andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
You can't fix a problem if you don't really understand it, and you can't get somewhere unless you know where you're starting from. So in order to try and work out some steps towards a better future, I've been thinking about _why_ people voted to Leave Europe (And also why people vote for Donald Trump, which I think is related).

It's far too easy to look at the demographics of the different voters and say "They're less educated, and older, and poorer, of course they voted against their best interests." - but it's (a) not as simple as that and (b) that doesn't explain _why_ those factors would lead to people voting themselves out of the EU. After all, if what we were talking about was simple ignorance then the results should be random at lower levels of education, not anti-Europe.

The problem as I see it is that there are groups of people who believe they have either gained nothing from the changes in society over the last few decades, or have actively lost out. Those people are now a large enough proportion of the population that their angry lashing out is capable of tipping the scales of power.

There were less of the disenfranchised during the Blair years because the economy was constantly growing, and therefore (nearly) everyone felt a little bit better off, and even if things weren't better _now_ there would clearly be opportunities in the future. But when the growth stops then you're either in a worse state than before, or suddenly realising that the current shitty situation is one you're stuck with.

And the problem is that nobody ever told them the truth. Nobody ever said that if we wanted Europe to be a success then everyone would have to pay for it, and that would mean us paying more than we got back - but it would be worth it for the peace and the possibilities it opened up. Instead we were told that everything we did would benefit us directly.

When, of course, we were told at all. If you weren't paying attention then it would be hard to tell that New Labour were working to improve poverty at all. They were - but it was all being done in such a hush-hush, don't let the Daily Mail find out that we're actually left-wing manner, that when they finally ended their winning streak it was remarkably easy for the Conservatives to roll things back, because almost nobody could see what we were losing. Unless they were directly affected, of course.

And, of course, they didn't sell the benefits of Europe either. Labour have been pretty content to just let Europe slide by in the background, not worrying about it. And, frankly, so was I. Because it felt remote, and had been around since before I was born, it was something I didn't really think about. Like, say, oxygen.

The problem with that, is that when it comes to taking a vote on whether we should have oxygen any more, I haven't actually thought much about why I care about it, and what it means to me. And when the anti-oxygen side keep pointing out that without it we'd have a lot less forest fires, you can't actually get the general population up to speed on why they should vote to keep it.

As usual, I see this at least partially as a democracy/voting issue. With the system we have it's easiest for Labour (for instance) to take anywhere that doesn't vote Conservative for granted, and not mention any policies/areas that might upset people. So even though the poorest people in rural areas might actually be doing badly, nobody is going and talking to them, and the resentment festers until it explodes when given a chance to "Teach them all a lesson". Given a system where people can vote for what they see as their self-interest, we might actually see parties working harder to include everyone, and to listen to people's problems. And a system that doesn't assume that because it works for the majority it can ignore those on the fringes.

You will, of course, always have some really racist people. But the majority, in my opinion, are going along with self-interest, wanting to protect themselves because they don't feel protected by the people who claim to represent them. If we want to defang the awfulness that we're seeing at the moment then we need a better understanding of the real reasons why they don't feel like the system works for them, and to improve the system so that it works for everyone, and is seen to work for them.

(For another take on this, see this article, which I found fascinating.)
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I met Ambelin Kwaymullina in 2014 at Continuum. Later that year, I read and talked about the first two books in her young adult Tribe series. At the time, only the first book was available in the U.S.

As of today, the second book is out in the U.S. as well, but the third is only available through the Australian publisher, as far as I can tell. Fortunately, I have connections down under, and was able to get my hands on the final volume of the trilogy 🙂

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf Cover The Disappearance of Ember Crow Cover The Foretelling of Georgie Spider Cover

Kwaymullina describes the series as:

…a three-book dystopian series set on a future earth where the world was ripped apart by an environmental cataclysm known as ‘the Reckoning’. The survivors of the Reckoning live in an ecotopia where they strive to protect the Balance of the world, the inherent harmony between all life. But anyone born with an ability – Firestarters who control fire, Rumblers who can cause quakes, Boomers who make things explode – is viewed as a threat to the Balance. Any child or teenager found to have such a power is labeled an ‘Illegal’ and locked away in detention centres by the government.

Except for the ones who run.

Sixteen year old Ashala Wolf leads a band of rebels who she names her Tribe. Sheltered by the mighty tuart trees of the Firstwood and the legendary saurs who inhabit the grasslands at the forest’s edge, the Tribe has been left alone – until now. A new detention centre is being built near the forest, and when The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf begins, Ashala has been captured by the government and is on her way to interrogation…

I really enjoyed these books, set in a world of powers and politics and love and cruelty. Georgie Spider was a particularly good PoV character for the final book. She’s trying so hard to understand the various futures she sees, searching so hard for the best path that she sometimes loses herself. She’s so dedicated, and you just want to give her a hug and take her out for ice cream and tell her it’s going to be okay, but they don’t actually need you to do that because they have each other. The family bond connecting the Tribe is so powerful, and so wonderful…even though the events that made the Tribe necessary are so horrible.

This book does a nice job of bringing things to a head. We learn more about the history of various characters and what happened after the Reckoning. A lot of powerful people want to reshape the world, but Ashala Wolf is the only one with the power to do literally that. Which means a lot of people want her dead, and Georgie is desperately trying to keep her alive.

I appreciate the parallels to the real world. Kwaymullina talks about this a bit in the author’s note to book three:

The Citizenship Accords … are based upon legislation that applied to Aboriginal people here in Australia, and particularly on the Western Australian Natives (Citizenship Rights) Act 1944 (which was finally repealed in 1971. This legislation offered a strange kind of citizenship, if it could be called that, because what it did was exempt Aboriginal people who obtained a citizenship certificate from the discriminatory restrictions which only applied to them in the first place because they were Aboriginal. These restrictions included being unable to marry without the government’s permission, or even to move around the State. Citizenship could be easily lost, for example, by associating with Aboriginal friends or relatives who did not have citizenship. Many Aboriginal people referred to citizenship papers as dog licenses or dog tags — a license to be Australian in the land that Aboriginal people had occupied for over sixty thousand years.

She also talks about the connection between the conflicts of the books and the battles of today. Battles between fear and hope, between hate and acceptance, between greed and balance.

They’re good books, and I recommend them. If you’re in the U.S., you can use the following links:

I’m really hoping the U.S. publisher will pick up the third book soon…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2016 07:18 am
twistedchick: blown safe, flying money, "You think you've got enough dynamite there, Butch?" (dynamite Butch)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Republican delegate files lawsuit to avoid voting for Trump. "The delegate, Carroll Correll Jr. of Winchester, Virginia, argues in the suit that being forced to vote against his conscience is a violation of his constitutional rights. Correll says he will not vote for Trump because he believes the billionaire businessman is unfit to serve as president...Correll filed the suit Friday in federal court in Richmond. He seeks a judgment on behalf of all delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions."

Interesting Links for 25-06-2016

Jun. 25th, 2016 12:00 pm

Daily Happiness

Jun. 25th, 2016 01:31 am
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Just as I was thinking things are going well at work, despite one of our best workers leaving early next month, I get the news today that someone else (another fulltime employee who we rely on a lot) broke his hand and may be out of commission for four weeks (or possibly more!). But other than that, things really do seem to be going well employee-wise. The new guy we hired is working out really well, and the guy we've been wanting to move from cashier to stocker may finally be able to change positions now that we have some more cashiers working. (But argh, broken hand! Why now!?)

2. A coworker brought in delicious cupcakes today!

3. I stayed up way later than I meant to (I really want to try to get to bed by midnight!) but at least I can sleep in tomorrow.

4. Mollyyyyyyyyy!

Agent Carter fic: Boxing Lessons

Jun. 24th, 2016 11:58 pm
sholio: Jack and Peggy from Agent Carter (Avengers-Jack Peggy)
[personal profile] sholio
Another one from SSR Confidential (#5 of 8).

Title: Boxing Lessons
Fandom: Agent Carter
Word Count: 2600
Pairing: gen (though it could also be seen as flirty, light Jack/Peggy)
Summary: Jack and Peggy each have things to learn from the other, and they're slowly realizing it. Set after the season two finale.

Boxing Lessons )

Linkspam has a new filling (ouch)

Jun. 24th, 2016 06:18 pm
cofax7: Iroh eating noodles (ATLA - Iroh)
[personal profile] cofax7
I'm astonished and saddened about the referendum results in the UK, especially since it appears that many people didn't actually know what they were voting for? I can't even. All my sympathies to folks currently living and working in Britain.


Dave Eggars has a fairly damning report on a Trump rally in Sacramento. Damning for what it says about Trump's appeal, rather than for what Trump himself says. Interesting...

This won't convince anyone, but it's a great essay debunking a lot of the asserted reasons for hating Hillary Clinton. (Protip: it's sexism.) And again: why is Hillary being held to a standard that never appears to be applied to her male counterparts? Am I not supposed to notice that a media frenzy has been aimed at Hillary Clinton for accepting speaking fees of $225,000 while Donald Trump has been paid $1.5 MILLION on numerous occasions with hardly a word said about it? Am I supposed to not notice that we are now in an election season in which Donald Trump, a proud scam artist whose involvement in "Trump University" alone is being defined by the New York Attorney General as "straight-up fraud", is regularly calling Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary" and getting away with it?


This is a bit hyperbolic, but I could see at least some of it happening: The hack that could take down New York City.

This book about beauty looks really fascinating.

This is kind of a great story -- a dude rescues a baby deer.

Noted for later reading: The Guardian on the evolution of personal taste (I think).

Also wild times in Utah.


In other news, I haven't read all of this yet, but apparently there are new guidelines from Paramount for fannish Trek films? Um. If they're fan films, how can Paramount issue guidelines? (I know, I know, with the threat of lawsuits, naturally.) But really, if they fall within corporate guidelines, they're really not transformative texts anymore, they're approved derivative uses. Or so I would guess.

... and now that I've looked at the summary at, holy cow. This is so gross. I really love the one where the fan filmmakers are forbidden to make their own props. And the one where they're required to only distribute via streaming or download -- they can't distribute on dvd/cd. (Sorry, fans in places without broadband, you're not allowed to watch fan films!)

Eh. I'm sure IP attorneys will have more sophisticated takes than I do, but this will chill any critical takes on the Trek franchise. Although I'm not sure how critical any of the fan episodes/films are -- fan films require so much more labor than fanfiction does, I don't know how far afield those folks tend to go.


In other fannishness, I finished reading League of Dragons last night. And ... I liked it. Didn't LOVE it, but it was entertaining, and resolved a lot of stuff in pretty thoughtful and creative ways. There is, in fact, one particular bit at the end where Temeraire goes to thank someone and is roundly rebuffed for his pains, that I just really appreciated. That said, I didn't love the way the narrative cut away from some of the more dramatic moments, only to tell us about them later. In fact, three of the most dramatic things to happen in the entire series are never shown, which I found... baffling?

Anyway, it was still pretty fun and I think anyone who has been sticking with the series will find the conclusion pretty sound. Stuff mostly gets resolved and you can see an interesting future ahead for most of the characters.
twistedchick: text: breathing.  it's a way of life. (breathing)
[personal profile] twistedchick
One thing I have been thinking about today in regard to Brexit: no lives were lost [ETA: because of someone being killed because of an army. Or navy. Or Marines. No military was involved.]

Making the decision did not require an army, weaponry or a DMZ. Or some version of Henry V or General Montgomery.

I am not being sarcastic about this. I know the Brexit winning the vote is a huge thing and nobody knows how it will play out -- though I feel the need to mention that *nothing has happened yet*. It will take a couple of years to sort out; if you are British and want to work in Europe? Find the job *now*, so you will already be there when it comes through.

But with all the wars in the world? And all the idiots running around with guns here? I am very glad to see a governmental decision, a major one, that does not require someone to be killed by a military [by being shot or blown up by soldiers.]

ETA: A century ago the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand started World War I. I have the greatest respect for Jo Cox, and I wish she were still alive because she is a great loss to Britain, but I do not think her death will start World War III. There are no armies involved in the Brexit decision.

And since I have been well told off, shutting up now.

Heralding the end

Jun. 24th, 2016 03:16 pm
yourlibrarian: Merlin and Arthur among the trees (MERL-MerlinCopse-ninneve)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) Condolences to all UK readers following the Brexit vote. I'm thinking the results ought to be a giant wake-up call to Americans who are thinking of sitting out the coming election because surely there aren't enough Trump voters out there to get him elected...

2) CBS/Paramount has released "guidelines" for fan film makers which, while containing a few reasonable items, goes so far in dictating everything about a production that practically anything could be a violation. And then there are the completely ludicrous bits. Read more... )

3) Huh, so apparently this is what Microsoft plans to use LinkedIn for Read more... )

4) I couldn't help but be amused by the following because, by not having a customized ringtone capable phone for the longest time and then leapfrogging to a smartphone, this never applied to me. Some interesting musings about the nature of the Internet though Read more... )

5) I wouldn't be surprised if this story about the Orlando shooter's motives is true. Self-hatred is usually behind a lot of violence.

at least a little bit good

Jun. 24th, 2016 12:52 pm
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Brexit is not a warning about Trump.

The House Democrats' sit-in on gun violence is a genius move -- and it's already working. And this is the speech that you need to see. (The experience of one of the Reps who faced a gun in her own home.)


You want to help stop human trafficking -- children 14, 12 or younger used for sex -- but you don't know what will help? When you travel, take photos of your hotel room and send them to Traffick Cam, which matches them with photos of children on beds in hotel rooms, to rescue the children.


Jewish, Muslim and Christian women who dress modestly are starting a style revolution together .

And useful paraprosdokians. Read on if you don't know what they are; chances are that you've said some of them.

Zombies Run

Jun. 24th, 2016 02:22 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
My current physio regime includes a certain amount of walking each day, which is slower than usual and therefore less interesting, but also hard work. So I've dug out Zombies Run again to keep me company. I'm only half-way through Season 1, but it's fun. Jack and Eugene provide occasional unintentional hilarity in radio mode, though. For example:

Shuffle: Plays Adam Lambert's Master Plan
Jack and Eugene: Talk about how they're getting misty-eyed at that last song and teared up a bit.

Jack and Eugene: This next one's a happening tune.
Shuffle: Plays S Club 7.

Interesting Links for 24-06-2016

Jun. 24th, 2016 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Progressing once per year to the next frame in the original comic.

(Warning, final frame is...unpleasant.)

Daily Happiness

Jun. 24th, 2016 12:52 am
torachan: arale from dr slump with a huge grin on her face (arale)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Went out to lunch for my birthday today with my mom and Carla. (My birthday is on Sunday, but I have work then.) We went to Truxton's and Carla and I both got the new Seoul Burger, which was so good! It had kimchi and a fried egg on top, and some sort of delicious gochujang-based sauce. Also their sweet potato fries were super tasty as usual.

2. I mostly didn't do much today but I did get some translating done.

3. We took a nice walk tonight, which we haven't done in a week or so due to the heat. (It's supposed to get hotter again this weekend, I think, but it's really nice right now, if humid.)

4. We got a package today, which means new box for Chloe! (And Molly, too, though while she does enjoy a good box, she's not nearly as box-obsessed as Chloe, who will jump in two seconds after you put a new box down, even if she was in some other part of the house sleeping.)

I think we've got about fifteen boxes of various sizes scattered around the house and it's not a large house! Should probably go around and throw out all but a few, but they love them so much!


facetofcathy: four equal blocks of purple and orange shades with a rusty orange block centred on top (Default)

February 2014

234567 8

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 26th, 2016 12:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios