Thursday, July 31, 2014

some readers want stories, some want sermons

There are people of all politics, from the most conservative to the most radical, who only want stories that confirm their prejudices. And there are people of all politics who know art and politics can be independent. The price for the first group is enduring simplistic art. The price for the second group is questioning their politics. I'm much happier in the second group.

Two hasty thoughts on SF and the damaging effects of literary status envy

SF and the damaging effects of literary status envy seems insightful. I only want to make two quibbles now:

1. ESR is right that there's a strong libertarian streak in f&sf, but that streak takes two forms, a left-libertarian streak and a right-libertarian streak.

2. The people who have accepted the Gamma Rabbit name are not "extreme-left". They're identitarians, the part of the bourgeois left that prefers to focus on privilege rather than poverty, on social identity rather than human liberty. So they will talk simultaneously about freedom of speech while calling for restrictions on it, and their critiques of our culture are rarely critiques of capitalism. The far right thinks anyone to its left is leftish, but on any sensible political scale, the identitarian left's politics are no more extreme than Obama's neo-liberalism.

ETA: ESR is Eric S. Raymond, a Libertarian Party member.

Related: some readers want stories, some want sermons

Gender politics makes the killing of Palestinian men invisible

Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the little Wiscon mystery of Jim Frenkel, Lauren Jankowski, and a book: how tales grow

At WisCon in 2013, something happened involving Jim Frenkel, Lauren Jankowski, and a book. I haven't found an account by an eyewitness or a participant. Michi Trota said at Debunking the Fairy Tale of WisCon, Feminism and Safe Spaces | Geek Melange:
he told her that she was “not a real writer” because she’s self-published, and then tossed her book at her because this occurred at her author’s table
After this year's WisCon, Jankowski tweeted:
Jankowski used similar language at Writing From the Fringe, WisCon's Harassment Decision: "The man who tossed a book at me at my first ever con, berated me for five minutes straight, and just generally treated me like a non-human will eventually be allowed to return."

But at Debunking the Fairy Tale of WisCon, Feminism and Safe Spaces | Geek Melange, tossing a book became "threw a book at her head". Which was also the characterization of the incident in the comments at What Happened After I Reported: Elise Matthesen, WisCon, and Harassment | Whatever: "threw a book at her."

The two descriptions suggest very different stories. In the kindest version of the first one, an editor at a professional publishing house advises against self-publishing and casually tosses a trade paperback back to the author. In the harshest version of the second, a madman throws a big hardcover book at a writer's head like Ignatz throwing a brick at Krazy Kat. I heard the "threw a book at her head" version, which inspired the googling.

I haven't a clue what the truth is, and without more information, no one else does either. Jankowski is undoubtedly characterizing the story exactly as she understands it, but her bio says she "holds a B.A. in Women and Genders Studies from Beloit College" and that will influence her interpretation. Only one thing is sure: Perspective is everything.

Because too many people assume that only two positions are possible on any issue, I'll add this: Frenkel may be innocent of throwing books at peoples' heads and still be guilty of sexually harassing them.

Monday, July 28, 2014

When identities clash

I currently see two identities that awkwardly fit the identitarian model, trans folk and Zionists.

In the case of trans folk, the question is whether you're what society sees you as or what you see yourself as—see The Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism. If what matters is your idea of yourself, then white men can only be called white men if they identify as white men.

As for Zionists, a game of Oppression Olympics is being played that no one can win. To the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman begins
The student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is prominent on many college campuses, preaching a mantra of “Freeing Palestine.” It masquerades as though it were a civil rights group when it is not. Indeed, as an African-American, I am highly insulted that my people’s legacy is being pilfered for such a repugnant agenda.
She goes on to claim a number of black civil rights figures were Zionists—but she doesn't quote them, and doesn't note that many people supported Israel in the '50s and '60s before they learned more about the suffering of the Palestinians, and she wisely ignores Malcolm X.

The problem identitarians face with Zionism is simple: What are the identities of Palestinians and Zionists? Both have historical claims to having been oppressed. If you conclude that Zionist is a false identity, are you denying the validity of Israel, a state founded and controlled by Zionists?

Ah, well. Those are my current contenders for the issues that will ultimately cause identitarianism to go the way of Manifest Destiny. But I realize I'm hoping for logic to matter more than it does.

Malcolm X and James Balwin on Zionists, Israel, and Palestine

"Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nation ... where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine?" —Malcolm X

"But the state of Israel was not created for the salvation of the Jews; it was created for the salvation of Western interests. This is what is becoming clear (I must say it was always clear to me). The Palestinians have been paying for the British colonial policy of ‘divide and rule’ and for Europe’s guilty Christian conscience for more than thirty years." —James Baldwin

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Gaslighting" or lack of sleep?

People remember events differently. Sometimes the differences are simply due to our different perspectives. But sometimes, especially with people who may be called partisans or cultists, the differences between what they remember and the rest of us remember can be extreme. SJWs often write about their mental issues and fail to connect them to their understanding of the real world. One issue applies here: Lack of Sleep may lead to increase in risk of False Memories.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So you want a female character to carry a gun? Three Flashbang bra videos.

See the draw in the previous video around 4:20. In the next video, it's around 12:25.

And this one's all about the draw:

I'm sure bra holsters fall under Rule 34, but you'll have to do your own googling, because that's not my kink. I like a woman with a gun on her hip.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A very accurate essay by a woman about what men see when they look at women

You Say “Flawed”, He Says “Sexy”: What Men Really Think About Your Body | MyTinySecrets

It isn't about all men. But it's about the fundamentally good ones, which is to say, it's about 90-95% of us.

Shared partly to assure women who may be worrying too much, but also to remind feminist theorists that the male gaze is not as simple as you may think. My suspicion, after all these years of being friends with women, is that it's not fundamentally different than the female gaze.

To understand SJWs, you should understand the Ivy League Schools

Most, and maybe all, of the beliefs of SJWs can be traced back to America's expensive schools for the elite. What the people who attend them don't realize is that just means their indoctrination is slicker.

Thought inspired by Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere. | New Republic

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dance: Actual German Industrial Polka!

On Jim Frenkel and leaping to judgment

Today I came across Karnythia saying in WisCon…This is How You Fail: "See back in 2009 when this picture of Frenkel staring at my breasts was taken it was in many ways just one of those things. It was my first time at a con, we were trying to get the now defunct Verb Noire off the ground, and Frenkel was an editor at Tor."

Now, maybe he was staring at her breasts. But given the handshake and the angle of his eyes, what's more likely is he was checking her name tag. It's also possible he was blinking. Photos rarely prove what people claim they do, especially when they're looking for retroactive confirmation.

I've been thinking about the controversy involving two people I've known for decades, Jim Frenkel and Elise Mathesen, I favor Elise's version for two reasons. Jim has always been clueless and blunt, but not malicious, which made people forgive his cluelessness and bluntness, which enabled it. So it's entirely likely that he finally went too far and expected to be forgiven as he always had been. As for Elise, she's one of the easier-going folks I know, the epitome of Minnesota Nice. That Elise got angry speaks volumes.

Ah, well. I'll end with my standard question when Verb Noire comes up: Have Mikki Kendall (aka Karnythia) and Jamie Nesbitt Golden (aka Thewayoftheid) accounted for the $10,000 they raised? I have been a small press publisher, so I can say this confidently: In the age of the ebook, there's no excuse for so much money producing so little.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dance for men: How To Be A Better Dancer

Women only talk a tiny bit more than men

Who talks more, men or women? Your guess may likely be wrong - Health -
A six-year series of studies published in the journal Science in 2007 of some 400 U.S. and Mexican male and female university students, showed that women spoke a daily average of 16,215 words a day, versus 15,669 for the guys.
The group dynamics are fascinating: women talk more in small groups and less in large groups. It may be that men think women always talk more because they're more often in small group situations where women do talk more.

When It Comes to Health Disparities, Place Matters More Than Race | Center for Advancing Health

When It Comes to Health Disparities, Place Matters More Than Race | Center for Advancing Health: "Blacks and Whites living in an integrated, low-income urban area had similar rates of treatment and management of hypertension, or high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

socialist Bible verses: on Proverbs 13:22 and the wealth of the sinner

The always-interesting Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig cited Augustine citing Proverbs 13:22 in Patristics, Property, Modernity. Here's the King James Version:
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
And here's the New International:
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.
The versions are not very different, but I want to be as clear as I possibly can when making this point: There is no right to property. The Jewish and Christian obligation is not to think in terms of acquiring wealth for ourselves, but in terms of providing for the righteous and for generations yet to come, the people who seek to tell the truth and to live in peace.

Read this: Awareness Is Overrated

Awareness Is Overrated -- Science of Us:
...the funny part about all of this awareness-raising is that it doesn’t accomplish all that much. The underlying assumption of so many attempts to influence people’s behavior — that they make bad choices because they lack the information to empower them to do otherwise — is, except in a few cases, false. And what’s worse, awareness-raising done in the wrong way can actually backfire, encouraging the negative activities in question. One of the favorite pastimes of a certain brand of concerned progressive, then, may be much more effective at making them feel good about themselves than actually improving the world in any substantive way. 
“We’ve known for over 50 years that providing information alone to people does not change their behavior,” said Victor Strecher, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. It’s something of a consensus among people who study behavioral interventions ranging from health to bullying to crime: There are a lot of reasons why people do what they do, but awareness of their actions’ repercussions ranks pretty far down the list.

What do I think of the new black Captain America and the female Thor?

Hell, yeah!

But people shouldn't get too excited. It's comic books. The originals can and almost certainly will return. It all depends on how well they sell.

This fanboy wants the Falcon to keep his wings when he becomes Captain America. Shield and wings? Why not? If Hawkwoman can do it, Captain Falcon can do it.

My only reservation is about calling the new Thor "Thor". The comic has to keep being called "Thor" because it's about someone who has the hammer of Thor which gives the power of Thor, but Thor is a name, not a title, so I hope the female Thor is called Thora. Otherwise, it's gonna seem kinda stupid to me.

Still, this fanboy approves of change.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Universal Basic Income: Josh Martin

The Universal Basic Income: Josh Martin '14 from STOTALKS on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Josh Martin, “A Basic Answer to Welfare: The Universal Basic Income” | Basic Income News:
Lastly, he proposes his own plan for an American basic income. Rolling together the money the U.S. spends on means-tested programs (excluding Medicare and Medicaid), child tax credits, and Social Security, the U.S. could have around $2 trillion to spend on a basic income.  This budget could afford a program where all citizens 0-17 receive $2,000 per year, those 18-24 receive $4,000 per year, those 25-64 receive $6,000 per year, and those 65 and up receive $14,000 per year, effectively replacing Social Security.  This plan only costs $1.87 trillion and thus would save the U.S. $130 billion by converting to this basic income plan.

The Democratic Party and economic privilege vs identity privilege

At Facebook, John Halle posted:
Neoliberalism wins again: 
"The Pew survey points up the emergence of a cohort of younger voters who are loyal to the Democratic Party, but much less focused on economic redistribution than on issues of personal and sexual autonomy." 
and so does the plutocracy 
"Corporate America faces a divided Democratic Party, vulnerable to the kind of lobbying pressures that the business elite specializes in. Under this scenario, Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce will enjoy increased leverage in the policy-making arenas of Congress and the executive branch despite – or even because – of Democratic political success." 
The Coming Democratic Schism -

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What color should your dance clothes be?

Do you care how sweaty you look?

If yes, wear black.

If no, what is wrong with you? Wear black.


ETA: That amused me, but for the sake of anyone who might be self-conscious, most dancers look great in every imaginable color. But when I dance for more than a few minutes, I sweat like crazy, and if I don't want to look like I've been dancing under my very own rain cloud, I've got to go with black or navy.

dance videos: new school doing old school

I am amused that the "old school" here is after my time.

For anyone who would like to ask me "hard questions", and a little about people who think the source matters more than the truth

In the twitter exchange I referred to in the last post, C***** K*** said:
I tweeted back:
I haven't gotten an answer, which doesn't surprise me. For the record, I am always ready to answer hard questions.

But I think the real "hard question" is why social justice warriors never ask and rarely link directly to the people they write about. I suspect it's because they simply don't care about checking facts—what matters is their rage. I learned about a silly example in the comics world at With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility Bun Toons | Ty Templeton's ART LAND!!—the outrage du jour was about an adult superhero having sex with a minor, but the outraged didn't notice that the "minor" was drawn as an adult and referred to having drunk wine on her 23rd birthday. Perhaps the S in SJW should stand for "semiliterate".

Here's another bit from the twitter exchange that included Kane and Somerville:

  1. *** The information isn't different because of the source, though.
  2. I respect you for saying so, but for many people, the source matters more than the truth. •••
  3. Yeah, that bugs me. Truth can be anywhere. Conversely, so can untruth. I can't see people as all good or all bad.

Deirdre and I disagree on a number of things, but I will always have complete respect for people who know how to disagree ethically. As for the rest, well, Malcolm X's and St. Peter's advice to respect everyone still applies—but the respect that they get comes with my pity.

"Accept the truth from whatever source it comes." —Maimonides

Friday, July 11, 2014

Does anyone know when I was supposed to have doxxed Ann Somerville?

Just saw this tweet about me:
@XXXXXXX @XXXXXX I attracted his attentions for reporting his doxxing of women during RaceFail '09. So then he doxxed me
— Ann Somerville (@ann_somerville) July 12, 2014
I redacted the people it was to, because this isn't about them. I don't expect Somerville to address this, but I hope someone else will be kind enough to. Did I ever do anything that could be interpreted as doxxing her? Or any other women who would justify her use of "women" instead of "a woman"?

I understand why she and her friends think I doxxed Coffeeandink, even though C&I was using her full legal name on public posts on her LJ at the time—cults have their own customs, and faux-pseudonymity is one of theirs. I also understand why they don't blame Coffeeandink for taking part in doxxing Zathlazip—cults always have different standards for people outside the cult. I keep wondering whether Somerville took part in doxxing Zathlazip, but that's less relevant than the fact that she never criticized anyone for doxxing Z.

Anyway, help would be appreciated. I am always happy to take responsibility for what I've done, but when something's wrong, I like to clear it up.

Social Justice And Words, Words, Words

Social Justice And Words, Words, Words | Slate Star Codex. Especially nice for the discussion of "motte and bailey". And I love "weird Rosetta Stone of social justicing".

dance video: Harry Potter vs Twilight

Monday, July 7, 2014

When Tumblr went to war with 4Chan

4chan celebrates Independence Day by spamming Tumblr's feminism tags

shut down 4chan. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government: 1391 votes when checked.

Petition | That all users of Tumblr be labelled as mentally handicapped landwhales. | 7,956 supporters when checked.

Theorizing Underpants and Mr. Burns Skirt: Multiculturalism and the Left Road to Nowhere

Theorizing Underpants and Mr. Burns Skirt: Multiculturalism and the Left Road to Nowhere | Outrages and Interludes

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried on Handling Internet Outrage

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried on Handling Internet Outrage | Playboy is a bit long and, well, Gottfriedish, but I like these points:
The internet makes me sentimental for old-time lynch mobs. Back then, if people wanted to punish you, they had to leave the house and get their hands dirty. Now it’s all done on the internet. It’s the modern equivalent of ringing someone’s doorbell and running away.
a comic apologizing for a joke is like a ballet dancer apologizing for a pirouette.

Excluded by intersectionality: Jason Westcott, innocent man killed in police drug raid

If I was obsessed, I would regularly post articles about white men abused by capitalism in general or the police in particular. SJWs seem to think they don't exist because the intersection of race and gender excludes them. Here's the latest one I noticed, via Meet Jason Westcott, your latest, needless, inexcusable drug war casualty. For more, see Informer, not neighbor complaints, led up to fatal Tampa pot raid | Tampa Bay Times.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Clicking Their Way to Outrage

Internet outrage often says more about the commenter than the cause, and its deployment may do more harm than good, to the instigator and the issue. 
In another 2013 study, Professor Martin determined that people susceptible to Internet rage are also angrier than the general population, a finding that should come as little shock. “They expressed their anger less healthily, in maladaptive ways,” he said. “They would either yell and scream or suppress it, but very few had any adaptive coping strategies. People who rant online in any way tend to get into more physical and verbal altercations.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Richard Dawkins Stirs Up New Outrage on Twitter

Richard Dawkins Stirs Up New Outrage on Twitter | Atheist Revolution: Dawkins recently learned the phrase "Social Justice Warrior". Social Justice Warriors are outraged.

I left a comment there: "People who don't understand irony don't understand that "social justice warrior" is ironic. A social justice worker and a social justice warrior are very, very different people."

Dance video: "Love Battle" CatPeople

It really starts around 1:30, so skip ahead if you feel like it.