ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "give to charity" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Iron Horses thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an interesting article about artists selling directly to collectors, rather than going through dealers or galleries. Artists are asking why they should give up 50% of the sale price to someone else. Well, if they can find their own buyers, they shouldn't.

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ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot. This poem belongs to the Torn World project.

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ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is today's freebie.


"Emergent Journeys"


The Northwest Passage was
the Holy Grail of explorers for centuries,
seeking an open-water route over
the top of North America.

In time, they discovered
that the arctic weather
locked the islands in ice.

There was no way for a ship
to get through with any reliability,
rendering it useless for trade.

But then the world began to warm,
and the ice melted, and the islands
shrugged off their white coats.

Suddenly, the Northwest Passage
glinted a thin blue beacon.

The ships began exploring again,
first a few, and then more of them.

Just as there are perishable truths --
things which used to be true
but have become false --

so too there are emergent journeys
following routes that used to be impassable
but have appeared out of the changing Earth.

* * *

Notes:

The Northwest Passage has a deadly history, but is opening up now.

Climate change and global warming have a stronger impact on the arctic area than on most other areas.

Many of the changes are bad, but not all are 100% bad.  Unless, you know, Canada declares war over everyone else trespassing in their sovereign waters.



ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Once upon a time, the roots of Monopoly began with a board and accessories that could be used to play two diametrically opposed games: the Landlord's Game and the Single Tax (aka Prosperity).  The first is similar to the familiar version, in which players try to gain as much money as possible to bankrupt everyone else as a means of winning.  The second does the exact opposite, collecting money into public funds and distributing it for public good.  There's a version where everyone wins when the person who started with the least money has doubled their holdings

I find the earlier versions of the game much more engrossing, as they use the same set of gaming equipment to explore different economic principles and practices.  In essence, it's a simulation, not just a game.  I wish that these earlier versions were available.  The boards can be seen and are described in the rules, but the cards are described only en masse, and not all could be recreated by examining the board.  There aren't many cooperative board games available, and I think it would be fun to play either the Single Tax or Prosperity versions.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kengr, [personal profile] siliconshaman, and [personal profile] conuly. Special thanks to [personal profile] kengr for help estimating the weight of the donation and to [personal profile] siliconshaman for help estimating its worth. This poem also fills the "silver and gold" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Economy for the Common Good is an effort to make business perform better on sociological and ecological levels. While I'm not up to the intricate math of a full report and don't have employees anyhow, I do have a small business that is highly interactive and socially engaged. So let's see how that looks for PenUltimate Productions ...

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Logorama

Jul. 4th, 2017 07:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We watched Logorama over supper tonight.  It the most disturbing, hilariously apt depiction of America that I've seen in a long time. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I'm lucky if I can get the same answer three times running on a calculator.  But on college entrance exams, I scored 66% nationally.  That means 2/3 of people are worse at math than I am.  Somehow.

I'm often appalled at how many of those people seem to work in economics and government.  I mean really.  I could do better than this.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This essay looks at meaning without work.  Really the problem is not a shortage of work.  There's a ton of stuff that needs doing, there always will be, and people need stuff to do.  The problem is one of distribution: how to pay people for what needs doing.  So much of the money is stuck in a few hands, who don't want to pay for work.  If you want meaning, form relationships, make stuff, have adventures, choose hobbies, save the world.  This often has little if anything to do with making a living, though some of us are lucky enough to find both together.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today's visit to the bookstore was frustrating.  They have removed the entire "new books" section from speculative fiction and shuffled everything into the shelves.  There are still new books on tables and racks but not sorted by topic.  Apparently, this move is very popular.  It also means the bookstore is dying.

Why?  Because the people who shop that way -- looking at everything, and especially hunting for a bunch of stuff by the same author to buy all at once -- tend to be people who visit a bookstore once or twice a year, in which time the turnover will be high.  For those visiting once or twice a month, they've already seen everything except what arrived the last week or two. It's extremely tedious when you have to dredge the whole damn place every time looking for a needle in a haystack, even if you love books.

We complained.  I pointed out that if you make a bookstore unappealing to me, that is painfully bad service.  But it also means the store no longer appeals to major bookworms, that so many have quit coming it means the remaining customers are dabblers who apparently like it this way.  I pointed that out too.  But it's probably far too late to fix.

*sigh*  The past is a foreign country, and right now I'm homesick for when bookstores were soft quiet places full of BOOKS and didn't come with a hunk of electronics literally blocking the path into the store so it has to be sidled around.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu.


"Pyg(gy-bank)malion"



Once there was a rabbi
who wished to keep his money
as safe as it could be.

He had heard the tale of
Pygmalion (and got it all wrong)
so he crafted a golem of pygg and
made a slit in the cheap orange clay
that he could put the coins through.

Pyg(gy-bank)malion jingled
when he walked, but no matter
how hard the thieves and bandits tried,
they never could get it out of him,
for he was still a golem and
therefore very strong.

When at last the golem
became so full that the coins
no longer chimed inside him,
the rabbi went to smash him and
thereby retrieve his cache.

But Pyg(gy-bank)malion
pushed him down and ran away
(no longer jingling) into the night,
whereupon the rabbi sadly realized that
he had indeed made his money completely safe --

even from himself.

* * *

Notes:

This is not part of the Clay of Life series proper, but it was a solitary prompt and a funny idea, so I wrote it anyway.

Pygmalion is a mythological figure who carved a statue and then fell in love with it.  The statue's name is Galatea, but because the sculptor's name is more famous, people often confuse the two.

A piggy bank is a hollow receptacle for money, traditionally made out of ceramic and shaped like a swine.  It probably got its name from a cheap clay called pygg.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "Too Close" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Because refugees are usually forbidden to work, they are forcibly prevented from autonomous support, and kept dependent. Citizens see them as a drain on resources better spent elsewhere, but it's not because the refugees actually are mooches. It's because someone else decided they don't deserve to support themselves.  It doesn't just victimize them and make them less able to survive if they ever escape the aid trap.  It also encourages other people to hate and blame them.  >_<  A very efficient work of evil, that.  

The sensible way to handle refugees is with maximum throughput.  Get them out of dangerous places into safe places as fast as possible. Figure out which people are currently too damaged to work and get them health care, so that hopefully some of those folks will recover.  (They're refugees, though; some never will.)  Get the able workers working.  Put the kids in school.  Identify any refugees who know more than their native language; employ them as interpreters.  Refugees can efficiently meet many needs for each other when they share the same culture, which also reduces the burden on the host country.  Conversely, provide opportunities for cultural fusion between refugees and hosts who wish to interact, so people can put down roots.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a fascinating case where humans (dolls) and nonhumans (other toys) are taxed differently.  The argument was that, since the X-men are canonically not humans, but rather mutants, their action figures should be taxed as toys.  That worked, although the change was then applied to all  Marvel action figures whether mutant or not.

So let's compare ...

Marvel action figures are now legally considered not human (toys) instead of human (dolls), which makes the tax cheaper.

Another economic factor is dolls vs. action figures.  For years it was all but impossible to market human representations to boys, because they were called dolls.  Then some genius invented the term "action figures" and it became socially acceptable for boys to play with such toys.  Calling them "dolls" could have made them unmarketable.

Personhood is different; that's another category which may be considered both psychological and legal.  Divergences between the two have ghastly results, as both Marvelverse and local history have indicated.  Psychological personhood is sapience -- the presence of an intelligent mind, or soul if you prefer.  It's often thought of as pigeonholes, but in practice, is more of a spectrum, which is very awkward.  Legal personhood is supposed to match, but often does not.  Slaves weren't legal persons, for example, despite being quintessentially the same as free humans.  Marvel has very patchy standards regarding mutants; sometimes they are treated as legal persons, but very often they are not.  The most salient character who consistently objects this is ... Magneto.  Well, that's a bit embarrassing, isn't it?  

From an anthropological perspective, of course, the concept is much broader: a doll is any effigy of a creature, human or something else, played with or otherwise handled in a representational way.  It doesn't have to look  representational, though: if a child picks up a stick and declares it to be a baby, that counts as a doll.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... wasn't a real estate deal.  It was an agreement between empires about who got to commit genocide in a given area, without challenge from other empires.  The legal repercussions of this continue today, as for example, using violent force at Standing Rock to trample people's rights yet again.

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