum wage laws… It's like I almost need to make a bingo card for these things. At least someone would win something. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

I'm sure the next part of this argument about how the US has a feckless foreign policy will be the proponents calling the rest of us weak because we get tired of war. (Grokked from Jay Lake)


Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

Do you REALLY want to be the bad parent who buys generic monster spray for their children?

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

Generics, by law, must have the same active ingredients in the same configurations as the name brands, Dr. Phil. Generic spray should work just as well. Against generic monsters, that is.