[Art] A Duck, A Gull, A Hare.

May. 26th, 2017 09:35 am
moonvoice: (calm - cute quoll)
[personal profile] moonvoice
These were all inked during Inktober last year.
So much fun colouring them.
I livestreamed the colouring of all of these over at Instagram,
and had really great crowds join me throughout the day.
Also honestly how have I never drawn a Mandarin Duck before,
they're so awesome. :D

Mandarin Duck as Totem
Original available at Etsy

 photo 2017 - Mandarin Duck as Totem 600x_zpspx6iqemw.jpg

'Love can be such a bright, brilliant emotion. I teach about eternal love. I don't teach lessons about love that fades, but instead, love that remains, stays steady, flames bright no matter what. I champion fealty and loyalty to one's loved one, will show you why opposites attract, or why two people can fit together like a perfect puzzle even when they're already whole. I also teach about the beauty of the liminal, how to find wisdom in the dawn and dusk, in the mist and fog. I will guide you through confusing places, and you can follow my bright plumage, or, if you get along better with my female counterpart (or myself when I'm in eclipse plumage), you can follow the flashes of green-blue upon her wings. See me at the surface, and I will teach you about the beauty of love, but I am a duck, and we are made to delve deeper, friend. Come with me, learn what lies beyond.'

More under the cut. )

Mediterranean Gull as Totem
Original available at Etsy

 photo 2017 - Mediterranean Gull as Totem 600x_zpscm0wi9z5.jpg

'You might think, to look at me, that I am a bird that whispers the secrets of the sea, or squawks them, but I'm the Mediterranean Gull, and you'd best get to know *me!* I cry the secrets of the coast, the shoreline, the cliffs, but especially the reeds, the marshes, the swampy wet places where sea meets land. I'm not about those huge open seas, nor am I about endless land, I love the meeting places. Perhaps you'll not be surprised then, to learn that I also teach about meeting places! How to socialise, interacting with others, loving others and hating them, walking through a social life of literal pecking orders and subtler nuanced association. I am not as brazen as some of my gull counterparts, but I'm not quiet either! I will be near you, and I will talk happily. Do you want someone to walk along the beach with you? To forage through the reeds? To find gems of wisdom in the places other people neglect? Look at how we can become so successful, commanding the places that people put second, to their detriment. I am joyful, determined and outspoken, but respectful and understanding too. I might look like so many of the others, but you will learn that I am only ever myself - as you are too.'

More under the cut. )

Mountain Hare as Totem
Original available at Etsy

 photo 2017 - Mountain Hare as Totem 600x_zpsdfkyodve.jpg

'I am integrated into my ecosystem, to the point where the way I live from place to place is variable, as it should be for you as well, if you are hopping from ecosystem to ecosystem. I am aware of my place, I respect it, we have a relationship of mutuality. On the surface, you may think me silly and hilarious, with my hopping antics, my wild racing across the fields or meadows or forests. I am happy in the higher places, I'll never be all that content at sea level, and you may find yourself drawn to the wisdom of hills and mountains and rises. Whether gentle or steep, we know how to appreciate a good hike to see the view beneath us, don't we? It's not always an easy life, I feel you know this well. I am hunted, and I am prey. But there are those who look out for me, and I look out for myself, too. I'm watchful, wary, made to inhabit my environment as perfectly as possible, whether white as new-fallen snow, or as grey-brown as a stone in a grassy field. Look for my moon and goddess wisdom too, if you wish, look deeper, into how I am anchored with the legends of the land and fertility. Oh, we can go so far together, you and I, across the fields or meadows or forests.'

More under the cut. )

[psych] Define Empathy?

May. 25th, 2017 04:31 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I am thinking about writing a thing, or several things, about empathy. I come from a perspective of generally being appalled about how the concept is bandied about, not just in the popular press, but pretty much everywhere, including among the pros.

Part of my appall is how there seem to be a vast profusion of definitions, many mutually exclusive, loose out there. Like, I'm pretty sure two of my grad school classes promulgated precisely opposite empathy vs sympathy distinctions.

So, for kicks and giggles, what's your personal definition of empathy? Assuming, of course, you have one. (If you don't, you can say that too.)

All comments will be screened, and I may or may not be unscreening some or all of them at my personal discretion. If you don't want your definition of empathy being tied to you, comment anonymously.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.

Many thanks to [personal profile] heron61 for bringing it to my attention.

Fate vs D&D (well, mostly Elf vs D&D)

May. 21st, 2017 09:23 pm
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
I've been looking a lot at Fate Core rpg system recently. I sponsored the "Wearing the Cape" superhero game on k'start, and I've looked at a few of the other systems.

I have a friend who's putting together a group for a game to be podcast, maybe vidcast; originally, it was going to be Hero, but wow is that troublesome for fantasy gaming (yeah, there's books, and we looked at 'em and even tried to work with them, but he wants some unique magic details, and that means writing the system from scratch, and Hero's got a lot of number-crunching once you go down that path). We looked at GURPS, which I love - he thinks it's okay, but again, would need to rewrite the magic system. Right now, he's looking at 5e, and seems to think that the magic system is easier to twist into what he'd like than those two. I'm trying to pitch Fate, because I think he wants a strongly narrative game more than one where your stats define what you can do.

Key point: If you want a D&D game, play D&D. If you want a D&D-esque setting but do not want classes, levels, initiative rolls, and saving throws - don't play D&D. Find a system that covers the style of play you want, and use that.

This is mostly me grumbling about D&D )

Books and the Talking-About Thereof

May. 19th, 2017 04:32 pm
elf: Quote: She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain (Fond of Books)
[personal profile] elf
I have [community profile] sps, which stands for "Slushpile sleuths," an ebook review forum created a bit before the big ebook craze. It's been sitting dormant for almost 5 years, and I'd like to change that.

Option 2: Make a book-review tumblr. Pros: Better outreach. Cons: You can't archive on tumblr, can't find anything later, and it takes to serious discussion rather like airplanes take to lakes: Sure, it can be done, but even when it works, it's pretty damned obvious to everyone that it's not how things were intended to happen. Other pros: Nobody cares if you post 30 words or 300.

Not sure where to start, and that's what I want to get feedback about. Should I just... post some reviews of books I've read? I think I'm not going to post Amazing Serious Reviews like [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll does. (Srsly. Looking for reviews? Start there.) I can write like that, but it's not fun for me; that's not how I think about books (first). I'd rather do fannish-style squee or rants.

I'd also like other people to be comfortable posting reviews, which is one of the reasons I didn't get in the habit of posting there - I didn't want to have it overwhelmed by my posts alone. But it's gotten pretty obvious that the choice is "fill it up with my posts" or "leave it dead." And looking around, none of the active book-focused comms are specifically for reviews. ([community profile] book_reviews hasn't been dead as long as this one, but the owner has been inactive since 2010.)

Why I'm suddenly noticing a community I started over 5 years ago and have barely touched since )

It'd be nice to revive a book review comm for the New More Active Shiny Dreamwidth. Extra participation would be more than welcome.

[Ω] QotD

May. 18th, 2017 06:03 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
On Twitter:

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump): This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

Seth Moulton‏(@sethmoulton): As the Representative of Salem, MA, I can confirm that this is false.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I work at a clinic one day a week.

Last week, when I arrived at the clinic, I found in my mailbox a memo and some attached literature expressing Grave Concern about the Netflix original series "13 Reasons Why", due to its portrayal of suicide.

This week, as I was leaving the clinic at the end of the day, I glanced at the waiting room coffee table and saw...

The magazines in the waiting room of the MH clinic I work at, one prominently featuring a headline story on 13RW

Maybe the clinical supervisors should chat with the office manager occasionally.

Some good news, for once

May. 13th, 2017 12:15 pm
elf: Rainbow fist (Join the Impact)
[personal profile] elf
[personal profile] twistedchick posted a link about a SCOTUS ruling: Same-Sex Adoption Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court (diff link, same story).

Synopsis: Two women were married; had child together - one was birth mother; the other adopted. They divorced. Birth-mom moved to a state that didn't allow same-sex adoption and attempted to cut off visitation. Other mom sued, and it bounced up through the courts to SCOTUS.

Unanimous decision, no oral arguments: NO, states cannot dissolve families that were recognized in another state. Georgia's "cannot adopt" rules do not mean that Georgia has the right not to recognize Alabama's legal adoptions.


Some nice ponderings from this: Read more... )

An amusement

May. 12th, 2017 08:37 am
lferion: Art of pink gillyflower on green background (Default)
[personal profile] lferion
Amusing Typo of the Day: Violent Camlet -- I am following [personal profile] hrj's typed-while-listening posts of the presentations she attends at Kalamazoo, which are fascinating, but also prone to the natural hazards of fast note taking. Dress and Textiles session. I really want to read the Gawain paper. And I kind of want to know if violent camlet is also violet or some other color. How does its violence manifest?
elf: Subvert (Subvert)
[personal profile] elf
The Libertarian Futurist Society posted a 15-year-old essay about how all true/hard SF is properly libertarian. (I was alerted to this by this post; I don't go looking for libertarian screeds.) It's... fascinating. I was especially caught by this part:
SF is a radial category in which the prototypes are certain classics of hard SF. This is true whether you are mapping individual works by affinity or subgenres like space opera, technology-of-magic story, utopian/dystopian extrapolation, etc. So in discussing the traits of SF as a whole, the relevant question is not “which traits are universal” but “which traits are strongly bound” — or, almost equivalently, “what are the shared traits of most of the core (hard-SF) prototypes”.
That makes sense - it ties strongly into [profile] shweta_narayan's post, Let's talk about category structure and oppression! which mentions that we group things according to similarity with the core category traits:
The "bird" category has (somewhat culture specific) internal structure. For example, most Americans will agree that a robin is a better example of a bird than an albatross, and an albatross is a better bird than an ostrich. (And while bats are not birds, they are better birds than horses are, and horses are better birds than refrigerators are; so the gradations continue to some extent outside the category boundary).
Her post continues to point out that an ostrich is every bit as much bird as a robin, scientifically. That it is our cultural biases that treat some birds as "real" and others as "funny weird maybe-fake" birds. Albatross, kiwi, penguin, emu, and peacocks are all just as much "bird" as robin, sparrow, and crow. Science and hard analysis of traits gives us one answer ("these are all birds, because of genetics") and culture teaches us something else ("some of these are real birds; others are only 'technically' birds").

Back to the "about SciFi" essay. It starts with the statement that some traits are central to SF, not because they're universal but because they're the most meaningful (a reasonable enough claim) and then goes to claim that libertarian politics are "strongly bound" to hard SF, and that only SF that supports libertarian ideals is true SF, because only it gives the proper framework because
"hard SF has a bias towards valuing the human traits and social conditions that best support scientific inquiry and permit it to result in transformative changes to both individuals and societies. Also, of social equilibria which allow individuals the greatest scope for choice, for satisfying that lust for possibilities."
I can posit that hard SF is about "heroic people solving problems with science." I'm actually rather fascinated by the idea that the Justice League is a proper SF saga. Where I disagree is the notion that libertarian politics bring about "social equilibria." Author has apparently misunderstood "equality" to mean "white dudes get to do anything they want."

I'm not up to sorting out historical errors, and definitely not interested in wasting time making a list of them to argue with old white dudes who want to insist that "their" literary genre needs to inspire everyone else for the same reasons it inspired them.
"SF’s libertarian tradition: ornery and insistent individualism, veneration of the competent man, instinctive distrust of coercive social engineering and a rock-ribbed objectivism that values knowing how things work and treats all political ideologizing with suspicion...."
Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing has all of these traits, and I suspect that it'd be immediately rejected as a work of science fiction at all, much less hard sf, because its foundation isn't "US-flavored men-first society is best." Sense8 has these traits; I doubt they'll be lauding it as a new hard-SF series.

The "libertarian" definition of hard SF isn't about "objectivity;" it's about "making sure SF supports my existing biases about how the world works." The author/site owners (and more importantly, the crowd that supports this essay and others like it) seem to think that 50's America had no coercive social engineering - that the concept of "nuclear families" and "men as outside-job-havers and women as stay-at-home child raisers" is an innate part of the human condition rather than a system created to force half of society to provide unpaid labor.

It seems to think that an objective approach to how-things-work will reject all spirituality. In an interesting twist, it will accept the possibility of ghosts, aliens, psychic powers, FTL travel, teleportation, mysterious disembodied entities with tremendous power, and memory transfer - as long as these things are claimed to have some aspect that a human dude in a lab can put on a chart. (Human woman in a lab putting things on charts only counts if dudes can replicate her results.) If they are perceived and practiced without that, the "libertarian hard-sf" fans claim they belong to some other genre, even if the characters practicing them claim, "This is science; it's just science you don't understand yet, that you don't have tools to measure."


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