waywren: (GAH EXPLOSIONS!)
[personal profile] waywren posting in [community profile] poetry
"I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold," by Charles Demuth, painted after reading this poem.
I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.

Poem: "Devoiced, Envoicing"

Oct. 1st, 2014 08:37 pm
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Day 7 of laryngitis:
paper as assistive tech
makes speech corporeal,
past words wadded up
like used tissues.

New pet peeve:
people calling me on the phone
when they know I have laryngitis.
What are they expecting?
(I reject call, text back
I am all-textual
genie of the text)

I start wearing a 'BTW' post-it
with "I've got laryngitis"
stuck to my chest
that I can point to in lieu
of pointing at my neck
and making a funny face.

(Maybe I should put that
in my voicemail message?
Oh wait)

Somewhere between farce
and frustration, scribbled text
and gestured connotation,
I persist:
I make myself heard

my sentences, unmoored
from my mouth, persist beyond me

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

aaaaaaaah ;________________;

Oct. 2nd, 2014 12:38 am
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[personal profile] kaberett
thank you all so, so much; I cannot even; I-- thank you. Thank you. Poems & individual thanks to come (though I am struggling to match up some of your names-as-reported-to-me with names-I-know-you-as).

I do not the words, at least not right now. <333
peoppenheimer: Photo of interesting tree stump in forest. (Default)
[personal profile] peoppenheimer
As I have mentioned, I told Eric Schwitzgebel that I would give him a list of ten philosophically interesting items of speculative fiction. This will be one of the lists he will post to his blog, The Splintered Mind. Each item is supposed to be accompanied by a philosophical teaser that might motivate someone interested in philosophy to read, listen to, watch, or play the item. The context for all this is Anglophone academic philosophy. Approximately thirty people will be contributing lists. All of them either hold positions in departments of philosophy or hold post-graduate degrees in philosophy. An edited combined list will be submitted for inclusion in the second edition, now in preparation, of Susan Schneider's anthology Science Fiction and Philosophy.

Because my circle and network on Dreamwidth are among the most informed people concerning speculative fiction with whom I have any communication, I would like to discuss this list, including its teasers, with you. I've told Eric that my final list will be informed by this discussion. I've already sent him my list as it stands prior to writing this post. At this point, I don't envision giving public credit to any of you who help me with this, because most of you insulate your Dreamwidth life from your life outside Dreamwidth to a greater or lesser degree. If you help me with this and wish me to include an acknowledgment to you in my future communications with Eric and the rest of the list makers, please let me know.

I post this with some trepidation. This is absolutely not meant to be a “ten best” list, nor even a list of my ten favorites, or ten most interesting philosophically. It's more like the first ten I thought of! Nevertheless, making such a list public, and even more than the simple list of items, making the teasers public, will inevitably reveal my blind spots, my biases, and even my stupidities. Furthermore, some of the items on this list are items I have not read or watched in a very long time. If you are generous enough to comment, please don't pull any punches. This isn't squee—not even anywhere in that emotional-critical neighborhood. It's an attempt to bring philosophy faculty and philosophy students who may have had little or no exposure to fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, etc. into serious philosophical engagement with writing and other media that will challenge their biases, blind spots, and stupidities. The better I can make this list, with its philosophical teasers, the better it will serve that purpose.

~ Takes a deep breath. ~

  • Edwin Abbott Abbott (writing pseudonymously as “A Square”). 1884. Flatland. Novella. Conceptualization and visualization; imaginability, conceivability, and possibility; social class structure.

  • Peter S. Beagle. 1990. “Sarek”. Screenplay. (Star Trek: The Next Generation. s03e23, May 14, 1990). Dementia, social role, telepathy, telempathy, Stoicism, pietas, duty, honor.

  • Peter S. Beagle. 1993. The Innkeeper’s Song. Gender, gender swap, revenants, romantic love, nature of true love, laws of magic and costs of performing magic; do things and people have essential natures? Loyalty and power.

  • Stanisław Lem. 1961. Solaris. Novel (Polish). Communication with aliens. What, if anything, is real? Politics of science and exploration. (Andrei Tarkovsky. 1972. film.)

  • Ursula K. LeGuin. 1974. The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia. Novel. Anarcho-syndicalism vs capitalism; scarcity and abundance; co-operation and competition; sclerosis of a revolution.

  • Doris Lessing. 1980. The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five. Novel. Gender: are gender characteristics inherent?; gender essentialism; communication among genders. (Philip Glass. 1997. Opera.)

  • China Miéville. 2011. Embassytown. Novel. Philosophy of language! semiotics! impossibility of falsehood! simile vs metaphor!

  • Cordwainer Smith. 1962. “The Ballad of Lost C’Mel”. Novella. Galaxy Magazine (October 1962). Sex work, multiple grades of citizenship, civil rights, animal-human spectrum.

  • Charles Stross. 2005. Accelerando. Novel. Uploaded minds; post-humanism; the singularity. What is a person, anyway?

  • A.E. van Vogt. 1940. Slan. Novel. Astounding Science Fiction (September–December 1940). Transhumanity/superhumanity, telepathy, genocide. Meta: fandom: “Fans are slans.” The other. Mutual contempt and fear. (Hardcover 1946.)

Fan problems

Oct. 1st, 2014 01:10 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
I've never really quite had time to get into the Marvel franchise, but I really like a lot of the fandom response I see drifting past me on Tumblr and to some extent my DW network. And I was over at [personal profile] jack's for the weekend and he happened to have Captain America: the Winter Soldier in his rental queue. He reckoned it was probably accessible to someone who hadn't watched the whole rest of the series, so I decided to give it a go.

And we watched about the first hour and a half and then paused the DVD to get up and pee. And at that point I realized that there were any number of things I'd rather be doing than watching the rest of that film, so we gave up and did other things instead. ([personal profile] jack was ok with watching the ending after I'd headed back to Stoke).

Basically, I just couldn't bring myself to care about anything. The characters seemed to have no depth or complexity. I didn't care enough about S.H.I.E.L.D to be invested in the fact that the agency had been infiltrated, and I pretty much guessed the identity of the "mysterious" Winter Soldier even though I have no real background in the mythos. I wasn't moved or shocked by Nick Fury's assassination, I was only mildly disappointed that having that character played by Samuel L Jackson didn't prevent the cliché of the African-American mentor figure getting fridged to give the blond hero some motivation. There were lots of explosions and shoot-outs and the obligatory car chase, but I found them so dull I was mainly noticing flaws in the CGI (the whole thing looks like being inside a fairly generic FPS computer game) rather than getting emotionally involved.

I don't think the problem was unfamiliarity with the franchise. All the characters kept explaining direct to camera what was going on and how they were feeling. If anything the film was almost too accessible; even as someone who isn't in superhero fandom at all, I felt talked down to. I tried to relax and enjoy it as just a big dumb action movie, but I was bored or irritated a lot more than I was excited or moved. So even the combination of sunk cost fallacy and narrative drive which usually means I always read or watch all the way to the end wasn't enough to keep me from wandering off half way through.

Basically, I like the version I'd glimpsed through fandom a lot better. The apparently entirely imaginary film that really explores what it would be like for a superhero veteran from WW2 to suddenly wake up in 2014. And where the Black Widow has a really interesting past as a former Russian spy and is genuinely morally ambivalent, rather than just looking sexy and pouty in very tight clothing. Where the friendship / bromance between Captain America and the extremely cute Anthony Mackie's Falcon takes centre stage rather than Mackie just being a minor comic relief character.

In general, feh.

SF lists

Sep. 30th, 2014 11:11 pm
peoppenheimer: Photo of interesting tree stump in forest. (Default)
[personal profile] peoppenheimer
About a month ago I foolishly volunteered to contribute one of these lists of ten works of philosophically interesting SF. Each work is supposed to be accompanied by a brief pitch pointing toward the work's philosophical interest. It's proving surprisingly difficult, not only to get down to ten, but also to craft the 8–30 word pitches.

Religious leader

Sep. 30th, 2014 10:53 pm
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
[personal profile] liv
Oh. My. Life! It's the middle of the High Holy Days, right, I'm up to my eyes preparing half a dozen major events in 3 weeks. And term started yesterday and I have a new PhD student, so work is fairly overwhelming too. So the day before the New Year, I get an urgent message from an old friend in Sweden asking me to come and run the Progressive Jewish community's big annual showcase event, because the person who was supposed to be doing it has pulled out for overriding personal reasons. And obviously every Jewish professional is massively busy at this season, and apparently they remember me fondly from 5 years back...

I mean, I can do a full weekend of activities with a mix of social, liturgy and Jewish study. I can even do it at short notice, if I have to. I can liaise with a bunch of people in a different country who have strong views about how they want to run things and haven't necessarily come to a consensus before consulting me. But to do this when the two weeks between hearing about it and it actually happening contain Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur and the start of term, that's a big ask. To cap it off, I am walking into two politically fraught situations, both at the national politics level (Sweden has just had national elections with a massive swing to the far-right party), and at the community politics level (the broader community just sacked their rabbi because he was too successful at his brief of attracting young people to synagogue and making things more dynamic, and it turns out the old stalwarts don't like change.) And again, I can handle politically fraught, but only if I have really plenty of time to prepare, not just intellectually but talking to people and sounding out what the issues are and where I need to tread carefully.

Also, would you believe that the theme for the weekend is "how to deal with legitimate criticism of Israel in a climate of anti-semitism". Um. That is waaaaaay the hell outside my comfort zone, very hard to teach in a text-based way, and likely to provoke some really passionate and potentially conflicting responses.

anxieties )

Oh, and in other news the university has invited me as a special guest to attend a lecture by former Archbishop The Rt Rev & Rt Hon Lord Rowan Williams. I assume because they wanted to showcase interfaith diversity, but it's weird that I've ended up as someone the university trots out to meet VIPs. The lecture is public, but I get to attend a formal dinner as well. I'm kind of excited about this, but also I could do without it being 24 hours before the start of Yom Kippur.

Easy as pie!

Sep. 30th, 2014 08:59 pm
moreteadk: (C25K)
[personal profile] moreteadk posting in [community profile] c25k
No seriously. I've moved on to week six. Week six is like week five, which means that the difficulty is turned ever so slightly down from last time so as to build up to day three which is 25 minutes of running. (Day 3 of week five was 20 minutes)

So today was 5-8-5 minutes running, with 3 minutes walking in between. After last time? Soooo easy. No, seriously. I shall move straight on to day 2 next time and repeat the whole week if necessary and as many times as necessary, seeing as how this is the last week with any walking in it.

Today I learned why it is Evil Laura insists that you keep moving when you have been allowed to slow down. After the 8 minutes run I had to stop briefly because my shoe lace had come undone, and just the short amount of time it took to tie it, I could feel my legs stiffening up. Spent the rest of the walking break getting rid of that sensation.

I started the program a bit later on the route than normally today. Normally I listen to one song on my ipod and then start the program afterwards. That way I can get up the short but steep hill before I have to run. Today, I listened to two songs, because the next one that came up was a really good one. This meant that I was home before the cool down walk was completed. As it was raining, I opted to finish up in doors, so I found myself doing laps around the dining table like an idiot.

(crossposted from my own journal)

Things on my desk: Part 1

Sep. 30th, 2014 02:54 pm
nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila
It occurred to me recently that a decade or so of working in and around space science has allowed me to amass an interesting collection of swag. The swag lives in, on and around my desk, depending on size, current relevance and preciousness.

One item that rocketed to the top of the list (and thus currently holds pride of place) was a gift I received at the end of my service at Space Camp in Austria in July. It is a piece of Genuine Space Rock. Observe its Certificate of Authenticity, which is lent additional gravitas (at least to me) by virtue of being in German.

[Image of Asteroid belt detritus]

Next time: pin badges galore!


Sep. 30th, 2014 07:15 am
boosette: (Default)
[personal profile] boosette
I was going to yulenom the Legend of Sinbad (Dreamworks) but didn't because I am a dope.

So far only one of my nominations (Old Kingdom - Sabriel, Touchstone, Ellimere I, Terciel) has been accepted, with the others in limbo awaiting attention. This year's goal: get a draft out before December, spend the rest of the time writing Galaxy Rangers treats for the five people in the fandom, some of whom might also be participating. Other noms include The Matrix (Movies) (Hilariously no one nominated Neo - I nommed Trinity, Morpheous, Switch and Apoc; I'm going to rewatch this weekend I think.)

(I need to find two other fandoms I want just as much as GR & Old Kingdom.)

Hands up who's participating/excited/really glad it's fall? Also useful to me: Two 4-hour plane rides and a computer that currently has better than adequate battery life, although I may see if I can snag an external batt before I fly home.

Everyone doing NaNoWriMo: Fully 1/3 - that's 10 days - of November is comprised of weekend! (I have carefully made sure that I am spending 0 weekends with my family; flying in on Monday and out on Friday, the week of Thanksgiving.)

There is a universe in my head that conceptually is all [personal profile] staranise, from this post, the ember of which I am trying to keep aglow until November happens. Big plans, big plans.

Work is hectic as ever but it is nice to have stuff to do.
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
[personal profile] kaberett
I have just received a quotation of £500 for repairs to and return shipping of one of my wheels. This is particularly frustrating because the problem started when I was wheeling on a level, even indoor surface (rather than being obviously related to any of the kerb-hopping I do), and consequently is being treated as a mechanical/electrical fault not covered by my insurance. Plus the wretched thing is out of warranty.

This is something I can do out of my savings, with a great deal of stress and a trip to Cambridge and eroding my buffer. Or it's a term's worth of teaching, but I'm not certain I'm going to even get teaching (pay rates increased by a whole 30p/hr, which means that the number of graduate demonstrators has been dramatically reduced, with undergrad TAs taking up some but not all of the slack). And, yeah, I feel pretty dreadful asking for help given that I could cover it, but--

-- if you like my art & essays, and only if you have anything to spare without making things harder for yourself, I would be enormously grateful if you could chuck some money my way. My paypal is kaberett@gmail.com; if you don't like Paypal (entirely understandable!) I can also provide my details for bank transfer (or, you know, work something else out). Currently at approximately £500 - thank you so, so much <3

Regardless of whether you want or are able to chip in on this (really, I mean it <3), comments are open for prompts for poems. They'll likely be shortish and a kissing cousin to flash fiction, but this is true of most of the stuff I write, so.

eta aaaaaaaaaaaah ;____; <333


Sep. 30th, 2014 09:19 am
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
[personal profile] kaberett
Today is a departmental away day, at which I would actually like to be.

Last night was insomnia.

This morning it became rapidly apparent that I was moving slowly enough that I'd be late unless I didn't take the wheelchair, but that that would mean using the provided seating all day which in my current state would wreck me even worse for the rest of the week.

It was also pretty clear that I wasn't up to getting the chair out of the house by myself, and definitely not up to negotiating the underground or buses with it.

So I am still in bed, feeling guilty and also angry at my limitations.

todo )

tada )
waywren: (Kazuha's music)
[personal profile] waywren posting in [community profile] poetry
Didn’t like jazz, he once claimed
In an interview,
The good doctor’s reaction to it
A bit like a hand retracting
From a slim volume

Of 20th century verse. In
Other words: good intentions,
But what does this yak, yak, yak

Have to do with me? This,
You understand, from a person
Who had listened
To an industrial river, forced
A painter’s brush to give up
Its low, animal noise,

Broke trees into


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