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.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Given the rate at which the Ignoramus in Chief has been violating the Constitution, it would be useful for someone to track these offenses.  So far these examples have been noted:

* his conflicts of interest
* the Muslim ban
* the attack on sanctuary cities that don't persecute undocumented immigrants
* the rise of the police state

The ACLU has some cogent remarks on the Twat's generally unconstitutional bent.  Furthermore, since filing a lawsuit against the Muslim ban, the ACLU received over $24 million in online donations.  That is six times their annual rate  for a typical year.  So another thing someone could track would be unexpected benefits from the Turdmeister's rise.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug found this amusing cartoon about the Idiot in Chief.

In completely unexpected news, [livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug also identified a beneficial side effect of the Head Illiterate: more people are reading.

After Dingus Turnip ranted about Rep. John Lewis, Lewis' books sold out, including the civil rights graphic novel set The March. (Yes, we bought that one.)

After Kellyanne Conway's 'alternative facts' confabulation, sales of 1984  nd other dystopian novels skyrocketed. (Been there, read that.  Also don't miss the televised Brave New World  starring Leonard Nimoy.  "Work! Earn! Buy!")

Who would have thought it?  But this is awesome.  :D

Several of my friends have begun collecting rude nicknames for Donut Tripe.  I think what we need now is someone to track all the stuff that the Panjandrum's bloviations cause to sell in backlash.  You know like, "Poke a Bigot in the Eye: what to buy this week to support Twerp's opponents."  As soon as he picks a new target to lambaste, look to see if they've published any books, albums, webcomics, or anything else for sale.  Then advertise that.  Bookstores could even put it on a special table with a 10% markdown.  Libraries and book clubs could put it in their read-and-discuss lists.  Any blogger could make a post about it with links to the original attack, the target's bio, and the item(s) to buy in protest.  If we start now, four years later we should have one hell of a canon built up -- enough for a series  of college literature classes.  Won't this be fun?

Remember, sidestep the attack and strike back directly at your enemy's base goals.  The Trotline relies on ignorance. Literacy is his enemy.

im in ur plantation educatin ur dudes!

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Warning: This poem contains rude political humor, ad hominem attacks, and anti-Republican sentiments. No likie, no readie.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "angst" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. Based on an audience poll, this is the free epic for the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and follows "To Keep Your Balance" so read that first.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kelkyag and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "ingenuity" square in my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, and fills the "leaders" square in my 8-1-16 Group Dynamics card for the Group Dynamics and Character-Building Bingo. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. This is the second in the voting triptych, after "The Expression of Our Commitment."

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "dragons" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo. This poem belongs to the series A Conflagration of Dragons.

Warning: This poem contains intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features refugees, homelessness, traumatic stress, references to the destruction of several cities, ravaged economies, which are slowly being replaced by alternative currencies, loss, low morale, animal death, sentient dragons having sex in public, and also eating people, canon-typical violence, gore, heroic deaths, further trauma and loss, even more dragons, extreme stress, fleeing in fear, really unhappy ending (except for the dragons), and other mayhem. Current environment is STILL NOT SAFE. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow and [personal profile] shiori_makiba. It also fills the "exercise" square of my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Cassandra is struggling to cope with all the emotions stirred up by Groundhog's brief flight and the exercises they've done with Highliner. Then Aidan gives her a bicycle, which Cassandra loves but is so far outside her price range that it freaks her out, and Groundhog's more modest gift of biking clothes is closer to reasonable but still angsty for her. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
The Winterfaire spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some booths show streamers of red and green, while others sport blue and silver. All of them offer treasure after shining treasure. Music fills the air with lyrics of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Yule. From the Wordsmith's Forge comes the bright chiming of words being hammered into literature. Delicious scents of hot chocolate, spiced cider, peppermint, baking cookies, and gingerbread tantalize the appetite. Smiling, laughing shoppers amble from booth to booth with lists in hand. Vendors grin back, calling out, "Come try, come buy...!"

I know a lot of artists, writers, musicians, crafters, and other talented folks who make some of their living from their creative endeavors. I don't always have the money to support them as much as I'd like, but what I can do is set up a virtual faire where vendors can offer their wares to an audience that likes crafts, literature, and small businesses. For those of you doing your holiday shopping, here's an opportunity to buy something made with love, something unusual or unique, in a way that helps make it possible for creative people to go on creating wonders. And there will be no traffic jams, stampedes, or gunfights at the Winterfaire! Enjoy the seasonal offerings on Dreamwidth.



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