Grr. Argh.

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:02 pm
settiai: (Gus/Shawn -- sporkyadrasteia)
[personal profile] settiai
I would like to state, for the record, that I seriously hate having finances that are in a state where all it takes is one unexpected larger expense to send me panicking. :-/

So, yes, it's looking like my tentative plans to make it to PAX Unplugged are crashing and burning at the moment. And there's a very good chance that I'm not going to have enough money to cover some bills that will be popping up in the next 2-3 weeks, which means I'm probably going to be going through my belongings and putting up another virtual garage sale post in the next few days.

Mainly because the universe fucking hates me right now. Apparently, at least.

It's been awhile since I posted it, so here's my Ko-fi page if anyone has an extra couple of dollars to spare. If anyone makes a donation, I'd be glad to try to write you a short fic in a fandom that I know. And, like I said before, I'll probably be posting a bunch of books and DVDs (and probably some other stuff as well) for sale in the next few days if anyone's interested in such things.

It was a camel!

Aug. 20th, 2017 01:14 pm
rachelmanija: (It was a monkey!)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
This clip from CNN is well worth listening to.

It encapsulates both the jaw-dropping awfulness and bizarreness of the Orange Supremacist era, and the extent to which the mainstream media has gotten so appalled that they're dropping their usual false equivalency. I mean the old "both sides have a point," which works when both sides DO have a point, but does not when you're talking about Nazis vs. anti-Nazis or Cheetolini vs. human beings with empathy. Also, it made me laugh.

Yesterday post-rally [personal profile] hederahelix and I were discussing this.

"It's just so surreal," she said. "Hey... Is that a camel?"

I looked over. The U-haul next to us had a giant camel painted on the side.

Below the camel, as if in explanation of why a U-haul would be decorated with a giant camel, were a few lines of Wikipedia-esque notes on camels, something like "A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back."

Handbook of Biological Statistics

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:23 am
mildred_of_midgard: (Doc)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
Part of the reason I have not been immersing myself in science lately is that I'm currently trying to work my way through the Handbook of Biological Statistics, which is available for free online as a pdf. It's slow going, but definitely worth it, and I want to stay with it rather than get distracted.

When I started it, I didn't realize how exactly it was the book I needed to be reading right now. I had been struggling with a few aspects of trying to teach myself statistics. One is that most approaches are very theoretical, "let's derive some formulas" things, that might teach you *how* to perform a statistical test, but not *when* to. I thus constantly found myself wondering when I was supposed to use a t-test vs. a chi-square vs. Fisher, and baffled as to why none of my sources or online courses were explaining this.

I also have a difficult time following things that are pure derivations or proofs. It requires working in a linear fashion, bringing the utmost of your concentration to bear on each and every line, and actively working through the problem on your own. And every line is pretty much an equation, with no words, or else very confusing words just discussing the terms in the equation. And you're effectively screwed the moment you don't understand something--you won't be able to understand anything that comes after it.

I can understand math very well when someone explains it with words and I can ask questions, but if I have to stare at line after line of equations interspersed with occasional incredibly dry "it follows from X that Y," my eyes glaze over while I struggle to figure out exactly how it follows.

This is frustrating, because I actually really enjoy math. I was very good at math class, to the point where I got a math degree and was always at or near the top of my class, but I am extremely bad at teaching myself math. Some people apparently can do this; I can't. Or at least I haven't figured out yet what self-teaching approach works for me.

What I really wanted was something more conceptual, with lots of words, and fewer equations. To get started with--I'd like to progress to the equations eventually.

I also had a problem where all sources of statistical knowledge used more terms that I didn't know (even if I'd heard of them, I didn't have a firm grasp on their precise meaning) than I did, and any time I went to look them up, the definitions also used more terms that I wasn't familiar with than that I was. Ignotum per ignotius.

So the Handbook was a godsend. The intro opens by saying, "For most biologists, statistics is just a useful tool, like a microscope, and knowing the detailed mathematical basis of a statistical test is as unimportant to most biologists as knowing which kinds of glass were used to make a microscope lens." This is exactly where I wanted to start!

It is apparently, which I didn't realize when I started, a reference book explaining what statistical test to use under what circumstances. Every chapter opens with a sentence such as "Use Student’s t–test for one sample when you have one measurement variable and a theoretical expectation of what the mean should be under the null hypothesis." Hallelujah!

And the tone is very chatty and the examples memorable. For instance, "You might think that if you set up an experiment where you gave 10 guinea pigs little argyle sweaters, and you measured the body temperature of all 10 of them, that you should use the parametric variance and not the sample variance. You would, after all, have the body temperature of the entire population of guinea pigs wearing argyle sweaters in the world."

This is a good *intro* to statistics. If I work through it, maybe I'll be ready to move on to something more technical.

Tolkien scholars welcome on my lawn

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:05 am
mildred_of_midgard: (Yggdrasil)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
While I'm grumping, I should note that several Tolkien books that were not on Kindle have recently become available, and I have gladly snatched them up, including Shippey's Road to Middle-earth and Author of the Century, and Carpenter's biography.

I am also glad that I reread Garth's Tolkien and the Great War before rereading the Books of Lost Tales, as it helps to have some of the biographical context of the poems that occur in BLT, and also just because it's a book I've always found rewarding (I was going to say "enjoy", but, well...). I also took the opportunity to reread Flieger's "Gilson, Smith, and Baggins", which I highly recommend--on the influences of Tolkien's WWI experience in his fiction. Flieger at her best is very interesting.

Cats Against Nazis

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:58 pm
rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The rally was fine, though quite small. I imagine there would have been a much bigger turnout if the Nazis hadn't cancelled. One of my neighbors was there!

I went with [personal profile] hederahelix. We are now heading for Clementine.

Here I am with my sign and feline fellows in resistance.



Blackstone proofreading

Aug. 19th, 2017 04:26 pm
mildred_of_midgard: (books)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
Another item on the list of things I've been reading is Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. It's far enough outside my normal interests that I'm surprised I'm reading it at all, and I'm unlikely to read it all (although it's possible), but I have been fascinated with what I've read so far. I have nothing substantial to say, but I'm going to ramble about the book itself.

When I really wanted to read it was several years ago, shortly after I finished Gibbon back in 2011, but Gutenberg only has volume 1, and there was no way in heck I was going to read this one in hard copy. So I am grateful to Waxkeep Publishing for making the entire 4-volume set available in a single Kindle volume.

However, the number of errors is atrocious. Misspellings (Roam for Rome? seriously?), missing lines, repeated lines...I find something on almost every page. I started marking these off in my Kindle, planning to submit a list of errata to the publisher, but I am unable to find any contact info for Waxkeep. Or, indeed, much evidence of their existence at all. All I can find are user complaints that they take classic books and sell them on Amazon in hopes that no one knows you can find these things for free elsewhere.

Well, as noted, Gutenberg doesn't have it, and I much prefer the Kindle 4-in-1 volume version that has translations of the Latin (I can usually get the sense from the original, but the nuances of legal terminology are beyond me), no long s's, which I can mark up and search, and which isn't a scan of a 250-year-old book, so I'll fork over the $2.99 with thanks. But I would like to submit corrections, and I'm annoyed that I can't!

Bill Thayer, author of a webpage on which he typed up the Loeb editions of Plutarch's lives (among other things), and I had a fruitful multi-year correspondence in which I would email him typographical corrections, and he would apply them. I was hoping to do the same with Blackstone, curses.

At any rate, I would eventually like to learn more about the sources that influenced the American Founding Fathers, and this is one of them, so I may have something substantial to say someday. Funnily enough, I was wondering if the Commentaries was one of those sources (the publication date is incredibly close to 1776, enough that I thought it might have been too late), and then I realized, the archive.org copy I was reading was in fact a scan of the copy owned by John Adams, who wrote his name on the first page. And I am grateful to that copy for being scanned, since it's allowing me to check for actual mistakes in the Kindle copy (which I am continuing to mark off), as opposed to archaic uses of English that I'm unfamiliar with.

It's ironic, though, that the original publication opens with a preface in which Blackstone states, "For the truth is, that the present publication is as much the effect of necessity, as it is of choice. The notes which were taken by his hearers, have by some of them (too partial in his favor) been thought worth revising and transcribing; and these transcripts have been frequently lent to others. Hence copies have been multiplied, in their nature imperfect, if not erroneous; some of which have fallen into mercenary hands, and become the object of clandestine sale. Having therefore so much reason to apprehend a surreptitious impression, he chose rather to submit his own errors to the world, than to seem answerable for those of other men." (The notes refer to the fact that this work is based on lectures he gave.) And now I'm correcting (probably fruitlessly), a Kindle copy.

Over the wide seas of the night

Aug. 19th, 2017 03:49 pm
mildred_of_midgard: (Aragorn)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
The wind was on the withered heath,
but in the forest stirred no leaf:
there shadows lay by night and day,
and dark things silent crept beneath.

The wind came down from mountains cold,
and like a tide it roared and rolled;
the branches groaned, the forest moaned,
and leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
all movement in the forest ceased,
but shrill and harsh across the marsh
its whistling voices were released.

The grasses hissed, their tassels bent,
the reeds were rattling— on it went
o’er shaken pool under heavens cool
where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the lonely Mountain bare
and swept above the dragon’s lair:
there black and dark lay boulders stark
and flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
over the wide seas of the night.
The moon set sail upon the gale,
and stars were fanned to leaping light.


The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings".

This is one of my favorite poems, and has been for some twenty years. I am disappointed beyond words that the film replaced it with a chase scene. A. Chase. Scene.

At any rate, I have it memorized, and I recite it to myself from time to time.

I also have a map of Middle-earth hanging on my study wall. (My back pain prevents me from spending much time in my study, but that's another story.)

Recently, it dawned on me that the wind is coming down from the north (the Withered Heath + the Grey Mountains), then turns east, then ends up in the wide seas. Now, my map of Middle-earth is right justified, in tune with Gandalf's "To the east I go not." But given that Middle-earth = Earth, albeit with slightly different geography (I have written, although not yet published, about this at some length), my mental extension of my Middle-earth map is a heck of a lot of land. I need to find the citation, but I think Alatar and Pallando are supposed to have inspired Middle Eastern and/or Eastern religions, which also implies land.

So the sea to the east of the Lonely Mountain took me very much by surprise.

It could be argued that this wind changes directions (although the references to the moon and stars imply it's continuing east), or that there's no indication of how much time passes between verses 5 and 6. But I submit that introducing a sudden jump in space or time, when all the other geographical features mentioned are in proximity to each other (enough to be indicated on Thror's map, even if only with an arrow), would be ad hoc and just as much in need of explanation. Nor do I see the sea of Rhûn as sufficiently "wide", nor to the east of the Lonely Mountain, to be what's referred to here.

This is one reason I started rereading the History of the Hobbit closely. I checked to see if Rateliff addressed this rather startling feature directly, or if his treatment of the history of this poem would be enlightening, and the answer to both is no. The earliest draft we have of this poem is almost identical to the final draft, and no one else seems to have picked up on the wide seas to the east of the Lonely Mountain.

So I'm paying close attention to geography as I read. So far, the most relevant passage I've found is from the Encyclopedia:

In the cosmogony’s earliest version, Arda is a flat-earth world “globed amid the Void” (Lost Tales I, 56). An illustrated description from the 1930s shows its constitution. The Walls of the World form its spherical surface, transparent but impassable. The sphere’s upper half consists of air, its lower half of Middle-earth, a flat surface floating on the ocean. This ocean reaches almost to the Walls of the World, except that it is bounded in the east by the Walls of the Sun and in the west by Valinor (Shaping, 238– 51).

I need to go get my copies of these books and stare at the maps to see what I can make of this.

I would like to reread The History of Middle-earth, with closer attention to detail than I've given it in the past, after this. Or you know, at some indeterminate point in the future. The main problem with this plan is that only the first 2 books are on Kindle, and my back pain does not allow me to read physical books yet. I mean, I'm hoping to fix that eventually, and who knows how long it will take me to read Rateliff + the Encyclopedia + the two Books of Lost Tales, but it is a concern.

The real problem is that not all the books are on Kindle! Come on! I actually had to buy the Index to the HOME, in lieu of a decent search function. It arrived today, and Tolkien books always make me happy, but I grumble every time I have to buy a physical book. (I have reservations about the long-term viability of Amazon's business model around e-books, but they're the best I've got rn.)

Mind you, I would have killed for the index when I was writing my first Tolkien paper, on Elladan and Elrohir. It had only recently been published, and I wasn't aware of it. I checked the indices of the individual volumes, but they were missing a reference that would have cleared up something in my paper that I left an open question. Which reminds me, I should check to see if it made it into the single-volume index.

I have no idea if my observation will result in anything publishable, but at the very least it, and my Huan idea, are giving me something to focus on when reading through a bunch of Tolkien scholarship. I always have an easier time sustaining concentration when I've got something specific in mind I'm reading for.
mildred_of_midgard: (Tolkien)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
My brain has been toning it down on the obsessive Hunger Games-fic writing, enough to let me start reading some Tolkien scholarship. I'm not quite as scholarly as I hope to be, especially on the hard sciences front, but I'm dipping my toes back into the water of "stuff that is not my fic."

So expect a few Tolkien-related posts in the near future (unless I don't get around to them before my trip, in which case, all bets are off).

To begin with, I've started reading is The History of the Hobbit. Previously, when I read it, I skipped all the textual stuff and only read Rateliff's fascinating commentary on the content. Now I'm attempting to read the entire thing.

And this part made me laugh. Rateliff is great. (Note that "Bladorthin" is Gandalf's name in the first draft.)

‘Dear me! – not the Bladorthin who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the blue for mad adventures, everything from climbing trees to stowing away aboard the ships that sail to the Other Side’.18

18We hear little more of these other beneficiaries (or victims, depending on one’s point of view) of Bladorthin’s attention, but Tolkien probably had this passage in mind when he finalized the Took family tree…The wizard was a close friend of Bilbo’s grandfather, The Old Took…and at least two of Bilbo’s Took uncles had adventures that sound suspiciously like something Bladorthin/Gandalf had a hand in: Hildifons ‘went off on a journey and never returned’ – a ‘there’ without a ‘back again’, so to speak – and Isengar is ‘said to have “gone to sea” in his youth’. In addition, a third brother, Hildigard, is laconically said to have ‘died young’, although no details are forthcoming. Nor was Bilbo the only one of the Old Took’s grandchildren to go adventuring; one of Bilbo’s cousins – described in the published book as ‘a great traveller’–fared far enough afield to have ‘visited the forests in the north of Bilbo’s country’, an area wild enough to be frequented by wolves. In retrospect, we can speculate that the wizard had already used up the more adventurous members of the preceding generation and was forced to rely upon Mr. Baggins to round out the party.

We should perhaps also note the phrase ‘lads and lasses’, suggesting as it does that Bladorthin was an equal-opportunity enchanter, responsible for young hobbits of both sexes going off on adventures; the all-male cast of The Hobbit might thus be due largely to chance rather than design.


I'm not much of a fan of hobbits, so I'm not getting major plot bunnies from this, but stranger things have happened. Anyway, I had to share this, it was too much fun to pass up. If anyone gets inspired by it, let me know!
umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! teddy bear (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I meant to link this earlier, as the current event is only officially running for a few more days, but hey:


For ANY medium of fanwork (fic, art, vid, pod) & ANY fandom!

Interested? Check out our info and rules.
Our first round is 10 August - 24 August.

[dreamwidth.org profile] wip_amnesty is a new community that describes itself as "a place for you to leave the works you'll never finish". The user info (which has full details) also notes, "At the moment, we're running an event from 10 August to 24 August, but generally our comm is open indefinitely." [emphasis mine]

I should probably post at least one thing for this. I started out thinking about the Newsflesh psychic wolves AU, which I've been working on for a couple (a few) years now, off and on. I'd still really like to actually finish it, because there's a lot in there I like and think is worth writing, but OTOH if I cut it loose that's a lot of mental space that could potentially be regained. I don't know. :/

It was only within the last day or so that I thought about the X (TV anime)/Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle(/xxxHOLiC) fusion I've technically had on the go for, oh...thirteen years? Very off and on, as in with years passing between spurts of working on it?

IIRC the last time I really touched it was around when, and shortly after, I was working on the scripts for the shiny (oh, so shiny!) rerelease of X (no longer X/1999, thankfully) VIZ put out a couple of years ago. I think it's safe to say that story is never getting finished, and an event/comm. like [dreamwidth.org profile] wip_amnesty is probably the best reason I'm ever going to get to toss what does exist out there.

But with both of those WsIP, I feel more conflicted than I might if I wrote things straight through, start to finish--and there's a weird, uncomfortable dissonance between the fact that if I post never-to-be-finished WsIP in any form at all, it makes sense to think in terms of "well, someone might read them" and the fact that it seems ridiculous to think that anyone will.

If I wrote straight through, it'd be simpler. There'd be the first part of a story, however long it might be, and then it'd stop and that'd be it. But no, I write in chunks and fragments, with notes everywhere, and so anything I post that's incomplete is inherently full of holes and gaps, so at the very least, I'd want to add quick notes along the lines of "[{x} event/emotional progression happened here]".

(Absolutely any input/idle thoughts on this stuff welcome. I mean, thoughts/comments/etc. are always welcome on my posts, but...you know.)
umadoshi: (Jessica Jones 01 (bangparty))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Such gross weather forecast for the weekend. (Mostly today.) [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose was going to go to the market this morning, but he slept later than intended and then got up and looked out the window, and NOPE. The amount of rain expected today isn't even that ridiculous, but it's dank and chilly and gray, etc. etc. etc.


--Last night I made it through the first three episodes of The Defenders, and might have made it further in that first stint if Iron Fist--excuse me, ~the immortal Iron Fist, as Danny insists on saying every damn time he introduces himself--weren't not only every bit as dull as expected but also a sullen charisma suck. Everyone suffers when he's on screen. The audience has to watch him; the other actors have to try to play off Finn Jones' "energy"; the other characters have to share air with him... If it weren't for Jess I might bail, honestly. But Jessica. (And Luke! And Trish!)

I want to love Colleen Wing on principle, but she's always with Danny, which...is not helpful.

Let's refer again to io9's helpful "Here's the Important Stuff That Happens in Iron Fist So You Don't Have to Watch It".

(I was just double checking Jones' name on IMDb and saw that The Defenders is only eight episodes. That seems awfully short for an MCU/Netflix property. But hey, that means I'm almost halfway through.)


--TBH a bit of me resents that Defenders is taking time I could be spending immersed in In Other Lands, but my mostly-"meh" feelings on the former don't change the fact that I don't have to worry about spoilers for the latter. Although now I'm reminded that I still have two episodes left in season 1 of Black Sails, after which I can (and yes, this is obvious) start in on season 2, where so many people start falling for it.

A lot of my mental energy is still hanging out with AGAHF, about which more later. (O_O)

ALSO, StarCraft Remastered is out, and I haven't even booted into my Windows partition to install it yet! But I really should.


--None of the above helps at all with the amount of work I need to get done between now and the end of September (and most of it by the third week of September, realistically), and there's other stuff happening between now and then too. [dreamwidth.org profile] seangaffney is visiting next week, and Hal-Con is next month, and and and...
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
The Lawrence Browne Affair

3/5. He is a reclusive nobleman scientist who is probably on the autistic spectrum; he is a new manservant come to hide from his criminal past.

Nicely executed but not something that will stick with me. It’s not a fair comparison because the two books are about entirely different things, but K.J. Charles’s master/servant is far more complex, painful, and electric. This book isn’t intended to be painful, and its complexity is unobtrusive, undemanding. Which is a feature, not a bug, in a lot of circumstances, so there’s that.

Friday's outbox/inbox a day late...

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:49 am
writerlibrarian: (Adidas Sid in Pink)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
Second week of summer break. My body has realized it is not expected to go to work. Hence Thursday and Friday were difficult. Still, Sunday, on the last day of 1001 pots, I went and got a really nice ceramic cup. Wednesday, I had a friend come over and we wrote, ate and mostly caught up. We are doing it again next Wednesday.

I also read. Slowly but I read. I watched the Food network. And renovation shows aka Master of Flip to distract my mind from the pain. It worked. It's a good, cheap mind-numbing drug.


Outbox

La mort et un peu d'amour. Alexandra Marinina. This was more interesting for the progression of the characters. The mystery and the culprit were predictable. To me at least. I knew who it was midway through. Also there are two scenes of excessive violence against women that just make me a bit mad. It was gratuitous and not necessary. I didn't expect it. So trigger warning. On the positive side, Anastasia is still wonderful and her Liocha is also wonderful.

Inbox

The Radium Girls. Kate Moore. WW1 history, Women history. Comes highly recommended.

Two Filipino romances. To read more diverse authors. Smartbitches always bring new novels to discover. For more Filipino romances in English.

Loveless. Childless. Clueless. Miren B Flores.

Interim Goddess of Love : the complete trilogy Mina V. Esguerra


Also to cure the withdrawal and stop asking myself "Is it October Yet?

The vids were taken down aka they were plagiats of [archiveofourown.org profile] pollyrepeat  great vid Confident. Go watch. It's pretty amazing.

[Ω] Juxtaposition

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:44 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t [personal profile] fiddlingfrog)

UrsulaV bats it out of the park:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/898201836800364547/photo/1

(Note, this requires clicking through to see two images.)

[me, pshrinkery] Home Again

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:45 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The conference is over, and I am super tired and omg why do my feet hurt? I didn't do that much walking, and indeed spent most of the last three days sitting. The physical spaces the conference was held in were agreeably compactly laid out, so I didn't have do a lot of hiking down halls to go from one session to the next. But I feel like I've walked for miles.

I'm being cagey about the identity of the conference because of reasons. Suffice it to say I spent three days getting my radical on with people who, hmm, could be said to identify as "psychiatric survivors" – people whom the mental health system has done profound harm and violated their human rights – from around the world, many (most?) of whom might be described as activists and there in that capacity, some of whom are also clinicians or ex-clinicians or psychology researchers. Lots of very explicit intersectionalism and inclusivism. Very emotionally intense, super intellectually stimulating, enormously morally compelling.

Since the default assumption at the conference was that attendees were psychiatric survivors, I was "out" about not being a psychiatric survivor myself but a mental health professional and there as an ally. That was... a very hard experience to describe. To do such a thing, and do it ethically, is extremely demanding of energy, because it entails such a high level of self-monitoring and attention to others, at literally every second. Yet at the same time, it was so wildly validating of my ethical values as a person and a clinician, in ways I hadn't even realized I was hungry for, it felt very spiritually nourishing and emotionally supportive. I realized after the second day that just in the program book and in the presentations I'd attended, that I'd heard the word "humanistic" more times in those two days than I'd heard it used by anybody not me in the previous five years. Or maybe more. I'm a humanistic therapist, and I'm literally welling up again just reflecting on that, and how clinically-philosophically isolated this reveals me to have been. And, my god, the first, like, three times the term went zipping by I thought, Hey, do they know what that means, technically, to a therapist? Ah, they're probably just using it as a synonym for "humanely", as lay people usually do. And it became clear that, no, at least some of the people using the term really did mean it clinically. And I was like Oh. They don't need me to explain it to them. They already know. Which, is, like, the fundamental unit of being understood. Talk about your being called in from the cold.

I went to this conference thinking of myself as an ally, someone there to support another people as they do their thing – an in a really important sense, that is exactly right – but to my surprise, I discovered that these people, despite not being clinicians, were clinically my people. I wound up doing a hell of a lot more personal sharing than I would ever have expected – certainly vastly, vastly more than I have ever done in a mental health professionals context. It was like, I suddenly realized I was in an environment in which I could talk about how furious I am that I am forced to use diagnoses on patients without their consent, how frustrated I am by how the bureacratic systems in which I must work compromise the integrity of the treatment I try to provide, how disgusted I often am by the conduct of colleagues and mental health institutions (I discovered the wonderful expression, "psychiatric hate-speech"), how indignant I am at all sorts of idiocy and injustice and unfairness in the system – all the things I am so careful never to say because of how poorly my colleagues may take it. (Not my imagination: The last session I attended drew quite a number of clinicians, who were all "AND FOR ANOTHER THING!"; the presenter afterwards told me she had presented the same talk at a conference on the philosophy of psychiatry for an audience that was half psychiatrists, and, in contrast, they were furious with her for her temerity.)

I got to have conversations about capitalism and disability, culture and identity, the history of psychiatry, the history of nationalism, what you can and can't do inside the health care system, other countries' nationalized (or not, where mental health is concerned) health care, and how money affects mental health care; I heard a slew of what I would call "mental health radical coming out stories". I met someone who is as into the history of the DSM as I am, and someone who has written an academic article about the ethical and clinical problems of diagnosis. I got politely chewed out once, early on, for using oppressive language, and then immediately apologized to for it, them saying ruefully that they have "a chip on [their] shoulder" about mental health care professionals and shouldn't have talked to me like that, and I assured them I was there to be chewed out and have my vocabulary corrected and was fine with it; I'm pretty sure they were way more upset about what they said to me than I was, and I feel bad about putting them in that position by my ignorance – but we've exchanged phone numbers and I'm hoping I might yet make it up to them.

There was a point where somebody asked me something like whether I had been learning a lot at the conference so far, and I thought a moment and replied that I had, but, "I am at this conference not just to learn things. I am here because, as a person and a clinician, these are my values."

So it was an experience that was weirdly simultaneously hard and easy. If you had asked me four days ago I would have said that it's probably impossible for an experience to require a very high level of scrupulous self-monitoring and yet feel welcoming of and safe for emotional vulnerability and risktaking. Yet that was precisely my experience.

It was demanding and beautiful and powerful and huggy and astonishing and uplifting and I'm exhausted and weepy and have like twenty new best friends.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
It should be pretentious and snobbish to say: “Sure I eat hot dogs, I have homemade mustard and homemade lingonberry ketchup on it”. Then to take the DIY philosophy serious you have to make the hot dog yourself.

Context sounds delicious!

Spectre Requisitions

Aug. 18th, 2017 05:05 pm
settiai: (FemShep -- paperpinafore)
[personal profile] settiai
There's an exchange called Spectre Requisitions, which is for rarer 'ships in the Mass Effect fandom. It's a lot of fun, and I've participated in it the last two years.

Anyway, I seriously lucked out on my gifts this year, so I need to flail about them a little. I know that I have some Mass Effect fans over here on DW, so maybe some of you will of interest.

First, for a treat, I received a lovely piece of artwork. ♥ I absolutely adore F!Shepard/Garrus/Tali (to the point that 15% of the works on the AO3 about that relationship are fics by me), so I was absolutely thrilled to get the notification for that.

But my actual gift really wins everything. Because someone wrote me 22k words of Ashley/F!Shepard/Kaidan, based on a prompt that I've included in various exchanges for something like three or four years now. It's amazing, and you should totally go read it if you're even remotely intrigued by the idea of that relationship.

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