October 1st, 2009

neutral

A Bike Pool

I was pleased by this example of a bike pool, where people can borrow a bike whenever they want one:

University of Denver Students Launch Free Bike Lending Library
A student-led bike library opened Sept. 24 at the University of Denver offering high-tech bikes on loan for free, and a glimpse of the citywide bike sharing program that gets rolling next spring. The free DU lending library is open to all students, faculty and staff using the same bikes that will dot the city landscape in early 2010.
pounce, fox

A Novel for the Asking

Years ago, my very close friend haikujaguar sent me the manuscript of a novel, The Worth of a Shell. It's a story about sexual discrimination, freedom, and cultural evolution on another world. The Jokka have three sexes, and the two fertile ones are rather fragile; the females in particular live very sheltered lives in an attempt to make them last. But Dlane is like the goddess Brightness; she wants to burn her candle at both ends. This is her story, and the story of Thenet, the neuter guardian whom she drags with her through heartbreak and glory alike.

You want to read this. It's some of the best sociological SF I've seen, by one of the best writers I know; five out of five stars on my scale. Go here for a free sample, and tell the author you want to hold this book in your hot little hands. The publication threshold is 100 requests. Pass the word.
neutral

Tips for Allies

Here is a pretty good list of tips for allies, tailored to race relations. Many of these tips generalize well to other issues.

I have somewhat of a quibble with #9, though. I do give people cool points for having a diverse group of friends, particularly along spectra where I'm an active participant (frex, religion). My reasons for this include: 1) If you encourage people when they're doing something desirable, they're more likely to do more of it. 2) People who have a diverse group of friends are far less likely to cause the kind of problems I get asked to clean up after, compared to people whose friends are very homogenous. 3) People with a diverse group of friends are less likely to freak out over something non-mainstream that I say or do. 4) People with a diverse group of friends are far more likely to be interesting people, who tell interesting stories, which I think is ... well, cool.

So, there will be some people who give you cool points for diverse socializing and others who do not. However, as the author pointed out, that's not an excuse to act like an asshole. Doing that deletes whatever cool points you may have accrued.