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VP

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.11.20

The vp thread at the beginning of the summer topped 1000 comments, I think. Do you still like who you liked then?

I'm still rooting for Stacey Abrams.



 

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Insomnia

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.09.20

Maybe it's just the late hour talking, but I've gotten stuck watching a YouTube channel, and it's the balm I didn't know I needed.

It's not exactly special: it's one guy, or him and his buddy, and they're maybe 20 years old, and filming themselves reacting to mainstream hits from the past 40 years that they've never heard before.

The main guy is so pure of heart. In every video I've seen so far, he listens eagerly and just finds what there is to love about it. It's so pure. He's just moved by emotion, and he's curious about all these songs that his subscribers keep lobbing his way. (The second guy is a little more stilted on camera. But it's still fine.)

There is nothing earth-shattering about these videos, and it's not worth your time unless you have insomnia and would find joy in watching someone find joy in a song you know and love. For me, watching someone express such earnest joy and curiosity about the world is a great comfort at the moment.

I haven't yet found one that he didn't find a reason to connect with, and it hasn't yet seemed phony. He just seems to be the rare person who is self-confident enough to stand comfortably in his naivete and just relish hearing all these new songs with genuine curiosity and pleasure.

.....

I am in such a rut of world-weariness and fret. I miss that feeling of curiosity and eagerness. There was once a time when having an idea meant that I'd have a rush of energy, rather than automatically converting the idea from units of enthusiasm to units of toll and effort. I respond to any proposal as if my energy must be mustered from the dregs of motivation if it's going to happen, and y'know, maybe we can just get out of doing the thing altogether. I would like to feel curious and excited to learn something, instead of automatically suspicious that a new-to-me realm will harbor yet another new angle on the same shitty underbelly of humanity yet again.



 

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Guest Post - Valuing a "canon" (SF edition)

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.08.20

Nick S. writes: John Scalzi has written well about the process of reckoning with the problems of historically significant figures. He is writing about the field of science fiction, but I have been reminded of the concluding paragraph from his essay on John Campbell by various controversies.

Campbell is and will always be part of science fiction's history. But history isn't static, even if the facts of history stay the same. Anyone notable enough to be part of the historical record will find themselves the subject of reassessment, for however long they grace history's record. It is, weirdly, a privilege not many people get. Campbell was never guaranteed a pedestal, or an award, or a conference in his name, even if he got them for a while. He was never guaranteed to keep them. No one is.

He has a new post about the SF canon which, again, has some broader applicability.

Should these canonical writers and works be tossed aside merely because they are old? Well, no; if they are to be tossed aside, it should be because they are not relevant to the particular reader. But: that also does not oblige the reader to pick up those works for any purpose but their own; if they don't have such a purpose, down to and including mere idle interest, then it's all right to let that book sit. "Not picked up" is existentially different than "tossed aside."

Moreover, the days of certain works and writers being accepted more or less uncritically as "the canon" are well and truly gone. I mean, let's face it, these "canonical" writers and works were always being called on their bullshit -- see the New Wave of Science Fiction for that, which these days has its own bullshit to be called on as well -- but the last few crops of writers, with no fealty to the canon or its makers, are especially not here for it. This is deeply uncomfortable for a lot of people! The whole point of having a canon is that it's supposed to be more or less settled!

Heebie's take: Just to add in a prompt, then: pick a canon. Who do you toss, and who should maybe just not necessarily be picked up?

It occurs to me that I don't know any area well enough to answer the question.



 

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Semi-Weekly Check Ins, Reassurances, and Concerns, 8/7

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.07.20

This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while.

Episode 39.



 

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Testing

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.07.20

Omg, this is the thing that I just heard about last week in Texas:

Revised guidance on COVID-19 tests from the Council on State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) expected next week could pave the way for dramatically expanded statewide COVID-19 case counts across the country
.
The group will emphasize that positive rapid antigen tests should be counted in daily tallies, which many states such as Texas and California currently do not include.

I hadn't realized how widespread it is. I know that locally, free testing had switched to cheek swabs over the past month, and I know that about 2000-3000 positives had been subtracted from San Antonio and Corpus Christi each, about a month ago, leading to maybe a 15% drop (by memory). If that is statewide, it's enough to wipe out the apparent progress we've made since we peaked.

Asked if he fears that some states may choose not to report antigen positive test results for COVID-19 in their case counts because it won't make their state look good, Engel replied: "I suppose that's possible but we'll deal with that one state at a time."

Anyway: I think that case numbers will rise significantly as states comply with this recommendation, in the next two weeks or so.



 

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