ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So GamerGate just shot videogames in the crotch

The academics are being stupid.  You do not ignore a part of history because you think it's pointless and some of the people involved are assholes.  You do not ignore it because it is "too new," it is easier to preserve then and your descendants will curse you for being so fucking slow and stupid as to let it fade away.  Ephemera are valuable precisely because  they usually get lost.  You would think more people would have learned this after thousands of years of history.  Apparently not.

But hey, this is what sexism gets: academic careers blocked, research and preservation not done, games therefore probably lost when they degrade because nobody knew how to save them.  Thanks, assholes, you just turned over the thirteenth card and blew up the universe, now everyone loses.


I am sulking at having to share a planet with these two groups of idiots.  The stupid, it burns like hydrogen.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Sweden has officially added the gender-neutral pronoun "hen" alongside the masculine "han" and feminine "hon" in dictionaries.  That is just so awesome.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug tipped me to a link about the backlash to the anti-gay backlash to marriage equality.  I am pleased to see some resistance kicking up before we wind up with a resegregated and completely dysfunctional economy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... are making business and sport reports. Given the evolution of entertainment models, they might pick up formulaic genres such as romance or mystery.  But remember: computers are great at copying, not producing new ideas.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So here we are on a habitable planet, making it less habitable. Instead of terraforming, we are terradeforming. O_O

My thoughts on the points cited ...

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... even if they have to learn a new language to do it.  Aww!

Yeah this would totally happen in Terramagne.  It may be that T-Turkey is looking at the likes of Iran, Iraq, Israel, etc. and wanting not to be That Guy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... has been found, well-preserved, and scientists are hopeful for DNA.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article and video explain that police officers customarily and sensibly wear holsters designed for maximum control of their firearms.  That makes it impossible for an officer's gun to fall out of a holster or be misappropriated by someone else.  Further safety features address specific parts of the gun such as the slide and trigger, again to prevent it from firing accidentally or under hostile action.  In order to the remove and fire the gun, it is necessary to know the exact method which the holster is set to permit, in which case the officer can draw and fire quite easily.  Without the knowledge and practice of how this holster works, the gun is not coming lose, because the technology is quite well designed.  Responsible gun owners use equipment like this to avoid stupid accidents like shooting themselves in the crotch or having children fire a gun.  Concerned about your safety?  You could bolt one of these to your bed and not have to worry about shooting yourself in your sleep, yet still have your weapon ready at hand.

None of this does any good if the officer is paranoid and delusional.  By paranoid, I mean generally inclined to believe that everyone is out to get him when it is not the case.  By delusional, I mean believing something which not only did not happen, but could not  happen as claimed.  

There is equipment designed to protect officers and other people around them.  Regrettably it cannot overcome all human failings.  If officers do not understand their equipment, use it properly, and trust  that it will perform as designed -- then they can't take advantage of the safety features as intended.

Put these two factors together and the result is a loss of life which was entirely preventable.  This is just one incident in a widespread pattern of police brutality marked not just by physical violence, but by deep psychological distortions.  When one officer makes a mistake which unnecessarily kills a civilian, that person needs to find a different line of work.  And when the same problem occurs repeatedly throughout multiple departments, then it indicates a pervasive flaw in law enforcement as a whole.

Of course, another consideration is that parts of this problem are not mistakes but are desired goals of a police state.  That's a political issue and somewhat different. 
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Terry Pratchett has passed away.  I enjoyed some of his books, and particularly his portrayal of witches.

While fans may mourn his departure from this world, Death must be downright ecstatic -- he has so few friends, it's nice to pick up someone who's appreciative instead of abusive.  I hope they have a jolly good ride.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article uses statistics to show that women perform far better in self-publishing where there is no arbitrary glass ceiling, which means that the discrimination against women in traditional publishing is still very high.  Well, duh.  I've been saying a lot of this for years.  I've done the traditional route and I've done crowdfunding.  Traditional is like a sewing machine: great if you can get it to work, but it's finicky and a pain in the ass.  Crowdfunding is like hand-sewing, my actual output is much faster, the quality is better, and people stand around going, "Holy cow, how did you make all this stuff?!"
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Microbes in the soil have beneficial effects on people.  If you feel blue, try touching the dirt; sometimes it helps.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Indian food is delicious because it combines ingredients whose flavors have little or nothing in common, the opposite of Western methods.  Kudos to the folks who thought of doing science to analyze why it is so yummy.  The flavor pyramids are fascinating.  Also, has anyone else noticed the mushrooms are Pagan?

Okay, that works.  I am now trying to figure out if I can get my internal database to run backwards and match foods for minimum overlap instead of searching for little bits that hook into each other like when I put the Earl Grey into the white peach ice cream.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was pleased to see some articles about diversity today.  This one discusses skin-toned fashions such as hosiery and shoes being expanded to cover more shades of nude.  This one presents a department store that's planning to offer gender-neutral clothing and organization, instead of men's/women's; alas, a temporary showing, but it's a step in the right direction.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
AI specialists at the University of Maryland have created a robot that can learn by observing.  This one taught itself to cook by watching YouTube.

This is epic.  It's the "monkey see, monkey do" moment.  One of the most crucial steps in creating artificial life is the ability of self-learning instead of programming.  More importantly, learning by observation -- rather than being trained explicitly -- is a feature of higher lifeforms such as humans, cetaceans, and great apes.  It lays a foundation for the "aha!" moment of awakening to self.  A robot might go through the motions and then suddenly understand  what they mean.

Just remember, an AI is like a small child.  They learn what they see.  They mimic what you do, not what you say.  So treat them as you want to be treated.  Teach them well.  Then they'll do great things, instead of going insane and trying to destroy the world.  
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Leonard Nimoy has passed away.  He lived long, and prospered.  He both was and was not Spock.  But while everyone knows that role, I have another favorite too: he also starred in Brave New World, where it was utterly delightful to see him frisking around advising the other characters to be happy and have lots of promiscuous sex.

He taught us a lot about logic and emotion; more crucially still, the need to balance both in order to live well.  Along with the rest of the Star Trek teamfamily, he taught us about tolerance -- not just of others, but of ourselves.  He showed us glimpses, not just of one future, but of many futures.  In doing these things, he left an imprint that will last as long as our culture does.

So I'm sorry he's left us -- though he has left quite a lot to us -- and I'm really going to miss that man.  But on the other side...

Leonard Nimoy looks at the enormous mob burgeoning around The Great Con in the Sky.  Two cloud buses have arrived simultaneously.  One of them disgorges a flock of angels -- is that Metatron? -- while the other lets out a stream of tzadikim.  On the front lawn, a circle of Summerlanders are spit-roasting an entire ox.

Leonard shakes his head and sneaks around back in search of an open window.  Just as he is closing the window behind himself, a soft sound makes him whirl around.  "Gene!" he cries gladly.

"Hello, old friend," says Gene Roddenberry as they hug.  "Sorry about the crush out front.  People are excited to see you."

Leonard raises an eyebrow.  "Coming in the back way was a logical ruse," he says.  "But what are you  doing here?"

"Waiting for you," Gene replies.  "Since you made your peace with old Spock, I figured you'd take the logical route.  Come on, I'll show you where we stashed the secret Green Room.  If we hurry, we can get there before Isaac Asimov eats all the cookies."

Grinning, Leonard drapes a long arm over Gene's shoulders and says, "Lead the way."

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Broadband internet access has been declared a utility.  I am pleased, and a little surprised that they actually got something right.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... which is hardly a surprise. What really disappoints me is this:

"Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs -- notably the first black person in her position -- denies that the academy has a problem recognizing diversity, but the demographics of the organization's members tell a different story."

Since the demographics indicate a clear bias toward white men, the above statement means that she agrees  with that situation.  She sees it, but doesn't consider it a problem.  She thinks it's okay and should stay that way.

Lady, please go the fuck home.  Some of us are tired of Hollywonderbread.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Actor Gary Owens has passed away.  I knew him from his work as the voice of Space Ghost and the announcer of Sesame Street.  :''''''(

Meanwhile, outside the Great Con in the Sky, Laika the cosmonaut dog is licking all over this guy.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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