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[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 137 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

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Meme Time!

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:14 pm
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] lijahlover ages ago!
I am doing it now to distract myself from the fact I haven't been able to come up with anything for this week's [community profile] hogwarts365. :((

Anyway, below the cut at my childhood crushes:
Wow I was a nerd )

So, who were your childhood idols/crushes growing up?
Tell me! Distract me from my no-writing slump!

Also, I tag...[personal profile] lilyseyes, [personal profile] torino10154, [livejournal.com profile] sassy_cissa, [livejournal.com profile] akatnamedeaster, [personal profile] adafrog, [personal profile] capitu, [livejournal.com profile] enchanted_jae, [livejournal.com profile] brumeier, and [personal profile] digthewriter. *g*
xela: Photo of me (Default)
[personal profile] xela

Earlier this afternoon I did something I rarely do: Post a comment on a youtube video. I'm a veteran of USENET flame wars, so not much phased by the knuckle-dragger insults a thoughtful comment often draws there. But BITD, my newsgroup comments were also likely to yield worthwhile replies. Youtube, not so much.

But comment I did. And then did something I do even more rarely: Shared the video on Facebook. And now I want to share it with you as well. Starting with my FB introduction:

I've read a lot of excellent essays about art — literature, film, theater, even music. I've read a lot more that was crap, of course (or at any rate, started a lot more that was crap, before giving up in disgust). The point being that I know what well-crafted criticism is. And this video essay on how JK Rowling's characters — especially Hermione — changed from book to film is one of the best pieces of criticism I've ever seen. Well worth watching.




And the comment I left on youtube:

Thank you for a tremendously well-observed and thought-provoking close-reading. The Devil's Snare episode was one of my favorite parts of _Philosopher's Stone_ from the first time I read it. And when the movie came out, I leaned forward in my seat and literally waited with bated breath for URupert Grint to say "Are you a witch or what?" And left the movie muttering something about "best line of dialog in the entire book, and _they left it out?!_"

But I entirely failed to see it as part of _any_ larger pattern, let alone the sevaral you bring out. Good criticism is rare. In producing a piece of excellent criticism that's also entertaining and perfectly true, you've hit the trifecta. Great work. Thank you.

Drabble: Charges

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
alisanne: (Green_harry)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Charges
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Severus Snape/Harry Potter.
Word Count: 100 x 6
Rating: PG
Challenge: Written for [community profile] snarry100/[insanejournal.com profile] snarry100/[livejournal.com profile] snarry100's prompt# 594: Moral.
Summary: Hermione makes some discoveries.
Part Twenty-Nine of the Wisdom Series (LJ/IJ/DW).
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Charges )

Drabble: Perfect Conditions

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:08 am
alisanne: (Nev_eyes)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Perfect Conditions
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Neville Longbottom/Draco Malfoy
Word Count: 100 x 3
Rating: PG-13
Challenge: Written for [insanejournal.com profile] neville100/[community profile] neville100's prompt# 365: All Year Round.
Warning(s)/Genre: Erotica, mild bondage.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Perfect Conditions )

Groups vs systems

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am
dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

Here's the thing: there's a difference between a group of people and a system of people. The difference is that a system of people comprises not only the individuals, but also the social constructs that guide the behavior of those individuals... in other words, the system itself.

For example, a company isn't just a bunch of people who coincidentally happen to work on the same projects in distributed ways. A school system isn't a bunch of teachers and administrators who independently happen to work the same way. A police precinct isn't a bunch of officers who just happen to follow the same rules.

In each of these cases there are policies and guidelines and hierarchies and informal structures and so forth that shape behavior. There's a system.

And when we praise or condemn the public school system, or the police, or Microsoft, or etc. we mostly aren't praising or condemning a whole group because of some good or bad individuals. I mean, sure, those individuals exist, but they aren't the reason. We are praising/condemning a whole group because of the system that organizes it. And the larger the system we're talking about, the more true that is: when we say that democracies are more just than totalitarian states, or that capitalism is more efficient than communism, or that communism is more humane than capitalism, or various other claims along those lines, we're basically not saying anything at all about any individual.

Or at least, that's how it should be. I mean, sure, sometimes we praise or condemn a group of people just because we're applying aggregate-level stereotypes to all the individuals in that group. And in those cases the "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group." narrative makes sense: we really shouldn't! Or at least, we're overwhelmingly likely to be mistaken when we do; we can draw our own ethical conclusions from there.

(I am reminded now of a friendship I broke some time back by expressing both the idea that condemning individuals because of their group affiliations is bad, and the idea that analyzing the common behaviors of individuals is the only way we can identify pathological systems, in ways that struck them as infuriatingly and relationship-endingly hypocritical.)

And sure, sometimes we make analysis errors in this space. Sometimes there's a system operating we're unaware of. Sometimes we infer the presence of systems that don't actually operate, or aren't relevant to what we're talking about. It's easy to talk about the behavior of people while ignoring the systems that shape us, and it's easy to handwave about notional systems without actually making any concrete or testable claims about whether they exist.

I'm not saying I expect us to be perfectly accurate when we describe groups and systems. But I want us to be better about acknowledging that they are two different things.

When someone condemns racism as a systemic attribute of a society, for example, there are folks who reply that no, racism is a property of individuals, end-of-story.

And in principle that can be a legitimate disagreement; if someone wants to argue that there really aren't any social systems underlying/guiding/constraining/coordinating the racist behavior of individuals, for example, that's a totally relevant argument. (Mind you, I think it's obviously false, but that's another matter.)

But usually they aren't arguing that; rather, they are simply insisting that we can only talk about individuals, because when we say that racism is also demonstrated through the systems that essentially all white people in this country participate in, we're talking about a whole group, and (all together now) "we shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

And I don't know how to say all of this, or any of it, in ways that are at all useful within the conversation itself. And I watch other people trying to do it, and not getting very far either.

And I understand that often that's because other people just don't want to hear it, and in general I don't believe that there's a way to say everything that will be accepted by the person I'm talking to and that it's my job to find it. But still, I try to express myself clearly and compellingly.

So, anyway. I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

Lootcrate haul!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:08 am
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne
My second lootcrate box arrived and it's AWESOME!

Here's what it looked like:

Cut for lots of pictures )
I am so glad I signed up for this Lootcrate box. So far the items have been SO COOL.

And, omg, that Locket pin is beautiful. :)

What phone?

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:44 am
xela: Photo of me (Default)
[personal profile] xela

Short Form

Six months ago, I was all set to replace my iPhone with a OnePlus 3T as soon as my iPhone's deterioration demanded. Then they announced the OnePlus 5. And I started seeing the first negative reviews of a new OnePlus phone I'd ever read. But they were still shipping the 3T, so I wasn't worried.

But now my iPhone's deterioration really is starting to demand that I replace it. And I appear to have been deceived about the OnePlus 3T still being available.

So I have a couple of questions for folks with Android clue.


Long Form

As I mentioned last week, my iPhone is on it's last legs and I've decided to switch to Android. I also decided, early in my current ride on the carrier-subsidized-phone-with-two-year-contract funhouse-ride, that the next time I bought a phone I was going to actually buy a phone. I've long thought that would be preferable in principle, and about when I was gritting my teeth and signing the contract my current iPhone came with, I started hearing buzz about OnePlus.

My memory (not confirmed by reading the Wikipedia article, FWIW) is that part of that buzz was about their US business plan being to sell directly to the consumer, forcing US carriers to get serious about supporting BYOD customers. Misunderstanding or not, it predisposed me to pay attention to OnePlus and to reviews of their phones, while none of the other Android phone manufacturers have garnered much attention from me.

And those reviews — as I remember them, at least — were consistently impressive. When my iPhone started giving me trouble earlier this year, the OnePlus 3T had just come out a few months earlier. And people were falling all over themselves to talk about how good it was. So it went to the top of my list of phones to look at when I could no longer nurse my iPhone along. An otherwise empty list.

Then in July they released the OnePlus 5. And the reviews were not entirely stellar. Certainly not the hosannas the 3T had garnered on its release. But I wasn't too concerned: given things like the Midnight Black Limited Edition page, with its conspicuous "Buy Now" button in the center of the page, it seemed clear that OnePlus was planning to continue shipping the 3T alongside the 5 at least into autumn.

I don't generally go for the leading edge unless I see a potential upside that well over-balances the potential downside. And for smartphones, I haven't seen that in 15 years — not since the Sony-Ericsson P800 was leading-edge. To my way of thinking, the OnePlus 3T is just about exactly in the trailing-edge sweet spot. And that limited edition Midnight Black: the cherry on top! So for the past six or eight weeks I thought I had a solid plan for when it came time to punt my iPhone.

But now that day's arrived. And it turns out that actually clicking that "Buy Now" button takes me to a page that — disappointment #1 — lists only the other two other colors. And — disappointment #2 — says, next to each,

Out of stock

And going back to that Limited Edition page and looking more closely, I find near the bottom:

Sold out
This limited edition release is no longer available in your region.
Disappointment #3.


Questions

  • Am I grossly over-reacting to the bad press the OnePlus 5 has gotten? (I'm certainly over-reacting. The emphasis here is on grossly.) Should I just buy a OnePlus 5 and stop gnashing my teeth?
  • Are there other Android phones readily available new, unlocked, and with full warranties, that are comparable to recent OnePlus models? Comparably priced? If so, which? Would you recommend any of them?
  • While no longer available directly from OnePlus, the 3T is still available from third parties. Some ostensibly new-in-box. None, that I've found, with any sort of warranty. At prices not much different, and sometimes more, than OnePlus' retail prices when they were available. Run screaming? Approach with caution? Does anyone know of a reliable vendor, perhaps in the tradition of small Japanese companies that help Americans get Japan-only products without having to personally fly to Japan?

Thank you!

More Potterverse Loot!

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:32 pm
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne
So I think I mentioned this in one of my previous Potterversecon posts, but just in case I didn't, they had Weasley Clocks!

Since they proved very popular at the con, they sold out fast, so I ordered one to be mailed to me and it's arrived! Eeee!

Slytherin Weasley Clock! )
Isn't it gorgeous? <3

*bounces*

Drabble: Back to School

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:28 am
alisanne: (boy_love)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Back to School
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Albus Severus Potter/Scorpius Malfoy, James Sirius Potter.
Challenge: Written for [livejournal.com profile] hp_nextgen100/[insanejournal.com profile] hp_nextgen100/[community profile] hp_nextgen100's prompt # 126: Back to School.
Rating: PG
Length: 100 x 2
Warnings: Lame title is lame? :P, innuendo.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Back to School )

Drabble: Transfiguration Tempest

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:26 pm
alisanne: (Snarry Tender)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Transfiguration Tempest
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Severus Snape/Harry Potter, Minerva McGonagall.
Challenge: Written for [community profile] harry100/[insanejournal.com profile] harry100/[livejournal.com profile] harry100's prompt 320: Transfiguration
Rating: PG-13
Length: 100 x 3
Warnings: Silliness.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Transfiguration Tempest )

Weekly Fic Wrap Up: Week 37, 2017

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:22 pm
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne
Whoops. I posted a drabble before the wrap up.
For those who may have seen that, I'll repost the drabble in a sec, K?

Ali's List of Fics Sept 11 - September 17 )
And here's what I'm working on:
Ali’s To-Do/WsIP List )

Monday Meme Time

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:16 am
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne
The lovely [personal profile] brumeier tagged me on Tumblr to list my ten favorite characters from ten different fandoms.
So here we go!

1. Severus Snape - Harry Potter (surprise! :P)
2. Vanyel Ashkevron - Valdemar Series
3. Steve Rogers - Marvel Cinematic Universe
4. Mr Spock - Star Trek
5. Lex Luthor - Smallville
6. Tenth Doctor - Doctor Who
7. Dean Winchester - Supernatural
8. Mercedes Thompson - The Mercy Series
9. River Tam - Firefly
10. Lemuel Bridger - Midnight, Texas
And, as a bonus
11. Kellen Tavadon - Obsidian Series

Whee, that was fun!
And now I tag [personal profile] xochiquetzl, [personal profile] cruisedirector, [personal profile] kitty_fic, [livejournal.com profile] sassy_cissa, [personal profile] kelly_chambliss, [personal profile] fairyniamh, and [personal profile] gracerene.
dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.

Drabble: Answer

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:02 pm
alisanne: (HD bring it)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Answer
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Rating: PG
Word count: 100 x 2
Characters/pairings: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy.
Challenge: Written for [community profile] dracoharry100/[livejournal.com profile] dracoharry100's prompt 497: Add.
This is part 79 of my H/D Auror Series (LJ/IJ/DW).
It starts at part one: The Beginning (LJ/IJ/DW).
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and [personal profile] emynn.
Authors Notes: Draco responds.

Answer )

Weekly Random Post of Random

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:31 am
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne


Happy Sunday, everyone! May we all have a great week.
And remember, love trumps hate. <3

[sci hist] A Most Remarkable Week

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:52 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t Metafilter)

This link should take you to the audio player for The Moth, cued to a story, "Who Can You Trust", 12 minutes long.

The Moth, if you didn't know, is an organization that supports storytelling – solo spoken word prose – true stories. This story is told by Dr. Mary-Clare King, the discoverer of BRC1. It concerns a most extraordinary week in her life, when pretty much everything went absurdly wrong and right at all once. It is by turns appalling and amazing and touching and throughout hilarious.

It's worth hearing her tell herself before the live audience. But if you prefer transcript, that's here – but even the link is a spoiler.

Recommended.
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