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)

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Happy Birthday, Ursula K. Le Guin!

Ursula Le Guin turns 85 today. She has been my favourite author for a very long time, not just because she tells great stories and writes excellent, thought-provoking essays but because she is so skilled at doing so, in an understated way: she makes complexity seem deceptively easy. I still remember reading the lastish book in a series and delightedly hopping up and down saying to my partner, “She took everything she set up in the first book and turned it inside out!”

And she’s funny.

“I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. …I admit it, I am actually a very poor imitation or substitute man, and you could see it when I tried to wear those army surplus clothes with ammunition pockets that were trendy and I looked like a hen in a pillowcase. ”

I found this quote on Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings site: Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man. It’s a lovely read, but why stop there? You should buy the book.  

And if you want to read more and haven’t already found it, her blog is on her website. (And at Book View Cafe as well.)

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