Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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2019: Popper's paradox of tolerance (loved by liberal censors and, oddly, #antifa) amounts to "to protect the human right of free speech, we must oppose it". It's the logic of the US officer during Vietnam who said, "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."

Today's reason for #basicincome: End violence caused by economic despair, which includes suicides, murders, and muggings.

2018: The problem with all-or-nothingism is nothing usually wins.

2017: The internet destroys the definitions of words. Effectively meaningless now: all political labels and all words describing prejudice.

Two cards palmed by people who say everyone should work for their money: inheritance and capital gains.

2016: Punishing someone for attempting suicide is not a punishment for trying—it's a punishment for not succeeding.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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2019: It's good that respect is given rather than deserved, because those who do not give respect do not deserve respect, yet they should be respected anyway.

Hierarchists think respect goes upward from the lesser to the greater. Egalitarians know it goes outward to everyone.

2018: When someone says, "Everyone is X", you can only be sure that that person is X.

2017: Whenever someone becomes the richest person in the world, we should throw them a big party and give their businesses to their workers.

2016: Really, what isn't a cat toy?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Three Things People Miss in King’s Birmingham Jail Letter

Three Things People Miss in King’s Birmingham Jail Letter

If you need to bypass Medium's paywall, click here.

Race is about Your Life, Not Your Looks; or How I Avoided the Pocahontas Mistake

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2018: Does anyone deserve to be called bad? There are broken people. They didn't choose to break.

2017: Reminder: Death threats are how the internet says, "I beg to differ."

2014: Conquerors always blame the conquered for resisting.

Internet politics: People who don't have the power to support something fight with people who don't have the power to oppose it.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

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2019: I could support censorship if I believed there was a person who could not be corrupted by the power to silence us.

Free speech includes the right to refute ideologies we despise. I will never give up that right.

I would love to know how many Germans during the Weimar Republic thought there should be more censorship, and regretted that when Hitler gave them what they asked for.

I will never understand people who claim to be antifascists who want the state to have more power to suppress speech. #antifa

I wish Facebook and Twitter had subscribers instead of followers. Followers sound like cult members. Which is accurate in some cases, of course.

2018: Tip: If you want to discuss something less controversial than politics, do not say anything about any form of cooking.

2017: Reminder: In 2009, the Democrats had the power to do what they wanted to. Unfortunately, there wasn't much they wanted to do.

The US political discourse quadrant: the rude right and left and the snobbish right and left. (I reluctantly side with the rude.)

You do not change the world by changing language. You change the world, and the language follows.

2016: When the message is true, the messenger is irrelevant.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

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2019: Hollywoodspeak 101:
Based on a true story: Mostly bullshit
Inspired by a true story: Totally bullshit

I often agree with Marcus Aurelius, I often think he left out something. For example:
"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." —Marcus Aurelius
That's sweet, but he left out "to be emperor".

2018: Really enjoyed Sorry to Bother You, but it's not for everyone. Reminded me of my love for movies like Brother From Another Planet and Repo Man.

2017: Dear Israel and Saudi Arabia, history says religious states always make their religion look bad.

My response to charges of cherrypicking: "If it wasn't a cherry, I wouldn't have picked it. What's your real objection?"

2016: People who talk about "righteous anger" are leaving the "self" silent.

I am so old that when I see people talking to themselves, my first thought is not that they're on the phone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Red Mask, the first black masked hero?

The following art is from Out Of This World: Early Black Comic Book Heroes: The Red Mask, The Comics of Syndicated Features: Adventures of the Red Mask, and Facebook's comic strip appreciation group, where Stefan Wood posted black and white scans of the Red Mask's entire story.

The newspaper strip ended there. In 1939, The Adventures of the Red Mask were reprinted in four issues of Best Comics. After the first issue, they drew him as white on the covers, but they left him black inside.

The Red Spectre, a post punk pulp story, begins on Medium

A weekly serial begins on Medium, inspired in part by the Red Mask, the first black masked hero in comics.

The Red Spectre, Ch. 1. The Islander

Interesting fact: In 1936, several weekly newspapers in Alabama carried this strip with its black hero and its white recurring villain.

Monday, July 20, 2020

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2019: I am impressed by the ability of identitarians to discuss sexual abuse by rich people without criticizing capitalism.

2018: The difference between Twitter and Facebook is the difference between drive-by shootings and trench warfare.

"Reliable sources" usually means "sources that share my prejudices".

"I have always supported the right to speak for everyone, especially people I disagree with. That’s what free speech is about. The alternative is fascism." —Nina Paley

2017: In an update of the Book of Genesis, God would divide humanity by creating the internet.

Irony triggers the earnest.

Basic ethical behavior: If there's a fixable problem with the way someone does a job, give a warning before firing the person. #NoContext

2016: The right to disagree is a human right, and therefore I want it for people who disagree with me. #FreeSpeech

Saturday, July 18, 2020

What I said on Facebook after a bullshit accusation

I just got a bullshit accusation about my beliefs, so I will say this now for anyone who does not know me:

I have literally bled from the blows of white racists because I stood up for integration in a much more racist time than today. I have opposed fascism at every opportunity. I reject authoritarianism and hierarchy in all forms, and because of that, I am constantly accused by authoritarian neoliberals and identitarians of believing things I do not.

If you're unclear of anything, just ask me.

ETA: Yes, comments on this blog are off. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

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2019: Dear artists, your job is not to comfort rich people. Unless you want their money. Then it is. (Religious leaders, ditto.)

2018: We thought the internet would let people make a better world. Instead, it's given the powerless a place to rage at each other.

"Contrarian" is like "heretic": it means someone disagrees with something you believe.

2016: Socialists, what's the theory called that's about making things worse so people will revolt and socialism will win? Besides "stupid".

Thursday, July 16, 2020

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2019: If Mussolini ruled Italy today, he would claim that criticism of fascism was antiCatholic and antiItalian.

2018: Haters hate nuance.

Another odd thing: The people who mock civility complain about Trump's manners.

2017: 3 Necessary Things I Hate About Writing
1 Killing good characters
2 Ending stories
3 Writing

If Dr. Who's scripts are good, no one will care about the doctor's gender. If they suck, execs will say it was a mistake to cast a woman.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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2019: "40 acres and a mule" vs. today's reparations movement:
The 40 acres and a mule were supposed to come from the wealth of the slaveowners and be given to poor freed slaves. Modern reparations would come from everyone who isn't black and be given to rich and poor blacks alike.

2017: Many people's revolutions went badly. They were still necessary, and the blame still lies with the rulers who drove them to revolt.

It's odd that the French have a military parade on Bastille Day. It's the day the people won.

Dear character, I'm sorry I must kill you. I hope Death will be as sorry to kill me. At least you may return in another story someday.

Monday, July 13, 2020

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2019: ‪Our cat was clearly jealous that we were at #Narrativity: around 4am, he set off the motion sensor for the home security system. We got called, rushed home, and found all well. To teach him not to do that again, I gave him a fresh can of cat food. (And moved the motion sensor.)‬

2017: Never let the enemy have the moral high ground.

2016: Humans make a lot more sense when you stop expecting them to make sense.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

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2019: Having a fine time at Narrativity. Liking the panels and am reminded that music circles can be grand things. Emma sang “Gray Funnel Line”, which I hadn’t heard in too long.

2018: The colonoscopy found a few small polyps, but the doctor says things look good and barring some surprise from the test results on the polyps, I won't need another for 10 years. Yay!

Also, I was congratulated on my prep. On the one hand, it's good to get acknowledgment for doing something grueling well, but that isn't going on my resume.

My memory was that magnesium citrate wasn't especially unpleasant. I should get my memory checked next.

2017: Knowing the manners of the rich lets snobs feel superior by being rather than doing. To them, mastering snobbery is proof of superiority.

2016: "Don't throw away your vote on a third party! Support Stephen Douglas!" #IfThisWas1860

#TypingTip To create non-breaking ellipses:
Mac OS ellipsis: OPTION + semicolon
Windows ellipsis: ALT + 0133

Saturday, July 11, 2020

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I can't support racial or gender quotas, but I could support ideological ones: six Catholics on the Supreme Court is radically unrepresentative.


Pre-colonoscopy low-fiber diet tip: Make it a two-day low-fiber celebration. Study what you can eat, then stock up on things you love that are legit. (I really should've made waffles.)

The last glass of the colonoscopy prep mix is the hardest to down. Knowing it’s the last doesn’t help a bit. Most torturers understand the principle behind this.

Friday, July 10, 2020

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If you enjoy puzzles that have a physical component, replace a toilet in an old house.


_An amusing thing that OCR wanted to do to the Liavek ebook_

I'm proof-reading Liavek stories in order to start releasing ebooks in the next week or two. Because the anthologies came out in the '80s, before publishers believed personal computers were here to stay, we don't have electronic files of the edited stories. So we sent paperbacks off to a cheap OCR service. The scans are pretty good, but things sneak by. Catching the typo I'm about to share means I'm not a completely inept proofreader, because my word processor's spell-checker merely said, yep, that's a word, and didn't flag it with squiggly lines.

The OCR has trouble with "rm" and "rn—it often interprets "burn" as "bum" and "turn" as "tum". But I could never have guessed what it would do to this sentence: "Birth magic tingled along her arms..."

The OCR's version: "Birth magic tingled along her anus..."

For a moment, I was tempted not to change it. It's not as impressive as the Wicked Bible's "Thou shalt commit adultery," but as typos go, it's decent—at least, if your sense of humor is as juvenile as mine. But while they say all publicity is good publicity, the story and its author deserve better, so I fixed it.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

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The problem with thinking of capitalism as a pyramid with most of us at the bottom: Capitalism is an upside-down pyramid. Most of the wealth at the top.


To people who think the US's poor should be grateful:

No one suffering at the bottom of a pyramid of wealth is grateful for being denied enough wealth to end their suffering, even if they know it would be worse to be at the bottom of another pyramid.


So long as you have capitalist nations, open borders will serve capitalists—the Kochs love open borders because they weaken unions and make workers compete for lower pay. I want no borders, not open borders.


Today's invented breakfast: Avocado oatmeal. Better than I expected.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

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Two things you should never do without being asked: Criticize a parent's parenting or a writer's writing.


Philanthropist (n): A very rich person who gives less than they could to a cause that many people admire.


The class struggle isn’t “the working class versus the rich”; it’s “us versus capitalism”. Some working-class people oppose the class struggle out of ignorance; some rich people support it because they want a better world for everyone.


I don't like "the elites" as a way to describe the bourgeoisie because they feel flattered by the name.