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If I do two of these, does that make it more awkwardly apparent that I'm not actually doing it, or less? Really, I don't think I am ever going to make Dreamwidth my casually-post-stuff place, though I will probably keep trying for the next several years to make it a place I live.

Anyway, I picked the prompt "eigenvectors" because I've actually co-authored research that prominently uses eigenvector centrality, but then I realised that I can't explain what an eigenvector is because I don't really know.

Instead here is some interesting research (in blog form!) from someone who is willing to explain eigenvectors, and even apply them to eighteenth century literature.

Whenever I hear people in the digital humanities beginning to murmur about the hot new thing, word vectors, though, I almost feel despair at how little anybody talks to anybody else -- my mother did her dissertation on word vectors. This is a longstanding field! But that's in computer science, and nobody in literature wants to read a computer science paper.

This post brought to you by: My Career Strategy Of Reading Computer Science Papers Sometimes, To Incredible Acclaim

[inspiration from Shitpost February]

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... will be really hindered by the exciting title page of my book.

title page of The Monk, which summarizes the entire plot

(Though maybe it's fine, because the parts of this book that are the most bonkers don't actually make the title page!)

[inspiration from Shitpost February]
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I've been spending a LOT OF TIME messing around with future federated fandom, which is very exciting and all, but it's all happening in Discord and Hubzilla even though I'm supposed to be, like, co-moderating a dreamwidth community for post_tumblr_fandom. There's a LOT I'd love to say about my experiences starting up My Very Own federated social network instance, but I can't say it over THERE yet because it doesn't actually work well enough for me to invite other people to come play in it. (I still intend to ruin and/or delete it in the near future as part of my learning process.)

So Shiposting February is basically perfectly timed! I hereby pledge to deliver, as penance for my absence, a due quantity of shitposts.

Also currently helpful to me -- learning from jesse_the_k's helpful post here that I can write DW posts in Markdown! AND, changing the setup of my browser-redirect service (which I use so that when I try to go on facebook my browser just loads my to-do list instead) so that twitter and facebook redirect to DW instead.

So hopefully I'll see you around more over here!

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Yes, that says 2017 in the title: I never actually got around to looking at my data from last year's reading, and now that this year is basically over and I want to see how my reading challenge affecting things, I figured it's now or never!

A Tale of Two Tests

graphs! )


another graph! )

The Actual Books

even more graphs! )


My primary reading goal for 2018, after a cursory skim of my 2017 reading, was to increase the racial diversity of what I read. Like, maybe I could read one book by a non-white author? I also wanted to build up habits of reading for pleasure.

Having seen this data now, I'm also curious to see if I was more female-focused with my 18thC reading after I was done with my fields exam.

How did those go? Tune in next time to find out!

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Because life is meaningless without rules and spreadsheets, I've set myself a challenge to fulfill the following 50 prompts with my reading this year! Books can count for as many prompts as they fit.

Current Status: Tweaking and refining my prompt list to make sure I like it.

Promptsprompts! )

Books Readbooks! )

My goal with this challenge is partly to read things that I wouldn't otherwise have picked up, but mostly to push myself to think frequently about reading.

Wish me luck! And give me reading recs filling these prompts (or prompts for next year!) in the comments!!
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This year was my first year since perhaps elementary school that I didn't have a school-mandated list of books to shape my reading habits. Obviously I couldn't live without rules, so I've been doing the Popsugar Reading Challenge! I've finished most of the 50 prompts and have really enjoyed figuring out creative ways to fulfill the prompts[1] (especially finding obscure 18thC titles for them![2])

However, I am not really as excited for the 2019 prompts. Several of them look really similar to this year's.[3] And in general, I think I might have gotten what I wanted out of the Popsugar experience. I didn't really spend time chatting in the forums, so it didn't matter to me that other people had the same list; all I really wanted was something to make a spreadsheet about, and something to search Eighteenth Century Collections Online for.

THEREFORE, I am thinking of making my own list, and seek wacky prompts from you, yes, you! What kinds of books should I try to find?

I particularly enjoy prompts like "a book with X word in the title": what are some words I should go on a scavenger hunt for this year?

[1] My proudest prompt-fill is The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making for "A book that involves a bookstore or library," for which the library in question is a dragon.

[2] The best 18thC find is "The Effects of Tyranny & Disobedience!" by Lawrence Lovesense, for "A book by an author with the same first or last name as you." (Yes, it's true, my last name is Lovesense. Please don't doxx me.)

[3] "Nordic Noir" this year and "a book set in Scandinavia" next year; "a book set on a different planet" this year and "a book set in space" next year...
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I have just finished grading all my final exams!! Now I just have 12 more final essays to grade: I THINK I might not have to grade on Christmas Eve??? I stayed up all night and now I have to clean the house I was catsitting in, clean my apartment, pack for a three week trip, and fly to America! In six hours!!! BUT I can drop off the exams on campus with a clear conscience!

whisperspace )
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I've been reading Tobias Smollett's 1748 book The Adventures of Roderick Random, and was really surprised to find, buried in chapter 51 as yet another mildly amusing mishap as the protagonist Rory fails repeatedly to make his fortune, an explicitly gay Earl whose attempts to seduce Rory are presented as annoying but not disgusting.

a slightly abridged ch 51 under the cut, with the extra-gay bits bolded )

The whole thing is kind of a wild ride! There are two aspects that particularly interest me:

1. Rory and Banter both seem to be much more upset about Earl Strutwell's false claims to wealth and influence than they are about his queerness. Gay sex seems both a known phenomenon and relatively unthreatening. Even when Rory thinks that Strutwell is worried that Rory has gone gay due to exposure to the continent, I get the feeling that Rory gives his anti-gay tirade mostly in order to please his patron, rather than due to sincere feeling. After all, we hear much more of Earl Strutwell's defense of gay sex than we do Rory's rejection of it! And Rory doesn't reject it in his own words, but rather recites a stock satire.

2. In the middle of all this, Rory flies home to his childhood friend Hugh Strap, with whom he shares lodging, finances, life schemes, and often a bed, and feels absolutely no need to reflect on or justify the love that the two of them frequently confess for each other. In retrospect he's able to see something kind of gay about Earl Strutwell's hand-squeezing, but this doesn't make him suspicious of physical or emotional intimacy with men in general.

I don't have any conclusions yet, except that this is way more chill about gay sex than anything I expected to read from 1748!
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THIS WHOLE ARTICLE IS A WONDERFUL READ: ‘Make better choices’: Endangered Hawaiian monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses and scientists want them to stop
It all began about two years ago when Littnan, the lead scientist of the monk seal program, woke up to a strange email from researchers in the field. The subject line was short: “Eel in nose.”

There is an AMAZING picture, too.
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I came across this article about how not only are life expectancies increasing, the number of "active years" that people have are increasing. Which is a good thing! But then it says "The question is whether society will adapt to make the most of this new labor pool," which is, I think, the worst possible question to pose in response.

This sentence in particular is horrible to me:
I’m in as good or better shape than ever. I hike and travel, and still have the energy to work 50- to 60-hour weeks.
Working 50 to 60 hours a week is not what health is for!! It almost pains me the way that a 60-hour work week is grammatically equated to hiking and travel.

It's interesting to think about ageism, and the importance of not prematurely shuffling people off to the kind of social isolation that assumes they're already basically dead, but surely a spry 75-year-old has better things to do than work 60 hours a week?
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I just made a couple comments thinking about peer-to-peer systems, over in the [community profile] post_tumblr_fandom comm. This is the line of thinking that is most exciting to me, but also most pie-in-the sky. I'm just not sure if the technology of the legal frameworks are ready... but I'm excited and want to try.

Other touchstones for my thinking:

- this post [personal profile] cesperanza made for me, archiving some of her and [personal profile] lim's conversations about P2P that I couldn't get out of my head.

- basically everything at coolguy.website, and especially The Future Will Be Technical. This whole vibe just feels like fannish utopianism even though it's totally unconnected to fandom; I like it.

I figured I'd post about it here so it will show up in folks' feeds, but tell me what you think over in the comm!!
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If you, too, are here, perhaps we can be here together!
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)

In classic 18thC style, this post now has two prefaces. This was my second-most-popular tumblr post, inspired by the following set of posts to which I responded in the tags:

Original post: "If you have $1000 in cash and spend 1 penny, that’s the equivalent of Jeff Bezos spending $1.5 million." Second post: a screenshot of the lyrics to Hamilton, reading, "[Verse 1: Daveed Diggs] Where is the guillotine?" Tagged with so, like, this revival of guillotine discourse is Relevant To My Interests, in principle I approve really, but I also sort of wonder, as someone who has spent a little while hanging out with the nitty-gritty details of the french revolution(not a LONG time!not as long as a French historian might!, but, you know, SOME time), at what point should I put together a 'Dos and Don'ts Of Guillotining The Rich'?

I remain less than completely comfortable with the current Guillotine Discourse, and my own contribution to it. (It's hilarious! but if you joke about wanting to do something often enough, sometimes you then go do it, as the French Revolution itself tells us???)

Original Post

I got two separate requests for this after my tags on this reblog, and if I’ve learned anything from vaguely gossiping about the revolution with 18thC scholars, it’s to Give The People What They Want! Therefore, I am pleased and alarmed to present to you now:

~ * DOs and DON’Ts of GUILLOTINING the RICH * ~

by Monsieur Laurence Racine-de-la-Liberté

DO place blame on the people who directly benefit from your exploitation. It’s not hard to find them. They will try to convince you that it is hard to find them, but you can literally just look at how much money they have (way too much). A really quick method of wealth redistribution is to move in to a rich person’s house.

DON’T leave the rich with no “out”. Your goal is a better world, not a gigantic pile of heads. When cornered, the rich get volatile and dangerous. There needs to be a level of reform which is sufficient for a formerly-rich person to be accepted back into society, and NOT as a second-class citizen. Like, if they stop being rich and start doing chores, you don’t have to also give them the shittiest chores.

DO take meaningful action against those with the power to create change. Sassy tweets accomplish basically nothing. Well-organized voting accomplishes some things. Credible threats to your opponents’ power base (whether that’s throwing roof tiles at them or claiming their houses as your own) accomplish… mostly a shift in the Overton window which makes your opponents suddenly eager to concede to the demands of the “nice” activists, but that’s not nothing.

DON’T guillotine too many people at once. Just because you guillotined five people yesterday, that doesn’t mean guillotining ten today will make you twice as successful. Meaningful action can only be targeted against individuals or systems, not against nebulous social groups; avoid mass guillotining at all costs! Periodically consider whether you may have reached the limit of the number of people who need to be guillotined. Again, your goal is a better society, not an infinite supply of heads.

DO get excited making up cool new names. This is a new world! There’s a lot to be excited about! Rename yourself “Strive with a Will for the Republic” or “Radish”! Be the rad moniker you want to see in the world! Invent new holidays while you’re at it! A new calendar! Declare today Day One Of Year One! A society becomes real through people living its values: embrace your vision enthusiastically.

DON’T get excited about cool new conspiracies. The real causes of the world’s problems are not going to be one lady’s diamond necklace. They’re going to be way weirder and more complicated than something you can rant about at a party. This very list of advice, for example, is full of pithy quips which are too brief and simplistic to be remotely useful. Spend five minutes fact-checking any headline that gives you a strong burst of feeling before you tell someone else about it.

DO acknowledge the validity of your complaints. This rule operates on two levels: first, the aristocrats’ shit is bad. They’re going to pretend it’s not, but don’t buy it. Second, sometimes your shit might be bad. If you’ve been trying out something new for a while, but people still can’t afford to wear pants, you have to be able to say that the new system isn’t working either, and leave room to change your mind about what to do. (See also: leave the rich with an “out”; don’t guillotine too many people at once.) If honesty is not the best policy, only liars and scoundrels will have heads.

And the number one rule from the French Revolution:

DON’T make decisions while hangry!
I know, I know: there’s no fucking bread and air conditioning hasn’t been invented yet, and you’ve been drinking a lot of coffee at the revolutionary clubs. But it is totally impossible to judge whether your response in a conflict is “proportional” or “helpful” when you’re hot, caffeinated, and hangry. Have some ice cream. Take a cool shower. (Remind the rich that it is in their best interest to provide you with ice cream and a cool shower, in the short and long term, since you are the one with the guillotine.) Maybe try describing your course of action out loud to a neutral party before you do it. If someone starts asking logistical questions about mass graves, take a step back and have a snickers.

#I am kind of serious here #and also kind of no #please do not get me arrested for inciting murder-via-guillotine #but good luck with the revolution #also #the contemporary interest in the guillotine #as a shorthand symbol for political fed-upped-ness #is genuinely fascinating to me #so please do send me any guillotine tidbits you might encounter on the wilds of this internet #I would be interested in compiling them #the french revolution #the guillotine #dos and donts of guillotining the rich

This post had 1,945 notes.

whisperspace )
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My most popular post on tumblr, by far, consisted of these four screencaps from Wikipedia.

These images garnered 27,416 notes.
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Getting Paid
- .5hr for J
(- Sugarplum did 4 hrs today and yesterday for A's videos)

Hours worked this week: .5

Being Productive
- Worked for an hour or two on my IF game.
- Tidied enough that I wasn't embarrassed to have my turtledove over.
- Read All The Things: 94 / 96

Living the Good Life
- My turtledove is in town!!
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Getting Paid
- 1 hr filming for J
- 2 hrs editing for J
- 3 hrs at the office

Hours worked this week: 23.5
Including unpaid hours: 29
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Getting Paid
- Yesterday I did 6.5 hrs at the office, plus a meeting with J (maybe bill
for .5 hr?)
- 2hrs filming & editing for J
- 1 hr site updates for MM
- 30min fiddling with the site, but I'm super tired today.

Hours worked this week: 17.5
Including unpaid hours: 23
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Getting Paid
- 3 hours at the office yesterday.
- 3 hours of book layout work for MM! Plus .5 hr of website stuff. (Also
delegated an hour of MM design work to my sugarplum.)
- 1 hour wrangling footage for A.
- 1 on DDA.
- Probably 4 hours on my website.

Hours worked this week: 7.5
Including unpaid hours: 12.5

Woke up: 9:30am
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
Getting Paid
- Worked on book covers for MM for 3 hours.

Hours worked: 3
Total hours this week: 13.5

Being Productive
- Did an interview for the Chronicle.
- Caught up on Coursera.

Cleaning: 20min. Got the dining room and kitchen back into shape.
Read All The Things: 93 / 92. All done with Shakespeare, alas.

Having Fun
- Photoshopped my friends into silly photos... for hours.
- Another fantastic installment of Bel Canto.
- Watched Tabletop!
- Chatted with my lambkins quite a bit.

Woke up: 1pm
Bedtime: 6am. Yikes.
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
Getting Paid
- Worked at the office six hours yesterday, one hour the day before that.

Hours worked: 0
Total hours this week: 9.5

Being Productive
- Got my email inbox down to ZERO EMAILS!
- Took photos of my 'bread pudding for very lazy people' recipe.

Cleaning: puttered around for five minutes, cleared out the sink.
Read All The Things: 85 / 92

Having Fun
- Saw my sugarplum!

Eating Properly
- 4pm: egg sandwich.
- 6pm: tea with milk and sugar.
- 10pm: bread pudding (x2). Um. Whoops.
- 12am: fish (x2), peas.

Good Food Days: 13. Sure.

Woke up: 2pm

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