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recent comments, posts, and shares:
djw  ·  3029 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How do we report spam? I've never encountered it on Hubski before now.

I've seen a few spammers on Hubski, but they're normally spammers in the sense that they're after pageviews rather than scams, so they just make accounts dedicated to submitting their own links and nothing more.

djw  ·  3030 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Flash fiction thread?

I'm enjoying reading these. just remember: flash fiction isn't a form with any specific length requirements (not all publications and institutions consider it a form of its own to begin with), so they can exceed "Hemingway's" example by quite a lot.

consider these Lydia Davis stories, for example. they're quite good, and longer. these are longer still.

that's not to talk anyone out of the fortune cookie-sized stories, as those have a wisdom of their own, but adding some length could be very freeing too. a kind of freedom is, I think, what appeals to many about writing flash fiction.

djw  ·  3031 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Has National Geographic lost its mind?

this wouldn't be so bad if it were framed pretty differently, I don't think. they could have made an article about birthstones somewhat educational if its purpose was to introduce readers to birthstones as a phenomenon. it's pseudoscience, sure, but it also has a degree of a cultural aspect that is worth being aware of on a factual level: certain people make an exercise of associating certain traits with certain stones. instead, they dumbed it down and turned it into a personality quiz one would expect from a gossip rag.

nothing against gossip rags, either, but people don't read them and Nat Geo for the same reason.

full disclosure: I've never read Nat Geo or Nat Geo Kids in my life. maybe it's always like this, for all I know. I guess at least the readers will learn something about birthstones by the article inviting them to participate.

djw  ·  3031 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Untitled Heart Sculpture

I'd love to know more about the materials and process used in the piece, personally, if anyone has that information. for some reason, I want the heart to be weighty and solid rather than hollow in the center.

I admire it on a visual level, but conceptually it's a little too obvious and transparent for my taste. there's not much tension, I don't think, although it was an interesting choice to give the darts the shape of the type of heart usually used when speaking about love or romance as they damage the anatomical heart.

that's just my opinion, of course, and shouldn't away from it.

djw  ·  3031 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sochi is going to be interesting

    Last week, Putin said that gay visitors should feel “at ease” during the Olympics.

didn't the country previously announce that gay competitors and athletes wouldn't be exempt from Russia's anti-gay laws or their corresponding punishments? this article doesn't come out and say so, but I remember earlier reports that did.

I don't know if I can bring myself to watch the Olympics this time around, but it feels almost stupid to say it; I imagine Russia is far from the only host whose social policies are in direct opposition to mine, and I just hadn't thought of it in past events or didn't follow closely enough.

anyone else feeling that way?

edit: plus, you'd have a hard time finding a country to host the World Cup that would keep me from watching, so it almost feels insincere to call it a personal boycott for social reasons entirely rather than partly based in casual convenience.

djw  ·  3045 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Avoiding Ivy League Preschool Syndrome

I'm with you. in some cases, the disparity is even greater than it is between the hypothetical schools you listed. Jonathan Kozol's text, Savage Inequalities, shows an example of this by looking at two schools in the same county in New Jersey. I forget the specifics, but one receives something like $10,000 annually per student in funding while the other sees just a few hundred dollars.

in schools like the latter, textbooks are not only antiquated, but also limited; they are often shared between multiple students, leaving many with none to take notes or study from overnight. classes are taught in supply closets because the schools have inadequate space. the teachers are often less experienced and skilled than the ones in the wealthier district because those ones get the higher-paying jobs.

the result is that not very much is learned, standardized test scores (flawed measure of knowledge though they are) suffer, and drop-out rates are high. obviously, these are social issues as well as academic ones, but the point is that education can't be entirely divorced from resource availability or school quality.

I'm as charmed by the notion of the autodidact as anyone, but it's hard for me to assume the poor performance of the less fortunate kids is their own doing rather than an uneven playing field. and let's not forget that, to teach oneself, one must value learning and be motivated to pursue it. how valuable does education seem if one's school / town / state can't even supply him or her a textbook or a classroom?

djw  ·  3046 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Shit Poets Say At Open Mics

I couldn't help but laugh at the over-introducing the poem part or at 2:20, but I think this person is going to the wrong readings (or at least ones very different from the ones I go to).

if I had to choose, I'd take poets steeped in pretension over most of these. if I were to make a list, it'd go more like:

• I went to another country once and that is the most important thing so I'm going to write all my poems about it

• I have sex and that is a nice thing about me. here is a poem about it that is too anatomically detailed

• either I am unaware of time passing or have complete disregard for everyone who must read after me, but regardless here's an epic-length poem

• I am drunk

• I'm convinced I'm a Beat poet because they're not all dead or from generations ago. also, this poem is edgy

• my poems don't make any kind of sense but the words sound good so let's be friends

• I won't look up from my paper at you, sorry

• I'm reading off my phone. haha, a joke about the future, right?

• all rise, the honorable The Poet residing. please bask in the glory of my verse and boost my ego accordingly

• here's my life story followed by a poem about a dog

I mean this all good-naturedly, I promise

djw  ·  3046 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who do I tell that I'm seeing a therapist?

is it important to you that people know? would telling them help you with the process?

the way I see it, if someone is a close friend of yours, they'll be grateful to know what's happening in your life on a personal level, but also wouldn't feel slighted if they found out and you hadn't told them sooner. any worthwhile friend would be supportive rather than judgmental, right?

I think it's important to realize that everyone goes about this kind of thing differently, and what's right for you might not be what's right for someone else. maybe it's a function of living in a city where it seems like one in every three or four people has sought therapy, but it's a topic that is handled casually among the people I know. the problems aren't brushed aside or anything like that, but everyone is more comfortable with the idea of therapy and aware of mental health issues. hopefully you'll have a similar experience. and if it is something new to the people in your life, I hope they'll adjust alongside you. there's no excuse to step between someone and the help they need.

aeon.co  ·  #internet  ·  #internet.minimum_wage  ·  #spooky
djw  ·  3048 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dennis Rodman Regrets Comments on North Korea Prisoner - NYTimes.com

I feel bad for Dennis Rodman and have for a number of years. he's struggled with substance abuse in the past, and the interview footage suggests addiction is not entirely behind him.

I'm also curious about the image of him as a reckless, quirky, vulgar party lover. to a considerable extent, that came from his own actions, but was it developed in part to protect himself from something? does it hurt him to be seen like that or expected (by the media, the public, or whoever) to live up to it?

I don't know. his time on Celebrity Rehab included a narrative about him struggling with being seen that way and expected to be constantly partying, for whatever that's worth.

djw  ·  3303 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mitch Hedberg 2004 Just For Laughs gala - YouTube  ·  

Mitch was a comic genius and, from all accounts I've heard, genuine and kind to his fans. if you're already a fan and need any reason to like him even more, here's a great Reddit comment from a fan who met him and has kept in touch with his family to some degree. he posted a follow-up comment with some photos.

the above isn't his best performance or material, but it's still so good to see it.