worldpool: “A tiny nation of people began to take shape.”

My disabled son’s amazing gaming life in the World of Warcraft

“While we are gathered here today, a candle is being lit for Mats in a classroom in the Netherlands, a candle burns in a call centre in Ireland, in a library in Sweden there is a candle lit, he is remembered in a little beauty parlour in Finland, a municipal office in Denmark, many places in England. All over Europe, Mats is remembered by many morethan those who had the opportunity to come here today.

“I met Mats in a world where it doesn’t matter a bit who you are, what kind of body you have, or how you look in reality, behind the keyboard.

“There, what does matter is who you choose to be and how you conduct yourself towards others. What does matter is what is found here,” – Kai Simon laid his hand on his temple, “and here.” Kai Simon laid his hand on his heart.

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From the world pool: May 1, 2015

Happy May Day and Happy International Workers’ Day!

Socio-political commentary

Feminism

In this case the caption CANNOT UNSEE is a happy one. (via @evilrooster)

Randi Harper: “It’s just the internet.”  (via @scalzi)

Game of Fear: “What if a stalker had an army? Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend was obsessed with destroying her reputation—and thousands of online strangers were eager to help.” (via @scalzi)

Racism

When ambiguity works either way: “Teachers/profs, here’s your next real-world classroom example of the importance of pronoun-antecedent clarity.”  (via @mchris4duke)

Rebecca Solnit: “Dear other white people, this is about Baltimore. When you demand that a person of color explain or justify the situation to you, you are asking them to work for you for free. …The work of explaining has already been done. It’s our job to engage with it, not theirs to keep doing over again.”  (via @Quinnae_Moon)

Christine Slocum: White People Do Not Understand Racism. “…racism is not simply the result of prejudice. It is an enduring institution that separates society through a centrifuge of differential access to opportunities. Racism exists beyond individual prejudices; it exists in the foundation of everything we consider acceptable and laudable.”  (via @tressiemcphd)

Just… wow. David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish: Freddy Gray, the drug war, and the decline of “real policing.”  (via @evilrooster)

And…

Shut up and take my money! A tale of a poor gamer. The classism of definitions of “gamer.” “Of course I realize it was escapism from the harsh reality of my world, but is that really so bad, escaping that for a little while? When people realized I was homeless and had a laptop, they would sneer at me. $60 they would then turn around and pay for a game with a fee-structure attached to it. And I was a horrible person for keeping my laptop.” (via @Quinnae_Moon)

Art + Design

After Three Decades of Obscurity, Helvetica’s Successor Reemerges (via @curiousoctopus)

Advice from a Badass: How to make users awesome. “In her book, Sierra establishes why helping users become awesome can directly lead to the success of a product or service and and then builds a model with the reader to achieve this. I think it’s an exceptional book that wisely advises how to address the emotional and behavioural setbacks to learning new things without having to resort to bribery or gamification, neither of which work after the novelty wears off. The language of the book is informal but the research behind the words is formidable.”

Thought-provoking

David Whyte: “All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness.” Looks like an interesting book. (via @brainpicker)

The Cost of Paying Attention. “Attention is a resource; a person has only so much of it. And yet we’ve auctioned off more and more of our public space to private commercial interests, with their constant demands on us to look at the products on display or simply absorb some bit of corporate messaging. Lately, our self-appointed disrupters have opened up a new frontier of capitalism, complete with its own frontier ethic: to boldly dig up and monetize every bit of private head space by appropriating our collective attention. In the process, we’ve sacrificed silence — the condition of not being addressed. And just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think.”  (via @KameronHurley)

Quote of the week

“The gold in you does not rust.”

Mahmoud Darwish (via @dynamicsymmetry)

Just cool

This Couple Moved Off The Grid And Built A Self-Sustaining Floating Island (and not so far away from us, either)  (via @mcahogarth)

Just for fun

Oh. My. God. Last F**kable Day. *Falling over laughing* Definitely NOT Safe For Work. (via @ChrisBoese)

5 Mètres 80: An Absurd Animation Depicting a Herd of Giraffes Leaping Off a High Dive by Nicolas Deveaux

When you sneeze in front of your pet and they look at you like you’ve just offended their great ancestors.

From the world pool: April 10, 2015

Socio-political commentary

Why Sealioning is Bad. “The biggest reason why people hate sealioning is because responding to it is a complete waste of time.”  (via @KameronHurley)

Follow the money: The Weird, Money-Making World of Parody Twitter Accounts. (via @kyliu99)

Feminism

Risky Date (via @KameronHurley)

Gaming

The media and what I mean by “reinforcement”. “I’m not arguing that videogames are evil and cause lots of horrible things and we should ban them forever. I’m also not arguing that they’re distinct from other media – I’m arguing that they are one of many influences on people’s views (concious and unconscious) and that they will have a much easier job supporting society-wide views than implanting new unique ones.” Laying out the difference between reinforcement and causality.  (via @Quinnae_Moon)

A 12-Year-Old Girl Takes On The Video Game Industry (via @ChrisBoese)

SF/F

I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy fan, and this week that world exploded. Tl;dr: a group of conservative writers and fans, self-named the Sad Puppies (supported generally by the Rabid Puppies, an overlapping group), who believe that they represent the only real sf/f (and its True Fans) and have been shut out of winning the Hugos they deserve by the conspiracies of SJWs (Social Justice Warriors), gamed the nomination process to get a slate of their people onto the lists of nominees, displacing many worthy candidates.

Natalie Luhrs at Pretty Terrible has a round-up of links that I won’t bother recapping, go check them out; there are also oodles of posts by other sf/f writers and fan writers that you can find with a bit of digging. I will also add a few from mainstream media (which has been picking up on this, interestingly) to her list. All of these articles have lots of links, if you want to drop down a rabbit hole.

One additional note on this: last night I was reading comments on the post by George RR Martin that Natalie linked to in her links round-up. One of the Sad Puppy supporters complained that, “We’re tired of hateful, double-standard holding bigots attempting to sabotage the careers and reputations of people who don’t toe their lines.”

Martin asked for citations: “You make sweeping angry statements, drag in the odious Social Justice Warriors term, talk about feminists in the 1800s… but where are your FACTS? Whose career has been destroyed by the SJWs? Who are these pariahs? How does any of this relate to the Hugo Awards?”

The answer: “I can’t name many because you never hear about them in the first place.” And then the writer goes on to explain that a “chilling effect created by all of this means up-and-coming authors who have such ‘unpopular’ political views stay quiet. They don’t write works that might offend these peddlers of despair and outrage. They don’t get their careers ruined very often because they’re smart enough to keep their mouths shut. If they aren’t, their careers are shut down before the destruction of said careers would ever be newsworthy.”

Do you see what this is saying?! The fact that examples don’t exist is being used to prove that a conspiracy exists. This is the level of Sad Puppy logic.

Art + Design

Jay Smooth: Beating the Little Hater. An old video, but still a good one—“there’s a little voice inside my head that starts playting tricks on me…:  (via @iSmashFizzle)

Venn diagram of the intersections between passion and profession and much else.  (via @mcahogarth)

More online art: Rijksmuseum Digitizes & Makes Free Online 210,000 Works of Art, Masterpieces Included! (via @ChrisBoese)

25 Exclusive Designs for Print’s 75th Anniversary (via @debbiemillman)

Education

Using Wikipedia: a scholar redraws academic lines by including it in his syllabus. What a great approach.  (via @mchris4duke)

Writing

Just a lovely story to take the taste of the Sad Puppies away: Ursula Vernon, Jackalope Wives.  (via Ursula Vernon @UrsulaV)

From the world pool: October 25th, 2014

Lots of stuff this week.

Socio-political analysis

An interesting Mother Jones article: “Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies: how the sugar industry kept scientists from asking: Does sugar kill?

Chris Kluwe: “Why #gamergaters piss me the f*** off.” Full of creative invective such as “slackjawed pickletit,” this is the most artistic rant I’ve read in years. But imagine what would happen if a woman wrote it.

More than my pain.” Game designer Mattie Bryce on the interactions between online hate campaigns and the responses to them as reality TV: an insightful analysis.

But what about the men? On masculinity and mass shootings.” An analysis by Meghan Murphy of “toxic masculinity” and the public invisibility of gendered violence.

Food for thought

The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson. (via @ChrisBoese)

“I hate to say it, but I think a default posture of human beings is fear.” …Fear has, in this moment, a respectability I’ve never seen in my life.” The article is mostly about the author and her work, but those statements really struck me.

Pair this with Ursula K. Le Guin on Private Anger.

Design

The Evolution Door (via @ChrisBoese)

Quill – Books before print. “If you love old books, you’ve come to the right place.”

The first female typographer.  

How Did the Meadow Vole Cross the Road?  Design thinking leads to animal shelving: adding catwalks for small animals within culverts.

Just for fun

Beast: restaurant review. “If Beast were a chap, he would be a part-time rugby player smelling of Ralgex who’s trying to tell you he’s deep and thoughtful, even though he’ll later be implicated in an incident involving a traffic cone and a pint glass of his own urine.” If restaurant reviews are often this snarky and funny I’ll have to read them more often. (Via Twitter)   

Typewriter-parts cat, and the artist Jeremy Mayer’s website.

Now here’s something cool that I have included a whole clutch of links for. Do you recall the Sultan’s Elephant, a big dramatic multi-day giant puppet performance in London by a French puppeteering company? This is similar, but also by a French company: La Machine. (What is it about the French and wonderful giant puppets?) This performance is in Beijing and involves a spider and a dragon-horse.

Ulitsa Dimitrova

I’m a casual video gamer. As a teacher I’m also interested philosophically in the premise that games can be used effectively in learning. So a recent tweet from someone I follow on Twitter, pointing to this game, interested me.

“This is a game about a seven year old homeless child who lives in St. Petersburg. He’s a chainsmoker and has to get cigarettes all the time. And if you stop playing—”

I highly recommend the trailer. Somehow after watching it I didn’t want to download the game, but the point was made.

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