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By TheophileEscargot (Sat Jan 07, 2017 at 02:58:37 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Night Waking", "Blood of Elves". Links.

What I'm Reading
Night Waking by Sarah Moss. An academic living with her family on a remote Scottish island struggles to cope with completing her book while looking after two demanding children. Been meaning to read this for a while: it's got good reviews and I liked another by the same author. Thought it might be too depressingly like real life, but the dark humour and sharp observation see it through. "Giles washed up as if he were starring in a film about a dad doing housework". I don't think I've read anything else that captures the endless grinding repetition of childcare, and the nauseating obliviousness of those around who don't understand the amount of work.

There's a lot of carefully crafted ambiguity though. The protagonists childcare falls just at the edge of acceptability, and there are hints at the protagonist amplifying her own problems.

There's a subplot about letters from the same island in the 19th century, which is moderately interesting. The past/present thing seems to be common theme in fiction aimed at women, at least at least judging by the Amazon Daily Deal.

Overall, a very good book that's brilliantly horrific if you've done serious hands-on parenting.

What I'm Reading 2
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. First novel in the "Witcher" fantasy series, though I think there was a book of short stories beforehand. Feel I got a bit suckered by hype that it was highly original fantasy with distinct East European influences. It's not bad for what it is, but the world seems a very standard post-Tolkien one of humans, dwarfs, elves and "halflings". It has some fairly contemporary politics, but it's not as gritty as Joe Abercrombie or as complex as George R.R. Martin.

Not sure if later volumes will break out of the mould a bit, but on the basis of this it's decent but fairly standard fantasy, more in the vein of David Eddings or Raymond E. Feist than anything new. Entertaining enough.

Socioeconomics. We can't go on pretending that poverty is solved by getting a job.

Random. If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Write Women. Livestock facts tweetstorm. London prostitute names 1660. Overthinking Thomas the Tank Engine.

Pics. Men of the Depression, 1939. Still photos made to look like computer graphics. Ancient mosaics.

Sci/Tech. Where do the rejected papers go? Alexa: Amazon’s Operating System.

Articles. Meltdown of the Phantom Snowflakes. The real name fallacy.

Politics. Jean-Claude Juncker blocked EU curbs on tax avoidance. Fabians on Labour's electoral problems, pre-Corybn. Ignore the problems immigration causes for workers and you end up with ugly solutions, via.

< Bonus Christmas #1 | To The Emperor! >
Butter and Eggs | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
I found Dyer's reply to Matias much more cogent by lm (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Jan 07, 2017 at 10:20:03 AM EST
Kudos to Matias for linking to it:

I do think that Matias has some good points but I think he also glosses over some important elements of online communities. Facebook, for example, would never have grown to its current size without its real name policy. But the social context of Facebook is much different than the social context of the comments section on the Washington Post which in turn is much different from the social context on reddit. And even just on reddit, the social context varies bigly across different subreddits.

I also think that some of the issues that Matias raises (e.g. admissions officers looking at Facebook profiles of college applicants) are less about anonymity  (or pseudonymity) and more about education about privacy controls for users and policy about what can and should be considered for things like college admissions.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Witcher series by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Jan 07, 2017 at 01:22:42 PM EST
I've never read them, only played the third game based on them.  The game is incredibly well written, and I've long wondered if that was due to the base material or just the writers at the game company.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Butter and Eggs by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Jan 09, 2017 at 08:15:42 AM EST
Suggesting neighbourly familiarity or decadent luxury, I wonder? The other names stretch across the spectrum ..

Iambic Web Certified

Butter and Eggs | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)