[links] Link salad sorrows for Boston

War of the worlds: who owns the political soul of science fiction?In the sci-fi genre, two diametrically opposed ideologies are battling it out as leftwing writers embrace otherness, while the rightwingers look up to authority. Although my personal sympathies should be blatantly obvious, why should anyone own the soul of SF, so to speak? Right wing fiction has as much to say as left wing fiction, regardless of my individual opinions. (Via an interesting linkdump from Cora Buhlert.)

Literature from Librarians: Great Reads Written by the Experts

Landfill Harmonic: An Upcoming Documentary About the ‘Recycled Orchestra’ in Cateura, Paraguay — People are amazing. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

This is your brain on music

Google Glass hits productionThe first Google Glass devices have been finished and are expected to ship imminently, the company has confirmed. I would love to have these, but even if I did, I couldn’t use them until they’re available with prescription lenses.

The Planetary Super-Surface of San Bernardino CountyBLDG BLOG gets interestingly weird about commercial architecture.

Is Nasa looking in the wrong place for life?

Dark matter experiment CDMS sees three tentative cluesResearchers have revealed the first potential hints of the elusive material called dark matter at an underground laboratory in the US.

Human cycles: History as scienceAdvocates of ‘cliodynamics’ say that they can use scientific methods to illuminate the past. But historians are not so sure. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Duplitectural Marvels: Exploring China’s Replica Western Cities — Wow. This is strange. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquetteThe dictate that one ‘not speak ill of the dead’ is (at best) appropriate for private individuals, not influential public figures. This bit is especially to the point: Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms. (Via [info]goulo.)

Are there Any Solid Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage?The case against same-sex marriage seems, to me at least, muddled, odd and paltry. A Christian blogger talks about the opposition, and finds the same point progressives have made for years. When you take away bigotry cloaked in religious freedom as an excuse, there is no rational opposition to same sex marriage. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

The Limits of Good Faith — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Rand Paul. Rand Paul went to Howard University, lied, and then got his ass kicked. That’s not so bad. I got my ass kicked regularly at Howard. That was the reason my parents sent me there. But having gotten his ass kicked, his answer is to not to reflect but to make an allegation of racial discrimination.

John Kerry: Foreign Students Aren’t Studying In U.S. Because They Fear Guns — From a certain conservative perspective, I suspect this is good news.

Guantanamo Commander Orders Single-cell Living For Detainees — Lifetime imprisonment without charges or trial, in solitary confinement. Yes, America is definitely a beacon of liberty and the rule of law the world over. (Via [info]danjite.)

Patriots Day bombings in BostonSlacktivist Fred Clark with some modest wisdom.

PSA: Ignore the news — The brilliant Charlie Stross is wise about the Boston bombings in his own lateral way.

Boston Marathon Calamity Shows Value of Social MediaIt might be no surprise that immediately after the explosions at today’s Boston Marathon, social media sites became the best way for the public to obtain on-the-scene reports. But notably, it also became the best way for classic news media to report. Even more than that, the long minutes after the news broke showed just how superior social media is for finding answers to your own personal concerns. (Via David Goldman.)

Can the Boston Bombings increase our Sympathy for Iraq and Syria, for all such Victims?Terrorism has no nation or religion. But likewise its victims are human beings, precious human beings, who must be the objects of compassion for us all.

Trapped by the BaseI see little reason to believe that the staunch conservative bloc will wither away or splinter; it will remain a dominant force in the GOP and on the national stage. At the same time, however, I see no indication that its ideas about policy, governance and social issues will gain new adherents. They are far beyond the mainstream. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

QotD?: What do you think?


4/16/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (60 minutes and 1,700 words on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin, 15 minutes of WRPA)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 246.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block checking the magazine sizes of gun owners: 0
Currently reading: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

3 thoughts on “[links] Link salad sorrows for Boston

  1. Daniela says:

    From a certain conservative perspective, I suspect this is good news.

    When I was preparing for my internship in a Swiss-owned US company the reports about violence and guns were a concern for me (and that was in 1999).
    A lot of the tourists guide also mention gun violence and violence in general and that one should take precautions or avoid certain areas completely. I know that this is one of the reasons why some people won’t travel to the US. I never had any bad experiences when I was in the US and I know gun-owners (both US and German), so I try to offer a different perspective, but some of the gun-owners and their arguments make that really hard.

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