brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
Several things I recommended during Worldcon just now:

I had a very good time at Worldcon and am recovering now.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I participated in Yuletide last year and really enjoyed it, so I'll probably participate again this year. Nominations: Friday 9 September to Friday 16 September. Thinking about what to nominate...

* I am about 3/4 of the way through Neal Stephenson's Seveneves -- I see one work about it on AO3 and I'll probably read that and more after I finish the novel.
* "As Good As New" by Charlie Jane Anders
* Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
* the miniseries Tanner '88

with more ideas to come, for sure.
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
Last night I had a dream. I dreamt that I was one of four men (and a small dog?) in some kind of sporting event involving balance and strength. We arranged ourselves on the roof or the ledge of a really tall building, like, two of the guys got onto their hands and knees, and then the other two guys ... one was going to stand on those two backs, maybe, and then let the last one sit on the standing guy's shoulders? I'm not sure and also I'm not sure how the dog was involved.

I also had access to a harness and a bungee-type thing, and either to take a break or to do some kind of reconnaissance, I got into it and swung down off the building. What a rush! I was bouncing around excitedly in all three dimensions in a big built-up urban area, using my legs to spring off trees and buildings. Super exhilarating!

But then I realized that after all the bouncing calmed down, I would end this funtime, inevitably, on the ground, forty or more stories below the building's roof, and the team couldn't compete without me, and I wasn't sure how to get back onto that roof in a way that didn't disqualify me (and thus our team) from the competition. The elevator would be cheating. Maybe I had to hand-over-hand climb the exterior of the building, or maybe walking all the way up the stairs would be okay. I knew I needed to get back up there, but then I got sidetracked in a restaurant where I had trouble getting seated and I found myself sitting in someone else's seat and eating someone else's leftovers (and I think it was beef, which is strange since I don't eat beef). By the time I woke up I still hadn't figured out how to get back to my teammates on that roof.

Now that I'm awake I can see some of the immediate ingredients that went into the set dressing of this dream. I've watched some Olympics gymnastics, I was waiting for an elevator and considered walking up several flights of stairs instead, I was arranging a group dinner, I consistently had trouble hearing someone at an event. And I can guess at some of the underlying anxieties: that I'm letting down people who depend on me, that I've taken a leap of faith in starting this business and it won't work out, that I'm a copycat or too dependent on others' "leftovers" of various kinds.

The harness and cord were bright safety orange. And it was so much fun riding that energy, making split-second decisions and pushing off to fly in another direction. It was a novel and exciting mix -- like yeah, I couldn't change the laws of physics, but I could strip away the usual barriers we build up to insulate ourselves from the worst possible outcomes, and trust my autonomy and control and judgment would give me enough safety that I could have fun with the resulting possibilities, fun I couldn't have otherwise.

Most of my anxiety dreams don't have anything that joyous in them. I want to remember that joy and acknowledge the worry. They're both real.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
If I decide to check out Gail Carriger's books, should I start by reading the Finishing School sequence or the Parasol Protectorate sequence? Or something else? Or does that reading order not matter?

Plot bunny

Jul. 18th, 2016 12:57 pm
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
The Ghostbusters crew gets called in to visit the main New York Public Library building (the Schwarzman Building, with the stone lion statues out front) ... because weird happenings are afoot at the new Hamilton exhibit.
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
I just saw it tonight with friends.

It's like Magic Mike XXL, in that a big reason I saw it is that internet feminists urged me to do so. Also in that there's enjoyable beefcake for straight women, in the form of Chris Hemsworth (stay through the credits).

Also there's Kate McKinnon.










I enjoyed this movie so much. My face nearly hurt from smiling as I walked out. It's so fun. I welcome links to interesting reviews and responses!
brainwane: The last page of the zine (zine)
I was at a conference, talking with some men, on our way to an informal group dinner. We started talking about what we were reading. One of them (white, US American) and I started talking about comics; we both like comics. I said something enthusiastic about Saga.

He then stated a disclaimer: that he knew he was a bit of a snob, and that if someone asked him if he knew about/read something fairly popular, fairly mainstream, he sort of internally sighed a bit; he preferred pretty offbeat stuff. It seemed like he wanted to prevent bad feelings down the line by forestalling me from asking "have you read [superhero thing]" or "have you read [current critics' darling]" and triggering impatience. I asked if I'd just done that thing, by mentioning Saga, and he said, no, it was fine.

I asked: "So, what's your favorite Amar Chitra Katha?"

There were at least a few seconds of silence, solid eye contact and silence, before he said that he did not know what that was.

So I, pleasantly, told him about the comics I'd read in childhood, made by Indians for many decades, featuring Indian fables, mythology, history, and legends. We then talked about, for instance, Greek and Norse mythology in Marvel/DC mainstream comics, and so on. He mentioned that it did seem like new Indian comics lines were starting up. He did not ask how or where to get ACK comics, or how to spell Amar Chitra Katha so he could learn more.

He didn't say anything explicitly acknowledging my indier-than-thou move (and I didn't either). I wonder whether he noticed it. I will usually prefer enthusiasm over status play, but I do have a few dominance displays in my toolbox and on occasion I will use them.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I'll be at WisCon this year, arriving Thursday the 26th and leaving incredibly early on Monday the 30th (to get to PyCon). I look basically like my profile photo, with slightly longer hair; you might recognize me as @brainwane from Twitter. My pronouns are she/her. I eat mostly vegetarian but will eat fish/poultry that has at least one hippie buzzword (e.g. "organic", "free-range", etc.).

I'm speaking in three sessions:

  1. Panelist on "The Fandom Awakens" (on Star Wars): Friday, May 27, 2:30-3:45 pm, Assembly.

  2. Comedy auctioneer for the charity auction benefiting the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award: Saturday, May 28, 7:30pm-probably 8:30pm or 9pm, Capitol/Wisconsin room.

  3. Panelist on "SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL" (comedy game show focusing on people of color): Sunday, May 29, 4:00-5:15pm, Wisconsin room.



Also, I will probably drop by the Clothing Swap portion of the Gathering on Friday afternoon to find pieces that suit me and to bask in other people wearing my donated stuff; I would like to drop in on the vid party on Saturday night; I would like to drop in on the Hamilton singalong; I have a Dessert Salon ticket and intend on attending the Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches on Sunday evening.

I am easily lured into talking about Hamilton, Zen Cho, Star Trek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mahabharata, Hinduism, and other interests in my profile.

Please ask before hugging; sometimes I'd rather not.

I am often bad with names, and will remember 5 minutes into our conversation that we had an awesome deep conversation one year prior. I apologize in advance. Also, I will probably be a little less intensively social this year, because I am trying to actually sleep enough and thus get to PyCon reasonably well-rested, and because client work for my consulting business may come up; I'll probably be trying to sleep every night from about 11pm to 7am, and aiming to take some alone time on top of that. So if you and I have multiple chances to see each other in person at other times of year, I may choose to make time for other people instead; apologies.

The fact that I am, in a sense, succeeding Ellen Klages in serving as the Tiptree auctioneer is quite a responsibility and I hope to discharge it well. So if you came to the Tiptree auction and raucously laughed at my japes I would welcome your chortles.
brainwane: A silhouette of a woman in a billowing trenchcoat, leaning against a pole (shadow)
I read an advance reader's copy of Ada Palmer's debut novel Too Like the Lightning, which comes out today. It's good in a lot of ways. But it also deserves tons of content notes and trigger warnings, for, among other things, graphic depictions of sexual assault and murder and incest. And, specifically, you as the reader will be asked to sympathize with and share spoiler ) I wish more of the reviews of this book specifically and clearly said this.

Good things: In some ways it feels like Stephenson's The Diamond Age in a good way (world-spanning and engaging with the futures of Asian civilizations, rethinking of nation-states, an important child, touches of Enlightenment retro discourse), and it also reminds me of how I enjoyed Locke's Up Against It (mystery investigation driving the plot along urgently, musings on vocation, the alienness of a sub-society that innovates with bodymods, easy transport across long distances, lots of characters in their 70s or older, high-stakes intrigue among kings and their viziers). More about Palmer's interaction with history in her blog posts about the book.

This is the kind of scifi-of-ideas that award-nominatey people will be talking about, I predict. And I may well write more about it sometime.

brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I saw it last night. (No spoilers ahead.)

Trailers: Jesse Eisenberg is in a new "Now You See It" movie - whenever I see Eisenberg in a role I think "Mark Zuckerberg is so busy!" Also, that and "Central Intelligence" both use a super important encryption key as a MacGuffin.

I do not agree with the characterization of Steve Rogers in about the first half of this movie. My spouse wonders whether fandom has caused me to interpret Steve Rogers in a way that is narrower than MCU canon. I believe so. Also I think some fight/chase sequences are too long and a few conversations dragged. But overall, fun, interesting, and certainly, if a failure, a better failure than Age of Ultron -- it's like how thingswithwings described Winter Soldier, where the movie sort of wants to be saying really interesting subversive things but the structure the movie's in can't let it. And there's some good banter.

Now I have opened up SO many tabs to read other fannish thoughts....

Eeeeee!

Mar. 6th, 2016 05:32 pm
brainwane: Sumana, April 2015, with shaved head. (bald)
I just called up Betsy Leondar-Wright (per the contact info on the Class Matters site) and told her I am gonna give a talk at LibrePlanet inspired by her piece on inessential weirdnesses and she was so jazzed! She probably won't be at my talk but she is so happy for the idea of inessential weirdnesses to be getting out! She might even have some time to look at my draft this week! She is so interested in spreading the word about Friends of Dennis and hearing more about the Birds of a Feather session I held at OSBridge that one time and OMG I feel like bouncing up and down. Eeeeee! Cross-generational and interdisciplinary activist conversation makes me super happy.
brainwane: Photo of my head, with hair longish for me (longhair)
I do not have depression and I'm asking a question about how to be a better friend to friends of mine who have depression and who joke (or similar) about hurting themselves. It's under the cut.

question )

Comments are screened -- if you want your comment unscreened, say so in the comment and I'll unscreen it.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
My friend Allison Parrish has just released @CheapSpaceNine, a Twitter bot* that produces randomly generated plot summaries for nonexistent episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Sample summaries:


Jadzia is forced to play the bodies—and O'Brien, who is selected to become the end, announces the station.


The funeral arrangements mastermind Brunt. Worf talks with Breen ships. Beverage profits, however, react strongly to Q.


A war questions their quarters. An engineering team reveals humanoid farmers.



Friends who love DS9: enjoy!

* A Twitter bot is an Twitter account that posts automatically generated tweets. The programmer who writes the program that automatically generates the tweets is often remixing some pre-existing text, images, data, et cetera. Here's the text of "Writing Aliens", or, "Duchamp, Markov, Queneau: A Mostly Delightful Quilt", a talk about the art of Twitter bots that my spouse Leonard Richardson gave as his Guest of Honor speech at Foolscap 2014.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
This tweet mentions that FogCon is coming up in Walnut Creek. As my eyes moved past it I briefly misread it and imagined a world in which there is a fan convention celebrating my old employer, Fog Creek Software. That was a strange half-second.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
"Comparing codes of conduct to copyleft licenses": written notes for a talk by Sumana Harihareswara, delivered in the Legal and Policy Issues DevRoom at FOSDEM, 31 January 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. Slightly better notes, including a photo, are now on my main blog. Video recording arriving around March 2016. Condensed notes available at Anjana Sofia Vakil's blog.


Good afternoon. I'm Sumana Harihareswara, and I represent myself, and my firm Changeset Consulting http://changeset.nyc/ . I'm here to discuss some things we can learn from comparing antiharassment policies, or community codes of conduct, to copyleft software licenses such as the GPL. I'll be laying out some major similarities and differences, especially delving into how these different approaches give us insight about common community attitudes and assumptions. And I'll lay out some lessons we can apply as we consider and advocate various sides of these issues, and potentially to apply to some other topics within free and open source software as well.

My notes will all be available online after this, so you don't have to scramble to write down my brilliant insights, or, more likely, links. And I don't have any slides. If you really need slides, I'm sorry, and if you're like, YES! then just bask in the next twenty-five minutes.

Text of my notes )
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
A mobile developer I know is working on an Android client for Dreamwidth; if you're an Android user and you're reading this, check out [community profile] dwim so you can provide input to their open questions!
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