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Posts from the ‘Free Speech’ Category

Millions of Years of Reading Material

The book, in the forms we might recognize it, has been around for a heartbeat in terms of the universe. Even now, we discuss it’s demise, as we read on our e-readers, or our phones, and the shelves of paper seem so dusty and old-fashioned. Scientists come up with even newer ways to store data – they have encoded cat videos on DNA, to sum up the absurdity of the internet in one small petri dish. They have stored data on molecules that could endure for millions of years (at least, theoretically, none of them having proved that hypothesis).

Just like the storage of data on other mediums, though, this has it’s own problems. Paper is flammable and wettable. 8-tracks, cassette tapes, hard drives, CDs DVDs Blue rays and many many more need specialized readers to access the data stored on them. Sure, molecular data storage is tiny and durable. But do they make handheld mass spectrometers yet? Oh, wait, yes they do. And unlike many spectrometer detectors, the process is non-destructive of the sample being read (again, in theory. But we’re talking science fiction right now, not mass practicality for many people to carry in their pocketses). So yes, in theory we could have millions of books for millions of years, as long as we remember how to read them. Read more

Shut up! shutup! shutup!

Image pixabay.

“That’s cultural appropriation! You can’t do that! Shutup shutup shutup!”

“Do you think that cultures have a right to maintain their traditions, especially ones with a well-documented history going back hundreds of years? Cultural patterns which are as much part of their culture as breathing is part of your living? Cultural behavior which defines them, without which they would stop being their culture?”

“Of course!”

“Good-o. Piss off, Asshole.” Read more

Chilling? Downright Frigid.

Very first thing: if you haven’t read Amanda’s post from this morning, go read it. While this morality clause nonsense is dangerous to writers, and it’s certainly a CYA move on the part of the publishers including it in their contracts, I can’t help but wonder if it’s *also* being used as a means of further gatekeeping. “You’d better stay in the conservative closet, if you want to keep writing in your favorite world.” Read more

Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout

I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts. Read more

Copyright, Rights-Claims, and Money: EU Regulation Questions

Although this applies primarily to internet content providers, specifically media outlets such as newspapers, TV, and news sites, the proposed revisions to European Union copyright and “Fair Use” rules could affect [afflict?] bloggers and writers as well, depending on how we use material and if we post things on-line for readers (Article 11) and the evidence requirements for proof of Copyright.

I’ve posted some info and links below the fold:

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“…Little Is That I’ve Not Been.”

Fredrick Barbarossa awakens! Photo by author, mural in the Kaisarpfalz in Goslar, Germany.

 

I was listening to a very modern setting of part of the “Battle of the Trees,” the Cad Goddeu. The poem, or at least the parts we have of it, is long and strange, and includes a declaration by Taliesin of all the various shapes he has worn over the aeons.  The list includes:

I have been a sword, narrow, variegated,
I will believe when it is apparent.
I have been a tear in the air,
I have been the dullest of stars.
I have been a word among letters,
I have been a book in the origin.
I have been the light of lanterns,
A year and a half.
I have been a continuing bridge,
Over three score Abers.2
I have been a course, I have been an eagle.
I have been a coracle in the seas:
I have been compliant in the banquet.

From: Mary Jones Celtic Literature Collection “The Battle of the Trees.

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Just Write: A Rant.

It’s a question I thought I’d left behind when I departed the Ivory Tower: Can someone who is not a [race/faith/sex/species] write about [race/faith/sex/species]? Do we have enough [race/sex/species] in our department or do we need more/fewer [race/sex/species]? OK, species isn’t really a problem in academia, but there are heated arguments over if a male can write Women’s History, if an Anglo can write about China, if So-and-so could be hired because HR had warned the Department that they had too many [whatevers] and might be investigated…and so on.

Fiction – we make stuff up, right? Space aliens, dragons in Shang Dynasty China, super high-tech societies hiding in Central Africa… And we write about it, and people read it or don’t.

And then things like this cross my bow… Read more