Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

An hour-long BBC special with Judi Dench and her love of trees (it’s only available through January 19).

Surprise, surprise, not many people have heard about Elizebeth Smith Friedman, one of the best codebreakers of World War Two.

In Praise of Cowardice.

Everyone has stories of the small coincidence by which their parents met or their grandmother was saved from fire or their grandfather from the grenade,” writes Rebecca Solnit in The Faraway Nearby. My grandfather saved himself, from the bullet, the bomb, the grenade, and the friendly fire, and wrote our lives into The Book. Not exactly by coincidence. By doing nothing. By getting a good night’s sleep.

The women who helped form Dungeons & Dragons.

A TED talk on the history of human emotions.

Most people who tell us to pay attention to our well-being talk of the importance of naming our emotions. But these names aren’t neutral labels. They are freighted with our culture’s values and expectations, and they transmit ideas about who we think we are. Learning new and unusual words for emotions will help attune us to the more finely grained aspects of our inner lives. But more than this, I think these words are worth caring about, because they remind us how powerful the connection is between what we think and how we end up feeling. True emotional intelligence requires that we understand the social, the political, the cultural forces that have shaped what we’ve come to believe about our emotions and understand how happiness or hatred or love or anger might still be changing now. Because if we want to measure our emotions and teach them in our schools and listen as our politicians tell us how important they are, then it is a good idea that we understand where the assumptions we have about them have come from, and whether they still truly speak to us now.

Solomon’s Shield is an app that lists your rights, and gives you cues and advice for talking with police. It also streams the encounter to your FB (if you’re on there) and sends an emergency text to selected contacts. It requires access to use your camera and microphone, your location and contacts, and connect it to your FB through another app (so I admit I won’t probably be installing it) but for those people who run a greater risk of police brutality (or for those who aren’t tin-foil hat paranoid about that stuff), it might be a good resource. Available for Apple and Android.

One of the grad students in my program published a paper about Brave/r Spaces vs. Safe Spaces for LGBTQ+ in writing centers. It’s very academic-y, but if you know any queer academics, especially those in areas that teach critical thinking and analysis, maybe consider passing this along.

Holley and Steiner, along with many other scholars, have acknowledged safe space rhetoric within the classroom setting as a risk-taking venture that engages with students’ contrasting views in the classroom and serves to facilitate learning. The acknowledgement of the inability to create entirely safe spaces free from physical harm within the classroom setting is certainly true in that educators cannot entirely control the ideas of their students—nor should they attempt to do so. However, this does not preclude the need for physical spaces for LGBTQ+ free from judgment, persecution, and harassment. Part of the issue with the term “safe space” is that it often exists without a real assessment of the physical spaces that the rhetoric was originally intended to denote.

The bullshit of romanticizing poverty.

The exploitation of marginalized writers.

The lack of diverse perspectives in articles, news, and media is a disservice to the general population. While a person’s identity is important to their understanding of the world, it does not define who they are. To better understand the world, we need to hear unique voices and perspectives. Pigeonholing writers and pigeonholing people means we lose out on the perspectives of marginalized people on important issues and topics, because they’re only ever commissioned to write about their identity explicitly.

This phenomenon has been experienced by women and minorities alike. Alaina Leary, a queer, disabled editor and writer knows this firsthand. “Editors have no doubt asked me to spell out my disabilities even in pieces that are not supposed to be related to disability, most likely to seem woke,” Leary told me. But like many marginalized writers who are used to being defined by one element of who their identity, Leary, who often pitches a wide range of both disability and non-disability related topics, appreciates when she’s able to write about topics without her identity coming into play.

Janet Benshoof, human rights lawyer and founder of the Global Justice Center and the Center for Reproductive Rights, died last week. Obituaries for her ran in the New York Times and Washington Post.

Nerd alert! Manny Medrano, an undergrad at Harvard, interpreted a set of six khipus, knotted cords used for record keeping in the Inca Empire. He and his advisor’s paper on the project will be published in January, with Medrano’s name listed first.

With the help of his professor, Gary Urton, a scholar of Pre-Columbian studies, Medrano interpreted a set of six khipus, knotted cords used for record keeping in the Inca Empire. By matching the khipus to a colonial-era Spanish census document, Medrano and Urton uncovered the meaning of the cords in greater detail than ever before. Their findings could contribute to a better understanding of daily life in the Andean civilization.

If you don’t follow him on Twitter, you might have missed Anthony Oliveira’s year-end thoughts on the end of the world and his hopes that something better is on the way.

We crave apocalypses, in our darkest hearts, because when lies proliferate, they promise an instantiation of meaning, however dreadful. The yearning for armageddon is a desire to instantiate certainty in these moments of disorder; apokalypsis—an “unveiling”—promises, if nothing else, something is behind the curtain. They provide a sense of an ending: what William S. Burroughs called “the naked lunch, in which we at last see what is on the end of every fork.”

These crisis points, in which it becomes impossible to imagine any truth or meaning to history, can then be understood as a recurrent phenomenon, as a part of the unfolding of history itself.

20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years.

NPR’s 100 Best Songs of 2017.

A list of more than one hundred black women running for office in 2018.

The Burgomaster and I watched this movie recently and it’s really charming (despite being a bit of a propaganda piece for the Chinese Ministry of Culture).

13 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. Onymous says:

    That hundred best songs article gives me mixed feelings. I've only heard 4 of them: so one hand lots of stuff to listen to, on the other hand what the hell have I been listening to this year.

  2. meat_lord says:

    Can't wait to delve into these!

  3. Fancy_Pants says:

    Manka, I want you to know that I just got back to my own apartment, brewed a pot of decaf, made a pile of the best chocolate I acquired over Christmas, and am sitting in a nest of blankets on my couch ready to dive into these links.

    Thank you for all that you do! I can feel the holiday burnout crankiness melting away.

  4. jenavira says:

    If anybody needs to cry today (and boy did I need to), this article on Carrie Fisher's contributions to the script of TLJ is excellent, and also includes the tidbit that Laura Dern wrote that last scene between Leia and Admiral Holdo as a tribute to everything Carrie meant to her fans, and yep, I'm crying here at work again thinking about it.

    (There's a whole essay about feminine heroism in that line, sooner or later I'll get it together to write it.)

  5. CleverManka says:

    Well shit, I just tried to watch the trees documentary (I'd only seen a preview) and it's not available in the US.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      It's on youtube (ripped off, of course).

      BTW… Did you forward the braver/safe space article to Xan? It looks like something they would like.

      • CleverManka says:

        I did not forward that–would you like to, or shall I? Sorry I just now got to this…it got buried in my inbox.

        oh, and we found it on YouTube, but the Burgomaster can't watch things in low res. It bugs him too much. I might watch it sometime when I have an hour to myself…

  6. phantom says:

    I liked the book one it had a humour that I missed from The Toast. I liked all the others to.

  7. Kazoogrrl says:

    I am really interested in the D&D article because we know one of the early (male) TSR designers/writers.

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    Manka, I just remembered, if you need a calm, sweet film to watch, I really liked Our Little Sister. I haven't watched a lot of Japanese film, but I loved the slice of life aspect here, and the suburban setting as opposed to urban.

    Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is also good, but so sad.

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