Log in

07 February 2017 @ 08:23 pm
deborah | Information literacy: No, Trump did not craft White House policy that "women dress like women"

I said in my last link roundup that I was finding it very difficult to judge which of Trump's actions were genuinely exceptional and worrying and which were business as normal for a Republication President. This kind of thing is part of the problem. There are far too many people in my filter bubble that share stuff like this without due diligence even while complaining about fake news in almost the same breath.

- - - - -

Did Neil Gorsuch Found a High School 'Fascism Forever' Club? : snopes.com


More of the same.

- - - - -

Yes, I know the Trump administration are telling mind-boggling whoppers, but where I tend to hang out on the Internet those get shredded in minutes while this kind of stuff slips through.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/235789.html.
04 February 2017 @ 11:56 am

The Dalek Emperor is perturbed to discover his orders are being questioned. *Resists temptation to make a Donald Trump joke*

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/235460.html.
03 February 2017 @ 08:17 pm
Fannish things I did this week:

Primeval: How did Claudia Brown become Jenny Lewis?, written for primeval_denial's 52 weeks of Primeval for Claudia week. Also icons of Jenny and Lester and my weekly drabble.

Other: Ghostbusters (2016) icons

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/235135.html.
02 February 2017 @ 01:58 pm
My sister recently discovered that one of her work colleagues went to our school. This seems to have resulted in a certain amount of mutual bonding and an attitude of fear and awe from the rest of the team, not helped when said work colleague described our school as the kind where pupils put on productions of Greek plays - in the original Ancient Greek - for fun. My sister then blamed me for this which is a total calumny, I was roped into one such effort (organised, as it happens by the Greek teacher, not the pupils) as part of a Chorus of Huntsmen.

This is us bringing back the mortally wounded Hippolytus. He had, if memory serves, been gored by a bull and, this being a Greek tragedy, this was all his father's fault at some level. If memory also serves, his dying words to his father were "pray your true-born sons are like me" which, to my judgmental 15 year old mind, meant he was probably not so great a loss to the world as he seemed to think he was.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/234909.html.
01 February 2017 @ 08:35 pm
Reading: I'm still not caught up with the fanfic, but I've made a good dent in it and I think it's about time I got back to End of the World Blues. I've got a trip to the US at the end of March which should also help me keep on top of it!!

Listening: On [personal profile] dunderklumpen's suggestion I listened to an episode of The Nerdist in which they interviewed Mark Hamil. I must admit I was a little dubious about long celebrity interviews (this was almost an hour and a half) but I actually really enjoyed it. A gentle trip through the collectibles culture of the 1960s, 1970s and beyond followed by some good-natured reminisces about Star Wars and a few Harrison Ford impressions.

Watching: Mostly Futurama. I must lobby for more Avengers.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/234718.html.
31 January 2017 @ 07:59 pm
Once again it would appear to be a while since I posted one of these!

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps — Anchor Editions

Some stunning photos, together with quotes from many of those involved.

- - - - -

News: The Opening of Lascaux IV, Dordogne, France. – Darkness Below UK

[personal profile] fredbassett attends the opening of Lascaux IV in France. Lovely photos.

- - - - -

IEEE puts out a first draft guide for how tech can achieve ethical AI design | TechCrunch

I played a small part in the development of this guide, as a late addition to one of the sub-committees.

- - - - -

There’s such a thing as collective narcissism (and it might explain a lot that’s going on at the moment) – Research Digest

An interesting article which focuses primarily on collective narcissism as a facet of national identity. However it seems like there should be other applications - e.g., to political identity which might be illuminating in other ways.

- - - - -

Britain's productivity has fallen. That's a good thing - CapX

An interesting alternative perspective, both on productivity and on wage stagnation.

- - - - -

Should we have intervened in Syria? I don’t know – and neither do most armchair generals

This is almost exactly how I feel about this. I watch the events in Syria with horror, but am far from convinced things would be any better if the UK had been more involved. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't, but I'm very, very aware that almost everything I know about Syria I learned from Facebook (that which I didn't learn from Facebook I probably learned from the Guardian or the Telegraph, neither of which I think are necessarily deeply insightful when it comes to the complex politics of this part of the Middle East) which doesn't exactly give me a great deal of confidence in any judgement I might make about this. This is liberal inaction and wringing of hands, of course, and one of my vague aspirations is to do less of this, but I'm not sure an issue as complex as Syria is the place to start.

- - - - -

It may have seemed like the world fell apart in 2016. Steven Pinker is here to tell you it didn’t. - Vox

"Look at history and data, not headlines." - a useful counter-point to the widespread panic and doom-mongering that is occurring in my particular filter bubble. Via elisi

- - - - -

'Fake news' – why people believe it and what can be done to counter it

No answers here, but at least a nuanced analysis of the problem that refrains from simply blaming Facebook.

- - - - -

Everything you know about British train fares is wrong | CityMetric

An old article served up again. However it confirms my vague unease, when I hear people complain about profiteering on the part of railway franchise holders, that all is not as simple as it seems.

- - - - -

The obstacles to making the Northern Powerhouse work are huge – and the data proves it | CityMetric

Interesting (if superficial) analysis of the North's problems via pretty maps.

- - - - -

Doctor Who | Everything Ends - YouTube

I'm not much of a one for fanvids as a general rule, but I do like the work of TheGaroStudios and this is a good one, riffing on the Doctor's line about everything ending from the Christmas special.

- - - - -

We can't afford a bitter Euro-divorce - CapX

One of the less hysterical articles about the likely implications of Teresa May's commitment to "hard" Brexit.

- - - - -

The trouble with 'microaggressions'

Just quoting the conclusion: "... “microaggression” is not the best way to think about subtle prejudice. Its definition is amorphous and elastic. It fails to appreciate the ambiguity of social interaction, relies too exclusively on subjective perceptions, and too readily ascribes hostile intent. By doing so, the idea of microaggression contributes to a punitive and accusatory environment that is more likely to create backlash than social progress."

- - - - -

Who will keep predatory science journals at bay now that Jeffrey Beall's blog is gone?

For those of us in academia this is sad and troubling news. Jeffrey Beall performed an important service in a world where the pressure to publish is exceedingly high.

EDIT: [personal profile] londonkds (in the comments on DreamWidth) has several criticisms of Beall's approach.

- - - - -

How dangerous is burnt toast? - Full Fact

We discussed this when it came up on the Today programme. B. was skeptical, based on the information there, that there was any serious cause for concern about burnt toast. This article from Full Fact would seem to confirm that. It is difficult to disagree with its final couple of paragraphs which question whether a public campaign launched on such flimsy evidence might not have the entirely negative effect of causing people to ignore warnings about things we do have good evidence are harmful.

- - - - -

We should be kind to America's First Victim — Melania Trump

As [profile] miss_sb says, Laurie Penny is better at polemic than rational argument. But I've been uncomfortable about much of what the left is saying at Melania Trump and, to be honest (though that's not an argument that exists even as a glimmer in this piece) about assumptions the left is making about the Trump marriage based on a few snippets of video taken under highly stressful conditions.

- - - - -

I've excised a number of Trump articles I'd saved because, to be honest, I'm finding it very difficult to pick apart what is precisely business as normal for a Republican President (the Mexico City Gag Rule, for instance) and what is not. I find myself more concerned about the attacks on the Press, scientists, the Judiciary, and the gutting and/or sidelining of government departments than I do some of the more concrete issues since without the former I don't see that a lot can be done about the latter (and many of the latter were campaign promises which does make a difference). But even here it is difficult to figure out what may be business as usual (no press releases to be put out while the new administration gets its act together kind of thing), what is exceptional but may not be a bad thing in the long run (forcing the Press to be less reliant on access journalism, for instance) and what is exceptional and straightforwardly a bad sign.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/234461.html.
30 January 2017 @ 08:05 pm
I'm sure I must have seen Kinda since it was first broadcast but I don't recall when and my memories of it were distinctly hazy. At the time of broadcast it came bottom of the season poll in DWM but shortly thereafter it was placed front and centre in Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text which attempted* to apply academic media criticism to Doctor Who. It would be tempting to say that Kinda is an interesting failure but I'm not sure it is a failure. It's more something completely to one side of main stream Doctor Who and isn't really even attempting to play by Doctor Who's normal rules.

More under the CutCollapse )

I actually really enjoyed this and was surprised that I did. It is like nothing else Doctor Who has ever attempted before or since. In Doctor Who terms it is mostly a mixture of over-earnest, naff and silly, but on its own terms it is grippingly frightening in places, surreal and rather beautiful.

*I've not read it so, for all I know, the attempt was a success even if it was regarded with bemusement by most Who fans of the time.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/234066.html.
28 January 2017 @ 11:25 am
I have no more word searches to offer. But here is a simple crossword from Issue 2 of the Web Planet.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/233671.html.
27 January 2017 @ 08:23 pm
Fannish things I did this week.

Two primeval, drabbles - for the last two primeval100 prompts.

Repost of a Primeval/MCU crossover I wrote for a [community profile] fandom_stocking.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/233358.html.
25 January 2017 @ 08:57 pm
Reading: Still fanfic, though I also managed the latest issue of DWM. The fanfic is now up to December 29th so I've got past the Christmas Day yuletide fanfic dump!!!

Listening: Just finished the Verity Podcast on Martha's leaving story. Started listening to an episode of Varvet International but, as a generic interview show, it didn't really grab me so I've skipped forward to the next episode of the Dr Who Book Club

Watching: Futuram and Avengers (UK) with the family, the latest Randomizer offering (The Invasion) with B.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/232852.html.