ultranos: rastler has no victory parade, holding his sword before an army (i could have been king)
I am pretty close to drunk at this point, but whatever, it's kind of a "holy fuck, the boys and girls in blue got the asshole alive" and "fuck yeah, we're alive!" night.

So, because I'm drunk right now, I'm going to run my mouth on Unpopular Liberal Opinions right now.

Hi, yes, I spend most of my day indoors, unable to go to work based on the MBTA shutdown, the MIT advisory against staff coming in, and the stay-in-place advisory for Cambridge. After getting dinner/drinks with some people displeased with that, I respectfully tell them to stuff it. Yeah, okay, the militarization of police is a concern. The fact that there were MPs at T stations this week: also concerning! But guys, maybe it's just me, but as an MIT alum, I wanted the goddamn asshole taken alive. I was quite happy to comply with police and the state government asking me to stay indoors, even though North Cambridge is at least 3 miles from where things were happening in Watertown.

They killed one of ours. And sure, call me an asshole or whatever because I only got this worked up after the MIT officer was killed instead of thousands of other human beings every day. I don't care. Officer Sean Collier was one of ours. And he died to keep my campus safe. I don't know if people realize that the MIT Police are actual cops. And they're actual cops who will and do go to bat for students against the Cambridge PD, saying that some things are an internal issue and will be handled by the Disciplinary committee. Or that the CPs are honest-to-god more concerned about student safety above all. I've dealt with them before, and even when we complained about it, some of the best people we could have looking out for us.

And if staying indoors would help police and government agencies catch Sean Collier's killers, than I was more than happy to comply. Even beyond "oh shit, there's people with no compunction against hurting hundreds with guns and explosives running around". Yeah, even where I was, I heard the grenades and explosive ordinance these assholes were throwing around.

These people, as a whole, give so goddamn much to keep us safe. And yeah, they fuck up sometimes, and we call them on it. But we don't say "thank you" enough. They do so much for us, but we only recognize them for their failures. We don't tell them "thank you" enough for the times they succeed.

And I don't give a shit if you say that "only 4" people were killed in this shit that went down this week in Boston by these two, and that maybe I should pay attention to the rest of the world. A comment on Twitter I saw today sums it up: "Homeboy killed an MIT cop, now being hunted by machines built at irobot by MIT-trained engineers."

Officer Sean Collier was one of ours, and he died keeping my multi-national community safe. Martin Richards was 8 years old. Krystle Campbell lived in the next city over, which in Boston terms, is probably about 10 minutes away by car. Lu Lingzi died so far away from home, coming to our shores to make the best of herself.

And tonight, I drank to the dead, and I drank to the living. And when the entire bar busted out singing along to "Sweet Caroline", we were singing and drinking to the city as well.
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ultranos: vgcats frame of halo guy saying "i'm going to stab you now...with bullets" (i'm going to stab you with bullets)
I haven't mentioned this here before, but if you know me in real life, chances are that you know that I have a huge professional-type fangirl crush on reporter Mac McClelland. This sort of started when I read her harrowing account of Haiti's reconstruction crisis and metastasized after reading her book on the on-going civil war in Burma, For Us, Surrender is Out of the Question. And I've kind of been a lost cause ever since.

It's gotten to the point where friends send me links as if I haven't already found them, and I've started indoctrinating them. (Mwah hah hah)

In any case, I was kind of wonder where the hell MoJo sent her this time, since updates got sporadic. The answer was apparently working for minimum wage for an investigative report on warehouse conditions in the US for online shipping retailers: I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave.

Holy shit, but this is soul-crushing and rage-inducing. This is horrifying. And you have no idea the level of guilt that crept into my being when I got the email from Amazon regarding something I pre-ordered months ago shipping a few hours after reading this article yesterday. This is not okay. It is not okay to treat people like this, and if I have to pay more for paying for the convenience of online shopping so people are not treated as disposable, I will. Because I'm not sure boycotting would work, even though it's my first instinct, because it's likely to backfire and just hurt the workers more. Because the response corporations will have to less demand isn't "make conditions better" but "have less workers", which means people can't put food on the table.

No, this is the very reason labor unions are supposed to exist. And yeah, I'm a union kid. I'm biased and I'll own that. But read McClelland's article and tell me that is acceptable.
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ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory (white-haired girl) sleeping (head down go to sleep)
-I blame friends of mine for getting me utterly addicted to Longform.org. What is Longform?

"Longform.org posts new and classic non-fiction articles, curated from across the web, that are too long and too interesting to be read on a web browser.

We recommend enjoying them using read later services like Instapaper and Read It Later and feature buttons to save articles with one click."


You know, like Jack Kerourac on Fiction, or a profile of Buster Keaton, or Wikipedia and the Death of the Expert.

That sound you heard rushing by? My free time. I knew I should have only stuck with Ars Technica.

-Speaking of Longform.org, it and Metafilter pretty much destroyed my lunch hour with the harrowing and rage-inducing article on Vanity Fair: Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door. It's well-written, and hearing the stories of women and girls in this hell broke my heart.

-Why You Hate Comic Sans, because at some point I apparently started caring about typography, and this is an accessible explanation on what drives typography geeks nuts about Comic Sans.

-Persona 2: Innocent Sin is coming to North America, 12 years after it came out in Japan. It's a port of the PSP remake, but it's the only Persona game that's not come to NA officially until now. Between that, Catherine (much to my embarrassment), and Devil Survivor 2 (seriously, some of the art coming out for that is great), Atlus has perfected the art of separating me from my money.
ultranos: figure walking into the foggy future (keep walking)
After a fairly productive GM meeting that ate my entire evening, I come to Metafilter and see this: A Half-Century of Rights, Gone

And suddenly, my shoulders feel so much heavier. I want to rage and howl at the bastards who are trying to destroy those whom I hold dear. Even now, 6 years and 1600 miles away, those asshole Republicans still manage to hurt me.

I suddenly feel the urge to cry.

I need to call my parents tomorrow.
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ultranos: kino and hermes on a coffee break (i need a coffee break)
I spent a good amount of time the last few days (since about Wednesday night) explaining to friends the context for what's happening in Wisconsin right now. See, my mom's a public school teacher and my dad's an administrator for the same district (MPS), and the net result is that after living 18 years under the same roof, I know far more about the intricacies of operating an urban public school district and the politics involved in contracts than I have any right to. (Because I'm an engineer, not an economist.) Not only that, but when I called my dad yesterday after I found out that MPS closed due to teacher absences, he told me that it was the teachers from my high school who were spearheading the MPS contingent at Madison.

So it's rather unsurprising where my loyalties on this issue lie.

The Metafilter thread I linked is long and winding, and has a lot of information coming out as it happened (and possibly things that were later proven false). I stopped reading it after about 200 comments because I was fielding questions of my own for people, and it wasn't giving me much information I didn't already know.

Salon has some decent context for some things:

Historical context for labor vs. the state
A summary of the actual realities of Wisconsin politics (this is something I've had to explain many, many times. There's a big divide in the political leanings of people in the cities [Madison and Milwaukee, namely] and everyone else.)

I am deeply worried about the situation, because it does directly impact my family. My parents both have a few years before retirement, and right now, their current livelihood and future pensions are on the line. Because right now, it's for state workers, but everyone knows that city workers are next under the axe.

(Probably doesn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyway: I will field questions/comments to the best of my ability on this.)
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ultranos: greyscale photo of laptop and coffee mug filled with some beverage (coffee and data)
[livejournal.com profile] beanpot asked for an expansion of a discussion I had with her today about the gaming industry, women, violence, and ethics. As this is a topic near and dear to my heart, as well as somewhat close to an essay I've been meaning to write for approximately forever, you are about to witness a very lengthy essay on the topic. Look what happens when I don't have homework.

Into the Looking Glass: Games, Women, Violence, and Society )
ultranos: vgcats frame of halo guy saying "i'm going to stab you now...with bullets" (i'm going to stab you with bullets)
I'm watching the latest from RaceFail 2009, and I'm agreeing with [livejournal.com profile] abyssinia4077 on it needing to be renamed HumanityFail 2009. (The ever-amazing [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong has the links. Here's the SparkNotes version.)

Now, I thought it'd died down to a quiet simmer and went to focus on other things (aka "omglabs"). But the events of this past week have drawn be back in, and, quiet honestly, are pissing me off. And I managed to pin down exactly what made me see red: actions that are flagrantly against my moral and ethical code of behavior online.

I don't think I'm coming from beyond left field over here. )

ETA: Edited to fix broken lj-user tag. My inability to type bodes poorly for the paper I have to write.
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ultranos: figure walking into the foggy future (keep walking)
(I don't know if I want this posted publicly, because I'm still not sure if this sounds like whining. But I need to get this off my chest. Help?)

ETA: After being assured that, hey, you're allowed to have your own perspective, I'm going to unlock this. Here's to hoping I don't regret this. Also, fixing spelling errors.

I saw [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong's link roundups of the current race discussion (here and here) and have been reading through them. Actually, let me be a little more honest: I first had to gather up my courage and then read them. Because I always get profoundly uncomfortable during race discussions.

And I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] abyssinia4077 last night about it and was finally able to articulate why I'm uncomfortable and confused. It's not that I want to make it "all about me" or my interactions and perspectives. Actually, it's, I'm sort of ashamed to say, the opposite:

It's never about me. )
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
I've kept my mouth shut about the American election all cycle. All I want to say is if you're American and of age, go vote. I don't care if you vote for Obama, McCain, or the Goddamn Batman. Because I think you're all intelligent people and have your reasons for voting the way you do.

Because no matter what happens, tomorrow's a brave new world. And we're all going to have to live with each other.

(As for me, well, I'm a female, mixed, liberal, secular, feminist scientist who lives in Massachusetts. :) Interpret that as you will.)
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] beanpot and [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong and [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic:

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.

Here's one I do NOT agree with at all. I'd always been a bit fascinated by World War II, but this decision troubled me on a really deep level: Korematsu v. United States

In a time when the very people we were fighting were rounding up people based on their race, the United States did the same damn thing back home, interning those of Japanese-descent on the west coast into camps. (Executive order 9066)

The Supreme Court ruled that the executive order was constitutional and that the threat of espionage outweighed the individual rights of Fred Korematsu and other Japanese-Americans. The majority opinion also stated that such action by the government was not racist. Korematsu himself was convicted for evading the internment, and the decision has never been explicitly overturned.
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ultranos: teyla with "are you serious?" look. text: "someone seems to have forgotten that kneecaps are a privilege. NOT A RIGHT." (teyla calls shennanigans)
So, I've been seeing the International Blog Against Racism Week show up on my flist. And it got me thinking. A lot. And I've never really talked about this before, I think it needs to. Because I'm seeing the intersection of various -isms in my life, and they're not the good -isms. And I've been meaning to write an essay about growing up a gamer geek in the Midwestern USA, but as I thought about it, that's just a fraction of all of this. So even though I don't have an icon for IBARW, we're doing this anyway.

So I'm going to tell you a story )
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ultranos: teyla with "are you serious?" look. text: "someone seems to have forgotten that kneecaps are a privilege. NOT A RIGHT." (kneecapping)
I was thinking of writing the essay about being a female, identifying as a gamer, and growing up as that in the midwestern US. Because that still needs to be written.

Instead, I'm going to get in touch with my inner 17-year-old and talk politics.

You see, back when I was in high school, I was highly political and just this side of anarchist. I ranted and was full of loathing for the current administration. Nowadays, that has gone down to a deep dislike, mostly because it's really hard to rage against The Man and The Machine when The Man is signing your paychecks. (And is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future)

Except in this case.

A lot of links to more about FISA than you probably know. )
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Profile

ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
ultranos

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)


Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)


Currently Reading:

Manga
-[null]

Fiction
-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

Nonfiction
-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


------------------

"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."

--------

"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."

--------

"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"

--------

"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"

--------

"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."

--------

"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."

--------

"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"

--------

"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

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