ETA: oh man, I just realized (via this reddit post) that this means that the image links will be broken to all historic images that were being hosted on photobucket not just for me, but for everywhere on the internet for the past 15 years :((( Old blogs, images, fanart, random how-to pages on the internet - links'll be broken unless people start paying the $400. Ughhh why can't everything be backed up and free for everyone forever.
For a long time, I've felt like, each project goes through phases, of "just getting started and full of ideas" and "wrestling with someone else's code I don't understand" and "filling out features and making something fairly complete" and "dealing with an urgent problem". And they basically ALL caused me to procrastinate. But with very very many varied productivity tricks and techniques, I seem to finally be reaching a point where, in most of those phases, I can just go ahead and do work, without constantly struggling not to freeze up and get nothing done.
The last couple of weeks, I was a bit stuck in a "it doesn't work and I can hopefully fix it but I don't know for sure" loop, and hadn't realised how much it was dragging down my mood. It also seemed to be, I wasn't content if there was *any* major upcoming problem hanging over my life, I had to make progress on *all* of them before I felt at all better. But I eventually did.
Overall, that's really quite good. I still need to test if the improvement is ongoing, but it's an improvement I wasn't sure I'd ever quite reach. Unfortunately, because I'm me, my brain is less excited, as depressed that it took so long, and that afterwards things will not be significantly better.
There's been a slow shift. It used to be, if I had a little bit of time, I could never just, do something small (washing up, or code tidying, or replying to some emails). I could only ever do things when I made it so I *had* to. But as things improved, that resistance melted away, and "how intimidating tasks seemed" shrunk back to something related to how much work they actually were. Which I guess is where many people were all along.
Doing month-by-month goals or projects was definitely good, I think I want to keep that up. Sometimes they've been a specific project, like learning rust. Other times they've been just "catch up on these paperwork/chores". But having that structure helps a lot letting me see progress. And knowing a project is self-contained, I can see how much I can do, and then *stop* and force myself to re-evaluate my goal, not get stuck in a dragging-on project for ever.
I haven't done anything very spectacular this year, but I've learned about rust (and contributed!) and learned about writing an android app. And started a new job. And am confident that if I try to work on a project in a language I already know it would have gone a lot faster.
It feels like, given the slightest pressure to do things a particular way, even in my imagination, my brain immediately collapses into thinking "i have to do things that way" and it's really hard to *notice* how I'm stuck let alone dig myself out again. And that applies not only to specifics, "colleague refused to listen to idea, so can I ever consider that idea again in the future in any way?" but to meta-skills. It always feels like I *have* to fix everything by sheer force of will, not by, well, techniques that work, because that's what people expect of me. But it's not true, no-one does think that, but it *feels* like they do.
In a previous post, the arguments against religious arbitration were laid out and examined; but five basic arguments support religious arbitration in the United States, and on the whole, they are more powerful that the counterarguments.
1. Recognizing religious arbitration is a religious freedom imperative
Commitments to religious liberty and religious non-establishment require liberal states to give religious arbitration the benefit of the same legal protections offered to commercial and other non-religious dispute resolution. If society wishes to enable and encourage citizens to utilize private dispute resolution forums rather than state courts to resolve litigious conflicts, then it must do so by putting both religious and non-religious arbitration mechanisms on equal footing. Any other result would amount to a government attempt to disestablish religion in favor of irreligion, a serious constitutional problem, at least in the United States. From this perspective, secular societies ought to create frameworks for legally enforceable religious arbitration, not because they want to, but because they have to. Either all forms of arbitration must be permitted, or else none may be.
2. Religious arbitration often resolves disputes better than secular adjudication
Religious arbitration ought to be legally recognized because it better resolves disputes within religious communities. One of the chief reasons for this is that contracting parties are the ones best positioned to really understand their own needs and preferences, and to form agreements that meet those interests and expectations. When parties have chosen to have a dispute resolved by a religious tribunal, there is good reason to assume that they did so precisely because religious arbitrators are more likely to understand the critical subject-matter subtext of the underlying facts, conflict and sought-after remedies, and will therefore craft better decisions.
3. Religious arbitration is necessary for resolving religious problems
Certain problems can only be solved by religious tribunals, and societies that do not have them lack solutions to certain religious problems: Perhaps the most famous example of this phenomenon is the “agunah problem” in Jewish law.
Traditional Jewish law prescribes that a religious divorce can only be affected by the willing giving of a “get,” or bill of divorce written in a prescribed ritual manner, by the husband to the wife. Because the get must be given willingly, and because, except in the rarest and most exceptional circumstances, Jewish law does not provide for the judicial dissolution of marriage, husbands can and sometimes do use their refusal to grant a get as leverage in divorce proceedings. Without the get, the wife will continue to be considered religiously married; she will not be able to marry anyone else under Jewish law. A woman whose husband refuses to grant her a get after the practical dissolution of the marital relationship is called an agunah, a “chained woman.” Because the get must be given willingly and only for due cause can a rabbinic court directly compel a husband to give the get, and it cannot unilaterally dissolve the marriage, a great deal of rabbinic expertise is needed to handle these cases. In modern times, however, rabbinic courts have no such authority absent an arbitration agreement. Indeed, exerting such pressure would violate secular criminal laws, as one recent case in the United States illustrates.
4. Secular recognition of religious arbitration helps moderate and integrate religion
Religious arbitration is good for secular societies. Secular arbitration frameworks can help promote more complex and moderate modes of religious thought and practice among religious minority groups in secular societies. This, in turn, helps ensure that religious individuals and communities view themselves as partners in a broader societal project that transcends parochial identities and do not come to view their relationships with general society in oppositional terms. Secular societies ought to facilitate effective faith-based arbitration because by doing so, they will encourage their constituent religious communities to become more integrated into society and more moderate in their ecumenical convictions and practices.
These requirements induce religious groups interested in developing legally enforceable faith-based arbitration to engage in a conversation with the demands set by societal norms and values. The examples of the Beth Din of America in the United States and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal in the United Kingdom illustrate how religious communities can adapt and reinterpret their own traditions in order to comply with important societal demands. These Jewish and Muslim dispute-resolution tribunals do not punish ritual offenses, do not use coercive methods and generally afford parity to litigants and witnesses regardless of their gender or faith.
A legal framework that permits religious arbitration within certain necessary limits helps encourage religious minorities to become more integrated into the general society, rather than more isolated. This is good for society, which avoids the problem of separatist religious groups with antagonistic attitudes toward society and the state. This is also good for religious communities, which are afforded the immediate benefit of being able to voluntarily practice their religious norms in a way that will be legally enforced.
5. Secular recognition of religious arbitration promotes value sharing that enriches public policy and discourse
Religious arbitration is important because it helps faith traditions participate in important societal discussions on law, policy, ethics and other normative concerns. Just as religion stands to learn and grow from its integration with society, secular society can benefit from its interactions with religion. In liberal, pluralistic societies, it is important to have numerous voices and traditions as part of any deliberative public discourse. Religious traditions, no more or less than various ideological, philosophical, cultural, ethnic or political frames of references, are important perspectives that ought to be included in such conversations. Societies work better, progress faster and innovate more creatively when public discourses on important issues of law and policy are more diverse. This claim was shown by to be empirically correct by Scott Paige in his 2008 book, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Societies that partake of diversity and reach decisions based on input from multiple perspectives are in fact more successful in the long run. Religious voices are part of that diversity.
The idea of religious arbitration is a good one. Society benefits from allowing religious communities and their members to contractually resolve their commercial and family law disputes. Such religious arbitration is more accurate within its cultural norms, more respective of autonomy rights of individuals and more sympathetic to the values of a multicultural society. Each of these values represents important American ideals. In addition, of course, this is part of the religious freedom that is fundamental to American law and culture.
Of course, secular society must regulate such arbitration in three very important ways. First, it must make sure that people are truly voluntarily agreeing to such arbitration in a way that shows a true consent to religious arbitration. Second, society must make sure that such arbitrations are limited to monetary matters and do not tread on the unique police powers of the general society. Third, it must make sure that procedural due process is followed in arbitration hearings. Related to that is that religious arbitrators, to be successful, must integrate well the norms of the secular society that intermingles with their own religious community.
Allowing this religious arbitration serves not only the best interest of the religious community, but of secular society as well. The United States will be better for it.
• "The bestest full English I've had in town!" - Jane Austen [/advertising slogan of local cafe]
- Reading, books 2017: 52
( Three Georgette Heyers, 5/5, 2/5, 3.5/5, with quotes and observations. )
• Oh, and every time the author uses the word "libertine" my brain responds with this image, lol, which almost certainly isn't the effect she intended....
1. Where is your phone? Bedside
2. Your hair? changing
3. Your dad? Gone
4. Your other half? Non-existent
5. Your favorite food? Thai
6. Your dream last night? Strange
7. Favorite drink? Water
8. Favorite shoes? Birkies
10. Favorite way to relax? Music
11. Your mood?
12. I love? Ocean
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren't? Male
15. Muffins? English
16. Wish list item? Comforter
17. Where you grew up? Moving
19. What are you wearing right now? Nightgown
20. Something you hate? Self-righteousness
21. Your pets? cat
22. Friends? yes
23. Life? Yes
24. Regrets? Yes
25. Missing someone? Yes
A song that you never get tired of. I am kind of over-thinking this one, because there are a few songs I have definitely liked for 20 years or so. Once I've been listening to a song for ages, rather than getting tired of it, I'm more likely to feel warm towards it because it's so much part of my life. At the same time, there are a few songs I've got into more recently, which I expect to always love, but I can't be sure that I won't ever get tired of them.
So I think the best candidates are:
( video embed )
Article by Zeng Yuli in Sixth Tone (6/27/17):
As the economy slows and social expectations rise, youngsters are rejecting traditional notions of success and embracing a culture known as ‘sang.’"
Before reading this article, I was only vaguely familiar with "sang" culture. So that those who do not know Chinese pronounce the word more or less correctly instead of making it sound like the past tense of "sing", read it as "sawng" or "sahng".
The article begins:
In recent years, an increasing number of urban, middle-class Chinese young people have begun to identify with sang culture. Simply put, sang refers to a reduced work ethic, a lack of self-motivation, and an apathetic demeanor. “I’m just a waste of space,” “I don’t care all that much for life,” and “I’m listless to the point of despair” are typical phrases uttered by sang youths.
Meanwhile, memes such as the “Ge You Slouch,” the recently deceased Pepe the Frog, and “Gudetama” or “lazy egg” have become the beloved mascots of sang youngsters. American series such as “Bojack Horseman” and sang dramas from Japan reflect the same mentality.
The emphasis on gudetama (which I suppose comes from gudenguden ぐでんぐでん · gudegude ぐでぐで ["dead drunk; in a drunken stupor"] + tama たま ["ball; sphere; globe; orb" > "egg"], though I'm by no means an expert on this), the mention of "sang dramas from Japan", and the overall Japanese esthetic made me suppose that, like so much other East Asian youth culture, sang probably had a Japanese origin. So far, however, I haven't been able to discover precisely what that might be. Rather, sang seems to be something that is developing within the Sinosphere, but under the impact of Japanese cultural trends.
Though initially I didn't know for sure what character sang transcribed, from the context I quickly deduced that it was 喪. Native speakers are somewhat ambivalent about whether to read this in 1st tone as sāng ("mourning; mourn; funeral") or in 4th tone as sàng ("to lose something abstract but important [courage, authority, one's life, etc.'; to be bereaved of [one's spouse]; to die; disappointed; discouraged"), though in the end most opt for sàng.
It's obvious from the meanings given that sàng is primarily verbal. One correspondent explained why she feels that sàng is the appropriate reading in this instance:
Though I'm not completely sure, if I were to read the phrase, I would choose to read it as sàng wénhuà. For me, perhaps "lack" more accurately captures the sense of emptiness / aimlessness the popular usage of this verb now expresses. My personal understanding of this word is that it describes a status, an emotional state of lacking intention to work or study, or even to actively have fun in the extreme case. I've seen people state, "Wǒ zuìjìn hǎo sàng a 我最近好丧啊!" ("I've been feeling really dispirited lately!"). In this situation, the term seems to be more like an adjective than a verb or noun.
Another correspondent stated that a sàng 丧 person is like a zombie, a walking dead.
Whether in the first tone or in the second tone, a third correspondent pointed out, "Basically 丧 is always used in a negative way (death, loss, failure)."
Whatever its deeper origins, sàng wénhuà 喪文化 is clearly something that is developing within Chinese culture. It's certainly prevalent in Mainland China. Does anyone know if it's also in Taiwan?
Sàng 丧 is used to refer to lack of motivation, absence of productivity, or simply dearth of energy to engage in work or study. Here's a link to a website where people discuss sàng wénhuà 丧文化 ("sang culture") and their own interpretations of it.
Still and all, though sāng 喪 may be authentically developing within China, it fits well with Japanese fictional figures such as Rilakkuma (Rirakkuma リラックマ ["Relax Bear"]), who has been around since 2003. In Chinese Rilakkuma is called Sōngchí xióng 鬆弛熊 (lit., "relaxed / loose / flaccid / flabby bear"). He has a fèiqīng 廢青 ("wasted youth") kind of temperament and is often urged on by his baby bird friend to "go outside once in a while". Rilakkuma has been in existence for a decade longer than Gudetama (2013).
For an investigation of otaku and related Japanese and Sinitic (diverse topolects) terms for introverted individuals who stay at home and are often characterized by extreme lassitude, see:
[Thanks to Maiheng Dietrich, Jinyi Cai, Mandy Chan, Fangyi Cheng, and Tianran Hang]
Their name is Final Fantasy XV.
I’m? In a?? Video game fandom??????? IT IS SUPER WEIRD. I DON’T EVEN OWN A PS4. I CANNOT INTERACT WITH THIS CANON THE WAY IT’S MEANT TO BE DONE. I AM REDUCED TO YOUTUBE PLAYTHROUGHS AND VERY PASSIONATE TEXTING WITH MY FRIEND WHILE HE PLAYS.
Let me explain.
So I am very aware I’ve barely posted recently -- about three times a month since March, and this last month it FEELS like I’ve barely posted because it’s almost all been about wider-world stuff. (And even then, I’ve been so quiet given what’s happening? Because British politics right now is BANANAS.)
This is mostly because I’ve been working a LOT, and playing pretty hard too. I really want to do a catch-up post on all the RL things, and also about a bunch of the fannish things I’ve been doing (not so much on the writing of fic, sadly -- it’s been pathetic) and etc. Buuut right now I need to tell you about Final Fantasy XV because it is EATING MY HEAD.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this emotionally compromised over a fandom. I cried down the phone to son_of_darkness (aka bestchocobro/sodsta) for the better part of an hour over the ending, and was only comforted when we made kinkfic plans.
It’s really very much all son_of_darkness’s fault.
( so whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat at least I had the strength to fight )
It’s so great. Like, it’s incredibly awesome as a canon, and it kinda fits my fic interests and skills (dark kinky porn, romantic kinky porn, and punny banter) to a T. Plus I love reading hurt/comfort, and I’ve barely written it ever but I just signed up for a hc_bingo card because I do wanna write more h/c and this canon is RIDICULOUSLY good for it.
And these CHARACTERS. I love them ridiculously much. There’s this enormous muscled bro who’s so kind and connects with people, and lashes out against his prince when their friend is seriously hurt, and his whole family legacy is shielding the king but it’s impossible. And exasperated, sarcastic, fond, kind Iggy, who cooks for them and is the prince’s adviser and strategist and mum friend, and so hardcore and so practical and so lovely. (He reminds me of Giles in a lot of ways, including the sudden darkness of what he’s willing to do to protect his warrior.) Both these guys are so young and trying to take care of their prince, who’s even younger. Prompto, the best friend, he’s funny and makes awful puns and takes selfies with the daemons they fight; he’s the prince’s only friend from outside the courtly world and he gets crushes on all the girls and he’s screamingly vulnerable. His parents were never home, he was a fat (and self-hating) & friendless kid, he worries that he’s worthless and is desperate to earn his place. That his origins with the enemy nation will be discovered and his friends will reject him. And then the villain tricks his best friend into pushing him off a moving train.
SPEAKING OF. OMG, the main character, Noct. He’s a sarcastic little bitch, and he sleeps all the time, and he hates vegetables despite Iggy’s best efforts, and he has back and leg pain from a daemon attack as a kid, and he had this miserable lonely childhood even as the other kids were desperate to glom onto a prince. And he yearns to play games at the arcade and eat junk food and be a normal kid but he never whines about it. He’s so scared that he won’t be enough, that he won’t be heroic or brave enough to do his duty, but he is, of course he is, he doesn’t flinch. *cries forever*
I LOVE THEM. I want to write h/c for their pain and dark porn for their encounters with the amazing, amazing villain. He’s super manipulative and clever and totally wins through his defeat, and he likes emotionally torturing the heroes and touching their faces and being super-sleazy. He’s a delight.
I have fallen HARD for a new fandom, guys. Not leaving any of my old ones, of course, but WOW.
ASK ME ABOUT IT IN COMMENTS IF YOU LIKE I COULD TALK ABOUT THIS FOREVER RN
2. Watching the sky change. My wee solar-powered lights against the backdrop of the changing evening sky.
3. Glass of rosé. I think this may be the Summer of Rosé for me.
4. Having an ARC of a book I am totally totally psyched to read. (Alas I am exhausted and am not going to stay up to read it tonight, but I have hopes of reading more of it tomorrow.)
5. I got my ticket to Vividcon! I'll be there Thurs-Mon this year, and I already can't wait.
⌈ Secret Post #3829 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 21 secrets from Secret Submission Post #548.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.