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: (up and down)
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 02:46 pm
For the Perth Gaming Festival this Saturday. I have a bunch of copanelists, so this is just points I want to hit, not a strict plan.

More people are playing and making games than ever before, and as the community has grown so too has the call for games that represent a wide range of human experience. This panel explores the importance of diversity in games, with discussion of ways developers can make more representative games, of how both players and game makers can be supportive of diverse voices, and will include examples of games featuring positive identity representations. Our panelists will speak from a wide range of perspectives, including disability, the LGBTIQ spectrum, and culturally diverse backgrounds.

My notes:
Read more... )
sqbr: Darkwing Duck in red (dw!)
Thursday, February 5th, 2015 11:23 am
Ancillary Conversation A conversation I was involved in at No Award about the Imperial Radch series.

Believing that life is fair might make you a terrible person As I said on tumblr: Now I’m thinking about the implications for effective activism. Should we be avoiding “this unjust thing happened to X marginalised group (or the environment)” signal boosting that doesn’t come with “and here’s what you can do about it”? That’s what my gut tends to say, but I guess there’s the implication that passing the information on IS doing something about it. And “just don’t tell people about unjust things that happened in history” seems like an unfortunate moral. HMM. I’m sure smarter people than me have thought about this.

Let's talk about category structure and oppression! Everyone is expected to relate to a cis straight white anglophone American man. We're all like them, they're just (default, category-central) people after all! But they're not like us.

THE CATEGORIES WERE MADE FOR MAN, NOT MAN FOR THE CATEGORIES A bit rambly but eventually about the way we define "man"and "woman".

The EntitleMen: techno-libertarian right wing sockpuppets of silicon valley This is a bit rambly but makes some interesting comments about facism, libertarianism, and tech.

Basic income paid to the poor can transform lives

Safe a safe space for People of Colour who have an interest in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I'm sure I must have linked this already but it was on the list, so.

Everything is problematic Someone's path through some of the more unhealthy parts of acitivism.

France begins jailing people for ironic comments

And via anghraine, two examples of Korra fans turning "I don't like this" into "this is problematic", eg my least favourite kind of fannish "activism": anyone who likes Book 3 more is sexist, representation doesn't count if I didn't enjoy it.


SUPERMARKET MONSTERS Coles, Woolworths and the price we pay for their domination

Hmmph. The article I linked to about it has vanished, but here's the petition to revoke Adam Baldwin's invitation to the con Supanova
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: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 07:36 pm
This is me trying to organise my thoughts after a very interesting twitter conversation got too convoluted for my cold addled brain. It's very important to note that my friend Helen who started the conversation and the people we're talking about/to are white Australians (mostly women) with similar politics, and we're discussing both things that affect us (like feminism) and those that don't (like refugee rights). This is NOT about people using anger as an excuse to denounce opinions or points of view they can't handle. (Which is a thing that happens a lot. A LOT. So don't do it here :P)

So! The question is: "Some people really aggressively tweet all the activism and outrage. But what good is this doing?".
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: pretty purple pi (Default)
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 02:10 pm
Crime Against Nature Kids book about same sex and other "unnatural" relationships in nature. Not sue it works as a kids book but still interesting! Couldn't get it to download though.

When Depression is Contagious Captain Awkward post about how to draw boundaries and look after your own emotional well being when in a relationship with a depressed person.

Say hello to The Old Republic's gay planet All the same sex content in Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMMORPG is on one planet. Uh huh.

AMAZINGLY OFFENSIVE: On Stephen Hawking, Vader and Being More Machine Than Human Inspired me to make a More machine than man shirt because screw you, self obsessed technophiles.

Why I play violent video games Not the same reasons as me, but still an interesting read from another woman who likes violent video games (and no, not despite the violence)

The secret life of them: What it takes to shift class in Australia Quite different to my experience as an upwardly mobile child of downwardly mobile ex-middle class white people, but that's what you'd expect.

the positive side of socialism

Health Panics in Historical Perspective

“Oh, You Sexy Geek!”: “Geek Girls” and the Problem of Self-Objectification

I've been reading through Pervocracy, I particularly liked
Using my vagina about the validity of having unsexy sex if that's genuinely what you want.

From a different POV, You Need Help: Let's Talk About (Having More) Sex

Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds

Multiple Sclerosis, Kepral’s Syndrome, and Why I’m Glad Thane Dies The importance of illness narratives with no magical cure.
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Friday, November 30th, 2012 06:39 am
Be warned, it is the most sexist job ad I have ever seen, though the sexism is just the tip of the iceburg. When I found out it had been removed I decided to preserve my cached copy of the text for posterity. It's possible it's a satire, in which case I applaud the author's ability to create such a compellingly awful character.
Read more... )

This entry was originally posted at http://alias-sqbr.dreamwidth.org/476841.html. There are comment count unavailable comments.
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Monday, October 1st, 2012 12:07 pm
Bullying & Goodreads I found this interesting because it's such a blatant example of people using "bullying" (aka criticism) as an excuse to be actual bullies.

On being considered a Fake Geek Girl I like this in particular (as opposed to various other similar essays by geekier women, which make different but equally valid points) because she really ISN'T a "real" geek by some definitions, but that doesn't mean she's fake. She's just who she is, with the interests she has (which are kind of geeky and kind of not), and she can't help it if people insist on a false Geek/Mundane dichotomy and then complain when she doesn't fit.

In general I've been thinking about "real fans". And as much as part of me kicks and screams that they are Not Real Fans and Don't Love Canon Like It Deserves, I think I have to accept that people who are only into (a)Jane Austen through the adaptations or (b)That Popular Thing I Love (Homestuck, for example) for the generic slash are totally justified in their tastes. Especially since there are plenty of books I'm only into from the adaptations, and canons where I vastly prefer the OOC schmoopy fanfic (sometimes even the juggernaut slash pairing! I find fanon John/Rodney way more entertaining than Stargate Atlantis the actual show, for example. YES, I KNOW, I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM) How the different forms of fannishness can coexist without stomping all over each other quite so much I am less sure.

The golden age Interesting take on how to head towards a truly equal society. I think that even if we ignore global warming and other similar practical hurdles, it glosses over how and why public attitudes have changed worldwide, it's not ALL The Capitalist Conspiracy brainwashing us with Fox News etc, and also seems focused on the abstract instead of looking at various approaches to social democracy worldwide (OUTSIDE EUROPE/THE US EVEN OMG). He does update with, for example, an acknowledgement that childcare is work too, but I think a more thorough analysis of disability theory etc would greatly benefit the analysis. One thing I've heard is that a more heterogeneous society erodes public support for egalitarianism, because people think "I'm ok supporting people like me, but not people like them" Not sure how to combat that, beyond trying to fight racism etc (which are obviously good goals regardless :)) Still, becoming disabled has really made me notice and question the emphasis on "being productive".
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dw)
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 09:19 pm
PC World I had something to say about this but I don't remember what...

Me pondering conflict anxiety and accessibility in online arguments

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Notes Towards a Discussion of Male Self-Hatred Points out the ugly underbelly of the idea of "protective" dads/big brothers "guarding" girls from their boyfriends. I hate the way fandom gleefully embraces this trope and applies it to male characters who've shown no signs of it (Tenzin from Avatar: The Legend of Korra for example) My dad has always treated my boyfriends like any of my friends and been friendly and welcoming (in his quiet way) and I think this is much more endearing.

Peril Asian Australian online magazine

Pick your battle: a practical guide to social activism I thought this was pretty good for what it was, but I was a bit annoyed by the way it glossed over the possibility of fixing problems with anything other than formal activism (plus there seem to be accessibility issues)

Sure, you can join an organisation for volunteering to visit old people, but why not just visit the ones you already know? There's a division of the world into Activists, Victims, and Ignorant Masses To Be Educated, and while she gives a lot of very good advice about being inclusive it still feels like she's missing something crucial. Perhaps the fact that we all wear all three different hats at different times. There's a danger of people going "I'm an Activist, so by definition I can't be in need of education/complicit with any oppression" etc, or of seeing Activists as better qualified to know how to fix things than the Victims.

Formal activism is the right tool for changing government legislation and other Big Issues, and it's something I want to get more involved in. But I also see a lot of value (and for me, accessibility, an issue she glossed over as well) in smaller more organic connections within one's own community, helping those who need helping and educating/lobbying those who need to change, while also being open to change ourselves.

Another thing that's been making me think about these divisions is some surveys I did about attitudes towards charity, and this charity related quote.
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Thursday, January 26th, 2012 06:34 am
Indigenous tent embassy turns 40

I plan to spend Invasion Day indoors keeping out of the sun. (Of course, that's what I do most days)
sqbr: Darkwing Duck in red (dw!)
Sunday, November 6th, 2011 04:19 pm
Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders OH NO ACTUAL POOR PEOPLE

Occupy at Home Resources for those unable to join the protests, also just generally useful if very US focussed.

Health as a virtue

In local news:

Indigenous elders condemn intervention extension WHY WON'T THIS LEGISLATION DIE
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Friday, October 28th, 2011 09:11 am
Barred CHOGM protestor 'not a threat' The Queen is visiting, better lock up the environmentalists! On the plus side even commercial FM radio news was talking about it.

Rio Tinto accused over Bougainville 'genocide'

Housos: a tv show making fun of disabled people living in public housing. As a disabled person who grew up in public housing around a lot of disabled people my response was nostalgia coated in a heavy layer of "Fuck you"(*). Here's the first episode of Housos, I only got three minutes in, maybe it suddenly becomes SUPER AMAZING after that but somehow I doubt it.

(*)Given that my childhood involved a lot of people swearing and resentment towards middle class(**) wankers who thought they were better than us I guess it's appropriate.
(**)I tried to look up about the guy who made this, but once I hit "He won the Tropfest award…although he had submitted the film under the pseudonym Laura Feinstein in order to appeal to the sensitivities of the judges" I decided I'd hit my loathing limit for the day.
sqbr: WV stands proudly as mayor (homestuck)
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 03:28 pm
I'm currently reading "The Making of the English Working Class" by E. P. Thompson. I'm almost certainly not going to finish it all 800+ pages before I have to return it to the library, but what I've read has been interesting. I keep finding parallels with the current situation. Reading #OccupyOz captures the mood, but its critics are too busy demanding the possible to be realistic and Occupy Australia and the Antipodean “bubble”, which criticise criticisms from the Left of the Occupy movement within Australia, there is a common paradox: that the most effective way for those outside the ruling class to effect change is to join the ruling class, and that this is used a carrot to get people to focus on being upwardly mobile and just trust that those in power have their best interests at heart.

Reading 17th century politicians arguing that property owners are the only people sufficiently invested in the country to be able to vote responsibly reminds me rather of certain modern Republicans :/

Two half finished thoughts:
Read more... )
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 10:26 am
1. Invade country. Murder/enslave/displace etc. local inhabitants.
2. Wring hands about how sad it is that this proud savage race is doomed to die out in the face of civilisation. Bar locals from actually joining "civilisation"/earning money etc.
3. Wring hands about lack of education/food etc for the children. Steal them and attempt to raise them to be a submissive underclass.
4. Wring hands about how social problems and disconnection from their Authentic Culture makes them a Doomed People. Refuse to give basic government support to those who continue in the traditional lifestyle.
5. Wring hands about poor outcomes in remote communities and lack of approved engagement with government programs. Send in army, dismantle local solutions, cut/restrict welfare.
6. Wring hands about widespread starvation and unsustainability of remote communities. Cut welfare altogether, force people to live in the cities.
7. Profit!

nb I don't mean to do that thing of acting like any Indigenous person who lives in the city is Totally Inauthentic and doesn't count. But they shouldn't be forced to live there, and I think some of the power of this form of cultural genocide is the combination of not counting anyone who's too "inauthentic" and refusing to support remote communities. Also I know this is just some guy with no real power, but it was such a perfect example of this historical pattern I felt like highlighting it.
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dw)
Sunday, September 18th, 2011 09:50 pm
Jon Stewart and the Burden of History A flawed but still interesting critique of John Stewart. This came up on my dash shortly after a discussion of how not-that-feminist Jane Austen was, and I think in both cases there's that ambiguity between satire for it's own sake and political statement. Critiquing hypocrisy and ridiculousness does not always extend to critiquing the system that allows such hypocrisy and ridiculousness to flourish, or those who are sensible and honest but harmful.

Mass Effect: Conviction Comic about the new crew member James Vega. And oh look, after the recent DLC where you had no choice but to destroy a planet of unfriendly aliens(*) we have yet another scene of a privileged guy berating thuggish aliens for being so belligerent about his complicity in the mass murder of their people. YAY.

A nice collection of links about this #yesgayya thing.

Also, I have no link to hand, but Australia now allows for a third gender on passports, and has removed the surgery requirement for trans people, huzzah!

(*)Making this the fourth time the player has to decide if (or in what way) they want to be complicit in genocide/mass murder. I would like a new moral dilemma please.
sqbr: WV stands proudly as mayor (homestuck)
Friday, August 19th, 2011 12:45 pm
Maliciousness in memes: #boganmovies and #tightsarenotpants

I always feel a bit self conscious ranting about class, since the more I think about it the more I realise that for all their left wing ideals my parents are basically middle class bohemians slumming it because they find the rat race too stressful. I never entirely fit in to the working class culture I grew up in, and have few connections to it now. Plus being a "working class" Australian in the suburbs in the 80s was in some ways less difficult than, say, what a lot of ostensibly lower middle class Americans are experiencing now.

Then again, I guess the fact that despite these cushioning effects I've still experienced enough classism to feel pretty angry about it is testament to how totally not class free Australia is.

Anyway, yes. The cheerful way that ostensibly left wing middle class people mock and belittle the working class and people from rural areas is gross. (And I wish this went without saying, but I don't want to see any of it in my comments)
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Monday, May 30th, 2011 11:21 am
We finally got a digital tuner setup on our computer network meaning we can watch and record tv really easily, and thus I've been watching a moderate mount of commercial tv for the first time in a while. Which, yay Rage etc, but OH GOD every time I see an ad for Angry Boys I feel really gross. Blech. Dear Australian comedians, blackface is neither cool or clever. "Summer Heights High" had creepy gender and sexuality stereotypes as well, I wouldn't be surprised if Angry Boys had them too.

I looked around for decent criticism of "Summer Heights High" back when it was on but it was all incredibly shallow, noone made it past "is it ok to show negative stereotypes to critique and satirise them?" to "assuming that social satire is ok in principle, does this particular satire do what it's aiming for or does it perpetuate the stereotypes it's claiming to critique?".