al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
 Yah, what is this anyway?  This third party hosting biz?

Dreamwidth, what have you done?











In Memoriam

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:04 pm

Father-Son Drum Duel/Duet

Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:56 pm
chomiji: Sai, the courtly, go-playing Heian ghost, playing a flute - from Hikaru no Go (Sai - music)
[personal profile] chomiji

I give you Max Weinberg, drummer for Springsteen's E Street Band, and his son Jay. This performance was in 2009:

Talented, good-lookin' Jewish guys. ♥♥♥ :-D

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:59 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Reading through a compilation of 1950s Pogo. Depressing, how much of it is still topical . . .

Cats update

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:33 am
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
[personal profile] vass
He's being a terrible Dory again. (Sung to the tune of 'I'm telling a terrible story' from The Pirates of Penzance.) This time his evidence exculpatory is that I won't let him use the indoor swimming pool. (No, not the sink. And I don't have a bathtub.)

So he learned to turn the lever sort of door handles and also swing on them in such a way that he can open an outward opening door from the outside. I am pondering technological solutions. I hear there's a form of child lock that works on cats. Until then I'm leaving the lid down and putting a barrier in front of the door, but I expect that won't hold him for long.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:27 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Rejecting allies because they don't fit a narrow template . . .
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
In this next arc, we see the powerful Marquis Xie moving toward securing more power through the oblivious Crown Prince. But he’s not merely the usual rug-chewing bad guy, which makes him so much more interesting. And also unpredictable.

Meanwhile, we are getting to know Xia Dong, Princess Nihuang’s bestie, who still refuses to speak to Prince Jing. She is loyal and honest and a fierce warrior. (And she has a very, very bumpy ride ahead of her.)

Finally, Princess Nihuang is confused and intrigued by this reclusive scholar who has the power to send military aid to a province on the other side of the continent, and yet who refuses to set foot in a falling-down house . . . and we see the building emotional cost to MC when spending more time with the princess and with Jing.

The next few eps are the midpoint of act one, and reach a climax I thought really intense on the first watch. I couldn’t believe that the intensity was going to scale upward exponentially—but it does. And by intensity I don’t mean climbing body counts, which enervate me fast. I mean real, personal stakes. Emotional cost. Political layers with real cost. So much intensity, so much beauty.
Read more... )
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Mowed the buttercups again, before the heat gets any worse. 76 F now, little wind, July sun.

Summer brain

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:29 am
sartorias: (desk)
[personal profile] sartorias
Another book seems to be trying to grab me, so while I veer between ongoing projects and escaping the unrelenting heat with tv watching (more NIF later today) and reading, I'm writing notes and watching the tetris pieces fall and interlock. If they fuse, well, then, that's what I'll be doing.

In the meantime, an interesting discussion, which I hope to wring another BVC blog post out of. (It's getting hard to figure out something to write, but I committed to it, so . . . besides, it's good for me to test my ideas against others. Too easy to get locked inside my head.)

Anyway, the discussion subject was words you don't use. I don't necessarily mean cuss words you avoid, but words that have too much freight for whatever reason. Like, the discussion got started when someone mentioned that when we were growing up, nobody ever said the word 'cancer' or wrote it. Sick, ill, other euphemisms, but she felt that there was this tremendous fear around the word because it was always a death sentence, especially as the constant cigarette atmosphere around us started catching up with people at not very old ages. Saying it was impolite, like saying pregnant (expecting was the word back then), but also there was a kind of superstition like mentioning it would invite it.

Another person said she refuses to use the word 'literally' because she hears it so much, usually used wrong, that is, as an emphasizer, which she sees as sloppy language.

A third person at that discussion said that that was weird, and why avoid any word?

Thoughts?
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
[personal profile] birguslatro
This article, titled "My father-in-law won't become a coder, no matter what economists say", makes its case but doesn't offer any solutions to the supposed coming high rates of unemployment.

The argument against becoming a coder can best be compared to reading and writing, which we mostly all can do, after a fashion. If all our other needs were met, we could spend our days reading and writing. Say, six days a week reading and one day a week writing. Assuming it took a year for each of us to write something of substance at that rate, we'd all have x billions of new writings to choose from each year. Which is quite an abundance of substantive writings. All for the cost of each of us spending a day a week 'working' at writing. At half a day's work a week we might then only have about a billion new writings to choose from, or half a billion if we only work two hours a week.

Programming's not writing, but as with writing, only a few of us would be a good fit for doing anything of substance with such a skill. Hack coders are probably of some use now, but they'd be the easiest to be replaced by software. (Written by good coders.)

The usual question asked about jobs being replaced by automation is who will have any money to buy the goods produced by all that automation? A better question is what will the few high-paid workers (and business owners) buy with their money?

One resource that isn't increasing is land, so they'll be buying that every chance they get. (Such as when the homes of the over-extended who've lost their jobs to automation become available.) Which leaves goods and services. Assuming goods are mostly produced by automation, (arty stuff aside), that leaves services. Or, as they were called in days gone by, servants. People to pamper them. Robots might suffice for some, but I'm sure most will still prefer people.

So, a full-circle most of those who've lost their jobs probably won't much like.

I don't really believe we'll reach very high rates of unemployment, mainly because it wouldn't be acceptable in democratic countries. But I think the above scenario is plausible if a managed response to the stresses of mass automation isn't worked out.

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:09 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] gerisullivan !  Magnificent day to you!
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
          . . . . Even on the ASOIAF forum HBO's announced next project with D&D alternate history in which the southern antebellum slaveocracy successfully seceded has set off a sh*t storm, on the order of "Bad Idea or Worst Idea?" with loads of people weighing in with all the cliched, stereotypical expected responses, which basically say --

Woo! slavery's so haut!

It's just entertainment what's your problem?

How can you condemn something that hasn't even been written yet?

The Civil War wasn't about slavery.

Antebellum slavery couldn't industrialize because it was a feudal system not a capitalist system.

The north didn't care about slavery.

There were very few abolitionists (and evidently, judging by these comments, not a single person of color -- or white woman -- was in favor of abolition or against slavery, and this was wholly a white man's war.

Why not just have let 'em have their part of the country and all would be fine.

Slavery would have just withered away.

Blahblahblahblah.

To be able to combat these idiocies coolly and effectively, one needs to be armed -- and trust me, those thoughtlessly regurgitating these cliches are not.  One must point out particularly what the slavocracy's objectives were (number 1: expansion of slavery) there are a few books one can read to make one competent. One should read them too,  because what most people think they know about antebellum slavery, "the underground railroad," abolition and the roots of the War of Southern Aggression ( A/K/A officially labeled the War of the Rebellion) are at best out-dated (such as slavery was a feudal system), and at worst,  just wrong (the north didn't give a damn about slavery).


For example, Eugene Genovese's thesis that slavery was feudal not capitalist, has been dismantled by vast scholarship in the last twenty - thirty years. Enormous amounts of scholarship has gone into the history of antebellum slavery in all its aspects since the Civil Rights Movement, and historians everywhere have been reaping the benefits of this in the last 2 - 3 decades.  The same is true for the war effort itself.


Here is a very short list of books than anyone who wants to speak of the system of antebellum slavery and the War of Southern Aggression should read:


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself;

Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley (Keckley was the US's first African American 

couturier-- right before secession she dressed both Mary Todd Lincoln and Varina Davis. She became Mary Todd Lincoln's confidant in the White House. The book is a mixture of authentic memoir and fiction;

Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee--The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged  by William C. Davis;

General Lee's Army: From Victory to Defeat by Joseph Glatthaar;

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy by Matt Karp;

The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry by Ned and Constance Sublette -- which runs down in a chronological, fast-reading narrative the latest scholarship about slavery in North America from the earlier colonial era to Emancipation, including the influence and effects the system within the larger European and hemispheric historical context, but the focus is on the economics of the enslaved bodies themselves -- without which the South had no wealth;

Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement by Fergus M. Bordewich;

Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey -- an interesting contrast to how the Union State Department was seeing the situation with England in particular through the experiences of the US minister's mission to Saint James;

Mary Chesnut's Civil War; the carefully edited after-the-fact diary of a the wife of the South Carolina senator James Chestnut Jr., until secession, after which he served as an aide to Jeff Davis and a brigadier general in charge of South Carolina's reserves (though not seeing action, of course, being such a slavocracy nabob);

The Free State of Jones by by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer -- Mississippians (the state with largest number of millionaires in the country prior to Emancipation) who were neither segregationists nor secessionist, nor were they nabobs -- they suffered and they resisted and fought back.

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams.  He writes of his first hand experiences at the highest levels of England's and France's government during the first years of the war, as private secretary to his father, Francis Adams, as minister to Saint James.

Two things we must never forget about antebellum slavery and the War of Southern Aggression: African Americans played an immense role in abolition and emancipation.  Escaped slaves and free people of color founded newspapers, wrote books, spoke at endless meetings, organized a relief and assistance for those who managed to escape.  They labored endlessly to keep the issues of the Fugitive Slave Act and Dred Scott in the forefront of progressive minds.  Here we see the first nexus of authentic cooperative action -- not just words! -- of black and white, male and female. Never underestimate the power of people with god-given mission for moral improvement (look at how the evangelicals etc. have managed to just about disappear not only abortion, but any woman's reproductive health care from so many places in this nation, even though it is all legal).


And we must never forget that while the north for the most part, as well as the Union, when the time came, though deeply white supremacist, was also deeply antagonistic to slave labor, for it undercut wages across the board for everyone (as keeping the wages of Haitians at a few cents an hour is the benchmark for wages throughout the hemisphere currently)-- as well as threatening having work at all.  With this half of the 19th century receiving boatloads of immigrants every day, the competition for jobs was fierce.


Having slavery forced upon free soil states was not in their interests -- just as the Fugitive Slave Act was antithetical to their interests, economically, politically, and socially.  Anyone could point to your daughter and son, declare her, him a runaway slave and there was no legal recourse -- and you were supposed to help them.


Don't forget by now there was a large percentage of legally enslaved who had white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair, thanks to generations of white men raping African American women for both fun and profit -- every slave child born provided the slave owner with at least another $50 of credit, in a culture that didn't have money per se, only credit, vastly based in the bodies of their slaves.


So skin color was not a final defense by any means -- nor was an accused runaway allowed to have or speak a defense!  People in the north did not like this.  This brought more people into the anti-slavery factions than anything else, and did it so fast the south couldn't believe it was happening.


You have to know all this and much more besides, and know it inside and out, viscerally, before you can write successfully about anything to do with the history of the war, slavery, and what happened. And the more one knows -- seeing from the benefit of hindsight-- the more one knows it couldn't have happened any other way.


What cannot be white washed away in any kind of entertainment is that slavery = rape and every kind of violence perpetrated on people who have no legal right to object or fight back. Which is why so many can't seem to let it go (see above -- slavery's haut! How dare you object to what turns us on?).  They want and revel in with all their being, the joy of feeling dominant, doing whatever they wish (or their fantasy surrogates do to women and others whatever they wish), to deliberately make people suffer both physical abuse and emotional abuse.


We see this particularly in the many stories or program that involves artificial intelligence / androids. There is no fun in hurting and degrading a sentience that doesn't feel abused and degraded, that in really has no free will or feeling. Thus all the plot lines is giving the androids a/is actual humanity or having them develop it -- so they can feel humiliated and degraded. (A rare exception to this is Ex Machina, an adroid who does feel outrage, but is also entirely sociopathic, lacking all the human feelings and values -- just like slave owner.  She gets hers, and is now unleashed upon the world of poor unsuspecting male victims. O noes!)


We say, for the sake of the story, so people can have identification with the characters we have to give them human feelings.  I.e. we need that dominance from built in abuse.  Which is why this will not help and will make things worse.  D&D have a track record, and that track record is out there for all to see and read.


Entertainments have civic, ethical, social, political and historical responsibilities too.  To say "it's only for fun," -- just think about what that fun consists of.


Then there's this, that so many of us find the entire concept sickening on so many levels, delights the ilks that are D&D -- it means they won, which is supremely depressing.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:35 pm
thornsilver: (hedgehog)
[personal profile] thornsilver
Looks like the foot thing that happened to me two days ago is a heel spur. I know, diagnosing yourself without the doctors is not recommended, but it fits all the symptoms and all the causes.

I want to exchange my body for a better fucking model, is all I am saying.

Sic transit etc.

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:41 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Cellar hole down the street has acquired backfill and loam, with hay mulch to control erosion and keep the pigeons out of the birdseed.

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