Pixel Scroll 9/23 Pixel Exigente!

(1) Today in History —

1846 – Eighth planet discovered — “German astronomer Johann Gottfriend Galle discovers the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory”.

Neptune, generally the eighth planet from the sun, was postulated by the French astronomer Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier, who calculated the approximate location of the planet by studying gravity-induced disturbances in the motions of Uranus. On September 23, 1846, Le Verrier informed Galle of his findings, and the same night Galle and his assistant Heinrich Louis d’Arrest identified Neptune at their observatory in Berlin. Noting its movement relative to background stars over 24 hours confirmed that it was a planet.

(2) A judge checked in with the Salt Lake Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con folks this week, who assured him they are working on a settlement:

Settlement talks are under way between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con over the use of the words “comic con,” FOX 13 is told.

Lawyers for both conventions met with a federal judge in San Diego on Tuesday to update the status of the lawsuit. Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Bryan Brandenburg said both sides were working to reach an agreement.

“The judge wanted us to check in to see if progress had been made in the settlement. We reported the parties are still working out an agreement, but that we haven’t reached settlement, at least not yet,” he told FOX 13.

Brandenburg would not reveal any details about a possible settlement. The judge scheduled another hearing next month.

(3) Forbes writer Scott Mendelson theorizes a trailer will help draw people to theaters when The Martian opens this weekend in “’X-Men: Apocalypse’ Trailer Is Hyping ‘The Martian’”

If the rumor mill is to be believed, and in this case it makes sense, 20th Century Fox will be debuting the first much-anticipated teaser for X-Men: Apocalypse over the next week alongside the theatrical debut of Ridley Scott’s The Martian….

Back in the old days, you attached an important trailer to a big movie so that lots of people would see that big movie. Or at least you attached the trailer for your next big movie before your current big movie. That of course still happens, was we’ve seen from Universal/Comcast Corp. all summer long (Furious 7 trailers Straight Outta Compton or Fifty Shades of Grey trailers Crimson Peak)….

But here is a situation where the presence of a trailer for an upcoming blockbuster acts as major marketing not just for the movie in question but for the current (and arguably less commercial by default) release. At this point, a X-Men trailer helps The Martain more than it helps X-Men: Apocalypse. None of this is problematic in any real way, it just amused me.

(4) SF Signal’s new “MIND MELD: The Translated Books and Why We Love Them”, curated by James Aquilone, discusses the favorite translated sf of Aidan Doyle, Justin Howe (10badhabits.com), Tiemen Zwaan , Rachel S. Cordasco (facebook.com/bookishlywitty), Anatoly Belilovsky (http://loldoc.net), Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Amy Sisson, and Matthew Johnson (www.irregularverbs.ca).

(5) I tend to be interested in what Mad Genius Club columnists say specifically about the craft of writing,such as Sarah A. Hoyt’s advice about revisions.

[First of eight points.]

1- when polishing a story limit yourself to three passes: sense, wording and typos.  Chances are if you go on (and boy, could you go on) you’ll take all the flavor and individuality out of the piece.  Flavor and individuality is why we read your story, rather than someone else’s.  Yes, I know it’s not perfect. Let it go.  No story is ever perfect.

(6) In her post “Harassment: What do we do?” dated August 20, Lydy Nickerson took Sasquan’s recent experience as a starting point to analyze the handling of harassment at conventions.

The thing that’s most recently caught my attention has been Lou Antonelli and Sasquan. For those of you who haven’t been making a hobby of the Great Puppygate Train Wreck, the extremely short version is that some guy, in this case Lou Antonelli, sent a letter to the Spokane police alleging that David Gerrold, one of the GoH for Sasquan, was dangerously mentally unbalanced and might incite violence. He then bragged about it on a podcast. There was a round of shock, awe, and horror; an apology to Gerrold from Antonelli; and other things. Sasquan was notified, as is proper. David Gerrold accepted Lou Antonelli’s apology. Sasquan issued a statement saying, very roughly, that Antonelli had violated the Code of Conduct, but for Reasons, including a request from Gerrold, they’ve decided not to ban him.

So, then there’s a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacking from just about everybody. Which is fine by me, I like detailed analysis, outrage, and train wrecks. But I’m paying special attention, because on a much smaller scale, this could be me. A lot of people were very upset, and there were two things that caught my eye. The first was a demand for consistent application of the rules, and the second was for transparency. There’s a lot of variation on those two themes, but those were the two I am currently noodling on. Consistent application was often equated with zero tolerance.

So, let’s start with the actual, root problem. People who feel vulnerable to harassment at science fiction conventions do not trust those conventions to fairly and justly administer the rules. I cannot come close to doing justice to how very reasonable it is for them to feel that way. That distrust? We’ve built it, brick and mortar, over years. It’s not just well deserved, it’s hugely massively utterly deserved. Harassment policies have been non-existent, or poorly explained or hugely badly enforced. We have multiple known cases of people being allowed to fuck up because they were well connected, or because the concom didn’t want to be arsed, or because concoms just didn’t think there was a problem….

(7) Paul Weimer on “Orwellian unpersoning on the Sad/Rabid Puppies Part” at Blog, Jvstin Style.

You know, its rich that Sad Rabid Puppies would go so far as to unperson someone they accused of being a “Social Justice Warrior”

http://leogrin.com/CimmerianBlog/your-cimmerian-bloggers/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/09/leo-grin-grins-when-he-slays/

Sure, freedom of association and all that…but this looks awfully…Orwellian?

The actual thing that caused this seems to be that one of the former bloggers said something bad about someone and their association with super genius Theodore Beale.

(8) John Scalzi in “eBook Sales and Author Incomes and All That Jazz” at Whatever.

I’ve noted before that I think in general there are three kinds of authors: Dinosaurs, mammals and cockroaches, where the dinosaurs are authors tied to an existing publishing model and are threatened when it is diminished or goes away, mammals are the authors who rise to success with a new publishing model (but who then risk becoming dinosaurs at a later date), and cockroaches are the authors who survive regardless of era, because they adapt to how the market is, rather than how they want it to be. Right now, I think publishing might be top-heavy with dinosaurs, and we’re seeing that reflected in that Author’s Guild survey.

What we’re missing — or at least what I haven’t seen — is reliable data showing that the mammals — indie/self-publishing folks, in this case — are doing any better on average. If these writers are doing significantly better on average, then that would be huge. It’s worth knowing.

(9) Deborah J. Ross in “Gossip and Controversy”

I have refrained from any commentary on the Hugo Awards and all the events that led up to them. This does not mean I have not had opinions. Excuse me, Opinions. Only that I saw no point in adding gasoline to the burgeoning wildfires. Now various voices are urging everyone to play nice, to not harbor grudges. To get on with the business of writing (and reading) the best stories we can. Here’s a post I composed a few years ago on the subject of gossip. I should add that I am not entirely innocent, and I have been on the receiving end of some vile accusations, as have folks I care about. It is helpful to me to consider my own behavior (both passing on gossip and being appalled by it) in a larger — and hopefully, more compassionate — context:…

A huge piece of the problem, in my experience, is that we are inundated with role models of gossipers. We are told overtly and covertly that it is not only acceptable but enjoyable to speak ill of others and to relish their misfortune. If they have no discernible misfortune to begin with, well then we will create some! If media portray the pain of those who are gossiped about, it is often to glorify retaliation in kind. Almost never are we taught what to do when we speak badly. Saying “I’m sorry,” or “Shake hands and make up,” (as we’re forced to do as small children) does not make amends.

Certainly, we must begin by looking fearlessly at what we have done or said (or left undone and unsaid), but we must also be willing to accept that there is no justification for our behavior. It doesn’t matter if what we said was true or not if it harmed someone. It doesn’t matter if we were hurting or grieving or too Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired.

What we have done does not make us unworthy, unlovable, inadequate, or anything except wrong. Good people can be wrong. Good people, when wrong, strive to make things right.

(10) Ruth A. Johnston, author of Re-Modeling the Mind: Personality in Balance, was interviewed by L. Jagi Lamplighter at Superversive SF about the psychology of science fiction. In “The SF Culture War Posts – Part Two” Johnston applies her theory to characters in John C. Wright’s Night Land stories.

Part Two of our multi-part look at the psychology of Science Fiction, as explained by Ruth Johnston, author of Re-Modeling the Mind, a new book that takes a fresh look at Jung’s work on personalities…

Q: Let’s talk about the ideas you share in your new book. What light can they shed either on the original Night Lands or on John and his version?

Science fiction fans are usually personalities in which Intuition is a very strong part, often the strongest and most dominant. When it’s Extroverted, the universe seems full of possibilities waiting to be connected. Under every rock or behind every star could be a great invention or cure. When it’s Introverted, the personality usually has an innate feeling of knowing the truth of the world, so that exploring ideas is a matter of looking inward, following an inborn map of meaning. It’s also a bit more pessimistic and idealistic: under every rock there might be a rattlesnake, not a cure for cancer. But the rocks do need to be turned over, because it’s terribly important to find truth and roll away anything that covers and hides.

William Hope Hodgson’s original story seems full of Extroverted Intuition to me. Technology keeps mankind alive and there’s no real downside. His dark world is filled with evil spirits and creatures, but mankind’s ability to solve problems keeps one step ahead so that they can build a good way of life. The optimism of his Intuition feels so powerful in the story that I believe he probably had this kind of Intuition in his personality. It creates a sort of worldview.

I think this is some of what charmed John when he read the 1912 novel, and because I know John from college, I can say without guessing that he has that kind of Intuition. In his mind, the world is full of dots to be connected, and we’ve barely begun to connect them all.

Now the other half of the polarity I’m calling A is Introverted Sensing, which can show up as an intense idealism about human social roles. In fantasy and science fiction, it comes out in taking fairy-tale roles like king and knight very seriously. It also believes strongly in archetypal images like mother and father, male and female. When someone with A writes SFF stories, the setting and events can become wild and even chaotic, but the human roles never move much from archetypes. We see this clearly in both Night Land versions, the original and John’s. Anyone walking in the Night Land is going to be surprised by whatever comes next, whether it’s a fire pit, a dangerous creature, an oddly detached spirit, a living stone monument, or a cluster of blind worms. The stories depend strongly on human thought, activity, and roles to give them structure: like putting a snail into its shell. Human roles are stable, not flexible and random like the setting and ideas….

(11) Vivienne Raper asks “Do the Hugo Awards have a short fiction problem?” at Futures Less Traveled

At least one person complained that the Sad/Rabid Puppy nominees kept award-worthy short stories off the 2015 Hugo ballot… So I was curious. Was this true? Were these stories better than the stuff I’d read? An experiment was in order. I’ve now read the nominees on io9’s Puppy-free ballot. Here’s how I’d have voted.

#1 WINNERWhen it Ends, He Catches Her, Eugie Foster

When It Ends, He Catches Her has a tale behind it, and it’s the saddest in the Hugos. The day after Daily Science Fiction published the story, Eugie Foster died. It was her last chance to win the award.

There is no doubt – to me – that When It Ends, He Catches Her should have won Best Short Story. It is a story I wish I could have written. That – to me – is the purpose of the Hugos, to showcase work that I know I can’t… Perhaps can never write.

But don’t stop there – Vivienne ranks No Award in second place, then goes on to discuss several proposed runners-up.

(12) Prometheus and Alien sequels are expected.

Ridley Scott set tongues wagging the other day by suggesting he might make as many as three more Prometheus sequels before tying it up with the Alien franchise, reports Comicbook.com.

Scott has promised that Prometheus 2 will answer many of the questions left open in the 2012 film. However, Scott has told German website FilmFutter (via bloody-disgusting) that he won’t show how the Prometheus franchise connects to Alien in the next film. He’s saving that reveal for … Prometheus 4?!

“It won’t be in the next one. It will be in the one after this one or maybe even a fourth film before we get back into the Alien franchise…,” explained Scott. “The whole point of it is to explain the Alien franchise and to explain the how and why of the creation of the Alien itself. I always thought of the Alien as kind of a piece of bacterial warfare. I always thought that that original ship, which I call the Croissant, was a battleship, holding these biomechanoid creatures that were all about destruction.”

Jon Spaihts’ original script for Prometheus was a direct prequel to Alien. In it, David (Michael Fassbender) the android comes across and revives the Space Jockey (also referred to as The Pilot) who was last seen as a fossil in the 1979 film. We would’ve seen how The Pilot ended up dead on LV-426 from a Chestburster, but that storyline was jettisoned during extensive rewrites. Instead, Scott chose to have David and the rest of the crew end up on a whole other moon and come upon the Last Engineer.

Prometheus 2 will begin filming in February of 2016.

“Maybe the next Alien will burst out halfway through the third Prometheus sequel??” joked Will R.

Earlier than that, figuratively speaking, There is an Alien sequel aiming for release in 2017.

Director Neill Blomkamp got media attention last February when he released concept art images from a new Alien movie he was working on, reportedly without authorization from any studio.

Variety reports separately that Blomkamp has a deal with 20th Century Fox to direct the movie, which will be a different project altogether to Fox’s Prometheus sequel with Ridley Scott. According to The Wrap, the untitled Blomkamp movie will be produced by Scott and take place after the events of Prometheus 2.

And he generated some more word-of-mouth for the project in July by repeating the stunt. First Showing then recapped what it knew about the prospective movie.

We don’t know too much about Blomkamp’s new Alien movie yet, however we’ll recap what we do know. Between this concept art and the last piece, it definitely looks like Sigourney Weaver will be back as Ripley. A few months ago, Blomkamp explained that “She knows about it, and part of it was just inspired by speaking to her on set when we were filming Chappie, and getting her thoughts on Alien and what she thought of the movies that came after Aliens and what she felt about Ripley and what was incomplete for her about Ripley. There was so much fuel in what she was telling me.” Fellow filmmaker Ridley Scott is also producing this new Alien, so he is directly involved in it and working with Blomkamp. The film is currently aiming for release in 2017, so stay tuned for any more updates.

 

A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on

[Thanks to Will R., L. Jagi Lamplighter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day James H. Burns.]

712 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/23 Pixel Exigente!

  1. I am glad to have helped. I’ll also point out that in the American English, “perhaps” is a slightly elevated word, and when tied to a prod toward changing behavior is suggestive of a relationship between a superior making a suggestion and an inferior who is supposed to take it.

  2. @Nick

    I’m still wondering if the difference as you see it is (at least in part) the element of explanation or context: “I don’t understand” “I need silence right now”

  3. A tiny bit; it’s mostly the “Perhaps you could ____” construction that rankles.

    Try making such a suggestion to someone in a position of power over you for a field test.

  4. Wow, you must ask your clarification question just right or I won’t answer it. And you should be able to read my mind in order to word your question in a way I find acceptable.

    Nick you never cease to amaze me at the lengths you’ll go to in refusing to communicate clearly or consider other people’s request.

    You don’t have to explain yourself to others but if they need quiet they have to explain themselves to you? Mind you I’m basing this on the example you chose to share.

    Perhaps you could make a titch less noise?” is different than “I’m sorry, could you please be quieter; I need silence right now

    In the U.S. “perhaps” is not an imperious command word – you’ll find it’s more likely to be used by women than men because we’ve been trained to not make outright statements about our needs and instead make hesitant request. Both of your wording preferences have the requester put themselves in the social down position rather than being social equals. “Hey mate, keep the noise down” would be a socially equal request. Would that infuriate you or would it be ok? Would it depend on who said it to you? Best friend? Neighbors? Boss? People you perceive to be socially higher than you/you need a favor from?

    Edited to add: Yes some bosses use it when assigning work. I’ve had no problem using it when talking to bosses of either gender.

  5. @Nick

    So, leaving aside the element of explanation that contributes only a tiny bit, this boils down to the difference between perhaps and could?

    Do you think that I chose my words based on an appreciation of that distinction?

  6. Wow, you must ask your clarification question just right or I won’t answer it.

    I strongly suspect, Tasha, that you behave the same exact way. There are a near-infnite number of clarifying question you won’t answer either, such as, for example, “Stop babbling for three seconds and explain why you only complain about me, why don’t you?”

    Everyone only answers questions when they are just right, for some definition of just right. CF did so when I suggested that he could cut and paste some of my comments he objected to. His response was that he’d only do so if I asked him directly. But let’s be clear: you didn’t object to him insisting on certain response (which I gave him, incidentally), but you do object to me simply ignoring a question because I felt it imperious and stated on behalf of other parties.

    That is, you have one rule for other people, and one rule for me.

    And you should be able to read my mind in order to word your question in a way I find acceptable.

    Not really. Outside of a hothouse of dysfunction, it’s actually pretty easy to word questions in a way that lead to answers. Most people interact in an expansive social world both online and off and know this implicitly. If you’re confused, that’s on you.

    Nick you never cease to amaze me at the lengths you’ll go to in refusing to communicate clearly or consider other people’s request.

    I find your commentary on communications just as amazing. It is inexplicable that someone who claims your professional expertise to be so profoundly clueless on the topic.

    You don’t have to explain yourself to others but if they need quiet they have to explain themselves to you? Mind you I’m basing this on the example you chose to share.

    And this is what I mean: You’ve made a total hash of that exchange with Mark, which is especially amazing as Mark had it all figured out. Nobody has to explain themselves. Yes, compliance with demands or requests is generally more forthcoming when context is greater or more information is given. This is Adult 101.


    In the U.S. “perhaps” is not an imperious command word – you’ll find it’s more likely to be used by women than men because we’ve been trained to not make outright statements about our needs and instead make hesitant request.

    Citation needed. Show me that women are more likely to say perhaps and to do so to signal a hesitant request rather than an imperious one.

    Incidentally, a hesitant request would be something like “Could you please be a little bit quieter, if it’s not a bother?” That reads very differently than “Perhaps you could turn down the noise a titch.” You mentioned that you were learning to write fiction. Consider this paragraph a free lesson.

    Both of your wording preferences have the requester put themselves in the social down position rather than being social equals. “Hey mate, keep the noise down” would be a socially equal request.

    Actually, it depends on who was speaking. A stranger claiming an intimacy (“mate”) would be trying to move up the social ladder from stranger who isn’t owed quiet to someone who is. A boss calling me “mate” might be an attempt to lower himself down to my level, or might be an ironic display. A social equal—an actual mate—can also make that request, and then it would be equal.

    Here’s some homework for you: imagine a man at a deli counter in a supermarket. He tells the meat-cutter what he wants, and then on receipt says to the meat-cutter, “Thanks, boss.”

    Name three reasons why the man might do this.

    If you don’t understand the basics, you’ll never be a writer of successful fictions.

  7. Do you think that I chose my words based on an appreciation of that distinction?

    I have no idea. Because I had no idea, I just explained why I wouldn’t be complying rather than either a. comply or b. object to your making the demand.

  8. babbling for three seconds and explain why you only complain about me, why don’t you?”

    You annoy me. I ignore the other trolls. I’m working on ignoring you like I do other File770 trolls. I’m sure we’ll both be happier when I reach that point.

    I believe the answer to “perhaps” can be found in several of Deborah Tannen’s books on linguistics. There are multiple ways to be hesitant in speech. I’m not as well versed as many of my friends. I prefer more direct speech. It’s less confusing.

    I was typing my response while you & Mark were still conversing. At the point I joined in he was still confused.

  9. You annoy me. I ignore the other trolls. I’m working on ignoring you like I do other File770 trolls. I’m sure we’ll both be happier when I reach that point.

    I am not a troll. PS: you are just as annoying to me, because you likely mean what you say when you hold forth on your various silly opinions especially WRT online communities and communications.

    I believe the answer to “perhaps” can be found in several of Deborah Tannen’s books on linguistics.

    This is an extraordinarily broad citation. I did just do a scan of You Just Don’t Understand, and the only instance of women using “perhaps” is a. in translation (the speakers are part of a Mayan community in Mexico) and b. part of a sarcastic/ironic series of comments in a court case. That is, they had weaponized whatever term was being translated as “perhaps” to cut at one another while using the language of agreement and formality. ( p. 172 of the 2001 edition that amazon.com has scanned.)

    That is to say, my first peek at your citation leads me to an example in direct contradiction to what you claim (if we can depend on the translation, which we may not be able to depend on).

    I also looked at Talking from 9 to 5—no particular notes on use of the word “perhaps” there.

    If you have a specific citation, dig it up. Note how trolly I am: I already show that “perhaps” is an elevated word (see links in prior comment), and started doing some legwork based on your tossed-off assertion only to find the opposite result, but I’m the one who isn’t engaging.

    You’re the troll, lady.

  10. @Nick internet dictionary game time?

    From 2 & 3 of your links

    We use them when we think something is possible, but we are not certain.

    In British English both of these adverbs are still very commonly used and have the same meaning. You use them to say that something is possible or may be true, but you are not certain.

    Imperious showing the proud and unpleasant attitude of someone who gives orders and expects other people to obey them

    I’m not sure how you get “not certain” = “demand/expects to be obeyed”

  11. Tasha:

    Imperious showing the proud and unpleasant attitude of someone who gives orders and expects other people to obey them

    I’m not sure how you get “not certain” = “demand/expects to be obeyed”

    I am sure you don’t. Imperious rhetoric uses often uses elevated phrasing to make the speaker the superior of the person being spoken to. “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” isn’t “Off with his head!” but it gets the job done even when it wasn’t meant to.

    Elevated or formal language in informal situations is unpleasant and proud; that is part of what makes “Perhaps…” a bit imperious.

    I’ll take your use of the links I provided to be an admission that you were wrong about “perhaps” not being slightly elevated. I know you lack the strength of character to explicitly acknowledge it, but you don’t get to only use the bits of a definition you like.

  12. @Nick

    I have no idea. Because I had no idea, I just explained why I wouldn’t be complying rather than either a. comply or b. object to your making the demand.

    You were sufficiently in possession of an idea to describe me as having been demanding. Is it possible there might be a difference in the instinctive appreciation of subtle language choices of, say, a professional writer and editor, and some guy commenting on the internet? Could there be a difference in common language usage between American and British English? Does the “slightly elevated” difference between the two words necessarily mean I chose the one over the other in order to make a demand rather than a request?

    Nick, could you not have taken a step back and wondered if you were reading a bit much into a single sentence?

  13. Neither do you.

    And I didn’t. Only you did.

    I said that Mark’s prod was a bit imperious. One element of that was the use of the slightly elevated term “perhaps.”

    You built a strawman—that “perhaps” was an imperious command word. I never said it was. I said it was slightly elevated, and that Mark’s prod as a whole was a bit imperious.

    You gave me a lazy cite re: perhaps, claiming that “perhaps” was used by primarily by women in order to display tentativeness; I checked your cite and the only thing I found on the topic of women’s use of perhaps was very different than your claim.

    And now you’re done with me, troll? I can only hope you’ll soon be done with attempting to explain language.

  14. You were sufficiently in possession of an idea to describe me as having been demanding.

    Yup.

    Is it possible there might be a difference in the instinctive appreciation of subtle language choices of, say, a professional writer and editor, and some guy commenting on the internet?

    Sure is. Sounds like something you might wish to consider when prodding someone for a response as well. More context/information is better.

    Could there be a difference in common language usage between American and British English?

    There sure could—one reason why “perhaps” is formal in the US is because it is more common in the UK. But hey, you know where I’m from. I have no idea where you’re from.

    When I’m in the UK, I’m careful to throw in what I see as extraneous apologies and hemming and hawing when speaking to most people there (except for the British Cypriot community).There’s actually a great little bit about Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merrill about this—she had to be trained to apologize to civil servants etc. when asking for their assistance (saying “I don’t want to be any trouble” every step of the way), otherwise she’d get the cold shoulder.

    Does the “slightly elevated” difference between the two words necessarily mean I chose the one over the other in order to make a demand rather than a request?

    No; you had additional alternatives as well, such as providing more context and information, as we have already discussed.


    Nick, could you not have taken a step back and wondered if you were reading a bit much into a single sentence?

    I took a sufficient step back to explain why I wasn’t going to comply. Do you really think you’re owed more? You’re a person without a visible surname or photo, making a single-sentence request with highly limited context and information embedded in your utterance. Could you tell me why you think you were owed me than the response I gave you originally to the question you asked (not the one in your head), if you do think that? If you don’t think you were owed an answer, can you tell me why you’re so curious about it?

  15. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/perhaps

    Used to express uncertainty or possibility:
    perhaps I should have been frank with him

    Used when one does not wish to be too definite or assertive in the expression of an opinion:
    perhaps not surprisingly, he was cautious about committing himself

    Used when making a polite request, offer, or suggestion:
    would you perhaps consent to act as our guide?

    Very imperious, such demanding, wow.

  16. Let’s see if Meredith can point to the bit where I said “perhaps” was “imperious.”

  17. @Nick Mamatas —

    I’m actually a little vague on exactly where you are.

    On the other hand, I’ve lived all my life in the US, and I’ve never encountered your assumptions about the meaning and connotation of “perhaps.” I do trust that what I’ve been speaking all my life is American English, even if sometimes influenced a tiny bit by all the English lit I’ve read, starting at perhaps age five, or perhaps earlier.

    It’s true, perhaps (that word again!), that “perhaps” is maybe a bit more formal than “maybe,” but that’s a far cry from “imperious” or “demanding”–words you chose to describe its use.

    Of course, nearly all of my life has been spent in New England, much of it in the Greater Boston area, which I would call ” home,” and you would not be the first person to find our normal mode of speech a bit high-falutin’.

    Which in itself might be a clue to you that checking what one or two dictionaries for “standard,” approved American usage might not be the last word on how people are using words, and with what intent.

    But probably not, because that would mean entertaining the possibility that you might be wrong.

  18. Nah, Nick, you’re a troll. I’d be offended at your attempt to appropriate iconography singularly for your religion, given that Orthodox use is only a derivative of the original pan-Christian art tradition, but that would require me to think you actually gave a shit rather than amusing yourself.

  19. Lis,

    I’ve lived in New York, New Jersey, in Somerville (we were on a panel together one Arisia, in fact), Vermont, and California.

    And yes, New England, or at least white middle-class New England, definitely has a more “high falutin'” idiom than elsewhere in the US. Even relatively rural Vermont does; Boston is a bit grungier, rhetorically speaking.

    Note: I said that the word perhaps is “elevated” and formal, and the sources I point to agree. I did not say that “perhaps” is “imperious”; I did say that imperious talk will often make use of elevated rhetoric, of which “perhaps” is an example in play.

    As far as my sourcing goes, would you rather I just point out that I grew up in the US like you did? What’s the point of that? The sources augment the claim, and it’s a little silly to complain about using sources in this way. Since when is no evidence better than some evidence?

  20. I said that Mark’s prod was a bit imperious. One element of that was the use of the slightly elevated term “perhaps.”

    A tiny bit; it’s mostly the “Perhaps you could ____” construction that rankles.

    I’ll also point out that in the American English, “perhaps” is a slightly elevated word, and when tied to a prod toward changing behavior is suggestive of a relationship between a superior making a suggestion and an inferior who is supposed to take it.

    I’m sorry, I cannot help you. It is obvious that the former formulation, which begins with “Perhaps”, is much more similar than to “Perhaps” utterance—which I already described as imperious—than the second formulation is

  21. I’d be offended at your attempt to appropriate iconography singularly for your religion, given that Orthodox use is only a derivative of the original pan-Christian art tradition

    Feel free to point to the place where I said that iconography is singularly for Orthodoxy.

    As far as what the church was in the first century or so, that sounds like a politically fraught conversation, but I have the sneaking suspicion that you don’t actually represent some pan-Christian art tradition that the meanies appropriated.

  22. Meredith has failed to show that I said the word “perhaps” is imperious.

    In other news, if I say that some dude is having a midlife crisis and one way to tell is that he just bought a bright red Porsche, Meredith would link to an automotive website and declare that, aha, Porsche is some sort of motor vehicle, not a psychological condition!

  23. Lis,

    It was a panel about experimental fiction or categories in SF, and very strange. John Bowker was there as well, as was a woman who left the panel because she didn’t like that I said a few words before letting people introduce themselves, and sat in the back. From the back I called on her a few times so she could keep participating, and at one point she explained how important Stranger in a Strange Land was to her sexual life. “I still have sex with my water brothers!” and such.

    Also, I remember an anecdote you told about going to a bookstore and moving volumes of KSR’s weather trilogy from Fiction/Lit to Science Fiction/Fantasy. I hope I haven’t misremembered this entirely!

    ETA: ah, here it was, in 2006. It was about mainstreaming, and there was some discussion of what we meant by mainstream versus literary versus experimental:

    The Mainstreaming of Science Fiction and Fantasy “John Bowker, Sheila Oranch, Lis Carey, Nick Mamatas, Wen Spencer”

  24. Ah, but I created a ‘special rule’ for Nick Mamatas. No no, don’t look for a quote that even looks similar to that, you won’t find one – but he says I did and so it must be true. Oh, and when people said “Well, how the hell am I supposed to know that?” – well, that didn’t happen either, but something entirely tonally different with entirely different words, that maybe counts, right? Because Nick Mamatas says so. On the other hand, multiple comments about a short sentence being imperious, and I didn’t even copy all of them by the way, all of which hinge on the use of the word ‘perhaps’, those aren’t any kind of evidence because he never used the phrasing ‘perhaps is imperious’.

    Yep, definitely back to funny again. Torgersen standards all the way down.

  25. Ah, but I created a ‘special rule’ for Nick Mamatas. No no, don’t look for a quote that even looks similar to that, you won’t find one – but he says I did and so it must be true

    So the rule isn’t just for me? So you believe that in communals areas, like public streets, Muslimas should feel somewhat obligated educate people about, say, headscarfs, if asked? Feel free to sign off on that explicitly then.

    Oh, and when people said “Well, how the hell am I supposed to know that?” – well, that didn’t happen either

    Never said it did—that was an abstract dialogue, not a quoted statement I assigned to anyone.

    but something entirely tonally different with entirely different words, that maybe counts, right?

    We’ve already shown that you don’t really understand tone.

    On the other hand, multiple comments about a short sentence being imperious, and I didn’t even copy all of them by the way, all of which hinge on the use of the word ‘perhaps’, those aren’t any kind of evidence because he never used the phrasing ‘perhaps is imperious’.

    You forget the bit where I said that perhaps is “elevated”—I explicitly pointed to a particular thing about the word perhaps, and you simply removed that and swapped in something else entirely, like your troll pal Tasha.

    If you like Brad so much, why don’t you marry him?

  26. @Nick Mamatas —

    Yes!

    It used to drive me nuts when sf/f was shelved in places where its most likely readers wouldn’t be looking for it. Now, of course, my reaction is more along the line nes of “Oh, look, a physical bookstore!”

    (What can I say? My dad taught me the fine art of the bookstore crawl in Harvard Square. Now they’re nearly gone, because that real estate is too expensive for bookstore margins, and so many people–including me–buy books online.)

    I remember the woman who left the panel because she didn’t like the order you were doing things in.

    And yes, that was a weird panel in several ways. 🙂

    It’s 4629, and of course these days we just download books directly to our brains.

  27. It used to drive me nuts when sf/f was shelved in places where its most likely readers wouldn’t be looking for it. Now, of course, my reaction is more along the line nes of “Oh, look, a physical bookstore!”

    But but what if normal people uh I mean mainstream readers wanted to find the book! They won’t go to the SF section.

    I know, I know, they can shop online…

  28. Note, here, the repeat of a statement that even the first time required ignoring when I happily accepted his correction on terminology. Note also, that he’s ignoring that when I said that I didn’t think anyone had said that – which no-one had, but he was okay with accusing, well, basically everyone here of, because apparently misquoting people becomes more acceptable with volume – he then provided a quote that, well, didn’t say that. Note that he’s moved the conversation further and further away from how he decided to hinge his entire argument about whether Mark was ‘imperious’ based mainly on the use of the word ‘perhaps’ – I say mainly because it was the argument he brought up repeatedly – even though the word itself didn’t support such an argument. Note how, despite me quoting all of his words in full, he’s now accusing me of swapping out a word. Note the sexualised comment.

    Good, innit.

  29. @Meredith he unpersoned me earlier (lady & then just troll instead of using my name). A sexualized comment doesn’t surprise me. I really think it’s best if our community (the one he claims doesn’t exist) ignores him but our community is not good at ignoring anyone.

    Where’s that script to install & change when you need it? I wish it worked on Safari on the iPad. I keep accidentally reading our Bu troll because he doesn’t have a gravatar to make him easy to skip like Brian. I love Brian’s gravatar.

  30. Note, here, the repeat of a statement that even the first time required ignoring when I happily accepted his correction on terminology.

    Indeed, Meredith, I suppose it does require ignoring the actual implications of your rule if it doesn’t only actually apply to me. If you think people in community spaces have some level of obligation to educate others, then you do think that Muslim women wearing headscarves on the street have some level of obligation to answer questions about their wardrobes. If you don’t think so, then please explain why I, because I leave comments here, am obligated to educate people?

    But of course you won’t do that. You’ll just continue to fuss.

    Note also, that he’s ignoring that when I said that I didn’t think anyone had said that – which no-one had, but he was okay with accusing, well, basically everyone here of, because apparently misquoting people becomes more acceptable with volume – he then provided a quote that, well, didn’t say that.

    This is borderline gibberish. Tell you what—you say I manufactured a quote and said that someone said it. Whom did I say said it?

    Note that he’s moved the conversation further and further away from how he decided to hinge his entire argument

    Easily refuted: here I describe the statement, not the word, as “a bit imperious”

    Here I explain that the statement was imperious because it was a “prod” rather than a request—no mention of vocabulary

    here I describe “perhaps” as “slightly elevated” and combined with a prod is suggestive of an unequal relationship

    Here I suggest trying a “perhaps” formulation on a boss and seeing how it goes.

    here we hit the dictionaries to show that “perhaps” is used in more formal communications

    According to Meredith, my whole argument hinges on something I never said—that “perhaps” is imperious. Her whole argument hinges on ignoring virtually every comment I actually made.

    Remember, Meredith Is Not To Be Corrected.

    Note how, despite me quoting all of his words in full, he’s now accusing me of swapping out a word.

    I’m not accusing Meredith—I am pointing out the actual fact. Here Meredith checks a dictionary for “perhaps” and declares, in properly contemporary troll language:

    “Very imperious, such demanding, wow.”

    Which would be a knock-out if I ever said that “perhaps” is imperious. But of course that never happened.

    Note the sexualised comment.

    It’s funny when people think marriage is some sort of sexy thing.

  31. @Meredith he unpersoned me earlier (lady & then just troll instead of using my name).

    Actually, I said “You’re the troll, lady.”

    Because you are one.

    Incidentally, you called me a troll several times before I called you one. I forgot that only Tasha, Communications Professional, is allowed to “unperson” people. Why declare partial ownership of a community if you don’t get to try to chuck people out, eh?

    I do have to say that it’s pretty funny that you think that “lad[ies]” aren’t persons.

    I really think it’s best if our community (the one he claims doesn’t exist) ignores him but our community is not good at ignoring anyone.

    Pretty much par for the course: quick, declare a community and declare yourself an opinion leader in it!

  32. @Nick

    When I originally read your comments way way back when, I was moderately sure that I knew what you were annoyed about, but considered that to be nowhere near sure enough considering religion was in the mix, so I made the comment you have so exhaustively analysed. As it was, from various clues you’ve dropped, I can now see I was only marginally better than half right about why you felt offended, which makes me think that my initial impulse to seek more details was correct.

    You’ve proven to your own satisfaction that my language choice was that of a demand, and therefore that I was being demanding. For the record, I had zero intent to be demanding, or a bit imperious, or in fact anything offensive; instead I was interested in finding out exactly what had offended you. You were also convinced I wasn’t asking for myself, when in fact I was. Later, when I asked you to clarify which example was which (because, again, I wasn’t 100% sure from what you’d written), you responded as if I was being disingenuous in some fashion. I wasn’t.

    You are convinced that your interpretation of my statements is the correct one; you will not entertain the possibility that the distinction you see is a fine one which not everyone might be aware of, or that we are simply using words slightly differently, or that our experiences of using language are slightly different ones (you a professional American writer and editor of fiction, me none of those things), or that perhaps I just didn’t didn’t consider the distinction too closely and that 1 word from a 6 word sentence is fairly flimsy evidence with which to condemn the tone of my sentence.

    There’s nothing unusual about misreading people’s intent; it’s a bit less usual to be utterly convinced that you’re getting it right even when people actively suggest you’ve misread them. At minimum, wouldn’t it be best to have a conversation that explains how you read it, while acknowledging that there may be simple miscommunication at play?

    You chose not to answer me because you thought I was being demanding. You chose not to answer others because a), b) and c). You’ve chosen to insult people left, right and centre, including the sweeping grouping that I expressed my offense at. You’ve certainly had various insults in return. I don’t know if you’re happy with the result of this 2 day slog (and perhaps you are) but I am convinced that if you’d chosen to engage and explain a bit further at the beginning then you’d have had a much more useful and probably more sympathetic hearing than you actually got. I don’t claim you were obliged to do so – you’ve been quite clear that you’ll only engage in that way with people who meet your criteria. However, there are two problems with that: 1) you might actually be wrong about what you think people are doing to meet your criteria, but never engage sufficiently to find out; and 2) you then get the result we see before us. You could well have had a conversation where your concerns were discussed, perhaps where you could give the extra context that led to you taking offence, and people were able to elaborate or clarify their intent, but you chose not to.

  33. Mark:

    For the record, I had zero intent to be demanding, or a bit imperious, or in fact anything offensive; instead I was interested in finding out exactly what had offended you.

    Not a few days ago, a troll-cum-Communications Professional told me that if I felt misunderstood, it was likely because of something I had written. I pointed out that miscommunications can happen in several vectors (encoding, channel, decoding). Now of course, I hear the opposite—the problem certainly couldn’t be in how someone (you, in this case) wrote something. I’m not going to tell you that you should have written something else; I’ll simply point out again that my response to your request/demand/prod/ever-so-kind suggestion/whatever was to briefly explain why I wasn’t going to answer. We agree I have no obligation to answer. I offered no complaint about your tone or or your intent until you explicitly asked me my thoughts about your question this morning (my time).

    I do object to this: You were also convinced I wasn’t asking for myself, when in fact I was.

    What I actually said: In that case, you appeared to be asking me to be more specific on behalf of people already engaging in a, b, c.

    My immediate follow-up was this: My mistake then, [though] I don’t think it is a default assumption when Person X intervenes in a conversation between Person A and B demanding clarification and Person C demurring that Person X is speaking only for himself.

    Does this sound like someone who was “convinced”? What are you suggesting—that I must assume in the moment that you are asking only for yourself and and answer you? That I must ask why you want to know and for whom and thus answer? I’m honestly confused, but right now, if I were to make what I think your formulation is into a universal rule, any question anyone asks must be answered, because the questioner’s intent and tone is unknowable and thus the presumption should be the best possible intent.

    Why are you owed the presumption of the best possible intent? I don’t know you from Adam. I didn’t presume any malevolent intent either; I just looked at your question and decided not to answer it. This is unacceptable to the Back-Pat Club.

    Later, when I asked you to clarify which example was which (because, again, I wasn’t 100% sure from what you’d written), you responded as if I was being disingenuous in some fashion. I wasn’t.

    How do you know it was my intent to express that I thought you were being disingenuous? This is a pretty important question given your comment above.

    There’s nothing unusual about misreading people’s intent; it’s a bit less usual to be utterly convinced that you’re getting it right even when people actively suggest you’ve misread them.

    I find this pretty fascinating given the multiple insistences that I was somehow annoyed at CF’s “iconography” post, which I did not interact with in any way when it was posted, and this morning’s insistence, which you ape, that I claimed that the word “precise” is an imperious word. It hardly matters how many links to my own prior comments I continue to provide, that’s the story of the File770 Back-Pat Club and you’re sticking with it.

    That is, you are projecting. After all, aren’t you convinced that you weren’t being even a bit imperious? You only have you own intent, after all. People often intend to be kind when they are being cruel, friendly when they are being creepy, etc. Aren’t you convinced that the standard assumption is that someone intervening in a group conversation is only asking for personal clarity and not group clarity?

    As far as the remainder of your remarks, no I think you are wrong. Instead of this lengthy conversation being primarily about language and intent, it would have been about the basics of Orthodoxy, with a very large number of people with very little information about or experience with Orthodoxy deciding at length whether or not a one-sentence complaint to their yucks was reasonable. That is to say, it would be like a collection of, oh I dunno, English professors with no experience with science fiction determining what to do with the graduate student who announced that “Science fiction is just as good as literary fiction. Your comments about SF are ignorant.” Except, of course it would have been about religion, which is a social phenomenon much more fraught than even SF.

    That is, the thread would have been ten to one hundred times worse.

    Why I think this is simply because I have seen these commenters in action for months.

  34. Nick Mamatas: Why I think this is simply because I have seen these commenters in action for months.

    Having seen your comments in action here for months — especially in this thread — I think that you are not really in a position to criticize any of the other commenters here. Remove the beam from thine own eye, and all that.

  35. I apologize to all for having engaged with Mr. Mamatas. It was wrong because it brought out the worst in me, kept a conversation going in the wrong direction, and I resorted to name calling which is unacceptable behavior. In the future I will work harder to ignore him and not engage. Please accept my apology.

  36. You know, I really really dislike junking a finely-crafted reply halfway through, but having taken the opportunity to refresh and read I realise this is entirely pointless. Nick, I’ve already expressed what I was trying to achieve and then why I felt offended, you’ve had plenty of right of reply, there’s a useful unsubscribe button on my email, I’m done.

  37. Tasha Turner on September 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm said:

    Where’s that script to install & change when you need it? I wish it worked on Safari on the iPad. I keep accidentally reading our Bu troll because he doesn’t have a gravatar to make him easy to skip like Brian. I love Brian’s gravatar.

    Tasha, you’re in luck. Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag re-posted Aan’s original script to “fade out known trolls from File770.com comments.” It includes buwaya – as well as aeou (am I the only one who misses aeou?), idontknow, somebody called MC DuQuesne (?), RAH, Silly But True, xdpaul and VD, as well as the hash from my old email and new email (you can skip the middle one, that’s the hash from my email with a typo from one time I mistyped it).

    To additionally fade out Nick Mamatas I think you would need to add the following line:

    img[src*=”a465b1dbdb4c58f2fdf1bd862aff6e23″] + span::after, /* Nick */

    Do I have that right? Maybe someone can fix it and repost.

  38. Brian Z.

    Do I have that right? Maybe someone can fix it and repost.

    Except I don’t think they’ll be reading it, will they?

  39. Welp, I haven’t managed to put in a fix on anyone.
    (I just scroll fast at times.)
    Would it be a public service for me to cut&paste instructions?

  40. Mike:

    Except I don’t think they’ll be reading it, will they?

    Didn’t they already tell you to stop quoting my comments in your replies?

  41. @Mike Glyer,

    Lucky I wasn’t imbibing a beverage at the time, else you would owe me a new keyboard.

    (My style version doesn’t have selective posters blanked out completely; they are coded (safety) orange which gives me the option to either scroll past or to read. And yes, I tested it and the Mamatas ID is correct.)

  42. @Nick Mamatas.

    My apologies. I mistook your tone for anger.

    Apparently it is not anger, it is merely, what, a fervent desire for justice combined with…? You throw around insults and dismissals for reasons that I don’t understand. I do not understand your goals, or your intent in so doing. Would you care to explain.

    Your tone comes off as hostile in this thread, long before I commented, and in my opinion before others’ tone towards you becomes hostile. In my opinion the reason you perceive hostility singularly for you in others is that you are reaping what you sow. That is why there are ‘Nick Mamatas rules’. If you choose to take a conversational tack or tone that is different from the social norm people will react to you differently.

    Brian Z is not interacted with in the same way that most commenters here are for a reason. Mike Glyer is not interacted with in the same way that most commentators are, either. The commenters here are not homogenous, and the relations between them are therefore not either…

    FWIW, ‘Mate’ is the form of address used in Australia for everyone by everyone, just about. In the absence of some reason to be formal, everyone, and I mean everyone is ‘mate’. If a stranger 6 or 60 you don’t know suffers a mishap in a public space, the correct response is to ask ‘y’awright, mate?’, and the correct reply, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, is ‘no worries, mate’.

    Another bit of Australian that is less-known is the use of the word ‘partner’ for the person with which one is having a serious relationship, regardless of gender. When I was last living in north america, this word had subtext of ‘gay partner’. It’s a remarkably useful thing to have a catchall, marital status-and-gender independent way to refer to one’s partner. Also, calling an adult human ‘girl/boyfriend’ is daft.

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