Links: Thursday, November 13th

November 13, 2014 Links 0

A still from a 1977 Sesame Street video. The number twelve shows in a round window over a pinball hole and is surrounded by bumpers in shades of orange.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 reasons why “Pinball Number Count” is awesome

Today’s Links:

  • We Didn’t Start The Fire: Why My Poor Millennial Self Needs New Adult Romance More Than Ever – If you’ve never understood why New Adult is a thing and who its audience was, this post by Rebekah explains it perfectly.

    A few years ago, I remember sitting down with a couple other BSB authors and remarking that I was having a hard time finding characters I could relate to. Not because I wasn’t finding stories that had great plots and well rounded characters, but because I was reading so many romances that featured characters that, to me, were adults. Like real adults, with jobs that they kept for more than six weeks. Doctors and Cops. And pirates. Pirating is a legit career with a goal of retirement. I was reading about real adults that didn’t have student loan debt that they had made a fun game out of deferring. The only uncertainty in their lives was in the romance department, but I always felt like those characters had their shit together. And that shit was going to stay together because that’s what adults do. They keep their shit together.

  • Why Are We Here? – If you were looking for a POC-led discussion space for the RequiresHate story, this new site seems to be a good place for it. There are comments from a wide variety of perspectives. (At least I think so. SFF has a thing for anon commenting that I find kind of baffling, but whatever.)

    Recently, there have been a number of ructions in the SFF community involving PoC. I’m not going to rehash them…

    It kind of goes on and becomes recursive, especially if you get lost in the comments thread. In all these discussions one constant refrain has been the lack of PoC-led spaces for discussion and exploration of these matters. I think that’s a fair point.

    ‘Safe‘ is a direct response to that.

    I’m well-aware that the term PoC is problematic and that there are factions and sub-factions and all kinds of subdivisions. All are welcome provided they come in peace.

  • Does Twitter have a secret weapon for silencing trolls? – Sarah Jeong wonders if Twitter has a lot more control over abusive tweets than it lets on. EFF clutches its pearls and cries “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” right on cue. Such a frustrating organization they are.

    Luciana Berger, a member of British Parliament, has been receiving a stream of anti-Semitic abuse on Twitter. It only escalated after a man was jailed for tweeting her a picture with a Star of David superimposed on her forehead and the text “Hitler was Right.” But over the last few weeks, the abuse began to disappear. Her harassers hadn’t gone away, and Twitter wasn’t removing abusive tweets after the fact, as it sometimes does, or suspending accounts as reports came in. Instead, the abuse was being blocked by what seems to be an entirely new anti-abuse filter.

    For a while, at least, Berger didn’t receive any tweets containing anti-Semitic slurs, including relatively innocuous words like “rat.” If an account attempted to @-mention her in a tweet containing certain slurs, it would receive an error message, and the tweet would not be allowed to send.

  • Black/Non-Black Divide and The Anti-Blackness of Non-Black Minorities – Robert Reece (aka @PhuzzieSlippers) writes about the ever-changing definition of whiteness and the ever-constant way it’s defined in opposition to blackness.

    Proclamations by demographers about the coming white minority are used by both liberals and conservatives to promise inevitable political change. Liberals discuss how minorities outnumbering whites will signal as intense power shift in politics that will usher in an unprecedented age of progress and liberalism, and conservatives fear that they will lose their country to the brown hoards resting just over the horizon. But sociologist George Yancey, in Whois White?, questions the very demographers claiming that a white minority is certain. Yancey argues that demographers cannot account for shifting racial boundaries when making their predictions. So while their raw numbers may be correct, their racial predictions are probably incorrect because racial categories are always changing.

    According to Yancey, demographers made similar predictions in the early 1900s, but they couldn’t predict that groups that were non-white at the time would become white within their prediction period. He argues that we are due for a similar transformation today, that as the number of non-white minorities increases, groups will be cherry-picked for inclusion into the elite social club that is American whiteness. The two groups he has pegged as prime candidates for inclusion in the 21st century are Asian Americans and Latinos.

  • The Ladies Vanish – A startling article about the contract labor that enables the “app economy” and how it makes the laborers invisible.

    It is precisely the feeling of magic—the instant gratification of desire being met the very moment it’s felt—on which the apps market themselves. The entire discourse surrounding the app economy centers on the thrilling ease achieved by high tech efficiency: it’s this magic that the apps sell, the thing that differentiates them from traditional modes of purchase. Because otherwise the consumer is just getting a cab ride, just buying groceries, just hiring a housecleaner.

    It’s like magic, but it’s not magic. The magic is founded on grossly underpaid, casualized labor. Press a button and a human being is dispatched to do menial work. Press a button and an independent contractor, without the same rights and protections as an employee, springs into action. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is merely the most literal and obvious manifestation of this trend. The actual magic trick is making the worker disappear.

  • “Brown and Queer in America”: On Being a Bridge – An account of straddling the intersections.

    But now you know that when you are both brown and queer in America, you have to interpret for everyone — your liberal straight friends from your old life, your queer friends from your new one, your pragmatic family that believes you can think your way out of any uncomfortable taste or tendency if you try hard enough. You’ll have to be the lens through which “progressive” America, where you learned to think, can view the “traditional,” “conservative” culture you come from — you know the one, where Hijra is a gender you can put on your I.D. card, and you’re named after a female incarnation of a male god — and vice-versa. It doesn’t feel like a superpower anymore; it feels like a burden you do not want to bear.

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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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