Spoilers

Feb. 12th, 2012 01:40 am
roadrunnertwice: Weedmaster P: "SON OF A DICK. BALL COCKS. NO. FUCKING." (Overcompensating.WeedmasterP - Shitbox)

I like using spoiler text! Spoiler text doesn't like iOS. Or vice-versa, whatever.

Anyway, I found a trick today that works great on both desktop and mobile, and which will work without Javascript, which means I can use it on my Dreamwidth! Unfortunately, you don't get the benefit unless you're viewing the entry in my style, and I don't get the benefit unless you write your spoiler tags such that they'll work the same way on my reading page. Frustrating. But it degrades gracefully to normal-acting spoiler text, so what the hell, I'll use it anyway.

It goes a little like this:

Go here to add custom CSS to your style, and add the following:

a.spoiler, a.spoiler:link, a.spoiler:visited {color: #3a3a3a; background-color: #3a3a3a; text-decoration: none;}
a.spoiler:active, a.spoiler:hover {color: #000 !important; background-color: #e7e7e7 !important; text-decoration: none;}

Then, you can make spoiler text like this:

Normal text, <a href="##" class="spoiler" style="color: #3a3a3a; background-color: #3a3a3a">spoiler text</a>, normal text.

Normal text, spoiler text, normal text.

Honestly they should have put a <spoiler> tag in HTML 5, but this will do for now. Sorta. I guess. And no, I don't know how to make spoiler text work with both screenreaders and iPads. :(

roadrunnertwice: Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便)、 minding the bakery. (Kiki - Welcome to the working week)
I was about to do something or other, then got distracted and did a bunch of housekeeping I've been meaning to do for a year. To wit: I've turned off comments at LJ, and imported all the old content and comments into DW. And then I got even more distracted and started cruising around some entries from '06 and '07.

Anyway, this is just by way of an update on said entries: I didn't, in fact, end up with any permanent hand scars from all those times I managed to cut myself up with a stale baguette.
roadrunnertwice: Rodney the Second Grade T-Ball Jockey displays helpful infographics. (BF.Rodney - Ass increases w/ T-ball^2)
Oh my fucking goodness, I know it's old news now, but inline cut tags have changed my whole fucking game around here. (Especially on the iPad, where opening a new tab is comparatively expensive and clumsy.)

PSA:

Jun. 24th, 2010 09:13 pm
roadrunnertwice: Dialogue: "Craigslist is killing mothra." (CatAndGirl.Cat - Web 2.0)
via [personal profile] rydra_wong, we learn that LJ is ditching it's advisory board. I don't get nearly as het up these days about LJ being kind of bullshitty, and this is mostly just a reminder that the advisory board thing was kind of a sham to start with. But it's also a reminder that getting pre-emptive access and OpenID absorption working on DW is kind of urgent, soooo... I should probably start trying to rustle up some dev support for those.
roadrunnertwice: Rebecca on treadmill. (Text: "She's a ROCKET SCIENTIST from the SOUTH POLE with FIFTY EXES?") (BitterGirl.Rebecca - Rocket scientist)
Y'all seen this Google Font API shit? Crazy awesome, right? Anyway, I definitely can't get it to work with Dreamwidth. Anyone have any hints?

(I mean, I didn't expect putting the @import statements in the custom CSS box to work, because @imports have to happen before everything else, and I didn't figure the box would get pride of place like that. But linking to an outside sheet containing the imports didn't work either.

Surfing through the links in the source, it looks like linked stylesheets for DW get piped through cssproxy.dreamwidth.org. This is wise! It also completely defeats me here because it strips out @imports as "suspect CSS," which means I can't take advantage of Google's secret useragent-sniffing sauce. I guess I could skip the elegant API solution and re-implement the entire range of cross-browser hacktacularity from scratch! NOT.

Alternately, I could just handle Webkit and the bleeding edge of Gecko. *shrug.* Anyway, like I said, any thoughts?
roadrunnertwice: Rodney the Second Grade T-Ball Jockey displays helpful infographics. (BF.Rodney - Ass increases w/ T-ball^2)
There's interesting talk about userpics going on; I caught it at [personal profile] damned_colonial's "Icons as representation of self" post. (And she from [personal profile] isis: mini meta fest: userpics.)

Userpics are one of the things I've come to find most interesting about the Dreamwidth/Livejournal format over time. What a strange and wondrous convention! As near as I can tell, they were introduced as a rich feature with a poor schema, so they've been free to develop into... well, hell, all kinds of stuff. So anyway, I started trying to classify my own shit, and [personal profile] isis and [personal profile] damned_colonial's schemae didn't really seem useful for what I'd accreted, and since I'd built up my icon habits in a fairly animistic and ad-hoc way, I didn't have any sort of key ready to hand and had to actually think about it for a few minutes. Here's the best I was able to come up with:

Self-representation (literal and metaphorical)


When I use these, the person in the icon is meant to represent me. (At that particular moment in time. Prices may vary. See anima for details.) Male:female count: 4:4. Actual self count: 2. (And I'm not ultra happy with either one, but I don't have many interesting portraits sitting around. ANYWAY.)

a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic

Hexdrivers


More or less single-purpose tools, with varying usefulness. These illustrate some process, a specific (as opposed to pervasive) emotion, or some other transitory internal or external state. Or they just make a joke or cuss some.

a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic


Lamps


The most versatile and abstract tranche. More like Tarot cards than anything else, these tend to reflect some less-than-effable gestalt.

a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic a userpic

And through the whole thing, of course, there's a sort of system of references that identifies my tribe and standing, but at the moment I'm finding strategy less interesting than tactics. Anyway, what'cha all got?
roadrunnertwice: Dialogue: "Hey DICKholes!" (Wonderella - Dickholes)
Okay: I am offended. LiveJournal is making disclosure of gender mandatory at account creation time, and is removing the "unspecified" option from the gender field. Yes, LJ, our transgender and genderqueer friends absolutely need more contempt and petty unpleasantness in their lives. Thank you for stepping up to supply it. There's more at the link, including an email address for someone high up in the LJ corporate structure. Here's what I sent her:
I was tipped off to the contents of this change to the codebase (http://community.livejournal.com/changelog/7932846.html) tonight, and I think it's a rotten one. Making gender disclosure mandatory at account creation is offensive, and so is removing the "unspecified" option. I shouldn't have to explain why.

This policy is meanspirited and low. You should seriously consider reversing it.

EDIT: Looks like they're about-facing? Okay, good.
roadrunnertwice: Warning sign; depicts square object sporting an eye and sprouting an arrow. Text: "Autonomous device." (Warning - Autonomous device)

Facebook just instituted a new privacy settings regime. As expected, there's ruckus. The EFF's got the full dope, and yes, I do recommend stopping for a sec to read that, as it's remarkably thorough and reasonably noise-free. The takeaway is that a, the "Recommended" settings are bullshit; b, there's a troubling trend here of selling out users in small, hard to notice ways and then weaseling about it; and c, new ground gets broken daily in terms of doing interesting and freaky things with sorts of data that we may not even be used to thinking of as "personal information."

Frankly, I have no idea whether there's any commonsense advice that's worth a damn re: number 'c.' That's some society-wide shit right there, and it's only gonna get weirder—welcome to the future, hope you took your dramamine. About a and b, though, I do have something I want to get off my chest.

For the last year or so, I have considered anything that happens on Facebook to be part of the public internet: visible to anyone, linkable from anywhere, searchable to any depth. I strongly recommend that you do the same. The current situation stops well short of that. There is absolutely no reason to believe the current situation will hold.

I've been on Facebook since somewhere around January aught-five. In that time, it has mutated drastically, turning into an entirely new beast at least three times. What I joined was a simple and elegant pictorial phonebook for my college that occasionally invited me to parties; subsequently, I found myself subscribed to a lightweight social blogging and photo platform, an alumni finder/24-7 high school reunion, a more-irritating-than-usual casual gaming site, and a cross-medium content aggregator and identity service. And every goddamn time it's changed form, I've been bitten in the ass by some habit or policy I adopted to suit some earlier incarnation.

Point being that however good or bad the current privacy regime is, god only knows what this thing'll turn into next. I don't think I consider Facebook evil, but it is a changeling, and changelings are not to be trusted.

roadrunnertwice: MPLS, MN skyline at sundown.  (Minneapolis - Sunset in the city)
Paid Dreamwidth account, hurray! Time to get my icons back. (And add a few.)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (DTWOF - Mischief Brewin')
ELLLL-JAAAYYYYY. *shakes fist* So apparently, Livejournal shitcanned the person widely regarded as their best employee, partnered with a search engine that publicly revealed content from a small subset of friends-only posts, and turned the formerly low-volume [livejournal.com profile] news account into a cavalcade of cheese, incidentally instituting a policy of plagiarizing users' text in each post. Awesome. I guess it's been a busy week?!

This seems like as good a time as any to turn this Dreamwidth account into a paid one, especially since the introductory pricing is still in effect for another day or two. And if you're thinking of joining with a free account, I have invite codes, so just holler.

Mammon

Jul. 21st, 2009 11:28 am
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Hagrid - Two Wheels Good)
Wow. If you don't have AdBlock and aren't logged in as paid, LiveJournal looks reeeeeeally revolting these days. ("Belly-fat" ads? REALLY, LJ?)

In conclusion, yay Dreamwidth.
roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (BF - Vast and solemn spaces)

I'm testing out one of those new Mac builds of Chromium (via), and it is actually kind of awesome! Feels sleek.


Lately I haven't been posting as often as I otherwise might have, because it turns out that I'm actually kind of reliant on having a native-app LJ client. And they all suck right now.

Xjournal used to be awesome, but it doesn't work with Dreamwidth and is stagnant these days anyway. iJournal always kinda sucked, and now it hasn't been touched for three years. MarsEdit technically works, but its DW and LJ support is... lacking. asLJ is too new to trust, Deepest Sender kind of defeats the purpose of using a client in the first place, and nothing supports the DW crossposter. So I have to post via a web form, which shouldn't slow me down as much as it does, but it does, so.


I AM MOVING HOUSE. Gonna go live with Schwern in inner Northeast! It'll be rad. I have not even started packing yet. Expect me to become increasingly bugfuck insane until the 6th or so.

The place I'm moving into is a 2nd-floor apartment in a brick building that kind of reminds me of my digs in Minneapolis. Not anything close to identical, but familiar enough to immediately feel like home.


That is a rather large spider in the bathroom, isn't it? I have granted her Not My Problem status, on the condition that she gets off the counter within the next half hour.


Writing continues to be difficult. DON' WANNA TALK 'BOUT IT.


It's one of those nights where The Replacements are once again everything I could ever want from pop music.


So yeah, this is my new job. I likes it lots. Folks is cool. Things:

  • The yarn world is far larger and stranger than I imagined.
  • Indigo is awesome. No, seriously, it's the weirdest shit. Reacts on oxygen contact! Changes color as you watch!
  • We get free coffee. My caffeine tolerance has shot through the roof.
  • The shop runs on this app called POS·IM, which apparently has a 20-year lineage and is One Hairy-Ass Beast. It's got a majorly schizoid personality. On the one hand, it's been polished for 20 years to suit the needs of small-to-midsize retail outfits, and in general, the developers have thought of everything you will need to do with the thing. On the other hand, the interface seems to be held together with baling wire and fun-tak, the search capabilities are about the least sophisticated I've ever seen, and none of the features seem able to decide whether they're made for database-savvy power users or the technically-disinclined. The manual is written in at least two, probably more like three different voices, which switch off without discernible pattern and use distinctly different sets of vocabulary. It perversely re-invents every available wheel. It makes it frustratingly fidgety and tedious to make any large-scale changes to the inventory, and frighteningly easy to wreck vast havoc.
    • I am absolutely confident in my ability to bend it to my will. JUST YOU WAIT.
  • No, I don't know how to knit yet. Gimme another week or two.

Radio On

Apr. 20th, 2009 10:05 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Hmm, I thought I'd have another ten days to decide on a username.

Which is to say, HUZZAH, I am [personal profile] roadrunnertwice on Dreamwidth!

Here, I will let you skip the navel-gazing. )



I haven't imported my journal yet, and I'm not going to disable comments in the LJ for... well, for a long-ass while? I'll probably save it until we can see the other side of open beta? I think. Eventually, I'm going to make LJ into the secondary journal, with full entries here and comments over at Dreamwidth. For now, I'll mostly be playing around; I'll probably get a lot more serious about it once they get the secure cross-site flist code up and running.

But I like it here. There's sawdust everywhere and the sound of power drills, but it feels kind of homey already.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)

Contusions etc.


My hip bruise is developing nicely, and is now an attractive light purple-black color; the road-rash on the elbow is doing what road-rash is wont to do.

Dreamwidth


I think I may have gotten something that I wanted, and now I have to make some decisions.

Remember how I've complained about / rolled my eyes at some of the venal/short-sighted/poorly-conceived/just-plain-weird decisions made by LJ's recent hot-potato line of owners? And how I said that seeing LJ as a way to make bank was a rum call in the first place, and that it was a better candidate for a co-op or something? Well, some ex-staffers from LJ are building the "or something," and it actually looks like it's going to rock. It's called Dreamwidth. It's not a co-op, for reasons they actually bothered to explain, but it's something I find myself liking and trusting.

Blah blah blah etc. )

So like I said, now I have to make some decisions. I'm certainly going to get an account, but I still need to figure out whether and when to make it my main journaling space, and what to do about this LJ once that happens.

And while we're at it, I could really stand to re-evaluate most everything about my web presence. What am I doing out there? What could I be doing out there? LJ's grown on me since 2003 in a way I never thought it would, so whichever way I end up dividing my writing and photography and coding and whatever the hell else, I think I'll always enjoy having a place where I can ramble and vent about my computers and bike crashes and apartments and concerts and explorations in the city without worrying whether it "fits." But that place might move sometime soon. I've already cancelled my paid account renewal on LJ.

Oh, right...


Um, also, I could really use a new username. I've regretted "2ce" since about five days after I picked it, although I did rather like how it went with the recent "Roadrunner Twice" journal title. Maybe I could go with some variation on "Roadrunner Twice?" (It's not even my favorite song or anything, but I'm real fond of that line?) For reasons I find kind of hard to explain, I'm somewhat disinclined to use my usual "nfagerlund," but I might default to it if I can't think of anything better. (And y'know, half the draw of a social journaling site like LJ is the granular privacy control; honestly, calling my journal nfagerlund would be a better call than using that for my Twitter, but the deed there's done.)

Once upon a time, I was called Gamecat, but that shed skin won't fit no more. I don't think I've had an actual handle for a long long time now, and I find that I sometimes miss it. I dunno. Thoughts?

(Am I going to have to break out the fake-band-names file?)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Kekkaishi - coffee milk)
Was writing one post, did a quick web crawl, and suddenly realized I should be writing another post ENTIRELY. ahahaha.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Vast and solemn spaces)

I’m trying to write a post that may or may not be possible to write, or which is at least hovering around the ragged edge of my capabilities. Bear with me, this shit will get a little disjointed. Also, this is all staying above the cut. Sorry.

Over the last two months, I’ve been nursing an obsession with RaceFail 2009, a massive conversation/volcano hybrid going on in online science fiction and fantasy fandom (primarily on LJ).

Last part first:

Why this matters

People of color are being systematically made to feel unwelcome and unsafe in science fiction and fantasy, whether it be as authors, as editors, or as fans. This is a major problem! It is a major problem for me and you. :D

What it is

I currently have no less than 83 RaceFail-related tabs open in an attempt to find appropriate introductory links. That’s not a number I chose because it’s funny, I actually stopped to count. So there’s the first thing you need to know about RF09: it is big. (No, please don’t run away.)

Furthermore, it is an honest-to-God hypertext. (Follow that link, please, because it’s actually one of the best primers I’ve seen so far on how to read this thing.) There are a great many conversations happening at once, about such topics as:

  • How to write diverse characters in fiction
  • How to read and critique fictional depictions of characters of color
  • Who gets to set the terms and rules of conversations such as this one (recursion,** yay)
  • HOLY SHIT HE/SHE DID WHAT
  • Issues of community structure and outreach
  • The function and value of pseudonymity in online communities
  • The nature of the commercial arm of the storymaking racket
  • And more!

…and all of these conversations overlap with each other, comment on each other, and share significant subsets of their participants.

You don’t have to take a week straight to read all these posts. You don’t have to read all of them period. But I think you should take notice, learn about the events that kicked the whole thing off, learn about the simmering discontent and anger that forms the context for everything going on lately (i.e., about racism), and keep track of where it goes from here.

It is almost certain that several people reading this know significantly more about all above than I do, especially about racism in general. Apologies in advance for my missteps.

[livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong has the whole story, no goddamn foolin’. Various people have written summaries of events, many of which are available in the previous link, and the most concise of which is:

  1. Bear writes a post about how to write the Other
  2. Avalon’s Willow critiques one of her books on racial tropes
  3. Bear agrees unequivocally in writing
  4. Commenters defend Bear in increasingly racist language.
  5. Massive fail all over the internets.
  6. Bear says that she was lying in 3. in order to model appropriate conversation.

Here’s another summary focused on the meta-discussion and a particularly odious instance of real-world retaliation against a participant in it..

Every summary has its own bias. Nature of the beast, sorry.

_____

** Actually, I would guess that RaceFail is at least 40% a conversation about itself. Probably because RaceFail itself is a legitimately fascinating topic of conversation.

Why are you seeing this here?

I’ve been following RaceFail ’09 pretty closely since the start—the whole thing really got rolling in SF/F writer Elizabeth Bear’s LJ, which was on my friendspage at the time—and I’m still incredibly freaked out to be posting about it in a fashion visible to friends who haven’t yet encountered RF09 or one of its sub-conversations in their own online spaces. Hell, I’m freaked out to be talking about it period. I’m not doing this lightly.

When you start reading some of the more recent posts under the RaceFail ’09 umbrella, you’ll see a widespread perception that there’s been a call to choose sides and speak up.* That is not what this is about. Mostly because, who the fuck am I in the first place? I’m not a published author (WORKING ON IT), an editor, or even active in fandom (I read author blogs and review books once a month; seriously, I’ve never even been to a con or anything), so it’s not like me speaking up or not speaking up can be argued to make that much of a difference.

Here’s what me speaking up is about:

RaceFail is fucking important. You should be aware of it, and I encourage you read as much of it as you are able to. It matters.

That’s right: This is the I ♥ RaceFail post. Some of my friends who’re aware of RaceFail ’09 have told me they’re avoiding reading about it, and I think that’s a mistake.

John Scalzi is completely wrong. (EDIT: He's also got friends who help him be less wrong.) Elizabeth Bear was wrong, uh, several times, but especially when she tried to grab the reins and say “whoa.” Because having read this thing somewhat obsessively for the last two months, and having had the top of my head opened up too many times to count, I’m pretty sure that this actually is the conversation that needs to happen about race in SF/F (and, what the hell, everywhere). Yes, it’s messy. There is no moderator. Tensions have been high pretty much nonstop (and my first introductions to a lot of the people I now consider to be brilliant and sensible voices was when I saw them saying something I found (at the time) to be over the top). It’s hard to follow. It’s about several dozen things at once. But I don’t see how we’re supposed to have a more calm and orderly conversation about race without having this one first, anger and all.

_____

* Which is sort of the case, and sort of not; there has been a lot of conversation about types of silence that wreck harm, but I’m not seeing any call-out that isn’t leavened with acknowledgement that not everyone can or should engage in the same ways.

In which we get back to a delayed promise

The “Fail” in RaceFail is a synecdoche.

So I told a friend a little while ago that I would try and point them to some posts within RaceFail that inspire hope and/or joy instead of inspiring “HOLY FUCK SHE SAID WHAT as;dfjkakls;fjals;da.” On further consideration, there are a whole raft of reasons why that may have been a problematic thing for me to say, not least of which being that this whole business is really not about white folk and their self-improvement or catharsis in the first place, and certainly “WHITE EDUCATION COMES AT A FIGGING TOO HIGH PRICE.” Even better, as a white boy with very little actual flesh in the game, the accuracy and value of my judgement about which posts and elements are properly inspiring of hope is extremely suspect to begin with.

Nevertheless. I did say I want you to go and read more, and knowing where your carrots are is as important as having a good grip on your stick.

Here are some things which brought me some joy—or some hope—or which just turned my head inside-out in a way I badly needed—in the midst of RaceFail 2009:

  • The sheer bigness. Okay, that takes some explaining, but…

    The reason it’s called RaceFail ’09 is to distinguish it from the one last year, the one in ’06, and the smaller blow-ups that have happened in-between. Something that you’ll see a lot in the earlier posts this go-round is some variation on the Cylon Clause: All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. All of this will happen again—do please lift a hand if that doesn’t fill you with horror.

    If the Fail is happening anyway—if havoc is already being wrecked in the hearts of authors and fans of color, if people who shouldn’t be driven out are already being driven out (or at least too damn close to out)—then I kind of want it to impinge on the space of as many white fans and authors as is humanly possible. Yes, it IS too high a price for mere education, but if the price is being paid regardless, let’s goddamn GET something for it. The more clueless-but-well-meaning white folk (I firmly include myself in this category) see the hurt being caused and start reading, thinking, and trying to understand the things being said by the myriad brilliant fans/authors/theorists of color (and allies!) involved here, the more likely it is that something will have changed by the time the next high-profile racial screw-up rolls ‘round.

    (Of course, it’s always possible for the white SF/F fans who’re unwittingly plunged into the conversation to take away entirely the wrong lesson, but maybe that’s where posts like this one come in. If I’m lucky, and if I’m doing my damn job correctly.)

    And also… maybe the more unavoidable the conversation becomes, the sooner new fans of color will discover the writings of all these brilliant people and the communities that have built up around challenging racism in entertainment. Maybe the bigness of RaceFail ’09 will help people feel less alone.

    I cannot help but feel as though this is a gorgeous moment, right here. We’re having conversations. We’re going to keep having them. There’s a whole big internet out here for us to finally talk.

    Every friend who says: “I have listened. I am listening. I want to listen more” lifts a stone.

  • [livejournal.com profile] deepad: I Didn’t Dream of Dragons. “I distrust universalising statements proclaiming our inherent mutual humanity because they are uni-directional—they do not make everyone more like me, they make everyone more like you. And I do not want that.” … “Dragons are not universal. If I am defensive, it is because I have had to learn how to love Tolkein while trying to find myself in the unmapped lands in the East where the Green and Blue wizards disappeared to.” If the Devil walked in and told me he’d make me worthy of readers like Deepa D., I’d cut that deal; do not think I would even hesitate.
  • And if you’ve read her post, you know why the Devil knows better than to make that offer in the first place—the millions of girls like she once was don’t need just the existing white authors writing “the other” better, they need stories it wouldn’t even occur to a white author to write; they need more and better from everywhere.

    [livejournal.com profile] verb_noire is a brand new small press imprint. Their mission is “to celebrate the works of talented, underrepresented authors and deliver them to a readership that demands more.” They raised 300% of their modest startup goal in a matter of days. (Again, I believe bigness to be one of RaceFail’s virtues.)

  • Also organized as a response to RaceFail is the Remyth Project. It is what it says on the box.
  • RaceFail is where I learned about [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc, a challenge to read more books by authors of color—to consciously control where your attention goes, in other words. I’ll be doing it, I invite you to do it too. (I’ll likely not finish within the year, and I’ll be dealing with my existing to-read shelf and other sidetracks besides, but I’ll keep track up through—and maybe beyond—the 50-count. Check out the community page for a ton of book recommendations.)
  • [livejournal.com profile] nojojojo’s “We Worry About it Too” is pretty much the opposite of a “Hey writers, relax and don’t take it so seriously” post, but damned if it didn’t make me feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of thinking critically about race in the creative process. This may well be perverse of me; go read the post anyway, ‘cause it’s great. Also, her upcoming novel is on my get-list.
  • In a comment thread in [livejournal.com profile] spiralsheep’s journal: An extremely frank, tab-a in slot-b style thought about where white freakouts in conversations about racism come from. I love shit like this, because at its best, it explains things I have seen, explains things I have felt (AAAAAAAARRG), and provides concrete pointers on how to avoid wrecking havoc out in the world.
  • Dep’t of Reprints From 2007: [livejournal.com profile] zvi_likes_tv explains the Department of Licensing’s application process for Ghetto Passes. Again, I love me a good de-mystification. (Also, I have another old link from [livejournal.com profile] zvi_likes_tv that I want to share, but it deserves its own post, so it’ll have to wait a bit.)
  • “What are you doing here?!” — “I’ll hold them off! You attack the core!”

    Okay, so there’s this recurring theme I’ve seen, related to the Cylon Clause. It’s there in I Am Not the Moderator, in Being an Imaginary Conversation, in the last few paragraphs of this, in other places around and about. It reminds me of nothing so much as that trope in video games and anime where the big bad from the last season jumps in heroically at the last minute to help the heroes fight the current big bad.

    The reason this brings me hope is, at least in part, transparently selfish, but man, seriously: there but for the grace of god go any of us, and when the stress of thinking critically about race gets you down, I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that screwing up doesn’t corrupt you for life. We can get better at this, within this lifetime, and people don’t necessarily stay angry forever.

There’s more, but I think I’ve hit my limit for now, so you’ll have to find it the usual way.


I’m going to keep all comments to this post screened—you’re free to post invisibly here; consider it the same as an email. (Unless you have something critical to say and explicitly tell me I can unscreen it!) Properly hosting a public sub-discussion in this particular hyper-conversation requires chops that I don’t think I possess yet, and so it seems polite to play it safe on that score. Go forth and read people who have spent more time and sweat and blood on this than me—and if I’m allowed to make a suggestion about what you do in places other than my own: please consider treading lightly, and maybe even switch into read-only mode. ‘Specially if you’re white. My own mental state regarding race in SF and America and elsewhere has mutated pretty drastically since January; I’m honestly not sure what I would have ended up saying if I had jumped in back then. Probably not this.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Ass increases with the square of T-ball.)
What the fuck is all this noise about people backing up their journals? Russian Overlords, you're fired. Jesus.

(I don't think there'll be any catastrophic failure; just more of the steady decline of focus we've seen for a while now. I don't even expect the decline to accelerate by much. LJ will stay our happy, comfy little internet backwater for quite a while yet.)

(...Which isn't to say you shouldn't back up your journal, start blogging other places in addition to LJ, and keep track of where else your friends blog. These are all great ideas for a multitude of reasons.)




Over the Secular Christmas* holiday, I somehow left my** coffee grinder in Portland, and since half the fun of drugs is the ritual (and since pre-ground coffee is an abomination unto the Lord Xanthene, and also since we were snowed the fuck in for most of that time and I couldn't go get any fuckin' Batdorf), I wound up going without coffee for two weeks. Which was fine; all I had to do to avoid the withdrawal headache was ramp up my tea intake, and since my sister drinks a pot or two a day anyhow, everything worked out great.

Since then, I've noticed something: I think better on tea.

I love coffee dearly; I love the ritual, and the taste, and the culture, and the many-faceted character of the buzz. But while it leaves me full of vim and gasoline and WHOA HEY HI, it kinda fries my brain. For one reason or another, a whole pot of strong black tea leaves me more able to write, read, and make plans and/or schemes than a cup or two of decent coffee.

This saddens me a little. I know it's foolish of me, but I want to be able to do anything on any of my drugs of choice, and evidence of the impossibility of that is frustrating.

Oh well. Self-knowledge is good, and anyway, tea is awesome too.


_____
* Secular Christmas is the best of all holiday worlds: You get to visit your family and exchange gifts and celebrate Peace On Earth, AND you get to infuriate the Religious Right with all your, like, worldly ways. I'm pretty sure Secular Christmas counts as an old family tradition by now.

** It's technically family property, but I'm the one who's hijacked it at the moment.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
So there was this Ellen DeGeneres CD left in the player after the album I was listening to, and bam, all of a sudden I'd changed the title of my journal.

We're keeping with the psuedo-avian theme, at least.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Mischief brewin'!)
If you use Google Calendars, Apple's iCal, or presumably any weird devices like a Treo or a Blackberry, you can import any calendar information that someone's bothered to format as an .ics file. There's a service that'll do this with your Facebook friends' birthdays, which I've found quite useful, and I thought it'd be nice to get my LJ friends that way so I could have all the birthdays I care about in the same place.

No such luck. Someone suggested this a long time ago, but no progress was made. So I rolled my own! lj2ics is now available at the link and free to use.




The only problem is that it requires ruby, rubygems, and the icalendar and hpricot gems, and I don't expect a whole lot of you have all that. So check out the next post if you want a hand with that...
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Viva! La Revolution!)
(This was going to be a reply to a comment, but I think it's worth making as a post instead.)

It's not that advertising is bad per se; I use all kinds of sites with ads, and it's not a big deal in the slightest. But LJ's new owners really do seem to view it as an engine for making money, rather than as something that ought to be maintained because people need it.

LJ used to have an explicit promise that you could host your journal here without having to shill things you don't care about to your readers. That was eventually replaced by an implicit promise of the same, but it was still there. The logic was that although you were using a portion of LJ's resources and not directly contributing funds, you made up for it by enriching their network -- you produced content that drew people to the site, some of whom would start journals of their own, and you bonded socially with them and with other users. Some of those users would be the ones paying the money to feed the maintainers and keep the service afloat, and LJ tried to provide features compelling enough to keep enticing more people into paying, but they could never come up with a better enticement to stay on the site in the first place than the fact that those users' friends were here. That's what the basic users contributed to the bottom line.

It was a chain of logic based on a fundamental respect for the community and the users. The new owners aren't basing their business decisions on the same principles, and you can tell -- actions taken out of pure market-capitalist greed smell different than those informed by some modicum of social conscience. (Well, and one of the giveaways is that it happened under cover of night, so to speak -- they made no public announcement until they'd already made the switch.)

I think it's fair to say that the uproar isn't really about the concrete effect this decision is going to have on most users, which is ultimately going to be between minor and nil. It's about the other changes presaged by it. We've already seen more hints about where this'll take us: at about the same time as this ruckus started, some people noticed that a filter had been silently installed in the code for the "Popular Interests" page, in order to keep interests like depression and bisexuality from showing up there. (That code's gone now, but only because a tiny group of users had been sharp enough to catch them at it.) As near as anyone can tell, that filter was put in to clean up the place and make it more attractive to advertisers. It's indicative of a mentality that is both new to LiveJournal and entirely unwelcome on it. People are worried.

Are you familiar with Terry Pratchett's novels? Have you read Going Postal yet? This is pretty much what was going on with the clacks system. Pratchett's a better political writer than I, and makes the point with more elegance and eloquence than I yet have in me, but he's saying the same thing in that book as I'm trying to get at in this post: there are some things that cannot be effectively run by men who view everything as an engine for making money. A lot of people seem to think that LiveJournal is one of those things. I suppose we'll soon find out.

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