The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. Frequently recommended book about how to identify and handle stalkers , predators, assassins and other nutters. Starts off with by stating strongly that you should trust your instincts: it's very common to feel a sense of unease but write it off as unnatural. De Becker is initially very disparaging of checklists to identify risk, though after hitting you with a sufficient number of anecdotes about instinct he feels free to start wheeling them out.
Worthwhile for all the little details. He thinks assassins should be less glamourised by the media: he points out that "Lee Harvey Oswald" only ever called himself "Lee Oswald" but that the media likes to give such people three names to make them sound impressive.
He thinks that it's best to fire someone at the end of the day, on Friday if possible, so they can just go home in their normal routine, rather than hanging around stewing with nothing to do, and getting angrier and angrier.
He thinks restraining orders are only effective against the least committed of stalkers, regarding them as a kind of homework assignment police like to put women through. He doesn't think unofficial police warnings are useful, as they embolden men who realise the police can't do anything at that stage: he says the first time a harasser should see police is when they show up to arrest him. He also saysif a woman gets a male friend to reject a stalker it's usually creatively misinterpreted as "she must have mixed feelings or she's reject me herself". The best option is apparently to say no firmly and end contact. "'No' should never be negotiated.
Overall, I found quite interesting just for information, though I don't tend to fire people or get stalked or sexually harassed. Might be as essential as they say for the less fortunate.
What I'm Reading 2
Bloodline by Claudia Gray. Star Wars novel set in the new continuity. Leia Organa, now a senator in the dysfunctional and bureaucratic senate of the New Republic, investigates a crime syndicate with political links.
I've seen it recommended a few times so I picked it up. It does fill in some backstory of how the First Order / Rebellion / New Republic setup of The Force Awakes came into being. The quality ranges from workmanlike to downright clunky as when a fast army is instantly and conveniently destroyed. Had mixed feelings about the character of Leia: on the one hand she's given a bit more depth like her feelings about the destruction of Alderaan. On the other hand she seems to often act out of character for plot convenience: doesn't seem likely a career politician and diplomat in her late forties would lose her temper quite so much.
Overall, even though it's light reading I kept wanting it to be over already. It's not terrible but not terribly gripping either.
Had a stressful few weeks at work. Had to drop everything to help out with a live issue, then one week trying to get a maintenance release dev-complete, then the next week same with a major release. Had to do a bit of extra work in morning and evenings. Made it without our team delaying stuff this time. Still have to see what comes out of the regression testing: we've made some deep changes so there's the potential for nasty bugs which we'll need to fix. Looking forward to hopefully having a bit less pressure for a bit.
Socioeconomics. American Airlines gave its workers a raise. Wall Street freaked out. The demand for bastards.
Politics. Inside Corbyn’s Office. Why Did So Many Cheer Turkey's Democracy While It Was Dying? Where will Europe's mega-election year 2017 leave the Left? America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People. Think tanks represent a blind spot for critical analysis.
Articles. The unsung women of Star Wars. Kathryn Schulz on Robert Frost. Falling Down 25 years on. 'Hundreds of us will die in Raqqa’: the women fighting Isis. Duke Nukem’s Dystopian Fantasies. The 3 Keys to Balancing Safety and Risk in Raising Your Kids.
Random. Maths limericks.
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