Crossing a long, multi-levelled bridge. Stopped by the police, who are trying to defuse an explosive underneath. We can't even leave the bridge because then it may go off. The police officer winces as her radio crackles - the disposal team are making their third and final attempt. Some cover their ears, but I know the scale of the device, and so I make a quick peace with life.


On DS9's newly-commissioned Defiant, one of the designers ("Zorek?") went on at great legnth as to the warship's capabilities. Whatever character Eva was playing expressed her concerns that Starfleet was getting sucked into a faster-than-light military industrial complex. Zorek downplays any role on his part, stating that his organization are "small fish."


I like reading what people dreamed in earlier periods of tension. And I am a part of this history.

Hello Treesong,

Regarding real-life supervillains:

I read your post on RLSV's and I wanted to contribute to the discussion, but MySpace *will not* let me post.

I call myself a supervillain for the following reasons:

1. Reluctantly admitting what others see in me.
Read more... )

2. Discomfort with the roots of "Hero"
Read more... )

3. Archetypal Draw

Read more... )Read more... )


It saddens me that opinion writers have a lot of theories on what causes different riots, but very rarely back those theories with proof. I'm afraid that most of this article is just one more unfounded rant.

In London, there have been some great studies mapping riot locations onto charts of local quality of life. From this, we can indeed conclude that classism (and likely racism) were a factor.... in London.

But this article has no proof to back up its claims that the riots were caused by (1) latch-key kids, (2) sexual promiscuity, (3) recreational drugs and (4) class-driven un(der)employment.

And the first three claims are ridiculous.

(1) Lax parenting: Mr. Mair, you claim a lack of parental discipline is at fault. If you look through newspaper opinion columns for as long as there have been newspapers, you'll see writers blaming riots on the new wave of lax discipline. What causes it? Maybe television. Or motor-cars. Or, according to this article... working mothers. And working mothers only seem new if one presumes that all families have money, two present/living parents, and a mother who wants to stay at home.

(2) Promiscuity: I stopped and re-read this article to double check that this article actually blamed The Pill and promiscuity. There are two problems with this.

First, "The Pill" generation was not heavily represented among the rioters - likely because they were too busy planning for retirement. Were the rioters of a promiscuous generation? I don't know, but pretty much everyone under the age of 35 hit puberty during or after the AIDS crisis. As a consequence, most of us are far more cautious and disciplined around sex than our (grand)parents ever were. As for “The Pill?” For the hetero-mating among us, "The Pill" comes after using blood tests, condoms and/or using one's mouth.

Second, if we are more promiscuous (which, as far as I can tell, just means "knowing your own sexuality through experience,") what would that have to do with riots? Unless riots are a sign of the Wrath of God.

(3) Recreational Drugs: Do you think people on MDMA/ecstasy or cannabis are going to riot? No, they are going to dance and snack.

(4) Class and unemployment? Maybe. But where's the proof linking this to the riots? Espescially in Vancouver? Have you interviewed rioters? Do you have proof that they were impoverished? How much does a Canuck's jersey cost anyway?

Here's my question: do we believe that riots are a social evil? A sign thereof? Or are they free entertainment? If they're entertainment, let us speculate all we want as to the lax moral character that has overtaken our youth since the passing of His Majesty King George IV. But if they're a sign of social problems, then we need hard data to plan a fix. This means testing our hypotheses (or at least giving them some critical thought) before we expound on them in public.

My last attempt to sleep on a piece of wedding cake for three nights (in the hopes of divining my future in romance and/or marriage) resulted in a vivid dream of joining a five-person/four-gendered hub-mind.

(To deliberately bring about a dream is a practice known as "incubation")

Read more... )
Supervillain-esque plan for electoral reform, as recently posted on Facebook:

As for strategic voting and vote-swapping, and otherwise working within the system rather than changing it - here's an alternative which I prefer:

1. Find swing-riding candidates who drag their feet on replacing FPTP and/or the Senate.

2. Run people against them who have some combination of similar platforms (i.e. Conservative/Christian Heritage), party names (i.e. Liberal/Libertarian), sign-colours, and/or who just have similar names. This may involve donating money and/or time to a party you don't like, but as long as we're thinking "strategically," why not?

3. See if they're still in favour of FPTP after the election is done.

I have seen this done. Vancouver 2005. Very effective.


Globe and Mail - Why Canada should protect gender identity

Gotta stop reading stuff like this when I should be in bed.

I have the urge to comment, to maybe persuade someone. Come on girl, it's the national post. Maybe I can roll that boulder, just a bit. Debunk the washroom panic just a bit. Educate, just a bit.

Or I could sleep and do this tomorrow.
A response to when people ask "Aren't trans rights already protected under Canadian Human Rights Law?

Good question. The protection listed under "sex" often fails to apply to:

- gender-variant individuals, i.e. nelly men and butch women

- transsexuals who cannot afford ($60,000 for FtMs), do not want, are in too poor health to undergo or otherwise cannot access sexual reassignment surgery

- people who do not identify as male or female, such as those who come from a cultural background with more than two genders (see wikipeidia's "third gender" article)

- drag performers, cross-dressers etc...

- intersexed people

When post-operative transsexuals are only covered via a series of judiciary precedents (which can be overturned overnight by a judge) rather than state-backed law.

And here's a Facebook group aimed at keeping Bill C-389 alive so's it doesn't die in committee.
To the Honourable Mr. Atamanenko

I am very happy to see the progress being made on trans rights under Bill C-389.

Now to bother you about Bill C-32. While I am pleased to see greater breadth of "fair use," I believe that the bans on circumventing digital locks are ill-informed.

I am a sculptor and filmmaker. While videos can be shared on the internet, and sculptures can now be scanned and replicated with 3-D printers, I do not see how digital-lock protection will in any way benefit my sculpting trade. The studio for which I work does not support the "protections" outlined in this bill.

I fear that these "protections" will criminalize technically-proficient law-abiding people. The video game store for which I used to work modified consoles to accept games region-locked to Japan - games imported through special Canadian distributors. Other people modify DVD players to allow them to play foreign movies. Some people back up their macrovision-protected VHS cassettes onto DVD now that functional VCRs are becoming harder to find. I have rented movies whose defective copy-protection prevented users from watching them on some DVD players, requiring a software workaround. My understanding is that Bill C-32 would make some or all of these practices illegal, and I object to this.

I hope you will show great critical thought in approaching Bill C-32.

    Your loyal constituent,

I have to say that I'm impressed by the Mumbai attacks. They killed around 200 people and got global coverage (unlike, say, the annual rate of auto accidents in a small city, or women vanishing from the area just West of my house). And all this without anyone knowing why they did it. The Indian government is pissed off at Pakistan and thinking of creating an anti-terror ministry to prevent... whatever this thing is. How do you hope to prevent a form of crime if you don't even have a motive?

I take back anything I might have said about the Dark Knight being implausible. I guess the only thing missing from the movie was worldwide news coverage and stupid government antics.

I would like to see a change in our response to terror. First: snub the offenders. Second: find NGO's that the would drive the terrorist organization in question up the wall (like the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan?) and spend our war dollars on them. The message: If you try to scare us into an eschetonic war, we will ignore you and fund your level-headed non-violent opponents.

Taking the financial crisis stupidity-consequence into view alongside Obama's presidenty, and the

Have we entered one of those transitional periods that separates one culture's  "decade" from the next? A point where one period in a place like say Anglo Northamerica is defined by its divergence from the prior? Where that "decade" actually begins? Like how much of what pop culture associates with "the sixties" has more to do with the period between 1964 and 1975 than it does with 1960-1969?

Will the 00's begin with the late 90's dotcom bust, Bush's presidency, the end of the Canadian Liberal Party monopoly, or the attack on the World Trade Center? And with the change in American leadership, Russian leadership, the global markets, and the Iraq war, will people's idea of "this is what the Northamerican 00's were like" end roundabout now?

Has the next decade already started?

If you live in BC, today is the day to vote for your municipal government.

If you live in Vancouver, you can find out where to go vote here

You can read about the candidates here

I've listed my recommendations here.

The Municipal Elections are on Saturday the 15th.

You should vote in them.

Why? (this is Aimed at Vancouverites)
- Municipal government affects your life directly and on a regular basis. You will feel its effects.
- The turnout in te last election was about 25%
- The difference between a win and lose in the last council election was 617 votes, and this carried across to Parks and School Board

I present to you My tentative Recommendations, based no the "Voters' Guide" that went to all mailboxes, knowledge of the parties, and a few of the candidates:

(Comment if I'm missing an important piece of information - I probably am.)

Read more... )

For me, January will be a month of closure.

On the 6th, I finish transition. (and begin bruising in uncomfortable places)

On January 20th, Bush leaves office and will be replaced by a member of homo sapiens.

On the 29th, we see the CFS elders in court.

Closure. Yes.

Our society often tells us: if you do this, the system of things will work it to make you happy

We hear this often.

If you buy lots of things, you will have everything you could want...
If you are a pretty woman, someone will take care of you...
If you are self-sacrificing, people will notice and reward you with thanks and praise - and if they don't, God will...
If you have a lot of responsibility in work, which means power in life, people will respect you...
If you obey your parent(s), or parent(s)-in-law, one day you will be able to assume their position...

With rare exception, the object that we are supposed to pursue - money, beauty, power, responisiblity, obediance - is something that you can chase, but never be secure in having. Your toys need to be constantly updated so as not to become passe, and there are always better ones that you don't have. You can spend as much time at the mirror as you like, but you're always going to hate your body, and eventually, your beauty will fade. As long as there is someone worse off than you, you can find ways to be more self-sacrificing. You can always have more power, and other people can take it from you. You can always be a more obediant daughter or son, even after your parents are dead.

Like hanging a carrot in front of the donkey you're riding. If you behave, follow orders, conform, you'll get it - just a little farther. Okay, a little farther still. Keep going. Still don't have it? Must not be trying hard enough. Try harder.

Artefacts of happyness are more like a hamster wheel: what makes you happy may look kind of stupid to others, but you enjoy it for its own sake.

(I find that the biggest problem with the world is the lack of applied imagination.)

The biggest political shift for me has come in the last two years. (Actually a lot of shifts have come in the last two years)

I'm interested in changing the world. I had gone with a kind of macro-political approach; a "change society" approach. An "everyone votes on things that affect everyone" approach.

I'd been considering working just to affect small groups, but this made me uncomfortable: what sort of society would we have if all the well-meaning/well-educated people just took care of themselves? A better world limited only to those who were already well-to-do? A country of gated communities?

But my experience with Commerical Drive and SFU changed that. On The Drive, I have met many with little money or formal education who were strikingly well-informed, critical, creative and visionary. At SFU, I met many well-off upwardly-mobile/upwardly-static students who thought that apathy was as sign of sophistication, that it was cool to complain about The School or The World but also cool to deride anyone who tried to change it.

Further, I see that the reason why many organized attempts to fix the world are devoid of marginalized people is not because of some failure of advertising, but because many social justice groups actively or tacitily exclude marginalized interests. It is not the lack of others's education that is a problem, it's a lack of a willingness to learn and change within the organization itself. While those organizations that fight to be inclusive (or at least don't try to be exclusive) don't need to ramp up the advertising and recruitment, they just need to say "here's what we're doing - interested?"

(Many lefty organizations wonder why their membership is so well to do. Many members will wonder whether it's because they haven't advertised enough in low-income areas, or because poor people aren't sufficiently educated to be politically aware? But few people ask "Is it because we never asked poor people what they wanted before we set our agenda? Is it because we fucked up and made this a social justice party by and for the educated class?" Oops.)

Finally, I realize that theres' something fucked up about how sweeping (as in mass-scale) utopian visions contradict each-other. Ever heard jokes about internal fighting in local Marxist parties? (This party consists of three people, which means they have two factions and a splinter group). I think this dischord stems from a philosophy that calls for irrevocable, radical, largely homogenous, world-wide change. If the whole world was going to change to a different system, permanently, with little local variation, wouldn't you get pissed off if you didn't like it? Something similar goes for my unease with some conservatev strains of Anarcho-capitalism. I appreciate that you want to live in a place with minimal gonernment and maximum capitalsim, or minal capitalism and maximal socialism, but I do not want to live there - so how is it fair for me to enforce my vision on other people?

(I don't want to live in a commnuist state or an anacho-capitalist "state." The comunist doesn't want to live in an an-cap state, or in anything I'd consider ideal. The an-cap doesn't want to live in Commietown, or my vision. So maybe we should stop trying to push our visions on each-other, and find a way to empower poeple to shape their own social environment?)

1. I see that the will to competent agititation, or the lack of it, is not as limited by opportunity and privilege as I thought.

2. I see that the lack of diversity in many political groups usually has more to do with said groups's own failure to let marginalized people know that their needs will be honoured than it does social barriers keeping other people from joining.

3. I see that there is something funny about a vision that insists that others agree with you. I would not want someone else to enforce their vision upon me, and I should not enforce mine upon them.

Given this, changing the world only with and for those who want to change it is practical, fair and wise.

Good. Because I am tired of trying to save the asses of people who complain, but who have no interest in change. I am tired of political ad campaigns aimed at wringing votes out of people who can't bother to familiarize themseleves with the issues that they've been given the right to vote on (we've got free Internet access at libraries and free public radio for fuck's sake).

When I say that "many people do not deserve a better world," I say it because many people have demonstrated, through their actions, that they have no interest in one. I am not interested in convincing them otherwise. I cannot imagine for others.

So now I try to offer space that people can come to if they want it.
Good: Sports, fun

Bad: China, Orwellian

D&D 4th Ed:
Bad: Finally, a table-top version of World of Warcraft where you do the math and move very slowly

Good: All the heros in the pictures have very stylish clothes.

Unsettling: Except for the dwarves, halflings and... dragon people (?), all the heros have homogenously svelte body types and facial structures -  -  - like they're all the same person

Strengths of Forerunning American Presidential Candidates:
McCain: Not Bush, really

Obama: Really not Bush
Rats fight over scraps of food. Even ones that have always had full stomachs. You can train it out of them - or most of it from most of them; even with the training instituted, they'll still fight.

Rats do a lot of other things. And they're smart. Like us. Being smart is a part of the whole package of beinga rat or a human. You can't separate one from the other, though we try.

But we like to think we are categorically  different. Or rather that our minds are, and since "we" are our minds, then we are categorically different. Different from not just rats, but from all the animals, even those that think. That there is somtehing called sapience that make us us, and that is special and unmistakable.

We think that our minds have struggled up from the ground, until one day, around the age of majority if not exactly on it, >pop<, they slip the bonds of the earthly body to float free, tethered like a balloon, bobbing around after us. After that point, we are reasonable.  Or capable of being so if we only choose it.

Thought. Reason. Pure. Free.

Our goal is to be brains at a keyboard generating words in such a way that they had no writer; they simply descibe what is. Like God.; disemboided mind; unemcumbered; free; all-being/all-seeing/all-knowing (despite the lack of a body through which to be, see or know).

Moreover, closer to Earth and before godhood, we are told that we humans, especially adult humans, are different. That we and only we choose rationally. When someone eles does something, it is because it was their rational personal choice.

We build policital systems out of this. Rationally choose one representative. Be informed by watching campaign ads. Nevermind that said ads have been deliberately dumbed down and tailored elicit gut responses. Everything from camera angle to lighting to music to length to text to height, weight, race, sex, age and dress of performers has been engineered to circumvent critical thinking. We talk about prospective leaders not like we are picking a decision-maker, but like they are two dogs fighting for alpha. Not "who hasa bettor choice for finance minister," but "who is more firm." Nevermind dogs, these are clear primate social responses.

Our economy. How we buy and sell. How one person gets a job and the other does not.

And this is why the world is fair; just. Because we are different.

We study primates to show that despite their animal-ness, they are like us. But maybe instead we should realize that we are like them. We will err. We will fight. We will do stupid things - much like the computers do, the computers we somehow hope will act as pure minds.
People keep telling me that I'm good at things, especially writing, politics. A variety of people, but especially those who make a living in these fields. And it's intimidating. Now I understand that I appreciate the compliment, and the advice. But the suggestion bothers me, because it tires me. Not so much the writing, but the politics. All the suggestions that I seriosly run for office, and their disappointment or irritation that I really really don't want to - not right now, please.

Or, as I did not say, but hinted at last week: I could run with you, but I would crumble in the campaign and were I by some miracle elected, would die in office

Politics is a lot of work, and all I feel right now is tired.

It's been a long haul. Gender and school and work and volunteering - the latter three a means to cope with the first. Like pumping a bike until your legs are tired, and only then just cresting the hill and resting in the slight decline, I have burnt out and am now coasting. The next few months should be a lot lighter.

The last ecstatic experience I had said to go be a normal person for a bit. "A bit" being perhaps two years. I guess a normal person is someone who tries to live their life first, then do other things. Whereas I was doing other things so that I did not have to live my life. Of course, a good leader is one who lives first and leads from that.

This is part of why I am thinking of moving away for a bit. The person I am here is not someone I can be anymore.
Dear Premier Campbell,

I am a car owner and former urban studies student in the GVRD. In the light of your government's commitment to the environment and to BC's long-term economic prospects, it is my suggestion that you avoid twinning the Port Mann Bridge. Widening the bridge is a poor idea. Due to the phenomenon of "traffic elasticity,"

Sent to

Wanna do something similar?



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