November 5th, 2008

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[links] Link Salad for Guy Fawkes Day

Book Spot Central reviews Escapement Powell's | Amazon ]

Jay Lake Double-TakeEnter the Octopus on my short story “Two All-Beef Patties” in Better Off Undead.

Don’t forget the post-novel ennui contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] — First prize is a personalized ARC of Green, my 2009 release from Tor.

Matt Hughes posts my introduction to his novel Template

The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello — A steampunk extravaganza. (Thanks to tetar.)

Anti-Latin P.C. poppycock — Language silliness from the UK.

Three Panel Soul on the iPhone — Which I am coming to adore, despite my rough start with it.

Unknotting Knot Theory — The relationship between knot theory, space and the universe. (Thanks to lt260.)

DNA legacy of ancient seafarers — Finding Phoenicia in a gene sequencer. (Thanks to lt260.)

Question of the day: What is the Pantone number of a whiter shade of pale?


11/5/08
Body movement: 30 minutes on the stationary bike
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 226.0
Currently reading: other people’s manuscripts

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[politics] The day after yesterday

Last night I watched the returns with karindira and some of her friends and family. Even going into the evening, I didn’t trust in the outcome. I agree with statements that the election was Obama’s to lose, but there were so many ways to lose it. The Bradley effect is very real, voting manipulation (per Ohio 2004 and Florida 2000) is very real, GOP voter suppression efforts have been quite effective historically (though apparently not this time), anything like a close vote would have gone to an even more conservative than 2000 Supreme Court, Bush v. Gore style; plus, as always, the marrow-deep ability of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they have time and again

Obama pulled it off. A black man won, in places like Virginia and Florida. He won big, much bigger than Bush’s “mandate” re-election of 2004. He won big enough to trump cynical legal strategies and smokescreen rhetoric about voter registration fraud. And he did it not by being black, or being clever, or being meaner, or being anything but an excellent candidate. The best candidate won.

And his acceptance speech, afterward. I’ll give big props to McCain for his concession prior to Obama coming out. It’s the first time in years I’ve seen McCain be neither smug nor angry, and he genuinely seemed to accept Obama’s victory in a gracious and patriotic manner. (Something which had quite frankly worried me a lot.) He lofted the rhetorical ball for Obama to spike it over the net with an acceptance speech which will quite likely become the defining political moment of this decade.

What does an Obama presidency mean? Hell if I know. And frankly, I don’t care so much right now. For the first time in years, America voted for hope instead of fear, for an outward face instead of a turning in, for change instead of stasis, for anticipation instead of nostalgia, for acceptance instead of rejection, for openness instead of resentment, for engagement instead of isolation.

We voted, and we voted big, for the future, instead of another encystment in the bitterness of past wars and spent ideologies.

I don’t know what Obama’s presidency means, but for the first time in my life, I trust a president.


Plus, a few bonus links in this vein:

Truman Defeats DeweyScrivener’s Error on the election, with a take I agree with.

Reality Check — Scalzi on the election. Better put than I would have.

What’s with all the ideology?Freakonomics responds to an Australian reader’s question about American political extremism.

Diagnosing Sarah Palin — One last shot at a seriously unlamented political figure. Though I’m fairly certain she’ll be back in a big way. (Nicked from a locked post on my flist.)

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[politics] One more brief outburst

slithytove talks about how his guy lost. An intelligent, melancholy reflection, wherein he speaks of the dangers complete Democratic control. In his comments section, I said the following, which I think bears repeating:

Without a supermajority in the Senate, the Democrats are not in complete control of the legislative branch. And I seriously doubt you’ll see Reid and Pelosi using the kind of tactics the Permanent Majority employed against the minority — they certainly haven’t the last two years.

Centrists and progressives are far more inclusive than conservatives, pretty much by definition. Which is my way of saying that a Democratic-dominated government is much friendlier to conservatives than a Republican-dominated government is to liberal-progressives. The political history of this country since at least 1968 would seem to bear me out on that.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[child] Christmas Wreath Fundraiser

the_child’s school is having their annual fundraiser. They sell Christmas wreaths and swags made from fresh-cut Pacific Northwest greens cut here the Cascade Mountains, shipped to wherever you’d like via UPS just after Thanksgiving. They are beautiful, and make terrific house decorations as well as lovely seasonal gifts.

A 22” wreath shipped via UPS is $35.

A 24” swag shipped via UPS is $35.

Proceeds are a fundraiser for her school, divided equally among all the class years.

Please let me know here in comments or via direct email by November 10th if you are interested.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.