This is one reason why Terramagne-America has a healthier view of sexuality, with consequently lower rates of teen pregnancy and other problems related to not knowing how to handle a crotch safely. The good high schools have sex ed that looks kind of like this, and the banana option for people who don't want explicit demonstrations. Once you are old enough for legal consent, you better know what you're doing; age-appropriate materials are available for younger classes. Similar content is very widely available online -- especially in the darknet. One of its more thriving uses is spreading accurate sexual information, along with the regular supply of pr0n, to places that don't want people to have that data. So hey, you can educate your kids, or Kraken can do it for you.
Yes, I have supervillains who are better at sex ed than most high schools. LOL
I do magic because it works. I am a devout empiricist; I don't care what other people say, I care what I can observe. What I observe is that I get better results from behaving as if magic works than as if it does not, as if there are divine beings than as if there are not, and so forth. I'm always looking for the model that delivers the best results.
Hence Paganism, doing science to magic and magic to science, and often annoying people on both sides of the field. But to me it's not a pair of pigeonholes. It's a torc, bent so that the two ends face each other and sparks dance across the gap that holds things like quantum mechanics.
One thing I've noticed is that climate change is changing how magic works. This is not actually new, same thing happened when the Ice Age conked out, and wow was changing the climate inside a human lifetime something I did not need to see again. But at least I know how fast Gaia can move when she feels like it: quite a lot faster than most humans think. Anyhow, it used to be the case that weather was fairly amenable to human input, if one had the relevant talent, skills, and/or knowledge. Moods, yes, but mercurial ones; the clouds might ignore a request sometimes, but most of the time would mind a good weatherworker. Now, not so much. Trying to talk to the weather spirits now is like trying to talk to someone on a rampage beating cars with a bat. O. Kay. Then. 0_o So I learned, partly with input from some Pagan friends, to nudge the weather in less psychotic directions by asking the land spirits to intervene. "Hey, could you ask them to tone it down enough to avoid tearing loose the trees?" It helps.
Another thing is thinking about context. I've landscaped the yard for wildlife and human benefit. Much of it is modeled after ecosystems -- the prairie garden, the savannah, the forest. So too the magic is built into it, layers of shields for protection, and one other thing. I created a kind of large-scale deadman switch, so that if civilization collapses, it will pull the handle on what amounts to an ecological life-raft. Energy comes up from the node, hits the tight package of biodiversity, and then spreads outward carrying the plants and animals with it into what is currently barren monoculture. Hopefully we won't need it, but it's there just in case.
Even in its dormant form, that kind of magic has influence. One day a storm snapped a tree about 20 feet up from the ground. I did a little quick research, discovered that standing snags are useful, and decided to leave it. But there was all the rest of the tree in the way. So we had that cut into firewood and reduced to wood chips. Yay, mulch pile! And here's where it gets interesting. The mulch pile came into existence, and then it rained for two days straight. On the third day, I went out to look at the new mulch pile. It was already fully inhabited. I could see webs of fungus spread over it. There were pillbugs, beetles, centipedes, and spiders crawling through it. Curious, I poked the chips with my trowel, and out hopped a toad. The detritus food chain here at Fieldhaven is three days to apex. Three days, mind you, not three weeks or three months. That interfaces with the macro food chain through small vertebrates such as toads and birds. The whole process worked in miniature as soon as a situation called for it. Great job on the storm drill, folks.
A lot of what I do with magic just comes down to making things work better, faster, more focused.
The Daily Report
Okay. First, I started this morning with over 450 unread emails in my contact email address. I’m not sure at what point the dread of opening it became too much. In my mind, it’s been months. In reality, probably weeks, maybe a month at most. In my mind, most of it was people furious with me for not writing back or getting stuff done. In reality… most of it is automated notifications, ads, bulk email, et cetera.
What finally got me to look at it… and clear out about a quarter of the backlog, answering some very important work related emails in the process… was that I have had people getting in touch with me over my latest work of satire, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular.
For those of you who only follow this blog for my own original work and are mystified about what I’ve got against John Scalzi: nothing. Believe it or not, he’s not the target of that title. Someone showed it to him last night and he thinks it’s hilarious. He has offered to perform a dramatic reading of it in exchange for donations to Con or Bust, an assistance fund for bringing diversity to fandom conventions.
Scalzi Is Not Popular is now the number 1 seller in multiple categories on Amazon, and in particular, number 2 in the category dominated by the source material that inspired it. To invoke an old family saying: so, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
In the midst of all this and a little renewed attention on my equally off-the-cuff book about loss and grief that I wrote last year in the wake of Dorian’s death, I have been reminded of an important thing: as an author, I’m an experimenter at heart. I do best when I dare. And while depression sometimes makes me feel like I’m surrounded by the bones of my failures, all a failed experiment really signifies is that I wasn’t afraid to try.
That realization even more so than the positive attention this little booklet has garnered has done a lot to lift my spirits.
The State of the Me
Even though it’s still August and we’re still seeing very summery temperatures in the afternoons some days, today I realized that waking up early as I have been doing means I can open the windows for a bit without turning my office into a swamp. It’s very refreshing.
Plans For Today
It’s MU posting day. I’d hoped to be done with today’s chapter before today, but on top of the circus that’s been happening all around me, I had to close the office early yesterday because of external circumstances. That’s okay. I don’t have anything else that needs doing today. I’ve got a chance to get out of the office and still do some work in the afternoon if I want it, and I think under the current circumstances I might just do that. Time to get away.
First line of Wednesday:
Enrie looked at her notes. She'd written it down...
Last line of today:
"I like the world you live in. Can I join you there sometime?"
2443 words and 5 chapterlets/interludes, bringing the total to 8328 words & 16 chapterlets!
Enrie nodded. “In the Estya House lounge. A couple students were talking...
What can you do with $50 of canned tuna?
Curried Tuna Sandwiches
Tuna Quesadillas (if some people don't like salsa, serve it on the side)
Tuna Stuffed Mushrooms
Canned Tuna Recipes (Allrecipes)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Allyou)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Epicurious)
…and who benefits when they do, is this groundbreaking new book from Hymenaeus House by Theophilus Pratt:
John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels. Boasting an impressive 50% more chapter fives than the next leading competitor, this is the only book about the lies of SJW you need to buy this year.
Get it for Kindle today!
When I once referred to Vox Day as an alleged editor, one of his followers browbeat me until I promised never to make such an allegation again.
When I shared excerpts of his new book as part of a Twitter review, his followers demanded I stop attributing such obvious made-up garbage to him.
When I said he has written better things in the past, his followers called me an awful liar.
I know I’m not the first person to wonder why anyone would defend this man, but I feel like when I say it, there’s a slightly different inflection.
The Daily Report
So, call this another day that didn’t begin quite the way I expected. I’ve been waking up early each morning and finding something to blog about to occupy myself and warm up before I actually start writing. Today I noticed that Rabid Puppy leader Vox Day had released a book he’s been promising for some time with the charmingly rhetorical title of “SJWs Always Lie”.
(Vox Day never lies, of course. He only speaks rhetorically.)
Well, I had to see it for my own eyes. I’d say I wasn’t disappointed, but I actually was. It was worse than I thought, not in the sense of being any more blatantly offensive or out of touch with reality, but in the sense that he didn’t even deliver the book he’d described. It’s far more concerned with re-hashing old sleights and old hurts. The chapter that’s supposed to be the tentpole chapter, outlining his premise of the “Three Laws of SJW” (hint: they always lie) is devoted to his bizarre recurring conspiracy motif about how author John Scalzi supposedly inflates his web traffic statistics, which is important to social justice or anything else because reasons.
He got one thing right, though: SJWs always double-down. Having spent 35 minutes of my life that I will never get back reading Vox Day’s magnum opus, I proceeded to spend the next few hours bringing to life the only possible response:
Yes, it’s Theophilus Pratt’s important new tract, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels. It should be available on Amazon later today. I maintain that of all the books with “SJWs Always Lie” in their title that were published today, it is the clear victor.
For one thing, Vox Day’s book only contains two Chapter 5s. Mr. Pratts boasts three, an increase of 50% over the next leading competitor.
Not how I intended to start my day, but there you go.
The State of the Me
It’s getting easier and easier to get up in the morning. I’ll say that much.
Plans For The Day
Man, I’m not even sure, really… all this Puppy stuff is just so increasingly surreal. Next week I might just have to put it all on block for a while.
So, Theophilus Pratt has hired me to do some research on a book he believes may infringe on a work he’s been putting together for some time now. The book is called SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down The Thought Police. He feels that it might be treading a little too close to his forthcoming magnum opus, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularities.
I have to say, my first reaction was to be incredibly skeptical. Actually, my first reaction was to wonder “Why does Theophilus Pratt keep contacting me?” It later transpired that I am quite possibly the only person on the planet who still answers him. My second reaction was to wonder why I still do so. My third reaction, however, was to be incredibly skeptical. That, more than anything, engaged my curiosity enough for me to agree to do a little opposition research.
So I spent a good 35 minutes today reviewing the little tract to which he had referred me, and I have to admit, he has a surprisingly good point. For a book that is supposed to be dedicated to spotting and overcoming Social Justice Warrior Thought Police, SJWs Always Lie devotes a remarkable proportion of its focus to things like John Scalzi’s web traffic. Even the chapter that would seem to be the centerpiece of the author’s premise—the one that lays out the three laws of how SJWs always lie—offers no other example for any of the lies except the author’s belief that Mr. Scalzi has been falsifying his web traffic statistics for years, a claim which is dealt with in exhaustive yet incoherent detail, as if the author were the protagonist of a complicated political thriller.
At one point—I swear to God I’m not making this up, though I sort of feel like I am—the author details how he phoned in an industry favor to have the phone company pull data for him.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and you remember the scene where the title character convenes a community meeting in to address his bike theft, that is what the central thesis chapter of SJWs Always Lie resembles more than anything else.
So, while my final verdict to Mr. Pratt is that, yes, the books are surprisingly similar in subject matter despite the misleading title of the competing project, I don’t think he has much to worry about in terms of an actual competition. His own effort in the area could hardly be worse.
And in this re-read, I discovered that Pratchett had very cleverly explained all of the storyline divergences in Discworld in one tidy plot device.
There are many chronological inconsistencies on the Disc. Creatures and contraptions from a hundred different time periods exist side by side. This is how it's always been... or is it?... -the Discworld Compendium
This is brilliant. The Discworld books were written over such a large span of time, inconsistencies (or things that the writer just didn't like anymore) were bound to sneak in. In one fell swoop, Pratchett wrote a wonderful, readable book, and made any and all consistency errors canon.