Doppelganger fish tank!

20 September 2017 07:56
shallowness: Kensi and Deeks at a door, he's holding a badge (Kensi and Deeks partners NCIS LA)
[personal profile] shallowness
NCIS: LA

4.13 The Chosen One (insert Buffy joke now – like, Hetty would be the Watcher, Eric and Nell would do magic, and the other three would be warriors. Sorry, that was exacerbated by my being in the middle of reading a BtVS fic.)

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I have heard a couple of LL Cool J songs of late, and have to admit that both times I burst out laughing (I’m not one for hip hop except for old, goofy classics and Dessa. Mainly I am ‘ugh, stop talking over the nice music.) It’s just the mental dissonance.

Check-In – Day 19

19 September 2017 17:40
samuraiter: (Default)
[personal profile] samuraiter in [community profile] writethisfanfic
Another hurricane. And another. And another. My heart is with you if you are in path of any of them. ... Hurricanes aside, what have you been doing today?

— Thinking. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.
— Writing.
— Planning and / or researching.
— Editing.
— Sending things to the beta.
— Posting!
— Relaxing, taking a break, etc.
— Other stuff-ing. Look at the comment.

A relevant question: How many different ways do you back up or save your writing for the long term?

In which the Bittern is pissed

19 September 2017 14:16
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

Check-In – Day 18

18 September 2017 19:40
samuraiter: (Default)
[personal profile] samuraiter in [community profile] writethisfanfic
I am going to use the Force here: You did notice that I missed a check-in for yesterday. *waves hand* There. Now! Let us continue. I will be your host for the rest of this month, and I look forward to ending September on a high note. What have you been doing today?

— Thinking. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.
— Writing.
— Planning and / or researching.
— Editing.
— Sending things to the beta.
— Posting!
— Relaxing, taking a break, etc.
— Other stuff-ing. Look at the comment.

And a silly question to start things off: Do you do hand exercises at your keyboard before (or after) writing?

October sign up

18 September 2017 20:39
lilly_c: (Default)
[personal profile] lilly_c in [community profile] writethisfanfic
It's time to sign up for the October WIP challenge!

Some people join the challenge midmonth, or comment on check-in posts without signing up, which is fine -- I'm glad there's a way for the challenge to be useful in a variety of ways.

But for those of you who find the commitment of signing up useful, please leave a comment with the below information.

Signups will be open until the end of September.



  • Level of challenge: 1 chapter, 1000 words, 1 fic finished, whatever you like
  • Fandom(s) involved: if you know at this point
  • What you're looking for from the challenge: this could be as vague or specific as you like: someone to be accountable to, someone to remind you to write, someone to bounce ideas off, etc.
  • What you could offer other participants yourself: ditto!
  • How people should contact you: DW message, e-mail, IM etc.
  • Time zone: useful for seeing who might be up for a writing session at a time convenient to you


Copypaste below:



I couldn't continue to run this challenge without assistance with the daily check-in posts. Many thanks to everyone who's helped with the check-ins before!

Please let me know if you'd be interested in helping out. A week per person would be ideal (I usually assign weeks running Sunday-Saturday just for consistency). I'm happy to help come up with suggestions for discussion topics (& Friday or Saturday is usually the general chat/snippet/beta-seeking etc. post).

(& if you've completed a fic through the challenge, don't forget our collection on AO3! If you need AO3 invites, let me know.)
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing in [community profile] ladybusiness
I always go into Hugo voting with the best of intentions. I'm going to read all the things, view all the things, and not just get bogged down in the Novel category. 2017 is going to be different!

Yes. Well.

Appropriately for the Hugo Awards this optimistic view proved to be, as usual, pure fantasy. Still, I did pretty well for a lady with a long commute and limited data; particularly when it came to the Best Short Story category. I read four of the six stories nominated in this category for 2017. And what better way to get back into writing than to share all my thoughts with you?

Read more... )

Strike - The Silkworm - part 2

18 September 2017 07:21
shallowness: HP films' Minerva reads the Daily Prophet (Minerva reads)
[personal profile] shallowness
Read more... )

In the meantime, when is the next book going to be published???

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