October 29th, 2012


Blogging and Prejudice

Here's a post about bloggers as journalists, and the prejudice against same.  

Sometimes I just boggle at the idiocy of humans and their incredible fetish for lumping things into categories so they don't have to think.  Bloggers can apply journalistic standards and techniques to their work, or not.  So can people who write for newspapers or TV news programs. A sensible viewer will look at the content and gauge the quality and reliability thereof, rather than making purely categorical predictions.  There are trends, yes.  That's all they are.  There are also exceptions and eddies in other directions.  Some bloggers are brilliant journalists.  And then there is Fox "News."

Ownership in the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court is hearing a case on whether people have the right to resell things they have purchased.

You've been owned

As far as I'm concerned, if I don't own it after paying for it, I don't want to pay for it.  I'll make it myself, find some other workaround, or do without it if at all possible.  The shift toward rental-like purchasing agreements in some fields, like software, has killed a majority of my interest in them and minimized my participation.  In other fields, like ebooks, it contributes to an overall reluctance to get involved in the first place.

Resale is a vital part of the economy.  It gives people an emergency way to raise some money by selling off stuff, and a way to clear out junk they no longer need while making a little extra cash.  It discourages folks from just throwing away things they're done with.  It makes all kinds of small businesses possible.  I don't want to lose that.

As a person involved in making books, I also want to avoid pissing off my customers and making life more difficult for them.  You bought one of my books?  Yippee!  You're done with it?  By all means, take it to a used bookstore, buy yourself a different book, and leave mine on the shelf for someone else to discover.  You think I deserve a piece of the action?  Stuff a buck in my tip jar, write a review of the book, recommend my writing to a friend, etc.  You think my writing sucks and want me to starve?  It's a free country, go read something else.  The last thing I want to do is screw up that process.

Really, this has all the makings of an unfeasible law.  What it would try to stop is too widespread and finicky.  Most people own so much stuff, they won't be able to track what they have the right to resell and what they don't.  So they'll generalize in one direction or the other.  If they decide not to resell anything, that'll kill off a lot of small businesses and make life much harder for poor people who rely on resale because they can't afford new things.  If they decide to resell whatever they want, then there are millions of people breaking the law, which helps nobody but the lawyers.  And if a legal system is enacting truly impractical laws -- of the "Never give an order that you know won't be obeyed" type -- then you know there's a serious problem underlying the whole system.  Setting up that kind of mess is destructive to society as a whole.

Storm Response

This message crossed my desk today, with information about the superstorm out east and how to cope with it whether you are there or elsewhere.

This is a serious storm, but we are going to do what it takes
to keep people safe and secure, and make sure the communities
affected get the assistance they need. FEMA is working with
state and local governments to respond effectively. We all owe
a debt of thanks to the first responders who will be dealing with
the immediate impact of the storm.

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Monday Update 10-29-12

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Joss Whedon on Politics
Read Poetry by Thesilentpoet
Villanelles from the Wordsmith's Forge
Linguistic News
Poem: "The Tea Tempest"
Review of Cirque Chinois
Review of Streb Forces
BINGO: Third line bingo, asexual characters, 4 poems & 1 story

The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, November 6 with a theme of "influential women."

There is new poetry for sale in the series Fledgling Grace and The Steamsmith, based on audience comments to previously posted poems. The Serial Poetry page has been updated.

I have finished my week as Poetry Host over on the Dreamwidth community Poetree. The result is a very thorough exposition on serial poetry, what it is, how to read it, and how to create it. With each essay, I also posted a poem related to its topic. All of those are reprints except for "Starfather," which is new, so make sure you read that one. Feedback is welcome.
Introductory Post: What Is Serial Poetry?
Poem: "The Wingdresser's Kitchen"
The Shared World as Serial Literature
Poem: "The Lost and Found Legion"
Poem: "The Girl Who Wanted Too Much"
The Return of the Series
Poem: "The Steamsmith"
Structural Considerations in Serial Poetry: Foundations
Poem: "The Truth in the Tower"
Serial Poetry, Shared Worlds, and I by marina_bonomi</lj>
Structural Considerations in Serial Poetry: Infrastructure
Poem: "A Hole in the Blanket"
On Cyberfunded Creativity, and Collaboration by thesilentpoet</lj>
How Poet and Audience Build a Series
Poem: "Welcome to Hart's Farm"
So You Want to Start a Series
Poem: "Starfather" (NEW)
Further Samples of Serial Poetry
Poem: "Come Midwinter at Carterhall"

Poetry in Microfunding:
"Within the Wolf's Jaws" belongs to The Asgard Eddas. Read about some starfarers and their interrupted journey.  There are three new verses; find out who the colonists are sharing the planet with.

Torn World writing update:
Approved as canon: "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal," (fiction) "The Urge to Fly" "A Nap Under the Stars" "Neighboring Attractions" "Autumn Gathering," "A Light in the Darkness" (poetry).  Back to me for edits: "Breaking the Ice," (fiction), "Patterns in the Grass" (poetry). Currently in front of the canon board: "Beached Fish" (fiction),  "Breeding the Perfect Fighter," "The Charity Wall," "Flying in the Wind" (poetry), "Ghost Bat" "Half-Leg," (nonfiction).  Drafted: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands," "Like Ash Before the Wind," "From Dark to Bright," "The Inappropriate But Useful Disposal of Lettuce" "A Thin Red Trail" "The Museum of Mortality" (fiction), "Changes in the Wind" (poetry), "Publishers in the Empire" (nonfiction).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," "Raining Kittens," "Finding the Holes" (fiction),  "The Smallest Invaders" (poetry).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "Winterheart" "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).

Weather here has turned chilly.  Many of the leaves have fallen.  I'm seeing the birds at the feeders fairly often, and the squirrel occasionally.

Update from Kajones_writing

November will feature the Fae World. It's not one of my top favorites, but I'm delighted anyhow because this means there are people voting who are not me and have different tastes. That may help widen the audience base, which tends to raise activity, which can generate more material for everyone via perks. You can also read a review in After Nyne. "Thoughts" explains a previous week's gap in posting. Vote on how to spend money in the general fund.

There will be a prompt session on October 30 with a theme of Halloween and the Donor House collection. Please drop by and leave your prompts about the holiday and vampires!

Fiction: "Dawn: Talking to Lewis (Part 2)" continues the story about improving their relationship. "Rex: Saving Melody (Part 3)" features his introspection while waiting for her to wake up, or not. "Nick: Autumn" is a melancholy little mood piece about the season from a vampire's perspective. If you like moody vampires, this is a good read. "World Walkers: Beshaki: Cillian: The Autumn Twilight" explores the experience of autumn in a place where it is always twilight. "World Walkers: Aerith: Carly: Changing Seasons" introduces some challenges that arise when only one person has a crucial magical talent. "Donor House: Jena: Love at First Sight" features a vampire hunting a human.  I want to hit him already.

[personal profile] kajones_writing and I are collaborating for NaNoWriMo. I outlined a plot for a story set in Quiar, "The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments." It's a mystery/quest story about magic, smuggling, and interracial tension. I hope you'll take a peek at it when the episodes start appearing!