Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Martin Luther King's response to identitarianism

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." —Martin Luther King, Jr.

This blog is dead! Long live this blog!

Yes, this blog is waking. Today's recommended reading: When Social Justice Isn’t About Justice. I'm not inclined to start a twitter account for the blog just now, so follow via RSS or pop in every week or two to see whether the next couple of posts were only death rattles.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An update on standing desks and ergonomics for writers

One of my popular posts continues to be my standing desk. For the last couple of years, I've been using a different reconfigured Ikea desk that's been discontinued, but now my work needs have changed, so I'm looking at new options.

Also, a friend mentioned that her boyfriend has been getting a lot of tension in his back while he works. The first thing I told her was that ergonomics matter. Many writers suffer physically for their art; I knew one who literally ruined his back meeting a deadline for a novel. If you don't want a standing desk, make sure your seated working arrangement is good and get up and stretch every hour or so. Ikea has a good short pdf on office ergonomics.

If I was getting a standing desk today, I would almost certainly choose Ikea's $269 US hand-crank SKARSTA Desk sit/stand:
If it wasn't a little large for my current work space, I would probably be on the LRT to Ikea to get one now. I'm hoping it'll be very popular so they'll make a smaller one.

If you're primarily a laptop user, the $49 US IKEA PS 2014 Standing laptop station looks promising.

Ikea also has a more expensive electric sit/stand desk, the BEKANT Desk, which has been both praised (IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This) and panned (IKEA Bekant Stand Up Desk Review).

Other interesting links:

A standing desk for $22

The Best IKEA Standing Desk Hacks | Lifehacker Australia

Is This The Cheapest Standing Desk Hack Yet? | Lifehacker Australia

DIY IKEA Standing Desks For Every Budget | Lifehacker Australia

(Why Google decided I was Australian, I haven't a clue.)

(And no, I don't get paid by Ikea. I'm just a fan of good cheap products.)

ETA: If you prefer to sit, consider switching from a chair to something like the NILSERIK Stool. I'm very fond of mine. (Y'know, Ikea should pay me.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beulah resumes on Friday with a new schedule

I would love to produce daily installments, but life is too lifey to allow that now. (Not in bad ways. Just that I've got half of the cats in the herd at the moment, so I need to leave them and round up the other half.)

The next installment should be on Friday. I suspect I'll go to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule after that, but I'm not committing to anything yet.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

No Beulah today, two Beulahs tomorrow, and a bit about Insensitive Highly Sensitive People (IHSPs)

Since I haven't decided what "one Beulah" is, I'm not sure that you'll be able to tell that you're getting two installments tomorrow, but you are.

A friend shared Highly sensitive people: a condition rarely understood. It looks like HSPs are a thing now, at least on the internet. My feelings, as usual, are mixed. At the friend's page, I said,
I'm wondering if HSPs are more or less likely to be abusive. My guess is the introverts would be less likely and the extroverts, more. I may need to do a little more reading about what Zeff calls the "insensitive highly sensitive person".
Then I added,
My apologies for bringing up an ugly image, but I'm now wondering how many people who have done the worst things were artists or exhibited other symptoms of being HSPs. Yes, Godwin's Law applies here. I confess I'm sure, knowing humans, that some people will decide they are HSPs and therefore superior, while at best it only means they (or we, because I recognize those symptoms too) are different.
I'm developing a theory that the angry people the internet calls SJWs are a subset of insensitive highly sensitive persons. There may be something about privilege that creates IHSPs—the most self-obsessed people I know are rich people who surround themselves with beauty and would rather donate to the arts than to the poor. Of those, the ones who talk of injustice talk in terms of identity, which protects them from the possibility their privilege is a problem.

Now, I'm not denying that I may be among the IHSPs. I'm just not sure what my subset is.

Thinking about Insensitive Highly Sensitive People inspired me to google for art by the one of the worst of them. If the best of 25 Rarely Seen Artworks Painted By Adolf Hitler are actually by Hitler (apparently, there are forgeries out there), he wasn't a bad painter. It's a shame he gave it up.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Machiavelli on the danger of believing exiles

Via In Defense of the Late Ahmad Chalabi:
chapter 31 of Niccolò Machiavelli’s book Discourses on Livy, “How Dangerous It Is to Believe Exiles”: 
"How dangerous a thing it is to believe those who have been driven out of their country. … Such is the extreme desire in them to return home, that they naturally believe many things that are false and add many others by art, so that between those they believe and those they say they believe, they fill you with hope, so that relying on them you will incur expenses in vain, or you undertake an enterprise in which you ruin yourself. … A Prince, therefore, ought to go slowly in undertaking an enterprise upon the representations of an exile, for most of the times he will be left either with shame or very grave injury."

Monday, November 2, 2015

For conservatives who compare SJWs to Maoists

I just left this comment elsewhere: Their tactics are more McCarthyite than Maoist. This is an authoritarian issue, not a political one.

If you believe that socialists do not value free speech, here's one of my favorite socialists on the subject: George Orwell: The Freedom of the Press.

And here's a longer blog post of mine: The curious contradictions of censorial socialists, and a few comments about Charlie Hebdo

1930s dancers

A test illustration that pleases me: