Monday, October 25 2021

Quote of the Day

It is the nature of idea to be communicated: written, spoken, done. The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding, grows better for being stepped on.

Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed

The calmest Monday

The last couple weeks have been severely rough. Changing up my diet caused lots of fatigue and gut issues and psychological gut-punches. I got through and out the other side of that for my husband to have a health incident that still has me nervous and a little scared. Things seem to have settled down–I’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep for the first time in 4 days, and I am well-nourished now, and husband seems to have bounced back well.

I might not have gotten every single thing done that I wanted to today, but everyone’s feeling okay, things are getting done, and no one’s neglecting their immediate health. It’s the best Monday I’ve had in like a month.

Since things have been….exciting, I have a bunch of links that I’ve picked up along the way for random things I’ve looked up. Here’s the list:

I looked up social roles for wordbuilding at some point, and stumbled over this juicy looking link: My Role in a Social Change Ecosystem

I’d also like a better office chair. I have lumbar support issues, and I love sitting cross-legged. Hence:

I am loving this trend of no-combat MMOs: Spry Fox is still building a cozy non-violent MMO – and Epic is publishing it

Speaking of games, I watched Natalie Wynn stream Ambition, and I had a brief thought that I’d love to stream interactive novel-type games. But, copyright:

Not to be deterred, I came up with a plan where I stream about 30% of the game, then could offer a book club style Zoom call on the game over Patreon, assuming those who attend bought and played through the rest of the game themselves. But will I ever act on this plan? Not while there’s still worldbuilding to be done….

In more game news, I tried Gloomhaven with some friends for the first time. There are a lot of rules, and the rulebook is crap. This Gloomhaven Helper sounds very helpful for future games.

You know how hard it is to find a Gluten-Free Crisp recipe without almond or coconut flour? Hard enough that I don’t want to loose this recipe: Gluten-Free Apple Oatmeal Crisp.

Wednesday, October 6 2021

Quote of the Day

There are two buttons I never like to hit, that is panic and snooze.

Ted Lasso

Links links links

I’ve got a ton to get to today, so just listing some links I don’t want to forget.

VITRIOL

  • A game I apparently signed up to get updates about? It must have sounded interesting to me so I should re-check it out eventually.

A Solarpunk Manifesto

  • A nice summing up of the things I was researching last week.

Sistah SciFi

  • I want to visit this bookstore!!! Stupid pandemic……. soon.

Life Swap

  • Stardew Valley has to be hopepunk?

What We Can Learn from ‘Advise and Consent’

Politics and power haven’t changed much since Allen Drury, ’39, wrote his midcentury masterpiece. But trust has.

  • I really need to read this one, it might help me with my current story. Maybe this afternoon, after I finish more worldbuilding exercises….

Tuesday, September 14 2021

Quote of the Day

Doing what’s right should be easy.

It shouldn’t be just another big mess like everything else.

Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go

What games can do when they’re awesome

The Artful Escape

I hope this one comes to GeForce Now because I’d love to play it.

On the eve of his first performance, Francis Vendetti battles with the legacy of a dead folk legend and the cosmic wanderings of his own imagination. Francis, a teenage guitar prodigy, sets out on a psychedelic, multidimensional journey to inspire his stage persona.

Who wouldn’t want to go on this ride?


Solarpunk solarpunk solarpunk

So earlier this year, I was working on reviving an old story from 2015. It revived itself into a cute Romance short story. I stopped working on it, because I had gotten far enough to prove my process worked and it wasn’t in the genre I really want to commit myself to. Well, it wasn’t in one of the genres I want to commit myself to.

Now that I want to add working on some shorts to the mix instead of focusing exclusively on this magnum opus of a novel, I’m realizing that if I want to write solarpunk, I need to start figuring out the genre conventions of it.

So adding on to my study list of The Uninhabitable Earth and MasterClass writing classes is now reading and re-reading solarpunk short stories to get a good handle on what makes a solarpunk story solarpunk.

Oh and I just started working with a nutritionist, who has an entire course to go through as you work with her.

I love research, but wow why is it all that I do, it seems? Surely there’s a point where I know enough to take a stab at writing something….right?

Thursday, September 9 2021

Quote of the Day

It’s weird, you grow up in the South you don’t really think that much about shit like that. The school names, the street names, the statues and all that stuff. You really don’t think about it, because you’re like taught a completely different thing. It’s not until you get older–you know, if your brain starts to work–where you realize how weird that is, that we have these participation trophies for our crimes against humanity.

Trae Crowder, On Confederate Statues Bein’ Dumb

But what if the guns shot flowers

The Tiny Tina Borderlands Game Looks Like An Obnoxious Good Time

I mean, I don’t even like first person shooters but it does look fun. But wouldn’t it be more fun if the guns shot flowers? Or turned the villain you were shooting into flowers? Or cute fluffy critters?? Opportunities were missed.


Rec

I was recommended Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by a Black male friend, so that’s pretty high praise.

I read the sample, and it is very good. But it has also plunged me into a funk, because I am as raw as a half-baked cookie around any racial identity issues. The sample has a discussion of terms: black or African-American?

To the extent I can speak for anyone else: black is the most inclusive choice…It’s a descriptor of what black people all have in common.

Emmanuel Acho

I just don’t know how to fix it. In Jungian theory if I just keep playing this tug-of-war in my head enough until I am completely worn out by it, then eventually in the depths of exhaustion and probably despair a new idea should come to me to resolve this tension. It’s happened before on other things.

Not this thing. How do I describe it? I don’t have dark colored skin, so by this definition, I’m not black. Ow. Well, he’s not wrong, I have the privilege of people not assuming I’m black so I guess I’m not black. Ow. I mean, technically I’m multiracial or mixed not black, right? That doesn’t even make sense? Was my mother the Virgin Mary? I just don’t count as black then? Ow. I should let black people define who they are on their own terms and just….disappear, I guess?

I’m really exhausted by this endless circle of I’m-all-of-these-things I’m-none-of-these-things I’m-part-these-things I’m-not-anything that any identity challenge, no matter how small, kicks off. But I guess not exhausted enough.

But so far it’s a really good book and you should read it. Seriously. I will too.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Quote of the Day

How could anyone find comfort in silence that could end without warning?

Becky Chambers, The Galaxy, And The Ground Within

Why tricksters rule

Loki as Other: Why Do Queer and Female Viewers Love the Trickster?

Yet despite offering more representation, the series appears to lack curiosity about the embodied experiences of gender-fluid, bisexual, and pansexual people. How does it feel to be genderfluid, and does Loki see himself that way? How does it feel to be attracted to more than one gender? What does Loki’s sexuality mean to him (and his “variants”)–is it a source of joy, a source of stress, a significant part of his life? These questions seem to be absent from the Loki series, with Loki’s occupation of other bodies used purely to further the plot, and his sexuality only acknowledged with the single coming-out line. Perhaps a story that explored these facets of Loki’s identity would devote more screentime to the experience of queerness, genderfluidity, or even atypical masculinity. Loki’s character speaks to many of us because he is othered, but I can’t help wondering: what would a series that centered Loki look like?

Everyone should love the trickster, in my opinion. And like everyone else, I hope season 2 of Loki has way more trickstery goodness than the last one did.


This could be my next attention sink

Palia: MMO Meets Farm/Life/Community Sim

It’s not out yet, but an MMO that encourages cooperation over ganking or insulting strangers is exactly what I am here for. It might not even have a combat system, and that makes me over the moon happy.


Writing resources about diversity win all the things

My previous resource: Writing the Other

My new one I just found out about: Writing With Color

Both make me happy and more confident about representing awesomely.


Capital-s Self

I’m looking up some resources for a friend about the Jungian concept of ‘Self’, and I’m having a hard time finding things that aren’t a Jungian word salad. Here are some of the best, so I don’t have to try to find them again:

The Highly Sensitive Person and the Numinous

The objective reality of what is experienced as numinous is an issue that Corbett and Jung, as psychologists, not theologians, prefer to side step. They would leave that question up to theologians, and perhaps to each of us.

But I think it is important to note that our interpretation of our experience or that of others has enormous effects. If what’s numinous were “objective,” then it seems that it would be true, a fact, God’s truth in this case, and it would seem that everyone ought to believe it, which leads to religious wars as well as people trying to believe in something they have heard about but never personally experienced, because the one who had the experience says it is Truth. On the other hand, if it is seen as a purely subjective, personal experience, that is often taken to mean, as I was saying, that the experience is numinous, but its source is not. The experience is only a psychological instinct, capacity, or tendency to see or believe that there is something real out there.

Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

The Self (Jung’s Definition)

The Jungian Model of the Psyche

Then there’s also this great graphic on a tepid article, so I’ll just include the graphic:

Thanks Hugo Lin!

And then this is also a helpful image:

Not sure where this came from.

It’s odd, re-looking these concepts up. They were so clear to me while I was in grad school, and now I have these ideas that have lingered and morphed and evolved in my brain that have become intrinsic parts of my worldview that are now hard to enunciate. In going back over some of my grad school materials, I wasn’t finding the explanations or descriptions that are half-formed in my head, because I’ve integrated the concepts in ways that don’t always tie directly back to their source. It’s like this information about integrating the psyche has integrated just like a psyche. Does knowledge live in our minds and become a psychic phenomena, become an archetype like the shadow or animus? That’s a frightening thought.


I hate everything about long term care insurance

And yet, I must learn about it in light of the new Washington state regulation regarding it starting next year. I saw this YouTube video explaining that there were types of LTC. Which I didn’t know and never wanted to know. But there is a thing called asset-based long term care insurance, and that might be a thing I want? Links gathered to be scrutinized with the husband later.

What is Asset-Based Long-Term Care?

Traditional LTC vs Asset-Based LTC

Asset-Based Plans (AKA Hybrid or Linked Benefits)

Being a consumer of my own misfortune is really as horrible as it sounds!

Friday, July 16 2021

Quote of the Day

Roveg was nothing if not a champion of playing one’s own tune, but there were some areas in which individuality stopped being a virtue and became more of a game of chance.

Becky Chambers, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within

Really, it’s Friday, I don’t have much

I haven’t been delving into all the things the last couple days. So here’s a few things that looked interesting-ish.

Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism – Who doesn’t love some Umberto Eco wisdom?

Steam Deck – Nifty

Dr. King’s policy was, if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That’s very good. He only made one fallacious assumption. In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.

Kwame Ture

Man, I am struggling with this fact, a very lot. This goes back to my conversation about predators and prey, and realizing there are some people that have 0 interest in the lives of other humans. Can common ground wrestle with this?

What Everyone Gets Wrong About “Critical Race Theory” – I didn’t really know what CRT was exactly either, and this video brings out some of the finer points about both the pseudo political arguments around the idea and the actual arguments within the CRT academic community.

Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Shadow of Democracy – I bet if you made a big chart listing out actual policies moderate Democrats and Republicans would support, they would be pretty darn similar.

Carl Sagan Predicted the Mess 2021 Would be 25 Years Ago – yikes.

Should You Abandon Social Media?

  • OMG, stop attacking _ poor _ cows. “What people are seeing in the American West is not over-grazing; it’s improper grazing. It mostly has to do with allowing the cattle to be too dispersed and not tightly managing them, or moving them frequently enough. In 1800, there were 70 million bison on the land. Our whole global ecosystem evolved with these enormous herds.” <—- THAT
  • But everything else Hank is saying here ABSOLUTELY YES. “…is to say what actions make this better. Not ‘how do we stop doing this’ but ‘how do we do it differently.'”

Wednesday, July 14 2021

Quote of the Day

If you think letting [spoiler] die is a failure–but all the times you supported him are meaningless–then no wonder it always hurts. Instead, if you think of how lucky you both were to be able to help each other when you were together, well, it looks a lot nicer, doesn’t it?

Brandon Sanderson, Rhythm of War

Information Sminformation

Facts Don’t Win Fights: Here’s How to Cut Through Confirmation Bias | Tali Sharot | Big Think

I’m working on an essay inspired by starting to research my novel and having a number of ideas come together. This subject is one of the main points in it, so when YouTube randomly surfed it up to me (seriously, does their algorithm log my keystrokes somehow?!) I thought it would be a good watch.

Information doesn’t take into account what makes us human, which is our emotions, our desires, our motives, and our prior beliefs.

Tali Sharot

So this is a study that was conducted at UCLA where what they wanted to do was convince parents to vaccinate their kids. And some of the parents didn’t want to vaccinate their kids because they were afraid of the link with autism. So they had two approaches. First they said, “Well, the link with autism is actually not real. Here’s all the data suggesting there isn’t a link between vaccines and autism.” And it didn’t really work that well. But instead they used another approach. So instead of going that way they used another approach, which was: let’s not talk about autism. We don’t necessarily need to talk about autism to convince you to vaccinate your kids. Instead they said, “Well, look, these vaccines protect kids from deadly diseases, from the measles.” And they showed them pictures of what the measles are. Because in this argument about vaccines, people actually forgot what the vaccines are for, what are they protecting us from. And they highlighted that and didn’t necessarily go on to talk about autism. And that had a much better outcome…So the lesson here is we need to find the common motive.

Tali Sharot

And just for contrast, the far less scientific but just as truthful observation about confirmation bias: Trust in media is a matter of ‘factpinion’

To that end, allow me to state unequivocally that the level of trust the American people have in the news media has never been higher. In fact, a vast majority of people believe journalists are both smart and exceptionally attractive.

The lyin’ AP’s alleged study also found that people are more likely to rely on news that “cites expert sources or documents.” No problem.

According to a survey I just wrote in crayon on the inside cover of a book next to the chair I’m sitting in, a full 97 percent of Americans describe the news media as “Most. Trustworthy. Ever.” Equally impressive, a full 103 percent of respondents say this survey was the most accurate they have ever taken and “you should believe it because it’s really, really true — seriously.”

(The survey had a margin of error of “+/- kiss my butt.”)

So there you have it — the lyin’ AP’s egregious act of yellow journalism has been fully debunked, at least in my factpinion.

So go ahead and trust the news media.

Or don’t trust the news media.

The truth is that in a world replete with information, people are finding whatever truths they want to believe.

And that renders trust a bygone emotion. At least according to my survey.

Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune

Gaming is a thing you can do for fun

Microsoft Calls For An End To ‘Git Gud’

It was probably about four years ago that one of gaming’s most tiresome, festering corners was at its peak. The “Git Gud” crowd furiously policed the internet, looking for any and all signs of gaming weakness, and swifty punished it with pile-ons and abhorrently personal abuse. As Dark Souls III was at its peak of popularity, and every other game was attempting to ride in FromSoftware’s wake, along came Cuphead, and we entered a perfect storm of gamer douchebaggery.

I experienced the frankly baffling force of this fury on plenty of occasions, but never more than when I published an article on jaunty Kotaku tribute site Rock Paper ShotgunCalling for a button that allowed players to skip boss fights, this rather innocent suggestion that the whole of a game should be accessible to those who’d bought it was met with all manner of suggestions of how I should kill myself, how I was proof of the demise of games journalism, and of course how I must “git gud.” In other words, it was a coordinated torrent of panic from scared little boys whose only source of pride was being threatened by my suggestion.

John Walker, Kotaku

I don’t know that Microsoft deciding to take what sounds like a completely uncontroversial stance is exactly news, but as a person that loves games way more for the stories and way less for how fast I can press buttons in the right order, it’s at least a refreshing angle. There’re plenty of games I would have liked to finish to see where the story went that I simply can’t. BattleBlock Theater was a hilarious game I was fully enjoying until the levels just got too twitchy and my old person hand-eye coordination just wasn’t up to snuff after a good 20 levels, so I never got to learn what happened. Cheat codes for all!

Also the fact that this game exists is both amazing and ridiculous. It looks so satisfying I might need to buy it: PowerWash Simulator


I told you so

I hate lawns. Not necessarily in some park settings, but in yards I think they are the worst. Very few people get out a blanket and sit on the lawn behind (or in front of) their house. Why would you do that when for a bazillion times less water, lawn equipment, and upkeep you could make a lovely patio in-between some trees and/or under a canopy or pergola with nice comfy lounge chairs, tables for holding drinks and snacks, and even some raised beds or potted plants if you are feeling ambitious. Then you could enjoy your outdoors, instead of alternating between staring at it from inside the house, mowing it, or forgetting it even exists (until it’s time to mow it again). You could grow fragrant herb gardens instead, or even vegetable gardens! Plant a million native wildflowers and attract all the pollinators (of the insect and bird varieties). Plant amazingly beautiful decorative grasses. Plant trees to give you shade and birds and squirrels and the sound of the wind rustling through their leaves in spring and summer. Trellis vines of jasmine and morning glories and passion vines and make arches of colorful, wonderful smelling joy. Plant fucking anything other than a boring useless ugly time-and-money sucking lawn.

Seriously, lawns are the worst.

And I am vindicated! Yards with less grass and more plants help fight climate change

Hostetler said manicured lawns are “better than cement . . .(but) ecologically horrible.” Cutting the grass, he explained, rereleases the carbon that was stored in the clippings and halts the growth of other plants that may be coming in. The emissions from mowers, fertilizers, water and other types of lawn care further offset environmental gains.


Meme

Is me.

Friday, June 25 2021

Quote of the Day

She sat back on her heels and sighed. “That’s hitting below the belt.”

That was where the truth, when it was inconvenient, usually hit.

Anne Bishop, The Queen’s Weapons

Not Much Time Today

Here’s a list of links with minimum commentary:

Learn about black walnuts After a bit of researching, I found out that walnuts were indeed a food the Narragansetts ate, most of the walnuts you can buy today are English walnuts. The Native American walnut is the black walnut, and this brand is for sale in WalMart and on Amazon.

Cultivating Wild Strawberries Of course even strawberries are not simple; conventional strawberries are hybrids with non-North American native varieties. But there is a brand in the PNW that sells wild strawberries, huzzah. I think I’ve seen them in the freezer section of the local Whole Foods.

Cozy Grove A happy chill sim game with ghosts!


Meme

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Quote of the Day

Sometimes, a hypocrite is nothing more than a man who is in the process of changing.

Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

Still Can’t Get Away from Inside

Why Bo Burnham’s INSIDE Is So Good: 3. Four Act Story Structure

Shit, does Inside have a story structure? And do I need to map it out? I don’t think I’m up to it today, but I might in the future.


More About Native Narragansett / Algonquin Food

I keep digging around after more information, possibly after I don’t really need more. A list of what they ate in general links:

I’ve been on a journey with this research. The initial excitement has worn off, I’ve pushed through the frustration of finding out how hard and uncertain this endeavor might be, and the fruitlessness of trying to re-create something impossible on my own. I’m now feeling like I want to jump into action, to synthesize some of this information and to figure out where I can realistically start, and what compromises are best.


Roller Beetle Time

As a reminder: I’m on Stage 2 (Beetle Juice) of unlocking the GW2 roller beetle mount, and I need to get a move on with that. When games resemble work because of their ridiculous complexity!

Sunday, June 13 2021

Quote of the Day

Artists spend more of their lives making bad practice pieces than they do masterworks, particularly at the start. And even when an artist becomes a master, some pieces don’t work out. Still others are somehow just wrong until the last stroke.

You learn more from bad art than you do from good art, as your mistakes are more important than your successes. Plus, good art usually evokes the same emotions in people–most good art is the same kind of good. But bad pieces can each be bad in their own unique way. So I’m glad we have bad art, and I’m sure the Almighty agrees.

Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

Building without expansion

Terra Nil is a “reverse city builder” where you restore an ecosystem

In Terra Nil, your goal is twofold. Your first task is to reclaim a barren wasteland, finding ways to reintroduce plants and wildlife into an ecologically devastated area…Once your ecosystem is up and running again, your job shifts: now you’ll need to up stakes and leave, removing any traces of your presence in the area, and completing your work to restore the area to its former natural glory.

PC Games

It’s not out yet, but I can’t wait to play it. This is the kind of art that I love to hear about existing in the world, the kind that gives us a vision of a future where we thrive. As much fun as dystopian endtimes are to read about and watch, living through one is becoming less and less fun.


Are there native Rhode Island plants that are similar to native Pacific Northwest plants?

RI Native Plant Guide

I don’t know, but I found this link that is at least a bit of a start to finding out. This is more research for my new obsession of eating like my ancestors. The Guide will filter by edible plants.


I like cranberries–are they native to RI? And how did the Narragansetts eat them if so?

Native Fruit: Cranberry for all Seasons

Called sasemineash by the Narragansett and sassamenesh by the Algonquin and Wampanoag tribes, the tart berries were an important food source, as early European settlers came to discover. To make pemmican, the fruit (or another berry) was incorporated with pulverized dried fish or meat and melted tallow, and formed into cakes baked by the sun. An endurance athlete of today knows that a proper combination of fat and carbohydrates is necessary to fuel the body. Pemmican was the original power food as this provision provided energy, lasted for months, and was easily portable on long journeys. 

The Indians and English use them [cranberries] much, boyling them with Sugar for Sauce to eat with their Meate, and it is a delicate sauce…

Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), wild in only certain parts of the Northeast and Pacific Northwest…

Julia Blakely, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Well, some of the recipes to try are going to be interesting, for sure. But cranberries are easy to get on both sides of the country at least.