March 13th, 2008

woah!

Few Things So Anger Me...

...as a fundamentally irrational argument shrouded in the trappings of hand waving "facts" in a plaintive effort to convince the uninformed masses of a fundamentally flawed, insulting and false argument.

In this corner, I present Vox Day, whose oped piece The real assault on science is one of the most puerile arguments I've read today. It's just as harmful as the horsepuckey theory that "There Are No Good Men Anymore" (where "Good Men" are defined as "middle class, white, alpha male meal tickets").

I will not bother to touch upon his book (The Irrational Atheist), nor will I waste my time poking holes in the assertion that secular scientists hold themselves up as "a noble collective of Galileos in peril of persecution from the God-addled, anti-science religious masses..." The ludicrous quality of this last should be self evident.

Instead, I will take a stand here by taking umbrage with the notion that "in 30 years, academic science in America will be no more intellectually respectable or relevant than womyn's studies are today" because of a campaign for encouraging women's participation in mathematics and science. Moreover let's kick the teeth in of the assertion that "Women love education; it's the actual application they don't particularly like."

What this individual is apparently unwilling or incapable of ascertaining are simple facts such as: (1) the women who have pursued the sciences as a profession are already proven capable of playing the grant game (all without calling upon the "I'm a woman, pity me" ploy) as well as being contenders in the intellectual furtherment of science knowledge because (2) women (like men) come in more shapes and sizes than two [in this article either the ooooooh, I broke a nail dead weight variety (referred to in the article as "women who can't do long division" that might someday teach mathematics or "lesbian [biology] professors who believe that heterosexual procreation is a myth"], such reductionism is unquestionably flawed on an essential level and demonstrative of not only blind sexism but a stunted intellect (immaturity of the worst caliber), and (3) women are already faced with an even more difficult road to success in the sciences simply because so many men believe in the erroneous point 2 (check out that controversial Harvard chap's comments).

My wife is a scientist; my wife is intelligent, dilligent, rational, and a hard worker who has plans to pursue beyond the collection of factoids and education. I have plenty of female friends, colleagues, and bosses who are scientists; they are equally intelligent, dillegent, no-nonsense, rational people.

This Vox Day (whose penname is an obvious reference to the Latin vox Dei, roughly translated as "the voice of God"; how presumptuous is THAT?) fellow is just one more Neanderthal cog in the o'erwhelming wave of anti-intellectualism rampant today.

The danger of digging a comfortable hole and surrounding that burrow with like minded people is the very real possibility of blinding oneself to the fact that the world is much more complex and diverse than the answers provided by either simplistic beliefs or yes-man fellows.

As Alexander Pope said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."



On a near miss tangent, why is it that the heralds of the Return to the Traditional Family Values school of thinking are often also the heralds for a return to stifling gender roles? And why do most of these "traditional family values" seem to come from such "real world" information sources as Leave it to Beaver?

Makes my skin crawl.
  • Current Mood
    angry furious
there!, Hello

In Other News...

Robin Hobb (I've never actualy read any of this author's books) is funny. Writing a very cute and chuckle worthy rant about not blogging... and then posting it online... Ah, wicked irony!



Hey hntrpyanfar (who has read that author's books), thanks to suricattus I can now say that Robin Hobb is the pseudonym for...

::drum roll::

Megan Lindholm. Well, that question is answered!




Back to Hobb's cute argument.

See, the problem is, if it's not LJ interfering with your writing, it's email. If it's not email, it's housecleaning. It's vacuuming the cat or shampooing the rug or watching today's episode of Judge Judy or playing Where's Peter Straub? in One Life to Live (or whichever soap he appeared on) or a thousand and one other tiny procrastinations. The trick to the writing game is simple: work on your manuscript(s). Yes, I blog (veeeeery rarely), I also check my email, read books, watch occasional DVDs, prepare roleplaying game sessions, etc. I also do tons of laundry. But I also write fiction, poetry, etc. At least 1000 words a day (even the days I game). This is the stuff I've chosen to make a career from. Discipline is the number one important aspect to this game. Write everyday*.




*Realistically, some days it ain't gonna happen. Maybe there's been a death in the family, and you're flying out to Timbuktu, and the airlines aren't allowing pens onboard anymore (dangerous, those; more so than swords!) and your computer is happily glaring its blue screen of death or whatever. Don't freak out if you miss a day here. Miss a day there. However, these should be the exceptions. Write the rest of the week, month, year.
  • Current Mood
    amused recovering from fury
there!, Hello

My LunaCon Schedule...

So, this year I'm going to LunaCon. First time attendee. I've decided to jump in with both feet.

I'll be participating in this programming:

Programs scheduled as of 3/13/2008 10:51:34 AM EST::
Friday, March 14th Total Events This Day: 2
Track Start Time End Time Room
Fandom 03/14/2008 7:00:00 PM 03/14/2008 8:00:00 PM Grand South
Title: The Amazing Science Fiction and Horror Trivia Game
Description: The Lunacon Friday Night Quiz Show Presents The Amazing Science Fiction and Horror Trivia Game Again Presenting Fannish Hollywood Squares. All the fun and frivolity of the classic tic-tac-toe trivia game with Randy Marshall Dannenfelser as Peter Marshall and Barbara Dannenfelser as Vanna White.
Participants: Barbara Dannenfelser, Randy M. Dannenfelser[M], Bob Eggleton, Lee Gilliland, Georgia Horesh, Winston Howlett, Jane Jewell, Daniel Kimmel, Nathan Lilly, Perrianne Lurie, Misty Pendragon, Marianne Plumridge, Andrew Porter, Daniel Robichaud, Sharon Sbarsky, Jane T. Sibley, Ian Randal Strock,


Track Start Time End Time Room
Business of Writing 03/14/2008 10:00:00 PM 03/14/2008 11:00:00 PM Boton
Title: The Carpetbaggers
Description: When denizens of the NYT Book Review come to play in our ghetto, do they generally acquit themselves well? Or are they discovering the brave new world of Astounding Science-Fiction circa 1958? And why aren't our labels and terms of art not good enough for the literary community? Authors under discussion would include Gore Vidal, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Jasper Fforde, Kurt Vonnegut, and Phillip Roth
Participants: Bruce Dykes[M], Leigh Grossman, Adam Nakama, Daniel Robichaud,


Saturday, March 15th Total Events This Day: 3
Track Start Time End Time Room
Gaming 03/15/2008 12:00:00 PM 03/15/2008 1:00:00 PM Bartell
Title: The World at Your Fingertips
Description: Building your own world is a challenge for even the most experienced GM. Where do you start? What essential information do you need before you can start a game and how much can you invent off the cuff? What tools are available to assist you? Have internet wikis, name generators, and mapping software made it easier to create, or just easier to get bogged down in details?
Participants: Shaughn Bryant, Adam Nakama, Daniel Robichaud[M], Aaron Rosenberg,


Track Start Time End Time Room
Gaming 03/15/2008 10:00:00 PM 03/15/2008 11:00:00 PM Birch
Title: Gaming on the Darkside
Description: Graphic sex, violence, crime, cruelty, and human suffering. How bad can it get without going too far? How to incorporate darker themes into your games without abusing your players' trust.
Participants: Kevin DiVico, Bruce Dykes, Adam Nakama, Daniel Robichaud,



Track Start Time End Time Room
Reading & Signings 03/15/2008 11:00:00 PM 03/15/2008 11:30:00 PM Port Chester
Title: Read: Daniel Robichaud
Description:
Participants: Daniel Robichaud,



Sunday, March 16th Total Events This Day: 1
Track Start Time End Time Room
Media 03/16/2008 10:00:00 AM 03/16/2008 11:00:00 AM Bartell
Title: For Love of Snark
Description: Television and movies are filled with snarky characters: Captain Jack O'Neill, Rodney McKay, Gregory House (okay, not fantasy but too good to ignore), and Spike, just to name a few. They seem to have replaced the perky sidekick in most forms of media--those who aren't the main character anyway. Snark: what is it, who does it best, and why do we love it so?
Participants: Nuance Bryant, Elizabeth Glover[M], Adam Nakama, Laura Quish, Daniel Robichaud,
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    amused not nervous, not at all