Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate: The Book (The Trailer)

Not sure if I’ll be able to write a post I’ve got brewing in my head immediately, with all the various things that need doing this weekend, so I’ll put this up for now. Actually, I have two posts in mind, but both of them will take some doing to set to e-paper.

I’m sure this is a book you’ll all rush out to buy immediately. Doug Giles has apparently written a book on how to raise boys who are Manly Men cut from the Manly Mold without any of that pussification that comes from caring about other human beings’ autonomy or self-direction. But what I like best about this video is Giles’ amazing oral skills.

This guy is just grand. “A rouged and giddy American Idol hopeful”? “Feministas” (paging Paula Kirby, someone’s an inch away from biting your style!)? “Leading this country back to God and greatness”? And all the gratuitous Clint Eastwood and Sean Penn movie clips of yesteryear are icing.

But wait, you can download a Kindle? Interesting! Maybe it’s a 3D printer file so you can home-fabricate your own Kindle? Or maybe the guy doesn’t have the first sweet clue about technology, public speaking, or really anything but raising kids exactly the same way that our modern society has always raised kids — with rigid gender roles and a disdain for difference.

Pinkification of The Internet, For Dummies

The For Dummies series is arguably the best known computer self-help manual series in the world. It’s diversified into other fields, of course, with Sex For Dummies and Fishing For Dummies, but its bread and butter is still the computer industry.

But it turns out that they evidently haven’t been capturing one all-important market with their Internet For Dummies books, at least in France. How else could you explain this bit of blatant pinkification?

“Internet pour Les Nulles”, or “Internet For [Female] Dummies” cover

What’s amazing to me is Alexander Brown’s translation of the publisher’s blurb (thanks for saving me the time in translating myself!):

Perhaps you will ask yourself why there is a book about Macs specifically for women. After all, a Mac is a computer – there aren’t a million different ways of going about it, regardless of whether the user is a man or a woman. Free of boring, technical considerations, this book focusses on the practical and fun sides of Macs. Of course, you will have to learn to use the operating system and domesticate it [it's not clear if this referes to the operating system or the Mac]. But we promise to give you only the minimum tools necessary to survive in “this hostile environment”. In the chapter about the Internet, we give you all the tips to start surfing with peace of mind,  communicate with your friends via messaging services [the original uses "amis", which thankfully acknowledges that women can have male friends], go shopping safely. For the more audacious [feminine form used] amongst you, why not even create your own blog to put your views on show on the web?! [emphasis added]

And from a retailer’s synopsis:

Mac for Dummettes will become your best [female] friend! In this book, there is a strict ban on computer-scientist-with-spots-and-glasses’ jargon! We’re amongst girls, aren’t we?

(By spots the original French means pimples. Thanks, fuckers, for also stereotyping computer nerds.)

Subjects covered include “finding your Mac’s place in the house” and “shopping safely”. Of course, it’s not like those topics weren’t covered in the gender-neutral Internet for Dummies. It’s just that it’s far more important that we ease these women into the “man’s world” that is the internet.

Except, that last part is kind of true. If only so many self-entitled men weren’t so invested in making women so damn unwelcome around these parts, the newbie women could use the same damned book as the men. And it wouldn’t even have to contain special tips on how to email and instant message while protecting yourself from assholery.

Pentametron creates sonnets out of users’ tweets

This is certainly a lot better use of a Twitter bot than most. It’s just the sort of high-concept bot I would love to do, if only I had a decent idea for one. And I bet it’ll irritate real poets, like Cuttlefish, for its (present) flaws.

Creator Ranjit Bhatnagar built, in PHP, a script that searches Twitter’s millions of tweets an hour for any and all tweets that match iambic pentameter scansion, finds rhyming couplets, and compiles them together into a sonnet. And considering the source, there’s some amazingly deep stuff! For instance:

still haven’t eaten anything today…
Have had a lotta nicknames growing up
BOO Chelsea !! Liverpool deserve the cup !!
Blue is the Color, Football is the game…

Fame of the money, Money of the fame.
Do not appreciate the referee.
REMEMBER LOVE, REMEMBER YOU AND ME
So many babies at the outlet mall

Abundant Life Assembly welcomes all! :D
Its fucking hailing! Hail! In fucking May!
im shirted up… and ready for the day!
Tomorrow Baby Steps and Twinkle. \O/

I was invited to the city tho :)))))
i Hit the mall and spend a G today .

See!? Civilization has totally achieved its purpose, the world can end now.

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Richard Carrier is my new favorite Bible scholar.

For a very long time, I had considered Bart Ehrman to be the foremost Bible scholar, especially as pertains the question of an historical Jesus. I thought Ehrman’s position, that it’s impossible to separate the historical man from the mythological parts, and therefore completely unnecessary, to be the most nuanced and all-encompassing position to take. His disdain for mythicists like the guys behind the terrible movie Zeitgeist (the one perpetuating the amythological myth, to coin a phrase, that Mithras was a virgin birth who was killed and resurrected) was well founded, and therefore he was the first guy I would turn to, if ever anyone asked me about the existence of Jesus as a real person.

Not any more. Richard Carrier, fellow FtBer, just tore apart Ehrman’s latest book Did Jesus Exist? for being a sloppily researched and off-the-cuff rebuttal of the “Jesus is nothing but myth” crowd, with such a poor understanding of the original texts, that I’m almost embarassed for Ehrman.

But I cannot recommend books that are so full of errors that they will badly mislead and miseducate the reader, and that commit so many mistakes that I have to substantially and extensively correct them. Did Jesus Exist? ultimately misinforms more than it informs, and that actually makes it worse than bad. Like the worst of mythicist literature, you will come away after reading it with more false information in your head than true, and that makes my job as a historian harder, because now I have to fix everything he screwed up. This is why I don’t recommend anyone ever read bad mythicist literature, because it will only fill your head with nonsense that I will have to work harder to correct. Ehrman’s book ironically does much the same thing. Therefore, it officially sucks.

This makes me want to read Proving History quite a bit. I realize that this is essentially a pissing contest between two Bible scholars, and that as someone only slightly interested in Bible history I don’t have a lot of skin in the game, so I might find the book dry or otherwise difficult to get through. But when I see someone for whom I had held such a high opinion get royally and rightly smacked down for terrible research, I can’t help but rethink my personal pantheon of atheist scholars.

Neil Gaiman: Piracy boosts sales

It’s very telling to see someone extraordinarily popular, extraordinarily widely-read, and with a great deal to lose, put his own works up on the internet for free as an experiment, and change his mind about piracy when the empirical evidence proves his original thoughts on the matter wrong.

Just yesterday, I bought a copy of Watchmen — my first ever — despite having read it years ago. Why would I have bought it, if I already know the story? If I already read it for free once before? Because the content is worth it to me, and I never would have known that for certain if I hadn’t read it first.
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Broken Blade launch

Kelly McCullough posted the following to his Wyrdsmiths blog. I am reblogging it out of laziness a genuine effort to spread word about his book.

So, I have a new book coming out a week from Tuesday, Broken Blade. The first chapter can be found here.

It can be bought at all the usual places, of course, but if you want to get a signed copy, you might want to come to one of the events I’ll be having in November and December.

1st up: Launch day reading and signing at the Barnes and Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville (St Paul) MN. 7:00 pm, Tuesday November 29th.

2nd: I’ll be signing and chatting with whoever shows up at Uncle Hugo’s science fiction book store in Minneapolis, MN. 1:00 pm Saturday December 3rd.

3rd: I’ll be signing, maybe reading, and chatting with whoever shows up at Bookends on Main in Menomonie, WI. 5:00 pm Thursday December 8th.

4th: I’ll be signing and chatting with whoever shows up at Dreamhaven Books in Minneapolis, MN. 2:00 pm Saturday December 11th. This will be one of the last events at the book store before they become primarily on online book seller.

I read it. It’s epic.

God: “It Getteth Better”

An absolutely shameless marketing strategy by Simon & Schuster to promote A Last Testament: A Memoir By God. But I’ll bite, because it’s sacrelicious.

Also, there’s a great little scuffle going on right now between Simon and Schuster and the National Organization for Marriage. NOM is DEEPLY OFFENDED by this, and has reuploaded the video to their own Youtube account rather than contributing to the S&S account’s hit counts by embedding the original. They evidently have a long history of swiping copyrighted material without proper attribution or permission from the authors.

Humpty Dumpty on the meaning of words

Relevant to a discussion at Stephanie’s about whether to out a persistent and rather unsubtle troll so their meatspace acquaintances have a better understanding of what kind of viciousness he gets up to online, allowing them to protect themselves. It has, as most conversations do, meandered into an area related to the meanings of certain words. I was reminded of a passage in Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.

‘You don’t know what you’re talking about!’ cried Humpty Dumpty. ‘How many days are there in a year?’

‘Three hundred and sixty-five,’ said Alice.

‘And how many birthdays have you?’

‘One.’

‘And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five, what remains?’

‘Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.’

Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. ‘I’d rather see that done on paper,’ he said.

Alice couldn’t help smiling as she took out her memorandum-book, and worked the sum for him:

365
1
____

364
___

Humpty Dumpty took the book, and looked at it carefully. ‘That seems to be done right—’ he began.

‘You’re holding it upside down!’ Alice interrupted.

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A newly minted published fiction author in our midst

Holy hell, Stephanie Zvan got a piece of fiction published in Nature! If you ask me, it’s about time someone published her — I’ve had the privilege of reading a number of her unpublished works; there’s more than one reason she has earned my respect and the only official title I’ve ever bestowed on anyone in my capacity of Blog Dictator. I have it on good authority she’ll be posting it as her Saturday Storytime, but the piece is just too good to wait. Read it now, then read it again on Saturday and post your comments when she posts it.

No spoilers here, though. At all.

Well, okay, some spoilers in my tags. And maybe the categories too. If you need a synopsis before your interest is piqued, wait til Saturday when she’ll post it on her blog.

In the meantime, join me in congratulating her on breaking into the writing biz! I expect great things from Our Lady of Perpetual Win.