January 6th, 2020


Positive Communities

I found some positive communities on Dreamwidth today.

[community profile] awesomeers  encourages people to post an accomplishment of the day.

[community profile] 3_good_things_a_day  is a place to read positive things from the moderators and comment with your own.

[community profile] thisfinecrew  offers ideas on how to help put out the garbage fire in Washington, D.C. or otherwise take concrete steps to make the world a better place.  Never give up!  Never surrender!

Bird Nests


Monday Update 1-6-20

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Learning a Foreign Language
Automation and the Workforce
Recipe: "Ruby Hot Chocolate"
Bullet Journals
Community Building Tip: Plant a Tree
Moment of Silence: Jack Sheldon
How the Drug War Kills People
Now in the Public Domain
Self-Awareness Question: Dreams
Less Usual Bingo Patterns Card 1-1-20
Cuddle Party

There will be a Poetry Fishbowl here on Tuesday, January 7 with a theme of "Short Forms." I hope to see you all then -- especially my new readers, because if we get a new prompter or donor, there will be an extra freebie.

Nominations are currently open for the Rose and Bay Award in [community profile] crowdfunding. This award recognizes exemplary projects and enthusiastic patrons. It currently features six categories: Art, Fiction, Poetry, Webcomic, Other Project, and Patron.

The award period for eligible activities spans January 1-December 31, 2019.
The nomination period spans January 1-January 31, 2020.
The voting period spans February 1-February 29, 2020.

These are the handlers for the 2020 award season:

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] readera Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!
Please think about your favorite crowdfunded projects and patrons from 2019. Especially if you are a creator, nominate some of your patrons, and boost the signal so your fans will know to nominate your project.

[community profile] snowflake_challenge is currently running. This year the challenges appear every other day, so it spans the whole month of January.  This is bringing lots of new people to my blog.  :D  Welcome, friends!  Feel free to ask me if you have questions.
Fandom Snowflake: Challenge 1 Introduce Yourself
Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2: Fannish History
Fandom Snowflake: Challenge 3 Communities

I am working on the year-end perks for my K-fans. Here are the poetry series currently available as collections. Arts and Crafts America is new this year!

Poetry in Microfunding:

There is one open epic at present.

"Celebrate and Cherish" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Mallory.  Heron and Mallory begin to explore local schools for Dairinne.

The weather has been mostly moderate. It rained again.  Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a large flock of sparrows, a large flock of mourning doves, several dark-eyed juncos, several cardinals, a downy woodpecker, and a squirrel.  I hung the old suet feeder near the new one.  The woodpeckers and sparrows have rediscovered the old one, but not the new one yet.  If they don't figure it out, I will tilt the new one vertically and then lower it slowly.


Improving Student Behavior

This article suggests ways of improving student behavior at school.  They're less worse than average, but unlikely to work.  Things that would actually work:

1) Meticulously teach children the right way to do things.  Now you see why Montessori schools don't have much trouble in this area, and why their teachers get paid more.  Public schools can't be arsed to do this, and then wonder why they have problems.

2) Feed them.  Hungry kids have emotional regulation approaching nil.  But since life is a paid privilege not a right in America, only people who can pay for food are allowed to have it.  Programs purporting to feed the hungry are woefully insufficient, and school food is notorious for poor quality and nutrition.

3) Exercise them.  Encourage walking and biking to school, followed by plentiful recess.  After they have burned off excess energy, they will naturally sit still and shift toward intellectual interest.  Instead, schools are banning children from walking or biking, and shortening or eliminating recess.  This does nerve damage, as the body and brain cannot develop properly without vigorous motor stimulation.  

There are, of course, many other factors such as poverty, broken homes, and so on but those are harder to affect from the school direction.  The above methods are things that can be done in school.

Call for Themes

I've reached the end of scheduled themes for the Poetry Fishbowl project. It's time to brainstorm some new themes! These are a few that I've jotted down earlier, ones that I've thought up or people have suggested, to give you an idea what kind of stuff might be suitable:

* Screw lab safety, I want superpowers!
* Amnesia
* Bad Ends & Just Desserts
* Wizard Wars
* Fetishes (magical or sexual)
* Organic Gardening
* Theme Parks
* Birds

What other themes would you like to see me write about? What would you like to buy? Suggest them in a comment below this post.

Later on I'll collect the suggestions and do some polling. The most popular topics will be added to the schedule for future fishbowls. I'm going to run the first large poll with checkboxes so you can express interest in as many themes as you like. I will then either pick from the most popular ones, or use that information to pull out the favorite themes for a smaller poll to select the ones which will appear in upcoming fishbowls.

You can also help by linking to this post so that more people will see it. Everyone is welcome to suggest themes. Everyone will also be able to vote for them later; prompters and donors will get extra votes. If you link to the call for themes, you can reveal a verse in any open perk poem:
"Mysterious and Impermanent"
"Greater Than the Sum"
"A Lively Feast"
"Between the Normal and the Abnormal"
"Always Carry Your Goodness"
"Crossroads on the Hero's Journey"
"The Arc of the Mental Universe"
"So Often Alone"
"An Iron Fist"

Gold as a Safety Net

When people get nervous about the future, they stockpile gold.

Things that are more useful after an economic crash:
* Tampons
* Chocolate
* Cigarettes
* Condoms
* Medicines
* Food
* Liquor
* Tools

Just look at anywhere that actually has to deal with these problems.  A shadow economy always rises whenever the cash money fails to meet people's needs.  While there are some odd variations -- stamps are a popular prison currency right now -- certain things stand out as high-value for use and trade.  When everything is suddenly in short supply, gold is valuable but you can't actually eat it and it won't keep you alive.  Think about things with a productive use or a demand driven by craving rather than intellect.

Loving More

This article talks about whether you should love your husband or your children more.

A great big fuck no to that. A healthy person should be able to love their parents, siblings, partner(s), child(ren), and self. And chocolate! This is not a zero-sum game. It is not a pie where one person's piece takes food out of someone else's mouth. Love is something that grows the more you give it away. If you're thinking in terms of who you love "more" then you've already fucked up.

People desperately need better relationship skills. They need self-compassion, intimacy, compersion, spending time alone and together in different combinations. These skills are declining, and it is becoming more of a problem. Loneliness kills people. That attitude of dickering over who you love "more" -- it's a recipe for loneliness. Avoid it like the plague. Love everyone who makes your life better. Love them differently. And show it in their own love language, which is unlikely to be the same for all of them.

Try this instead:

Blue Lake Rancheria Microgrid

The Blue Lake Rancheria has developed a microgrid of solar power that can operate with or without the wider commercial grid. If the main grid goes down, the microgrid automaticallly switches to "island mode" and runs independently. During a recent outage, it enabled tribal services to continue uninterrupted and provided a refuge for nearby people with special needs. This has already saved at least 4 lives.

I am so excited!  I've been saying for years that tribal nations should build their own systems of green energy.  This shows how that can work -- and it's a rancheria, not even a full-size reservation.  Bigger will be better, more powerful.  \o/  Lots of reservations are in places ideal  for green energy: solar again in Nevada, wind in Nebraska, etc.  Aho!


Here's an article about regifting.

People often mock it, but this is actually one of the oldest American traditions -- specifically, predating the United States, and dating from Turtle Island.  "The gift must move" is a fundamental premise of the gift economy. Who gives is rich; who does not give is poor.  If you have things you don't need, give them away.

Upcycling is also an option.  You can turn old things into new things that are more useful.

Did you get some stuff you didn't want over the holidays?  Many of us did.  Move it out or move it up!

Bullying at Work

Here's a post about bullying at work.  It's also about why the STEM pipeline leaks like it's made of fucking pantyhose, but they're not really covering that angle.

This is how you solve bullying: remove the bully.  If at work, fire them; if at school, suspend or expel them.  This is effective.  Anyone in a position of power to move people around can therefore solve bullying in their territory ... if they choose to do so.  Most do not.  You may be able to convince the authorities to act if you point out that bullies make an employer hemorrhage money.  Employers may not care about their employees, but they certainly care about their cashflow.

Trying to solve the problem any other way is unlikely to work.  How unlikely?  The most  effective solution, filing a lawsuit, has a dismal 16% success rate.  Leaving also works, but is unavailable to many people, and even when available requires great sacrifice from the victim, which is not much of a success other than surviving a serious threat to health and survival.

By all means, understand bullying and bully roles and be an upstander.  Suggest that the bully get therapy.  Teach conflict resolution, mediation, and peacemaking skills.  These are useful things for people to know.  But they will not stop a bully who likes hurting people.  The only way to do that is to make it clear that amusing yourself by abusing others gets you ostracized from society.  Separate the bully from the victim, and impose the burden of doing so on the bully.