Attention tax

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:32 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

One of the things that has been making me furious about sexual harassment lately–secondary to all the other things that make me furious about it–is the attention tax it imposes on women. The time spent figuring out whether there’s enough evidence for us to be taken seriously this time, whether the people who were in the “surely you misinterpreted” and “that doesn’t mean what it blatantly means” camp last time will finally take us seriously, the time spent recovering from someone shouting in our faces and someone else grabbing our asses, the time sharing stories and pooling information and cleaning up messes and figuring out what to do, what we can do, what we have the power to do. That is time not spent on other things that are frankly a whole hell of a lot more interesting.

When it’s in convention terms, the time spent discussing who did what and what to do and letting the adrenaline settle and coping is time not spent on ideas for books and stories and where to go with them. It is very directly a tax on attention that could and should be going toward work. And it makes me exhausted and resentful, and then I try to corral my attention back to my work, because that is a far, far better place for it to be. I have directly observed that when I am at a con where people are dealing with an ongoing situation of this type, I come back with far, far less in the way of inspired notes for new projects–not just coming away drained instead of energized, but the specifics of what business are we doing here, where is our attention going.

I’m lucky. I know a lot of good men. I know a lot of good straight, white men. One of the benefits of this is that when a straight, white dude is an asshole, I am clear that it is artisanal assholery that he is hand-crafting by choice, not a trait he can’t avoid by his demographics. And a lot of good straight, white men have been stepping up to share the work of dealing with sexual harassment on a community level. I appreciate it. I do. But that is a choice they are making. Statistically, on average, the nonconsensual part, the part where you have to cope with the fallout of being harassed again, the part where it happens several times in a row and then it’s on your mind and you go into the next professional situation having to have a plan for how to cope–that’s a drain on your time and attention that you cannot have back, that other people can help with structurally but not in the moment. They can donate their time but not hand you back yours, not give you back those hours and days of working on the situation and processing and coping. It can happen to men. It does happen to men. And as one woman I know never loses an opportunity to point out, it does not happen to every woman. But statistically, on average, it is an attention tax that falls much, much more heavily on women, for things that we did not ask for and cannot change.

It’s not just sexual harassment. This is not the only attention tax, and I don’t mean to talk as though it is. Racist bullshit and the people who visit it upon people of color? That is, among other worse things, an attention tax on those people of color. Having to cope with accessibility issues and prejudice against the disabled? Attention tax. Homophobia and other forms of anti-queer assholery? Attention tax. Navigating the world while neurodiverse, even in ways that do not feel like a disability internally, among people who are going to be utter jerks to any hint of non-neurotypicality? Attention tax. And while I’ve talked about men and women above, the amount of attention tax that falls on gender-nonconforming and non-binary people gets mind-bogglingly larger the more gender-policing the subculture they’re interacting with gets. One of the fundamental questions is: how much jerkitude are people going to blithely shovel on you for being you and then skip along with their day, and how much will that pull away from the focus you need to do your stuff that you do.

Do I imagine I’m the first to observe this? Hardly. But “show don’t tell” is hardly new advice, either, and writers get blog posts out of that several times a year. What I’m saying to you is: this is affecting the work of people you know and care about. All the time. It doesn’t have to. It is literally all entirely voluntary. The thing I said above about artisanal bullshit: last month I got very tired of people saying “so that’s a thing that happened” when they were describing a choice someone made. So let’s not do that. Let’s not ascribe to fundamental forces things that are actual bad choices people are making.

And also: people who are doing work through all these attention taxes, who are managing to push it aside and fight their way through to focusing on making something awesome: I see you. I appreciate you. I’m sorry it’s like this. I keep hoping that some of the draining work will gain us some ground and it will be long-term less necessary. But in the meantime, thanks for clawing back some of your own in the face of it. It’s so hard, and it matters so much.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Having seen Angels in America live (Boston, November 1995, first national tour) and on screen, this Thursday I split the difference and saw the currently-running London production on tape-delay live-stream in a movie theater. (Part one, that is; part two is this Thursday.) I don't love it but it's interesting to see the staging. Also Kushner has, per the intro to the combined ebook version I have but hadn't read until now, made unspecified changes to part two, so I will be reading that before Thursday so I won't be distracted while watching. (While I only skimmed part one, the only difference I saw between the text and this production was the dropping of the homeless woman's jokes.)

Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )

There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.
kate_nepveu: Ed and (armored) Al standing together in snow (Fullmetal Alchemist)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So yeah, trying to interleave FMA & FMA:B was not a good call. With the possible exception of FMA 9 (still coming on my schedule), just skipping the first episode of FMA:B would have done fine.

Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

FMA 3, 'Mother' )

FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )

FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )

FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )

FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )

FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )

F&SF story interview

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:32 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I’m back from Boston! I had a lovely time going to Readercon and writing and seeing friends and riding back and forth on the T and wandering up and down Mass Ave. I am now convinced that wandering up and down Mass Ave is a substantial part of what you do in Boston. Things are there. Also, every time you come out of the Harvard T, there is Greer Gilman, so it is written and so it must be.

But other, less eternal things are written, and you can read them! Such as this interview about my story in the July/August issue of F&SF. Interview with me! Things you might want to know! or maybe not, but there it is anyway.

I answered these interview questions in the spring, and one of the things they’re showing me now is that life moves fast. Well. I knew that. And if it’s going to move fast and smell all right while it goes, I’d better get a load of laundry in. More, much more, soon, now that I’m home for awhile.

DW mobile-friendly style, update

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:04 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I went with Practicality on [personal profile] jesse_the_k's suggestion; technically the theme is "Calculated Risks" but I changed all the colors and a lot of the decorations so I'm not sure it counts as the same theme any more.

Here's the custom CSS, which is largely ditching a lot of small-caps and extra lines, and making it more boring color-wise. (Edit) Though, if anyone wants to fiddle, there's a thing that's been commented in the code.

CSS )

Thanks for the feedback, all!

Programming ideas for "17776"

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:09 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane posting in [community profile] wiscon
If you loved 17776 (MetaFilter discussion in case you want to know what the deal is), I'd love to talk about it with you at WisCon next year. I'd appreciate help coming up with programming ideas and am casting about without much success. Some stuff I've thought of:

* Anyone know enough about Google Earth to demo how you can make videos that look like that?
* Feminism in scifi about sports
* The psychology of immortality

Comments? Thoughts?

DW mobile-friendly style

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:18 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I cannot figure out how to navigate the DW style chooser thing at all.

Is there an out-of-the-box DW style that has comment pages with bigger usernames on the comments listing than Tropospherical? Or, are you using an out-of-the-box style, and does it play nice on small screens? If so, which one?

(This is part of my project of trying to be on DW more.)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I made a couple long comments elsewhere and I should archive them somewhere less ephemeral, for reference.

on defining fanfic )

on deciding whether to become a parent )

on forcing a Kindle Fire to my will

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:21 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I bought the cheapest 8" Amazon tablet on sale this week for $50, because my fairly-new unloved tablet had problems and I had determined to save it only for reading comics and watching video, but it was getting worse and worse, and it was only $50. [*]

So far it's about what I expected--lousy screen, flimsy (the door for the SD card is not going to last the week--but it works. I will report back in more detail later.

The real point of this post is to link to two things:

1) how to install the Google Play store, so you can keep your paid-through-Google apps, which works just fine and does not use require use of adb or anything more complex;

2) how to install a launcher of your choice (I'm using Nova Launcher). I believe I had to power the device off and then back on before the home button detection option came on, but now it works just fine.

[*] It was a NVIDIA Shield K1, which has recently been discontinued; though old, it got good reviews across the board even in current roundups, and so I suspect I got a lemon, because it was a piece of shit from day one. Rebooting itself nearly daily during ordinary use, this exciting nonsense on a system update, etc. etc. Then a hairline crack on the screen edge dramatically expanded, rendering the area containing home and recent buttons unresponsive in the ordinary orientation, so use required constantly flipping, plus once you've got that much of a crack it's just a matter of time. I'll be putting it up on eBay for parts soon.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
My Tweets for this panel were 50% despair at being unable to catch the names of things, as I said in the prior placeholder version of the post. However! Robert Killheffer put together this very thorough list, with links, of stuff mentioned at the panel, and gave me permission to share it! I have tried to revise my panel notes into something with minimal overlap with the document, so please do consult both.

S.A. Chakraborty, Haris Durrani, Robert Killheffer, Darcie Little Badger, Susan Matthews (leader)
Discussions of "genre classics" tend to focus mainly on modern Western works. This panel will discuss proto-genre narratives from antiquity and the pre-modern and early modern era in the world beyond Western Europe, including not only myths and legends but early authored works such as the Hamzanama (The Adventures of Amir Hamza), the Baital Pachisi (Vikram and the Vampire), and Fengshen Yanyi (The Creation of the Gods).

Read more... )

There, that's better. Thanks again to all the panelist, and especially Robert for compiling the list.

Readercon: Life, Love, and Robots

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:05 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I have a little bit more notes for this! Still not a ton, though.

Jeffrey A. Carver (leader), Glenn Grant, Kate Nepveu, Sonya Taaffe, Sheila Williams
Robots, golems, and other living machines appear human but can never become human, which makes them perfect vehicles for exploring concepts of sentience, emotion, and human nature. Many robots long to be human; it's much more rare to see one that loves being what it is. Far more fictional robots have gender identities than national or ethnic identities. They are often programmed to feel sexual desire but rarely designed to eat a meal or sniff a flower. How do our depictions of robots reflect our changing understandings of what it means to be alive?

I said in my intro that I'm fairly sure my signup for this was just "Murderbot!" and then a bunch of heart symbols, and rather that recap my rec from the panel, I wrote it up for booklog.

Read more... )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I was really not awake for this panel and so took almost no notes; this is extremely sketchy as a result, but better than nothing.

Phenderson Clark, Greer Gilman, Victoria Janssen (leader), Kate Nepveu, Naomi Novik
Guest of Honor Naomi Novik's Temeraire books take a slow and clever approach to a common issue with alt-historical fantasy: if magic has always existed, why have historical events gone essentially the same way that they did in our magicless world? Her focus on the familiar territory of Western Europe during the Napoleonic Wars gradually broadens to include other regions that look very different. This panel will examine this and other techniques for integrating magic into history, including using the appearance or reappearance of magic as a timeline divergence point, limiting magic or paranormal entities to a particular region of the world, portraying paranormal communities or magic-users as hidden and secretive, and entirely reinventing history from the Neanderthals on up.

what I can remember )

Annnd that's all I can remember. Feel free to comment, either if you were there or if you want to continue the conversation!
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
NOW the last one. Can I get to bed before 1 a.m. before the day with three programming items? Why am I doing this, anyway? (Because if I don't know it won't get done and I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Alas.)

Erik Amundsen, David Bowles, Rosemary Kirstein, Naomi Novik (leader), Nnedi Okorafor
Specialized and secret fields of knowledge create barriers to understanding and can become mechanisms of cultural control. They can also be foundations for resistance. They can support or destroy communities and instill gratitude or resentment. All these things could be said of both magic and science, and the wielders thereof. The tradition of pitting magic and science against each other goes back to Tolkien's anxieties about industrialization, but today's speculative works have moved beyond it to recognize that the two can coexist and are often used similarly as metaphors. We'll examine Guest of Honor Naomi Novik's mix of historical technology and dragons, Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor's mix of futuristic technology and sorcery, and other successful amalgamations and integrations.

more collated tweets )

Just under the wire before 1 a.m., go me!

Readercon: Terrible... but Great

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:35 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I was going to say, last one for night, and then I remembered I went to three in a row but four total for day. Whee.

Lila Garrott (leader), Bart Leib, Natalie Luhrs, Sonya Taaffe, Vinnie Tesla
Our panelists muse on books that are really bad but in an amazing way! Genevieve Valentine's term "shitmazing" may be appropriate here. What makes something both terrible and great? Are these works worth analyzing and perhaps even emulating, or do they exist simply to be enjoyed (if that's the word) on their own merits (if that's the word)?

more tweets, getting less cleaned up as we go )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I am very very tired but I also need to hydrate and then remain upright for a while, so let me see how far I get in cleaning up my live-tweeting of panels.

First up:

Classic YA Book Club: The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
Victoria Janssen (leader), Sandra Kasturi, Miriam Newman, Sonya Taaffe, Tamara Vardomskaya

panel notes )

If anything was insufficiently unpacked, or if you want to talk about it, come into the comments! (You don't need to have a DW account, just comment anonymous and sign your name or nickname or something at the bottom so we can have continuity of conversation.)

Volunteer social thread #69

Jul. 14th, 2017 08:49 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_volunteers
I'm having a lazy day.

What have you all been up to?

media

Jul. 13th, 2017 08:36 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Experienced recently, keeping it short here more as a log than as reviews:

Reading:
Nicola Griffith's Slow River on an accurate recommendation from [personal profile] watersword. So good. Wow for the realistic abuse content, ggggnnnnnngggh for the competence in water treatment facility management scenes. I feel like people who liked China Mountain Zhang, for the personal journey stuff and the mundane futuristic scifi stuff and the emphasis on physical labor and managing complicated processes, might be likely to also like this.

(Reread) a few Tamora Pierce books from The Protector Of the Small quartet for comfort. Still comforting.

All the Birds in the Sky: finished, LOVED everything except the last 10 pages which were just okay.

Started Hild and am having a tough time getting the world into my head.

Am most of the way through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which is fairly breezy.

A bunch of Jon Bois stuff which is SO GREAT.

Visual:

In Transit, documentary, loving and unexpected. Way more about people and way less about the train itself than I thought we'd see. I had a lot of nostalgia for my times on the Empire Builder.

Schindler's List -- saw this for the first time. Stunning, of course. I'm glad I saw it on the big screen. I am glad I saw it on a Friday night when I'd had a good day and I didn't have anything in particular to do the next couple days.

Jurassic Park -- awesome and fun, maybe my 3rd or 4th time seeing it. I could probably see this once every 12-18 months.

Steven Universe -- all caught up now, love the songs, love Lion, amazed and surprised every few episodes.

A Man For All Seasons -- saw this in high school I think? So many good burns in this movie, and a fascinating portrayal of an actual conservative.

Wonder Woman -- better as an Event than as a movie (in contrast some movies don't have to be Events, like, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever or whatever). The message the movie wants to speak is in direct opposition to the basic visual and structural form of a tentpole superhero blockbuster film. But there are fun bits.

Yuri!!! On Ice -- I'm glad I saw this and I respect it a lot but I don't love it. I think that it's the restaurant that doesn't punch you in the face for a bunch of the intended audience, and I'm not part of that audience.

Audio:

Leonard's podcasted conversations with our friend Lucian about 90s nostalgia -- I enjoyed Lucian's recurring "because Kurt Cobain" explanations of his teenage quirks.

FMA/B rewatch: FMA 1-2, FMA:B 3

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:31 pm
kate_nepveu: Ed in profile, pulling away cloak to reveal automail arm (FMA (voila!))
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

So the Toast-commenters-in-exile have a Slack, and some people there proposed a Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood watch, which of course is entirely my jam. We're actually interleaving early episodes of FMA as an experiment, since FMA:B shortens some of the opening and does it in a weird order. Specifically:

episode order )

So tonight while waiting for laundry to go into the dryer, I had no brain for anything but some rewatch and live-blogging. Here, therefore, are notes about FMA 1 & 2 (and then I got sucked into semi-watching FMA:B to compare).

live-blogging of FMA 1 and 2, and also FMA:B 3 )

Jon Bois

Jul. 9th, 2017 11:57 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I need to go to sleep, but:

There are some people making speculative fiction right now who don't get enough mainstream attention, in my opinion, or even enough attention from the circles of feminist scifi fans I generally hang out with. Like, some of you know about them, but others don't, and if you don't, I feel an urge to shake you by the lapels as I tell you about them, to ensure you are fully aware. Like, Alexandra Petri is consistently doing really interesting speculative work in her Washington Post column. Alexandra Erin's "Women Making Bees in Public" is an amazing piece about the necessity of being fierce and spycrafty in order to be a woman, about bees, about unexpected beauty, and about doing a chunk of work every day and witnessing what emerges.

And Jon Bois does some digital humanities writing and videos (often using the lens of sports history to dig up interesting stories and statistics), and writes fiction, again, often using the lens of sports to think about meaning, uncertainty, loss, and kindness. Jed's blog post about Bois's fiction pointed me to a few of his pieces and I'm just enthralled -- The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles is 40,000+ words and is complete, and 17776 is in serialization right now (here is a MetaFilter thread where I'm discussing the chapters as they go up).

His work is so loving and he's so consistent about making connections, stories, ideas that feel immediately real and of-course-it-would-be-like-that, finding the alien in the familiar and the familiar in the alien. The humaneness, that is what I am trying to get at. I need to sleep -- I hope you give him a try.
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