Weekend Plans

Aug. 28th, 2015 08:28 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
1. Write a PW review.

2. Visit my friend in the hospital again.

3. Do laundry?

4. Find the motivation I must have lost somewhere.

5. Find something to do with the motivation.

It's a plan, right?

Australian politics

Aug. 29th, 2015 12:31 am
vass: Warning sign of man in water with an octopus (Accidentally)
[personal profile] vass
For those who might not have heard.

Controversial Australian Border Force visa checks, Operation Fortitude cancelled

Shit got very scary.

That public operation was cancelled after protesters flooded the CBD and the ABF officers were penned in Flinders Street Station and couldn't get out because there were so many protesters around them, but this isn't over.

STATUS: Friday, August 28th

Aug. 28th, 2015 10:32 am
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

The Daily Report

Okay. First, I started this morning with over 450 unread emails in my contact email address. I’m not sure at what point the dread of opening it became too much. In my mind, it’s been months. In reality, probably weeks, maybe a month at most. In my mind, most of it was people furious with me for not writing back or getting stuff done. In reality… most of it is automated notifications, ads, bulk email, et cetera.

What finally got me to look at it… and clear out about a quarter of the backlog, answering some very important work related emails in the process… was that I have had people getting in touch with me over my latest work of satire, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular.

For those of you who only follow this blog for my own original work and are mystified about what I’ve got against John Scalzi: nothing. Believe it or not, he’s not the target of that title. Someone showed it to him last night and he thinks it’s hilarious. He has offered to perform a dramatic reading of it in exchange for donations to Con or Bust, an assistance fund for bringing diversity to fandom conventions.

Scalzi Is Not Popular is now the number 1 seller in multiple categories on Amazon, and in particular, number 2 in the category dominated by the source material that inspired it. To invoke an old family saying: so, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

In the midst of all this and a little renewed attention on my equally off-the-cuff book about loss and grief that I wrote last year in the wake of Dorian’s death, I have been reminded of an important thing: as an author, I’m an experimenter at heart. I do best when I dare. And while depression sometimes makes me feel like I’m surrounded by the bones of my failures, all a failed experiment really signifies is that I wasn’t afraid to try.

That realization even more so than the positive attention this little booklet has garnered has done a lot to lift my spirits.

The State of the Me

Even though it’s still August and we’re still seeing very summery temperatures in the afternoons some days, today I realized that waking up early as I have been doing means I can open the windows for a bit without turning my office into a swamp. It’s very refreshing.

Plans For Today

It’s MU posting day. I’d hoped to be done with today’s chapter before today, but on top of the circus that’s been happening all around me, I had to close the office early yesterday because of external circumstances. That’s okay. I don’t have anything else that needs doing today. I’ve got a chance to get out of the office and still do some work in the afternoon if I want it, and I think under the current circumstances I might just do that. Time to get away.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by Steve Benen

The national Republican Party has no real options when it comes to undercutting Trump Mania. But state Republican parties have an interesting idea.

Mastering the fine art of losing well

Aug. 28th, 2015 01:34 pm
[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by Steve Benen

Like congressional Republicans, Benjamin Netanyahu tried to kill a top Obama priority. Like the GOP, the Prime Minister will likely end up with nothing.
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

A few days ago, I reprinted Joseph Addison's "The Humble Petition of WHO and WHICH", where he voices their complaint that "We are descended of ancient families, and kept up our dignity and honour many years, till the jack-sprat THAT supplanted us". This item appeared in The Spectator for May 30, 1711, and Joan Maling emailed me to ask what we know about the relative frequency of various relative pronouns across time.

A brief inquiry turned up Ariel Dirtani, "Historical Developments in the Marking of English Relative Clauses", Penn Linguistics Colloquium 2008, where I found this interesting graph:


The time periods on the horizontal axis are:

Period 1: 1150-1175
Period 2: 1176-1200; no data
Period 3: 1201-1225
Period 4: 1226-1250
Period 5: 1251-1275; no data
Period 6: 1276-1300
Period 7: 1301-1325; no data
Period 8: 1326-1350; all data from the Ayenbite, a translation from French with some aberrancies
Period 9: 1351-1375
Period 10: 1376-1400
Period 11: 1401-1425
Period 12: 1426-1450
Period 13: 1451-1475
Period 14: 1476-1500
Period 15: 1501-1525
Period 16: 1526-1550
Period 17: 1551-1575
Period 18: 1576-1600
Period 19: 1601-1625
Period 20: 1626-1650
Period 21: 1651-1675
Period 22: 1676-1700
Period 23: 1701-1710

Note that the green curve (proportion of 0-c, i.e. "that") falls from nearly 100% in 1300 to a bit more than 20% in 1600, while the blue curve (proportion of wh-0, i.e. "who", "which", etc.) rises during the same period from almost nothing to more than 70%.

Then things stay about the same until period 23, 1701-1710, during which "that" rises abruptly to 50% and the wh-words fall to around 25%. And this is the decade just before Addison's Complaint!

It would be good to look at a larger sample, to compare across registers and regions, and to follow the pattern through to the present. And to relate it all to the modern sport of which-hunting, we should break things down by the type of relative clause involved.


Dear Abby: Something Borrowed

Aug. 28th, 2015 09:18 am
[personal profile] cereta posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
DEAR ABBY: Can you please help me understand the rule of etiquette when borrowing a wedding dress? The owner was fully aware that the bride intended to alter it. It was obvious that it would need to be made several sizes smaller and shortened. Also, the bride stated clearly that she intended to lower the neckline and remove the sleeves. Everyone seemed happy the gown was being used again after 25 years of being in a box.

After the wedding, the dress was professionally cleaned, boxed and returned to the owner. She is now livid and contends that the dress should have been returned in its original state -- just like it was loaned.

I'd appreciate your help settling this family dispute. How should this work? -- BORROWING TROUBLE IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR BORROWING TROUBLE: It is a fact of life that when cloth is excised so a garment can be made "several sizes smaller," it cannot be put back in its original condition. If that was the expectation of the owner, it was unrealistic. The bride did the right thing by having the wedding gown professionally cleaned and boxed, and it shouldn't be necessary for her to make any apologies.
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Posted by Derek Lowe

Here’s one for the “Dang it, now I have to think about that, too” file. A recent paper suggests that there are mutations in many genetically modified mouse models that could well be confounding their phenotypes. The problem is that so many of these are done from very similar embryonic stem cells and in very similar recipient mouse stains (C57 black!). “Passenger mutations” apparently show up flanking the targeted gene, and they’re not always silent, either.

For instance, it was thought that the gene Casp1 was the principal player that triggered an inflammatory response and cell death pathway in response to foreign organisms, a step involved in lethal shock. That’s because, according to a 1995 study and subsequent work, Casp1 knockout mice did not go into septic shock when challenged with molecules signaling foreign invaders. However, in 2011, researchers at Genentech showed that many Casp1 knockout mice also harbored a mutated Casp11 gene from 129 strain mice. The researchers showed that the passenger mutation to Casp11 was partly responsible for the animals’ resistance to shock.

This result triggered Vanden Berghe and his colleagues to look into their own work with Casp3 knockout mice. They found that their interpretation of Casp3’s role in septic shock had also been confounded by the Casp11 passenger mutation. “It affected two years of work,” Vanden Berghe said.

Here’s a web-based tool this multicenter team has developed to help others search for known mutations of this sort. Definitely worth a look if you’re altering mice for a living!

This gets back to something mentioned here the other day. It’s thought by many that a lot of animal assays are statistically underpowered, especially those from academic labs (where the budgets are tighter). This sort of variable (the new mutational problem) doesn’t help, but there are plenty of others to scatter your data already in a whole animal. That’s particularly true if you’re working in (say) neuroscience, where hard readouts are hard to come by. And the problem is, results in such assays are often the big final readout for a given research program, the test that shows whether the hypothesis was correct or not.

Something to think about next time you see an interesting paper that relies on rodent data. If you’re not a big statistics powerhouse, get someone who is to take a look before you get too wrapped up.

goss: (Default)
[personal profile] goss
via Tumblr: Find out what a fic of your life would be tagged as on AO3

What was the first thing to pop up for me?

schmoopy tropical oc's

Ahaha! Of course. :b

Suzette Haden Elgin Papers

Aug. 28th, 2015 08:56 am
ithiliana: (Default)
[personal profile] ithiliana
Robin Wayne Bailey is making an appeal on Facebook to save a vast archive of material that belonged to the late Suzette Haden Elgin.

From his post:

An antique dealer in Arkansas who purchases abandoned storage lockers for his business recently acquired one that contained all the papers, books and original artwork of Suzette Haden Elgin.

Suzette was much loved throughout Midwest and southern fandom and seen at many conventions during the eighties and nineties. A linguist, she retired from the University of San Diego and resettled in the Ozarks. She founded the Science Fiction Poetry Society and the Ozarks Center for Science Fiction. For a list of her many books, check Wikipedia (I’m writing this on an iPhone). The antique dealer contacted LOCUS, who then contacted me. I verified with Suzette’s husband that he had no room for what reportedly are “hundreds” of boxes. If any fan group is interested in rescuing any of this material, I’ll pass along the antique dealer’s contact info. I hope someone can save it. Please share this across all fannish channels.

You can reach Bailey with a Facebook message.

I'm notifying all the archivists I know who work with sff collections, both on Facebook and private email, but I wanted to post here, and encourage people to circulate as widely as possible.

If you're not on Facebook, you can see the information at File 770
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

Last night, I signed a contract authorizing the reprint of one of my stories.  I signed it, went, “That’s nice,” and went back to writing my novel.

About half an hour later, I realized that the magazine I had signed the reprint contract for was one of my goals when I graduated Clarion in 2008.  I burned to be in that magazine.  And I wrote story after story, each time convinced this would be the one that got through, and piled up at least twenty rejections.

I remember staring at the page, thinking You’ll never make it.  You’ll never have a professional sale.  And if you do, you won’t have it there.

A novel seemed unattainable. Getting 3,500 words of mine into a magazine?  Seemed like the biggest challenge in the world.

And it was for me, back then.  I had to write for another four years, smashing my heart into the keyboard night after night, asking people to rip my stories to shreds so I could ruthlessly excise any part that did not function, before I eventually sold a story to them.  I worked so hard to get there.

That first professional story sale? I took the night off from writing. I poured myself a celebratory drink. I took Gini out to a dinner, I texted all my friends, I did a big post with photos showing my triumph.

Now?  Years later, I have my first novel out – and it’s done well, not breaking any sales records or anything, but it’s got some nice reviews and some people really excited about the sequel dropping in October.  And when I got an editor asking, “We were thinking we wanted a story from you, do you have anything we could reprint?” it was nice – very nice – but it was “Wow, that makes my evening,” not the sort of thing where I stop everything and tell Gini “We’re going out to dinner and getting a bottle of champagne, this deserves A Moment.”

That’s how publishing works. Sell a story? You haven’t gotten nominated for an award. Got nominated for an award?  You haven’t sold a novel. Sold a novel?  The reviews weren’t good.  You got good reviews? Well, it wasn’t a bestseller.  A bestseller? Well, it wasn’t a real bestseller, there’s no movie option….

You wonder why authors are so fucking neurotic.  It’s because the moment they climb the ladder, the rung beneath them ceases to exist.  There’s only the rungs above them, and they’re ridiculously high, and you may never get there.

This is always true of every rung.  Publishing’s a lot of skill and a lot of luck, but you can only control the one.  So you max out on skill and hope the dice roll your way.  Hell, I could submit a story to them now and still get it rejected for various reasons – maybe I wasn’t “on” that day when I wrote that story, maybe they just bought a similar one, maybe the tale doesn’t fit the image they’re trying to sell.  It’s still a struggle for me to sell a story.

But it is no longer an unattainable thing. It’s merely something that’s difficult.

And because of that, I am going to pause for a moment now and ponder this sale.  I’m going to consider the fact that, at least to some subset of professionals, “A Ferrett Steinmetz story” is a desirable genre.  That they’d sought me out to ask for this.  That this awesome magazine, which I’ll announce in time, will be reprinting a tale of mine – and it’s one of my favorites.

Ferrett of 2008 would never have imagined this happening.

Ferrett of 2015 is going to take a moment to be Ferrett of 2008, and break open a little bottle of champagne.

Or at least a root beer.  But this celebratory root beer will be savored.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Is this the whole story?

Aug. 28th, 2015 02:26 pm
oursin: Photograph of the statue of Justice on top of the Old Bailey, London (Justice)
[personal profile] oursin

Spotted yesterday, on FB or Twitter, and didn't save the link - but doing a quick google for what it might have been turns up a number of stories, none of them precisely up to the minute - Students demand law profs. eliminate traumatic, 'triggering' rape law lessons (all the top hits are from around Dec last year, not sure why it was showing up now, ? linked story)

This appears to be part of the 'present generation are fragile flowers' narrative, but I am wondering how, historically, and indeed even at the present day, the law on sexual violence has been/is dealt with in classroom situations.

Because I can quite imagine to myself the way in which Dead White Male Professors might teach the subject, i.e., at best with a somewhat blokey take on it (this just somehow reminds me of the passage in Richard Gordon's Doctor in the House in which the only lecture in the medical jurisprudence course that packs the theatre to the doors is the one on rape) and at worst... well.

Also, having seen this week a classic example of story-distortion in which Jeremy Corbyn's remarks about engaging with the problem of sexual harassment on public transport, and discussing the proposals for doing something about, which had included the suggestion of bringing back the ladies' only carriage, became that Jezza himself wanted to bring in purdah, pretty much, wonder how much these reports were slanted. (Also, on this particular issue, I did note that some of the most vociferous voices attacking The Very Idea came from persons whom I presume to be fellas and with whom I would not necessarily want to share a railway carriage...)

Fic: Save the Honeymoon for Last

Aug. 28th, 2015 08:24 am
mithen: (Batman Loves You)
[personal profile] mithen
Title: Save the Honeymoon for Last
Pairing/Characters: Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne
Rating: PG-13
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Fandom: JLU
Summary: Superman and Batman are arguing after a battle. As usual. But Superman finds it harder to concentrate when Batman decides to take off his costume mid-argument.
Word Count: 1500

You don’t react well because I’m just flesh and blood, I’m not super-fast or super-strong or super-anything, is that it? )
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So as usual, Ashley my mad manicurist worked her magic the other night.  I told her, “Do X-Men nails,” but the designs for X-Men nails we skimmed through were kiiiinda boring.

But Avengers nails?  Much more impressive.


The little chibi Iron Man is, I find, particularly adorable.

I also forgot to mention the last set of nails I got, which were my “Music Mama” nails:


These nails I liked, but in retrospect her choice of light blue for the music notes on the staves muddied the composition. People knew my nails were pretty, but the piano thumbnails were the only clue this was music until they looked closely.  (And that’s a G-cleft heart in red on the highlight nails.)

Still, with my fabulous glittery Broadway nails, these were the gayest nails I ever had. I felt fabulous.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

spiralsheep: A raven (spiralsheep Raven Logo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Random Hereford Cathedral stonemasonry. The guardian lion is from the font in the nave and the other pieces are piled in the cloisters. The light in the cloisters is coloured by the windows. I didn't add a filter.

Lion font guardian, Hereford Cathedral, 09-14

- Meme: Three of your favourite songs at present. I have lots of long term favourite songs and can never cut it down to a short list, so have three new(ish)-to-me songs I've enjoyed in the last few days and can rec for one reason or another:
Stand By Me, by Golden Earring (glam rock courtesy of this post from my lj flist by [personal profile] electricwitch)
Hold On, by Wilson Phillips (pop, mainstream girl group including short hair and fatness, yay!)
You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone, by Charlie Monroe and His Boys (bluegrass... and His Boys)

Decorative stonemasonry, cloisters, Hereford Cathedral 09-14
[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by Steve Benen

Chris Christie seems to believe criminals, not guns, are the real societal problem. That's actually backwards,

The Big Idea: Stephen H. Provost

Aug. 28th, 2015 12:08 pm
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Posted by John Scalzi

As many of you know, my first job out of college was as the film critic for the Fresno Bee newspaper in (surprise!) Fresno, California. Fresno doesn’t have a sterling reputation in-state, but I have to tell you, I had a great time, and among other things, it’s where I met my wife. So when also-former-Fresno Bee writer Stephen H. Provost queried about Fresno Growing Up, I pretty much said, “bring it.” And thus he has. Hello, Fresno!


When Mr. Spock is your role model growing up, you don’t tend to think in terms of fate or destiny. Everything’s supposed to be logical. You know, as in traveling through time by boomeranging a starship around the sun at warp speed. As in visiting mirror universes, or hopping onto a “transporter” that scrambles your atoms and reassembled them in perfect precision hundreds of miles away.

Maybe life isn’t so logical after all. Maybe patterns can be scrambled and unscrambled again, and maybe we really can go back in time.

This would explain why I keep boomeranging back to my hometown, Fresno, the subject of my Big Idea book, “Fresno Growing Up.” At the age of 3, I spent a year in the land of kangaroos, Vegemite sandwiches and, yes, boomerangs, then back I flew to Fresno. There were six years in L.A. as a teenager, living next door to a major leaguer on one side and the assistant music director for the “Tonight Show” on the other, before I made another return trip. Then I graduated from college and moved down the road in world’s dairy capital, Tulare. Then, you guessed it, back again.

By that time, I’d spent a decade as a journalist, having entered the field because I figured it offered more security than being an author. I even spent 14 years working for my hometown newspaper, The Fresno Bee, before the recession left me out of a job and prepared to resume the author gig 30 years after my first stab at writing: a wannabe Tolkienesque great American novel that’s sitting in a shoebox somewhere.

Taking another shot at long-form writing was my first Big Idea. I churned out several CreateSpace books under a pen name (Stifyn Emrys) but, in the meantime, I found myself riding the boomerang again – right back into journalism. Talk about déjà vu. These days, I’m working for a newspaper that shares the same publisher as The Fresno Bee, and that’s even printed on the same press … in Fresno, of course. It’s as if my words are taken, via “transporter,” from California’s Central Coast and reassembled in my hometown, then “beamed” (actually trucked) back to San Luis Obispo County for public consumption.

It may not be Kauai or Tahiti, but the Central Coast is the next best thing, which explains why so many Fresnans end up here (it seemed like half the people I interviewed for my book about Fresno were actually residing here, not there).

Still, as I was basking in the cool endless summer on the California coast, strange as it may seem, I began to miss Fresno. Not so much the place I’d just left, but the place where I’d grown up – the Fresno of my youth. That’s when an idea started to take root. It started out as a small idea. Plenty of people had written stories of Fresno’s early history, but few had written about the Fresno I remembered – the quintessential mid-sized American city of the Baby Boom era.

Why not me? I thought. Why not attempt a little time travel? The endeavor took me through hundreds of old newspaper stories, books about the era and phone or email interviews with others who, like me, had lived the city’s story.

Instead of writing about founding fathers, politicians and esteemed ancestors, I wrote about the birth of the Top 40 Boss Radio format (yes, this happened in Fresno). I wrote about how Bank of America used the city as the test market for a newfangled plastic convenience called BankAmericard – the first national credit card and ancient ancestor of the modern Visa. There was a reason the powers that be at BofA chose Fresno for their grand experiment: It was smack-dab in the middle of California, the same way Peoria was at the heart of Middle America.

Fresno had its local celebrities (football letterman-turned-variety show king and pitchman extraordinaire Al Radka), its athletic heroes (big leaguers Tom Seaver, Jim Maloney and Gus Zernial), its clubs, hangouts and drive-ins. Every Friday night, kids would pile into their cars and cruise up and down the main drag in a ritual that, just up the road in Modesto, served as the blueprint for George Lucas’ breakthrough hit, “American Graffiti” and the nostalgia-heavy TV series “Happy Days” … which has now, itself, become a piece of nostalgia.

People love nostalgia; they love reminiscing, so I figured they might just love a nostalgic look back at their hometown during the era they had lived through. The small idea was starting to get a little bigger.

The original plan was just to publish “Fresno Growing Up” myself, as I had my other books. But as I thought about it, I realized that my “small idea” had already gotten too big for that. I’d taken scores of photos and had received permission to use a number of historical images. I couldn’t hope to do them justice in the confines of CreateSpace’s fine but limited format. So I pushed my way past the visions of rejection notices that were dancing in the mosh pit of my brain: I did some research, found a publisher I thought would do the topic justice, and fired off a query letter.

What I got back two weeks later was a slightly belated Christmas present expressing interest in the project – which the publisher proceeded to turn into the kind of work I could never have hoped to achieve on my own. The small idea that became a Big Idea was now a Big Reality.

In the process of it all, I managed to achieve a form of time travel without getting anywhere near a star. Turns out, it wasn’t science fiction at all; it was history. Eminently logical. Mr. Spock, I think, would have been proud.


Fresno Growing Up: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow him on Twitter.

More BS from George F. Will

Aug. 28th, 2015 12:36 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

George F. Will, "The havoc that Trump wreaks — on his own party", Washington Post 8/26/2015:

Trump, who uses the first-person singular pronoun even more than the previous world-record holder (Obama), promises that constitutional arrangements need be no impediment to the leader’s savvy, “management” brilliance and iron will.

As documented ad nauseam in earlier posts, Obama's rate of first-person singular usage is low relative to other recent presidents (see "Buzzfeed linguistics, presidential pronouns, and narcissism revisited", 10/21/2014). George F. Will has a long history of false statements and insinuations on this point ("Fact-checking George F. Will", 6/7/2009; "Fact-checking George F Will, one more time", 10/6/2009; "Another lie from George F. Will", 5/7/2012).

[And anyhow, according to a recent large study by Angela Cary et al.,"Narcissism and the Use of Personal Pronouns Revisited" (2014), "Overall (r = .02, 95% CI [-.02, .04]) and within the sampled contexts, narcissism was unrelated to use of first-person singular pronouns". But never mind that…]

As I observed a few weeks ago, there are settings in which Donald Trump actually does use first-person-singular pronouns more frequently than his rivals ("Did a blind squirrel happen to find a nut?", 8/8/2015). So does this mean that George F. Will has reformed, and started to care about the empirical accuracy of his assertions and insinuations?

I don't think so. Fred Vultee spends a few minutes counting, and concludes that in his presidential announcement,

Trump comes in around 4.4%, which — going by the MSNBC chart reproduced at Language Log* — puts him about even with Ike and Bush Sr. but behind the notoriously uppity taciturn Harry Truman.

I have a feeling that my counts from the presidential debate are more characteristic of Mr. Trump's idiom than Fred's count from the announcement of his candidacy. But the facts, which matter to Fred and to me, don't seem to matter to George Will. Let me repeat what I wrote back in 2009,

Now, maybe there's some selection of Obama's interactions where his use of the first person singular pronoun is higher than expected for someone in his circumstances. Alternatively, maybe George F. Will is a bullshitter, who doesn't bother even to ask one of his interns to check whether the  alleged "facts" in his columns are true or false. We report, you decide.

In calling him a bullshitter, I'm not just flinging an off-color insult, as much as Mr. Will might deserve such treatment. Rather, I'm using a technical term, as defined by the philosopher Harry G. Frankfort in his monograph On Bullshit, Princeton University Press 2005. It's worth quoting a few paragraphs from that work:

[T]he essence of bullshit is not that it is false but that it is phony. […]

What bullshit essentially misrepresents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs. Those are what lies misrepresent, by virtue of being false. Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent. The bullshitter may not deceive us, or even intend to do so, either about the facts or about what he takes the facts to be. What he does necessarily attempt to deceive us about is his enterprise. His only indispensably distinctive characteristic is that in a certain way he misrepresents what he is up to.

This is the crux of the distinction between him and the liar. Both he and the liar represent themselves falsely as endeavoring to communicate the truth. The success of each depends upon deceiving us about that. But the fact about himself that the liar hides is that he is attempting to lead us away from a correct apprehension of reality; we are not to know that he wants us to believe something he supposes to be false. The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him; what we are not to understand is that his intention is neither to report the truth nor to conceal it. This does not mean that his speech is anarchically impulsive, but that the motive guiding and controlling it is unconcerned with how the things about which he speaks truly are.

It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing  bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality  correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.

As the old joke has it, if you look up bullshit in a dictionary of philosophy, you'll find (or should find) a picture of George F. Will.

So it's appropriate to repeat something else that I wrote in one of those earlier posts:

There are two interesting questions here, it seems to me. The first one is why George F. Will is so struck by rates of first-person usage, on the part of Barack and Michelle Obama, that are significantly lower than has been typical of recent presidents and first ladies on similar occasions. The second question is how many pundits and talking heads will follow his brainless lead this time around. […]

Now that I think of it, there's another significant question here as well. How in the world did our culture  award major-pundit status to someone whose writings are as empirically and spiritually empty as those of George F. Will?



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Posted by Evil HR Lady

The internet is full of stories about Amazon’s work environment. You have, of course,The New York Times claiming it’s the worst place ever. Then you have Jeff Bezos coming out and saying, “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day.”

Employees (and former employees) have come out on both sides. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Some people thrive in the environment. Others wilt. Many startups would love to grow the way Amazon has. The question is, just how hard can you push your employees?

If the worst of the worst stories about Amazon are true, that’s not the way to do it. When you need ambulances parked outside, you’re doing it wrong. Constant pressure, competition, and stress are unsustainable in the long run. Amazon’s turnover rates are super-high, and this is undoubtedly why. You need success in the long run. You can’t afford a high turnover rate–turnover is expensive. Here’s how to push your employees to the limit in a sustainable manner.

To keep reading, click here: How Far You Can Push Employees Without Resorting to ‘the Amazon Way’

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"It’s an optimistic quest, and optimism is at the heart of the book. True, you might sometimes have to dig through layers of cynicism and even nihilism to get to it, but underpinning the broader story arc, as unfashionable as it may be, is that sense of hope." -- James Roberts

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Icons #108

Aug. 28th, 2015 07:28 am
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Please credit [personal profile] misbegotten or [community profile] oraclegreen
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Robert Carlyle

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The GOP's not-so-dynamic duo?

Aug. 28th, 2015 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by Steve Benen

What do you get when you combine Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and ridiculous arguments about national security? An unexpected opportunity.
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[personal profile] sparowe

But What if I Miss God?

by Joyce Meyer - posted August 28, 2015

And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left. 
- Isaiah 30:21

Sometimes we experience hesitation in life because we are afraid we might “miss God,” or do something wrong as we try to follow Him. Let me encourage you by telling you that if you miss God’s will for you somehow, you don’t have to worry— He’ll find you. I think we all get lost in life at times and need the mercy of God to show up and get us back on the right track. Today, you can thank God that He is faithful to straighten out any crooked path in front of you.

If you are afraid of making wrong decisions about your direction in life, all you have to do is remember how much God loves you and look at the testimonies of the people who have gone before you. The Bible is full of miraculous stories of God’s guidance and provision.

When we take a step of faith after praying and seeking God, if we do make a mistake, then God will help us get back on track. Thankfully, God can make that so‑called mistake somehow work out for our good.

Prayer of Thanks
I thank You, Father, that You see my heart. If I miss Your voice and Your direction in my life, I thank You that You’ll find me and get me going in the right direction. I trust Your guidance and I choose today not to live in fear of missing You.

From the book The Power of Being Thankful by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2014 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

groundhog day

Aug. 28th, 2015 11:34 am
thamesynne: angel lost in thought, backlit by moon (pensive)
[personal profile] thamesynne
so apparently, labour will now break down the results by category - presumably because it's the quickest way to cast doubt on the legitimacy of a corbyn victory. just as they did five years ago when they didn't get the miliband they wanted. like children who got the cheaper version of the christmas present they really wanted, they spent five years grousing about it while wearing fake smiles in public and utterly failing to unite behind the leader they'd chosen.

and it's going to happen again.

the thing is, labour isn't ruthless when it comes to its leaders; it's spineless. history has apparently been rewritten to suggest that blair was forced out, but nothing of the kind was true. in true labour style, they just passive-aggressived long enough that he got sick of it and said "ok, i'm leaving on that date". at which point they all but held a coronation for gordon brown... and then spent the next two years whispering behind his back. then they spent five years after that whispering behind ed's back while conspicuously failing to challenge his (whatever passed for) leadership in any meaningful way, but then were aghast when they lost the election.

at no point did it occur to them that if they'd shown an ounce of genuine loyalty to the labour party, rather than grimacing out pretended proclamations of pride in ed while pulling a face more commonly associated with passing a particularly recalcitrant motion, they might have either come together as a team around ed miliband to mount a proper new-labour-style defence of him and help him forge his message into something coherent, or decided on the leader they really wanted and had another leadership election within a couple of years. either would have resulted in a better showing in the election than they actually got.

but sadly, corrosive, passive aggressive, submissive disloyalty has become the norm for labour. to the point where the party is probably all but unleadable. and history will repeat itself under jeremy corbyn; nobody will actually stand up and challenge his leadership at any point, but there will be such a storm of a whispering campaign in the press and around his leadership that he won't be able to get anything done. with any luck, he'll recognise that immediately and call another election as soon as possible - but then he'll probably find that nobody's prepared to stand against him then either. because for certain people in labour, winning power again is now secondary to being proved right in their predictions of disaster.

i have a feeling, though, that this has been the history of the labour party since it was formed. perhaps it would be better off if it split back into its constituent parts and operated as an electoral consortium, rather than trying to pretend to be a coherent, unified voice.

Lovely Links: 8/28/15

Aug. 28th, 2015 11:22 am
[syndicated profile] alreadypretty_feed

Posted by Sally

Weekly Kitty:

harriet stretching

World Champion Stretcher Harriet McGraw (First seen on Instagram)

I’ve got a burgundy leather skirt lurking in my wardrobe, and I’m seriously considering copying this sleek outfit.

“Feminism isn’t an underground club. Feminists don’t meet up in car parks and Brad Pitt isn’t our leader. The first rule isn’t that there are no rules, although close. Similarly, we don’t wear pink on Wednesdays, you CAN wear a tank top two days in a row and ‘fetch’ may or may not be happening. Contrary to popular belief, feminism is not exclusive.”

Kiah brackets her light graphic tee and slouchy pants with black sunnies and heels. Perfection.

The Curvy Fashionista gives us a peek at the fall collections for plus size lines Ava + Viv and Anna Scholz.

What a cool way to remix a maxi wrap dress.

On About.com I highlighted back-to-school deals that non-students can get, and picked out pieces that can be the foundation of a work wardrobe.

A Heartfelt Message for Everyone with Eating Disorders That Aren’t ‘Bad Enough.’ (Thinspiration, eating disorders discussed)

Wrap coats look so fresh for fall, and I’m eyeing this one and this one. Tahari seems to have the silhouette just right, in plus sizes, too.

“Practical reasons aside, I stopped myself before bringing a colorful cloth to my head, wrapping both sides into an intricate contraption and stepping into my office. Can I wear a headwrap to work? I asked myself, as I felt my hair itching for a break from being done every morning.”

Dietainment. Wow, that really hits the nail on the head.

Anett uses a gold belt and gold-accented shoes to complement her simple black jumpsuit.

Dazed Digital published an article highlighting self-portraits by female-identified photographers, including Cindy Sherman, Petra Collins and Jo Spence, and the piece shows how these artists use their medium to explore gender fluidity, identity, illness, and more. But as Rookie points out, not a single woman of color was included in the list. The Rookie post links to several influential women of color artists who focus on self portraiture, including Juliana Huxtable and Carrie Mae Weems. (Some images are nudes, others depict violence.)

I’ve become fascinated by Tarina Tarantino’s quirky, macabre jewelry, nearly all of which is made in the U.S.A. Because, ya know, skulls.

Blue gingham looks so fresh and fun with red and tan accents.

Angie offers four reasons to keep items that you seldom wear. That “donate after six months unworn” rule can bite you in the butt …

On the Fox 9 Buzz, I showed some alternate ways to wear button front shirts, plus gapping solutions like The Shirt and Pinx!

This post charts the media’s attitude toward pregnant women, pregnancy, and pregnant figures over the course of several decades.

Aarti rocks a sassy orange-print ruffle dress with cool studded flats.

This. Exactly this.

On the GoDaddy Garage blog, I reviewed five free Photoshop alternatives.

Crap like this makes me despair of the world: After a young woman engineer appeared in her company’s recruitment materials, she was trolled by men and women alike for “not looking enough like a real engineer.” In response, she launched #ilooklikeanengineer.

Pantone’s fall palette picks look luscious to me.

I’d never heard the phrase “others focused,” but Imogen breaks it down and explains how, if you’re others focused, it may impact your wardrobe and self care.

These gorgeous black and white layers hit me right where I live. Wow, that’s a strange idiom now that I see it written out. Still love the outfit, though.

They’re not really my style, but I’m still mesmerized by these elaborately embroidered Valentino ankle boots.

A few weeks ago & Other Stories released images from their gorgeous fall campaign, which was entirely modeled, shot and put together by a transgender creative team.

You might think a printed pencil skirt and graphic tee would be too busy together, but Jyoti proves they can work in harmony.

This tartan jacket is Vivienne Westwood-influenced and amazing.

“The poem was meaty and confrontational, unapologetic and searing as it deconstructed the stereotypes we have emblazoned in our minds when we see people of color, whether they are Black, Asian, Latino, or Native American. It was a poem that spoke to the almost incessant questioning I endured growing up by people, Black and white people — mostly white people — very interested in asking me about my entire family tree. My curly hair, my sometimes peach-colored, sometimes beige-colored skin, along with my African name, seemed to throw them for a loop.”

On the Style Encore blog I offered some color pairings for marsala and talked about what makes a bargain.

Fishermen’s/Aran sweaters are always stylish for cool weather, but can be super expensive. Woolovers has a great style in nine colors and sizes 4 – 24.

And from the Department of Random: No one can stop me.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

The post Lovely Links: 8/28/15 appeared first on Already Pretty | Where style meets body image.

[personal profile] paraka posting in [community profile] pod_together
This Canadian Life #238: Hard Core Logo, Twenty Years On (Hard Core Logo (1996))
written by [archiveofourown.org profile] bestliars, performed by [archiveofourown.org profile] bessyboo
Summary: Today on This Canadian Life, a reflection on the legacy of Hard Core Logo twenty years after Joe Dick's death.

Lost History: Captain America Edition (Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies))
by [archiveofourown.org profile] Firefox, [archiveofourown.org profile] klb, [archiveofourown.org profile] pryxis, [archiveofourown.org profile] reena_jenkins
Summary: Check

this one goes out to (Les Misérables - All Media Types)
written by [archiveofourown.org profile] novembersmith, performed by [archiveofourown.org profile] knight_tracer
Summary: Renegade Radio Puts Our World in Danger: How Dare This Group Of Terrorists Risk Unwilling Wizards to Exposure?'
AKA, a fic in which the Amis take on the Statute of Secrecy, and Enjolras finally learns how to listen.

Wish You Were Here (Bandom, My Chemical Romance, frnkiero andthe cellabration, Gerard Way and the Hormones)
written by [archiveofourown.org profile] RubyTuesday5681, performed by [archiveofourown.org profile] jenepod
Summary: Most of the time when Frank calls, he’s happy. Lately, a lot of the calls have been to tell Gerard about something Frank saw that reminded him of some shared experience of theirs from the past. Gerard both loves and hates these phone calls in equal measure.


Aug. 28th, 2015 12:16 pm
lexin: (Default)
[personal profile] lexin
My cleaner and I did a really good search of my cupboards and finally found the pink Kipling bag. Much joy, I am saved £50 for a new one.
disobey_gravity: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: Dave Macleod, Jacob Cook, and Calum Muskett do the FFA of Disco 2000 on Blåmman, near Tromso

Interesting Links for 28-08-2015

Aug. 28th, 2015 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by MPX

Katy Tur, NBC News reporter, talks with Rachel Maddow about the confrontation between Univision's Jorge Ramos and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, and...

The Delivery (Due South)

Aug. 28th, 2015 06:07 am
[syndicated profile] polyrecsdaily_feed
The Delivery (Due South):

Daily random rec: The Delivery by Rustler.

Shrift: Stella gets an interesting surprise when she drops by Ray’s apartment…F/K. I didn’t know whether to point my finger and scream in laughter, or melt into a puddle of goo.


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