Point people toward stuff (July 6th, 2015)

Lonespark had an idea for a new type of thread.  Not exactly an open thread, not exactly “Things you can do” or “In case you missed this”.  Unlike an open thread it’s specifically for linking to things (and talking about things people linked to, if you feel so inclined.)  Unlike “Things you can do” or “In case you missed this” there aren’t restrictions on what you link to.  It doesn’t have to be something you can do anything about, it doesn’t have to be recent news you think people might be interested in.  Any link you’re like to share.

Further, linking to stuff shouldn’t automatically be seen as an endorsement.  If you want to share “What is this?  I don’t even… WHY?” content that’s fine and encouraged.  (But do be sure to warn for any potentially disturbing, damaging, or triggering content.)

This week in the Slacktiverse, July 5th, 2015

(and then chris the cynic, written by members of The Slacktiverse)

The Blogaround

  • chris the cynic wrote:
    • My sister’s kid, a little over two years old, noticed a hat I had completely forgotten I’d saved.  Thus I have many pictures of Jensen in his great grandfather’s hat.
    • Ages ago I did a guest post at Ana Mardoll’s where I deconstructed a single scene that I think helps one keep all of Twilight in perspective, and thus allows one to maintain a sense of broader context even when in the weeds of deconstruction or other analysis.  The post, Twilight: My Touchstone, is now on Stealing Commas.
    • I tried to tackle the second episode of Kim Possible to continue my episode by episode deconstruction, but I only made it half way through before I felt the post was long enough and I had had enough for one installment.  Thus When I manipulate you into doing something, you aren’t supposed to excel is the first of two posts that will cover the episode “Bueno Nacho” instead of a treatment of the entire episode.

In Case You Missed This

No submissions this week.

Things You Can Do

No submission this week.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Deconstruction Roundup for July 03, 2015

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by Silver Adept, who is sick in body and anxious of mind.)

The point of these posts is threefold:

  1. To let people stay up to date on ongoing deconstructions. (All ones on our list, including finished and stalled ones, here.)
  2. To let people who can’t comment elsewhere have a place to comment.
  3. To let people comment in a place where people who can’t read Disqus can see what they have to say.

Erika M. and Will Wildman: Something Short and Snappy

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: Jed A. Blue

Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Philip Sandifer: Philip Sandifer: Writer

Vaka Rangi: Vaka Rangi

Silver Adept: Here on The Slacktiverse

The White Dragon: Respect My Authoritah!

Last chapter, we spent time setting up Dragondrums and finding a solution to the problem of too many sons, not enough space. And I complained more about timekeeping.

The White Dragon, Chapter 3: Content Notes: None for this segment

Chapter Three begins with Jaxom mad as hell and not going to take it any more, informing the other fosterlings and Deelan that he will be going to the Smithcrafthall, where he will be treated with proper respect.

This time it would not be Jaxom, however young a Lord of Ruatha Hold he still was, who apologized for his behavior. The enormous backlog of similar incidents, manfully swallowed or overlooked for any number of logical reasons, swept aside every consideration except to put as much distance between himself and his invidious position, his too reasonable and conscientious guardian and the obnoxious group of people who mistook daily intimacy for license.
[…Jaxom finds Ruth and the two head to their secret hideaway…]
Why do you let them upset you? Ruth asked, his eyes whirling with love and affection for his weyrmate.

“A very good question,” Jaxom replied after a full moment’s consideration. “But they know exactly how.” Then he laughed. “This is where all that objectivity Robinton talks about ought to operate…and doesn’t.”
The Masterharper is honored for his wisdom. Ruth sounded uncertain, and his tone made Jaxom smile.

He was always being told that dragons had no ability to understand abstract concepts or complex relationships. Too often Ruth surprised him with remarks that cast doubt on the theory. Dragons, particularly Ruth in Jaxom’s biased opinion, obviously perceived far more than others credited to them. Even Weyrleaders like F’lar or Lessa or even N’ton.

I seem to recall, way back in Dragonquest, that Jaxom has both virtues of perception and empathy, both of which are on display here. Considering how Mnementh adjusted the Benden Weyrleader’s arrival point when he was coming in hot, and the connections that Lessa and Brekke both leveraged through their dragons, and the fabulous discussion of fire lizard genetics and purposes we have been having since they were introduced, I’d say if Jaxom has been able to deduce or collect some of the knowledge that Menolly has about fire lizards and combine it with his own knowledge of dragons through Ruth, Jaxom probably knows the most about the mental capabilities of dragons.

I’d also like to believe that Jaxom is misreading Ruth as uncertain and that Ruth is actually snarking Robinton. Because, from what we’ve seen in terms of Robinton’s vaunted wisdom, he comes up short. He covers it with information and craftiness, but a school administrator that can’t expel students that tried to kill another student fails horribly in the wisdom department forever. Even though, at the time of this writing, those incidents hadn’t been written yet. Even though they may have already happened in Pern time.

There’s also something systematic going on here with Jaxom, and it’s that Dorse is dismissive of Ruth, Lytol is too concerned about Ruth’s health, and it appears that Deelan had started to play favorites and try to insinuate herself into Jaxom’s good graces for when he comes into his majority and takes over. So we have yet another sequence of a bullied child (this would be two of three, based on publication, but considering we just came off two books where the main character is bullied heavily, it would be nice if that wasn’t the case here). Jaxom wonders why it torqued him so hard today, when he theoretically is in control of the whole Hold and they’re his subjects, and he’s been dealing with it for day after day after day without issue.

Since Pern still has no mental health experts to help, and Jaxom is still young, he has no access to the idea that microaggressions still add up over time, or to spoon theory, or, for that matter, to a support network other than Ruth. Mind you, Ruth is excellent as a best friend and the anchor of a support network, but all of these bullied kids in Pern are isolated and lack friends during the period of their bullies attacking them.

I’m still a bit ish-y about Ruth deciding to frame it as Jaxom letting the others get to him, because it runs far too close to the still-useless advice that kids get about dealing with problems – “ignore it and it goes away”. No, actually, it doesn’t. Kids, generally, mature and then realize what kind of heels they have been to others, or changes in biology result in changes of behavior, but it’s not usually the case that bullies just decide to give up on someone who is ignoring them. And, y’know, Jaxom’s capacity for dealing with shit is not necessarily as big as Ruth’s. Jaxom gets extra frustration because he thinks having power means he’ll be able to use it to remake things to his liking. If only he could wield it. And all the sympathetic adults are elsewhere. Jaxom could really just use a parent.

(As an aside, at Ruatha, 5.9 is apparently just past winter. For what good that does in trying to figure out what it means.)

Jaxom goes introspective, realizing the cause of his anger is that he’s not being allowed to exercise any of the roles that he supposedly has – neither rider nor Holder. His progression understands that Lytol will give up being regent only in death, and that the dragonriders won’t let Ruth join the fighting wings (although I doubt anyone has bothered to stop and tell Jaxom what we learned earlier – that the are enough dragons to cover the fighting needs, so there’s no reason to risk Ruth or Jaxom). Ruth demonstrates more of that ability that dragons supposedly don’t have and provides Jaxom with perspective.

You are a dragonrider. You are also, and Ruth said this slowly as if trying to understand it all himself, a Lord Holder. You are a student with the Mastersmith and the Masterharper. You are a friend of Menolly, Mirrim, F’lessan and N’ton. Ramoth knows your name. So does Mnementh. And they know me. You have to be a lot of people. That is hard.

That’s…solid advice. It is hard enough for regular humans to be all the roles that we expect them to be. Adding in dragons and temporal power has to be tough, especially as a trailblazer that nobody else truly is like…or that has anything close to.

Also, Ruth gives Jaxom a great compliment by saying that Ramoth and Mnementh know his name, since dragons generally refer to people by pictures of them, instead of by their name. Since it’s not something dragons do as a matter of course, that will hopefully help him feel better. Having Menolly, Mirrim, or F’lessan actually there to help him with issues and bullies and such would be even better, but one is running errands for Robinton and the other two are dragonriders-in-training.

Now that Ruth has had a bath, and N’ton has sent Tris to find Jaxom and Ruth, we find out that Ruth has one other talent that makes him unique. There’s a quick time-shift jump to the Smithcrafthall, and Ruth can apparently hit his spots on space-time much more precisely than many other dragons.

I always know when I’m going, Ruth replied, not at all perturbed. That’s something few other dragons can say.

They were barely in a landing circle above the Smithcrafthall complex before N’ton’s great bronze, Lioth, burst into the air above them.

“And how you know how to time it that close, I’ll never know,” Jaxom said.

Oh, Ruth said easily, I heard when the brown returned to N’ton and just came to that when.

“Heard” is an odd verb to use there. It makes Ruth out to have some form of space-time SONAR that can discern the coordinates of every ping when a dragon or fire lizard hops into hyperspace or returns from there. Maybe Ruth can also read the EXIF data from pictures sent by fire lizards and dragons as well, and it helps keep him tuned appropriately to where and when he is. Still, if Ruth always knows his coordinates, he’s a candidate for being able to run backward and forward to collect the lost knowledge of the Ancients and bring it forward to the current time. Or to be able to send a slide deck of images to others to get them back and forward safely.

N’ton has Jaxom’s riding jacket with him, which he collected from Deelan after asking after Jaxom. “Can’t stand weeping women-at least women that age” N’ton says, which makes me wonder what kind of age he thinks weeping women are appropriate at…and what it is that he’s done to them that has them crying.

Actually, no I don’t. I have enough examples of abuse to last until the end of the series. So Jaxom tells N’ton about his explosion at the Hold that day, and what he has come to understand about it. N’ton is sympathetic, but still firm about Jaxom not being a dragonrider, as much as Lytol is firm about him learning all about being a Lord Holder. N’ton also understands, though, that Jaxom needs to have some sort of purpose, and promises to talk to the Benden Weyrleaders about it.

Because this chapter wants to pile on all the revelations, even though it’s only a short chapter, I’m going to pause here and pick up with the chapter again next week.

Open Thread: Representative Emotions

(by Lonespark as dimly remembered by chris the cynic)

It’s a recurring trope in fiction to have emotions personified, but when this is done usually there isn’t an attempt to include all emotions.  The current movie Inside Out uses five.  (As compared to the eighty one considered significant enough to be in the emotions navigation box at Wikipedia.)

The question, to the best of my ability to remember it, is this:

If you had to pick a small number (i.e. not an exhaustive list) of emotions to attempt represent/describe people’s emotions as a whole, which ones would they be?

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

These two weeks in the Slacktiverse, June 27th, 2015

(posted by chris the cynic, who reminds you all that if I completely forget a week it’s ok to call me on it;  written by members of The Slacktiverse)

The Blogaround

  • chris the cynic wrote:
    • I wrote a response to the terrorist attack that killed nine people.  Well, more a response to how our culture doesn’t take terrorist attacks seriously when white people are committing them and non-white people are the victims.  As you might expect, it’s not exactly uplifting.
    • I had written about a setting idea where divine entities mingle with mundane humans in Generic Small Town America(TM).  Then I realized that I left out an important character in spite of her being a part of the idea for ages, thus I wrote The Divine Feminine to explain how she presents to the world and the sort of things she tends to be up to.  Bit of a fiction fragment in there.
    • I’m on my way is the latest installment of Being more than a Simulacrum.  In it Place gets to know the person giving her a ride to her uncle and cousin’s place in Montana.
    • I wrote how I would do the first Star Wars movie (the one retroactively titled “A New Hope”.)  In theory I’ll cover at least the original trilogy, maybe all six of the currently existing ones.  In practice I have a habit of not finishing such projects
    • I wanted to do how I would do the game Splatoon, but first I had to talk about the game as it exists.  Then I wrote how I would do it.  It’s kind of rough and badly organized, if I have time I might redo the post.
    • Following the game allowed me to see an interesting perspective (that of squid people from the future) on the Supreme Court decision to give people equal marriage rights.  So I wrote about that.  The next day there was a lot more data to sift and the biggest dissent from celebrating (squid are largely in favor of equality) were those who wanted us to please think of the children.
    • In my life in general things have happened.  I wrote more about my finances.  I wrote about the ordeal that was getting to the dentist on a bike I hadn’t used in at least a decade.  I wrote about a group of people, the classics students and teachers from USM, who are basically family to me.  I wrote about the fact that I may need a new washing machine (though I have hopes that most of my troubles are tied up in a single component.)

In Case You Missed This

No submissions this week.

Things You Can Do

No submission this week.

Lonespark forwarded this to us:

Lightspeed Magazine is looking to commission five original artworks by LGBTQ-identified scifi/fantasy artists for our Queers Destroy Fantasy issue.

We are looking to commission someone to do an original piece for the cover (for which we could pay $200). We’re also looking to commission four smaller illustrations (one to go with each of the web-published stories), for which we would pay $100 each. The deadline for the finalized artworks would be September 1.

For more information, please send an email with either a link to a website with your work or sample images to Henry Lien, Art Director, Lightspeed Magazine, art@lightspeedmagazine.com. Please feel free to share this post.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Deconstruction Roundup for June 26, 2015

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by Silver Adept, who is doing this from a most awesome conference!)

The point of these posts is threefold:

  1. To let people stay up to date on ongoing deconstructions. (All ones on our list, including finished and stalled ones, here.)
  2. To let people who can’t comment elsewhere have a place to comment.
  3. To let people comment in a place where people who can’t read Disqus can see what they have to say.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: Jed A. Blue

InsertAuthorHere: Um… InsertAuthorHere


Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Philip Sandifer: Philip Sandifer: Writer

Ross: A Mind Occasionally Voyaging

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Vaka Rangi: Vaka Rangi

Silver Adept: Here on The Slacktiverse

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