morgandawn: (pic#10804831)
I know that the election has depressed many of us. It has terrified even more of us and with good reason. Day by day the news gets grimmer and the Trump  Drumpf presidency has not even begun.

But there is something each of us can do. Also day by day. It is something we control - ourselves. We can can choose how we respond to those around us.  With love. With resolve. With fierceness. This week:

-I read about anti-Semitic graffiti appearing on the sidewalks  in my neighborhood. When neighbors on the community forum  alerted the community and reached out to our anti-graffiti city services, their posts were flagged. As I am a moderator in our neighborhood, I was able to remove the flags.   And I reported the person who flagged every single post in the thread (over flagging is a violation of the terms of service). I also wrote to each of the people who were flagged to thank them for speaking out.
-my mother and I bought a small menorah to replace the one stolen from her senior center holiday display. My mother also bought one for the neighbor - it was her personal menorah that had been stolen.
-I listened to an African America friend talk about the hostile reaction she got from a  white police officer while waiting in line for an oil change. He was ticketing someone and blocked her from moving (for 15 minutes)  and then glared at her and ostentatiously ran her plates. All she was doing was sitting in her car, in line, with her windows rolled up, waiting for an oil change.
-We reached out to a local LGBT teen group to start discussions on funding self-defense classes.

We live in California, in a very liberal area. The graffiti was removed in 24 hrs, someone else put another menorah in the community area so now there will be two, I invited my friend to have dinner with us over the winter break, and we will see what happens with the LGBT youth center.

morgandawn: (Farscape Touch the Stars)
Here is a group of activists who worked on Hillary Clinton's campaign that has started "Flip The House, Senate, President Blue"

They offer daily action calls and a newsletter.
morgandawn: (Zen fen lanning Green)
Full post

We have glamorized the way of the warrior for millennia. We have identified it as the supreme test and example of courage, strength, duty, generosity, and manhood. If I turn from the way of the warrior, where am I to seek those qualities? What way have I to go?

Lao Tzu says: the way of water.

The weakest, most yielding thing in the world, as he calls it, water chooses the lowest path, not the high road. It gives way to anything harder than itself, offers no resistance, flows around obstacles, accepts whatever comes to it, lets itself be used and divided and defiled, yet continues to be itself and to go always in the direction it must go. The tides of the oceans obey the moon while the great currents of the open sea keep on their ways beneath. Water deeply at rest is yet always in motion; the stillest lake is constantly, invisibly transformed into vapor, rising in the air. A river can be dammed and diverted, yet its water is incompressible: it will not go where there is not room for it. A river can be so drained for human uses that it never reaches the sea, yet in all those bypaths and usages its water remains itself and pursues its course, flowing down and on, above ground or underground, breathing itself out into the air in evaporation, rising in mist, fog, cloud, returning to earth as rain, refilling the sea. Water doesn’t have only one way. It has infinite ways, it takes whatever way it can, it is utterly opportunistic, and all life on earth depends on this passive, yielding, uncertain, adaptable, changeable element.

The death way or the life way? The high road of the warrior, or the river road?
I know what I want. I want to live with courage, with compassion, in patience, in peace.

The way of the warrior fully admits only the first of these, and wholly denies the last.

The flow of a river is a model for me of courage that can keep me going — carry me through the bad places, the bad times. A courage that is compliant by choice and uses force only when compelled, always seeking the best way, the easiest way, but if not finding any easy way still, always, going on.

The cup of water that gives itself to thirst is a model for me of the compassion that gives itself freely. Water is generous, tolerant, does not hold itself apart, lets itself be used by any need. Water goes, as Lao Tzu says, to the lowest places, vile places, accepts contamination, accepts foulness, and yet comes through again always as itself, pure, cleansed, and cleansing.

Running water and the sea are models for me of patience: their easy, steady obedience to necessity, to the pull of the moon in the sea-tides and the pull of the earth always downward; the immense power of that obedience.

I have no model for peace, only glimpses of it, metaphors for it, similes to what I cannot fully grasp and hold. Among them: a bowl of clear water. A boat drifting on a slow river. A lake among hills. The vast depths of the sea. A drop of water at the tip of a leaf. The sound of rain. The sound of a fountain. The bright dance of the water-spray from a garden hose, the scent of wet earth.

morgandawn: (Default Me Icon)
 So [personal profile] xlorp  and I have decided we'll do what we can (which is all any of us can do). We plan to make 1 phone call a week (since phone calls are what moves the DC machinery) and also focus on local topics which have a big impact on our quality of life

To help us select what to focus on, we'll be using several resources. This one is public and open to anyone:

A call a day keeps fascism away! Scripts & strategies for contacting elected officials and other forms of resistance. 
Sign up here: or peruse  their archive

edited: there is also a Weekly Call To Action Google Doc. The first link goes to a set of tips. The second link goes to the actual list. Last week is was about Bannon, This week the ACA and getting the House Oversight Committee to start looking into Trumps conflict of interest issues

Two amazing tools to help you reach out to your Congresspersons (we have tested both)

Jessica Fish (@Fishica) tweeted at 0:57 PM on Thu, Nov 17, 2016:
MAGIC ALERT: You call this number and it auto-connects you to ALL of your congressfolks offices, hops from 1 to the next. 1 (844) 872-0234

Add Their Numbers To Your Phone
Text your US address to (520) 200-2223 to get a list of your star and federal reps.

(zip alone is often enough. If you are really paranoid, use the address of that neighbor who leaves their dog home alone on long weekends until it barks itself hoarsely to sleep).

This year we're skipping holiday gifts and we donated to:

TransLifeLine (transgender support hotline)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Planned Parenthood


morgandawn: (Default)

We’ve Got Your Back

 Recent events have left many thousands of our San José residents — about forty percent of whom were born in a foreign country — in fear. Some of our neighbors, friends, and family fear changes in immigration rules or enforcement that could separate their families. Others voice concerns about proposed federal “registries” of community members of the Muslim faith. Still others point to the nationwide spike in “hate crimes” in recent days.
 I have sought — through Spanish-language television, social media, and in public demonstrations — to convey a simple message to our wonderfully diverse community: “We’ve got your back.” 
 What do I mean by that, “We’ve got your back?” We cannot control the events in Washington, D.C., but we can do much to care for each other here at home: 
 We will Not Tolerate “Hate Crimes” in San José
 Police Chief Eddie Garcia and the rest of our Police Department are committed to enforce the law against anyone engaged in committing hate crimes against our residents, such as last week’s attack on a hijab-wearing student at San Jose State University. The immigration status of the victim or of the reporting party do not matter, and will not be reported. Please report all such incidents to the Police Department, at 408–277–8911 or online; for additional assistance, please reach out to our local partners.
 We Will Not Allow Our Police To Be Used for Federal Immigration Enforcement
 Changes to immigration laws and enforcement remain within the province of federal policy makers. However, the police chiefs of most major U.S. cities — including our own — agree that local police should not involve themselves in federal immigration enforcement; doing so undermines public safety, by discouraging critically-needed cooperation in diverse communities. Consider, for example, how fear of apprehension or deportation could undermine our efforts to ensure reliable reporting of fires or medical emergencies, provision of witness statements, reporting of victimization, tipping about pending gang violence, or testimony in court. Moreover, our sparsely-staffed police must focus their scarce time on violent, predatory, and other high-priority crimes. We will continue to follow the best practices of local law enforcement professionals nationally by staying out of immigration enforcement. 
 We Will Protect the Constitutional Rights of San José Residents
 Campaign rhetoric does not always receive the benefit of prior thoughtful analysis, so we cannot know if assertions made on the stump — such as those relating to Muslim “registries” — will materialize into action. Nonetheless, we will closely monitor any proposed legislation or executive actions from the new administration, and work closely with our congressional representatives, other major cities, and if necessary, the courts, to protect the Constitutional rights of our residents. We’ve had success joining together in the past and will be prepared to do so again.
 We Will Support Our Community Through Our Office of Immigrant Affairs
 In my first weeks in office, we created an Office of Immigrant Affairs to take advantage of then-existing federal programs to legalize status of our residents and improve access to City services-such as for the immigrant entrepreneurs who launch half of our City’s small businesses each year. Director Zulma Maciel and the City have made considerable progress-launching “citizenship corners” in a dozen libraries, hastening the translation of key applications and documents, and boosting multilingual small business permitting assistance, for example. Check our website or local non-profits able to assist for assistance. Student “dreamers” born in a foreign country may also find helpful information at United We Dream.
 As French resistance leader Andre Malraux urged, “Instead of lamenting the absurdity of the world, let us try to transform the corner of it into which we were born.” We’ve got much work to do to take care of each other, and to transform San José’s corner of the world. We’ve got your back.
morgandawn: (Default)
 ever since 9/11, we have always understood the need for the passengers to rush the cockpit.
morgandawn: (Zen fen lanning Green)
What we need:

more kindness, more history, more context, more empathy, more listening skills, more good faith
less blame, less assumptions, less zero sum conclusions, less bridge-burning, less finger pointing
morgandawn: (Default)
 Some of the paths suggested by people like Ghandi, MLK etc are not an option for many people for many different reasons and I certainly do not know what experiences have led people to this point in their lives.  But this brings me back to my original position: The only person I can change is myself. (usually poorly, slowly, and with less success than I had hoped for).

So....if I am able, I will send a nice email to someone, leave a positive comment, compliment someone, be kind to someone.  If I see someone struggling, I will stop and ask if I can help. As it was said:  intent does not matter, only actions.
TL; DR: be excellent to one another.

morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)

post-security: public
Posted in full at: at November 02, 2015 at 11:46AM

Last week I reblogged a NY Times article about internet shaming:  How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

It referenced a book called “So, You’ve Been Shamed on the Internet”. The book discusses many topics, but the one that stands out was how we use the dogpile internet/shame method to keep people in line – not so much for them, but for us. They are the strawpeople, the scapegoats of what we are most afraid of in ourselves. Some of this shame is good, as there’s a lot of rotten things that need pointing out, but when it focuses on the stupid foibles of regular people and then hanging these people at the crossroads, it becomes something more complicated. Social media has now made it possible to jump all over clumsy regular people. 

This then brings to mind a post I reblogged this weekend about how everyone is just out there doing their best. That it might not be your best, that it might not be good enough, but it truly all one can do at the moment. And that someday, your best will not be good enough for other people, and hopefully you will be surrounded by people who understand and are kind.

Tags:social, thinky thoughts, much of these thinky thoughts came from emails and conversations with friends and family so while I cannot credit them individually, thank you, I've always relied on the kindness of strangers, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
morgandawn: (Default Me Icon)
In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find.....

"Today's privacy debate will bemuse the denizens of 2025, contended Hal Varian, Google's chief economist.

"By 2025, the current debate about privacy will seem quaint and old-fashioned," he wrote in his survey comments.

"The benefits of cloud-based, personal, digital assistants will be so overwhelming that putting restrictions on these services will be out of the question. Of course, there will be people who choose not to use such services, but they will be a small minority," Varian continued.

"Everyone will expect to be tracked and monitored, since the advantages, in terms of convenience, safety, and services, will be so great," he added......

...The Internet of Things, which will allow everything from toasters to watches to spew data about their users, will exacerbate the tech assault on privacy.

"Every object will become a spy," said's Neivert.

The level of surveillance that exists now will seem pale once everything starts communicating with the Net.

"Once we start wearing the Internet and our appliances are connected to the Internet, the level of observation, data capture and surveillance is going to explode," Pew's Rainie said."

more here

morgandawn: (BSG Roslin wikidwitch)

Fandom usually jumps into technologies, uses them, and then acts surprised when we realize that we have no clue what we're doing or how the use of the new tech has changed an aspect of our fandom culture. Right now a few authors are posting notices that you need permission to link to their fanworks in "public spaces". Or that they'd prefer their readers comment on their fic where it was  originally posted.  Each author gets to unilaterally define what is public with the expectation that every reader will follow because that is part of the "social contract". So for today Goodreads = public and is not a place to list or review fanfic. Tumblr is OK (for now) because it is not seen as a "public" space.*  

It used to be easier to know what to expect of other fans but the moment we went online, the fannish social contract was voided due to sheer size and complexity of online interactions. Add the fact that new platforms and new ways of interacting keep coming out every 20 minutes and you have a hot conceptual mess filled with poorly understood expectations.

I know that when we went online in the 1990s few of us had any idea  that fans would be publicly posting their porn fanfic** to open access websites (no. stop. think of the children!), displaying their explicit art where anyone could see (blush), and tweeting their love of RPS and knotting fic (OMGWTFBB!).  By those standards, we have all breached the original fannish social contract of keeping fandom a "safe space" simply by interacting with one another in public and online. And I suspect that 20 years down the road, we will again struggle to recognize "fandom" as it continues to be reshaped by technology.

So I would rather see us practice mindfulness and awareness that the tools and platforms we use change us and our culture instead of snapping at one another because we've changed and that we no longer know what to expect from one another.

Because to be honest, I have no clue any more. And I'd be wary of anyone who claims otherwise.

*Keep in mind that most fans don't bother to turn off Google indexing on their tumblr blogs (or their LJ...or their DW..or their twitter or their.....). And even if they do, every time someone else reblogs your content, if *their blog* is searchable by Google it will still be "public".

**A few of us did have in inkling but we all kept it quiet because we did not want to scare our fellow fans with our crazy visions of the future filled with flying fans sporting jetpack keyboards and tinhats.

edited to add: here is another example of Fandom Meets Technology
morgandawn: (Ariel Yes?)

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, “Hey Internet, this is it. We are going to win or lose the fight for net neutrality and online free speech in the next few weeks.

The Test

Oct. 12th, 2014 08:28 pm
morgandawn: (Frodo Sad)
 You're the United States, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see an Africa. It's infected with Ebola. You reach down and flip the Africa over on its back. It lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, using third-rate medical systems trying to fend off the Ebola. But it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that?

adapted from the movie Blade Runner.
morgandawn: (fanarthistory)
 Digital Amnesia, a Dutch documentary on archives....

About the film:

Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that reads 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable. Yet entire libraries are shredded and lost to budget cuts because we assume that everything can be found online. But is that really true? For the first time in history, we have the technological means to save our entire past, yet it seems to be going up in smoke. Will we suffer from collective amnesia? 

This VPRO Backlight documentary tracks down the amnesiac zeitgeist, starting at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, whose world-famous 250-year old library was lost to budget cuts. Out of that event, 400,000 Books were saved from the shredder by Ismail Serageldin, director of the world-famous Library of Alexandria, who is turning the legendary library of classical antiquity into a new knowledge hub for the digital world.

Images as well as texts risk being lost in our current ‘Digital Dark Age’, but efforts to stave off this threat are under way! In an old McDonald’s restaurant in Mountain View, CA, retired NASA engineer Dennis Wingo is trying to retrieve the very first images of the moon. In upstate New York, Jason Scott has founded The Archive Team, a network of young activists that saves websites that are at risk of disappearing forever. In San Francisco, we visit Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive that’s going against the trend to destroy archives, and the Long Now Foundation, which has put the long-term back on the agenda by building a clock that only ticks once a year and should last 10,000 years as an attempt to reconnect with generations thousands of years from now.

Directed by Bregtje van der Haak / produced by VPRO Backlight, The Netherlands

You can watch the Dutch episode here:
youtube version:


Sep. 11th, 2014 09:20 am
morgandawn: (Lavender Field Here Now)
 "Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Except her own plane. So that was the plan."

More here
morgandawn: (Default)
 The info you submit will be public

1. Go to
2. Click on 14-28
3. Comment "I want internet service providers classified as common carriers."
4. Hit Confirm on the next page
5. Done
morgandawn: (BSG Don't Even Start Kara scifijunkie)

If you don’t want your favorite websites to look like this, join the‪#‎InternetSlowdown‬ & RT!

The website has a link to send a letter to congress, the FCC and the White House. They also offer info on who to call and what to say. If you have time to make one phone call today, this is the one.

morgandawn: (BSG Don't Even Start Kara scifijunkie)

"On Weds September 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic "loading" symbol (the proverbial “spinning wheel of death”) and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House. Note: none of these tools actually slow your site down; they tell your visitors about the issue and ask them to contact lawmakers.

Be creative! Grab peoples’ attention with a loading symbol, and link to tools for emailing and calling lawmakers (e.g. Whatever you decide, tell them you’re participating, announce it publicly, and commit to getting *one* person or company with a *bigger* reach than you to join in as well. Got a question? Contact the campaign organizers.”

More here

PS. I wonder if the OTW, Fanlore and AO3 will be participating?

morgandawn: (Dr Who Fantastic kyizi)
Still coughing the cough from hell. But this caught my eye:

The National Archives Wants to put its whole collection on Wikimedia Commons

morgandawn: (Cat Sleepy)
In college part of my exam prep was to take all my course notes and rewirte them into shorter bullet points by hand. It helped me tremendously because it forced me to re-organize the notes into blocks of data and then commit the blocks to memory by writing. One of the many things I miss most about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - the ability to write and type at any pace without error.

But on to the article:  Cursive Writing Camps in Illinois

"Neuroscientists have found that the act of writing by hand builds neural pathways that directly affect a wide range of development, including language fluency, memory, physical coordination, and socialization. Researchers such as Steve Peverly of Columbia University and Virginia W. Berninger of the University of Washington have discovered close connections between writing and cognitive development. Peverly, for example, has shown that students’ attention span improves significantly when they take notes by hand as opposed to clicking away on their keyboards. And those who can write more swiftly retain the information better. Since connecting letters increases the speed at which one writes, we can infer that cursive note taking would be most beneficial for academic success."

morgandawn: (BSG Roslin wikidwitch)
..or rather how they helped save the investigation records when masked gunmen smashed their way into the offices of the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism.

"“Whenever I’m asked why web archiving matters,” he continues, “I think of the Bob Dylan line from The Times They Are A-Changin’—‘The present now will later be past.’ Material is disappearing before our eyes at an unprecedented rate, and with it goes precious source material for the future historian who will be trying to shed light on the present. Capturing the past for posterity through web archiving matters just as much as preserving other aspects of our cultural heritage, whether it’s kitchen utensils, buildings, warships or collections of newspapers. Studies suggest that 40 percent of what’s on it at any given moment is deleted a year later, while another 40 percent has been altered, leaving just 20 percent of the original content.”

morgandawn: (Farscape Touch the Stars)
1. Donate to Planned Parenthood. You can also donate at the local level. And then consider donating to RAIIN, an organization that helps rape and abuse survivors.

2. Demand that your access to over the air programming be restored and that cloud computing be allowed to develop and grow and flourish. Imagine if the Supreme Court
had ruled that VCRs were infringing back in 1984...we wouldn't have much of the personal media technology we have today.


"In an open letter on Tuesday, [Aero CEO] Kanojia asked
the public to help restore Aereo:
Contact your lawmakers and tell them how disappointing it is to you that the nation's highest court has issued a decision that could take away your right to use a cloud-based antenna to access live over-the-air broadcast television.

The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over-the-air programming belongs to the American public and you should have a right to access that programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television, or in the cloud.

Ask your elected officials to take action to protect your right use an antenna to access live free-to-air broadcasts, including a modern antenna located in the cloud."

3. Recharge your fandom love with this Star Trek vid: "
Long Live (Star Trek)". As I watched it, I am reminded of the many Star Trek fans that I have tracked down and spoken with this past year for the Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection. These women from the 1970s-80s-90s have said: "Star Trek played such a big role in my life back then. It is wonderful it is being remembered." What I sometimes say back to them is this: "It is you who we are remembering."
morgandawn: (Fair Use)
If you want to reduce your cable bill, you first have to decide where you like to watch TV: at the TV or on your computer.

If you like your TV, then you have the option of cutting cable or going back to basic cable. I will blog only about the method that I know and have used.

This method requires a wireless router in your home, a computer and decent DSL or broadband(3-4MBS for DSL). For most streaming methods, your computer will need to be on to watch video on the TV. And if you are not comfortable with doing an occasional reboot and restart if something hangs or freezes, then stick to cable.

Step 1: Buy a ROKU (around $50-100 depending on the model you pick)

Step 2: Buy Playon (a software program that runs on your computer).  Playon offers a free trial. You can then go month to month and once you are really certain it works for you, buy a lifetime subscription for $60. If you want to use their PlayLater feature to function as a DVR and record shows to your computer to watch later they charge a flat fee of $40/year. We have our own DVR so we went for the lifetime subscription

Step 3: decide if Netflix and/or Amazon Prime are worthwhile add-ons. Netflix is good for TV shows (they carry episodes up through the previous year). The only reason we have Amazon Prime is for the expedited shipping - on occasion we can find a few movies we want to watch. Netflix is around $10 a month. Amazon Prime will end up being roughly the same.

Step 4: Make a list of your favorite shows and see who carries them. Through Playon you can watch anything that Hulu offers for free. Hulu offers most of their shows within 24hrs of airing. Third party add-ons to Playon allow you to watch most any other TV show (yes even HBO and Showtime) for free - we use them sparingly as we still have our HBO and Showtime - mainly when our DVR fails to record a show and the damn On Demand service the cable company offers freezes or stops working (so much for not having to reboot on cable platforms). Local TV stations/news may also available via some Playon addons - you'll need to look through the Playon Scripts listings. Both Playon and Roku offer forums where you can ask questions.

What does it cost in the end
? A one time fee for the Roku ($50-100). A one time fee of $60 for Playon (lifetime) or a $3/month fee if you buy the DVR capability). Netflix and/or Amazon Prime for an additional $10 each (personally I'd not get Amazon Prime unless you have a need for the expedited shipping). For the first year, buying the most expensive ROKU and getting the monthly Playon, the cost is $12 month. If you add Netflix or Amazon Prime, an additional $10 each. Theoretically you could get access to most US (and UK) TV shows for around $22-32/month. After the first year....the cost can drop to as low as $10-13 a month.

And now you know why the cable companies fought so hard against Aereo and why the US Supreme Court case which Aereo lost today harms the consumer and technology innovation. Content providers and cable companies want to shut down Internet competition until they can figure out a way to overcharge us for their crappy (you know it will be crappy) Internet streaming service - that we will have to buy piecemeal at a premium from each network separately. Or, if they have their way, force us to pay for each episode, with no ability to store it and watch it later. Don't forget those "special" fees for watching on your smart-phone.

"Legal or not, Aereo was about to deliver something consumers wanted, something the collective will of the indigenous television industry still seems incapable of providing on a ubiquitous level. Broadcast TV. Everywhere." from a newsletter for cable network executives.

morgandawn: (BSG Roslin wikidwitch)
"But both Fifty Shades and After prompt questions, within fan communities and without, about what it means to write fan fiction now that the practice has been thrust into the public eye, and now that a select few are raking in enormous profits from the practice.

What is the purpose of fan fiction? There is no single correct answer. It can be a way to critically engage with the source material – a rewriting of a plotline, a reexamination of a scene from another angle, a what-if twist that alters the entire thing. It can be a way of fulfilling a fantasy – say, when you write that your favorite singer has fallen in love with an ordinary girl. It can be pure, sugar-spun fun; it can be more challenging, emotionally or intellectually, than the works that inspired it. It can be an enormous dialogue, inter-fandom and intra-fandom, sharing tropes and themes and methods of experimentation. It can be a way to just spend more time, in whatever way you prefer, with characters or a world that you find compelling. It can be a space that exists wholly outside the pressures of commercial writing – a story can have a million followers, or just one, and it doesn’t make a difference. But then, if a story has a million followers, is it hitting that commercially-publishable note – and can you fault the publishers, or the writers, from cashing in?"

---"The truth behind that six-figure deal for Harry Styles fan fiction" in the New Statesman, dated June 24, 2014.

This reminds me of Congressional hearings in the early 1900s over audio recordings (aka records). Most music was created and performed in the home or in community settings by and for members of the community. The fear was that audio recordings would kill the community and creativity of local musicians by commercializing the practice and rendering the home grown versions as both unnecessary and unwanted competition.:

talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape." (Lawrence Lessig cited this as part of his argument against stricter copyright laws).

Fan Fiction has always been a grass root creation and the introduction of the Internet made it even more "grass rooty"  (accessible to a wider range of fans). If fan fiction becomes monetized, then our culture will be in direct competition with commercial fan fiction. But therein lies fandom's strength - because until commercial fan fiction embraces the knotting, the tentacle, the incest, the MPREG, the gender fluid, and the many other forms of fantasy yearning to be free, it can never compete with the unfettered, freaky, amazing and wonderful human imagination.

So bring on the competition and let's see who blinks first.*

(*But let's also support the OTW, the EFF and any other entity that fights for fair use and non-commercial transformative use, because I suspect corporate interests are stacking the legal deck to avoid real competition.)

morgandawn: (Dr Who Fantastic kyizi)
morgandawn: (BSG Roslin wikidwitch) would be to repeal Citizens United and remove the corporate shield to make the shareholders and managers  of companies personally financially liable for the actions of their corporations. you'd see a different set of market place actions when your CEO realizes his personal ass-ets are on the line.

"The revelation was the private companies have been sharing our data with the government, right? And agreed, it was this unholy alliance, so your trust when you embark with a private company in a relationship in which they’re going to share some of your data, your anticipation is privacy. But if everyone would step back for a second and think about how fucked up it is that everyone trusts Mark Zuckerberg, everyone trusts the Google guys. But it’s like, don’t let the government see any of that shit! It’s like, Guys, are you fucking kidding? These are publicly traded companies with management teams who are, because of the bizarre and somewhat outdated jurisprudence when it comes to shareholder rights in the corporate environment, they have no fucking obligation to their customers or to their employees; they only have obligations to their shareholders. They’re literally coupled to a stock market that is itself increasingly run by artificial intelligence. This is where the whole thing spins into a fucking bowl of fuckin’ disaster. You have a stock market that is increasingly dominated by microtransactions, high-frequency trading conducted by fucking computers that have parameters built into them. That value determines entirely the value of these companies into which we have poured our private thoughts, feelings, associations. Tally all that up and frankly, while I’m not terribly happy about the government having this information, at the very least that’s sort of the Social Contract we entered into when we allowed the government to have police powers domestically. But why is anyone more comfortable with anyone having this information than the head of the NSA? And the reason is they have better fucking PR. They have cute names. And they’re friendly and shiny and happy. But that information is for sale. It’s hard to imagine Facebook being bought out by a, not to sound jingoistic, but by a foreign-held corporation. But who the fuck owns MySpace?"
~ Johnathan Nolan, creator of "Person of Interest"

morgandawn: (BSG Roslin wikidwitch)
"More often, though, we don’t immerse ourselves in history; it’s just there whenever we want it, living right alongside the present. We can trace ideas backward in time, either by searching Google Books or (for a sum) through thousands of academic journals, using a few keywords to find sources that once were the sole domain of historians. Pick any historical subject and the Internet will bring it to life before your eyes. If you’re interested in vaudeville, you’ll find videos galore, while college football scholars can browse Penn State’s 1924 yearbook, complete with all the players’ names and positions. And every day, more history keeps washing up. Not long ago the news went out that a Philadelphia woman named Marion Stokes had recorded 140,000 VHS tapes of local and national news from 1977 to her death in 2012. Her collection has been acquired by the Internet Archive, and soon it will trickle onto the web."
morgandawn: (Dr Who Fantastic kyizi)
We enjoyed the new Cosmos show on Fox last night. Interestingly, I had a brief panic attack when they laid out the universe's history along a 1 year calendar timeline and explained that all of human recorded history took place in the last 14 seconds of the year and that our lives....well, microseconds wouldn't even cover it.

Until I remembered that matter is not lost in the universe and, as they pointed out in the show, we are all made of exploded stars. And that the stars must have been equally as scared when they were exploding because they could not have imagined they'd end up as (or in) us. So it is OK to be a bit freaked. And who knows what the next "calendar" year will bring when we change form again.

morgandawn: (Deter Hire People With Hooks)
Far too many of my over 50 friends are finding it hard to find work after being laid off. I have noticed an area where jobs are growing - and that is in assisting families and seniors with errands, driving them to medical appts and other personal services (note: this is not senior home health care which often requires medical  training). This NY Times article discusses some of these jobs, especially those that focus on helping the 70-80 year old baby boomers. Before this year, working as an independent contractor often meant losing out on health care but thank God for the Affordable Care Act as it at least removes the pre-existing condition exclusion.
morgandawn: (Cat Basket Going To Hell?)

In all the ruckus, I think it has been missed that by now the NSA must have collected onto their servers, probably obsessively indexed and rated, ALL OF THE PORN !!!

Let's hope this

never happens.

morgandawn: (Cat How... Interesting!)
In the US, there are chances you or someone you know is taking a medication the insurance will not cover. Or someone who cannot afford health care insurance.

There are several prescription discount programs available. Some require annual membership: AARP ($16/year and you must be 50+), Sam's Club ($55/year). Anyone can use the Costco Pharmacy without membership (oh and you can buy alcohol without membership too -  in some states).  The United Way offers its own free discount card that matches those rates - no membership fees or income limits and you do not have to even sign up: familywize Another great website is NeedyMeds which offers their own discount card.   NeedyMeds also provides info on the many ways you can get help paying for drugs (most are income based). You can also click on your medication and they will provide links to payment help or discounts for that one drug. And you can look up financial assistance plans based on your specific diagnosis.

I ran some medications through these plans and found they match the Canadian Internet pharmacy discussions which means the same savings with a more regulated supply. In my case the drug savings was 20% (brand name). If you can take generics the costs of meds are lower.

morgandawn: (Lavender Field Here Now)
"It is not a matter of acceptance of others, it's a matter of making room for those things we have not accepted about ourselves. "
morgandawn: (fanarthistory)
"The era of the American silent feature film lasted from 1912 until 1929. During that time, filmmakers established the language of cinema, and the motion pictures they created reached a height of artistic sophistication. These films, with their recognizable stars and high production values, spread American culture around the world. Silent feature films disappeared from sight soon after the coming of sound, and many vanished from existence.

This report focuses on those titles that have managed to survive to the present day and represents the first comprehensive survey of the survival of American silent feature films. Mr. Pierce’s findings tell us that only 14% of the feature films produced in the United States during the period 1912–1929 survive in the format in which they were originally produced and distributed, i.e., as complete works on 35mm film. Another 11% survive in full-length foreign versions or on film formats of lesser image quality such as 16mm and other smaller gauge formats."

More here.

morgandawn: (fanarthistory)
The famous library at Alexandria wasn't burned down with fire — it was destroyed by government mistreatment and neglect. Will today's great digital libraries like the Internet Archive suffer the same fate?

What made the Museum and its daughter branch great were its scholars. And when the Emperor abolished their stipends, and forbade foreign scholars from coming to the library, he effectively shut down operations. Those scrolls and books were nothing without people to care for them, study them, and share what they learned far and wide.

Interesting article about the WayBack Machine (the Internet Archive) and their desire for open source knowledge to be freely given and freely used and accessed. They did experience a fire last week and if you'd like to help them replace the lost equipment you can donate here.
morgandawn: (Fair Use)
I blogged about the origins of copyright law here (one of the reasons it was created to prevent political dissent in the UK).

This year the NSA used trademark law to remove a parody t-shirt from Zazzle  that criticized the NSA's surveillance of citizens. You can still buy the shirt from CafePress (for now). Mugs, IPhone cases and bumper stickers are also available. Here is how the funds will be used.

The slogan: "The only part of the government that actually listens."

Read articles here and here. And there is an informative video with an ironic twist at 4minutes  (see below)
The NSA T-Shirt The NSA Liberty Maniacs

Direct link to the video is here
morgandawn: (Cat How... Interesting!)
"It's fitting that Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron and the partner of Charles Babbage, was the world's first computer programmer. For much of computer history, "computers" weren't just humans—people who sat doing the drudgery of repeated calculations that would, in turn, feed models and algorithms. The computers were also, often, women."

More here

morgandawn: (Dr Who Fantastic kyizi)
Here is a challenge from author Gene Weingarten: "What I am seeking now are more elusive stories, harder-to-find events and anecdotes from private lives that had intense meaning or resonance within those lives, or were portentous of larger events to come. Or other sorts of events – within the business world, or in the military, for example – that didn’t make the news."

More here.

And on that day, here is an article from the LA Times:

"Early in December two sixth-grade classes from an elementary school in East Los Angeles came downtown to tour the Los Angeles Times and meet a live editor.

On an impulse I asked the youngsters how many of their families had videocassette players. A thicket of hands went up; it looked as if at least three-quarters of the students were saying they had VCRs at home.

Their parents did the movie renting, they said, but frequently following orders, or requests, from the kids. "Ghostbusters" seemed to have been at the top of the year's hit parade, although one young man said that "Nightmare on Elm Street" had been seen at his house, and he shuddered pleasurably at the recollection.

Two classes as a sampling don't necessarily prove a point, and there may simply be a wizard salesman of VCRs in that immediate neighborhood. Yet it is a fair guess that, on the long curve of history, 1986 will be identified as the year that the videocassette recorder ceased to be a novelty, or a luxury, and became a fact of American home life, right there with the television (or the televisions) and the handheld radios and fast outdistancing the ghetto-blasters, which have begun to look archaic." From "THE VCR-ING OF AMERICA : Videocassettes Have Fast-Forwarded Into Our Lives."

morgandawn: (Fair Use)

TLDR version: donate to help keep WebCite going. Oh, and citation services/URL archive services are fair use.

The long version: I heard about a new citation service/URL archiving service, and was excited…until I read the fine print. Still, I think  the service will set an important precedent that can only encourage more URL archiving services 

Background: The US Supreme  often links to online content. For any legal opinion or article that relies on online content, linkrot is a major problem. A Harvard study has found that over 50% of the links used in US Supreme Court opinions are gone (the number is higher for journal articles – 70%).  To combat this, the US Supreme Court is printing out a hard copy of every web page that they cite and depositing this  hard copy  into their paper archives. But for the many people who rely on  open online access to court opinions (and that’s a lot of people, both in the US and internationally), once the original website goes down, it is gone. This means that if you’re a nonprofit trying to write an amicus brief you have to  hire someone to go to the US Supreme Court to actually look at the stored version.  That costs money, time and energy. 

The Good and The Bad
The good news is that a group of law school libraries are developing a “screenshot” service that will, eventually, allow them to permanently store a digital copy of a cited page so readers can access the cited material.  The problem is that it is designed to only address published material – unless a cite is used in a published legal opinion or journal and the journal editor manually reviews and confirms the citation, it will vanish.   How this service (which has not yet been launched) will impact other groups dependent on permanent  links  is not clear. For example, Wikipedia is the largest online open source encyclopedia. It too suffers from linkrotBut it most likely will not be helped by a service that  requires that citations be “published in a journal” and reviewed and approved by the “journal editor”  before it is permanently stored. And of course, there are many other types of open source journals (medical, scientific, historical) that might not qualify for  this type of “verified” status because they don’t fit the traditional “publish for pay” model or are not affiliated with a university. 

WayBack Machine Limits
The WayBack Machine does not solve the linkrot problem because it crawls randomly which means you have no way of knowing if the page you are citing will end up there.  Or even worse, once there, if someone buys the domain name and “parks” it, they can contact the WayBack Machine to retroactively remove all the archived content as the new domain owners.   In fact, there is only one service that has, for the past decade, allowed writers who are citing online material to create a static snapshot of a page: WebCite. And they've been doing this reliably and for free.  Not surprisingly, one of their largest users is, in fact, Wikipedia.   

WebCite’s Support Of Wikipedia
The service, WebCite, now needs help updating their service. They must move to the cloud in order to manage their increasingly large data flow.  They estimate that they need to raise $25,000 to hire a developer to make this migration happen. Once there, they hope to continue offering the service for free (although they are exploring offering additional services for subscribers to create permanent funding sources for the service). 

Personally, I love the idea of an institutionally run, permanent citation service like – the more the merrier. Data thrives on redundancy and we cannot have too many online archives.  If only would also allow Wikipedia citations to be stored permanently...... While I understand why the law schools funding this effort would want to cater to professionally published and recognized journals (their “bread and butter”),  I am disappointed that open source  research, education and teaching continues to be overlooked and under-supported. 

I can only hope that services like WebCite will continue to operate.  Because Wikipedia is the second best democratic and open source knowledge tool that has ever existed (after the invention of the printing press). It  just needs to continue to have access to the infrastructure (like WebCite) to support it. 

About That Important Precedent That I Mentioned
Another good thing to come from the service: it has looked into the legality of URL citation services and.....well, let’s just assume that 9 out of 10 law schools that are backing this service agree  that it is fair use.  And just in case anyone questions whether it is “legal” to create a snapshot of a web page for citation purposes – well, if you want to march up to the US Supreme Court and tell them they are doing it wrong, feel free. But I suspect that these type of archived pages will be considered fair use (in the US)  whether you are a “for pay article,” or  “a free article” used in either a  “published” or “open source” service/journal (such a Wikipedia).  The key will be, as always, the intended purpose of the “use.” Archiving by educational, research and nonprofit entities is a traditionally supported and appropriate use.’s About page points to this 2007 law article discussing the legal issues surrounding citation snapshot services:

“However, fair use instances remain unquestioned when the work is used for educational nonprofit archival purposes and when the archival has no economic impact upon the work’s marketability. The goal of the URL archives fits squarely in this latter situation – it is both educational and nonprofit…. the digital archive stores only works that can be freely accessible on the web because their authors had posted them on the web with the intent that they be freely accessed.  Because the archived works are freely posted on the Internet by their authors, with no expectation of compensation, but with the understanding that they will be accessed freely by users by using such free search engines as Google, the Supreme Court’s admonition that this factor is the most important and decisive could not be more fully satisfied. To that extent, the defense of fair use [for this type of service] “seems preordained.” 

PS. For a dose of humor, Slate says that "perhaps the best way way to illustrate the problem is with the rather (intentonally) hilarious "404 error" message that resides at a hyperlinked address found in a 2011 Supreme Court opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito Jr." You can see it here.

morgandawn: (fanarthistory)
I've blogged about this several times before - the monks during the Dark Ages of European history were able to preserve more history than is being preserved today. In fact, within 2 years 30% of of online data vanishes - and that number climbs every year, even with Google and the WayBack Machine.

But digital historians are testing out new reconstructions method:

"What’s interesting is that this process is a kind of internet archaeology that reconstructs an historical web page from the context in which it occurred. That’s a fascinating new discipline.In the real world, archaeologists and anthropologists have become highly skilled at reconstructing natural history in this way. The conclusions that can be drawn from the discovery and analysis of a single tooth, for example, are truly astounding."
morgandawn: (Fanlore Our Story)
Listen to the sounds of people across the world as they make Wikipedia edits. We are only a few generations away from the Net becoming self-aware and the closest we may ever get to human telepathy.

To listen to all the edits across all the wikis (not just the English language) go here.

morgandawn: (Default Me Icon)
I've blogged about link rot and how it impacts fandom, history and wikipedia (the main one, not Fanlore). But I've been reading articles discussing how the shift to online "life" is impacting the ability of courts and legislatures to conduct business.

"More and more documents and opinions are in digital form and include hyperlinks to cited cases and other documents. And there is something on the Internet known as “link rot,” in which the source has been moved from the old address or removed entirely. “Is link rot destroying stare decisis as we know it?” asks Magnuson, wondering what happens if you can’t find the information a court relied on. “It is scary, scary stuff.”
Is a paperless, people-less court in our near future?
"Something Rotten in the State of Legal Citation: The Life Span of a United States Supreme Court Citation Containing an Internet Link (1996-2010)".

The impact spreads to other areas: open source medical journals, human rights campaigns, genealogy research, and general reporting. And with the move to twitter and tumblr feeds the problem is growing worse,

"What’s more, we’ve moved into a world of streams, where flow is more important than stock, and where the half-life of any given piece of content has never been shorter; that’s not a world which particularly values preserving that content for perpetuity. And of course it has never been easier to simply delete vast amounts of content at a stroke". Reuters, "The Spread of Link Rot."

The problem is one that many feel needs to be addressed. This is from the founder of pinboard, the bookmarking service:
"Link rot in my own bookmarks is what first inspired me to create Pinboard, a personal archive disguised as a social bookmarking site. As I've shilled before, Pinboard is the only website that will store full page content for the kind of champagne-swilling fat cats willing to pay us a $25/year fee. But while link rot motivated me to build the site, until recently I did not have enough user data to actually quantify the problem. I was particularly curious to see whether link rot would be linear with time, or if links would turn out to have a half-life, like plutonium. Here's what I found... Links appear to die at a steady rate (they don't have a half life), and you can expect to lose about a quarter of them every seven years" Pinboard, "Remembrance of Links Past."

And on that note, WebCite, Wikipedia's main citation and linkrot prevention tool is still raising funds in order to continue operating.They set up a Facebook page here. And even more amusingly, they created their own fundraising trailer. Be kind - they're coders and geeks and not vidders nor are they PR or fundraising savants. But they've been providing this service to the world  - for free -- for over 10 years and it is a service we desperately need to continue.  You can donate here.

They recently laid out their plan: ""Our primary aim at the moment is to make the system more scalable by moving it from a hosted server environment to a cloud-based service (Amazon). This needs to be done this year as we have reached certain limits on our current environment. Moving it to a cloud-based architecture will remove any such performance and storage limits. Secondly, we have to come up with a model that allows us to finance the operations in an ongoing basis. We plan to develop a few WebCite PLUS features (such as the ability to create a user account and view/download all snapshots you have taken). For these additional PLUS features we plan to charge PLUS users, to make the operations sustainable over the long-term. In this model, the basic functionality will remain free of charge."

morgandawn: (Frodo Sad)

Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I’m all right, I’m all right
I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
Oh, but it’s all right, it’s all right
For  we've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
We’re traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
And I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

Oh, we come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
And sing an American tune
Oh, it’s all right, it’s all right
It’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest.

© 1973 Words and Music by Paul Simon

morgandawn: (BSG Don't Even Start Kara scifijunkie)
"I've never let men order me around, I'll be dammed if I let a bunch of women tell me what I can and cannot do."
morgandawn: (Fanlore Our Story)
For the past few years I've been puttering around with both paper and digital preservation of fandom creations. This NY Times article caught my eye. I like the solution they came up with. The added bonus: a plea for crowd sourced translation of Korean content.

"For a generation, institutions from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Pompidou Center in Paris have been collecting digital art. But in trying to restore the Davis work  [The World’s First Collaborative Sentence”, an early form of a blog post with comments enabled], which was finally debugged and reposted at the end of May, the Whitney encountered what many exhibitors, collectors and artists are also discovering: the 1s and 0s of digital art degrade far more rapidly than traditional visual art does, and the demands of upkeep are much higher. Nor is the way forward clear....

“One of the biggest philosophical questions,” said Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of new media at the museum, “was, do we leave these links broken, as a testament to the Web” and its rapid development?...

After much deliberation, the curators decided on a nearly unheard-of artistic solution: to duplicate Mr. Davis’s installation and present it in both original and updated forms. "

more here

morgandawn: (Cat How... Interesting!)
While we were away at Escapade, The Streisand Effect celebrated its 10th birthday. As one article points out, if you're worried that people might be talking about your Chubby Checker sized penis, suing may not be the best strategy.  And if that second grader posts pictures of her icky school lunch tray, trust me, forcing her to take down her blog will only make you look like Governor Tarkin with a bad hair day.

The only way to fight those who are talking about Fight Club is to get everyone else talking about Fight Club and drown the speech airwaves with their trivia.


morgandawn: (Default)

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