October 13th, 2011


[links] Link salad watches old movies

Don’t forget to drop me a question in my interview thread. [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language

Black Death genetic code ‘built’The genetic code of the germ that caused the Black Death has been reconstructed by scientists for the first time. What could possibly go wrong?

Scrivener’s Error is contrarian (what else!?) about Steve Jobs

Graf Zeppelin vs Goodyear Blimp — A classic photo via x planes. No, they’re not dogfighting.

Seal Beach shooting: Death toll rises to eight — Another patriot exercises his Second Amendment rights in defense of his essential liberties. Guns don’t kill, just ask any conservative. It really is about the guns people. This has to stop somewhere.

Speaker at Occupy L.A. calls for violence, gets cheers from crowd[info]ericjamestone points to a counterexample of an OWS protestor advocating violence. Fair enough. How many OWS protestors bring firearms to the protests? How many talk about Second Amendment remedies? Does a rare counterexample balance against the violence-soaked eliminationist rhetoric of the American Right?

Occupy Wall Street: Who Are the 1%?

Open Letter to that 53% GuyI’m a liberal, so I probably dream bigger than you. For instance, I want everybody to have healthcare. I want lazy people to have healthcare. I want stupid people to have healthcare. I want drug addicts to have healthcare. I want bums who refuse to work even when given the opportunity to have healthcare. I’m willing to pay for that with my taxes, because I want to live in a society where it doesn’t matter how much of a loser you are, if you need medical care you can get it. (Via Via @gregvaneekhout.)

How I Communicate With People Less Right Than MeA Tiny Revolution on talking to the 53%’ers.

Occupy Wall Street: A Banker Explains What Really Happened to America

Wagging the Dog with Iran’s Maxwell Smart — Juan Cole with a takedown of the alleged Iranian DC assassination plot. Pursuing this as a grievance against Iran, as they are currently doing, is going to make the Obama administration look every bit as clownish and incompetent as the Bush administraton was with respect to Iraq.

Let’s go out to the lake, EarlSlacktivist Fred Clark on the social realities of the GOP blocking the jobs bill. You know, those real life stories conservatives never tell, or even believe. This is the kind of thing that stokes my notion that conservativism is rooted in a failure of empathy (for the problems of other people) and imagination (the inability to believe they might ever experience those problems for themselves).

The Tea Party vs. The Establishment — A conservative view of the GOP primary process. (Which includes the deeply hilarious assertion that 2010 Tea Party candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle were principled. That makes for a pretty warped worldview if you can believe that while also walking and chewing gum. Either that or you have a really strange idea of what principles are.)

?otD: What’s up, Tiger Lily?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (WRPA, including 1,000 words on two small nonfiction projects)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (fitful)
Weight: 222.8
Currently reading: The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod

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


[writing] Minor progress report

Got another substantial piece of Sunspin feedback yesterday from a first reader, which dovetailed well with my agent’s response. I had planned to start really focusing in on the book, but realized that with chemo looming tomorrow it was silly to spend a day or two gearing up for a large effort then go into the 4-5+ day hiccup of a chemo weekend and its recovery. As it happens, I owed two small pieces of nonfiction, so I spent a productive hour writing them, plus some other WRPA.

Not sure how much I’m going to get done today due to multiple medical appointments and some actual socializing this afternoon and evening. My weekend caregiver is in town and we are visiting very nicely. Still, I look forward to tearing into the big project whenever the fog clears. Hopefully next week.

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


[personal] Some thoughts on my dreamscape

I realized something interesting last night. My dreams very rarely contain a somatic component, despite the fact that the defining experience of my life these past few years has been the profoundly somatic experience of cancer and its treatments.

(The exception, of course, is erotic dreams. I don’t have them all that often, but when I do, they can be real doozies. And they tend to be deeply somatic, partly because my sexual style is very touch-oriented.)

Otherwise in my dreams I am a point of view, like a movie camera. Occasionally I dream in something like third person, where the point of view is following me or a surrogate for me, but most of the time I’m seeing from within.

My dreams are always intensely visual. Colorful, rife with imagery, often plentiful action. I dream, frankly, very much the way I write, by visually experiencing setting and action as if I were immersed in it.

Also, they are frequently auditory. It’s not unusual for me to experience a soundtrack, or what Hollywood calls occasional music. This often runs to jazz scores, or 1950s style studio orchestra melodies. This is odd, because in real life I am so unmusical I border on amusia, yet music can be prominent.

I do dream of taste sometimes, as my recent food dreams attest, but like erotic dreams, those seem to be in a special class by themselves, rather than an occasional property of my ordinary dreaming. I literally can’t recall ever dreaming of scents. The kinesthetic sense shows up mostly in the erotic dreams, thought that somatic/kinesthetic element also turns up in my infrequent classic anxiety dreams, for example, when I have the sensation of falling. Other senses such as temperature and pressure likewise rarely if ever express themselves in my dreams.

It’s all about the visual language. Which is very closely connected to how I mentally visualize and express story.

I’m surprised that the cancer experience hasn’t shifted me to a more somatic expression, either directly, ie, dreaming of pain, or indirectly, through dreaming of my body.

Is this the usual way of dreams? Are your dreams almost entirely visually-driven? Or do you dream somatically?

This is weird, fascinating stuff, and I think reflecting more deeply on it may illuminate my writing process.

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