sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 09:46 pm
Since there's been interesting discussion on twitter and Facebook but I haven't seen much elsewhere.

So. Tonight is the Australian Census. There has been major controversy since it was announced that the government would be keeping people's names and addresses attached to the data for years, if not indefinitely. Many people said they would boycott or at least not put down their names. This was complicated by the fact that there is a $180 a day fine for anyone who refuses to do it, and that it is illegal to encourage people to not do it. People found round about ways to advise people anyway (This comic is also cute)
But it turned out this was the tip of the iceburg )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 11:30 pm
Make no mistake: Gamergate condones harassment, of Zoe Quinn, and of others. And the thing is, Gamergate is not the first time people supporting a good cause have found themselevs associated with awful people. But usually what happens is people go "Wow that is AWFUL I really don't want to be associated with them" and they make a really clear strong break. Like, cis feminists who don't hate trans women pointedly and publically cutting ties with TERFS.

I reblogged and commented on a post about politisization which then led me to to I can tolerate anything but the outgroup. As he admits at the end, this purports to be an objective skewering of partisanship while deep down actually being incredibly partisan propoganda for centrism. And he is far less self aware about the MASSIVE CLASS ETC BIAS of his POV, even aside from the fact thast is US focused I'm pretty sure red vs blue looks pretty different to a disabled trans black street kid or even, like, Barack Obama. THAT SAID it still made some good points and made me think.

Like, the thing he's criticising is the way people turn every complex specific situation into "proof" that their pov is better, and that the other "side" are a bunch of selfish ignorant harmful losers. But of course his moral often ends up being "not-being-too-political is the best pov, and overly political people are a bunch of selfish ignorant harmful losers" which is EXACTLY WHAT HE'S CRITICISING. It is not inherently bad to have strong, specific, and possibly extreme opinions on the world which mostly align with some existing politcal movement. That is not actually the problem. The problem is how you deal with people whose opinions of the world differ to yours.

I had more thoughts but they got incoherent. Maybe later.
sqbr: zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 09:49 pm
So I've been hoping someone with a decent understanding of history (and specifically early 20th century Asian history) would make this post for me, but noone has, so I'm going to do my best and apologise up front for my shallow understanding of history.

Anyway: A subtext which bugged me about Avatar: The Last Airbender which has just gotten worse in The Legend of Korra is the idea that there Rightful Heirs to Power, False Heirs, and Common People. It is Heirs who become world leaders and world changers, on behalf of the Common People who deserve love and compassion but who are cheerleaders at best and a mindless mob working for the False Heirs at worst. Anyone who is born Common and tries to become Important is doomed to become a False Heir. Children of False Heirs can become True Heirs.

Major Spoilers )
sqbr: Rose and the doctor (dw?)
Sunday, July 13th, 2014 11:03 pm
Let's see if I can remember what I wanted to say for any of them...

Jennifer Lawrence And The History Of Cool Girls. I had some further thoughts on tumblr (which I'd been pondering turning into a post here but tumblr got to me first) This ffa discussion of what people consider a feminist character touches on related points.

I've been thinking a lot about the moral obligations of adults towards the teenagers we encounter online, especially now I'm on tumblr which is FULL of teenagers. I deliberately seek out friends around my age and still have heaps of teen followers, some of them mutual because we genuinely have stuff in common.
How we were fooled into thinking sexual predators lurk everywhere argues that we need to look out and care for vulnerable teens more than worry about malicious adults (though that's important too) Here's a discussion on ffa of the issues around teens and adults and porn, something I don't have to worry about as much personally since everything I create tends to be at most PG rated anyway but still find disquieting, mostly when I encounter the porn my teen friends are into (I don't object to them being into it I JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW). But that particular aspect aside I feel like...I have a responsibility to be a NON creepy adult rather than just avoiding younger people, or the only adults teenagers will meet are the creepy ones (and not just sexually creepy, they can take advantage emotionally or monetarily too)

Meditation Nation On the intense emotional upheaval meditiation can cause, and the difference between doing it for personal gain and religious insight.

Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start About constructing social networks that encourage good social norms.

The difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange

Inspiration Disinformation on the artists vs haters dichotomy.

Why Are Doctors Skeptical & Unhelpful about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Why I no longer engage the “Are aces queer?” question The important thing is respect and inclusion in general, eg if people who didn't see aces as queer didn't THEN divide the world into "straight vs queer" instead of "straight, queer, or asexual" there'd be much less of a problem.

The People vs the Political Class The gap between politics and what the people (of Australia, and in general) actually want.
sqbr: (up and down)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 06:56 pm
This is a lot of unfinished thoughts.

I didn't agree with all of Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left but it was throught provoking. It makes the valid point that many "benevolent" technological groups are quite libertarian in effect and motivation. Also any sort of digital utopianism is blatantly bunk, technology is at best value neutral, it's a tool not a complete solution. I am glad of the link to this essay comparing intellectual property to other sorts of property in terms of freedom/enclosure etc, though I've only read the preface. And the idea that "information should be free" is definitely leveraged by businesses like Google to invade the privacy of and profit from everyday people.

But I think it acts like you're either pro-government or pro-business, and there are plenty of people who are neither. Also I'm pretty sure the EFF aren't the unambiguously pro-big-business force for evil they're painted as, they seem to help defend the little guy from oppressive big business a moderate amount of the time, and I know the Chair of the Australian branch is a card carrying member of Labor (and also quite left wing ;))

And...ok, Jimmy Wiles is pro-business and there's lots of obnoxious hierarchies and biases in Wikipedia, but I'm hard pressed to see it as an overall Force for Capitalist Evil. Not that the article says it is, it just mentions Jimmy Wiles and moves on instead of examimining whether libertarian techno-utopian projects may do social good regardless of their founders' politics. Or am I missing something?

Anyway, it got me thinking about what it means for a non profit or anyone to be "left wing".
Read more... )
sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Sunday, May 5th, 2013 05:17 pm
Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall The anti-social libertarian intellectual emptiness underlying a lot of TED-esque ideas.

On political and value neutral Everything with any message at all has a political subtext.

Why I don't like the dragon argument Points out that "if you can have dragons why can't you have POC" has some unfortunate implications that work against it.

words against communication and Also you get things like... The way worrying about appropriation/stepping on disabled people's toes can stop some people from realising they are disabled themselves. (Not that able bodied people shouldn't worry, just that it's complicated!)

Refusing to have the “What You Did” conversation "1 The ‘what you did’ conversation implies the ‘what you are’ conversation. 2 The ’what you are’ conversation is uncivil and silencing. 3 Therefore, it’s uncivil and silencing to discuss ‘what you did.’"

Frustrations of being a black gamer playing BIOSHOCK INFINITE

Sweatshops still make your clothes

Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement

Vilification and 'just having a laugh' About the racist jokes in my old Uni's satirical newspaper

Righteous Wroth Rarely Is OMG a criticism of excessive social justice where the group making the criticisms (in this case, women) are the victims of the oppression ostensibly being attacked with too much zeal (eg sexism) I have Thoughts about the very complicated way mental illness (which often creates an inability to behave in the way society demands) interacts with the somewhat narrow sets of behaviours expected of a Good Ally/Activist but am not quite up to articulating them.

$300 for Julia Gillard's NDIS scheme? Please, my wheelchair costs $22,000 Apparently some Australians are ok paying taxes and levies for roads and schools but draw the line at helping disabled people.

And from the hahaha what department...
Worse than global warming??? #followateen )
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 12:18 pm
Al Jazeera has good coverage of the revolution (if it still counts as one, the way things are going?). I finally got around to subscribing to their RRS feed and it makes a nice adjunct to the more local focus of the ABC news, even if in both cases I mainly skim the headlines too sleepy to pay much attention.

Women in Tunisia’s Revolution has some nice criticism of the form of some of the attention it's gotten, and that lead me to Secular Good, Muslim Bad (nb: title is sarcastic) I do think it's a huge mistake to see countries as being on a one dimensional uncivilised/civilised dichotomy, with Western style secular capitalistic democracy etc being the pinnacle everyone should aspire to. I find this particularly obnoxious when Americans posit the US as the epitome of that pinnacle(*), because no (especially not in terms of secularity!)

Also, in other "things happening to in other countries that could maybe stand to have more attention" news, there is significant flooding in Brazil and Sri Lanka (and possibly other places I forgot, sorry :/). It seems in general like a good time to make unrestricted donations to general aid agencies such as the Red Cross, here is a post with some places to donate (I am sleepy and lazy, sorry)

(*)This metaphor got away from me a bit. Highpoint of that pinnacle? Hmm.
sqbr: pretty purple pi (default icon)
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 02:10 pm
Utterly utterly brain dead today (I have down graded my plans for the day to "Don't fall asleep again until bedtime") but have been annoyed at the overly simplistic framing of the accusations against Julian Assange, while also finding the broader attacks on Wikileaks disturbing for what they say about the lengths power will go to to defend itself. And it's such a huge thing I just feel like saying…Wow. This is a thing. (Did I mention braindead? Yeah)

Anyway. Have some links (plausibly triggery)
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 02:53 am
Because it is 3am and I have insomnia and this is the only thing on my to-do list I feel awake enough for.

One Nation Victoria State President promotes gay bashings on Twitter Normally "One Nation politician says terrible things" isn't newsworthy, but dear god.

GetUp ad of appalling things Tony Abbot has said (mostly but not all about women)

Also, for those who may have missed the not-horribly-conservative minor parties: The Sex Party seem pretty decent on a surprising number of issues. The secular party are, alas, in favour of banning the burka.

Don't vote above the line, it may be easier but your preferences may go somewhere unexpectedly crap! I really should figure out my preferences at belowtheline.org.au.
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Monday, August 2nd, 2010 08:55 am
A systematic rebuttal of the myths about asylum seekers Nicely short and simple. (Apparently the comments are terrible, though)

Do not vote the Greens, Australian Election 2010 A "Christian" ad so effective in getting across the message of "If you aren't a dogmatic theocratic Christian vote Green" that I have to wonder if it's actually a viral marketing ploy by the Greens. Note that no actual "pro-Christian" alternatives are named, not even on their website, and the Liberals aren't even mentioned explicitly. In general I find that any fundamentalist religious rhetoric which isn't either innocuous or scary and depressing is fake. But I could be wrong!
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Thursday, July 29th, 2010 10:41 am
I've had trouble getting engaged with the upcoming election: I know who I'm voting for, and all the outcomes are just depressing. (Oh Julia Gillard. I was cynical about your chances of being an improvement, but not cynical enough)

Still! Via various people on twitter(*), The Age Vote-a-matic poll, which asks your opinions on various issues and tells you who to vote for.

This is interesting on two levels: first, it made me a little more aware of the main parties' policies and where I stand on them (I mean I knew I tended towards Greens policies, but I didn't know I agreed with them 88%)

But also it's a bit troubling to imagine possible bias in the questions chosen for the poll or how they're worded actually affecting the election outcome! (I didn't notice any, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist) I mean I'd like to think people wouldn't base their decisions solely on an internet poll but you never know...

Is it visible to non-Australians? I imagine you guys might find it interesting too, in an abstract sort of way :)

I reeeeally don't feel like getting into a political argument, this is one reason I don't tend to talk politics much. But I feel weird never talking about it at all.

(*)Where I am also sqbr, but I only tend to add people back if I know them irl, and not always then. I tend to forget to check it for long periods so like to keep my list short.
sqbr: exploding train. This is fremantle station, this train terminates here. (train)
Saturday, September 26th, 2009 04:05 pm
I keep hearing about these terrifying irrational anti-government American conspiracy theorists, yet all the Americans I meet online seem pretty in touch with reality (even the Republicans are VERY ASHAMED of the tactics being used) But then today I encountered this post on claymaker, a community for discussing making stuff out of clay. Text below since I imagine it will be deleted (it's ever so slightly off topic).

I think the thing that offends me most is the anti-vaccination rhetoric. That sort of attitude kills babies >:/ EDIT: Wait, no, it all offends me
Read more... )
sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
Saturday, November 8th, 2008 06:15 pm
So you know how I said West Wing totally stole the plot of the current election? Well the Chief of staff of Obama Santos was the cute(*) and unrealistically snarky Josh Lyman, who was a senior advisor to the previous democratic president. Josh was apparently based on the democratic politician Rahm Emanuel.

And now? Rahm Emanuel is Obama's chief of staff. You have to watch Rahm Emanuel reads a love letter, really, it's bizarre (ok, he's a bit more Jon Stewart than Josh Lyman, but still)

(*)At least to me :)
sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
Friday, November 7th, 2008 02:34 pm
So it's pretty clear that the writers of West Wing season seven, lacking the guidance of original show-runner Aaron Sorkin, decided that the best way to come up with a plot was to use a time machine to view the future and copy that.(nb, my understanding of american politics and the plot of west wing are both pretty fuzzy, feel free to corect parts!) EDIT:via [livejournal.com profile] stephiepenguin, the new york times describes it better

Cut for spoilers, though reality has pretty much done that already )
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Thursday, November 6th, 2008 12:35 pm
(This grew from a comment I made on this entry of [livejournal.com profile] shineys_are_us's, and then today I got all inspired to post it by the american election)
Various ponderings on nations and togetherness )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 11:18 am
I visited my family yesterday. The main reason was to give them a copy of my thesis (they were all suitably impresed by it's weighty unreadableness) but also to pick up an unlabelled and unexpected package addressed to me at their address (where I haven't lived for over 5 years)

Had lots of fun chatting to people, explained the cold war to my 10 year old brother Theo (who was vaguely aware of it: was it between China and Russia maybe? And what was communism anyway?) Even my 19 year old sister couldn't remember it, I suppose none of you munchkins do. How odd. Poor old grandma is still not the same after her illness, but much better than she was. Also played basketball (!!), thankfully Theo still hasn't hit the "better than Sophie at all things physical" barrier Michael did at around his age. Anyway, just as I was leaving, mum remembered the package, so I opened it. Inside was... a copy of the Lord of the Rings, and nothing else.

Now some of you will have heard me talk about this book. The copy of LOTR my mum got for me for my 17th or so birthday, and wrote a nice little message in. The book I lent to my boyfriend at the time, the boyfriend who the last time I saw him after we broke up, specifically for returning books we had borrowed, "forgot" my book. The book I have mourned with bitterness for seven years(*).

I and mum decided he must have finally finished reading it, he never was a very good reader.

Oh, and I gave it to Theo, since I already have a copy :)

(*)Not that I wasn't bitter about other things too.
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Friday, March 17th, 2006 09:27 pm
But not an angsty one. It will be rather dull for [livejournal.com profile] nico_wolfwood, who just heard all this from me on the phone.

I would just like to comment that "Holidays from places that don't exist" is cool. I've only seen tonights, about Transdniestria, which is on the edge of Moldova (which I hadn't heard of either, I suck) near the Ukraine and is like this wierd throwback to communism while the rest of Moldova is all western (both are ex-USSR, with the lotsa poor peasants/a few rich 'businessmen' split that implies) The presenter went fishing with the Moldovan president then got arrested in Transdniestria for trying to film a secret russian army base, it was cool :)

Am..very tense about second interview on Tuesday (paid, as some people were unsure on this) I have to be all professional and self-PR-y which is not in my nature. Hanging out in unisfa and the maths department makes me forget that compared to normal people I'm really rather socially awkward :)

Currently reading "The Galactic Whirlpool", a David Gerrold Star Trek book I got for $2. Its odd reading original Star Trek, given I was a huge fan back in early 94(*) and haven't had much contact with it since then at all.

I know Sweden is large, but part of me feels I should introduce [livejournal.com profile] skaggig_man and [livejournal.com profile] furikoneko, so she could show him the sights and he could persuade her to come to sunny Oz for her postgrad.

(*)And then I discovered real science fiction, and have never looked back
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Friday, February 17th, 2006 10:05 pm
Things I have learnt tonight:

  • Adding discordant chords and quick camera cuts does not make a dull political discussion less boring, just more surrreal
  • We have one vote one value (we do??)
  • The state libs and nats have broken up. (And they seemed so happy!)
  • The state nats leader is adorable. "The nathionalth will have the balanth of power" indeed :)


I have other things to say, but I'm feeling tired and grumpy after a long day. It was my paternal grandads funeral today. No need to be condolency, while I am a little sad about it I really didn't know him that well and we all knew it was coming. Really I only ever had one proper grownup conversation with him, just a few days before he died. He was surprisingly sharp (especially compared to my other, increasingly senile grandad) rather like Kieron (only atheist and conservative) with the saying something thoughtprovoking then looking at you quizzicaly while he evaluated your response, no wonder he freaked me out a little as a kid :)

I met all(*) my cousins who I haven't seen in like 7 years(**). My dads brothers kids have grown into fine young nerds of the not-socially-retarded kind. I think I may have persuaded the one at UWA to join Unisfa.

(*)Ok, strictly speaking all but the one who was busy. Stupid pedantic brain.
(**)They don't live far away or anything, but I think it's a common family trait to feel awkward organising things and wait for someone else to do it, and when everyone is a member of my family...*starts train of thought inspired by just finishing Critical Mass*