Fourth book in McGuire's InCryptid series. We're folloing the "Tanner girl" and the "Price boy" all the way to 'Straya, where there's a wee were problem. As in lycanthropy. Not a good thing, in an ecosystem as hostile, and fragile, as the Australian.
Um. I guess I culd say more, but that's pretty much all I would need to know to go "READ NOW!".
This is written in a somewhat comedic style. If it wasn't for the plot, I'd not hesitate for a second to call it a "comedic fantasy". But the actual plot is, well, somewhat serious.
We follow Gerald Dunwoody, Wizard Third Grade (from inference, any less brilliant and you're not a wizard) who, as the book starts, is an inspector for the Ottosland Department of Thaumaturgy, off to inspect missing safety inspection paperwork from Stuttley's, one of the finest manufacturers of specialist wands there is.
Well, things do perhaps not go as well as they could, one thing leads to anotherh, stuffs escalate and the nexxt thing you know, you're the Ryal Court Wizard in New Ottosland, in the middle of a desert. Remember I said "comedic fantasy" up there.
All in all, eminently readable.
Over a year ago, she noticed that Vladimir Bukovsky, one of her favorite dissidents, was in trouble with the law, but most of the stories about his situation were in Russian. She started talking to some people who were his friends or who loved his book as much as she did to figure out what was going on. Bukovsky was on hunger strike because he had been charged with having a large amount of child pornography on his computer. A lot of his supporters were convinced that the data had been planted on his computer by the Russian government. Over a year ago, this sounded a little conspiratorial. Since Bukovsky had written about his opposition to communism, some of the right-wing blogs were the first to pick up the story about what was going on. Anyway, his friends and supporters helped get a new electronic copy of his book released.
I was dreading reading this book because it is about being a political prisoner in Russia, and I thought that it would be really depressing. I was so happy when this book was completely different than what I expected.
This book is about how Bukovsky took control of his life as a prisoner to maintain his sanity. Early on, he is asking a guard if he needs to take his belonging with him when they leave the cell. Whether he needs his things or not will give him a clue about how far he is being taken. At some point, it seems like all the prisoners are thrown into psychiatric hospitals and diagnosed with "sluggish schizophrenia" if they do not have a real diagnosis. I expected the writing style to be convoluted, but it is pretty straight-forward and clear.
One of the overarching themes of this book and the one by Suki Kim that I read earlier this year is how inefficiently labor is distributed in these types of regimes. A lot of construction labor is distributed to prisoners in this book. In Kim's book, reasonably well-off university students in North Korea are sent off to work at construction sites over the summer. There is no incentive for anyone to make labor more efficient in systems where anyone can be a laborer, and no one is getting remunerated in a meaningful way for their services. When there is unpaid labor in a system, no one worries about making it more efficient or improving labor conditions.
I have a big announcement: U-Handbag will cease trading this year in October 2017. From October all products, patterns and kits will no longer be available to buy anywhere. All product and *sewing pattern support will also no longer be available as of October. After 12 years of running U-Handbag I feel a need for a whole new adventure. I am not going away (I will have connections to the craft world), I am starting something new... I hope you will watch this space where all will be revealed.
*I will continue to provide support for my Craftsy classes, additionally this blog will remain online.
Do any of you remember this fella? He was our dog Beans and he featured in this blog's very first post back in 1st November 2006!
My reasons for a new direction change are several. They centre upon my role a as mum, my role as a designer and my personal connection with craft.
- As a school mum (and wearer of several other 'busy-lady' hats) I feel that I can no longer devote the time I like to keeping U-Handbag ship-shape.
- I love the design and making process, but after 10+years of focusing only on bags I'm itching to explore other crafts (though sewing will always be my first love).
- In recent years I've had no time to sew for fun. I want to make my daughter kooky dungarees and frilly ra-ra skirts. Such clothes form part of my happy childhood memories and I dearly want to make those memories with and for my daughter.
I have been so very lucky. From modest beginnings my business has spawned books, films and countless bag patterns and it has grown beyond all expectation. I am so grateful for your support and the encouragement you have given U-Handbag over the years. U-Handbag has been fun to run and I will miss you lovely bag makers! I hope that you have had fun too and that some of you will join me in my next journey. Thank you, I couldn't have done this without you. Lisa Xx
CLOSING DOWN FAQS - GENERAL:
- What date will U-Handbag close down? 31st October 2017
- Will the U-Handbag blog still be available? Yes, for as long as the blog continues to have a stream of visitors.
- After the closing down date will I be able to contact Lisa or the U-Handbag team about U-Handbag products? No.
- After the closing down date will I be able to get a refund or exchanges on orders? Yes, according to consumer statutory rules you have up to 28 days after date of purchase - we will extend that a further 7 days = making a total of 35 days.
- Will I be able to make wholesale orders right now? No. Due to the current high volume of orders we are unable to process wholesale orders at this time.
- Will I be able to find out about wholesale / factory information? In the interest of professional courtesy we are unable to pass on supplier information to anyone.
- After the closing down date where will Craftsy class students be able to purchase equivalent products? Lisa will provide this information to students via Craftsy.
- After the closing down date will discount codes and gift cards be valid? No. Please ensure that all codes and gift cards are used prior to the closing down date. Cards and codes are not valid for refund at any time.
- Will my order be dispatched on the same day? We will endeavour to dispatch orders received by 1pm within 24 hours of receiving your order, on business days (however during busy periods and/or staff holidays this period may be a little longer).
- After the closing down date will I be able to get help on U-Handbag sewing patterns? No.
- After the closing down date will PDF patterns still be available? No.
- After the closing down date will I be able to purchase Lisa's book? Yes, they are available at many bookshops and online by Amazon, (but they will not be signed).
- After the closing down date will customers be able to hold workshops/sell handmade finished items from U-Handbag designs? Yes.
- After the closing down date will I still be able to get my free PDF version of that *pattern? *if applicable. Yes, the links will continue to work.
I've previously read mst of the shorts in this volume, but there were a few that I hadn't previously read. Not sure if I simply read an earlier edition, or have read then in other collections.
This is a bunch of shorts and one or two novellas set in Asher's Polity ('Grim meathook Culture'), so if thats not your thing, you're likely going to dislike these.
I presume it's being overwritten by something in DW layers, or because of the difference in naming between 'friends' on LJ and 'reading' on DW, it isn't showing up correctly.
Hugo reading continues. This is the second book in a series (something it shares with A Close and Common Orbit). Like the first, it juggles wit the perspective of the narrative, mostly being in second person. I quite liked it, having had a few of Stross' books to get me vaguely used to that style of narrative. Not sure how well this book would work as an entry volume to the series, but, hey, enough people seem to have nominated it to get it on the list.
Still not entirely what I can say without, you know, giving too much away. But, all in all, I found it a good read and I am curious about the world.
Lots and lots of people are falling for the "trans people are destroying free speech and intellectual freedom!!11" articles that are going around. For context, a good one to start with is:
"Why Tuvel’s Article So Troubled Its Critics" by Shannon Winnubst:
As one of the many scholars involved in writing the open letter calling on Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy to retract the essay "In Defense of Transracialism," by Rebecca Tuvel, I am compelled to come forward and attempt to reclaim a narrative spinning increasingly out of control.
First, I want to clarify the anonymity of the authorship of the letter. The writing was a collective effort by a dozen or more scholars — the majority faculty members and all of us in philosophy — weighing in on drafts, contributing to and editing sections, requesting additions, and demanding deletions. Many of us became involved at the request of black and/or trans scholars who feel completely demoralized by Tuvel’s article and the failure of peer review that it represents. Speaking for myself, I signed and circulated the letter because I know, firsthand, of the damage this kind of scholarship does to marginalized groups, especially black and trans scholars, in philosophy.
The letter was addressed specifically to Hypatia’s editor and associate editors. All of those involved in the writing of the letter care deeply about the journal, and our effort is itself an expression of our commitment to it. Given our various roles as authors, readers, and longstanding reviewers for the journal, we were alarmed about the failure of the peer-review process that allowed the publication of Tuvel’s article. Some readers have stepped back and come to understand our dismay.
Tuvel received substantive critical feedback at conferences from scholars in critical race theory and trans studies. We do not understand how this failed to shape the review process and can only assume that such scholars were not selected as peer reviewers. We argue, then, that the peer-review process failed, in this instance, in at least two ways. First, it failed a junior scholar, Tuvel, by allowing subpar scholarship to be published in a flagship journal. Second, it failed the field of feminist philosophy as a subdiscipline that continues to struggle to break from the longstanding habits of the broader discipline of philosophy. More specifically, the article’s publication signals an arrogant disregard for the broad, well-established, interdisciplinary scholarly fields of both critical race theory and trans studies. For an article that is explicitly about the concepts of the transracial and transgender, that omission is egregious.
While feminist philosophy should imply a critique of the field of philosophy itself, the open letter to Hypatia wasn’t aimed at the discipline over all. None of us ever expected it to circulate so widely, to garner so many signatures, or to become the object of news stories. Yet, largely due to the fast response by Brian Leiter, the letter and the quickly issued apology by a majority of associate editors of Hypatia quickly became whipping girls, as it were, for the discipline as a whole. This has been, for me, the most astonishing part of the saga. Why would a discipline that has shown a systemic disregard for feminist scholarship suddenly care about this critical dialogue within it?
An article by Julia Serano
Regardless of what you think about the specifics of this case, what happened next is unconscionable: Jesse Singal of NY Mag (who has a penchant for writing high profile articles that depict transgender activists as out-of-control and anti-science, and with whom I've had previous run-ins) decided to write an alarmist article decrying the open letter to Hypatia as a "witch hunt." This helped to inspire a "pile on," as pundits far and wide who couldn't give two-shits about feminist philosophy weighed in on the matter, and attempted to portray this as yet another liberal-attack-on-free-speech (a position that I've previously critiqued as disingenuous and hypocritical).
Historically, "witch hunts" refer to when the masses, consumed by moral panic, attack people on the margins based on the assumption that these marginalized groups will infect or contaminate greater society with their wayward or evil beliefs and practices. So it seems extremely farcical (not to mention scaremongering) for people in the dominant majority to complain that one of their own kind is the victim of a "witch hunt" solely because a few people in the marginalized minority have challenged or critiqued their views.
A third article by Noah Berlatsky:
So, a scholar failed to follow best practices around the treatment of marginalized communities. Critics pointed out the problem. She acknowledged her error and the harm it caused, corrected it, and apologized. Truly, this is a crisis of totalitarianism in the academy.
You have the option of reading those articles, by authors who patiently explain the problems with the Tuvel article and the manufactured controversy about it, at length, or you can read tweet-length summaries. Your choice!
From TransTheory on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransTheory/status/
"I want to consider (1) core commitments of Trans Studies/Philosophy in the context of Hypatia and (2) irresponsible contrapositives.
Trans Studies/Philosophy demands awareness of the ways academia exploits our bodies, which are highly politicized
In this vein, the “In Defense of Transracialism” article already fails by not addressing that it is wrapped up in this politicization.
In most Philosophy journals this may have flown, but Hypatia (a feminist journal) professes to do better. JS's article decontextualizes this"
From Sara Ahmed on Twitter:
"Baby tip: be very skeptical of articles using 'poisonous call out culture' and 'witch hunt' to describe critiques of transphobia & racism."
"The work of exposing how transphobia and anti-black racism is reproduced by how philosophy is reproduced is vital, brave and risky."
"I learnt from working on sexual harassment that 'witch hunt' tends to be used to describe what you are doing when you contest power."
More from @TransTheory:
"excited that Philosophy & the opinion magazine community expanded which groups have a sacred right to reduce others' lives to tenure fuel
this is a great step forward for professional feminist philosophy, which no longer has to worry about pesky things like feminist commitments" (read the twitter thread for more)
An excerpt from Julia Serano's book, Outspoken, about cis people claiming to be experts on trans issues: https://mobile.twitter.com/JuliaSerano/
- If you're defending an article you haven't read while simultaneously refusing to even read what actual trans people are saying in response, consider whether maybe it isn't intellectual freedom that you're defending.
- When you're used to controlling a conversation, you may feel upset when people you've traditionally been able to silence get to say anything at all. This doesn't mean their presence is stopping you from speaking. If you claim you want an intellectual debate, reacting to hearing the other side by throwing a tantrum about evil call-out culture is inadvisable.
- The patterns of elevating an intra-community disagreement to a campaign by evil trans people to silence differing views, and of framing the presence of speech by marginalized people as somehow repressive of speech by privileged people, are familiar from GamerGate.
- Try not to engage in cis fragility: the process of centering your own discomfort with being criticized by trans people to the point where you demand that trans people be silent in order to make you feel more comfortable. (By analogy with the concept of white fragility.)
- Have some tissues for your cissues.
I've since done some more playing and come to the conclusion that it's rather worse than that. AMT actually supports being accessed over wireless networks. Enabling this is a separate option - if you simply provision AMT it won't be accessible over wireless by default, you need to perform additional configuration (although this is as simple as logging into the web UI and turning on the option). Once enabled, there are two cases:
- The system is not running an operating system, or the operating system has not taken control of the wireless hardware. In this case AMT will attempt to join any network that it's been explicitly told about. Note that in default configuration, joining a wireless network from the OS is not sufficient for AMT to know about it - there needs to be explicit synchronisation of the network credentials to AMT. Intel provide a wireless manager that does this, but the stock behaviour in Windows (even after you've installed the AMT support drivers) is not to do this.
- The system is running an operating system that has taken control of the wireless hardware. In this state, AMT is no longer able to drive the wireless hardware directly and counts on OS support to pass packets on. Under Linux, Intel's wireless drivers do not appear to implement this feature. Under Windows, they do. This does not require any application level support, and uninstalling LMS will not disable this functionality. This also appears to happen at the driver level, which means it bypasses the Windows firewall.
If you're a corporate IT department, and if you have AMT enabled over wifi, turn it off. Now.
 Assuming that the network doesn't block client to client traffic, of course
More Hugo reading, this time an actual finalist novel, rather than the prequel (sorry, didn't realise it wasa sequel until I opened it on my e-reader and at that point I was in a field in Wales).
We follow Pepper and Sidra, through "now" and "starting from 20 years ago" (the latter essentially being backstory for the "now" narrative). There are plenty of other people, but they're not really the POV characters.
I can't say much else without spoiling it, but all in all, I thought it was interesting, easy to read and (mostly) enjoyed the plot. If there's a theme, I guess it would be "what is personhood", which is an interesting subject anyway.
- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
( here's what it looks like so far )
So the main problem I'm having is making the border actually fit the icon image. But if I could also find a way to decrease the space between "this is you" and the links that would be cool too. Really any info you have on coding these would be appreciated.
This book in Cogman's Invisible ibrary (#4 being released in Dec 2017, incidentally). Takes place a few months (maybe as much as a year) after the previous volume (The Burning Mask), with, ahem, some administrative adjustments.
Things are not as rosy as they once were, the Fae are making trouble and there's rumbles about Alberich. All in all, it spells trouble.
It's one I quite enjoyed, although I think I enjoyed it more on a second read than I did the first, which is a bit unexpected. Probably not ideal as "first book to read in series", but one never knows.