writey thing

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 07:46 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Actually worked a bit on the Writey Thing for the first time, I think, since April.

I somehow drabbled. This is pure setting-background scenery-brainstorming sense-detail, came out in second person for no particular reason, dunno if it will be in the story, but I have got to be writing on the regular, I need that habit and that mode of expression. I'll take it.

Mentions food, wilderness. Here it is.

Read more... )
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
got sucked into computerland for a bit

going for a walk

will check things when I get back
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

I see a lot of Western talk about Israel and Palestine, and not a lot of Western awareness of the context or the work of Israelis and Palestinians. People on both the right and the left often treat Israel/Palestine as a symbol and ignore the fact that it’s a real place, it has a real history, and real people live there.

One of many pieces of context that matters: Israeli Jews are mostly genocide victims and descendants of genocide victims who see Israel as the only reliable way to protect themselves. In their experience, most Jews who relied on non-Jews to protect them died. That context matters in any discussion of Israel, and it’s antisemitic to disregard it.

Another piece of context that matters: Israel is a mess. Israel is about as well-governed as you’d expect from a country run by people with PTSD in one of the most volatile regions in the world. In addition, Israel has from the beginning depended on less-than-stable compromises between different populations in the area, in a way that’s hard to imagine in the West.

I don’t know what would make things better in Israel and Palestine. The more I learn, the less I feel comfortable having a lot of opinions about policy. There are just too many pieces of game-changing context that I’m unfamiliar with.

One of the few things I’m sure of is that no one involved is suffering from a shortage of Western feelings. It’s not news to anyone who lives there that things are a mess. Israelis and Palestinians who live in Israel/Palestine have their own feelings about the situation.

Israelis and Palestinians also have their own opinions about what would help, and they’re doing their own work. There are Israelis and Palestinians all over the political spectrum, pursuing all kinds of attempts to make things better. (Some of which I’m inspired by; some of which I find horrifying.) I think Western conversations on all sides tend to erase the actual Israelis and Palestinians involved.

For instance, the Western left often erases the work of the Israeli left by pretending that only Americans and other Westerners have heard of justice and human rights). Similarly, the Western right often erases the work of Palestinians pursuing coexistence by speaking as though only people in the West have heard of peace.

If loud Western feelings and platitudes from afar could fix the situation in Israel and Palestine, the conflict would have been over decades ago. Palestinians and Israelis have heard it all before. It’s not helpful. Israelis and Palestinians already know about peace and justice, and many of them are working very hard to pursue both.

If you want to help make things better in Israel and Palestine, the best way to do that is by supporting the work being done by pro-justice/pro-peace Palestinians and Israelis who live there. Find Israel/Palestine-based organizations that share your values, and support their work. Foreigners can’t support political parties, but there are a lot of nonprofit organizations doing good work.

I don’t have an extensive knowledge of justice work in Israel and Palestine, but there are a few organizations I’m comfortable recommending:

The Jerusalem Open House For Pride and Tolerance. Hebrew home page; Facebook page  (They used to have an English page as well. In any case, you can use the Hebrew page to find contact emails). 

JOH is an LGBTQ center located in Jerusalem. (In Hebrew, the word for “gay” is a pun on the word for “pride”.) They provide services in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and I think Russian as well. They also organize the Jerusalem LGBT pride parade.

A Wider Bridge (an organization I’m *not* personally familiar with) has an English summary and links to English-language news articles about the Jerusalem Open House. 

Bizchut: The Israel Human Rights Center for People With Disabilities.

Bizchut works for disability rights in Israel, and has information in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They work on a number of issues, including alternatives to guardianship, inclusive education, voting rights, and communication access for people with disabilities in the legal system.

Yad b’Yad/Hand In Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel  runs joint schools for Jewish Israeli children and Arab Israeli children. The Yad b’Yad schools teach in Hebrew/Arabic/English, and are educationally progressive in other ways as well. (Eg: The Jerusalem Yad b’Yad school has physically disabled students in regular classrooms, which is unusual in Israel.)

There are many other good organizations doing important work on the ground in Israel/Palestine — these are just the ones I’m personally familiar with. Whatever justice issue you care about, there are Israelis and Palestinians who care about it too. If you want to help, support them.

Tl;dr Neither idealization nor contextless criticism will make things better in Israel/Palestine. Palestinians and Israelis are not suffering from a shortage of Western feelings. Israelis and Palestinians already know about justice, peace, and human rights. If you want to help, support local efforts led by Israelis and/or Palestinians who live there.

went and did stuff

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 08:59 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Petted FOUR cats on neighborhood walk this morning. Porch Cat, Calico Neighbor Cat, the little bitty mostly-white calico who seems to be their neighbor and rival, and a black and slightly-tuxedo cat out for a walk with his person.

Did a bit of chores of the paperwork-y sort, and communicated reasonably well with S about chores’n’stuff.

Sent my sibling B a picture of me with my genderqueer-flag-striped cat-face button!

Today met up with the excellent [personal profile] kengr at Powell’s City of Books in the afternoon. We had a great conversation. Hooray for people I like to talk to actually living somewhere nearish! Did not buy ALL the things though I was tempted. Also I got a couple of books by C.J. Cherryh, who is a very good writer. Mwahahaha.

Had a great walk. [Content note: Exercise, food, brain weirdness, body weirdness] Read more... )

Found some things that might could be useful while walking. Made tentative plans/options for hopefully-productive tomorrow.

Anyone know how to make a tag cloud work?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 03:03 pm
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

Just so you know, the tag cloud has not been working for the past couple of weeks at least. I don’t know if you have control over that or not, but I thought you should know. It’s helpful in looking up old posts with useful information. Thanks, and thank you for your hard work on this blog! I really appreciate it!

Thanks for letting me know — I think the platform I’d been using for that doesn’t work anymore for anyone.

Do any of y’all know of a way to make a Tumblr tag cloud that still works?

Activism must not be derailed by behaviorism

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 12:25 pm
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

Behaviorist ideology says that there are four basic reasons people do things: to get things/activities, to get pleasant sensations, to avoid something they dislike, or to get attention. 

All of these are real reasons people do things, and it’s useful to keep them in mind. It’s also important to remember that they are not the only reasons people do things. People also have thoughts, feelings, and values.

This behaviorist framing assumes that human beings are fundamentally amoral and selfish.  Behaviorism has no room for courage, integrity, or concern for justice. In real life, values matter.

For instance: People who would not steal to support themselves will put their lives on the line to protest cuts to Medicaid. People who find it humiliating to be publicly praised as ~inspiring~ will call congress to fight bad policies, including bad policies that affect groups other than their own. There’s more going on than attention. Values matter.

In activism and advocacy, it’s often useful to show others that it’s in their interests to support our policies. (Eg: “Your constituents care about Medicaid, and you’ll lose your seat if you vote for a bill that would cut it”, or “No matter how responsible you are, you could get sick tomorrow and need access to Medicaid.” 

It’s *also* useful to show them that the policies matter within *values* they already care about. For instance, if someone cares about religious freedom, it could be useful to point out that institutionalized people lose access to their houses of worship and other things they need in order to practice their religion on their terms. If someone cares about encouraging people to work, it could be useful to point out ways in which Home and Community Based disability services make it possible for people to work.

It’s also important to make a case for our values more broadly. People don’t understand what ableism is and why it’s bad. Many people are receptive to learning, if it’s explained in a way that they can understand. It’s not just about self-interest. It’s also about values. People can understand right and wrong, and act accordingly, whether they are marginalized or privileged.

Privilege doesn’t need to prevent someone from being a good person and doing the right thing. There’s more to life than behaviorism and self interest. People are capable of caring about their values more than they care about enjoying the advantages of privilege. 

tl;dr Behaviorism reduces everything people do to self-interest, with no room for values. Activism based solely on privilege analysis falls into the same mistake. We need to keep in mind that all people are capable of learning to tell right from wrong and act accordingly. We need to make the case for our values, in a way that people can understand. Lives depend on it.

Fallout

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 01:24 pm
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
[personal profile] sinisterporpoise
I could not think of any other title for this post. The only thing that involves Fallout in my life is a certain video game I've been playing. I'm still in a good mood. A lot of things have gone well.  I'm even coming up on the end of the semester. It will be nice to take the three week break before the fall semester starts. I certainly could use it at this point.  I don't know if I'll ever have the chance to take three college courses over the summer again, but if I do, I'll have to remember not to make that option.

As far as the social security decision, I am waiting for it to come in the mail. I do not know how long this will take, and I've been checking the mailbox every day. It seems like there has been no mail delivered for the past week and a half. I am starting to wonder why we have not gotten mail in this period, but I should relax. It's not unusual to have periods without mail.

In my spare time, I've been doing things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsWorIK--gA&t=2s


I'm sorry if this seems dull. It's just that there's a lot going on in my life right now, but there aren't the sort of things that are interesting to write about. 

delight as a daily practice

Monday, July 17th, 2017 09:58 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Things which have, today, delighted me:

Improvements in my overall mental and physical functioning of late; most especially, the energy to do small practical things and random acts of kindness without nearly always stalling out somewhere between the idea and the result.

People being happy about things I have said and done for them or for the world in general: an online friend who got a package, a physical-space neighbor who is possibly on the way to being an actual friendly acquaintance, a partner who gave & got help, listening, and smiles, a passerby who called us superheroes for putting out a smoldering leaf pile where someone had tossed a cigarette.

Petting numerous cats. So many! So fluffy! So purr! 3 of 4 cat sightings successfully negotiated to pets on my morning walk, plus 1 kitty this evening on the way back from the car. Cats yesterday, too!

Our garden plot. The shade of the central fig tree is extraordinarily peaceful. In various plots, there are strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries in some stage of bearing fruit. In our plot, we have lots of herbs, lots of things growing that aren’t harvestable at the moment, and a tremendous bumper crop of green beans! I am managing - so far - to handle totally-reasonable-in-origin worries about watering enough, weeding enough, and logging required community service hours despite the entirely unreasonable level of anxiety the provoke. With the rich compost that I nurtured on my shovel and the herbs that I grew in my mouth and the sun on my back and the wind on my face, it’s pretty doable.

Dreamwidth, and the community I find there. Thanks.

AI movement

Monday, July 17th, 2017 09:53 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
AI teaches itself to walk, run, jump inside a physics simulation. Comes up with a flappy runny sometimes-sideways walking style. Looks inefficient to many self-appointed experts. Works well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn4nRCC9TwQ

I am feeling my robot side today. And angry that people have a problem with flappy arm running.

*zoom*

EDIT: Note to self: Write a proper video transcript/descript to share, darn it!
[syndicated profile] spacerobotcrew_feed




I hit the level cap in Borderlands 2 tonight!!!! I’m like weirdly proud of this I thought I was going to suck at this game when I started, we’ve never been good at games like this, but I tried it and got good and I’ve been having an amazing time playing this game with my friends and it’s been awesome.

Not done with stuff to do in it though now we’ve got to do all the OP levels. :D

-Jim

Done this month (20170702Su - 15Sa)

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 02:43 pm
mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Somehow I appear to have missed posting last week. We've moved. (Looking at the notes for last Sunday, I'm guessing that the reason I missed posting was sheer exhaustion -- that was a busy day, and I'd done more lifting than is good for me.)

We moved into the new house on Wednesday. The movers, from Two Men And a Truck, were fast and efficient - we were out of the apartment in an hour and a half. Highly recommended.

My new phone, on the other hand, is not highly recommended. It's a great phone, except that because it was factory unlocked it doesn't support HD Voice and, hence, WiFi Calling. That's bad, because the cell signal here is rather spotty. It could be worse, except that I actually have a signal in the house, albeit a weak one at times.

I spent hours on chat with AT&T's tech support, and hours in their store, and a little while in the T-Mobile store, trying to get the damned thing recognized by the network. No dice. Now it won't even work as a WiFi hotspot, which sucks. I'll have to swap it again. I hate phones. I hate phone companies. H8 H8 H8. (Basingstoke.)

We are mostly moved in, except that our beds are in the second pod, which isn't arriving until next week. Oops. So we're still on the sofabed, which is in the living room because we didn't want to try to deal with moving it out of the bedroom. It's not merely heavy, it's huge, and won't fit vertically through a doorway.

The house is going to take some getting used to. The kitchen is lovely and open, but doesn't have as much storage as we expected -- in particular, there's only one rather narrow set of drawers. So that will take some refactoring.

The biggest problem, though, is the cats. Ticia is no longer being aggressive toward Cricket, but she's curious. Cricket, however, is terrified, and just hides. That's going to take some work -- it's not the usual case where one cat is being aggressive, so the usual procedures for reintroducing cats don't really apply.

Other than that, though, I like it here. There are a few other assorted inconveniences, but the place itself is lovely -- calm and quiet.

Notes & links, as usual )

signal boost: kittans

Saturday, July 15th, 2017 04:17 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
The wonderful [personal profile] conuly has been attempting to feed, medicate, and shelter two semi-feral kittens, and has finally got them into a safe contained space. Anyone in the greater NYC area interested in two baby kitties who are a bit wild and shy but young enough to learn to love people?

Edited: If not, once they've been checked up and cleaned up and properly treated for eye troubles, they'll be moving on...to a shelter, a foster home, or TNR, depending on what's available and how their socialization goes.

http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/2556978.html
[syndicated profile] spacerobotcrew_feed


danbensen:

antler-doe:

Google’s DeepMind AI just taught itself to walk

He walked into my office like an evolutionary algorithm that had just taught itself to walk.

“Get out of here, you goofy bastard,” I told him.

[syndicated profile] dendriforming_feed

just-shower-thoughts:

If you’re one of those public speakers that say “Goodmorning….Oh come on we can do better than that, GOODMORNING” I automatically do not like you from that moment on.

nicknames and pronouns and rambling, oh my

Friday, July 14th, 2017 05:20 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
You can call me alatefeline.

More detailed rambling about name and pronouns and gender feels below. Read more... )

I was going to write about 3 sentences to try and update and streamline my sticky post. Ha. Ha. Ha. I love you, folks. If you’ve read this far you get a virtual cookie.

ETA: Also please feel free to comment here, or on another post/comment from me, or message me, whenever, regarding any identity/name/pronoun stuffs you want me to do differently/better for you!!!

deep breaths

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 02:13 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I have successfully made a Very Scary phone call. Yes. Read more... )

Fiction: Communication

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 10:23 am
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (Default)
[personal profile] meridian_rose posting in [community profile] lmdee


Title: Communication
Fandom: Original
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 653
Prompt: For the [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol prompt "Crossing all the T's"
Summary: Being an editor is a thankless but essential task.
Content Notes: No standard warnings apply.

Read more... )

Reading Wednesday

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 07:12 pm
slashmarks: (Leo)
[personal profile] slashmarks

What I've Read:

City of Oranges: an Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa – Adam LeBor. I actually read about two thirds of this a few months ago during Spring Break, then put it down until this week, so my memory of the first parts may not be perfect. But, this is basically a somewhat informal history of relations between Jewish and Arab residents of the city of Jaffa, and the city itself, from the last part of the Ottoman era into the twenty-first century when the book was published (I think in 2007, but I don't have it with me, so consider that an estimate). The author used a combination of letters, memoirs written in that time, public records, and interviews with current residents and members of (mostly Palestinian) families that came from Jaffa in that period and now live elsewhere.

This impressed me in part because it struck me as really evenly handed, in a way that's difficult to do dealing with subjects that cause a lot of conflict; LeBor talks willingly about the difficulties of Palestinian refugee families after 1948, and of Jewish refugees struggling to come to Palestine under British rule; about both the difficult emotional experiences of Palestinians who were able to come back to Jaffa and see their houses owned by other people or the Israeli state, and the experiences of Israelis moving into houses in Jaffa after themselves experiencing great loss elsewhere. It was interesting to see also the way the book exposes the lie that Jews and Arabs had always been enemies while still being willing to discuss pogroms and riots in British era Palestine, and confiscations and military police action against Arabs, etc, in Israel.

So, all in all I think this is a very good book, although as usual I don't agree with all of LeBor's conclusions.

CW: Following review involves discussion of infanticide and euthanasia.

Always Coming Home – Ursula Le Guin. This is what Le Guin describes as “archaeology of the future,” a very world building focused work set in northern California an unspecified hundreds or thousands of years in the future, among the matrilineal and matrilocal farming society of the Kesh.

I don't know what to say about this one. Much of it is fantastically kind, a novel set in everyday life in a way that's rare, and valuing the work and life of all of its people in a way that I have almost never seen before in fantasy; where the business of food, and weaving, and production of pottery and all kinds of things is more valuable than war; where people who want to engage in war and power games are socially disruptive and ultimately defeated without violence. It also is not anywhere as Luddite as much post apocalyptic literature is; the Kesh are not industrial, but they have small scale electricity based off of solar power, they have access to something similar to but not entirely like the internet, they have a lot of modern medicine.

I think it's that kindness that made the part where Le Guin felt the need to explain that the Kesh practice infanticide against infants with certain disabilities and euthanasia consensually* feel so cruel. It wasn't relevant to the narrative portions, it was just there, apparently because she felt it was something the reader needed to know. And combined with the moralistic slant I had already felt was irritating – the Kesh consider people of our time sick, and the idea of becoming like us horrifying; the Kesh have no concept for “accidentally” poisoning the earth and thus assume we must have done it because of that sickness; the Kesh solve things by discussion, not via hierarchy and violence (as opposed to the Condors or Dayao, another society in the book); she explicitly at one point floats the idea of the Kesh being Utopian – it came off to me as someone who I had liked and been impressed by kindly, gently explaining that the ideal society is one in which we don't go “too far” in allowing all disabled people to live, only the sufficiently useful ones.

So, I don't know what to say here. I loved most of the rest of the novel, I was prepared to recommend it entirely wholeheartedly as an example of fantastic worldbuilding and a vision of the future striking in its kindness and plausibility up until that point, despite its occasional annoying drifts into moralism and somewhat simplistic portrayal of the Dayao, who are the opposite of the Kesh in everything and irritatingly lacking in true nuance, for all she drops in a few suggestions that they aren't entirely miserable. But that page felt like being slapped in the face, like going to my inbox excited to receive a message and finding a message calling me the R word and telling me to kill myself. I don't know that I can recommend it, because of that.

*I thought about putting “consensual” in quotation marks, but decided it was better to have a note explaining why I consider even consensual euthanasia horrifying. The thing about euthanasia is that enabled, it carries the implications that disabled lives are worth less than others; other suicidal people receive attempts at help, no matter how destructive, while we are killed. And the existence of supposedly consensual euthanasia always carries murder with it; how free is a choice for medical care when medical care costs money? When medical care imposes difficulties on those around you? When you are perhaps isolated, only having contact with family members who resent you and having to care for you? And when it's considered acceptable to end a disabled life under some circumstances, how much easier is it to cover up murder of disabled lives by faking consent? These aren't hypothetical questions; you can already easily find news stories about people whose insurance covered euthanasia but not cancer treatment in Washington, and the nonconsensual murders of mentally ill patients in Belgium under the cover of “euthanasia.”

In the specific case of Kesh, it is explicit that shunning and social shame applied to people considered to have acted inappropriately is sufficient to drive some people to suicide, and that people are mostly dependent on their families for care when they aren't able to care for themselves, both of which only make the general problems worse.

What I'm Reading Now

Theoretically still Ninefox Gambit, but I haven't picked it up again since my last entry.

The Goblin and the Jinni – Helene Wecker. I love this so far – the atmosphere and the magic and the setting in New York City of the period, but also the way almost all of the characters are essentially well meaning, the wholeness of the communities Chava and Ahmad are adopted into. Will write more when I've read more.

Comment Note: I don't have the energy to defend my views on euthanasia right now. If you want to ask me questions about it, go ahead, but if you feel the need to defend legal euthanasia, you can do it on your own time in your own blog. I will delete any comments in violation of this policy and block their writers.

[syndicated profile] dendriforming_feed
“The man was busy with a notebook and pencil, and did not look at the bunyip.
“Sh,” he said, “I’m busy.”
The bunyip waited for a long time, and then he said, very slowly and clearly, “Can you please tell me what bunyips look like?”
“Yes,” said the man, without looking up. “Bunyips don’t look like anything.”
“Like nothing?” said the bunyip.
“Like nothing at all,” said the man.
“Are you sure?” said the bunyip.
“Quite sure,” said the man, and looked right through him.
“Bunyips simply don’t exist.””

-

The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek, Jenny Wagner

I had this book as a kid. I just got a copy again.

I appreciate it so much more as an adult. Being at conferences feels like this a lot.

"It's not just about wheelchair access"

Monday, July 10th, 2017 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

I think that in disability discourse, wheelchair users face some fairly unique pressure to pretend not to be disabled. At the same time, wheelchair users are treated as the ultimate symbol of disability. In combination, I think there is very little space in which wheelchair users are allowed to talk about their actual experiences and needs. (Even in disability rights space.)

To some extent, all disabled people face some version of this. The thing I think is somewhat unique to wheelchair users is pressure to be the model of successful accessibility. There’s a misconception that accessibility is basically a solved problem for wheelchair users, and that we need to expand that model to all disabled people. This goes alongside a related misconception that the purpose of accessibility is to make disability irrelevant.

Wheelchair users face intense pressure to enthusiastically pretend that wheelchairs and ramps erase disability. This goes alongside pressure to have exactly the kind of disability that fits the story that others want to tell. The story goes: “Wheelchair users can’t walk. Wheelchairs and lifts and ramps solve that problem. If we had ramps everywhere, wheelchair users wouldn’t be disabled anymore.” The reality is much more complicated.

People get very angry when wheelchair users contradict this story. Wheelchair users are often not allowed to have access needs that don’t fit the story — and they’re also not allowed to have *abilities* that don’t fit the story. This anger is so intense that it’s dangerous for wheelchair users to stand and walk in public places. People also get angry at wheelchair users when a ramp is too steep, when it’s blocked, or when they insist that the existence of a lift isn’t good enough, they need to have the key so that they can actually *use* it. There’s not much room in the wheelchair access success story for talking about these realities.

There’s also not very much room in this success story for talking about the realities of growing up with a mobility disability. Children still grow up manhandled by therapists and pressured to learn to walk at all costs. Children still go through repeated surgeries aimed at fixing them. Children still get taught to allow adults to hurt them and touch them in ways that would be regarded as abuse if they were typically developing. Children are still pervasively excluded from educational and recreation activities and expected to bear it with a smile. Ramps and wheelchairs didn’t fix that, and accessibility advocacy should not make those things unspeakable.

The success story has even less room for talking about pleasure. Harriet McBryde Johnson said it better than I could, so I’m going to quote her:

“We need to confront the life-killing stereotype that says we’re all about suffering. We need to bear witness to our pleasures. …

Throughout my life, the nondisabled world has told me my pleasures must be only mental, never physical. Thinking to help me, it has said my body is unimportant. I respectfully disagree. For me, the body—imperfect, impermanent, falling apart—is all there is. Through this body that needs the help of hands and machines to move, that is wired to sense and perceive, comes all pleasure, all life. My brain is only one among many body parts, all of which work through one another and cooperate as best they can.”

McBryde Johnson, Harriet. Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life (p. 255). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Treating wheelchair users as a symbol of disability successfully erased has the effect of silencing wheelchair users. I think that a lot of us have been complicit in this silencing, and that we need to address this in disability culture. Partly for the sake of better solidarity with wheelchair users; partly because the silencing is hurting all of us.

I think that all disabled people face pressure to see ourselves as characters in a story about accessibility. Sometimes we’re expected to write the story. Sometimes we’re seen as characters in a story someone else is writing. Sometimes we’re supposed to believe that the story has already been written, and that all we have to do is get people to read the book.

I think that wheelchair users face particularly intense pressure to pretend that the story has already been written and has a satisfying ending. That’s not something any of us should envy. It’s not privilege. It’s silencing. And I think we need a lot less silence and a lot more solidarity. It doesn’t have to be this way, and it isn’t always this way. When we have space for honesty about the realities of disability, our communities are a lot stronger.

Wheelchair users are not a collective accessibility success story. Wheelchair users are people. None of us are stories. We’re all people. No amount of accessibility is going to make our bodies and brains irrelevant. Disability rights advocacy shouldn’t be about erasing difference. The point is not sameness; it’s equality. Accessibility is about building a world that treats us all as fully human, differences and all.

PSA

Sunday, July 9th, 2017 09:19 pm
[syndicated profile] spacerobotcrew_feed

soilrockslove:

spacerobotcrew:

soilrockslove:

soilrockslove:

you-suck-ulents:

botanyshitposts:

-theres a succulent species called Conophytum burgeri

-it looks like a lump

-when it flowers it looks like this:

-its native to south africa and is endangered 

-you can read more about it in a book called Dumpling and his wife (??????)

-that is all

This should be a Pokémon

image

Konijiphyta / Spectrulent / The Rainbow-Making Plant Pokemon

Typical forme (above) - Grass/Water

Blossoming forme (below) - Grass/Psychic

Konijiphyta live in dry and rocky deserts in remote areas of the world.  In their typical form they can be hard to tell apart from the quartz pebbles they live among - until the light hits them!  Then they scatter rainbows all around them!

Because of the water they have stored within them to adapt to desert conditions, their body acts like a raindrop - breaking the light into all of it’s colors.  The eyes on their surface are actually remnants of an older time and not able to see anymore - they always keep them closed.  Their true eyes are deep in their bodies and can analyze the various spectra that come to them - which allows them to tell how much moisture is in the air and what kind of gems are in the rocks around them.  Sometimes they can even predict how soon rain will come!

If they want to move (which is rarely) they can pull their roots into themselves and roll like a ball.

When it is exposed to any sort of nectar - it thinks there might be other flowers around and enters it’s blossoming form!  In this form it changes it’s type and puts out a large flower.  The colors of the flower are taken from the colors it has seen so far in it’s life.  Those who smell the honey-like scent of the flower can get glimpses of the rainbows it’s eyes have seen recently and understand what they mean.

When in it’s blossoming form, the Konijiphyta is no longer able to roll freely, so it turns two of it’s roots into small legs.  These cannot necessarily move far, but can be quite fast in short distances.

Most of them live elsewhere, but there are some that live on the Alolan Islands on bare slopes of volcanoes or in rocky patches!

(Ability: Water Absorb or Heatproof  Hidden Ability: Flower Gift)

Came up with some possible moves learned by leveling up below the readmore…

Keep reading

@spacerobotcrew !

(any ideas what egg group(s) these little guys would be in, btw?)

OMG we want one on our team!!!

Maybe it could be in the Grass and Amorphous egg groups?

For @spacerobotcrew ‘s ghost team!

Konijiphyta - Ghost forme!

Grass/Ghost

In certain special circumstances, when a Konijiphyta grows for a while in a graveyard or similar location - the ghost form can occur!  When they bloom, the psychic communication can allow them to form a symbiotic bond with a ghost or spirit they have been in contact with.  The ghost comes to live with them and the Konijiphyta’s psychic abilities allow them better communication with the rest of the world.  In return the ghost can share energy and memories with the Konijiphyta!

(If Konijiphyta is in ghost form when it reaches level 42, it may learn Destiny Bond in place of Psycho Shift, and if it is in ghost form when it reaches level 55 it may learn Night Shade in place of Future Sight.)

walkies

Sunday, July 9th, 2017 08:25 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
today walked to laurelhurst park, yesterday late to mt tabor

Afternoon:

Sunlight.

Flowers. Many flowers—

Pond. Ripples. Reflected trees. Duck.

Stop to rest—

Leathery shiny magnolia leaves. Cottonwood fluff. Buckshorn plantain stems to weave.

Evening:

Lavender scent and sticky resin. Globe alium in bud, bouncy texture like a kooshball covered in beads. Rhythmic tapping of running hand along a wrought iron fence.

Sunset at the reservoir. Purple fading clouds. Wind in tall grass and clover and weeds. Gray gritty graveled path. Pink-purple-gray reflection on the reservoir water still, and the greeny darkness of pine trees on the ridge. A cool breeze on a warm day; the open air in a high place.

PSA

Sunday, July 9th, 2017 05:38 pm
[syndicated profile] spacerobotcrew_feed

soilrockslove:

soilrockslove:

you-suck-ulents:

botanyshitposts:

-theres a succulent species called Conophytum burgeri

-it looks like a lump

-when it flowers it looks like this:

-its native to south africa and is endangered 

-you can read more about it in a book called Dumpling and his wife (??????)

-that is all

This should be a Pokémon

image

Konijiphyta / Spectrulent / The Rainbow-Making Plant Pokemon

Typical forme (above) - Grass/Water

Blossoming forme (below) - Grass/Psychic

Konijiphyta live in dry and rocky deserts in remote areas of the world.  In their typical form they can be hard to tell apart from the quartz pebbles they live among - until the light hits them!  Then they scatter rainbows all around them!

Because of the water they have stored within them to adapt to desert conditions, their body acts like a raindrop - breaking the light into all of it’s colors.  The eyes on their surface are actually remnants of an older time and not able to see anymore - they always keep them closed.  Their true eyes are deep in their bodies and can analyze the various spectra that come to them - which allows them to tell how much moisture is in the air and what kind of gems are in the rocks around them.  Sometimes they can even predict how soon rain will come!

If they want to move (which is rarely) they can pull their roots into themselves and roll like a ball.

When it is exposed to any sort of nectar - it thinks there might be other flowers around and enters it’s blossoming form!  In this form it changes it’s type and puts out a large flower.  The colors of the flower are taken from the colors it has seen so far in it’s life.  Those who smell the honey-like scent of the flower can get glimpses of the rainbows it’s eyes have seen recently and understand what they mean.

When in it’s blossoming form, the Konijiphyta is no longer able to roll freely, so it turns two of it’s roots into small legs.  These cannot necessarily move far, but can be quite fast in short distances.

Most of them live elsewhere, but there are some that live on the Alolan Islands on bare slopes of volcanoes or in rocky patches!

(Ability: Water Absorb or Heatproof  Hidden Ability: Flower Gift)

Came up with some possible moves learned by leveling up below the readmore…

Keep reading

@spacerobotcrew !

(any ideas what egg group(s) these little guys would be in, btw?)

OMG we want one on our team!!!

Maybe it could be in the Grass and Amorphous egg groups?

[syndicated profile] spacerobotcrew_feed

theofficialoctogod:

mandaocity:

jinxii-infinity:

jinxii-infinity:

I may hate FPSs but Borderlands is a good fucking game and I will defend the whole goddamn franchise to my grave

Like…I don’t think you understand how much I love Borderlands. I may not post about it a lot, but those games are honestly some of the best, if not the best, games on the market today.

It has a shocking amount of diversity for its genre:

(The player characters for BDL1 including a black man, a woman, and a latino man.)

(The player characters for BDL2 including a bisexual man (which is shown in canon, not just confirmed by the devs), an asexual woman (who is also confirmed to be the leader), another latino man, a nonbinary person, a disabled girl genius, and Krieg.)

(The player characters for The Pre-Sequel including a disabled man, a robot, a lesbian woman (who ends up in a relationship with another woman by the end of the game), an older black woman, a millennial, and an Indian woman.)

(And I’m also including Ellie in here because she’s a fat woman who is confident in herself and isn’t made into a joke and you get to kill a bunch of people who try to make fun of her)

…and doesn’t fall into the trap of being “gritty” and “realistic” by making a bleak, beige landscape. While the world of Pandora is a hellhole, it looks honestly awesome. 

It’s colorful and vibrant, with amazing characters and it’s hilarious, but doesn’t shy away from darker moments. (Spoilers in links) 

It’s a masterpiece of gaming and everything a game could and should be.

I love everything about this post. Most of all I love Tim being described as ‘a millenial’.

“and Krieg.”

Laughing really hard at “and Krieg”.

(IMHO Krieg is a multiple system, and a weirdly refreshing take on the whole “multiple = axe murderer” thing? Like, it’s not exactly a subversion of the stereotype, but they are oddly likeable and heroic. We <3 Krieg. Also one of our friends is a really skilled Krieg player so to us Krieg = the one who is constantly saving our ass from getting murdered by everything. :P)

linkylinks: sunlight on water

Friday, July 7th, 2017 08:51 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
One of many things I like to look at are sunlit water ripples whether reflected off a lake/ocean/etc, refracted onto the bottom of a pool, or seen from underneath.

Here are some videos.

Sunlit Water Ripples
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yEoejzWU6w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl0EPV5zfDo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saMpFj6M5KE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMHZ0DQRtD0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fNfGgGMIps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgNDtCbkXmQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9-R-e03x_g

Ideas for audio or tactile-art or text-based equivalents for spangly ripples?

(So far I have thought of: the kind of fruit-based sorbet that is soft with crunchy frozen bits of fruit; the bubbles in ginger ale; the feeling of a vibrating massager on hands/fingertips or another sensitive but not private body part; the smell of fresh oranges; the sound of chimes.)

grrawarrowwrr

Friday, July 7th, 2017 08:39 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Complaining catperson complaining about things that could be worse, feel free to skip.

...

...

...

Body weirdness, brain weirdness, food issues, stress. Read more... )

(No thank you for 'have you tried this' type advice; sympathy welcome.)

I am going to hydrate with lots lots water and put Moana on (if I can figure out Netflix) and/or maybe soothing music, and set and alarm for tomorrow morning, and NOT do chores that require leaving my apartment for more than 5-minutes-ish. Because seriously f**k this.
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

Disabled presenters tend to face really intense ableism. One way this plays out is that audiences laugh at us when we talk about serious things.

This happens particularly frequently when:

  • Nondisabled professionals or our parents are also on the panel, or presenting right before or after us.
  • The audience is primarily parents of disabled children/adults.
  • The audience is primarily professionals who work with people with intellectual disabilities.
  • We talk about a desire to be taken seriously.
  • We discuss our objections to being treated like children.
  • We describe being proud of a personal accomplishment.
  • We describe being treated inappropriately by a professional.
  • We describe how we felt as disabled children.

When audiences do this, it’s not nice laughter. It’s a way of asserting power. That laughter means “I don’t have to take you seriously”.

As a disabled presenter, it’s often possible to insist on respect. It’s easier said than done. It gets easier with practice, but the practice often hurts. Here are some things I’ve found helpful:

It can help to remind yourself that you know what you’re talking about, and the things you’re saying are important:

  • You’re presenting because you know what you’re talking about.
  • People should take your expertise seriously. When you talk about the things you know, they shouldn’t laugh at you.
  • Your accomplishments are not a joke. People should not laugh or be condescending about them.
  • People who treat you like a baby are doing something wrong. Your desire to be treated in an age-appropriate way is not a joke. People shouldn’t laugh at you for talking about it.

When an audience laughs at you, it can help to make it uncomfortable for them:

  • Don’t smile, and don’t laugh yourself.
  • Wait for the audience to stop laughing. 
  • Wait a second before going on to make it feel awkward. 
  • One option: Ask the audience “Why is that funny?” then continue.
  • Another option: Repeat what you said before people started laughing.

Try to avoid nervous laughter and nervous smiles:

  • It’s taboo for disabled people to talk about disability.
  • Talking about taboo topics can be embarrassing.
  • When we’re talking about embarrassing things, it can be natural to smile or laugh nervously.
  • If you seem embarrassed, the audience is more likely to feel like the topic is embarrassing and laugh to get rid of the embarrassment.
  • If you laugh, the audience is more likely to feel like it’s ok for them to laugh.

Making jokes on purpose:

  • Making jokes can be a way to control what people are laughing about.
  • This can be easier than getting them to not laugh in the first place. 
  • In these contexts, it can be better to avoid self-deprecating humor. 
  • It’s usually better to make jokes about ableism.
  • (This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule though, do what works for you.)

For instance, say you’re giving a talk about educational discrimination:

  • This is self-deprecating: 
  • “I was this ridiculous little kid in third grade. I was so enthusiastic, but I couldn’t even read. I’d hold up the books and pretend. My imaginary friend may have stolen the cookies, but she sure didn’t read for me.”
  • This is making fun of ableism:
  • “My teachers kept assigning me worksheets that I couldn’t do. They kept making me read in front of the class, even though I could never do it. They kept telling me to just do it. And they say we’re the ones who lack empathy and theory of mind.”

Don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong:

  • Presenters/panelists with disabilities face intense ableism.
  • It’s going to hurt sometimes.
  • The problem isn’t that your skin is too thin; the problem is that people are hurting you.
  • A thick skin is still worth developing.
  • If an audience laughs at you, it’s their fault, not yours. They shouldn’t act like that.
  • It’s messed up that we have to develop skills at deflecting ableism and insisting on respect. 
  • It’s also worth knowing that these skills exist and can be learned.
  • It gets much easier with practice, but no one succeeds all the time.
  • When a talk goes bad, don’t beat yourself up, and don’t blame yourself for the audience’s ableism.
  • You’re ok, they’re ableist, and the things you have to say are still valuable when they’re not valued.

These are some of the methods I’ve used to deal with audience ableism. There are others. What are yours?

Tl;dr Disabled presenters face a lot of intense ableism. In particular, audiences often laugh at us. Scroll up for some methods for insisting on respect.

staying positive

Friday, July 7th, 2017 08:48 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Getting chores done.

Pleasant interactions with S in the evening, and getting to bed on time.

Smells of berries and apples.

The opportunity to take a shower.

Feeling okay at a range of temperatures.

(I'm annoyed at Things and ouchy and tired but I'm not going to let that stop me.)

Oh, and S made coffee yay!

Fic: A Wonderful Gift

Friday, July 7th, 2017 10:33 am
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (Default)
[personal profile] meridian_rose posting in [community profile] lmdee


A newcomer wishes to woo Ameris and join her pack

Read more... )

good habits

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 04:09 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Catalpa trees are blooming. They are huge green trees with huge green leaves and they get these enormous spikes of white flowers that aren't small y any means, and they smell sweet.

On my walk today I stopped by an archway in a fence entirely covered in masses of star jasmine. One of my favorite flower smells.

It's sunny, thank goodness.

I have cashews and berries to eat.

A neighbor was helpful to me, even though I've hardly ever spoken to him.

Crows are talkative and reasonable feathered folk, and their glossy black feathers are very beautiful.
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

A challenge to disability professionals and disabled presenters at conferences and panels: Please find a way to respond to the routine contempt that presenters with disabilities are treated with.

I’ve gone to a fair number of disability-related conferences in the past few years. At nearly every conference, I saw an audience laugh at a presenter/panelist with a developmental disability. This happened particularly often to presenters with intellectual disabilities, but I also saw it happen to autistic presenters and presenters with speech disabilities. 

This isn’t a matter of random jerk encounters; it’s a major cultural problem. Even disability professionals who pride themselves on inclusivity and respect tend to behave this way.

This isn’t nice laughter. It’s not a response to something funny. It’s a response to presenters talking about what they’re proud of, what they’re good at, or talking about wanting control over their own lives. People also laugh similarly when parents and siblings talking about their disabled relative wanting autonomy or objecting to being treated like a little child. This happens all the time, and it needs to stop.

If you’re moderating a panel and the audience laughs at a panelist, here’s one method for shutting this down:

Be proactive about taking the panelist seriously:

  • Don’t look at the audience while they’re laughing, and *especially* don’t laugh or smile yourself.
  • Wait for the audience to stop laughing.
  • Pause briefly before going on. This will make the laughter feel awkward.
  • Ask the panelist a question that makes it clear that you respect what they’re saying.
  • You can explicitly ask “Did you mean that seriously?”
  • You can also be a bit less direct, and say something like “That sounds important. Can you say more?”
  • You can also ask a follow-up question about the specific thing they were saying. 

I think that we all need to be proactive about changing this culture. (Including disabled presenters who get laughed at; we need to insist on being taken seriously. More on that in another post).

There are more ways to shut down disrespectful laughter and insist on respectful interactions than I know about. What are yours?

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Sage Drăculea

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