Pixel Scroll 10/13 Another Fine Pixel You’ve Gotten Us Into

(1) Nicole Dieker at The Billfold says “Joss Whedon Made More Money With ‘Dr. Horrible’ Than ‘The Avengers,’ Unbelievably”.

Okay. Let’s compare two scenarios.

1) You decide to write, direct, and produce a 45-minute web musical. You fund the musical’s production out of your own pocket. It is free to watch online.

2) Marvel hires you to write and direct a summer blockbuster that becomes the third highest grossing film of all time.

Which one should make you more money? As Vulture reports, it’s not the one you think:

Joss Whedon shared an eye-opening fact during Saturday night’s reunion of the “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” team: He’s made more money from his independently financed 2008 Internet musical than he did from writing and directing Marvel’s first blockbuster “Avengers” movie.

(2) Nancy Kress, skillfully interviewed by Raymond Bolton

Many of your works delve into areas that require great technical expertise, for example genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Yet, as far as I can tell, before your writing exploded, you transitioned from being an educator to working in advertising. What do you read to develop the knowledge base required for your books?

I wish I had a scientific education! Had I known when I was young that I would turn into an SF writer, I would have chosen differently. Instead, I hold a Masters in English. To write about genetic engineering, I research on-line, attend lectures, and pester actual scientists with questions. My best friend is a doctor; she goes over my work to check that I have not said anything egregiously moronic.

A career such as yours has many turning points, some striven for, others that blind-side the recipient for better or for worse. Would you care to provide two or three of the more pivotal moments?

The first turning point for me came with the writing of the novella “Beggars in Spain,” which won both the Hugo and the Nebula and which would never have been written without a jolt from writer Bruce Sterling. At a critique workshop we both attended, he pointed out that my story was weak because the society I’d created had no believable economic underpinnings. He said this colorfully and at length. After licking my wounds for a few weeks, I thought, “Damn it, he’s right!” In the next thing I wrote, “Beggars in Spain,” I seriously tried to address economic issues: Who controls the resources? What finances are behind what ventures? Why? With what success? My story about people not needing to sleep, which I’d actually been trying to compose for years, finally came alive.

(3) He grew up to be the leading fantasy cover artist – here is some of his earliest work. Frank Frazetta’s Adventures of the Snowman reviewed by Steven Paul Leiva for New York Journal of Books.

Frazetta snowman

Frazetta is probably the most widely known—and revered—illustrator of science fiction and fantasy subjects, having gained much fame and a large following for his paperback book covers, putting the image into the imaginative worlds of Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, and Conan the Barbarian, among others. Several generations of young minds looking for escape into fantastic realms of adventure where landscapes were often dark and danger-filled, men were perfect specimens of well-muscled heroes, and women were beyond beautiful as their “attributes” were beyond belief, will never regret having made the trip. But earlier in his career Frazetta worked in comics and comic books, even ghosting for Al Capp on his Lil’ Abner strip.

And at the age of 12 1/2, stuck in his bedroom on a snowy day, and inspired by a snowman in his backyard being battered by a winter wind, Frazetta created the Snow Man. This wasn’t a gentle character associated with winter wonderlands and Christmas, but rather a righteous fighter against the evil Axis, which America and its allies were fighting in the Second World War. A few years later, at the still young age of 15, Frazetta created at least two Snow Man comic stories, one of which was published in Tally-Ho Comics, and the other that makes up this current book.

(4) Larry Correia pulls back the curtain on another corner of the writing business in “Ask Correia #17: Velocity, Releases, Rankings, and Remainders”.

So if you turn over constantly, stores tend to like you, and will order more. The more shelf space they give you, the more new people are likely to see your stuff. Success breeds success.

Here is an example. A bookstore orders 3 copies of your first novel. If all of them sell in the first week, then the bookstore is probably going to reorder 3 more. Then when your second novel comes out, they’ll look at their prior sales, and instead of ordering 3, they’ll order 6. Do this for decades, and it is why new James Patterson or Dean Koontz novels are delivered to your local book stores on pallets.

But if those 3 copies of your first novel sat on the shelf for months before selling, then the store probably didn’t bother to restock when it finally does sell. They may or may not order 3 copies of your second, but either way they’re not super excited about you.

I’ve been inside about 300 book stores since I started my professional writing career in 2009. I can usually tell how well I’m doing at any particular store even before I talk to any of the employees, just by going by where my books are and seeing how much space they give me on their shelves. A couple of books means that I don’t do well at that store. Five or six books tells me I’m okay. Eight or ten tells me I’m kicking ass in that town. If the books are faced out, that means I’ve got somebody on staff who is a fan (and that is incredibly important).

(5) Steven Murphy commences a kind of nonlethal Death Match with “Them’s Fightin’ Words: Harry Potter V. Ender Wiggin” at ScienceFiction.com

The following is the first of a new series pitting the merits and abilities of similar characters against each other. We open with a disclosure of the personal bias of the author then outline some ground rules and end with an example of how a fight between the two might unfold.

Personal Bias: The popularity of JK Rowling’s series has cemented Harry Potter as the go-to magical youth. He is the modern personification of the fantasy genre. The perfect contrast to Potter would then be the boy who personifies science fiction, Ender Wiggin of Orson Scott Card’s novel ‘Ender’s Game‘. The two characters have a great deal in common–both are children with the fate of their kind resting on their shoulders. I prefer ‘Ender’s Game’ over any single Harry Potter book, but I can’t argue that the Potter series as a whole succeeds on a level that the Ender series of books does not.

Ground Rules: The Goblet of Fire follows Harry into a series of trials that place him in a mindset that parallels Ender’s nicely. For my purposes the version of Harry with the skills and experience gained from this book and those previous will be used. The Ender used will be the one post ‘Ender’s Game’ and before ‘Speaker for the Dead’. This will allow the two characters to be roughly the same age. Ender will not have the assistance of his friend and database intelligence, Jane. The surroundings will compliment Ender in that the arena is the Battle School’s gravity free training room complete with the immobile obstacles called “astroids” for cover. Ender will have a blaster and Harry will have his wand. They enter the arena at opposite gates, neither with a clear view of the opposing gate.

(6) Tom Knighton reviews Chuck Gannon’s Raising Caine:

Like the first in the series, this one starts out somewhat slow.  The action tends to be minimal and sporadic, but for good reason.  However, the writing is good enough that it will get you through to the moments where the action picks up.  Further, none of the other stuff is filler.  Almost all feels vital to the story (and I can’t think of anything that comes up that isn’t important later on).

When the story does pick up, it becomes something very special indeed.  That’s just Gannon’s gift, however.  The previous book, Trial by Fire contained more of the action I prefer just be necessity, and that book was definitely on my list of “special” books.

While I don’t think Raising Caine was quite up to that level, that’s not a slight on this book.  The only books I’ve read recently that were on that level included Seveneves and A Long Time Until Now.  Both of those are on my Hugo list, and Raising Caine is a contender for one of those slots as well.

(7) The Nerf Nuke fires 80 darts in all directions.

(8) Tom Galloway, past contestant and inveterate Jeopardy! watcher, saw this on the October 12 show —

Heh. Today’s Jeopardy! round was a themed board on Game of Thrones, with categories Winter Is Coming, A Song of “Ice” and “Fire”, You Know Nothing, The North Remembers, Always Pay Your Debts, and wrapping up with Game Of Thrones, of course the only category actually about the work (specifically the tv series).

(9) Sometimes there’s a reason this news is hard to find — “’Lizard men abducted me to the moon for sex,’ woman claims”.

A former U.S. air force radar operator was abducted to the moon by lizard men for nightly sex – and was also forced to stack boxes.

What our reptilian overlords want with these sinister boxes can only be guessed at.

Niara Terela Isley is just one of several witnesses quoted by Alien UFO Sightings in an expose of the U.S. military’s secret moon bases – where reptiles rule, and humans are passed around like sex toys.

(10) James Schardt delivers “A Response to Charles Gannon” at Otherwhere Gazette.

At one point, Mr. Gannon used the term “The Evil Other”. I’m not sure he has grasped the full significance of this label.

Would you talk to a Homophobic Neo-Nazi that tried to hijack a literary award?

How about a racist who married a minority wife and had a child with her to hide his racism? These have actually happened! We know, it was talked about in such serious publications as Salon, Entertainment Weekly, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, and Slate. They had to get their information somewhere. Someone sent this information to them and they should have done due diligence. Otherwise they might not have as much credibility as people thought.

Now, those two characters, above, don’t even sound plausible in comic books. But these are not just insults that have been thrown at the Puppies. This is what many of the Science Fiction Establishment actually BELIEVE. With these beliefs, almost any action becomes allowable. What tactic should be disallowed when fighting Evil? Are you going to let a prestigious award go to a Nazi? Someone might think it validated his ideas, then you have more Nazis. Would you pay for a hundred more people to vote to prevent that? Would you tone back your rhetoric for any reason? You certainly wouldn’t apologize for calling them Nazis. That’s what they are. Good grief, we’re talking about Fascists, here! It cost 60 million lives to defeat them last time! Vox Day is sadly mistaken. Social Justice Warriors don’t always lie. When you are fighting for Good, there is no reason to lie. Social Justice Warriors tell the truth as they see it.

Of course, the problem is, the Puppies are not Nazis. Even Theodore Beale, the infamous Vox Day, doesn’t quite reach that level (probably). In the face of this, the Puppies can’t back down. Not won’t, CAN’T! They know. They tried. This is the biggest problem with telling the Puppies to moderate their responses.

(11) Someone was not pleased to see the topic heat up again —

(12) John Scalzi did, however, enjoy explaining his now-famous Nerdcon somersault in the first comment on “My Thoughts on Nerdcon:Stories”.

(13) “A Harry Potter Where Hermione Doesn’t Do Anyone’s Homework For Them” by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast.

“Okay, write that down,” Hermione said to Ron, pushing his essay and a sheet covered in her own writing back to Ron, “and then copy out this conclusion that I’ve written for you.”

“Hermione, you are honestly the most wonderful person I’ve ever met,” said Ron weakly, “and if I’m ever rude to you again –” He broke off suddenly. “This just says DO YOUR OWN GODDAMN WORK in fourteen languages.”

“Fifteen,” said Hermione. “One of them’s invisible.”

(14) Kimberly Potts’ “The Big Bang Theory Recap: What the Filk Is Happening” sets up the next video.

Thankfully, just as so many episodes of Will & Grace were Karen-and-Jack-ed away from the main characters, “The 2003 Approximation” is stolen, or rather saved, by Howard and Raj. In a far more entertaining half of the episode, we’re introduced to the joys of Filk. What, you may ask, is Filk? It’s a genre of music that puts a science-fiction/fantasy spin on folk, and yes, it is a real thing. It’s also the reason that, for at least the next week, many of us will be trying to get the chorus of “Hammer and Whip: The Untold Story of Thor vs. Indiana Jones” out of our heads.


(15) Jurassic World gets the Honest Trailer treatment.


Also not very funny.

On second thought, was there some reason I included this link?

(16) Because it’s a good lead-in to Bryce Dallas Howard’s defense of her Jurassic World character’s shoe preferences?

Her insistence on wearing high-heels throughout the movie, including a memorable scene that sees her outrunning a T-Rex in stilettos, was dismissed as “lazy filmmaking” by Vulture and called “one tiny but maddening detail” that set up the film to “fail” by The Dissolve.

The actress herself disagrees. She explained to Yahoo why her character’s footwear choice is totally “logical” for the movie, seemingly putting the conversation to bed once and for all.

Watch our exclusive interview with Bryce Dallas Howard for the DVD and Blu-ray release of ‘Jurassic World’ on 19 October above.

“[Claire] is ill-equipped to be in the jungle. This person does not belong in the jungle,” reasons Bryce.

“And then when she ends up in the jungle it’s how does this person adapt to being in the jungle?”

“From a logical standpoint I don’t think she would take off her heels,” she adds.

“I don’t think she would choose to be barefoot. I don’t think she would run faster barefoot in the jungle with vines and stones.”

[Thanks to Nick Mamatas, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

233 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/13 Another Fine Pixel You’ve Gotten Us Into

  1. Poor Brad. That whole speck vs. beam thing has gone over his head. He has the exact opposite of self-awareness. Like matter/antimatter. If they can’t find kindred spirits amongst the graybeards of Worldcon, what makes them think the cosplaying genderqueer kids of Tumblr would do anything more than point and laugh at them?

    I guess JCW isn’t a homophobe since he only WISHES he could beat teh gheys to death with a tire iron and hasn’t actually done it. As for Brad sitting on his ass giving whiny interviews while others fight ISIS — doesn’t he know where the proverb “Women are for babies, boys are for pleasure” comes from? And that the US military delivered up said boys to anti-Taliban warlords?

    Puppies have fragile egos that covet external validation; they’re high on their own supply of counterfactual righteous indignation; getting egoboo from fellow travelers is much easier than writing a lot of good books. They want to be Authors, but not to write. They want to be “Winning!” but not enough to do it honestly.

  2. One amusing follow-up to my shoe story, since the theme continues. You know how I mentioned wearing Serious Heels for a costume once? (It was a sort of femme fatale noir getup.) I figured that since it would only be for an hour or so, I could just pick up something cheap at the local Goodwill, as long as it fit well enough that I wouldn’t break my neck. Found something for under $10 that did the trick. When the costume thing was over and kicked the shoes off, a friend too a look at the label and gave a low whistle. Evidently some high-end Italian company. (Don’t recall it off the top of my head.) So I went ahead and kept them, just because you never know…

  3. @lurkertype: “I guess JCW isn’t a homophobe since he only WISHES he could beat teh gheys to death with a tire iron and hasn’t actually done it.”

    No, he’s supposedly not a homophobe on the grounds that he ain’t skeered of ’em. No fear, no phobia, and all that.

  4. In the 80’s, I bought a t-shirt at the janky thrift store for 50 cents b/c it was the right color for my costume. When I got home, I saw the label: “Giorgio Armani”.

    Not the discount line, the full-price. How that ended up in the thrift store that was probably a front for money-laundering, who knows?

  5. This is really weird. I’m still not getting emailed comments from this thread. On the “manage your…” page all the Pixel scrolls up through 10/12 show as subscribed, but not 10/13. This message window already has both “Notify me…” boxes already ticked, I’m getting notices for other new posts from Mike and comments from previous posts, just nothing from 10/13 Pixel scroll?!?!

    I’ll post this and see if something finally clicks.

  6. Sadly, different deals in UK, but thank you!

    Equally sadly, asking about what the Puppies would do is not only an eminently important question, but one which divert large numbers of people to work. Using your opponents tactics may work once, but it gets trickier after that, provided your opponents have any sense!

  7. That’s why they never really seemed to grasp that the numbers were against them in the final vote — they had DOMINATED us, right, so didn’t that mean they already won? Weren’t we all now, collectively, the beta monkey?

    Puppies watch Steven Universe and think Peridot is totally in the right…

  8. @Rev. Bob: First off, I’d dispute that claim. He sure gets mighty panicky. Secondly, parsing words differently than their common meaning is classic Pupspeak. Thirdly, whatever term you want to use, JCW is one. How’s about trying on “Anti-Gay Bigot” for size?

    Puppies seem to all be really into being bigots against classes of people for their inborn characteristics, be it gender, melanin, or sexual identity.

  9. bookworm1398: I think it was the intention of the puppies to increase sales by drawing publicity to certain books. And they probably did gain a few more readers, just not enough to justify the time and energy involved.

    They also created a base of several thousand readers who, having had their precious reading time wasted on Puppy crap, will now not only never buy or read their books, but will also make anti-recommendations of Puppy authors to all of their SFF book-reading friends and anyone else who will listen.

    I’d say that their net reader “gain” is in the negative thousands. But despite the harsh reality of the Hugo voting totals, this truth does not seem to have sunk in to them.

  10. Stevie, I’ve been wearing athletic shoes for most of the last mumble years, and flipflops most of the time since I retired. (My feet are happy. Except when I have to wear shoes.)
    I learned some years back that brands of athletic shoes have different foot shapes, and some I can’t wear at all. I do sometimes wish I could get dressier shoes.

  11. @lurkertype:

    “I guess JCW isn’t a homophobe since he only WISHES he could beat teh gheys to death with a tire iron and hasn’t actually done it.”

    @ Rev. Bob

    No, he’s supposedly not a homophobe on the grounds that he ain’t skeered of ’em. No fear, no phobia, and all that.

    In the commentary of his that I read, he insisted he was not homophonic. And I have no argument with that assertion.

  12. junego: Just in case, I opened and reviewed your comment from the control panel side. I saw that I have no options to add or remove comment notification (except globally) so there wasn’t anything I could do to solve your mystery.

  13. Since we’ve been talking shoes, and high heels in particular, I give you, Jurrassic Park: High Heel edition:

  14. I spent a portion of my wayward youth wearing stiletto heeled boots everywhere, including several off-road adventures, and I will submit that going downhill on loose terrain is actually easier when you’ve got large metal spikes strapped to your feet. Plus you can scrape the mud off and use them to hammer in tent spikes when you finally make it to your campsite. Later on I wrecked my ankle, while wearing flats, and these days I stick to Converse.

  15. I like that the Audible is only $2 when you get the ‘Fire with Fire’ but saw that I had bought them months ago and forgotten.

    That ground had both vines and was soft, the last place you wanted to be wearing high heels.

    Maybe the Moon is another Amazon warehouse?

  16. Laura Resnick: Well, there’s certainly no argument there.

    PJ Evans: In my younger years, I could always fit into Nikes perfectly. Now I have New Balance feet.

    JJ: Exactly. The Gators and MRA’s aren’t going to be rushing out in their thousands to buy books — hell, they didn’t even bother to vote after they paid and nominated. But for guys who tout their fidelity to facts, they seem to have not grasped the simple mathematics of the final Hugo votes.

    I’d also bet people who never heard of Pups before are now aware of them, even vaguely, as “those assholes who tried to steal the awards” and aren’t likely to purchase their books either. They might have picked up a few right-wingers, but the end result is hugely negative. Plus they each could have written another damn book with all the time they wasted whining online; even in mid-market MMPB, that’s probably five grand.

  17. junego: This is really weird. I’m still not getting emailed comments from this thread. On the “manage your…” page all the Pixel scrolls up through 10/12 show as subscribed, but not 10/13.

    Look in your Deleted Messages folder, and see if you can find the message from File770 labelled “[Subscribe] Comments on File 770 – please confirm” for this thread; if so, go in and click “Confirm Follow” on it.

    Once you’ve been sent one of these for a given thread, the system won’t send you another, even if you’ve requested a follow but never confirmed it.

  18. Hampus Eckeman: Please note that Tuomas Vainio is doing his thing again. This time he is nominating a movie he has never seen for a Hugo.

    Oh, great, now that you’ve invoked the Aviation Muso’s name, he will no doubt show up as soon as he gets his Google Vanity Search Alert notification. Gah.

  19. P J Evans

    I have a pair of high tops, in white cotton, with stilettos in red, white and blue stencilled on the sides; they get appreciative looks when people suss what they’re seeing.

    Also, still not sure why we haven’t started on bags yet but I should try, once more, to get some sleep…

  20. Cathy: Since we’ve been talking shoes, and high heels in particular, I give you, Jurrassic Park: High Heel edition

    Oh, that is priceless. I can’t believe what a great job they did with the CGI and the sound effects — especially on the dinosaurs. Thanks for posting that. 😀

  21. Hampus Eckeman on October 14, 2015 at 7:13 pm said:
    Please note that Tuomas Vainio is doing his thing again. This time he is nominating a movie he has never seen for a Hugo.


    Actually, if you read the thread, he has now seen the movie and is very enthused about it. His original quote was passing on the comments of his girlfriend, which made him eager to see it.

  22. @Stevie —

    I’ve always considered ‘nurses shoes’ to be the best designed for wearing in a situation where you spend most of your time on your feet and have to move fast occasionally. Are you saying a DOCTOR can’t wear such shoes for fear of losing respect? Look, for all the reasons women are denigrated, their shoes are the least of their problems.

    I spent my entire career in a male-dominated industry, fortunately due to spending most of my time on catwalks in warehouses, I wore pants suits (to avoid crotch shots) and sensible shoes (because heels and steel grating REALLY don’t mix.)

    I have NEVER in my life worn heels. My attitude is, if the shoes are shiny and black, they are dress shoes. OTOH, I’ve never given much of a damn what people thought of my footwear.

    Now that I am retired, I care even less.

    I realize that other women may not have that freedom.

  23. The video is amazing; you guys really are great at contriving things I didn’t know I desperately needed in the first place.

    And returning to Puppidum and their obsession with finding the one true story in the one true way, I commend to them Rudyard Kipling:

    There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays
    and every single one of them is right!

  24. Techgirrl1872

    Thank for your comments. I’m sure that you thought that you were being helpful, but had you read my post a little more carefully you would have realised that you were tilting at windmills covered in men made of straw.

    I haven’t a clue what you mean by ‘nurses shoes’ the phrase may be common in your location but it rings no bells for me here in London. Frankly, I think it would be helpful to acquaint yourself with the facts before leaping in to set us straight.

    Equally, I too have been the first woman ever in a male field; given the heights of those particular battlements I did not waste my energy arguing with people about the dress code, since I had much more important matters to resolve, starting with the common belief that women were incapable of dealing with the complexity of financial instruments and financial institutions, and even less capable when the disputed sums ran to ten figures, as they so frequently do.

    I’m glad that you are enjoying being retired; on the other hand perhaps you may give some thought to interesting and worthwhile ways of spending time which do not include you making condescending and patronising remarks on a subject which clearly you have no comprehension of.

    And on that happy note I shall once again try and get some sleep…

  25. What’s he recommending, Hampus? I’m not clicking there.

    But let’s face it: last year they all nominated a bunch of stuff they hadn’t read, even though that’s mentioned as wrong in the rules. Of course, Pups only like rules when they’re in their favor.

    Stevie, go to bed. NOW.

  26. @stevie —

    I’m glad that you are enjoying being retired; on the other hand perhaps you may give some thought to interesting and worthwhile ways of spending time which do not include you making condescending and patronising remarks on a subject which clearly you have no comprehension of.

    And on that happy note I shall once again try and get some sleep…

    I was NOT trying to be condescending. I attribute your interpretation of my remarks to the lack of emotional clues inherent in text communication.

    In the US, ‘nurses shoes’ are known for their comfort — they are specifically designed to be worn for many hours while doing a difficult job. Hence my wonderment that such would not be also appropriate for a doctor.

    And I am not sure what you mean by “you making condescending and patronising remarks on a subject which clearly you have no comprehension of.”

    a) I was not trying in any way to be condescending.
    b) I have much comprehension of spending long days on my feet and the need for comfortable shoes
    c) although I admit those long days on my feet were not spent in the medical field.

    So, sorry to have pissed you off, even though I have no idea why you took such umbrage.

    ETA after rereading your original post. Yeah, still don’t understand how I pissed you off, especially after reading other people’s comments about the topic.

    Enlighten me, please, so I don’t do it again?

  27. Stevie, “nurses’ shoes” in the US have soft thick soles, with soft uppers, designed for people who are going to be on their feet all day. (Comfortable shoes, in short.)

  28. Locally, the preferred shoes in the medical industry (nurses and doctors) are Crocs.

    Which leads to many senior doctors (with all that that phrase implies) getting very huffy about younger residents being “overly casual”.

  29. snowcrash; my mother, now retired, was a physiotherapist in a hospital setting, and Crocs were, and still are, her go-to shoes. For which she was teased, but it isn’t just the whippersnappers.

  30. Heels are something women train their feet into. Literally. Meaning there are women who do things better, more safely, and more reliably in heels than in flats, because training your feet into truly high heels means training them out of flats. Or being one of the rare extraordinarily flexible footed people. As I understand it, though, it means you must be very picky with your shoes, too, so as not to end up like lauowolf’s family (shudder), or plagued with bunions. The cardinal rule from people who do that to their feet is, “if it hurts it doesn’t fit.”

    Me, I stick with flats. I have flexible, albeit pronating, feet, and while nowadays, they cramp if I get up to 2 inches, I get the impression that if I were the type, I could totally have trained myself into heels. (Personality-wise, I’m more the type to go barefoot when the weather and terrain allow for it, and a little bit when they don’t.) I’ve danced fast dances in narrow heels, and I had chunky-heeled boots once for fencing, and no issues with that or dancing in them, until the heel got worn slightly aslant, So the potential was there to go higher. Just … no. It helps that I *have* found some quirky-but-professional-enough quality flats that seem to have remained on the market.

  31. lurkertype:

    “What’s he recommending, Hampus? I’m not clicking there.”

    The Martian.

  32. Since it’s past 6am here my sleep is going to turn into a nap, but in the interests of clarity, it really, doesn’t help if someone assumes that the U.S. is the only country in the world; it becomes even less helpful when the person who has decided that the U.S. is the only country in the world feels able to hand out advice about something she knows nothing about.

    In short, the person who leads the resuscitation team, in this case my daughter, has to have team members willing to follow my daughter’s orders unquestioningly, since without that the patient will either die or be so brain damaged that they are not who they were, even if they are, technically speaking, alive. That slight formality in dress reassures the junior doctors that there’s a grown-up there, which cheers them up no end because they now have someone to tell them what to do and when to do it.

    It can, of course, be an entirely different life threatening condition; she had to have words with the Bloodbank last week when they queried her order for an awful lot of blood. They suggested that she was remarkably calm for someone confronted with a haemorrhagic crisis, though they did at least give her the blood after she pointed out that running around like a chicken with its head cut off really wasn’t going to help the guy bleeding out from a ruptured duodenal ulcer.

    In short she makes life and death decisions every day; this is, I think, sufficient evidence to suggest that she really doesn’t need to be upbraided by a chance stranger on the Internet who feels she should be wearing different shoes.

    And if you really don’t know where you were being patronising and condescending I suggest that you read the first paragraph in your first post…

  33. The Pups are actually the unsuccessful refugees of Honor Culture, thus their huffing about duels being illegal and such. But in an honor culture, they already would have lost all face from their actions.

  34. Nick Mamatas: Aren’t honor cultures are big on shame? Which we know the Puppies don’t have. Although they certainly are all down with the “I only have worth through how other people define me,” and “You, sirrah, have possibly insulted me and thus I must posture like a gorilla!” But they have no idea how to save face, play fair, or be chivalrous.

    “Dignity” is an internal thing, which includes the inalienable rights of every individual to be valued simply for existing. Sounds pretty darn SJW to me. Also, it doesn’t involve whining for years.

    Also, the opposite of honor culture isn’t dignity culture; it’s rule of law culture. Which Puppies claim to be big on — but only for other people.

  35. Dignity cultures are law cultures—one can go to the police or courts without shame.

    I think you hit on the core of Puppyness—they see themselves as the core of a culture and the largely phantasmical Torling SJWs as interlopers. Thus terms like CHORF, Puppy Kicker, etc. and the constant reification of old wounds and imagined slights. They’re trying to shame everyone else; if non-Puppy counterattacks don’t shame them it is because to them “we” have no face to begin with. Puppies simultaneously position themselves as outsiders via their organizing and as insiders via political reaction—they were the insiders, and they are the insiders of the real SFnal culture. Hugoism is a conspiratorial heresy that must be rooted out.

    Now as far as why Brad referred to himself as a member of Dignity Culture instead of Honor Culture, well, he probably just skimmed the article that was in The Atlantic this month and got confused. He also doesn’t know himself very well.

  36. Indeed, Nick: Theoretically and ideally, a person of dignity can apply to impartial legal authorities for justice, and not have to rely on their tribe or their own force for revenge. They also have nothing to fear from publicity and everyone is equal under the law. (Again, ideally)

    The worth of the individual is also dependent upon their OWN actions and behavior, not those of their tribe. This is very much NOT true of honor/shame cultures, who go around shunning those who break a few religious rules or “honor killing” women who are raped. “What would the neighbors think?” “You’ve shamed the family name.” “I have NO SON!”

    Puppy math skills* are always bad, like being unable to see that you can’t be both the silent majority and the yelling minority at the same time. Jeb! Bush is now claiming that he “doesn’t have Washington DC in his DNA”, despite grandpappy Senator, and Daddy and Bro President, which seems the same kind of wrong on a global scale.

    It’s true that Brad has basically no insight (“Know thyself”: Socrates! Plato! ARISTOTLE!!!). I can imagine Brad not understanding something, but I have a hard time believing it was something he read directly in The Atlantic. Maybe a bad rewriting of it; pure quill Atlantic is all over SJW from top to bottom.

    * I am oft reminded of Fox News Babe Megyn Kelly asking Karl Rove “Is this just math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?” on Election Night 2012 as he feebly tried to suggest that maybe Romney might eke out an Electoral College win. )

  37. @stevie — I have done as you suggested and still don’t understand your wrath. I will simply apologize for having offended you and drop the subject. I am sorry for phrasing myself in such a way that it could be interpreted the way you have done. No disrespect was intended.

  38. Women in certain jobs may also want to avoid confusion with women of a “lower”* professional/hierarchical status. E.g. none of my male colleagues are likely to be assumed to be a secretary even if they’re standing at the photocopier but I might be. I wear trouser suits and I’m conscious when I have the jacket off that I haven’t got any status marker. I don’t wear heels and rarely wear skirt suits but women in my line of work in more prestigious jobs would – I’m pretty sure I lose a certain amount in visible status marking but those shoes just hurt too much – even the compromise shoes I wear when I do put on a skirt suit are no picnic.

    So I can see where a woman who’s a doctor would absolutely not dress like a nurse. This is not to denigrate nurses who are a separate and highly important profession – but who don’t have to have the authority thing that a doctor like Stevie’s daughter does.
    (ObSf – Jik to Pyanfar Chanur, “You got the Person-thing. Born with.”)

    * I don’t really like calling it that but I can’t find a better word and I don’t want to write a long explanatory paragraph.

  39. @techgrrl1972

    On occasion, Stevie has taken offense to something that seemed to me perfectly innocuous, but this time I can see where she’s coming from. Your first paragraph comes across a bit like, um… “How silly to worry about footwear when your daughter could be wearing [regional-specific footwear associated primarily with people of lower authority than daughter]!” I assume you didn’t mean it like that, based on your comments since, but that was how it looked to me. 🙂

  40. Nurses shoes have come a long way since I first wore them in the early eighties. I believe some may look close to flat dress shoes now as more and more women who spend hours on their feet are turning towards them who are in managerial and Doctor positions. I checked them out when I first was out of rehab in 2012 as Family/friends were worried about my balance. I didn’t end up buying them as I found them too suffocating – I hate wearing shoes. Luckily I was right and didn’t need them.

  41. I’m a little surprised that nobody has mentioned this protip yet, but high heels can be used to construct improvised banana spears if you ever have the need to feed capuchin monkeys in a generic mixed-ecosystem jungle.

  42. Bracket 5, the semifinals of the Rory Root Memorial Comics Bracket!

    I have a feeling that people are going to find it apt that this one appears in the Pixel Scroll for the 13th.

    Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau
    XKCD, Randall Munroe

    This is a 3-way matchup using IRV. Please rank your choices from first to third. If you choose only one, you are considered to have no preference between the other two.
    Peanuts, Charles Schulz
    The Sandman, Neil Gaiman and various
    Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson

    XKCD, Randall Munroe

    This is a 3-way matchup using IRV. Please rank your choices from first to third. If you choose only one, you are considered to have no preference between the other two.
    2. Peanuts, Charles Schulz
    1. The Sandman, Neil Gaiman and various
    3. Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson

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