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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday links

Ilya Somin on the controversy over this year's Hugo Awards slate. There are endless blog posts on this stuff that you can read on the Internet, including this long one from Larry Correia, one of the folks in the middle of the controversy. Mr. Correia says he nominated Sarah Hoyt's A Few Good Men for the Hugo "because it was a really good book." I thought it was badly written (I just read it) and I can't believe anyone would nominate it for an award. Obviously, there are folks who disagree with me, as it is a finalist for the Prometheus Award.

Latest news from Daisy Eris Campbell.

Daisy is interviewed by Nick Margerrison.

Radley Balko, on a hero in the "War on Some Drugs" killed in a plane crash.

"The children are actually told NOT to hop on pop."

"From 1790-1875 the federal government placed almost no restrictions on immigration."

Bonus link: The Power of Twelve by William Gladstone is $1.99 for Kindle, today only. "Arnold is The Grand Light and Keeper of the Code of the Illuminati, which quietly and covertly control every major development on Earth. He is quite aware of the universal shift in consciousness predicted by the Mayans long ago. With this shift, humanity has the opportunity, for the first time, to reach its full potential. Except the Illuminati have other plans."


Unknown said...

I never heard of Siobhan Reynolds until she died. (I may have learned of her from this very article.) I greatly admire her.

Yeroshka said...

Who knew sci-fi fans were so opinionated? :p Imagining angry nerds hammering away on their keyboards is about the easiest thing for me to do. Reminds me of a wonderful quote from Kanye West after some Bonnaroo drama: "I'm typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!" [sic]

Really, it seems if you're a public figure at all these days, in our outside of sci-fi, your personal and political views will be scorned, whether you're on the left or right. The difference is who's attacking you and how loud they are. It's tempting to judge people for the beliefs they hold--and really, I see nothing wrong with making certain moral judgements about someone's beliefs; we can put belief systems side-by-side and point out relatively good and bad characteristics of them. But there does seem to approach a point where we're basically just drawing lines in the sand, incessantly dividing "us" from "them." Some such distinctions seem ridiculous and unfounded unless we're treating every action as an ethical decision. Spent $60 on a video game? You could've fed the homeless. Eat meat? You're an anthropocentric pig. Have a backyard? That should be a community garden! Wear fur? You're out of fashion. Believe in God? You're an idiot! Have a different opinion than me? You're wrong, I'm right. You're immoral, I'm moral.

People change, perspectives change, beliefs change. Yet many people seem unwilling to admit they might be wrong. And I'll admit I'm probably wrong about that. After all, I'm wrong a lot. I have very few convictions I've held for over a decade. But I like to think that allows one to evaluate ideas and ideologies without excessive prejudices. With the internet, it's become too easy to surround oneself with like-minded people, to the point where we can put ourselves in a digital environment that does little more than constantly reaffirm our own belief system and cognitive biases. Sometimes, it's good to withhold judgement, to surround oneself with different ideas, to willfully suspend one's own beliefs in order to better understand other ones. That should be encouraged more often. To attack ad hominem is to offer no real criticism at all.