aesmael: (probably quantum)

Haven't had much space to write in. Work has been keeping me busy (when I finish tomorrow and finally get a few days off, I will have been working for 22 of 26 days) and I am so behind on school I've been trying to put all my home energies into that. Been neglecting story-writing, cooking and cleaning, personal projects, near any entertainment I can't leave in the background without demanding focus. Not that it does me much good. Still behind, possibly even farther behind than I was.

Until the end of the month when the last of this work is due. Then, either way, I might be a little more free.

Today impulsively decided to try and drop social media at least until I am finished with this semester. An act which had been on my mind recently but I'd concluded I couldn't go through with. That I am too lonely in myself and my current circumstances to go through with it, and it is not a goal I can succeed until some lack in my life has been resolved.

So I don't know why I did that this morning (in pain I guess?), but I did not promise to vanish. Just declared I am trying to minimise my presence on twitter and tumblr at least until I have school out of the way. They are too easily habits of constant distractive stimulus and while that can be valuable when I need to escape myself, I definitely need to do my best to not fail these classes. Which means I also can't go replacing them with something of similar distractive quality, such as the RSS feeds I've been neglecting to read.

Actually the reason I wanted to write this post is to describe a couple of similar happy moments at the library today. Twice I had someone contact me trying to get hold of a book they had reserved. In both cases I went to look for it for them and returned empty-handed. One was a novel supposedly held in the Premiere's Reading Challenge collection, which I had been searching for yesterday to satisfy that hold. Did have a new inspiration about where to find it that got me nowhere, and tried looking up a few other libraries for its seeker to no avail. Not too long after ey left, though, whilst shelving I found the novel wedged into the picture book where someone must have stuffed it days ago at least. Tried calling to let em know, as ey'd said it was needed soon, but no answer and no option to leave a message.

The other was a phone call from someone expecting a book in delivery within the network. Ey had been advised to check today, as this reservation had supposedly been in transit the past three weeks and not yet arrived. Had the spark of checking if it had been received, processed incorrectly, and placed on the shelves instead of to be picked up, but no such luck. There were no other copies in the system, so I advised em it was likely missing and we could not fill that request, cancelling it with consent.

But, after my tea break in the afternoon, I found it sitting in one of the boxes to sent back to its home next delivery. I am fairly sure it was not there earlier, and I can't trace how it came to be there, but I put the hold back on and set it on the shelf to be collected. Although now my memory tells me I set it on the wrong shelf - it will be easily found for collection, but it will need to be brought back to the desk where it should be, instead of taken for self-checkout, where it shouldn't be.

Oops. But two people will get notified overnight they can collect something they thought was unavailable to them, and maybe they can think it was a bit silly of me to tell them there was nothing to be done when clearly there must have been. But I hope they get good use out of those books.

aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
It's interesting seeing the relative popularities (and operating costs) of sites manifest in their end-year fund raisers. Wikipedia and Mozilla claim "If everyone reading this gave $3 we could end this right now". The Internet Archive puts its threshold at everyone reading it giving $75.
aesmael: (probably quantum)
LiveJournal and Dreamwidth are so desolate, I think I have seen more than one person refer to them as ghost towns. Even though I have contributed to this by having so little to say for so long, and not saying what there was of it here, I'm not happy about this. The two of them are to my mind the best-structured of any sites I have tried which might bear the label 'social network'.

Flaws, sure. But at least they are structured in a way that supports blogging or journalling and gives me some control of what happens to the post afterward and who can access it. Even though I mostly only post public anyway.

I have decided therefore to go all cargo cult about this. If I post more, talk more about what is going on in my life and thoughts, then I can pretend to myself this will have some sort of encouraging effect on the wider internet and these sites could live again.

This is an excellent plan.

aesmael: (nervous)

When I logged in to LiveJournal the other day they had a nifty video as a splash that was very clearly tailored as a response to the concerns people have been voicing about all the other social sites going. It certainly did a good job reminding me of what I've loved about LiveJournal as a platform that no other has lived up to.

Of course these days and for a long while I've favoured DreamWidth over LiveJournal itself, but they're both forked from the same codebase. Either way that's where I'd rather be, despite the dried-up tide pool of a user base.

aesmael: (sexy)
Trying to be all social media participatory but quiz things with unanswerable questions.

Stumped at number 1: "Have you ever passionately kissed a friend of the same sex?"

Well, no. The only people I've kissed like that have been lovers. But the available answers are a) "Yes", b) "No that would be wrong" or c) "It was a long time ago".

Unanswerable without lying or conceding a false premise (that the only reason not to have done so would be from finding it morally objectionable).

aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)

Ouran High School Host Club: Episode 4 “Attack of the Lady Manager!” ... this show still confuses me. Very emotionally extravagant. Whole lot of structured around deliberate sexualisation of men, which is unusual. This episode structured around stereotypes of violently romantically aggressive women. Show seems to revel in the presentation and play of stereotypes so maybe I shouldn't hold this against it. Does seem rather silly overall.

Doctor Who S06E01 “The Impossible Astronaut”. I will say one thing for Moffat as showrunner: he really likes to work in and with the time travel elements.

"We're his friends. We do what the Doctor's friends always do: as we're told." That doesn't sound like friendship.

Been thinking past couple of days, seems like the latest stretch of episodes are infantilising the character of the Doctor. Lot of focus on things like fizzy drinking straws and repeated conspicuous confusion at other people romantically kissing.

Doctor Who S06E01 “Day of the Moon”. Continuation of previous episode.

Weird seeing a British program associate triumphalism with US gun culture.

Spooks S09E07. Season coming to a head. Blackmailing and threatening a person who is blackmailing and threatening a regular character. Lots of Women In Peril this week. Also, mysterious backstory! Various musings on the dreadful things that spy-work does to the soul.

Taggart S11, episode 107 “Silent Truth”. Rarely do I see Scottish folk so heavily represented. On the other hand, lead investigator resenting having someone with various languages on hand for community liaison on this case. Also Iranian family whose son was murdered, being deported. This sort of topicality seems common for British crime shows of the period. Not that it's a bad idea for shows to address structural racism and asylum or migration.

The guy playing the role of sleazy community property-holder does it very, very well. Unpleasantly smiling and cheerful in a skin-crawling sort of way.

Doctor Who S06E03 “The Curse of the Black Spot”. Filler episode, does not especially make sense within itself.

Dear subtitler, I don't think the Doctor said 'protein circuitry'. I suspect you will find he said 'protean circuitry'.

Also apparently spousal consent / authority over medical treatment is a rule of the multiverse.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S4E19 “Massacre”. Hey, back to this Ventress plot that's been lying fallow for about a month.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S4E20 “Bounty”. Are we in one word title land now? Bad sign. Also, now that Dooku has destroyed her homeworld, Ventress turns to bounty hunting. This episode is surprisingly touching.

Reading over subject outline for the unit I will be taking over the summer, which begins in a few days. Since it is a social networking unit one of the requirements is to maintain an online study journal. This should not be tricky in itself, as despite my laxness over the past few years I do have a history of blogging and approximating some form of self-reflective learning.

However, I would like to keep that relatively disconnected from my existing online presence. That seems like it would be prudent. So I need to find somewhere to host m'self that is not my existing things. Maybe use that account I have at PBWorks and make a little wiki specialised for purpose. Couldn't make public pages of the one I already use because the URL would be indicative.

On the other hand I will probably mirror my posts for that 'OLJ' (Online Learning Journal) to my regular haunts, which is hardly a judicious application of secrecy. Will have to think of a professional sort of Twitter handle to use also.

While I had the course site open - actually originally trying to retrieve a citation for a reading I'd been trying to go over - figured I may as well check my grades, which I am very frightened to do. Looks like my overall mark for the information literacy unit is 50.0, which I am hoping means a pass. No grade back on my second assignment for the other, introductory unit, which worries me as the return date was a few days ago. I know I don't deserve to pass these units but I am desperately hoping I do anyway, as so much of my plans and hopes is bound with this course and trying to graduate.

I wonder if I could still move and do this course slower. If I do fail, if I do find two units per most semesters is too much for me.

Bawden, D. (2001). Information and digital literacies: A review of concepts. Journal of Documentation, 57(2), 218-259.

First attempt at catching up on readings post-assignments, but terribly undisciplined I am have still not finished this. Got to press harder.

Musings from original reading pass:

"The first and simplest meaning implies only the ability to read and write. The second certainly implies this ability, but also requires something beyond it. ‘The concept of literacy goes beyond simply being able to read; it has always meant the ability to read with meaning, and to understand. It is the fundamental act of cognition’ [23]." Can one be said to be able to read without meaning?

"‘Literacy can be defined as having the skills one needs to make the connection to the information necessary to survive in society’" In an inequitable society literacy itself may be insufficient; may also require luck. Further question: how does this relate to a society where the information needed to survive does not exist? Particularly, even if we are regarding information as not a 'thing', if you do not yourself possess the skillset to create that information.

Literacy as a term for fluency or competence in a field of study or practical endeavour.

Sword & Sorcery story. Bit silly of me to think of writing one, when I have not experience reading them. How does one target a genre one is not familiar with? Maybe the cultural idea of sword and sorcery will do. Plus, not like genres of fiction are immutably bestowed upon humanity from some higher authority. What I want to capture is a feel, a style, and maybe that will turn out to mesh with the sword & sorcery that is an accepted genre, and maybe it will not.

Meant to be a 'quick writing' story, something I could make up stories for easily and at length, unlike all the mulling and musing and prevaricating I tend to do when writing. So in that regard it would seem the perfect tale to make a NaNoWriMo run with. Especially since the plot is as vague and alike as any story I ever do - “Here are some characters, they travel and have adventures together”.

The idea quickly attached itself to a setting I had been vaguely mulling for several years previous and enabled them both to develop detail more confidently. Main idea behind the setting was to try and be a bit more fantasy in my fantasy, something I have a history of being bad at. Main signature idea (of setting) for me personally is the realisation of “this is fantasy, it is not actually required that, for example, living beings function according to biology as she is normally told”. Like, there could be vitalism. Some sort of magical life force. And then you don't need internal organs, right? So there we go.

Characters I don't remember so much how those came up except that I probably wanted a change from defaulting to human as I tend to do. Which is silly in some sense because what is there to write about but humans and their manity?

aesmael: (haircut)

Miserable sort of day.

Been reconsidering how I use Twitter, wondering if I should adjust my use-patterns. Structurally it does not support mindfulness.

Maybe restrict my direct use to socialising and lightheartedness. If there is any serious news or activism or science stuff, I can either write a post about it and maybe link that, or else stick to reading only. That way if I have something to say in response to something I see then I say it in a form and on a platform that supports actual commentary and not just compressed snippery.

Good alternative to spamming people with a stream of stuff they don't find interesting or even do find actively annoying. As Tess said when I brought this up with her: “Twitter is good for sharing things, light conversation, as well as short broadcasts.[...] Twitter only supports one form of interaction by design. It's not meant to be a blogging platform.”

I called a place about organising hair removal on the 18th and left a message; they still have not gotten back to me. On Monday I will try calling another place and hopefully they will answer their phone.

Thinking about this reminded me that I had put out a call for assistance in finding resources, some means of locating places that did hair removal and were known to be trans friendly but had gotten zero response. Friends and loved ones I talk to online directly did help me search out and assess places from their web presences, but my call for help itself may as well have gone into the void; no one with any knowledge of the local scene or otherwise responded, nor did anyone who doesn't know me directly pass it on. Very disheartening, very upsetting.

So I am wondering if I should try and create a website that covers at least resources for New South Wales, with information on how trans positive a given service or location may be based on people's experiences.

I don't want to do any such thing, and would rather pass it on to someone else at the first opportunity. But I got silence when I asked for someone to point me to such a thing, and I couldn't find any when I searched myself that gave me useful information, so maybe there is no such thing and there probably ought to be.

Trying to think what I would need to do in order to get it operational. Would have to secure a domain name (something that makes sense to anyone who would be looking for it), hosting, some sort of platform to actually build the thing out of.

Trying to brainstorm what sort of content would need to be covered. Obviously the thing I was originally searching for - places that provide hair removal services and trans friendliness thereof. Other doctors, endocrinologists and otherwise. Shelters; can possibly contact those and get official policy on. Official stances on the law and transitioning (discrimination protections and limitations, change of name or gender markers), participating in sport (language on that Australian Sports Commission page is not great). Having trouble thinking what else but there is probably a whole lot of stuff I am overlooking. Of course then I would need to solicit input from the same silent void I didn't get help from in order to populate a lot of this information. So maybe it is a dead end.

Probably get abandoned and come to nothing, like anything else I ever attempt.

Watched The 99 Episode 3: “Jabbar, The Powerful”. Bit amused by how the new character recruitment in this episode plays out like a conversion narrative, almost like something out of a Chick Tract. Girl who has been living on the street acquires a Noor stone and uses it to make a living for herself as an arena fighter. One of the hero characters is trying to persuade her to join them and use her powers for the good of all rather than personal gain, and ends up throwing himself in front of the pain wave generated by one of his allies in their fight (misguided attempt to help him out), and spare her its effects. To this she explicitly says no one has ever done anything nice for her before. That was what struck me as like those narratives, where the convertee has never had the subject of conversion introduced to em before, and is so amazed by the idea that ey converts on the spot.

As it turns out, this recruitment wasn't the actual pivotal point of the episode like I'd thought it was, and the story actually turns on a cliffhanger at the end. This probably explains why her joining them, despite seeming to be the focus for so much of it is actually so abrupt and leaves room for the new twist at the end.

Watched Silverwing Episode 11: “Strange Batfellows”. I was expecting this show to have the characters journeying through a variety of environments, encountering new characters and situations each time, and while there technically is that, I am surprised by how quickly it settled onto a small number of recurring antagonists who are present every time, no matter how far, fast or desperately these protagonist bats fly.

Watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with Ami. Mostly we were discussing what we liked about it as a film and what we thought was well done, as a contrast to things we dislike in newer films. In this case especially newer Star Trek films. A lot in relation to how it fits in with the Hero's Journey and how Khan's and Kirk's arcs relate to each other, but also other aspects like pacing - there were plenty of slow, conversational scenes, sometimes quite tense, that there don't seem to be as many of in new films, but yet the film overall is quite fast-paced and compact. Relatively little could be trimmed without harming the impact, and there is almost no spectacle for the sake of spectacle, especially by modern standards. We also noticed a lot of details which I think neither of us had picked up on from previous viewings, such as the colours distinguishing crew departments on the uniforms under the jackets everyone was wearing, or a lot of details of facial expression. One of the best examples of the latter is Chekhov's creepy stare into space when the rest of the crew find him; it isn't clear if it's solely due to trauma or what else might be going on.

It was also just a lot of fun watching a film I actually like and getting to discuss it with Ami. So often when I watch things these days my criticisms outweigh my praise to the extent I sometimes wonder if I am still capable of enjoying things without reservation, especially new things. I still have some nitpicks with Wrath of Khan, mostly astronomy details, but for me the net balance is strong enjoyment of both story and craft.

We also touched on a few other films in our conversation, such as how if you strip away the special effects and the pseudo-philosophic deepities of The Matrix there is still a decent story underneat, well told. Or the contrast in conveyance of dramatic and narrative significance for the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in the original Star Wars film vs. the complete lack of same for the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace - he's a sith, whatever that is, we're jedi, whatever that is, it's our mission to fight each other. I think that latter came up in context of the effectiveness of scenes like the Kobayashi Maru scenario at the beginning of The Wrath of Khan. We don't need a lengthy exposition on the details of the Neutral Zone or who Klingons are; it's clear from the small details that are dropped and the visuals, etc., that there is a treaty with a hostile power being violated and that's all we need to know for the scene as it plays out.

Also also, continue to very much enjoy the soundtrack. Would like to acquire soundtracks for most of the original series films someday.

I only got around to posting the diary entry I wrote in LyX today. It came out a lot better than I feared. The only clean-up I had to do was putting back in font details for emphasis (on which topic, thinking elsewhere I will switch to bold for titles and retain italics for emphasis, instead of having italics doing double duty). Biggest problem is that with LyX's focus on document structure and formatting ease I can't e.g. leave a space between my paragraphs to separate my thoughts and flit around between topics before drawing them together for organisation later. Not without delineating sections formally. So that may ultimately be an incentive for me to switch back to Notepad++ again.

Watched Grimm S2E13. Bit of humour at the beginning with the lead's friend urging him not to get into a precipitous confrontation when his phone rings and the lead - in his role as cop - is called in to investigate a quadruple homicide. His friend: “See? Your life isn't so bad”. Then he points out the location and gets “Oh, that quadruple homicide” because it is, of course, the assailants they fought off and killed at the end of the previous episode.

Episode is getting to the pointy end of the season, I think, so this one is less exceedingly aggravating with the people not talking honestly with each other when they really should be honest with each other. Or understanding that people are ensorcelled and perhaps that is a situation which should be dealt with as a magic thing rather than treating those affected as clear-minded and responsible.

Show seems to rely on being frustration-driven? As it proceeds toward a state of sensibility and communication relief at these developments is mistaken for satisfaction. Passable.

Because I missed diarying yesterday, and because in this case I find it interesting enough to do so (don't plan on doing this every time, who knows what will happen), some listening I did on my drive to / from work. Skip over the 2005 Philosopher's Zone episode on the work of Quine, as philosophy is not-so my 'thing', and being only a couple of episodes into that program I think all I am up for is listening and getting, I hope, my bearings.

Listened to an episode of Planetary Radio from December 2002 mainly interviewing a scientist behind the SETI@Home program. It was strange listening to this for the first time in 2013 and realising that at the time this originally aired I was a student of astronomy in a course that touched frequently on SETI - this radio program would have been very relevant to my studies. A sense of dislocation, perhaps, of what might have been.

I find the music they use very reminiscent of Sim City, by the way. It's cute and amusing.

On the way back I listened to the first part of a series from the Australian Music Unit on the group Continuum Sax. Tend to think of myself as someone who does not like brass instruments (their colours are too yellow-red and 'hot') but I quite liked the focal piece played in this instalment, “Dreams you might not come back from”.

Lastly was part of the Podcastle story “For Fear of Dragons” by Carrie Vaughn which, being only part-way through I couldn't say too much on. It felt woman-authored, in a textural way, touching on details and in ways which seem more characteristic of stories by women and bringing a stronger sense of personal reality to the story. Despite this it also felt more like... a 'story told in a world without dragons'? Not a story in the sense of a sequence of events happening in a self-consistent world that has developed as itself, but rather as a tale told of a fictional realm. This is no strike against it, and we have yet to see how it plays out so perhaps this feeling shall be changed.

aesmael: (haircut)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has released a huge number of images to the public domain, for use by the public.I don't have any use for them myself right now, but others might, and maybe in the future I will. It will be good to have available in that event.

Meanwhile, here's an interesting question as yet unanswered: a request for a timeline of when people ceased taking particular items for repairs and started outright replacing them instead. Suspect there is no clean answer on that. Don't know why I'm sharing that either, but apparently I felt like doing so.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

I've also been posting at Google+ and Diaspora* for a while now. Mostly crossposts of the same stuff as here, but perhaps people would rather use those other sites, or get an invitation to Diaspora, where the main obstacle to being a more exciting site is a lack of users in its alpha state. Which is easy to fix if people want to try a more user- and privacy-centric social networking site than Facebook or Google+.

Blah! I flee now! *vanishes into the distance*

aesmael: (haircut)
Considered a shortening of detectable lifespan as even without some 'ending', cataclysm or otherwise, the brief flowering of unsecured noise at length becomes brief, directed, secure communication, no longer of a sort we might stumble upon in searches from a distance.

Thus is the sky silent.
aesmael: (probably quantum)
Recently have noticed an increasing tendency for people in blog discussions to address each other as @name followed by a space, the format used by Twitter for replies. In the past I would mainly see people address each other like so:


or sometimes


Interesting development, this. I suspect Twitter did not pioneer that style of reference but I would be very surprised if it were not responsible for popularising it, assuming what I am noticing is a genuine shift.
Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

Not much to actually about this. Still processing. Caught my attention partly as something relevant to a story, to the act of world design and the pressures which drive particular social structures, partly as something people might be interested to read for themselves.
Seems maybe there is actually a use for Twitter after all.
aesmael: (transformation)
I should be linking to this post in the spirit of sharing uplifting humanist rhetoric.

Here's the text:
Dear America:

Some women have noticeable curves. Some women have less noticeable curves. All of them are real women.

Some men hew quite closely to traditional male stereotypes. Some men's gender expression is wildly different from traditional male stereotypes. All of them are real men.

Some men and women are attracted to the opposite sex. Some men and women are attracted to the same sex. Some men and women are attracted to both sexes, or neither. All of them are real men and women.

Some women and men were born the same gender they will die. Some women and men will transition to another gender during their lifetimes. Some will opt to present themselves as gender-neutral. All of them are real women and men.

Some women wear pink. Some women don't. All of them are real women.

Some men eat meat. Some men don't. All of them are real men.

Some Americans are brown. Some are white. Some are black. Some are some combination thereof. Some are Pacific Islanders. Some are indigenous people to this land. Some are from families that owned slaves. Some are from families that were enslaved. Some can trace their lineage back to the Mayflower. Some are recent immigrants. Some are religious. Some are not. Some believe in one god and some believe in many. Some Americans think George Bush is a great guy. Some Americans think Barack Obama is a great guy. Some Americans don't like either one of them. All of them are real Americans.

I am a real person. And so are you.

Authentically Yours,

The greater part of the post seems to be focused on emphasising that regardless of a person's adherence to gendered characteristics or ideals ey is still validly a member of the gender ey claims, before shifting at the end to assert the same for the quality of being American.

I like that. I am glad people are saying so, think it an important message mostly well presented.

This is the part I have a problem with:
Some women and men were born the same gender they will die. Some women and men will transition to another gender during their lifetimes. Some will opt to present themselves as gender-neutral. All of them are real women and men.

The way this is written it clearly presents all people as being born with a particular gender - those we call woman or man - and describes trans people as changing their gender over the course of their lifetime.

There are people whose gender does change, or who change theirs. Mine seems to change relatively often, sometimes deliberately. However... that is generally a fairly offensive way to refer to trans people since most don't change their gender, only their presentation or expression. The way this paragraph was phrased it is saying trans people were 'really' women or men before transitioning to 'become' men or women, when it would be more accurate to say there are women and men who are assigned inaccurate genders at birth, but still are real. In fact...

The other problem which leaps out to me about this is the sentence "[s]ome will opt to present themselves as gender-neutral." It is immediately followed by an assertion that all these people are real women and men, which is... wrong and disrespectful. Plenty of people present in a gender-neutral fashion are not actually women or men. Plenty of people who present in a gendered fashion too.

What bothers me most is the comments. We see, right at the beginning, someone pointing out that asexuality was excluded and this being promptly acknowledged and edited in to the piece. That's great. Felt included by that. But we also have a couple of people pointing out the problems mentioned above and that gets met by people defending the original phrasing. People, including the writer of the post, saying they are not talking about anyone whose identity is not woman and is not man, that they are not included in this affirmation of identity, of right to claim.

Well. That's a bit harder to sell when the post moves on to affirm the reality of US Americans and ends with the line "I am a real person. And so are you." You know what? I am a real person. I resent being told like this the sort of person I am a real one of is a woman or is a man. And I resent being told that, sorry, we're actually only affirming the reality of binary genders today.

I can believe, however, that it really was not intended that way. That the paragraph in question was intended to say something like "Regardless of whether your appearance conforms to expectations for your gender, or if you have been presenting it all your life, or not, it is still your gender and it is still real."

But when this comment was made - "How sad is it that - like the shout out to nonbelievers during Obama's Inauguration speech - that your mention of asexuals as well as androgynes makes me happy? Damn, I'm a real person. Twice over, even! Thanks Liss. :)" - we don't see anyone stepping up to say "Well, actually, we don't mean you."

So while I'd really like to be happy sharing this piece, mostly I'm disappointed that something which could have been affirming and inclusive ended up being needlessly exclusive instead. I'd really thought it was a minor miswording at first, to accidentally negate the reality of those not woman or man.

ETA: Or this exchange:
celesteh: "If I chose to present s gender neutral, can I just be a real person and not have to pick sides?"
Melissa McEwan: "Zuh? Already in the post: "Some will opt to present themselves as gender-neutral.""
But this is followed by affirming the womanhood or manhood of those people. So no.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
The folks at LibraryThing lately have been trying to devise an open source classification system for books. Currently they're testing the top-level classes on the books of site members to see how well it covers the breadth of books and if there is any refinement needed, so now there is a table at the bottom of each work page which can be clicked to indicate the category you think the work belongs in.

There is no need to be a member for this; I tried a random work before logging in. Then I went and catalogued all the books in my LibraryThing library that I have read. That was fairly easy since I have put relatively little of my collection up there, until I can purchase a full membership, and nearly all of those are plain fiction. There was only one non-fiction book up there and the only others I hesitated over were Tuxedo Gin - am a bit doubtful about including comics as a separate category since that seems more medium to me than subject area - and the The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy. I suppose I should have put that under literary criticism since it is not itself fiction but... ah well.

But I am posting this because the project interests me and I want to support it to see how it goes. I want to encourage people, especially LibraryThing members, to go help test the system on some books.

ETA: The objections raised in the comments there make a lot of sense to me. Intend to poke around and see if I can find any good reasons why it should be so and not another way - although at least one earlier stated intent was to class books by how people searching casually would think to look, if I recall correctly.
aesmael: (tricicat)
Have joined Twitter at invitation of [ profile] soltice. Still do not know what I might do with it, but for now am identified as aesmael.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)
Yes, I wrote more last night and that is a wonderful, terrific thing. Two bursts, later than I would like, as is becoming unfortunate habit.

First, a bit more than four hundred words beginning at 20:00, which was not bad in itself. Then after midnight I broke for a bit to update some programs. It turns out Firefox autoupdate had not informed me of any increments between 3.0.0 and 3.0.3, which seems to be because I do not use the admin account in Vista - when the admin Firefox started automatically after I did the update manually, it unlike the one normally use had the 'check for updates' option not greyed out. Plus on closing the program it asked if I want to save my tabs for next time, something I have also been frustrated about not working for me in Vista. I intend to find out if these have been reported as bugs and, if not, to learn how to file them and make them be reported.

Among the other upgrades I changed from 2.4.2 to 3.0.0. Not being informed of that update was also annoying, especially as the 'check for updates' option was actually available and told me there were none after I had discovered elsewhere about 3.0.0 being available. And there was a recent security update after 2.4.2 so even if we are not being informed automatically of version 3, no excuse.

Now I am beginning to wonder if there is something installed on this system which is blocking information about updates (Firefox extensions do fine though, as do several other programs). There better not be; as much as I can I instruct programs to notify me of what they are and are not doing.

And after all this, another burst of writing right before sleep. From about 06:09 to 06:41, another six hundred or so words.

Epic Fantasy
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,262 + 1,036
(10.1% more)
aesmael: (tricicat)
(11:22:35 AM) celestialjayde:
Amanda Marcotte can go back to her hole now.

(11:23:24 AM) Ami angelwings: she's still alive?
(11:23:27 AM) Ami angelwings: i'll brb
(11:23:39 AM) Ami angelwings has signed off.

The original post is enough of a bother, with its bleak and judgemental characterisation of long distance relationships, without having that rubbish added in. Certainly I personally would prefer more proximal living arrangements with those I love, but doing so practically is still at least a year in our future.

I do personally have difficulty meeting and associating with people in person, but I am actually trying harder to do so now I have people in my life, and previously I was much more socially isolated. However I do not like to make the argument that long distance relationships are acceptable on the basis that they promote socially approved outcomes. A person's relationships are eir own business so long as they are consensual and non-abusive for all involved, and while consideration of environmental footprints is important, I dislike seeing LDRs singled out as particularly egregious in this matter when so far as I see this fits better as part of discussion about daily living in general.

Mostly, this reads to me as yet another lament that on-line socialising is somehow an antisocial act, that connecting with people in unapproved ways is an act of disconnection.

Edit: [ profile] pecunium makes a whole slew of good points in his post, which was where I found out about the feministing post originally.



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