Links: Saturday, July 5th

July 5, 2014 Links 0

A gif of a tan and white cat licking its thumb and turning the pages of a book titled "The Art of Military Strategy"War tactics. (9 images)

  • On Sexism and Misogyny in Science Fiction Fantasy – Author Kyoko M is at Black Girl Nerds talking about sexist portrayals of women in SFF film and fiction.

    The only way to combat sexism and misogyny in our favorite fiction is to simply speak up about it. Any authors worth their salt hungrily devour their readers’ comments, and if they are well-meaning authors, they can address these issues. Few writers go into a project wanting to make enemies. For the most part, they want their readership to be happy with what they’ve done. That’s why it’s so important to stand up for things that are generally awful like Riddick. That’s why it’s important for authors to read lots of material and recognize the signs of bad female characterization. It may happen by accident, but it’s still something that can be remedied. Everyone wants to be represented fairly. Women are no different. We’re fantastic and flawed. Write us that way.

  • Is ANY representation better than NO representation? – Disability in Kid Lit had a quick roundtable to answer this question and it was a resounding no. The first comment, though, is totally gross in how it argues that bad portrayals are good because non-disabled people can learn from them. This is derailing to center the privileged at its finest.

    s.e. smith:
    NO! If a representation is bad, it’s harmful, and it perpetuates negative beliefs, attitudes, and stereotypes — or just erroneous information. This argument is totally invalid, because it suggests that we should be grateful for the scraps from the table, even if they’re stale or molding. That’s ridiculous. We’re owed a duty of care and respect, and people who want to integrate diversity into their storytelling (which everyone should!) need to be prepared to take it on seriously, not include it as a slapdash afterthought

  • Google Is Being Forced To Censor The History Of Merrill Lynch — And That Should Terrify You – I know fuck all about this law, but it sounds ridiculous if public figures like CEOs can get Google to shitcan links to newspaper articles about them.

    The European Union’s new law giving people a “right to be forgotten,” which requires Google to remove links to information about them, is having exactly the effect its critics predicted: It is censoring the internet, giving new tools that help the rich and powerful (and ordinary folk) hide negative information about them, and letting criminals make their histories disappear.

  • A day in the life of a physics student with autism – Anytime a parent or, say, a large advocacy organization like Autism Speaks that lacks any board members who have autism purports to speak for autistics, this is your reminder that they can speak for themselves just fine.

    Is your book aimed at people with, or without, autism?
    I was diagnosed as having high-functioning autism as a child but as an adult I have learnt to develop social skills and can communicate fairly well. Because of this I can relate to both people with autism and those without. I think my new book will give people without the disorder an understanding of what it is like. Autistic people focus on the details, all the little things and it can be much more difficult to understand metaphors and idioms. In my book I write what a journey from Guildford to London for a day out is like for me and the complexities of what people without autism think is a simple journey. So for example waiting at the train station the announcer might say “passengers must remain behind the yellow line”, and when the train actually comes it is confusing then to cross the yellow line to board it. I’ve also published illustrations which show my understanding of phrases like ‘you’re pulling my leg’.

  • The game developer, the CIA, and the sculpture driving them crazy – I’m not sure how I happened upon this longform article about a woman who indulges in cryptology as a hobby who’s been working for years to solve the code embedded in a work of art at the CIA, but it was fascinating.

    Although Dunin is now recognised as one of the leading authorities on Kryptos, arranging that first sighting would not be easy. Kryptos is an unusual piece of corporate art and, since the corporation in question is the Central Intelligence Agency, your chances of just rolling up at the gates and getting inside to take a look at it are not high. Kryptos was commissioned by the agency in 1988 for its new headquarters, and the piece was finished and installed in 1990. In essence, it’s a large wood and copper sculpture shaped like a scroll or perhaps a flag, with its face divided into sections. These sections contain four stencilled ciphertexts, sometimes known as K1 through K4. To date, the first three texts have been cracked. Only K4, almost a quarter of a century after it was installed in a building that’s atypically full of people of the code-breaking persuasion, continues to repel all efforts.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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