Climate Change Chaff

So I read this post by John C. Wright about Climate Change, and the hoax thereof.

I call the “counter-evidence” to Climate change “Climate Change Chaff”. It confuses, muddles, and messes up the story, and allows for doubt. While
I think that many people who decry climate change know better, its easy enough to lie with statistics that people can be fooled into thinking
Climate Change is a “liberal plot”.

I don’t know how you counter this, though.

Update: Been doing some reading at NOAA, and came to this:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

Confederacy and memorials

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This is the Confederate Veterans memorial on the Capitol grounds of Little Rock, Arkansas. I saw this for the first time this summer, when I visited a friend who lived
in the area.
In the wake of the mass shooting and the outcry against the Stars and Bars, I dug out this photo to take a look at it, and to share it with you.

The caption on the left side of the memorial reads:

“Arkansas Commends the faithfulness of its sons and commends their example to future generations”

The right side reads:

“Our furled banner wreathed with glory and though conquered, We adore it. Weep for those
who fell before it. Pardon those who trailed and tore it.”

The memorial was built in 1905.

Look at the symbolism of this memorial even beyond those words. We have a doughty Confederate soldier, wrapped in a Confederate flag. Above him is Nike, the Greek
Goddess of victory, with a laurel crown held over his head, showing that she favors him, that she is anointing him, that she is telling him and the world that he
is chosen, that he has in the end won.

Even more than a Stars and Bars, this memorial helps crystallize for me just how the South sees the Civil War and its results so very differently than the North.

Supernumerary, self abnegation, suicidal tendencies and such

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Two new stories today, from the talented Marissa Lingen, got me to thinking about being supernumeary again.

Yes, I know each voice and every person is different and that is value in and of itself.

And yet! I am a white single heterosexual male in my 40’s. Not exactly an underrepresented class in any of the artistic endeavors that I participate in. And I am not even stellar in doing so. (A Hugo nomination for podcasting notwithstanding). The stellar voices–those are okay no matter what they look like, believe or who they are. Average voices like mine from the mayonnaise majority–who needs them?

So, why should I bother? There are women’s voices, POC voices, voices from LBGTQ people. Those voices have been historically undervalued, underrepresented, under seen. White men like myself have gotten more play and still get more play. There are venues which do a good job in balancing things out, but its still a tilted playing field.

Are any of my efforts crowding out *their* efforts? Marissa is getting published, but am I making it slightly harder for equally worthy people to have their work seen, read, enjoyed? People whose work who hasn’t been seen, and should? Diverse voices unjustly not heard?

This all goes to my fear and secret wish–that my withdrawal would make the world a better place (yes, this also goes to suicidal tendencies). The thought that the world would be improved by my absence. That my efforts hinder others.

That it would be better if I not only did not exert my efforts…but that I *never* did. That the Marissa Lingens of the world would have a better time of it without me crowding the field or trying to. Or the Elizabeth May and Dallas Nagata Whites of photography, to give a different example.

As I have said before, if Metatron came to me and said: “I erase you from existence, backwards and forwards, and the world is improved”– I take that deal, no hesitation.

Oh love Oh love to read them.

Oh love oh love just to read them
Writing on the printed page, oh my
Martha Wells , Zelazny, Katherine Elliott
Fantasy would fill my life and I
Love fantasy so much
Did you see in the morning light
I really talked, yes I did, to God’s early dawning light
And I was privileged to be as I am to this day
To read all of you. To read all of you. To read all of you. To read all of you.

With Apologies to Jon Anderson and Vangelis.

Genre poem by File 770 commenter

This genre poem by File 770 commenter Kyra is wonderful:

… Well. Now that I’ve managed to stop crying with joy about the Supreme Court decision for the moment, a brief word about short stories:

A is for Asimov, yes I’m his fan,
especially for Bicentennial Man.

B is for Bixby, I read him and squealed;
read It’s A Good Life (or end up in the field.)

Collier, genius that nobody knows,
I treasure my copy of Evening Primrose.

Delany’s unique, with no mimics or clones;
he saw Time As A Helix Of non-high-priced Stones.

Ellison, man of cantankerous bent,
knew even a Harlequin has to Repent.

Foster just left, but we haven’t forgot her,
and now that it’s Ended, I hope that He Caught Her.

G is for Gaiman, a winner because
he scores with as few words as Nicholas Was …

Heinlein’s the standard by which some judge worth;
my personal favorite? Green Hills Of Earth.

(I didn’t read any I’s, so I’ll just go with Ing,
whose Devil You Don’t Know I guess was a thing?)

J’s for Dianna Wynne Jones, I’ll decide –
just take any section out of her Tough Guide.

Keyes left us little, but each word we crave,
we all lay our Flowers on Algernon’s grave.

LeGuin has so much that it’s hard to pick one,
but I’ll go with Intracom just ’cause it’s fun.

M is for Merrill, who wrote like no other,
her work is loved (and not Only by her Mother.)

N is for Niven, grandmaster for real,
whose Woman of Kleenex met a Man of Steel.

O is for Orwell, a heck of a fella —
and Animal Farm’s, technically, a novella.

Padgett, the union of Kuttner and Moore,
who wrote The Proud Robot, which I just adore.

(Quaglia I’ve not read, but now Q’s represented;
I’ve heard that his writing is good but demented.)

R is for Russ, and will not be exchanged;
when she started writing, well, that’s When It Changed.

Sturgeon’s law states that most everything’s crap,
but his Baby is Three neatly sidesteps that trap.

Tiptree, oh Tiptree, the greatest indeed;
I ask, Houston, if you’ve skipped her, Do You Read?

U is for Utley, another departed,
but Shattering came out as strong as he’d started.

Varley, most everyone knows, is top rank,
you just can’t Overdraw from his Memory Bank.

Weinbaum was right there when all of this started
and his Martian Odyssey’s still well-regarded.

(X is unknown, but don’t mock it or scoff,
put here all the many I had to leave off.)

Yolen’s output is both varied and vast;
The Devil’s Arithmetic showed us the past.

Zelazny is here as the final contender;
how fitting for Camelot’s Last great Defender.

Torling (AD&D stats)

Theodore Beale has been squawking about “Torlings” in his quest to try and get Tor/MacMillan to accede to his demands regarding the continued employment of Irene Gallo, Moshe Federer and Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

So, old AD&D style, I present, The Torling:

Torling
Frequency: Uncommon
No. Appearing: 1-12
Armor Class: 8
Move: 12″ (36″ in the direction of Tor books)
Hit Dice: 1+1
% in Lair: 80%
Treasure Type: B
No of Attacks: 1
Damage/attack: 1d6
Special Attacks: Infuriate Beale
Special Defenses: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Varies
Size: M
Psionic Ability: Nil

Campbell vs the New Wave, and Brad Torgersen

On Sarah Hoyt’s Mad Genius Club, Brad Torgersen, head of Sad Puppies 3, has an article on what
makes for good Hard SF, in his view.

http://madgeniusclub.com/2015/06/21/so-you-want-to-write-an-award-winning-hard-science-fiction-story/

Some of what he says, I have no problem with. For example, I *love* the Playground of the Imagination a la Niven. Yes, a double helping, please.

This, however, is something that I don’t:

Downbeat endings suck. They are ‘literary’ and some critics and aesthetes love them. But they suck. If you’re going to roast your characters in hell, at least give them a little silver lining at the end? Some kind of hope for a more positive outcome? Your readers will thank you.

Stories that demote humanity to being puny and insignificant, also suck. We may be small and/or not as advanced as other intelligent life in the universe, but we didn’t get to where we are now by being meaningless dullards. Humans are crafty and stubborn. Never say die. We should be reflected as such.

I do think that Torgersen is missing a large bet on a lot of stories. And I am not sure that Literary=downbeat=suck is an equation that works. HEA and HFA are fine and dandy, but those aren’t the only stories. Hell, look at Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee stories as an excellent counter example. I’m sure Baxter would be surprised to be called literary. And he definitely does not suck.

What strikes me from this article is how it fights the whole Campbell vs the New Wave argument that I’ve opined was at the heart of the Sad Puppies.. One of the File 770 group called him Neo-Campbell. So there you have it.

Torgersen post shows that SF fandom and authors are STILL fighting the New Wave conflict, decades later. The past isn’t dead, its not even past.

Which of these is NOT a real show coming this summer?

I know that television has been a cultural wasteland for years. But this forthcoming crop of shows and specials just seems even more out of taste to me.

So, then. Which of these is not a real show coming this summer?

Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang
Documentary follows the former NBA star, who has an unlikely friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, as he tries to stage a friendly basketball game in the country to promote peace between to the two nations.

On the Ropes
Based on a game show from Bulgaria, contestants get into the ring to try a briefcase full of cash up on a platform while trying to avoid the wrestlers aiming to stop them.

Boom!
Based on a popular Israeli game show, contestants have to answer trivia questions to help them defuse a “bomb” before it goes off.

The Seven Year Switch
Four couples who’ve hit a wall in their relationships get a chance to spend two weeks in an experimental marriage with a different mate, to see if a different perspective addresses some of their issues.

Significant Mother
Sitcom about a Portland restaurateur who discovers that his roommate is dating his mother.

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