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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-05-17 05:20
Subject: [links] Link salad tightens its goggle straps
Security: Public
Tags:culture, links, personal, photos, politics, religion, science, writing
Defining Steampunk as an AestheticSteampunk Scholar makes the same argument I've been making for a long time now, that steampunk is an aesthetic, not a movement per se. He arrives at that argument by a slightly different route than I do, but I believe we're in substantial agreement. My counterargument to our shared thesis is my forthcoming single title novella from PS Publishing, The Baby Killers.

Disaster unfolds slowly in the Gulf of Mexico — Photos of what is shaping up to be the greatest human-caused environmental disaster of all time. Drill, baby, drill. (And may I say, while picking on the politics of this, that the Obama administration's response has been startlingly understated and bafflingly protective of BP and the oil industry in general. We got rid of Cheney, why is his ethos driving policy now?)

God is Egocentric Personal Opinion — Fascinating walkthrough of some research on opinion and religion, and the implications for the so-called "moral compass" of theists.

Calif. bill would block Texas textbook changes"While some Texas politicians may want to set their educational standards back 50 years, California should not be subject to their backward curriculum changes." Hey, a note of sanity.

?otD: Have you ever been aboard an airship?

Writing time yesterday: 30 minutes (editing and WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (fitful)
This morning's weigh-in: 232.0
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 5/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold

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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2010-05-17 12:53 (UTC)
Subject: [links] Link salad tightens its goggle straps
I have real issue with people defininfg tim powers, et al as steampunk. I know tim and i'm quite positive he identifies as a fantasy author. Furthermore it seems like the steampunk "movement" is appropriating any piece of fiction set in the nineteenth century. That's just silly. I agree that it's more of an aesthetic than a literary movement. There doesn't seem to really be any kind of common cause or social commentary there.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-05-17 13:00 (UTC)
Subject: Re: [links] Link salad tightens its goggle straps
Right. Cyberpunk, for example, had a very definite socio-political perspective, whether or not you happened to buy into it personally. The social commentary of steampunk, such as it is, seems almost inwardly focused, a push for Maker culture which is itself a form of Fannish affect. The (sub)genre doesn't concern itself with larger issues, and can in fact be frightening strange politically if one were to attempt to take it seriously at that level.

Unless one happens to be an anarcho-fascist Maker, I suppose.
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User: madrobins
Date: 2010-05-17 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If I could have signed a dozen petitions (rather than the one I did sign) in support of Leland Yee's textbook bill I would have done. California state governance is pretty weird, but every now and then, as you say: a note of sanity.
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User: daveraines
Date: 2010-05-17 19:53 (UTC)
Subject: God is egocentric personal opinion
... otherwise known as "scientist climbs to top of mountain and finds prophet there first." A whole coffee klatsch of 'em, actually, and they're been there for millennia.

What is the news here? That people can be manipulated by push-polling? That Christians are people? That may be the bottom line for every prophet in the Bible: "you're ignoring God in favor of your own 'egocentricity.'" (Not only "personal," but also community, egocentricity.) We're supposed to be on guard against it. In fact that's one reason we do devotions, read scripture, etc. But we fail.

In fact, the wonder is not that we most often ignore God in favor of ourselves. The wonder is, we sometimes don't. We do things that make no sense as "egocentrism," because God leads us to do them.

Also a quibble: the original blog was titled "God AS egocentric personal opinion," which I read as "I present here an essay, a trial, in which I discover one way of looking at God." Which is different from "God IS egocentric personal opinion." Because of course if every human being in the world were firmly egocentric, that would prove nothing about whether God exists, and if so, what God's nature is.
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