Pixel Scroll 1/26/17 What Is The Pixel Capacity Of A European Scroll? Laden or Unladen? Aaargh!

(1) END OF PERIOD. As John Hertz said in his report on the dedication of Forrest J Ackerman Square, the city promised to replace the original sign with the erroneous period after the initial “J” – erroneous, because Forry spelled his name without one. And as you can see in this photo by Robert Kerr, the city has installed the corrected sign above the intersection.

Ackerman Square corrected sign

(2) BIG ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. Greg Ketter’s Minneapolis bookstore is featured in “Wi12: Busman’s Holiday Possibilities” at Shelf Awareness.

DreamHaven Books & Comics

Since opening on April 1, 1977, DreamHaven Books & Comics has moved 10 times and even had multiple locations open at once. Today it’s located in an approximately 3,300-square-foot storefront at 2301 East 38th street, the store’s home for the last eight and a half years, in a neighborhood around five miles southeast of downtown Minneapolis. According to owner Greg Ketter, despite various changes over the years, DreamHaven’s specialization in science fiction, fantasy, horror and comic books has remained constant. The book inventory is a mix of used and new, with a higher proportion of used, rare and collectible books than in years past; Ketter also carries a great deal of movie and comic memorabilia. One of the store’s centerpieces is a towering model of Robby the Robot from the film Forbidden Planet. Throughout the store other models and statues abound.

DreamHaven is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a party on April 1. Ketter has author appearances and a sale planned for the day, and is working in concert with Once Upon a Crime, a mystery bookstore in Minneapolis celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

(3) BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. Randy Byers, co-editor of Chunga, has promising news about the progress of his cancer treatment.

Again, the discussion is too technical for me to follow, but it all sounds pretty hopeful, which I assume is why Dr. Taylor was willing to be so optimistic right to my face. I feel torn between wild optimism on my own part and cautious skepticism. No doubt I’ll need to read and discuss it further, but damn if I didn’t immediately start thinking, “Maybe I *will* get to see Celine grow up!”

(4) INCONSTANT MOON.little birdie told us that Larry Niven’s award-winning story may be filmed — “’Arrival’ Producer Developing ‘Inconstant Moon’ Sci-Fi Movie for Fox”.

Fox 2000 is launching development on a movie based on Larry Niven’s science-fiction story “Inconstant Moon” with Oscar-nominated “Arrival” producer Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps company on board.

“The Specatcular Now” director James Ponsoldt is attached from a script by Daniel Casey. Levy and 21 Laps’ Dan Cohen will produce along with Ponsoldt through his 1978 Pictures company and Vince Gerardis through his Created By company.

“Inconstant Moon,” which first appeared in the 1971 short story collection “All the Myriad Ways,” begins with the moon glowing much brighter than ever before, leading the narrator to presume that the sun has gone nova and that this is the last night of his life. He spends the night with his girlfriend but then discovers that the reality is that the Earth has been hit by massive solar flare that kills most the inhabitants of the Eastern Hemisphere.

Levy received an Oscar nomination Tuesday for producing “Arrival” along with Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde. “Arrival” was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Denis Villeneuve.

(5) A REALLY BAD MAN. Atlas Obscura reminds us about a forgotten fictional character who had a major influence on genre fiction over the years: “The Criminal History of Fant?mas, France’s Favorite Fictional Villain”.

As villains go, Fantômas is a nasty one. Created in 1911, he is a gentleman criminal who perpetrates gruesome, elaborate crimes with no clear motivation. He hangs a victim inside a church bell so that when it rings blood rains on the congregation below. He attempts to kill Juve, the detective on his trail, by trapping the man in a room that slowly fills with sand. He skins a victim and makes gloves from the dead man’s hands in order to leave the corpse’s fingerprints all over the scene of a new crime.

His creators called him the “Genius of Evil” and the “Lord of Terror,” but he remained a cipher with so many identities that often only Jove would recognize him. The book that first introduces him begins with a voice asking: Who is Fantômas?

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 26, 1934 — One of America’s best-loved movie projects gets underway as producer Samuel Goldwyn buys the film rights to The Wizard of Oz.

(7) FAUX FACTS FOR SALE. Chuck Tingle’s Buttbart has opened an Alternative Fact Warehouse where you can purchase such alternative facts as “JOM HAMM IS YOUR HANDSOME ONLINE BUD WHO LIKES TO SKYPE” for a few dollars, with the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

(8) HE SAID ILK. Milo is scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on February 1. He was prevented by protestors from speaking at another UC campus a few weeks ago. UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has issued a statement reminding the university community that theirs is the home of the Free Speech Movement.

Mr. Yiannopoulos is not the first of his ilk to speak at Berkeley and he will not be the last. In our view, Mr. Yiannopoulos is a troll and provocateur who uses odious behavior in part to “entertain,” but also to deflect any serious engagement with ideas. He has been widely and rightly condemned for engaging in hate speech directed at a wide range of groups and individuals, as well as for disparaging and ridiculing individual audience members, particularly members of the LGBTQ community….

Berkeley is the home of the Free Speech Movement, and the commitment to free expression is embedded in our Principles of Community as the commitment “to ensur(e) freedom of expression and dialogue that elicits the full spectrum of views held by our varied communities.” As a campus administration, we have honored this principle by defending the right of community members who abide by our campus rules to express a wide range of often-conflicting points of view. We have gone so far as to defend in court the constitutional rights of students of all political persuasions to engage in unpopular expression on campus. Moreover, we are defending the right to free expression at an historic moment for our nation, when this right is once again of paramount importance. In this context, we cannot afford to undermine those rights, and feel a need to make a spirited defense of the principle of tolerance, even when it means we tolerate that which may appear to us as intolerant.

As part of the defense of this crucial right, we have treated the [Berkeley College Republicans’] efforts to hold the Yiannopoulos event exactly as we would that of any other student group. Since the event was announced, staff from our Student Affairs office, as well as officers from the University of California Police Department (UCPD), have worked, as per policy and standard practice, with the BCR to ensure the event goes as planned, and to provide for the safety and security of those who attend, as well as those who will choose to protest Yiannopoulos’s appearance in a lawful manner.

(9) EARLY WARNING. Declan Finn, in “Live and Let Bite, Best Horror at the Dragon Awards”, shows a photo of a Dragon Award trophy and declares —

In 2017, I’m going to be getting one of these.

Nice, huh? They look nifty, right? Here, let’s pull back a bit.

Yeah, I’m pretty much going to lay my cards on the table and say this is going to win the second annual Dragon Awards in 2017. This is not actually a boast. It’s just logical. No, seriously. Follow me around the windmills of my mind. Live and Let Bite is everything you loved in Honor at Stake and Murphy’s Law of Vampires, and then doubles down.

(10) THE MAGIC NUMBER. Dan Koboldt gives “5 Reasons to Vote for the Hugo Awards”.

2. Expose Yourself to Other Forms of SF/F

Most of us read enough novels to know how we want to vote in that category. Novels and series are the bread-and-butter of the SF/F genre. Furthermore, after the commercial success of Game of Thrones, Westworld, and other franchises, there are arguably more people reading SF/F novels than ever before. Thousand of people vote for the “best novel” Hugo Award.

I wish we could say the same about short stories, novelettes, and novellas.

Short fiction is a critical form of SF/F literature, and indeed is how many of us learned how to write. There are some wonderful markets that publish it — Clarkesworld, Galaxy’s Edge, and Nature, just to name a few — but the readership is much, much smaller. The Hugo Awards are a great opportunity to discover, read, and reward outstanding works in these briefer formats.

(11) AN ICE TOUR. Val and Ron Ontell are organizing pre- and post-Worldcon tours designed for those heading to Helsinki. Before the con there is a tour of Scandinavia, Talinn and St. Petersburg, and afterwards a tour of Iceland. Itineraries for both are at the site.

(12) FISHING WITH BAIT. John Joseph Adams has posted Hugo-eligible items and from Lightspeed, Nightmare and anthologies, and is offering to e-mail additional material to Hugo nominators with proof of voting eligibility.

If you are planning and eligible to vote for the Hugos this year, if you email me proof of your Worldcon membership (i.e., your name is listed on the Worldcon website as an attending member, or the email confirmation or receipt you received when you purchased your membership, etc.) I would be happy to make some additional 2016 material I edited available to you in digital format.

(13) ANOTHER FISHERMAN. Jameson Quinn wrote in a comment here today —

The paper on E Pluribus Hugo by Bruce Schneier and I had made it through peer review when the journal that had accepted it (Voting Matters) suddenly lost its funding and retroactively folded. We were trying to pressure the editor who had accepted it to help us find another place for it, but it looks as if that’s not happening. We’re still planning to publish it in another journal, but sadly we’ll probably have to repeat the whole peer review process. However, it is our belief that the paper is still eligible to be nominated for Best Related Work.

(14) TICKY. The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists make it out to be two-and-a-half minutes til Midnight — “Doomsday Click Moves Closer to Midnight, Signaling Concern Among Scientists” in the New York Times.

Ms. Bronson, in a post-announcement interview, explained why the board had included the 30-second mark in the measurement. She said that it was an attention-catching signal that was meant to acknowledge “what a dangerous moment we’re in, and how important it is for people to take note.”

“We’re so concerned about the rhetoric, and the lack of respect for expertise, that we moved it 30 seconds,” she said. “Rather than create panic, we’re hoping that this drives action.”

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Dr. Titley and Dr. Krauss elaborated on their concerns, citing the increasing threats of nuclear weapons and climate change, as well as President Trump’s pledges to impede what they see as progress on both fronts, as reasons for moving the clock closer to midnight.

“Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person,” they wrote. “But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter.”

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Howard Osler, Van Ontell, David K.M.Klaus, Michael J. Walsh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W and Yours Truly.]

162 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/26/17 What Is The Pixel Capacity Of A European Scroll? Laden or Unladen? Aaargh!

  1. @Jason – the 770 people are locked in their world view and will not be dissuaded by facts. Don’t worry about it.

  2. @Bill

    I suppose I’d recommend not having a default, but obviously that’s impossible as we all have them internalised. I think the idea is to realise we have them and that they might be wrong. I try to consider my default assumptions and check if they’re correct, and failing that doing what you just did in stating your assumptions so people can help with them is probably the exact best way to go. I imagine I fail on this a lot, but you live and learn. For that reason I shouldn’t criticise you unnecessarily, as I probably have my own fail waiting right around the corner!

  3. @airboy

    Don’t tell me, that’s because we’re all maoists, right? Maybe you should consider the defaults hiding in your own worldview.

  4. @Harold Osler:

    It’s the only thing he has to get attention.

    I disagree. I think he gets attention because he’s a hatemonger, and hate is easy to sell.

    I started and deleted a couple of posts yesterday trying to express my problems with the word “bitch”. I seem to take it more seriously than many, given how accepted it is even on the non-sweary teevee. I know at least part of my flinch reaction is intensely personal; then I wonder how many other women would say the same thing.

    @airboy:

    Today was the first snowfall, not of the season, but after a period of fog and rain. I was bringing my kitty back from the vet, and while waiting at the bus stop I noticed a perfect tiny special snowflake on my coat sleeve. I tried to get out my phone and snap a picture, but that snowflake melted before I could. I smiled and thought of you.

    Goodbye, special snowflake. You were so beautiful to me.

  5. Exactly. I feel the same way when the right shuts down speech. But unfortunately in the USA today it is the left who most often attempts to shut down speech.

    Yet it is not the left currently passing legislation that allows them to use lethal force against protestors.
    It is not the left forbidding government agencies to release scientific information to the point where many have created alternate means for disseminating it.
    It is not the left pushing the idea of lies as “alternative facts.”
    It is not the left compiling a database of university teachers in order to punish them for their views.
    It is not the left removing information from government-funded websites, including things like offering the information translated into Spanish.
    It is not the left that recently jailed journalists, who now face possible 10 year prison terms for doing their job.

    But the right/left division is also deceptive. This is about the rich versus everyone else, no matter how the former group tries to disguise it or (often successfully) divide their opposition.

  6. @ PJ Evans
    Thanks for the addition – but do remember that the law only lets you hit protesters with a car if it’s an accident.
    @ Cat Rambo
    Thanks for that factual and shameful catalogue.
    @ airboy
    A person looks pretty silly saying that people can’t deal with facts when their post is surrounded by facts. One can argue about their interpretation, but only members of the current US administration might try to say they’re not there.

  7. Yes, it’s true. Under the proposed law, you can only hit a protester and kill them with your car if you are willing to say “Oops!” afterward. Tough, but fair.

  8. Bill: What default do you recommend?

    My default is “paying attention”.

    Mark-kitteh, Steve Wright, Oneiros, rob_matic, Camestros Felaption, Soon Lee, Errol Cavit, Meredith, Johan P., snowcrash, Hampus Eckerman, Cora Buhlert, Karl-Johan Noren, Standback, NickPheas, Anna Feruglio Dal Dan, Simon Bisson, Stevie, James Davis Nicoll, Lorcan Nagle, to name just a few off the top of my head, have all posted, on numerous occasions, about being from a country outside the U.S.

    I’ve also heard that people who have issues remembering things will often keep a handy list of notes somewhere to overcome that problem.

  9. For you free speech absolutists; which is a greater threat to free speech? A university banning a speaker who commits harassment and encourages violence (both criminal and beyond the limits of free speech) or a government writing laws that push protestors away from any chance of being heard, or actively ban protest at all, or where journalism starts to be considered illegal activity?

    A Canadian perspective: outright hate speech, harassment, speech inciting criminal acts including violence, are all unprotected forms, for a reason: THE ACTS THEY ENCOURAGE DAMAGE THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS including the free speech of others. (Nobody on the absolutist side seems to ever counter this.)

  10. JJ: It does. I’m an an American, and the first time I read what you posted, it sounded snotty and condescending. Upon second and third reading, it still does. If you are unable to recognize that it was snotty and condescending, then you should probably engage in some introspection about your personal biases before further posting.

    Ah. I was racking my brains trying to figure out what was logically or ethically wrong with what I was saying but you’re saying it’s the manner (and many people are agreeing with you, though Camestros hasn’t yet said if that was also his problem). I have to confess that on my second, third, etc., reading, I guess I can see what you’re saying but it sure isn’t a very charitable reading. At least you’re very straight in telling me about it, which I appreciate. All I can say is that I in no way intended to be condescending or snotty and that wasn’t my mood or feeling in writing anything. I don’t know how to express it any more innocuously, honestly.

    The rest of your post, frankly, I don’t appreciate at all. “You appear to be new here, so I’ll clue you in…I encourage you to recognize that you are conversing with — at the very least — your intellectual equals here, and to try to engage in the discussion while leaving your smug, snotty attitude at the door”? I’m the one being “condescending”? It would take a charitable reading indeed to see that as putting an avuncular arm across the shoulder and imparting wisdom out of kindness. I’m sorry you felt an intellectual challenge that made you defensive but I meant no such attack on an issue you feel so sensitively about. The issue of intellect also hadn’t occurred to me. I never referred to anyone’s intelligence and never raised any issue of “smarts.” and certainly didn’t think of myself as smarter than anyone. People outright said someone should not be permitted to speak and I outright disagreed. I feel passionately about the issue and had no thought of any intellectual pissing contest. I only feel more passionately about the value of something than others which has sweet FA to do with intellect. I’m not calling several billion Chinese dumb, for example. Just different values. And it’s quite possible several billion Chinese stability fans can’t be wrong and we un-herd-able cats are. Obviously, any defense I’ve made of free speech has been a complete failure and for that I most certainly apologize. Perhaps, as airboy says, this was because it’s an impossible tilting at windmills. Perhaps, as you say, it’s because I came across as a snotty condescending person riding in on a high horse. I hope Bill is firmly ensconced in your group but, if not, please don’t take anything I say out on him but he at least shows it’s possible to take what I said in exactly the meaning and tone in which I said it.

    So. I regret it if I didn’t express myself well but I’m not going to apologize if there is a “pack” thing or “antibody” thing going on where I’m being perceived as an invader. I’m a friendly visitor. I’ve been reading this site (though not generally the comments) for a long time and have recently became more active in the blogging community (which is still pretty new to me as a foreground thing) and I felt it was only fair to participate, so posted earlier and felt very welcomed. While I recognize not everyone can know me from Adam from just that, I guess it led me to the delusion that I had already ridden in on my candidate-for-the-glue-factory and might be comfortable here. Boy, was that wrong and, yeah, I guess that makes me pretty stupid. This isn’t a posting board and there’s no introduction thread so I can’t do anything about that. You could have easily clicked on my linky name or asked me questions or just granted me the benefit of the doubt but, no I’m not a troll and now you know me from Adam.

    But this has gotten way out of proportion as these comments are supposed to be about 14 news items and not my moral and intellectual shortcomings so I won’t be taking up any more spacetime on this topic. I hope you did identify Camestros’ problem with me and, if that’s the case, then I say to him that I meant no offense and was not feeling condescension when I wrote what I wrote. I genuinely, simply meant that it helps me to know where people are coming from to understand them better. If anything, that comes from a place of humility.

    Ah. Sorry, I’m going to shut up now like I said, but it just occurred to me how I might have said it as innocuously as intended. “In order for me and others to avoid making the wrong assumptions about you and to help me understand, in any situation where someone might be mistaken for being someone else (e.g., a Swedish person for an American) it’s helpful to dispel that confusion by saying, ‘Hey, I’m Swedish and in Sweden we look at free speech like so.'” That’s all I meant. Like on the UK board that I’ve frequented for years, I always make it clear I’m an American and not English in contexts where that might matter even though most everyone there already does know me from Adam.

    Huh. It’s kind of funny. Not to throw him under the bus, but I just recalled that it was actually Greg who said the thing about Hampus being Swedish and I merely agreed with him and tried to generalize it (apparently with spectacularly poor phrasing) and I get in trouble for it. Ah well.

    To paraphrase Pascal (I think), I apologize for the length of this comment but I lack the time to make it shorter.

  11. Actually I’m really warming to the idea now that the first amendment applies absolutely to the speech of a foreign citizen being invited to speak at a US University i.e. the US government being constitutionally prohibited from preventing it. I doubt it is the case but if true it would mean all anybody had to do to circumvent the sudden ban on people from various nations* travelling to the US would be to invite them to speak at Berkley.

    *[i.e. more-ore-less Middle eastern nations that don’t have Trump businesses in them]

  12. Cat Rambo: But the right/left division is also deceptive. This is about the rich versus everyone else, no matter how the former group tries to disguise it or (often successfully) divide their opposition.

    This. Absolutely this. +billions. Favorite, like, follow.

    JJ: I’ve also heard that people who have issues remembering things will often keep a handy list of notes somewhere to overcome that problem.

    But, as I think you (or someone said) you’re on the internet. This isn’t a private party and it would be considerate for people posting to keep in mind all the potential billions of lurkers (some frequent, some passing through for their one and only time) who might benefit from following the conversation. Expecting them to keep up with who’s who and to take notes is a bit much even if it might be reasonable (?) for regulars. (I admit, on a football thread (American football) I jotted down whose team was whose to keep it straight until it sank in so I find it reasonable but doubt many would. ;))

  13. @Jason

    To be clear, pointing out that someone was a regular wasn’t meant to privilege their contribution over yours, simply to counter your impression that you were being trolled.

    That said, I think that complaining you’ve been made to feel unwelcome here is a bit much. I mean, yes, you’ve had a pretty tough reception in this thread but you hopped into a political hot-topic with enthusiasm so surely a bit of robust debate was within your expectations?

  14. Lenora Rose: THE ACTS THEY ENCOURAGE DAMAGE THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS including the free speech of others. (Nobody on the absolutist side seems to ever counter this.)

    I already did. People have the right to speak freely and the duty to listen responsibly. It’s basically a “the devil made me do it” cop-out.

    Camestros Felapton: Actually I’m really warming to the idea now that the first amendment applies absolutely to the speech of a foreign citizen being invited to speak at a US University i.e. the US government being constitutionally prohibited from preventing it. I doubt it is the case but if true it would mean all anybody had to do to circumvent the sudden ban on people from various nations* travelling to the US would be to invite them to speak at Berkley.

    That’s an interesting question. I don’t know but I believe that, just as everyone (but diplomats) must follow the laws of the land, they are also entitled to the “privileges” of the land. At least, at any given place, you’d be under the umbrella of some American college or street or some sort of place in which the college’s right to have you speak could not be infringed or where speaking on a street is not a crime for an American so couldn’t be for a visitor. So, unless some law enforcement agency abused its horrific post-9/11 powers and labeled you a terrorist, yeah, anybody could visit and speak. Quite likely a Chinese dissident would have problems at very high levels due to “diplomatic incident” sorts of things but, yeah, come speak. I mean, wasn’t Rushdie invited here to speak in defiance of fatwa or what have you? Something like that.

  15. Jason: I’m sorry you felt an intellectual challenge that made you defensive but I meant no such attack on an issue you feel so sensitively about.

    If you think that, then clearly you’ve missed my point.

    I’m not defensive, I’m rolling my eyes at you. Internet etiquette is that before you go charging into a forum thinking that you’re going to school everyone there, you first take time to do some reading in that forum and get a feel for the community and its members. And read everything that’s already been said, and take it on board instead of just dismissing it out of hand.

     
    Jason: I regret it if I didn’t express myself well but I’m not going to apologize if there is a “pack” thing or “antibody” thing going on where I’m being perceived as an invader… I felt it was only fair to participate, so posted earlier and felt very welcomed. While I recognize not everyone can know me from Adam from just that, I guess it led me to the delusion that I had already ridden in on my candidate-for-the-glue-factory and might be comfortable here. Boy, was that wrong and, yeah, I guess that makes me pretty stupid.

    Nobody cares that you’re new here. Everyone here was new here at one point. How about you just recognize that your earlier comment had none of the attitude that your current comments do, instead of trying to play martyr?

    What I — and several other people who’ve spoken up — are pointing out is that you’ve presented yourself in a way which does you no service. When you lecture people in a way that assumes that they’re not already well aware of the points you are making (and again I will point out, without bothering to educate yourself about the issue being discussed) and blithely dismiss the opinions of people from outside the U.S., you are indicating a dismissal of their intellects as well.

     
    Jason: I just recalled that it was actually Greg who said the thing about Hampus being Swedish and I merely agreed with him and tried to generalize it (apparently with spectacularly poor phrasing) and I get in trouble for it. Ah well.

    And now you’re painting yourself as a victim instead of just saying “whoops! I probably went at this the wrong way. Let me try again.”

     
    jayn has posted an articulate response to you on the previous page. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the points they have made.

  16. Mark: To be clear, pointing out that someone was a regular wasn’t meant to privilege their contribution over yours, simply to counter your impression that you were being trolled.

    Yeah, I got that regarding Camestros and appreciated it. It was the later stuff that made it feel like I hadn’t earned a right to speak or something (which, uh, you can’t do without speaking).

    That said, I think that complaining you’ve been made to feel unwelcome here is a bit much. I mean, yes, you’ve had a pretty tough reception in this thread but you hopped into a political hot-topic with enthusiasm so surely a bit of robust debate was within your expectations?

    Absolutely. But I thought it would be more like Lenora Rose would raise a logical point and I would try to address it and someone would make the “stable society” argument and I’d talk about how instability was how we progressed, like walking being a constant state of falling. That sort of thing. Not that I was not known from Adam but was already a snotty smug intellectually arrogant etc. That part, not so much. 😉

    But like I say, I don’t want to talk about that aspect so much anymore if it’s in the open and been addressed. I appreciate your comment, though.

    Still can’t get over Cat Rambo’s comment. It’s what I’ve tried to say over and over and once in awhile I’ll hear a little peep about it but not like I should. If we’re not talking speculative fiction, then let’s talk about that!

  17. @Jason:

    I didn’t notice your post in the prior thread, but there are many people who post infrequently and you have a fairly generic username and no avatar. It’s hard to keep track sometimes.

    I will note that you hopped into a contentious political issue. That’s fine, there’s a lot of heated commentary on these threads. A lot of the regulars here are super smart and have very strong opinions. Sometimes things get testy. (But not nearly as testy as during Rabid Puppies 1.)

    I’m Canadian, and I’ll admit that I had a snippy moment of “oh, I’ll have to remember to change my avatar to a Canadian flag whenever I have the temerity to comment on world events” when I read your post. I figured it was just a problem of tone not being conveyed well over the internet.

    Finally, um, hi? We like books here. I am also a big anime fan. My current favourite author is Jeff VanderMeer (loved the Southern Reach trilogy). What genre stuff do you enjoy?

  18. Jason: So people listening to MY actively harass and encourage harassing people out of existance should … what? Not commit harassment? Well, sure, but if they agree with his stance, they are there TO LEARN WHAT HE WANTS THEM TO DO ABOUT IT.

    Letting MY off the hook for the results of his speech when his speech is “Harass trans people until they go back into hiding / commit suicide” is a bit too far. It imagines a perfect world where he is given the free right to speak hate speech because nobody actually agrees with it.

    Yes, the person committing harassment is guilty of harassment, where that is either legally actionable or a firing offense or otherwise attendant of consequences. But speech actually inciting that action is a separate crime, or, in jurisdictions where there is no crime against hate speech, still socially actionable, up to and including denying a specific platform. IMO, “His listeners have, at his active encouragement, harassed and assaulted people, therefore we will deny him a chance to speak HERE” is a lot closer to objective justice than “well, his listener didn’t listen responsibly, so it’s not his fault, so he can speak anywhere he pleases even when we don’t like him.”

  19. This is about the rich versus everyone else

    Well that’s pithy, in a Marxian way, but really you need to work in something Engels-like about false consciousness to cover both the rich folks and the poor folks who are acting against their alleged class interests.

    Any theory that attempts to reduce human relations down to economics is probably flawed. We’re a bit more complex than that whether individually or in aggregate.

  20. JJ, I think I was addressing airboy and Bill in my previous comment, but I’d be happy to hear Jason’s view on it as well.

  21. JJ: And now you’re painting yourself as a victim instead of just saying “whoops! I probably went at this the wrong way. Let me try again.”

    Um. What is it about “spectacularly poor phrasing” which is in the very paragraph you quote and

    it just occurred to me how I might have said it as innocuously as intended. “In order for me and others to avoid making the wrong assumptions about you and to help me understand, in any situation where someone might be mistaken for being someone else (e.g., a Swedish person for an American) it’s helpful to dispel that confusion by saying, ‘Hey, I’m Swedish and in Sweden we look at free speech like so.’” That’s all I meant.

    which is not saying I went about it the wrong way and literally trying again? What would qualify as saying that and trying that if that doesn’t?

    Regard that as rhetorical. As I say, I’d like to move on there.

    JJ: jayn has posted an articulate response to you on the previous page. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the points they have made.

    The link takes me to a post addressed to Bill. Was that meant to be addressed to me or was that the right link? I wrote a reply but it turned out to be a few miles long, so I’ll cut it out for this post. Were you looking from a response from me to that post?

  22. Dawn Incognito: I’m Canadian, and I’ll admit that I had a snippy moment of “oh, I’ll have to remember to change my avatar to a Canadian flag whenever I have the temerity to comment on world events” when I read your post. I figured it was just a problem of tone not being conveyed well over the internet.

    That seems to be exactly the case. A lot of people seem to have responded that way so I definitely didn’t say it right because that’s not what I meant at all. I hope I’ve cleared that up. Like I say, it’s what I do myself as an American on a UK board and I certainly meant nothing mean.

    Finally, um, hi? We like books here. I am also a big anime fan. My current favourite author is Jeff VanderMeer (loved the Southern Reach trilogy). What genre stuff do you enjoy?

    Hi! 🙂 Nice to meet you, Dawn. I like books, too, especially SF. It’s why I’m here and what I actually like to talk about most of the time. I like at least a little bit of most things but really like at least semi-hard SF. My favorite SF author of all-time (certainly the most influential to me) was Isaac Asimov. These days, Greg Egan is still probably my favorite. That said, I do have Jeff and Ann(e?) VanderMeer’s giant The Weird anthology which I look forward to getting to one of these years. 🙂

  23. @Dawn Incognito

    I like your current avatar just fine (very cute kitty!) but just in case you need to follow through – may I suggest our Canadian contingent adopt:

    Guardian

    😛

  24. @Jason – the 770 people are locked in their world view and will not be dissuaded by facts.

    For example: Airboy.

  25. Jason: Um. What is it about “spectacularly poor phrasing” which is in the very paragraph you quote and… which is not saying I went about it the wrong way and literally trying again? What would qualify as saying that and trying that if that doesn’t?

    That part, on its own, was fine. It was the parts where you painted yourself as a martyr and victim which were the problem:

    While I recognize not everyone can know me from Adam from just that, I guess it led me to the delusion that I had already ridden in on my candidate-for-the-glue-factory and might be comfortable here. Boy, was that wrong and, yeah, I guess that makes me pretty stupid.

    I just recalled that it was actually Greg who said the thing about Hampus being Swedish and I merely agreed with him and tried to generalize it (apparently with spectacularly poor phrasing) and I get in trouble for it. Ah well.

     
    You’re clearly intelligent and sincere. I’m just as happy for you to comment here as I am for anyone else to comment, and I’m interested in what you have to say about SFF books as well as about Free Speech. I’m also pointing out that if you drop the attitude, I’ll be a lot more receptive to what you have to say, and so might other people.

    Welcome to File770. I suggest you start saving your money. This place seems to have a way of sucking it into book purchases. 😉

  26. Lenora Rose: It imagines a perfect world where he is given the free right to speak hate speech because nobody actually agrees with it.

    That puts me in mind of a quote but I can’t think of it or find it. Something about it being easy or meaningless to defend free speech if everyone agreed all the time. I dunno – can’t remember.

    Anyway, this is tricky to say because it’s hard to conceive. (And please don’t take it as my lecturing you or anyone else but simply proclaiming my belief.) I may be 100% convinced he’s wrong and hateful. You may be convinced he’s wrong and hateful. Let’s say he is wrong and hateful. But let’s say someone somewhere is saying something that seems to us just as wrong and hateful but we’re wrong. Let’s say this other thing is a revolutionary truth that needs to be heard and people centuries from now will be the better for it. Only if we support the right to speech that we disagree with can we ever learn. As I quoted in my first post on this thread, almost everyone would have agreed that Galileo was wrong. Far beyond hateful and wrong, he was in danger of committing his eternal soul to the literal flames of hell and of taking others with him if they listened to him. Obviously, everyone would know these heresies must be suppressed. Giordano Bruno would not recant his cosmic visions and was burned for them. Because the Church was the final authority and the summit of wisdom and advancement.

    But Galileo came closer to being right and we all come closer to being right the more we allow the airing of ALL opinions and trying them in the figurative fire of experience. We are not the summit of human wisdom. We can’t decide today what people of tomorrow should be allowed to hear and think. As Thomas Jefferson (him, again) said, the generations to come cannot be bound by the limitations of the generation of today.

    Stoic Cynic: Well that’s pithy, in a Marxian way, but really you need to work in something Engels-like about false consciousness to cover both the rich folks and the poor folks who are acting against their alleged class interests.

    Any theory that attempts to reduce human relations down to economics is probably flawed. We’re a bit more complex than that whether individually or in aggregate.

    I didn’t read it as all-encompassing and Marxist. I read it as isolating a specific issue. The “false consciousness” comes easily from a multitude of ways. When you lose your job because of a “Mexican” and you’d really be a billionaire if it weren’t for them and so on, then you hate Mexicans and not the guy who fired you to increase his profits. It’s rather the reverse of reducing us all down to economics. If it was pure economics, we wouldn’t be so easy to manipulate emotionally and on other issues.

    jayn: JJ, I think I was addressing airboy and Bill in my previous comment, but I’d be happy to hear Jason’s view on it as well.

    Thanks. Glad I got that right. Maybe JJ meant to refer to airboy or Bill and was actually asking their opinions so I’ll defer to them.

  27. JJ: Welcome to File770. I suggest you start saving your money. This place seems to have a way of sucking it into book purchases.

    Thank you. If anything can make that problem worse, it’ll be quite a feat but I’ll try my best to save. 🙂

  28. Jason on January 28, 2017 at 5:36 pm said:
    …These days, Greg Egan is still probably my favorite.

    I think I’ve only read his novella “Oceanic” – which was interesting. Is there a good place to start with Egan’s novels?

  29. @cam
    A whole bunch of earlier Greg Egan novels are $2.99 on Amazon Kindle right now.

    I started back in the day with Permutation City, and am a fan of Diaspora in particular in more recent work. (I do love Wang’s Carpets, which eventually got incorporated into the latter) I’d recommend either of those 🙂

  30. That’s a good question. My favorite Egan novel is easily Diaspora which is kind of cyberpunk-beyond-cyberpunk and posthuman-beyond-posthuman and is even a sort of hard SF space opera. I’ve said several times that I really feel like it should have been the Neuromancer of the 90s (1997, I think) but doesn’t seem to have been for some reason. All that said, it’s kind of extreme. Probably his most humanly accessible work is Teranesia (though Zendegi is still in the Pile and might be in the same ballpark). But everything’s really good – I had the most trouble with Schild’s Ladder because he’s basically creating a whole new alternate physics universe and I haven’t read his one trilogy, Orthogonal, which I think does the same thing but even Schild’s was worth struggling with for me but I may be weird. Definitely wouldn’t start there, either way.

    I also love his short story collections Axiomatic and Luminous (Oceanic is still in the Pile (it’s a huge Pile) but I have read the novella and it was really good – he probably hadn’t lost a step in that collection, either.) That way you get to see him tackle several subjects from different angles.

    So basically, Diaspora or Teranesia and a collection, I think. Hope you enjoy more of him, whatever you try. 🙂

    Edit: I see Paul has also recommended Diaspora. Well met, Paul! 🙂 “Wang’s Carpets” was absolutely incredible. It was through the Dozois annuals when he was often printing Egan stories two an issue through the 90s that I got into Egan and “Wang’s” was one of the best.

  31. Jason on January 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm said:
    That’s a good question. My favorite Egan novel is easily Diaspora which is kind of cyberpunk-beyond-cyberpunk and posthuman-beyond-posthuman and is even a sort of hard SF space opera.

    Paul Weimer on January 28, 2017 at 6:37 pm said:
    @cam
    A whole bunch of earlier Greg Egan novels are $2.99 on Amazon Kindle right now.

    Bought and downloaded! Hoorah! 🙂

  32. @Jason:

    It was through the Dozois annuals when he was often printing Egan stories two an issue through the 90s that I got into Egan

    Hah, me too. I believe I read Axiomatic, Luminous, Diaspora, and Distress. I remember finding Diaspora very challenging. I think my favourite Egan is still my first: “Reasons to be Cheerful”.

    I’ve only kept up with his work through the aforementioned Dozois annuals, so I may add Teranesia to the wobbly TBR.

  33. I will fifth the enthusiasm for Greg Egan. His work, like that of Ted Chiang, is consistently amazing.

  34. JJ on January 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm said:

    I will fifth the enthusiasm for Greg Egan. His work, like that of Ted Chiang, is consistently amazing.

    I hate to say it but I think I’ve repeatedly got him confused with Greg Bear.

  35. Camestros Felapton: Bought and downloaded! Hoorah!

    Yay! The Egan fan club grows (I hope).

    Dawn Incognito: I think my favourite Egan is still my first: “Reasons to be Cheerful”.

    I’ve only kept up with his work through the aforementioned Dozois annuals, so I may add Teranesia to the wobbly TBR.

    That’s a really good story, too. Understated (naturally) and disturbing. I don’t tend to do ebooks but, if you do and that’s one of the 2.99 ones, that sounds like too good a deal to miss.

    JJ: I will fifth the enthusiasm for Greg Egan. His work, like that of Ted Chiang, is consistently amazing.

    Another one of my favorites. I hadn’t thought of them being similar (other than, as you say, consistently amazing) and I don’t know how far you could push it but they both share what seems to be a calmly passionate approach and a deep dedication to crafting great work – nothing casual and half-measured about them. Everything is written like it’s the only thing they’d ever write, if that makes sense.

    Camestros Felapton: I hate to say it but I think I’ve repeatedly got him confused with Greg Bear.

    I actually just ran into that problem with the Barnes’ again when I read a Steven Barnes story with John Barnes in my mind. Greg Bear was also good, though, Honestly, I haven’t liked anything I’ve read since… Moving Mars, I think? But for a decade or so crossing the 80s and 90s he was pretty amazing.

  36. Jason:

    As I quoted in my first post on this thread, almost everyone would have agreed that Galileo was wrong. Far beyond hateful and wrong, he was in danger of committing his eternal soul to the literal flames of hell and of taking others with him if they listened to him. Obviously, everyone would know these heresies must be suppressed. Giordano Bruno would not recant his cosmic visions and was burned for them.

    Galileo was offering a scientific advancement. We have achieved few scientific advancements by advocating the harassment or death of another set of human beings, or the treatment thereof as subhuman. (we have abused the ability to treat some humans as lesser to do experiments at their expense, and by that means sped up some advancements, but even there, it was not the advocacy of human rights abuses that was the advancement of the new scientific idea, merely a way to abet it. And we now recognize these as heinous.)

    Therefore I really don’t think the defense of free speech should extend to hate speech because the sorts of ideas you’re talking about losing are not even in the same category.

    A lot of people peddle theories, some close to crackpot, some wildly diverging, in the realms of science and even political and economic spheres. I would asvocate strongly for those ideas to be examined. Have a radical new take on either climate change or how to amend it? Speak your ideas, they can rise and fall on merit and reproducibility, like all others. But “hate and abuse this group of humans, while radical in the sense of “extremist” is the opposite of radical in the sense of “a new idea”. If anything, ” don’t treat anyone as subhuman” is the radical approach in that sense.

  37. We have achieved few scientific advancements by advocating the harassment or death of another set of human beings, or the treatment thereof as subhuman

    @Leonora Rose – Thank you for saying so clearly what was not quite right about Jason’s comparison.

    I do have a default position that ideas must be allowed to be heard. In the case of MY though, his views have had an extremely generous airing, and do not need the presented under the auspices of UCB, even if sponsored by the local Republican Chapter (who really should know better). Not hearing any more of MYs views would not materially deprive us of any future benefit.

    That said, I find it frustrating that when odious persons do gain themselves a pulpit, that the response of opponents is with anger and with attempts to disrupt or drown out the offending lecture. The effect of these actions, when reported, is to garner sympathy for the odious speaker, or to cause onlookers to damn both parties with the same brush. The reporting highlights the fight, not the offensiveness or wrongness of the speaker’s lecture.

    The end result is shouting, not reason, which solves nothing.

  38. IMO Greg Egan’s collection Axiomatic is one of the best ways to make your head feel funny in a manner that isn’t illegal.

  39. Second Fifth the Greg Egan recommendation. He’s superb at both short & novel-length. I suspect one reason why he’s not sold more is because he doesn’t do social media, to the extent that AFAIK no photo of him exists online.

  40. @Mark
    ” I think the idea is to realise we have [defaults] and that they might be wrong. ”

    Which is exactly what I did in the earlier post (“it will be wrong some of the time”). Glad to see that we have some common ground.

    @JJ “I’ve also heard that people who have issues remembering things will often keep a handy list of notes somewhere to overcome that problem.”

    If knowing where Simon Bisson is from proves to be a problem, I may well write down “foreigner” (I’d prefer to actually note his country of origin, but you didn’t provide that. I hope the reason isn’t that you’ve forgotten.) No offense to Simon.

    Otherwise, I think this statement is far more condescending than anything Jason has said.

    @Jason — Your long post of earlier today is great. I hope you continue to participate here.
    “I hope Bill is firmly ensconced in your group”
    I had to look that one up: “ensconced: established or settled in a comfortable, safe, or secret place” HAH! That was a welcome chuckle. No, I’m not ensconced here.

    @jayn — a lot to process there. The detailed response it deserves would be repetitive. Obviously we disagree. I’ve provided a bunch of cases where the law was interpreted to say “government cannot keep someone from speaking, no matter how odious the speech is”, and you’ve come up with a couple that say “maybe, in limited circumstances [which don’t apply here], the government may punish speech after the fact”.

    You’ve mixed MY and Tristan Rettke; I’ll try and separate them back out.

    Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor of UCB, has had to think about the problem of MY speaking there much more than I have. He has much more at stake than I do. He is much more motivated than I am to keep the peace and make MY just go away. And yet he, too, says that they have no choice at all — UCB cannot prevent a speaker based on what he has said in the past, or what they anticipate he would say. He is much more eloquent than I am, and his letter is worth reading. (TL:DR: MY is coming, we can’t stop him, he’s a douchenozzle, let us all peacefully and rationally oppose him).

    You and others have brought up his harassment of trans people. It makes no difference. In some cases, harassment may be so great that the harasser may be punished after the fact. UW or his victim there may be able to take action against him. But what is being proposed at UCB is prior restraint, which the Supreme Court has said is “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.” The standard for prior restraint is very much higher than anything going on here.

    Tristan Rettke: the standard for “true threat” is also much higher here than you are recognizing. Have you seen the video? He’s walking around barefoot in overalls and a gorilla mask (not a suit, as you say) with a banana in a rope. He’s an asshole, not a threat. He’s a buffoon. See Brandenburg v. Ohio — the government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action”. Rettke wasn’t doing that. (and Brandenburg also applies to MY — what he said wasn’t specific and imminent enough to be illegal, or to allow a government entity to censor him). The 1A allows harassment, and it even allows a generic, diffuse incitement to violence.

    You refer to the liability a university may have, but use as examples rape and hazing. These are actions, not speech. Of course a university can take action to prevent them.

    You mention my “off-the-cuff” legal analysis. I suppose yours is more soundly based? I studied ConLaw under the guy who “Wrote the Book”. I’ve been thinking and writing about these issues for years.

    As to whether or not I’m sufficiently sensitive to the “threatening behavior”, I’ll note that the BLM activists he engaged seemed more astounded and amazed than threatened.

  41. Bill: If knowing where Simon Bisson is from proves to be a problem, I may well write down “foreigner” (I’d prefer to actually note his country of origin, but you didn’t provide that. I hope the reason isn’t that you’ve forgotten.) No offense to Simon. Otherwise, I think this statement is far more condescending than anything Jason has said.

    I didn’t note countries of origin — even though I know them — because even though most/all of the people I listed have said in which countries they live, I’m a bit reluctant to post anything that remotely resembles doxxing. I leave it to those people to talk (or not) about where they’re from, as they have in the past.

    My point was that, in a community — and we are in a community here at File770 — one of the things you do (or should do) is pay attention when your colleagues reveal things about themselves. It not only gives you insight into the things in their heritage and history which have formed the person they are, it enables you to better understand them and see them as human beings, rather than as anonymous randos on the internet.

    That you regard this as “condescending” does not surprise me one bit.

  42. Well that’s pithy, in a Marxian way, but really you need to work in something Engels-like about false consciousness to cover both the rich folks and the poor folks who are acting against their alleged class interests.

    I’m offering it as a substitute for the left versus right divide, which is the narrative that keeps keeping pushed, and I think it’s — while still considerably flawed — significantly more accurate than that narrative. I agree that people are much more complicated than any binary; that’s my problem with binary constructions, but everyone keeps using them.

    Later edit – and holy cow, yes, this place will expand your reading list like crazy. That’s the main reason I stop by.

  43. @JJ — The suggestion that paying attention to what people say about themselves might be helpful is not what was condescending. It was the way in which you said it — the implication that I have memory “issues”.

  44. @Cat Rambo

    While agreeing that binaries are not useful in general, rich / poor, to me at least, is one of the least useful. Left / Right is at least loosely indicative of world view and goals. Rich / Poor is only indicative of conditions.

    I’ve been poor (want to discuss the merits of growing up eating government cheese?) and while not rich I’m almost certainly upper middle class now (petite bourgeois). Did I become my enemy somewhere along the way?

    I’ve sat through more than one management meeting, at more than one company, where the executive team (both right wing and left wing members in outlook) has agonized over the impact of decisions on our team members and community. Folks wanted to do the right thing. An us / them class dichotomy didn’t enter into it.

    I think it’s more useful to look at how power (which wealth is certainly a form) accretes and it’s use and misuse.

    Kind of a scattered post. On the road and taking a break from driving. Maybe I’ll try to smooth up a better version later.

  45. As someone who is definitely to the left of Jason and Airboy, some advice for them when attempting to engage us in dialogue: leave out the snowflake references and the constant allusion to people being offended at what you’ve said when they are actually just arguing with you. The constant harping about snowflakes/easily-offended leftists presents a strong case that you aren’t hear to discuss the issue, but rather are just trying to rile people up and have some fun, aka troll. ETA I hope this doesn’t sound condescending or smarmy. Not my objective.

    I keep thinking of the wonderful “angels” blocking out the view of the Westboro Phelpsies at funerals that they attempt to picket.

    I live in Oakland, though I’ll be out of town when MY comes through. I think it’s going to get very ugly at UCB when MY speaks, particularly given this past week and the Cheeto-in-Chief’s 3-year-old-as-dictator schtick. I’ve been thinking it’d be great if protesters could do something creative and sweet like what you said to fight back against MY’s smarmy instigation.

    WARNING: THIS IS A JOKE
    Or, maybe someone with a high public profile should fight fire with fire, and bring up MY’s existence and whereabouts to several hundred rabidly anti-fascist but pro-violence activists. They could then send him death threats and maybe come attempt to hurt him, and said public figure could blink coyly and say “But I didn’t tell them to threaten Milo. Deary me, no, I would never approve such a thing!” That is Milo’s MO. He incites violence with his speech. That is abuse of his freedom.

    @Dawn Incognito – that was a wonderful snowflake story.

    @Jason et al. I can’t say this with enough emphasis, but I’ll try: DIASPORA!!!!! I love that book. I don’t think Egan’s ever quite re-attained those heights. I had none of his work on my Kindle, though, until a couple minutes ago. Now I have 10 of his novels and collections! Some of them I haven’t even read!

  46. Interestingly enough, the most common way free speech is limited and banned by universities in US and the US authorities is to stop protests against the Israeli occupation of palestinian land.

    But you will never hear rightwing protest against that. Banning harassment, not ok. Transpeople deserve to be harassed. Banning protest against ethnic cleansing, ok. Arabs deserve to be ethnically cleansed.

    Both trans people and arabs are what are deemed as unworthy victims.

  47. I missed a lot. Sorry for another post-bomb.

    Lenora Rose: Galileo was offering a scientific advancement…. Therefore I really don’t think the defense of free speech should extend to hate speech because the sorts of ideas you’re talking about losing are not even in the same category.

    But I was no more comparing MY (don’t like the appellation but it’s easier than spelling it out and clearer than “that guy”) to Galileo than to Hitler. These are examples or illustrations to principles and not the principles themselves. It is not only science but any idea, be it ethical, economic, or otherwise.

    Besides, I’m not so sure it’s his ideas that should be in question here, but the ideas of those who would censor him. The burden of defense should be on them. People thought it was a good idea to burn heretics once upon a time and I find that hateful. Censorship, suppression, and ostracism may be a much milder form but it’s the same basic principle.

    Have a radical new take on either climate change or how to amend it? Speak your ideas, they can rise and fall on merit and reproducibility, like all others.

    This is the problem. You say MY should not speak because he’s hateful. You say to bring on the climate change ideas. Well, [pompous, fat-cat voice]”We at Fat Cat Oil are hurt by your hateful speech about our activities. We do good things like provide dozens of people with subsistence wages and substandard healthcare and you would take that away from them. That’s hateful to them. In fact, you’re scaring them with this nonsense about ‘climate change.’ Why, I do believe you might even be a terrorist. We will be banning your hate speech about this supposed ‘climate change.’ And the DHS will be coming to arrest you shortly. Sick. Truly sick. How you find it in your dark, evil heart to want people to be cold…”

    And I ask you, who’s more likely to get across their ideas of what should be censored once they’ve got most people embracing the idea of censorship at all? To quote someone some folks here may be familiar with:

    “Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.” –Neil Gaiman

    I appreciate your posts but I’m not sure we’re going to convince each other at this point. I think you hold to “do not hate” as strongly as I hold to “do not censor” and we probably both agree that you shouldn’t much do either one.

    David Goldfarb: Axiomatic

    Soon Lee: Second Fifth the Greg Egan recommendation. He’s superb at both short & novel-length. I suspect one reason why he’s not sold more is because he doesn’t do social media, to the extent that AFAIK no photo of him exists online.

    Whoo! More Eganites. I agree with that and that’s a shame but I sure do respect it. Also, he’s pretty uncompromising in terms of writing what he wants even when it isn’t the most popular type of thing and he’s only written one trilogy recently. Everything before that was a stand-alone novel. I think of him and another favorite of mine, Bruce Sterling, together in this way. While Sterling has some stories connected to some novels, all his are stand-alone, too. I like for most authors to have a series, but I also like most things to be stand-alone. The marketplace definitely seems to prefer the never-ending series, though.

    Bill: Your long post of earlier today is great. I hope you continue to participate here.

    Thank you and I wouldn’t be surprised if I did. I liked your post, too. I think that’s one of the primary points to make: there’s a conflation of speech and expression and of both with action. It’s the action that’s, well, “actionable” and not the speech.

    kathodus: As someone who is definitely to the left of Jason and Airboy, some advice for them when attempting to engage us in dialogue: leave out the snowflake references and the constant allusion to people being offended at what you’ve said when they are actually just arguing with you. The constant harping about snowflakes/easily-offended leftists presents a strong case that you aren’t hear to discuss the issue, but rather are just trying to rile people up and have some fun, aka troll.

    This always gets me every time. Anywhere I’m on the internet, people are always way to the left of me with the implication that I’m very right. Why? Because there, as here, I advocate free speech and express outrage at the divide between the rich and poor and the influence of money in all things. I probably also indicated disapproval of our Leader and implied I didn’t care about people’s gender or orientation. I’m not aware of indicating a single other political stance. Never said “snowflake” once.

    There are probably many issues in which I am extremely right and others extremely left and on most I’m probably quite moderate. I’m not affiliated with any political party. (Jefferson caved under Federalist duress but I still embrace the sentiment that, “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”) I will agree with anyone when they make a good point and disagree when they don’t, no matter if they’re on my supposed “side” or not. To both the right and the left, that makes me right-wing. The left might want to think about that.

    @Jason et al. I can’t say this with enough emphasis, but I’ll try: DIASPORA!!!!! I love that book. I don’t think Egan’s ever quite re-attained those heights. I had none of his work on my Kindle, though, until a couple minutes ago. Now I have 10 of his novels and collections! Some of them I haven’t even read!

    But to hell with politics! This is what’s important. Good news. I have to admit I agree that he hasn’t really ever topped Diaspora but that’s just because it’s such a summit. It’s not like he’s worse or lost a step but just that “almost as good as Diaspora” is a great accomplishment itself. 🙂

    Hampus Eckerman: Interestingly enough, the most common way free speech is limited and banned by universities in US and the US authorities is to stop protests against the Israeli occupation of palestinian land.

    That is interesting. And deeply disturbing. Thanks for the link. I’ve only skimmed the article itself and the main other one it pointed to, but will return and follow out some of those many links.

  48. Jason: again, a false equivalence. Hate speech has a very specific definition, and there is NO way the fat cat oil maven could actually argue that talking about climate change is hate speech. Especially as the sort of speech on climate change I was proposing protecting from banning is, in fact, ALL sorts; that for and that against, that which proposes solutions and that which argues that we don’t need to because it’s all a hoax. I LOATHE climate denialism, but I maintain its right to speak up, especially if the person speaking on it claims to have evidence against human-based causes.

    kathodus, BTW, I think was mistaking you — my impression of you is right leaning centrist with a few hobby horses, one of which is a hint of the knee jerk “poke the lefties”– but airboy’s special snowflakisms have been grating for a while. He’s capable of offering at least the start of a good discussion, but then he falls into this froth where he must continuously mock his easily offended* straw liberal. I don’t recall you using that language as yet, but if you did, the point stands regardless of your actual political affiliation.

    *I’ve put forth commentary at least twice before on the way the right — and here I mean the right, the Republicans and extreme libertarians, which should in theory exclude Jason — grasps at “Offended” to describe every emotion their opponents feel from pure laughter to jaw dropping shock to horror to eye-rolling. If every reaction or commentary is painted as “offended” then it dilutes the times the reaction is offense AND undermines the times the reaction is much more severe. It makes “sigh, the person said a mildly jerky thing” and “that’s advocating genocide” seem to be the same thing.

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