tablesaw: A stick-figure person walking in a carefree manner. The caption reads, 'Haters gonna make some good points' (Haters)
I'm not even done with this article and I already want to blog about it. Well, mostly I just want to blog. Well, mostly I want to put something on my DW. (And a little bit I want to play Spelunky.)

I've been thinking about blogging vs. Twitter for a little bit. I've been aware that there are lots of aspects of Twitter that make me quieter on it. Obviously, there's the length restrictions, which I react to pretty strongly. I find it hard to make statements that comprise more than one tweet. But there's also the speed of tweet/retweet/response (Tumblr has a similar cycle), which I just have a hard time keeping up with. But there's an also an issue of time and speed. I also know that it will add to my blog's accruing history (which I see is going to become important in the part of the article I am still getting to).

As I said, I'm still working my way through Vance's article, but the portion about form and content as regards Twitter polarized me on that matter, highlighting the exploitative structure of its form. One of those things is the way that Twitter is obsessively focused on the "now".
Consider all the reasons why our intrepid capitalists of yesteryear replaced the (almost) timeless Holy Bible with a newspaper whose time is always the present; consider the political redefinition of 'content' to mean consumable rather than everlasting. A Tweet™ spends no more than a day or two in public view before vanishing into a database somewhere. Once our Tweet™ has been consumed and forgotten we make another and another, never Tweeting™ the same thing twice without dedicating 5 characters to an apologetic "ICYMI" (in case you missed it). The 'form' of Twitter, like that of the newspaper, demands a constant stream of new things to bury all the old ones.
On Twitter (and Tumblr), I do feel that pressure of having to put forward quantity a quantity of "content" that's more than I can really sustain in order to have a "presence." And as a result, existing on those sites makes me feel like a ghost, passive. Writing on a blog—my blog—give me a sense of place, and also lets me slow things down to my own speed.

There's also the fact that Dreamwidth remains a noncommercial open-source system, which I can depend on to stay relatively true to its mission statement (though there are, of course, ways that the structure still affects how I write). It just feels like a more comfortable place to be right now, even if I don't think anybody's going to be around to read it. (He says, knowing that once he posts this, links to it will be posted on Twitter, Tumblr, Livejournal, etc.)
tablesaw: Charlie Crews, in a dark suit, rests his head on his left hand (That's Life)
I'm heading out now to my postponed holiday weekend, which means today's my last weekday as an employee of the firm before I get fired and rehired by a new company to do the same job for less. And it was pretty busy today, to boot. Luckily, I happened to put on Felicidade Mixtape #3 from Breath of Life as the day was winding down, which has done a great job relaxing me, to get ready for my days off.

. . . Felicidade sim
tablesaw: A man comes home frome work, his hat reads "Crossword Makers Inc" (Crossword Makers Inc)
Hey, Alyssa Bereznak, to paraphrase Ellen Ripstein, "What are you the best in the world at?"
tablesaw: Benito Juarez holds up a neon sign that says "GET OUTTA MY COUNTRY ARCHDICK" (Archdick)
So, yeah, I axed my profile on Saturday. I hadn't intended to. I was going to see if I could get an NPL photo ID to submit, to see if that helped. And I was, actually, considering changing my name to something more culturally restrictive, though I wanted some actual guidance before I did so. (Tab LeSaw seemed the most likely.) But then I saw this:

An image of Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The text reads: 'LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. Google+ is an *identity service*, not a social network. The internet would be better if we knew you were a *real person* rather than a *dog* or a *fake person*. Some people are just *evil* and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.'

The source is this post from NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin. Over the weekend and today, there have been follow-ups on this revelation, like this one at Forbes, or Gawker's wonderfully named "Watch Google Describe How It Could Exploit Your Name.

I really couldn't take it any more.

See, I and others have been pushing Google, asking why I couldn't be let into their social-networking site with my name. Apparently that was never going to happen because there was never a social-networking site to begin with. Just an identity-verification service with lots of flashy bait.

And with such a massive Trojan-horse/bait-and-switch campaign, I think it's time to directly interrogate that whole evilness thing. Because tying the social-network inextricably to the identification platform is pretty much essentially why people call Facebook evil. It's certainly the reason I didn't use Facebook until recently, and prefer not to use it at all. But, from my perspective, Google's generally been upfront about what it was doing when it rolled out a service.

When I deleted my profile, I also deleted "associate social content." I think it's pretty clear that for Google, "social" and "legally identified" are synonymous. So, you know, keep that in mind as you reconsider whether you want to use the social legally identified network Google Plus. Or whether you want to use the social legally identified RSS service Google Reader. Or whether you want to comment on a picture using the social legally identified aspects of Picasa. Remember it when Google reminds you that it wants to make it easier for you to be social legally identified on the internet.
tablesaw: -- (Real1)
Hello, Google Profiles Team Member, and others!

There's not a whole lot I can do to talk to you as you go through this appeal, so I'm making this public post as the first informational link on my appeal, to help you get some context about what's going on here.

See, I was suspended on August 3rd. I appealed and was summarily rejected, but you asked me to send an e-mail for further review. The ticket number for that appeal was apparently #845437331. I sent an e-mail on August 4th. A public copy is here: Over the weekend, I waited to see if you'd respond or simply let it fall into the black hole of non-responses. But something different happened. My account went from having failed its appeal to having never had an appeal. At least, that's what it looked like from my profile page. I'm not sure; it's possible that my profile was reinstated and then re-rejected before anyone could see it. But I'm a little concerned that my last appeal, and the carefully considered words I sent you have been wiped clean from the last time.

But before we dicsuss theory, let's get to the links, shall we?

Dreamwidth is essentially my current base of operations on the Internet, where I am Tablesaw. This is a social network, where I am connected to hundreds of people who know me as Tablesaw. As you can see, I have archives for this name going back to 2002. Of course, many of those earlier entries are actually transferred from the previous iteration of this blog.

It was at Livejournal that I started the blog in 2002, and started to be known as Tablesaw to a wider web audience. Again, as a social network, LiveJournal introduced me to many people whom I now associate with offline as Tablesaw.

Before that, I joined the National Puzzlers' League, an organization with over a century of experience using chosen names in "real life," as Tablesaw. Now, I know what you're thinking, Google Person. That website looks terrible and doesn't itself, vouch for my identity much. I'll admit, I don't use the website much either. But then, you've kind of placed yourself in a bind, asking me to prove things that happen in "real life" with links on the internet. You see, most of the NPL events happen off of the internet (where all of my friends call me Tablesaw), so the web presence is naturally still a bit sketchy. Of course, it's there where I met the woman who would become my fiancée as Tablesaw.

And before the NPL, I was on IFmud as Tablesaw. Again, an online space that translated into "real life" friends who call me Tablesaw. There was, for example, the time when a dozen or so of us got together and rented a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, something that we managed without ever having to use anything but the handles from the MUD.

I don't know if you can see my own posts on G+ while I'm suspended, because I know the technology is still new. The second link is a backup. This link tells the story of the history of being recoginzed as Tablesaw by a small company that you might have heard of called "Google." See, it's hard to document my seven years of using Tablesaw Tablesawsen on my Gmail account as a link, so the best I can do is to tell you about it and assume that you can look up the information on your own. As they say in the legal profession, the documents responsive to your request are already in your custody and control. I can't tell you how to look into the history of my e-mail account, or my web history account (which I've also used since it was brought online).

Though I can show you the place where I've been using a Google social service under the name Tablesaw for four years. (Though, of course, I can't leave comments on most of my friends' pages like I could last month, because they're on Google Plus, and I'm suspended.)

And a further assortment of links to places where I'm known by Tablesaw on line, and where I interact with people who call me Tablesaw offline. Some of those represent places I don't visit much anymore. In fact, one person I encircled was someone from one of those fora with whom I hadn't really had contact in years, and I was so glad that using the name Tablesaw on Google Plus allowed us to find each other. Of course, that connection's gone now.

Finally, one more post from Google Plus, where one of the people I meet with weekly tells someone mocking my name, in no uncertain terms, that Tablesaw's the name they know me by.

Ok, links done, let's talk about your policy.

See, as I mentioned in that letter I sent to you guys last week, despite suspending me a bunch of times and linking me to your progressively updated Names Policy, nobody's actually told me what it is that's wrong with my name.

I understand that you don't want my legal or government-recognized name. That's good, because I don't really want to give it to you. (Though it does raise the question of why you'd asked for a But you do want "the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you", and I've already given it to you—you've had it for over seven years.

Let's back up. Because, to be honest, there's a problem with your "Common Name" request, which is that I don't have just one common name. I've really got two. One of them I listed as my main profile name (in fact, as I said, I listed it as my main profile name seven years ago), the other I've listed as a nickname under privacy lock. I'm assuming that you can see that, with Google Profile powers, but I'm not going to mention it in this post, because it is, still, an open letter.

You're not really clear on what the difference is between a "common name" and a "nickname" really is. As far as I can tell, my two common names are also nicknames (since neither is, obviously, the name that my local government rigorously identifies me as). Now, I can see how helpful it is to have that other name in my nickname field, locked down under security so that only people whom I choose can see it, but beyond that, I don't see what your problem is with which common name I've placed where.

There's lots of reasons I don't want my other common name up in the big fancy spot on my profile. One reason is that the other nickname is rather close to the name by which the government rigorously identifies me. As you should be aware by now, what with the My Name Is Me campaign and other e-mails I know you're getting, is that making a name like that public opens one up to a lot of different forms of danger. And a lot of that ties into the circumstances I have two common names in the first place. Many people I know are aware of both names, and which they use at any given time is their business (and can switch in the same conversation sometimes). But the people who know me as Tablesaw (which includes a lot of people like my family (Hi, mom!)) have something in common: they are the people with whom I am more willing to share information about my life. And the people who know me only by my other common name are people whom I want to know as little about me as possible.

In other words, the social network that revolves around me as Tablesaw is far more valuable than the one that revolves around me as my other common name. More valuable to me, personally and emotionally, and more valuable to you because I'll be active in sharing with them.

And of course, there's the simple fact that I was here with this name long before Google Plus. When I went to initiate this appeal, the dialogue box that now appears eager to usher in a new name, wiping away years of history informs me that the name I change to is going to be changed in all Google products. Really? When just a month ago, it was perfectly fine for me to use all (and boy, do I mean all) Google products as Tablesaw, now you tell me that name's no good?

Well, maybe you do.

But you know—I know there's a lot of entitlement issues going around with Google Plus—but I do feel, after all this time, that I do deserve to be told why my name's not good enough for you anymore, if for no other reason than so that I can decide if I can change it for you.

Ok. I think that's it.

I hope you read all this, because I guarantee you, someone's going to.

And you know what? Depending on when you read this in relation to when other people read this, you can probably keep going down this page to see a bunch of my friends, friends in "real life"—and I guess I didn't even get to the part where somehow, "offline" is "real life," as though everything that happens on the Internet is somehow fictional (because, really, if online isn't "real life," then what does that make a web-based company like Google?)—tell you how they call me Tablesaw offline too.

I don't know if it even matters anymore.

After seven years, I'm starting to figure out what the cost will be of moving me e-mail address, simply because you think my name's not good enough for you and you won't tell me why.

Okay, it's late and I'm getting maudlin about this.

Best of luck with all this, Google Profiles Team Member. If you've read this far down, you deserve it.

And hell, you know what, I'm going to turn off IP logging, on the off chance that you want to leave a message. Anons get screened, and I won't reveal if you ask me not to.

Bed now. For reals.

Tablesaw out.
tablesaw: One machete is raised, a host more rise to meet it. (From the "Machete" trailer in "Grindhouse".) (Brown Power)
Here's a timeline of this morning with Google. Please note that although the times look precise, they are estimates; it's just that some events are packed close together, so I had to guesstimate some things with odd specificity.
  • 9:30 a.m. I have trouble posting to a friend's post on Google Plus. I send feedback for the issue, thinking it to be a bug.
  • 9:40 a.m. After reloading the page, and trying to add a comment in my stream and on the psot page, I only vaguely recall, from following this issue very closely, that this is the first symptom of profile suspension. I check my profile page, and my account has been suspended.
  • 10:02 a.m. I take a screencap and upload it to my Picasa.
  • 10:04 a.m. I post a screencap of my suspension to my Dreamwidth.
  • 10:05 a.m. I submit my profile for appeal.
  • 10:10 a.m. [personal profile] yomikoma posts my suspension on Google Plus. I receive a Google Plus notification of having it shared with me. I'm not sure how exactly this happened, since it shouldn't be strictly possible to "mention" a suspended user in a post. Regardless, feel free to share his post if you have it, or repost this on your own. ETA: Actually, if you want to share something on Google, share my earlier post, since it has my statement about my name, as well as my "Banned from Google" filk, which is now even more apropos.
So, some notes.

Earlier speculation suggested that Picasa would go down with a suspended Google Profile, now that the two were linked. If this was the case earlier in the field test, it does not appear to be true now, as my Picasa seems to be entirely intact and accessible. (There's some weirdness with photos that were shared on Google Plus first, but that's to be expected, and I'm going to look at that a bit more.)

(I know that Google Reader has been reported to go down, but I don't use it, so I can't verify. Same with Google Buzz.)

ETA: Also, basic functions like Gmail and Google Talk and all that are intact. I knew that they would be, based on previous reports of suspended accounts, but I realize that not everyone will have been keeping up with that.

On the other hand, in the wake of bad publicity on this issue, Google has said that they will be making changes to the way they suspend profiles:
We’ve noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process - specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them.

These include:

- Giving these users a warning and a chance to correct their name in advance of any suspension. (Of course whenever we review a profile, if we determine that the account is violating other policies like spam or abuse we’ll suspend the account immediately.)
- At time of this notice, a clear indication of how the user can edit their name to conform to our community standards (​en&answer=1228271)
- Better expectation setting as to next steps and timeframes for users that are engaged in this process.
Please note that this post was made last week; given Google's timescale of betas and other testing, "currently making" could simply be Google weasel words for "it might happen someday probably." One week after this statement, my profile was suspended without warning, or even notification.

Moreover, I am not in violation of the policy as set out by Google in that:
  • I use a first and last name in a single language (though, seriously, there are some really, really fucked up, and frankly racist assumptions behind that "single language" clause).
  • My name contains no unusual characters (it never occurred to me to use a period to represent the generally mononymic "Tablesaw" as "Tablesaw .", which got users like Sai and Skud in trouble).
  • My profile and name represent one person (especially so, since "Tablesaw Tablesawsen" is unique while the name that my coworkers call me is not).
  • And I do not use the name of another individual (though, as above, if I used the namey name my coworkers call me, I would be doing so; I don't even need to run any type of search to verify this because I WAS NAMED AFTER MY FATHER)
So I'll keep y'all updated on what happens, but if you want a preview, you can check out these posts by [personal profile] skud (suspended twelve days and counting).
tablesaw: -- (Real1)
Made some posts today on Google+, in that they are contained in an about the service.

If you haven't been keeping track of Google Plus's rampant suspension of profiles that don't conform to mainstream Western standards, there are some good comprehensive links to check out. Google+ user Sai, whose account has been suspended multiple times because of his (legally documented) single name, posted a massive, collaboratively written account of the whole situation, including suggested policy changes.

In sharing it, I added:
"You're one of the very first people to use Gmail. Your input will help determine how it evolves, so we encourage you to send your feedback, suggestions and questions to us. But mostly, we hope you'll enjoy experimenting with Google's approach to email."

That's what Google e-mailed to me on June 11, 2004. The name on my account then was "Tablesaw Tablesawsen." It remained the name on my Gmail Account when my Gmail Account became a Google Account, and it was the name on my Google Account when my Google Account added a Google Profile. And when that Google Profile became a part of Google Plus (yes I activated it slightly in advance), Tablesaw Tablesawsen it remained.

Every e-mail since then--whether to friends, family, or businesses--has started with a "To" field of "Tablesaw Tablesawsen" and ended with the even more memorable .sig of "Tablesaw (It's the saw of the table!)." It's been the name on my Google Documents and my Picasa pictures.

Notwithstanding the fact that I'd been using the name Tablesaw since about the time that I started hearing about this "Google" thing that was so much better than AltaVista, these seven years of using this Google Account almost exclusively is what establishes it as a real name (one of a few, but no less real). Google should know that Tablesaw Tablesawsen is a real name since they've been sending mail to, and harvesting information from, this name for over seven years.

+Sai and others have written a detailed summary of this issue within Google Plus, including several links and policy suggestions. Per +Sai's request, this share is also being linked to +Natalie Villalobos, whom I'll be counting on to remember this testimonial, should my profile be friviolously suspended.
The other posts come from [personal profile] skud, a longstanding advocate for the benefits of pseudonymity, whose profile was suspended on Friday. (A second post with further notes was posted today.) In the comments to the first, Aahz said, "For anyone who knows Leslie Fish, just think 'Banned From Google' (sorry, haven't gotten any farther)..."

Well, I couldn't help myself:
When we signed up for Google Plus, the network of our dreams,
We all set out investigating circles, sparks, and streams.
We had high expectations for our pseudonymity,
But found too late it wasn't geared for users such as we.

And we're banned from Google; it's not just.
Banned from Google, you could say that we're nonplussed.
We'd love to give more feedback on a field test we adore,
But Google doesn’t want us any more

The ToS is simple, but the policy opaque
Behind how mods consider some names real and some names fake.
The Name Police keep coming for +aestetix, +Sai, and +Skud.
So please, folks, make some changes before Google’s name is Mud.

Since we're banned from Google, all of us.
Banned from Google, and we're kicking up a fuss.
We used to be evangelizers; now we're pretty sore.
We don't know if we'll Google any more.
tablesaw: An indigenous American crucified on a cross crowned by a bald eagle. In the background stands a Mesoamerican temple. (América Tropical)
I used to do reviews of the Escape Artists podcasts. Maybe I should do that again. Recently, I've been meaning to post more, but the days slip by without me even noticing I haven't posted again. (On the other hand, my exercise is staying fairly regular, despite wisdom-tooth disruptions, so that's good.) But I really wanted to talk about one particular Podcastle episode I listened to last week. So I'll preface by saying that on the whole, the quality's been good from the shows that I was listening to (though I listen anywhere from a month to a year behind release, usually).

The story I was listening to on Monday was Podcastle 156, "Household Spirits" by C.S.E. Cooney (full text available at Strange Horizons, where it was originally published. I stopped listening halfway through.

Skipping episodes is actually common for me—due to audio issues, substandard performance, or stories that are simply not my cup of tea—not usually anything to remark upon. With "Household Spirits," though, I had to turn it off because of the relentless parade of tropes forwarding racism against Amerindians.

As I was listening to this story, I felt like I was ticking off a checklist, or filling in a bingo card, about how to use harmful racist imagery to not!Amerindians in science-fiction. I spent a while looking for such a checklist. I mean, there's got to be one, surely, what with Avatar, and all that. The best thing I could find actually wasn't related to speculative fiction, but was simply the criteria from How to Tell the Difference: A Guide for Evaluating Children's Books for Anti-Indian Bias by Doris Seale, Beverly Slapin and Rosemary Gonzales, published online at

Let's take one section:
In these hills called Seven Quails by the Kilquuts, back in those days there still was Kilquuts. Our ghost don't talk much. When he does, it's to Jessemee.

I shouldn't say ghost. Jessemee says the better word (just like you with your better words) is genius or numen. I've heard other words too, by other settlers. Ghoulog. Scabby. Shadekin.

Got to tell you, Del, to me it just looks like a boy.

His name, so far as I can coax one, is Mimo.

I know I got that wrong. There are other sounds in between the ones I can hear, but that's close enough for letter writing. Mimo looks a bit like this old Kilquut farmhouse we bought sight unseen. Skinny and leaning, with dirt on it so thick I don't reckon a bunch of bachelors like us'll ever get it scrubbed clean.
What can we check off?
  • Are Native peoples portrayed as . . . simple tribal people, now extinct?
  • Are there insulting overtones to the language in the book? Are racist adjectives used to refer to Indian peoples?
  • Are Native cultures presented in a condescending manner? Are there paternalistic distinctions between "them" and "us"?
  • Are Native peoples discussed in the past tense only, supporting the "vanished Indian" myth? Is the past unconnected to the present?
Or how about this:
About ten years ago, the Kilquut elders had a sit-down at their meetinghouse (big ramble of a place the Gladstones have overrun), and said, They're coming. We can't fight them. We can't become them. We can't leave.

The Kilquut argument, what Jess calls "their focal tenet" (which puts me in mind of you, Del, and those radical ideas you call religion), is that it's always better to die than kill. Easy way to wipe out your species, I say. I told you that before.

So the Kilquuts gathered themselves in a valley. All but the young'uns, who the elders hoped might grow up with no memory of how things'd been. Then the Kilquuts spoke some words they all knew, and the green lightning came down and killed them. The sky opened and poured a month straight, filling up that valley of the dead.
In addition to some things we've already checked off:
  • Are Native Nations presented as being responsible for their own "disappearance?"
  • Does the story encourage children to believe that Native peoples accepted defeats passively?
Continuing on:
After making sure Mimo was okay and not puking anymore, he went outside and cut a switch, then came back in and explained to Mimo, let's see if I can remember the words . . .

"Son, those arrows weren't rightly yours to . . . to . . ." Dad pointed at the green fire but couldn't say burn. "And someday, Mimo, maybe not tomorrow, but someday in the future, if I don't show you right now how it's wrong to break other people's things, it'll go bad for you."
Let's check off:
  • In modern times, are Indian people portrayed as childlike and helpless? Does a white authority figure – pastor, social worker, teacher- know better than Native people themselves what is "good for them?"
And this is just in the first half of the story before I turned it off. And it's not even all that was in the part I listened to. And Oyate doesn't have anything on their list about being magical.

It's not a new idea that there's a problem with speculative fiction writers who attempt to "subvert" or otherwise "neutralize" racist tropes by using their authorial control to make those tropes literally true in their world. So the Navi are literally connected to the earth. Patricia Wrede writes about pre-Columbian Americas that are literally "empty of people but full of dangerous animals, many of them magical." The beings that South Africa are subjecting to apartheid are literally insects. This is not subversion; this is entrenchment.

Finally, there's a general criterion on the Oyate list:
  • Is there anything in the story that would embarrass or hurt a Native child?
It's a question best answered by [personal profile] moniquill:

They hurt PEOPLE LIKE ME. The especially hurt CHILDEN LIKE ME. They hurt me because they are part of a cultural narrative that erases the reality of my existence. That claims that This is what NDNs were and Now they Are Gone isn't it Sad? But if our good readers had been there, OH IF ONLY THEY HAD BEEN THERE, they would have been some of the Good White People and would have Joined The Natives. Yes they would. Which neatly absolves them from having to think about the fact that their ancestors didn't and the lasting ramifications that has on native people living today. Everyone weeps cathartic tears and insists that they'd have helped the Na'vi fight to keep out the unobtamium miners, but precious few of them then go home and help the REAL FUCKING LIVE Dineh (Navajo, to those playing the white name game) fight the uranium miners TODAY in the REAL WORLD. And why should they? The story already absolved them.
Moniquill wrote this and much more because I bugged her about this story before I wrote up this post. As a result, she wrote a far more amazing response than I could hope to come up with, from which I took the above quote. She also subjected herself to the entire story, so if you want to get a taste of even worse things in the story (and even I was shocked at some of he quotes from later in the story), she's your person.
tablesaw: The Maple Street streetlight blinks on and off and on. (Monsters Are Due)
Incidentally, while obviously it's useful to prepare for the Big One around LA, it's probably not going to get as big as Japan.
"What's especially important in the U.S. is we expect an even larger earthquake on our own Cascadia Subduction Zone," said Heaton, specifying that related hazards are located in Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Colombia - not along the San Andreas fault that runs through inland Southern and Central California.

"We don't believe we could have an 8.9 here," Heaton said.

"If you want the Big One, you'll have to go to Portland," remarked Lucy Jones, chief scientist for the USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project for Southern California.

Graves explained that known faults in Southern and Central California simply don't have long structures like the Subduction Zone that caused the Japan quake.

"We just don't have these types of structures in Southern California. "I wouldn't say it's impossible, but certainly it would be unprecedented," he said.
"Caltech Scientists Eagerly Await Lessons from Monster Quake," San Gabriel Valley News.

Earthquakes in the Northwest won't be a surprise to those familiar with another geological catastrophes, but 9.0 is still pretty huge to consider for that areas, and a quake that large would affect a wide range, as it has in Japan.
tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
I've generally been avoiding the coverage of the earthquake in Japan, because as an Angeleno who's lived through a large earthquake only a few miles from my house, the orders of magnitude from that tremor to 8.9 is terrifying.

Still, I've started to see references to a USGS report estimating deaths and damage in a California quake:
A magnitude 7.8 quake in California — Japan’s quake was 30 times more powerful — would kill at least 2,000 people and cause $200 billion in damage, a United States Geological Survey estimates.
The Week via Tumblr (Note that even The Week's Tumblr writer misstated its own article, calling it "a United States Geological Survey", instead of "a United States Geological Survey study.")

The USGS report in question is "The ShakeOut Scenario," which was a detailed model of the effects of a large earthquake in Southern California. It was prepared as part of a push to better prepare Southern California for the occurrence and aftermath a large quake, and the results were used in planning, regulations, and in modeling large-scale drills as part of The Great Southern California ShakeOut, which has grown to become The Great California Shakeout. This year, the project will include Oregon and British Columbia, and eight states in the central U.S.

This 2008 study was to create a very detailed model of a very particular hypothetical earthquake. This quake would be large (7.8 moment-magnitude) and focused on the San Andreas Fault. This is a relatively likely scenario, which is why it was chosen, but it isn't the only kind of earthquake that could hit Southern California.

So what does the study say? Here's the executive study on deaths:
Because of strong life-safety building codes over the years, the ShakeOut Scenario estimates only approximately 1,800 deaths, of which about half occur because of the fires following the earthquake. There will also be about 750 people with very severe injuries who will require rapid, advanced medical care to survive. Approximately 50,000 people will have injuries that need emergency room care. The final mortality could increase if hospitals cannot function because of damage or if the transportation disruptions prevent people getting to emergency rooms.
Because the quake was modeled to be far from the coast, the tsunami possibility was negligible, but fires figure heavily in the aftermath of the ShakeOut scenario. It's likely that fires will start either in areas close to brush, or in clusters of wood-framed housing, which will allow them to spread rapidly. There's also a likelihood of water supplies being disrupted, which could make fighting fires harder. For the dollar value, here's the table adding it up, with values in billions of 2008 dollars:
Building Damage: $32.7
Related Content Damage: $10.6
High-Rise Building Damage: $2.2
Related Content Damage: $0.7
Fire Damage: $40.0
Related Content Damage: $25.0
Highway Damage: $0.4
Pipeline (water, sewer, gas) Damage: $1.1
Sub-total Property Damage: $112.7

Business Interruption: $96.2

Relocation Costs: $0.1
Traffic Delay Costs: $4.3
Sub-total Additional Costs: $4.4

Total: $213.3
The scenario measures "economic losses" which includes damage and the loss of stock, as well as the amount of loss caused by having to shut down for a period of time. And note that, again, fires after the quake result in more than half of the modeled cost of damages.

There's other interesting things in the report, including the fact that because the fault is located in San Bernadino county, the damage and loss of life will be focused there, not in Los Angeles or Orange County. There's also the modeling of steel-structure high-rises collapsing, which was done a bit off-the-cuff because nothing similar had occurred. (Did any high-rises collapse in Japan due to shaking? All I can find when I search for it is 9/11 conspiracy theorists.)

So that's what the numbers mean.
tablesaw: The pixelated dog from Duck Hunt, emerging from a real field of tall green grass beneath a clear blue sky. (Duck Hunt)
I follow Live Granades because, although I don't go to the IFMud much anymore, I spent a lot of time there, and really liked Stephen, and even spent some time on vacation with him and Misty. Mostly, I like looking at the pictures of their kids and Misty's craftwork.

But this is a seriously great post:
So to recap: a game intended to be religious was changed by its first disciple so that access to the religion involved either money or being famous. Possible responses include subverting it within or declaring a reformation and forking the project. Sound familiar?
Seriously go read it.

Stephen says later:
You want to know why I care about games? This is why. Chain World has spawned arguments about the greater meaning of games and how they reflect the wider world. Leave aside arguments about whether games are art or not. Games like Chain World have something to say about our lives.
Of the people I read talking about videogames, I really do think that Auntie Pixelante is the most insightful and radical. At a time when the "industry" is obsessed with making sure that videogames are "mature" while remaining juvenile, Anna Anthropy steps up to show what you can do when you're really at peace with the role of sex (even supposedly deviant sex) in a functioning human's life. Recently, Craft and Punishment closely examined the relationship between game maker and game player and the BDSM participants. And
Beyond Indie, presented at this year's Game Developers Conference proclaims:
the promise of tools like game maker—that let anyone make a game with no professional or programming experience—and the cheap broadband internet that allows them to distribute their games without a publisher is GAMES MADE BY EVERYONE FOR EVERYONE, not games by the same small handful of nerds for the same nerds to play.
Geek Feminism points out that the father of the first true videogame console, one that used a microprocessor specifically to play games, was Jerry Lawson, a black engineer. I knew about the Fairchild Channel F from my Encyclopedia of Game Machines, but while the importance of the machine is mentioned, Lawson isn't. (The space is saved for the head of Fairchild, Gordon Moore.)

Just a few cool things in videogames recently.

The Shinies

Mar. 9th, 2011 10:44 pm
tablesaw: Run Away (to the ocean, to the country, to the mountains . . .) (Runaway)
As I said earlier, I got a Tumblr a while back, and it's getting pretty active. I know that there are lots of people using Tumblr for various blog things, but it just doesn't work out so well for me like that. It is a great way for me to do something with all the little bits of shiny that come across my path in the course of surfing, things that are too inconsequential for me to be interested in writing about here. Pretty images, videos I like, occasionally some puzzles, it's all going up over there.

I've also started tackling one of those 30-day memes, this one for videogames. Because it's tumblr, I'm making an effort to share some form of media with each entry.

So that's where all the blogging that's not about stuff stuff is going, in case you were curious.
tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
What have I been doing on computers instead of updating my DW?
  • A website that provides two logic puzzles every day, with a complex and rewarding rating system. It is entirely in German, but [personal profile] chris has written up an English walkthrough. [ profile] motris has also written about his experiences with the site. I'm currently ranked 349 out of 666, and you can see a graph of my recent progress.
  • Tumblr. I have a Tumblr account now, because it was getting to a point where creating RSS feeds for the ones I liked was getting cumbersome. I'm at It's got some stuff on it, I guess. Nothing too consistent. I might try to fill it up with some stuff.
  • Tagging Old Entries. Hey, remember that time I was assaulted by an actor of a show I was stage-managing? Yeah, that's why I have a violence tag now.
  • Picasa Faces. I've loaded all my old photos onto my new computer. This means that there shouldn't be anything at all important left on the old dying box. It also means that Picasa is taunting me by finding faces in my photos and asking me to identify them.
  • Geocaching. [personal profile] trinker got me out and about, and I've been making progress again. Going to try to not let a week go by without some form of outdoorsing:

    Profile for Tablesaw
tablesaw: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie from <cite>Labyrinth</cite> (Labyrinth)
Much like the Caprica itself, Last Chance Texaco starts slow but gains momentum quickly. RLJFTW.

I also know some Profit fans, and this is a good pick.

Life After People and "It's the End of the World as We Know It is a pretty obvious connection, but it's a fun vid.

Marion Ravenwood = Cher in "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves". It's great to see her as the star, and the music is perfect.

I am one of twenty-three people who watched the TV series The Invisible Man, one of the others asked for this Bobby/Hobbes vid.

Also, yay Meldrick
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
Festivids—a fanvid equivalent of Yuletide, where people anonymously make vids of smaller fandoms as gifts—went online today. There is some seriously awesome stuff in here.

Full list of vids

Some of the ones I love so far:

I'm not really a fan of the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt," but pairing it with Bruce Wayne circa Batman Beyond is brilliant.

Blade Runner + GnR's "November Rain." I just watched it a seconf time showing it to a friend and I like it even more.

I am a sucker for "Tik Tok" vids: Back to the Future, Scott Pilgrim

I have many fans of Danny Kaye's The Court Jester on my reading list.

The fact that I am able to make specific recommendations has a lot to do with the fact that I've only seen a few.


Sep. 12th, 2010 02:41 pm
tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
The last of three fanmixes for [profile] whedonland. Not fannishly associated, so just a mix. The recipient of these gifts asked for redhead-related things, so I made a mix on the topic. Links go to MP3s where freely available, and to streaming versions for everything else.

The ability to read the cover may depend on your monitor settings. It's a feature, not a bug.

Songs, links, lyrics, and notes )
tablesaw: The Maple Street streetlight blinks on and off and on. (Monsters Are Due)
The second of three fanmixes for [profile] whedonland. This one is for Angel's evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. Links go to MP3s where freely available, and to streaming versions for everything else.

Songs, links, lyrics, and notes )
tablesaw: "The Accurate Tablesaw" (Accurate)
The first of three fanmixes for [profile] whedonland. This one is for the Dollhouse pairing of Topher and Brink. Links go to MP3s where freely available, and to streaming versions for everything else.

Songs, links, lyrics, and notes )
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
I guess it's time to boycott Arizona. Again.
A bitch supports the idea of a boycott mostly because I think people should be warned that their family trip could turn into an apartheid experience quicker than flies gather on shit.
—Angry Black Bitch, "On Arizona's new law..."

The boycott was supported by Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva back on Thursday (when there was still a chance of the governor vetoing the bill).
Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., closed down his Tucson and Yuma district offices Friday afternoon, after a man called the Tucson office twice threatening to "come in there and blow everybody's head off," and then go to the U.S.-Mexico border to "shoot any Mexicans that try to come across," an aide says.
—Salon, "Rep. Raúl Grijalva closes Tucson office after death threats"

Which raises the question, can I boycott a place that seems so intent on making sure that I come in the first place? I mean, when the elected official tells everyone that they really ought to stay away from the state they represent, it's not so much a boycott as critical advice.
We've grown accustomed to those travel warnings that the U.S. State Department issues every so often, advising U.S. citizens to "exercise extreme caution" when visiting parts of Mexico -- usually after some new shootout or gruesome slaying.

Now it's Mexico's turn to say: watch out. The Mexican government Tuesday issued its own travel warning, urging Mexican citizens to be careful in Arizona.

. . .

Although details on how the law will be enforced remain unclear, the [Mexican Foreign Relations Ministry] said, "it must be assumed that every Mexican citizen may be harassed and questioned without further cause at any time."
—La Plaza, Mexico turns table on travel advisory, issues warning on trips to Arizona

On the other fronts, groups like MALDEF and the ACLU are preparing challenges, and and you can push Washington on Immigration Reform, as the issue takes itself off the back burner.

Moreover, Public Enemy.


tablesaw: -- (Default)
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