pyraxis: Pyraxis (Pyraxis)
I want to spread this long but incredibly important Tumblr post about the history of the autism and multiplicity communities everywhere I can.

We weren't a part of all of the groups and initiatives described there, but we know some of the people involved. Our place was on the forums, the rise and fall of various forums between 2004 and the present.

I want to talk about one thing. The importance of freedom of speech and an uncensored space in the development of a community. Everything Amorpha/S. says about the Dark Personalities mailing list has been mirrored in Daria's and my own experiences of the unmoderated autism forum we have been a part of. It is imperative to have a space for people who have been cast out of other communities for being too controversial, for saying critical things, for breaking social rules, for pissing off the wrong person. When there is social upheaval because huge new ideas have come to light, there is an urgent need for space where they can be spoken about freely, hashed out, argued about, screamed about. In the brouhaha over demanding trigger warnings that has even spread to mainstream media in the past year, I want people to understand why it is important to keep places where trigger warnings and other kinds of content policing are not required.

It's still difficult to write about this because I am an intensely private person and used to keeping up mental boundaries.

Thanks Kerry for the link on your journal. (This one.)
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk


Bonus: Got this off a traditional capitalism message board. (Written by eskslo.) Anyone care to correct the bias?
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
Last December, the self-published author M.C.A. Hogarth ([personal profile] haikujaguar) received a notice from Amazon that her e-book Spots the Space Marine was being taken down due to trademark infringement.

It turns out Games Workshop, also known as the UK company that created Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, own the trademark to the term "space marine".

How is this possible, when space marines are a science fiction trope that have appeared in stories, comics and movies at least since Bob Olsen wrote "Captain Brink of the Space Marines" in 1934?

That's where the corporate bullying comes in.

Games Workshop, apparently, have a horrid reputation for being lawyer-happy. They've filed suit against one of the largest Warhammer fansites, against Chapterhouse Studios who make conversion parts for miniatures, and they reputedly hit independent toy and game retailers with clauses that they cannot stock any other gaming system if they want to stock GW miniatures.

For the past couple months, [personal profile] haikujaguar has been quietly contacting five separate IP lawyers and finding that the cost of fighting GW's claim would start at $2000 US and quickly climb into the $50,000 range when the lawsuit began. It wouldn't make business sense to protect the book. Independent authors don't make that kind of money.

If Amazon had investigated GW's claim, they might have discovered it stood on shaky legal ground (per legal publishing blog Scrivener's Error). But they didn't. They just pulled the book, and are refusing to reinstate it without GW's okay.

So essentially we have a situation where a dubious legal challenge from a corporation in another country has censored an independent author's work with no recourse. This is not a system which can claim to protect individuals' rights. It is a system where money can buy the best-equipped mercenaries, and those without it knuckle under in fear of having their livelihood crushed in the modern arena called a courtroom.

The only hope of the individual is enough publicity to embarrass their opponent into withdrawing their claims. This will be difficult against a company of lawyers, MBA's, and wargame designers which has pursued aggressive litigation since the early 1980's. A few days ago, it looked near impossible. Then [personal profile] haikujaguar made a clear, calm and concise call for help. Her relatively small group of friends and fans stepped up to the plate.

The internet rage machine is powerful once the ball gets rolling. 24 hours brought the attention of Elizabeth Moon, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorov and Neil Gaiman. 48 hours brought the Electronic Frontier Foundation and articles in The Guardian, The Register, and a host of other news sources. (Full list of media coverage here.) The Games Workshop lawyers probably thought a self-published author of e-books was easy pickings. Only time will tell just how wrong they were.
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
From [ profile] thirteen_ravens:
LiveJournal DDoS: An Actual Internet Human Rights Violation by Eric S. Riley

The United Nations' position on cyber attacks attributed to the state, with comparisons to newspapers and the right of free press.

From [ profile] angiedub:
Today’s Tea Party Movement and Pre-Civil War White Supremacy Ideology on

A summary of the struggle the USA founding fathers and early presidents encountered in publicizing their anti-slavery sentiment in the face of the established social order, and a comparison to today's USA Tea Party Movement.

Edit: Here's another one.
Confession of a cheating teacher

What happens when teachers' jobs depend on standardized test results, but they feel they must protect the children's self-esteem from the repercussions of failure. The comments section, which appears to be mostly teachers, is particularly disturbing.
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
or, What not to do when crossing the fourth wall.

Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, the author of the popular activism blog "A Gay Girl in Damascus", has just admitted that she is really Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old student in Edinburgh.

The blog recently got major media attention when a family member of Amina reported that her cousin had disappeared near the Abbasid bus station, seized by three young men who were probably members of the Baath Party militia. Gay activists in Syria have been investigating her arrest and attempting to contact her at personal risk to themselves.

'Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to write fiction...' )
pyraxis: Pyraxis (Pyraxis)
The APA (American Psychiatric Association) workgroups who are considering proposed changes to the DSM-V have opened up a website to comments from clinicians and other interested people.

All you have to do is register on, then log in and select a condition from the Proposed Revisions menu.

Autistics, multiples, anyone else who could be diagnosed with a condition that's being revised, I'm looking at you. ;)

Members of [ profile] ksol1460 on AstraeasWeb wrote an excellent summary here of the proposed changes to Dissociative Identity Disorder. For the first time, they're considering a criterion that would require significant impairment in day-to-day functioning. There's also a criterion excluding possession experiences in the context of cultural practices and religion. IMO it could help remove some of the stigma attached to multiplicity, the assumption that it's automatically a disorder that must be fixed.

In terms of developmental disorders, they're merging Asperger's into Autism Spectrum Disorder and removing the requirement of early childhood speech delay. I know, this is old news, but this is the first I've heard that they're seeking feedback from the community. So if anyone objects, now's the time to say so.

They're accepting comments until June 15th.
pyraxis: j-t as Sen from Spirited Away (j-t)
[ profile] ksol1460^Jay's response to my Marai post and the article he linked about the controversy over Mary Sue really got me thinking. Why am I even working against the Mary Sue stereotype? I remember in the 80's when strong female heroines were all the rage. I'm too young to remember Night of the Hunter but I grew up with Alanna the Lioness and J. H. Brennan's Shiva and Lisa from The Girl Who Owned a City.

What I was reaching for )

That was when I stumbled on this article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior by Amy Chua. This, not Mary Sue, is the real face of perfection. What it looks like and how you create it. It caused a huge controversy when Amy Chua published it earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal.

It's scary. )


Dec. 3rd, 2010 01:43 pm
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
Is anybody else following what's been happening?

It's like forum drama on a global scale, redefining the question of how much information it's good to expose, in a world where technology has made it feasible to distribute damning data en masse. Instead of the case-by-case question of how much can be released, the power dynamics are becoming redefined as a case-by-case question of how to stand out in a clamoring crowd. It links back to the problems plaguing first-time authors in the publishing field and questions of mass media control of public opinion.

Here's one article (Yahoo News via London) but there are many many more.

Edit: Another, New York Times

Where is the United Nations?
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