mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
On my merry little calendar of daily holidays, today is listed as I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore Day. Given that the past week has been full of reams of legal documentation that is only English on a technicality - not because it's translated but because it's legalese, boo - that is indeed pretty much where my brain is at. "Words? No. No more words. NOPE."

So I took a look at what absolutely had to give today.

Someone trying to squeeze a manifesto into a tagline? NOPE. I can summarize, I can epitomize, I can capture the spirit of the thing, but I cannot take the client's list of eleventy things that absolutely must be mentioned specifically and squeeze it into a five-word tagline.

Glitchy file? NOPE. Pure stupid stubbornness on my part to keep fighting with it this long, instead of asking for help, but that's what legalese does to me - makes me irritable and bitey, even against software.

The flu? NOPE. Okay, it's not that easy. I wish it was that easy.

Maybe this should be 2015's theme song...



(No video embedded above? Sorry, journal sites are inconsistent that way. Try viewing it at Youtube instead.)
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday internet)
Sure, technically there's a real holiday on January 2 - Hogmanay, a Scottish holiday that apparently involves bonfires and lots of food - but I'm not Scottish, and how many 'gorge yourself by a fire' winter holidays can a person take?

So I settled in for Science Fiction Day with an episode of Black Mirror, an acclaimed UK anthology series about the perils of modern technology. Or I tried to. Then I fell asleep, because flu.

Ah well, no harm done - every day is Science Fiction Day around here...
mokie: Man with an old computer monitor for a head drinks through a straw (eljay drama)
The old joke is that Livejournal users hate Livejournal.

Most of it isn't really a Livejournal thing, but an Internet thing: once a website reaches a certain size, long-time users begin to reject all change to it. Not just the big stupid changes to functionality that break the way they've always used the site, either--even small, trivial changes get blown out of proportion. Every foaming-mad comment is really the user saying, "This is to please those new people, isn't it? What about me? I was here first!" It's not so much a rejection of change as it is a rejection of that loss of insider status.

But anyway.

What about this phenomenon at LJ makes it seem so silly?

How about a comment thread where an admin essentially reassures a Russian-speaking user that they can ask questions in their native tongue and be understood, and the English-speaking users wig out and accuse the admin of attacking the user for not asking questions in Russian?
mokie: Thelma Harper glares at the viewer (stfu)
I'm medicated, because it turns out I'm allergic to coconut. (Ooops.) It also turns out that Benedryl makes me chatty--more so than liquor, surprisingly. And thus you get the benefit of my doofy wisdom!

#1. Vaguebooking is punishing everyone who reads because one person pissed you off. It's throwing a rock into a group because you're angry and you want someone to pay attention. It's an act of verbal aggression, and should be met with equal aggression--call that shit out when you see it.

#2. I don't mean privately. Those "Are you OK?" private messages and emails are what the poster wants, someone to come and coddle them so they can spread their misery around without actually asking for help or dealing with the person they're upset with. It just feeds that godawful behavior.

#3. I don't mean nicely, either. Vaguebooking is punishing everyone because you're mad at one person. That's not nice behavior and it doesn't deserve a nice response.

#4. At the same time, I know sometimes folks are just looking to vent. They're not trying to passively-aggressively lash out at someone, they're not asking for help, they just need to release a little steam before the auto-smacking starts. The problem really comes in when they fail to notice that all of their blog posts or status updates or tweets or [insert next big thing in social media] are this kind of venting, because they're never actually socialling in their media--they're just sticking anyone who reads in the position of having to be their ear for venting, without ever giving anything but venting.

#5. And who the fuck wants to read a non-stop negativity engine, just churning out nothing but misery and spite? Fuck, at least toss people a cat picture once in a while.

#6. Ironically, this looks very much like vaguebooking. I'm aware of that. Two minutes before I loaded Semagic, the free-form rant flowing through my wobbly grey bits was all about avocados, so at least this is moderately relevant to the medium.

Edited for clarification: I could have also mentioned in #6 that what sparked the vaguebooking rant was some Buzzfeed article in passing, but that would have made too much sense.
mokie: A cardinal sits on an icy winter branch (cold)
There's nothing like being slammed with work to steal all the words right out of me.

It doesn't help that a large part of the work involves Googling terminology from specific fields. One fashion-related writing job, and for the next week Amazon and Buy.com send me emails about great sales in leggings, while Pinterest has oh so many fashion boards to share...
mokie: A girl in a bathtub wearing a snorkel (soap)
A while back, in response to a drawing of Steampunk Sailor Moon, sweetevangelinesweetevangeline posed a question: what would a Sailor Moon soap smell like?

Cherry blossoms! No, wait--basmati rice. Maybe cotton candy? But more importantly--swirls. SWIRLS!

Obviously, this required much deep thought.

The final soapy result: violet-scented cold process soap in white with pink and black swirls, topped with clear melt & pour soap in which iridescent pink glitter and tiny star glitter are layered for a holographic effect when the soap is tilted and turned.

Hologram soap!


It's an experiment at this stage. A few folks (including sweetevangelinesweetevangeline) have agreed to test it out when the cure's complete, to see how well the mixed bar holds up under regular use. (I have an immature sliver in the kitchen soap cup being used for that test. So far, so good!) A small bit of color lifted from the pink into the melt & pour on one bar, and fingerprints on glycerin are a nuisance. But so far, the only real problem has been photographing the effect: the illusion of depth comes from the twinkle of glitter at different layers, and there's no capturing that in a regular photograph.

Hologram soap, cut bar


Oh, and the part where I create an intensely girly soap, in pink and glitter and floral scents, only to have my 12-year-old nephew walk in, pick up a bar, admire the side colors and say he really likes this new flame soap.

Next batch will be bonfire-scented...

We never learn.

Sunday, 22 July 2012 08:10 am
mokie: Notebook paper with a message, "Abort mission, destroy phone" (media mistrusting)
A couple of quotes from Charlie Brooker's Newswipe seem particularly relevant right now.

First, the host: "Repeatedly showing us a killer's face isn't news, it's just rubbernecking, and what's more, this sort of coverage only serves to turn this murdering little twat into a sort of nihilistic pin-up boy."

And I agree.

Second, from the same, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz:
We've had 20 years of mass murderers, throughout which I have repeatedly told CNN and our other media, 'If you don't want to propagate more mass murders, don't start the story with sirens blaring. Don't have photographs of the killer. Don't make this 24/7 coverage. Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story, not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero.

Do localize this story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market, because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see one or two more within a week. (Charlie Brooker's Newswipe, 25 March 2009)

Update: The experts may expect to see one or two more attacks within a week, but I think we all underestimate how many plain old-fashioned assholes will pop out of the woodwork.

[Related posts: We never learn. / Let's play Armchair Profilers!]
mokie: Sleepy hobbit Will Graham naps on a couch (tired)
While cruising links, I wandered past two stories.

The first is of a popular new novel that was originally published as fanfiction, and which has some writerly blogs/groups upset. They point out that the author only changed the names in her story, nothing more, and that she drummed up support for her novel within fandom. Pro-fanfic, they question the integrity of exploiting another author's work for profit, and exploiting the fan base at all.

The second was about a self-published romance author, treasurer for the Romance Writers of America (networking: it's what's for dinner), unmasked as a plagiarist. Upon being caught, she claimed she'd downloaded the original story to read but mistakenly saved it to her writing folder and uploaded it for sale by mistake--a story which didn't explain the changed title or character names. As more examples rolled in from her other works, she confessed that she was guilty, resigned her role, and tried to fade back into obscurity.

Somewhere in the tangled mass of comments and debate for these two stories, someone made the sad observation that there had been quite a few stories of self-published authors revealed as plagiarists in the past year. The usual slew of "I don't see how they think they can get away with it" responses came up, but a few pressed a different angle...

There are some people who really believe that changing just enough counts--that taking Steve in Wichita and making him Mike in Dubuque makes the story uniquely their own, even if most of the words are the same and in the same order as Steve's Wichita adventures. They really believe they can take a favorite scene, change it just a little--plug in their characters, reword a sentence or two--and it's theirs. They completely misunderstand what is meant by 'taking inspiration' from a beloved story.

They're not intentionally out to trick or defraud anyone, or claiming their work is a remix. They simply don't recognize what they're doing as plagiarism. In their minds, plagiarism is exact copying. If it's Dubuque, and the big showdown doesn't feature all the same elements, that's different enough to count as an homage, right? (No.)

I don't mean the unconscious copies, words or sounds or ideas that quietly take up residence in the back of our heads and pop up a year or ten later pretending to be original ideas, like the songwriters who play a riff and don't realize it comes from "The Wizard of Oz," or authors who write a line and fall in love with it, only to have it pointed out later that it's an obscure movie quote. I remember jabbering about pulling squid out of my nose, and not realizing until later that the image in my head was a medicated hybrid of a short story I'd been reading and someone's blog post; I can only imagine how much more embarrassing that kind of thing is when it's, say, a pop star being called out for ripping off a twenty-year-old Madonna song. Or how frustrating, given that Madonna twenty years ago was openly and intentionally ripping off her contemporaries. But I digress. And embarrass myself by citing the Gaga/Madonna thing. Moving on.

I'm also not slamming self-publishing or fanfiction. Quite the opposite: I think before self-publishing became so easy, these authors would have participated longer in fanfiction, participated in some competitions, and been poked (or seen someone else poked) for their lifting of a line. Or maybe they'd have taken a creative writing course or two, participated in a critique circle, and received a polite but pointed comment about their work being too 'derivative', and that they should look into the exact meaning of plagiarism. Maybe they would have just started a blog, lifted someone else's material, and been on the end of some flamey comments and emails.

The point is, there's been so much debate about the importance/unimportance of the traditional 'gatekeepers' in publishing, snark about the whole world being one's slushpile vs. defiant optimism about levelling playing fields, and so forth. But hand in hand with that, there's also the diminished importance of the small-scale writerly training grounds. Maybe it isn't so much that authors used to have to pay their dues to earn a traditional contract, but that these spaces allowed them to make mistakes semi-privately, whereas now Google sees all and remembers all.

Or, more likely, I'm overthinking this entirely because I've been so loaded with work these past few months that this is the first chance I've had to sit down and overthink a couple of silly articles.

Hi, journal! I've missed you!
mokie: A large white shark rearing from a tiny child's pool (devious)
When I woke up, the nephew asked if I would fix the router, since he'd been knocked off his game five minutes earlier. The router was fine, but the power strip that the modem was plugged into had been turned off.

Okay. Except the modem and power strip are both in my bedroom, and when I went to sleep last night, I was alone, I put the cats out and pushed a hamper in front of the door to keep them out. Yes, they open doors, and yes, I know how sad that whole line read.

So the nephew was using the Internet until someone turned off the power strip that the modem was plugged into about five minutes before I woke up, moved the hamper and opened the door.
mokie: A tiny, sad cardboard robot walks in the rain (sad)
Happy holidays, you crazy cats! I've not forgotten about you, I've just been buried under work, and unable to muster many big words.

So, did you guys know that I have a livejournal and a deadjournal and an insanejournal and a dreamwidth journal? They're all really the same journal, and all mokie. I mirror like a mofo, because I believe in the fundamental ability of websites to disappear without warning. But anyway, if you intend to bail on LJ and would prefer I read/comment at another site (when I dig myself out long enough to read), etc., feel free to say so.

For those not in the know, Livejournal has revamped the way its comments work, which is causing some consternation.

Some of it is trifling, like the font. Yes, there are people saying, "You bastards! I hate that font! Change it back NAO!"

Some of it is fair but still a little dramatic, like removal of subject lines and comment managing bits. I know these things have legitimate uses, especially in some contexts (like very talkative communities), but calm and clear feedback on why these things are not 'clutter' and are valuable is probably more helpful than screaming like someone murdered the kitten Jesus.

And some of it sounds trifling, like the new color combo, but is very much not, since the complaint is that it triggers migraines. Not migraines in the sense of drama queens who can't just have a headache, they have a migraine (though some jerky commenters on the news page are treating it like such), but migraines in the full medical sense, with nausea and hypersensitivity to stimuli and a crushing immunity to most painkillers. Gotta love a headache that brings its own 2-day hangover.

(If you're wondering: it's the new blue. It tricks the eye into reading the screen as washed out and much brighter than it actually is. Even users who don't get migraines are still getting headaches and reporting eyestrain. If you're sensitive to such things and have a paid account, I'd recommend viewing pages in your own style for a while, by adjusting your management settings and/or sticking ?style=mine onto the end of links. Don't trust Greasemonkey to customize things for you--I've seen a few users saying the site change has borked it.)

The much bigger problem is that this change to the comments appears to be the beginning of a site overhaul, in the same color scheme. So, that's fun.

Yet another LJ exodus is underway, and for good reason--if folks can't even read their comments without a headache and a hangover, then the site is fundamentally broken for them. Dreamwidth has open registration until the end of the year, and if any of my lovely readers need an invite for Deadjournal (or DW later), I'll share. Online journals with no commenting haven't been fun since '97.

I do hope LJ takes this one seriously. I know the userbase pitches a fit whenever a pixel is moved, but this is more in line with, "Hey, your cartoon causes seizures in certain percentage of small children." You fix that shit on principle, y'know?
mokie: Ghostbusters' Vinz Clortho wears a collander and answers questions (nerdy)
Ready? Okay!

- I recently did some work on ad copy for a line of toys.* Next Christmas, you should expect to see me in the local toy store, laughing maniacally at my newfound power over the minds of the young and innocent.

- Just found out that the host of Adagio's webcast reviewing custom blends is apparently a well-known and much-travelled public speaker who appears all over yon webbish TV/*cast enterprises, especially tea-related ones. Oh, and he's a Mizzou student. Queue Cue conflicting feelings of, "Oh, hey, Columbia!" and "Oh, God, how old is he?"

- Somewhere along the way, I stopped spelling it 'cue' and started spelling it 'queue.' I don't know when or how to stop.

[On a queue, for a cue, on a queue, for a cue--I will remember this!]

- Current brief obsession under investigation: streaming music. What are the real differences between Pandora and Rdio and Last.fm and so forth? I will not rest until I find out! Or lose interest! [Done!]

- For those who haven't heard, from Time.com: Why Have Hackers Hit Russia's Most Popular Blogging Service?

Short answer: probably a politically-motivated attack to silence dissent. If you haven't been able to access Livejournal, this is why.

If you're feeling anxious and would like to back your journal up, you can do that, but bear in mind that it adds to the strain on the system and that LJ's probably not going anywhere. You might consider instead signing up for one of the alternate sites (read: LJ clones) until the dust settles--just update to the new site and, when LJ's back up, copy and/or crosspost. It's also a generally convenient way to mirror your journal so people in your particular hobby/interest-based community can keep up with you no matter what site they prefer.

As for the clones...

There's DeadJournal, which is the granddaddy of the clones and thus lacks some of the later LJ functionality (and accompanying glitches). I've had an account since LJ's 2001 growing pains, and never noticed any technical problems. I've noticed that the user base skews a little dark and gothy, and it's not really a hopping joint, so if you're looking for lots of Golden Girls fandom interaction, it might not be the ideal destination for you

There's InsaneJournal, which became fandom's favorite once the creator of GreatestJournal flipped everyone the bird and let it die. It could simply be growing pains, but IJ is very prone to technical troubles of its own, and if everyone rushes over when LJ's down you'll probably see that in action. If you're looking for active community action you'll find it, but if you're just looking to post something while LJ's down, you may want to look elsewhere.

There's Dreamwidth, the idealistic newcomer. They started out with some very specific goals and intentions (see the guiding principles and diversity statement), they've expanded with fandom and roleplayers in mind, and they've taken the open source part of LJ's code and done very interesting things with it--including things that LJ users have been dreaming of for years. (Hello, in-line cut expansion!) Unfortunately, things are still a little quiet at DW--its slice of fandom consists mostly of the serious discussion of issues folks (see the guiding principles and diversity statement?), while the icon-making squeefuls are happy enough camped out at IJ. You may not find the activity you're looking for.

In other words, pick your high school lunch buddy: the antisocial kid in black who doesn't mind loaning you a buck for the jello cup but won't keep up conversation, the comedian who's great for a laugh but will flake out on you at the drop of a hat, or the very reliable junior feminist who will tell you all about the new club she's starting to save marmosets. DJ and DW both require invite codes and I have some to share, because I was down with all the cliques in high school, donchaknow.**

Alternately, you could just update LJ via a client like Semagic, which can queue posts for later if LJ happens to be down. That's why it's magic!

* No specifics. You never know where I'll strike.
** Well, not so much 'down with' as 'oblivious to.' Also, there were only about 2-300 kids in my entire high school.***
*** Yes, I was the flake. Still am, to tell the truth.
mokie: Clue's Ms White saying, "Flames on the sides of my face" (angry)
Today I read a pissy academic's blog post in which he declared that the Left is unrepresented in 'the blogosphere.' To illustrate this, he pointed out a handful of big name bloggers who fail to meet his standards of Leftiness.

The first part of his problem is that his sense of the blogosphere's borders is narrowly defined as this cadre of big names on either side of the political spectrum. He defers to the authority of celebrity, rather than recognizing the raison d'être of blogging--that anyone can put their voice out there and join the conversation. He has not found bloggers who meet his criteria because, whether he admits it to himself or not, his criteria starts with their status, not their politics.

The second part of his problem is that his line in the sand serves primarily to stroke his own ego and highlight his envy. He's not just Leftist, he's Leftier-than-thou, and certainly Leftier than the well-known bloggers who don't push his Leftism. And yet they're the big dogs, and he's left out in the cold. Since he can't achieve their status, he attacks their politics.

Of course, my problem is that he made me say the word 'blogosphere' seriously. For that, he is a douchebag.

I offer no link because it's a long repetitive whinefest by a shitstain in his ivory tower. Oh, how much better he is than everyone else! Woe, why does nobody notice and rush to agree and reward him with fame? It's better not to reward that nonsense with extra attention.

So why comment on it at all, you ask? Because we've not yet dumbed down our political discourse to Palin's Facebook page vs. Ebert's Twitter feed. The blogosphere, whatever your opinion on the term, is still an open plaza where anyone can set up a soapbox. Raise your voice, and raise up the voices you value. If you're complaining that Kos doesn't toe your line, you're the one who's missed the point.
mokie: A strung light in the shape of a star (okay)
Pandora Radio now lets users seed from a subgenre.

For example, under Alternative, which is presumably itself under Pop/Rock, as the Music Genome Project figures genres, one can choose 80s Alternative, which is more frequently called New Wave, except where New Wave is still used by some to describe Punk, in which case it'd be Post-Punk, which together with hair rock was, if I remember right, what Alternative was the alternative to.

(It's also missing an apostrophe. If you shorten it from 1980s, it should become '80s.)

For a minute, I thought I saw glimmerings of a more logical structuring of the genre--popular music, sorted into light meat (pop) and dark meat (rock), then subdivided into what's dominant at the time in question (pop/rock) and what's recessive or on the rise, whether it's known as alternative, indie or punk, which would justify the alternative tag...

But alas, that "World Music" genre defies me. By default, it takes their five base genres and turns it into two: Developed World Music, and Developing World Music. For a project whose goal is to "capture the essence of music at the fundamental level," it really seems a big misstep.
mokie: Clue's Ms White saying, "Flames on the sides of my face" (angry)
"Windows Explorer in Windows 7 uses a new custom list view control that doesn't support custom ordering like the old one did. So in folder views you can no longer drag items around to rearrange them. Basically, pretty much nobody used this (except on the desktop, where it is still supported), and re-implementing it in the new virtualized list view wasn't worth the cost." [Neowin, via Microsoft's Technet]
Fuck.

To quote the vampyrichamsterHamster: "I know GUIs aren't nearly as cool as command lines, but they're useful for a damn good reason."

This is going to drive me batty.
mokie: Ghostbusters' Vinz Clortho wears a collander and answers questions (nerdy)
The media likes to claim that the Internet has the attention span of a toddler.

Remember this. I'll come back to it.

Ezra Klein offers an explanation of why Facebook matters, which is really more a comment on a quote from a GQ article, Viral me:
"The big change, the big shift in the Internet that's happened in the past three or four years, is the shift towards social being the most important thing," Angus says. "So now increasingly you discover content or care about content in the context of your friends. Up until now, Google's PageRank has been the dominant way that content gets sorted, ordered, and found on the Internet. And the threat from Facebook is to say, 'wait, we're going to reorder the whole Internet, all the content out there. And instead of it being based around some algorithm that a search engine says is important, we're going to base it around who you are, who your friends are, and what those people are interested in."
Why has this shift happened in the past three or four years?

It hasn't.

When the media talked about the Internet a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, what was the context? Blogs. Memes. Viral advertising. Musicians who got their start on Youtube or MySpace, nerd bloggers who become minor stars in their own right. The power of 'word of mouth', and the Internet as the new grassroots.

When the media talked about the Internet ten or even fifteen years ago, what was the context? Forums. Chat rooms, and what your kids might be up to in them. How a cheap indie horror flick became a blockbuster international hit through 'Internet buzz'. People talking to each other over computers instead of the telephone!

The media likes to claim that the Internet has the attention span of a toddler, but it's the media and its less-than-nerdy target audience that are guilty of not paying attention. A few large social hubs burst onto the scene in the past couple of years, and where most other social hubs focused on users finding other users with similar interests, these hubs encouraged users to recruit their family, offline friends and acquaintances. Yes, thanks to this shift, the uncle who joked that the only reason you could have to own a computer is to look up porn is now asking to be your friend on Facebook.

The shift isn't social. The shift is personal.

It isn't simply that a lot of people who thought that Google was the Internet (and who, ten years earlier, would have thought that AOL was the Internet) are panicking because they can't find Facebook. It's that, oh my God, comment #6 is my mother!*

It isn't that your kid sister is now talking to people over the computer, and NBC wants you to make sure she does so safely! It's that your kid sister is talking to you over the computer, and your mother wants to know what she's saying on her Wall because sis defriended her after their latest spat.

It isn't about discovering or caring about content in the context of your friends. It's about discovering content posted by friends you made in high school, and by people you know by their real names, people who don't even know what an Internet handle is, much less what yours is--and that's the way you want to keep it.

God help the relative who finds my Twitter account.

* Rhetorical device. My mother did not comment to that article. I hope.
mokie: Ghostbusters' Vinz Clortho wears a collander and answers questions (nerdy)
Windows 7 is the OS equivalent of a fancy dress party where lines of waiters offer you trays of silver laden with caviar, escargot, gold-flecked chocolates, and more, as you cross your legs and ask, over and over, "No, thank you, where's the restroom?"

Profile

mokie: Earthrise seen from the moon (Default)
mokie

February 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
5678 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728    

Credit

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Page generated Thursday, 27 July 2017 04:31 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

About dream/reading tags

y-* tags categorize dreams.

For types: beyond the obvious, there are dreamlets (very short dreams), stubs (fragment/outline of a partially-lost dream), gnatter (residual impression of a lost dream).

For characters: there are roles (characters fitting an archetype), symbols (characters as symbols), and sigils (recurring figures with a significance bigger than a single dream's role/symbolism).

x-* tags categorize books.

Material is categorized primarily by structure, style and setting. If searching for a particular genre, look for the defining features of that genre, e.g. x-form:nonfic:bio, x-style:horror, x-setting:dystopian.

Tags