I love this book so much but oh my GOD I'm happy to not work on it for a little while.
This entry was originally posted (with comments) at my Dreamwidth.
Excellent first season!
Doctor Who: ( In which Moffat's excesses prove to be his undoing.Collapse )
I really like how The Borgias features Lucrezia in political settings: it puts her into scenes with men, most often of the ruling class (a class she is also in, by virtue of her family), who interact with her just as you'd imagine they'd interact with anyone who shared their class--politely, even deferentially--but, simultaneously, with a specific brand of condescension and/or outright vitriol that's provoked entirely by the fact that she's a woman. (See: the King of Naples's toast to her and her new husband's marriage in 3.05, and her chess game with the aspiring King of Naples in 3.07.) Lucrezia can be smooth and charming and intellectually equal to these men (or, frequently, superior to them), yet you can see their dismissal of her skimming through every word they speak to her.
I tell you what, it does wonders for making us sympathise with her predilection for poisons.
In other news: oh, Micheletto, your love life is tragic. Which, granted, puts him in good company on this show, but still.
I rewatched DaVinci's Inquest's 'Banging on the Wall' this week. (Thank you, Canadian Bravo, for syndicating this show at exactly the right hour for me to catch an episode before I go to bed.)
I wish this ep were available on YouTube so I could share it. The scene where DaVinci lets the father of the dead 8-year-old with heroin in her system know what happened to her without spelling it out explicitly--followed by his scene with drunken, obsessive Mr Steadman--is pretty much the epitome of Selfless Humanity In The Face Of Hardship. Dominic absolutely had his failings, but even when he was caught in a fit of malaise, he found both the time and the emotional energy to be there for people who were going through the worst experiences of their lives.
Besides which, this was part of the buildup to the whole Mick's Emotional Crisis storyline, which was extremely well done for a storyline that essentially boiled down to Manpain.
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- Current Mood: lethargic
The whole film is delightful, and gothic, and beautiful, and creepy. So creepy. It has the CREEPIEST ENDING EVER. Silent film is the perfect medium for a fairy tale adaptation: the silence puts it at a sort of remove from reality, which gives it both a sort of ethereal glow and that essential strangeness that both say "fairy tale."
( And now I will give a capsule summary of the movie, because I must share the glory with you! But seriously, spoilers for all the things.Collapse )
ANYWAY THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME AND YOU SHOULD ALL SEE IT. Because it is so beautiful: even just on a purely visual level, the black and white is so crisp and clean and striking, and all the details so rich and well-chosen. And the fairy tale adaptation is so playfully and delicately done! And the characters are so much fun! And they all wear beautiful twenties clothes! And bull-fighting outfits, for which I have an unfortunate fixation, because they are shiny!
And also I kind of want to read about Rafita’s unrequited crush on Blancanieves and possibly Blancanieves realizing that she likes him too, although pining is always fun, and Blancanieves being ravishingly beautiful in her traje de luces, and maybe futurefic, and and and HELP ME LJ-WAN KENOBI, YOU ARE MY ONLY HOPE.
The giveaway here is still live:
An interview with DJ here, and another giveaway went live today
A review for Hard Reboot
Go check them out.
I'm in desperate need of advice my fellow kittypixers. Last year we adopted Merlin, a six month old neutered male cat. He is a loving boy though can be quite dominating and has quickly worked his way to the top of the pecking order with my other cats. This is of course where the problem lies.
Very early up, and, hearing that the Duke of York, our Lord High Admiral, would go on board to-day, Mr. Pickering and I took waggon for Scheveling, leaving the child in Mr. Pierces hands, with directions to keep him within doors all day till he heard from me.
But the wind being very high that no boats could get off from shore, we returned to the Hague (having breakfasted with a gentleman of the Duke’s, and Commissioner Pett, sent on purpose to give notice to my Lord of his coming), where I hear that the child is gone to Delfe to see the town. So we all and Mr. Ibbott, the Minister, took a schuit1 and very much pleased with the manner and conversation of the passengers, where most speak French; went after them, but met them by the way. But however we went forward making no stop. Where when we were come we got a smith’s boy of the town to go along with us, but could speak nothing but Dutch, and he showed us the church where Van Trump lies entombed with a very fine monument. His epitaph concluded thus:— “Tandem Bello Anglico tantum non victor, certe invictus, vivere et vincere desiit.” There is a sea-fight cut in marble, with the smoke, the best expressed that ever I saw in my life.
From thence to the great church, that stands in a fine great market-place, over against the Stadt- house, and there I saw a stately tomb of the old Prince of Orange, of marble and brass; wherein among other rarities there are the angels with their trumpets expressed as it were crying. Here were very fine organs in both the churches. It is a most sweet town, with bridges, and a river in every street.
Observing that in every house of entertainment there hangs in every room a poor-man’s box, and desiring to know the reason thereof, it was told me that it is their custom to confirm all bargains by putting something into the poor people’s box, and that binds as fast as any thing.
We also saw the Guesthouse, where it was very pleasant to see what neat preparation there is for the poor. We saw one poor man a- dying there.
After we had seen all, we light by chance of an English house to drink in, where we were very merry, discoursing of the town and the thing that hangs up in the Stadthouse like a bushel, which I was told is a sort of punishment for some sort of offenders to carry through the streets of the town over his head, which is a great weight. Back by water, where a pretty sober Dutch lass sat reading all the way, and I could not fasten any discourse upon her.
At our landing we met with Commissioner Pett going down to the water-side with Major Harly, who is going upon a dispatch into England.
They having a coach I left the Parson and my boy and went along with Commissioner Pett, Mr. Ackworth and Mr. Dawes his friends, to the Princess Dowager’s house again. Thither also my Lord Fairfax and some other English Lords did come to see it, and my pleasure was increased by seeing of it again. Besides we went into the garden, wherein are gallant nuts better than ever I saw, and a fine Echo under the house in a vault made on purpose with pillars, where I played on my flageolette to great advantage.
Back to the Hague, where not finding Mr. Edward, I was much troubled, but went with the Parson to supper to Commissioner Pett, where we sat late. And among other mirth Mr. Ackworth vyed wives, each endeavouring to set his own wife out to the best advantage, he having as they said an extraordinary handsome wife. But Mr. Dawes could not be got to say anything of his.
After that to our lodging where W. Howe and I exceeding troubled not to know what is become of our young gentleman. So to bed.
- The trekschuit (drag-boat) along the canal is still described as an agreeable conveyance from Leyden to Delft. ↩
(Sorry this is so late! Life kept happening, and then the blog went down :)
Since this is a book that deserves and rewards attention, and since we all seem to be reading it slowly as a result, let’s just discuss it one section at a time. From the introduction:
Free software hackers culturally concretize a number of liberal themes and sensibilities— for example, through their competitive mutual aid, avid free speech principles, and implementation of meritocracy along with their frequent challenge to intellectual property provisions.
(I’ll get to that “meritocracy” bit in good time.) One of the great points Biella makes early on is that hacking, while recognizably part of the liberal tradition, uses liberal techniques to critique liberalism itself. This restless contrarianism showed up earliest around IP, of course:
The expansion of intellectual property law, as noted by some authors, is part and parcel of a broader neoliberal trend to privatize what was once public or under the state’s aegis, such as health provision, water delivery,
and military services. “Neoliberalism is in the “first instance,” writes David Harvey (2005, 2), “a theory of political economic practices that proposes human well- being can be best advanced by liberating entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong property rights, free markets, and free trade.” As such, free software hackers not only reveal a long- standing tension within liberal legal rights but also offer a targeted critique of the neoliberal drive to make property out of almost anything, including software.
Oh, the 1990s. On the one hand you had a set of corporatist states seeking to exercise ever-more-restrictive controls around, for example, the precious, precious image of Mickey Mouse and music of Metallica; on the other hand you had a ragtag crew of approximately-libertarian hackers still simmering over the injustices handed down in the Unix wars. In between you had every other imaginable nuance of position. Shenanigans, naturally, ensued, and both Biella and I were on hand for the fun. I met her at various Bay Area Linux User Group and EFF events while she was conducting fieldwork in San Francisco around the turn of the millennium.
Those were glory days. The brilliance of Richard Stallman’s GPL was just beginning to make itself apparent. The GPL has radically transformed both the culture and the economics of software in ways that will continue to play out for the foreseeable future. Biella justly celebrates the terrific humor of hackers and hacking – I don’t think I really understood software, or my life partner, until I first looked into the Jargon file – and the GPL is one of hacking culture’s best and subtlest and most effective jokes.
Stallman approached the law much like a hacker treats technology: as a system that by virtue of being systemic and logical, is hackable. In other words, he relied on the hacker technical tactic of clever reuse to imaginatively hack the law by creating the GNU GPL, a near inversion of copyright law… By grafting his license on top of an already- existing system, Stallman dramatically increased the chances that the GPL would be legally binding. It is an instance of an ironic response to a system of powerful constraint, and one directed with unmistakable (and creative) intention— and whose irony is emphasized by its common descriptor, copyleft, signaling its relationship to the very artifact, copyright, that it seeks to displace.
What the GPL and the Jargon file share with the code itself is the ways in which they resemble literature – celebrating and codifying a culture – and the ways in which they resemble law – functioning as the constitutions of public spaces of the mind. (I think of the Unixes as a kind of Colossal Caves, only somehow more real.) And this, ultimately, is why we talk about coding freedom, and why the freedom part matters. Software systems are at once frontiers, meeting places and societies.
In the words of one programmer who helped me (a novice user) fix a problem on my Linux machine, “Unix is not a thing, it is an adventure.”
That’s the way I see Debian: alive.
This book is reminding me how much I love it here, but it’s also refreshingly blunt about hacker culture’s failings:
Along with the awkwardness I experienced during the first few weeks of fieldwork, I was usually one of the only females present during hacker gatherings, and as a result felt even more out of place.
That said, the answer is right there staring us in the face. Just as hacker culture uses liberal techniques to reform liberal techniques, geek feminists can and do hack hacker culture.
During cons, participants make crucial decisions that may alter the character and future course of the developer project. For example, at Debconf4, the few women attending, spearheaded by the efforts of Erinn Clark, used the time and energy afforded by an in- person meeting to initiate and organize Debian Women Project, a Web site portal and IRC mailing list to encourage female participation by visibly demonstrating the presence of women in the largely male project. Following the conference, one of the female Debian developers, Amaya Rodrigo, posted a bug report calling for a Debian Women’s mailing list, explaining the rationale in the following way:
From: Amaya Rodrigo Sastre <email@example.com>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Please create debian- women mailing list
Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2004 22:12:30 +0200
Out of a Debconf4 workshop the need has arisen for a mailing list oriented to debating and coordinating the different ways to get a larger female userbase. Thanks for your time :- ).
Given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow, right? I’m trying to feel my way towards an evidence-based geek feminism, in which my ideas and practices are continually tested and assessed for usefulness or otherwise. Maybe the trick is to be woman enough to cull my ideas when they are bad?
She also later co-authored a cookbook, which includes recipes for jellied fish heads and her father's favorite, cod soup. She also worked as a cabaret dancer in Bucharest, Romania, and then found work as a circus performer for Ringling Brothers Circus. During the 1930s she toured Europe and America as a lion tamer, billing herself as "the daughter of the famous mad monk whose feats in Russia astonished the world." She was mauled by a bear in Peru, Indiana, but stayed with the circus until it reached Miami, Florida, where she quit and began work as a riveter in a defense shipyard during World War II.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
- Current Music:Rasputina -- All Tomorrow's Parties