July 13, 2020, 03:31:36 PM

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Messages - Peat

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31
Re-reading Mercedes Lackey's Storm Warning. Nice quick read that, most importantly, focuses on people seeking healing and putting ancient enmities aside.

I would however add that, being on an electronic copy, I spent a solid five seconds or so trying to go to the next page when I hit the end, because it so felt like there should be extra pages. Which is probably not great.

32
General Discussion / Re: Got a blog? Share it!
« on: June 09, 2020, 09:16:43 PM »
So,are you guys all tech savvy enough to create your own blog?
Or are there any easy templates for non techies to begin?

I know @Peat uses Blogspot (speaking of which, I got used to daily posts ;D)

Yeah, I just opened an account on blogspot, dumped a few widgets in, and started writing. It's solid.

Also it's nice to know you're not the only person hectoring me for most blog posts :P

33
Re-reading Mercedes Lackey's Storm Warning. Nice quick read that, most importantly, focuses on people seeking healing and putting ancient enmities aside.

34
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Fantasy Series
« on: June 09, 2020, 06:30:03 PM »
edit: p.s. @ScarletBea - What's Tom Lloyd like? I remember reading one of his books, finding it alright and never pursuing. Now I'm curious.
I really like his first series, but the seond one was just ok and I only read book 1 of the last one.
Which book did you read?

That first series starts quite 'normal', but soon becomes very epic, and when I started reading Malazan later I found many similarities.
I say epic but book 2 (I think) is set just in one city and is super-claustrophobic, with a ton of things happening!
However, I've read the series back in 2012, and that's also why I said I wanted to re-read, I wonder if it will still hold to the image I've got in my mind...

Stranger of Tempests - book one of his most recent series.

I might have a look at the first series.

35
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Fantasy Series
« on: June 09, 2020, 05:26:48 PM »
1. Discworld by Sir Terry Pratchett

Then in no particular order

Rigante Series by David Gemmell
Deverry Cycle by Katherine Kerr
Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Drenai Series by David Gemmell
Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay

And that's it, I think. Considered Fire Stealers by Bryan Wigmore, Wounded Kingdoms by RJ Barker, Dominions of the Fallen by Aliette de Bodard and the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone but they don't have that relived burned down to the bone love I have for the above. Considered Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time, The Serpentwar Saga and The Empire Trilogy but think's just a distinct gap between them and the list. I considered having the last three on the list down here but... I dunno, I think up there they belong.


* Seth Dickinson's Masquerade/Baru Cormorant trilogy (I hope he's doing ok, his last tweet in January was about checking himself into a psych ward :( )
* SC Emmett's Hostage of Empire (first book: Throne of the Five Winds)

Oh wow. That's very sad about Dickinson and I hope, both selfishly and unselfishly, things shake out for him there. Also, at the risk of sounding... ghoulish? stereotyping? His books had a sort of intensity and ruthless clarity that make me slightly unsurprised he's having mental health issues; like he's the sort of guy who might draw far too much on himself, and who maybe sees the world with more pain than many of us to do to begin with. If that makes sense.

Also, have you seen this on his website - https://www.sethdickinson.com/2015/11/24/the-secret-design-of-the-traitor-baru-cormorant/ - very cool article. And reminds me that Tain Hu was bad to the bone.

Also, who's this SC Emmett and what's their gig (because basically anytime you mention an author I don't know who's not explicitly YA I get excited)?


edit: p.s. @ScarletBea - What's Tom Lloyd like? I remember reading one of his books, finding it alright and never pursuing. Now I'm curious.

36
Why wouldn't you want to change the purpose to Protect and Serve rather than Law and Order though?

Law Enforcement is the action. Protect and serve is the outcome of that action. The concept is still good. How it functions now is flawed. From recruitment to tactics to covering up it has failed in multiple levels. It still can be fixed though. 

For every scumbag officer we see doing shit things, there are same number who do good work too. Harsh to taint everyone in same brush.

But what's the mission here? What's the basic purpose?

I think any task that keeps going majorly wrong is something where you need to ask whether it's the right task to begin with. That you need to go back to root. I think to an extent starting with the root isn't enough, and that America (and a lot of countries) need to ask what about their culture and expectations police are taking into the job with them that might be causing major issues. But that's a bigger, more contentious issue. The nature of the mission itself?

To frame it another way - if a group of cops are in a scenario where they've got to pick between enforcing the law and risking lives, or protecting lives but delaying or foregoing enforcement of the law, which one would you choose?

Because to me, the choice of mission will heavily bias what the cops feel obliged to do.

37

1. To protect and to serve is probably a motto, not the reason for police. It's primarily keeping law and order and enforcement. A corollary of this  would be investigating crimes and catching criminals. They don't make the laws and they are not responsible for consequences of breaking the law. This is in line with 3 branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial). The whole "community can police itself" is a non starter and will collapse sooner than later.

Why wouldn't you want to change the purpose to Protect and Serve rather than Law and Order though?

38
I think Camden in New Jersey - the city where the police marched with the protestors - already have done something similar. And I think we'll see more of it too because it is basically a good idea.

The problem is political will and maybe budgeting (because while the idea probably saves money in the long term, I'm curious as to how quickly the savings show/how much setting up the new departments is/where the personnel come from). Right now there's a lot of political will. But how quickly does that survive after the first nasty murder and people start screaming about "where's our heroes"? And from that perspective, Eli's gone a point about less lionising of the police and more of the patient workers who prevent it in the first place.

39
I know is trivial in light of everything else, but occasionally culture goes through a lasting shift. And kind of like how movies no longer portray gay men as campy sissies, I wonder if we're seeing the death of the heroic cop in American cinema and TV. Because sweet Jesus, is all stuff going on in America's major cities horrible. And it cannot be carried out by "a few bad apples". It takes a culture of violence, sadism, horrible entitlement, attracting insecure bullies and a mafia-like code of silence.

And all I can do is fantasise about a superhero named Cop Smasher.

That would be a horrific consequence because if you want to reform law enforcement, removing positive examples and any idea they should be anything other than the jackbooted tools of state enforcement who'll always be hated by dirty hippies and should just ignore them is an abysmal way to go.

This is a chance for healing and reform and shouldn't be frittered away on revenge, prejudice, and trying to ensure there's more problems.

edit: Actually, I'm still a little vexed about this so I'll continue.

My grandfather was in the police. My cousin and her husband are in the police. They did it to serve their country and communities. Do you think it's a good thing that my cousin's kids should grow up with everything on TV telling them that their parents are thugs and villains, just like a black person's kids would have not so long ago?

There are huge questions that need to be asked about the police. Huge. Given the nature of their work there always be, but now more so than ever. And there'll be some deservedly negative portrayals on the screen. But to remove all acknowledgement of positive examples, that they've done heroic things? To want that?

edit edit: Sorry for unloading on you about this Eli - just it touched a raw nerve I've got over this.

40
Kinda +1'ing, but yeah, there's a bunch of people in that social movement that seems to be of the opinion that they've had a rough time as a minority in some way so now they're going to spread it around with a large trowel/aim to reverse things, and that they're as interested in that as actually fixing how humans interact with each other.  It's not particularly likable and in some cases, it seems unfair and concerning.

But whatcha gonna do? It's not like there's a lack of reason behind their actions. It's not like most large movements don't involve compromise. It's not like we can ask them to moderate and seek to understand if we don't do the same for them.

Unfairness will happen whatever and it's about picking which ones we can live with and which ones we can't, and who we can work with and who we can't.

My only real concern is most people whose politics seem to be hard on social justice seem very reluctant to do compromise and consensus going forwards (they'll point to a history of compromise, which is fair, but doesn't help the future) and I don't know where that's going in terms of getting things done. But then my attitude is largely coloured by watching that movement in Labour achieve what I thought was utterly impossible in terms of a gigantic authoritarian swing in terms of power and the future course, and talking online where people just double down on intransigence anyway.

41

But, of course, this means there is a path for educated and “appropriate” Blacks, who speak “properly”, act “properly”, and in many cases (thankfully not all) are lighter-skinned.

Meanwhile, at our company, 75% of our factory and warehouse workers are Black, with supervisory staff who are probably 75%+ white. (When my father toured our factory, he told me how concerned he was that I’m working for racists.) Is this direct racism? Classism? Or the inevitable consequence of educational gaps (structural racism?). I don’t know, but it’s real.

The extent to which class, poverty and education play into this is huge and maybe underplayed at times. Of course your company is going to want to hire cheaply where it can, meaning people whose lack of education and aspiration means they can't shop around. Of course they're going to look for people who can align with their values in how they act, who have a bit more education as supervisors. You go through five interviews with warehouse guys looking for your new supervisor and of course the person who can communicate most clearly with you (which of course is usually the guy who has the most shared cultural values). It's just common sense.

But that means they're looking at one class for one role and another for the other.  And the end result isn't sensible at all. And it gets doubly unsensible when race and class get so intertwined.


42
General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: June 06, 2020, 10:15:36 AM »
> the key virtue of the US should be the freedom to do things
Emphatically not our key virtue, though there are those who do believe that. "Freedom to do things" is the ideal of middle schoolers.

Without disagreeing with you on how it should be, it feels like there's a need for a big discussion on that in America. Not that it's alone in having a major faultline split in terms of national self-image.

43
General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: June 05, 2020, 09:28:36 AM »
I'm not sure if we're talking about the protests against Covid lockdowns or the protests against police brutality. We've got both.

Man, I'd completely forgotten those anti-lockdown protests were a thing. But yeah, they were, and they were totally different. And crazy.

Although I guess not that crazy if you're someone who thinks the key virtue of the US should be the freedom to do things and to distrust anything looking to take it away.

44
General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: June 03, 2020, 08:36:55 PM »
I'm not sure I'd say TGC is definitely wrong about it playing a part - very hard to prove - but I don't think it was needed for what has happened to have happened. Maybe it's made things worse, but I think you could have given everyone in the world a week off work with a free supply of weed and E and things would have still kicked off with that trigger.

7 months. Wow. That's a long time!

I was hoping to be back this week, but it's unlikely to be this month. I'm accounts payable, so at the moment, there are very few invoices to be processed, unless our merchants can get materials onto site quicker and more reliably than they have been able for the last few weeks.

Yeah.

We were told we could go back in if we wanted providing not too many of us, but basically we can only have 2 people per bank of 6 computers so only so many people can go in. I guess if I wanted I could do that 1 or 2 days a week, just to cure the feeling of every day fading into each other, but I'm not sure I'd even want to.

But even so, feels pretty heavy to be working from home this long.

45
I'm now reading R.J. Barker's Age of assassins.
Finished this one and I'm straing into book 2, Blood of assassins.

It was really good, and I'm glad I jumped into this trilogy. Yes, I can see the similarities with Fitz, but it's also a mystery and a tale of finding your feet (pun intended!) amongst the outside world, how motherhood takes many forms, and what's defined as bad by the world has many nuances.
5/5

That moment of exhilaration when somebody likes a book you've been plugged like mad and you can stop thinking "oh gods, what if they hated it and this is somehow my fault"  8)
Yes, thanks a lot!
And I went to find your review:
http://peatlong.blogspot.com/2018/08/age-of-assassins-by-rj-barker.html

I agree with everything hehe, including being ahead of the MC in terms of realising the mystery solution, although there were still enough surprises for that not to be a complete "You should have known, you moron!" ;D - and he didn't tell Merela everything he knew, so she was definitely smarted than Girton ;)

Many things are smarter than Girton, bless him! I still hope he revisits the setting.

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