The original Dutch settlers of what’s now New York were employees of a corporation called the Dutch West India Company with the stated mission to acquire beaver pelts from the natives. They proceeded to invent an economy out of the formerly ceremonial wampum beads, monopolize that economy and decimate the livelihoods of the natives who became dependent on that economy, for example causing wars between them over the suddenly scarce resource of beaver pelts. Ultimately, of course, they would displace and massacre the natives. Oh, they also introduced African chattel slavery to North America while they were at it.*
*The first chattel slaves in continental North America were actually in Jamestown, but it was the Dutch who brought them there. (And who first sold African slaves to the English and the French.)
“Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.”
fuck this guy
These continents were already tamed by the indigenous inhabitants. And had been for tens of thousands of years.
Over 80% of the Native Americans were dead by diseases brought over by Columbus’ crew long before the Pilgrims arrived in North America. The Native Americans suffered an apocalyptic catastrophe that made the European Plague look like a bad cold season. This was not done on purpose but it was inevitable that it would have happened eventually.
So what we had here was a Post-Apocalyptic world being resettled by a technologically more advanced civilization. Anthropologically speaking, there was no other outcome possible but what occurred, not on the grander scale of it, anyway. That a bunch of political and religious refugees turned a culturally devastated land into the greatest bastion for freedom, self-rule, and scientific advancement this planet has ever seen is nothing to be sorry for.
The effort to eradicate bison specifically to starve the Sioux
The trail of tears
Bounties for scalped Native Americans in Pennsylvania
The multiple broken treaties to respect Native Land
Please dont fucking act like Native genocide was some kind of unfortunate accident. It was a series of deliberate, violent acts that took advantage of the aftermath of the plagues Europeans brought with them.
i love how white people like to act like they weren’t dying from dysentery and dumb as shit before they met us indigenous peoples. u fuckers couldn’t bathe your ass properly and u want to tell me u helped us “advance technologically?” we already had advanced structures and a method of doing things before u came here and infected us and assimilated our people. kindly shut the fuck up.
My dad was born in 1956 and remembers mysterious boxes showing up on their doorstep with food and blankets/clothes. They once gave the family dog the food and it died.
He also said people would try to hit his brothers and him with a car while they were walking to school.
His dad was allowed to die over appendicitis in a hospital. He suffered for days while the staff did NOTHING.
His uncles disappeared and the police did NOTHING. Their car was later found in a canyon, full of bullet holes. The bullets were military issue.
His eldest brother also died under mysterious circumstances.
My great grandmother, the last of our tribe to be born traditionally, outside, owned 5000 acres in northern California. Active imminent domain left her with 1 ACRE. Which they later took to build a post office.
That same grandma, who I’m named after, was kidnapped as a child and held as a slave in a white mans house. She had a wire put through her ear that tethered her so she could only go from her bedroom to the kitchen. Her dad found her and rescued her, ripping the thing out of her ear. My dad said her earlobe was forever split in two pieces.
In church when I was a kid people alienated my family and my dad got jokey death threats all the time. My mom, who was white, was told she was too good for my dad. I was told I was dark but I would hopefully lighten up if I stayed out of the sun. At school we read a story about a “drunken injun” and I cried in class while my classmates mockingly did a raindance and chanted. My first boyfriend said he wished he wasn’t a white guy because Indians get free college.
This shit was recent and current. Go look up suicide, sexual assault, and drug addiction statistics within Native American communities.
White people came to this country and slaughtered us. Your white ancestors did this. Maybe even your grandparents.
America wasn’t won, it was stolen. Native Americans aren’t better off because we have electricity. I’d rather have my people back.
Fuck Donald Trump. Fuck his voters. And fuck white people who try to downplay what happened here.
Farscape as the last great space exploration show
There’s a certain model of science fiction TV show that goes back to at least the original Star Trek (1966) and probably earlier to shows like Captain Video, whose main premise is that a crew of space explorers are going around encountering weird stuff in a mostly episodic fashion. (Itself an outgrowth of a model of episodic adventures with a lineage going all the way back to epics of the early modern age like Orlando Furioso, the kind of epics that Don Quixote was a parody of.)
The apotheosis of this kind of show was Star Trek: The Next Generation, but other examples include Space: 1999, the original Battlestar Galactica, etc etc. With the rise of the “Golden Age of Television” and more serialized narratives, this mode of storytelling has fallen away, with even the new Star Trek using longer serialized narratives rather than episodic storytelling, becoming in the process less of a space exploration show and more of a straight military drama.
The last great example of this model of show before the shift was the Sci-Fi channel’s Farscape. It distinguished itself from previous shows in a number of ways, including the extensive puppet work by the Jim Henson Company, the fact that the ship’s crew were escaped prisoners rather than a naval-style crew, and the fact that only one of its main characters is human, but its main innovation to the format is the realization that if a group of people were so regularly exposed to so much weird shit that they’d probably just go insane. Particularly the lone human character, John Crichton, gradually loses his mind as he goes from contemporary Earth into the reaches of space where one after another bizarre happenstance happens to him without rhyme or reason.
My favorite hobby is describing socialism without using the word “socialism” and watching everyone in the room agree with me.
Guy at work: *bitches about work*
Me: “Yeah, well, that’s the way it goes. See, the company can only make money off of the work we do, so they’re never gonna pay us what we’re worth; you don’t get paid for eight hours’ work, you get paid for working eight hours. That’s how they make bank. So the relationship between us and management is always gonna be adversarial. Why you think [boss] is such a dickhead? He’s incentivized to be a dickhead.”
Guy: “That….that actually makes a lot of sense.”
Me: *stares into the camera like on The Office while ‘The Internationale’ plays in the background*
i don’t understand the difference between getting “paid for eight hours’ work” vs “paid for 8 hours.”
Most companies want you to do 12 hours worth of work in 6 hours of actual time. They want to work you so hard your stress level is through the roof. So then you go to the doctor for various illnesses caused by excessive stress. Then you get to add to that stress by worrying about missing too much time from work to take care of the problems that work created in your body.
That makes sense now, thank you!
The company makes its profits via the additional value your work adds to their product or service. A sewn shirt is more valuable than three yards of fabric, for instance, and a chair is worth more than a few bits of wood, and so on; but for the commodity to reach that market value so much higher than its components requires labor.
So, your employer is not actually paying you an equivalent value for what your labor generates; that’s where their profit comes from. All they’re paying you for is your labor-power exerted over a certain amount of time per day. With modern industrial practices, your employer easily makes back your daily wage in added value within the first few hours of your working day; the whole rest of that time you spend generating profit.
You don’t get paid for eight hours’ work, you get paid for working eight hours.
“[…] your employer easily makes back your daily wage in added value within the first few hours of your working day; the whole rest of that time you spend generating profit.“
“So then you go to the doctor for various illnesses caused by excessive stress. Then you get to add to that stress by worrying about missing too much time from work to take care of the problems that work created in your body.”
I have a number of problemsand have been putting them off for a long time. At one point I even put off seeing a doctor about a light hemorrhage that did not seem to be bleeding fast enough to do any major harm so I just put it off until later. Saw the doctor. Was referred to another doctor. Which reminds me, I still need to make that appointment at some point.
^I think about this a lot cuz we had s supervisor at my bullseye store who died in her sleep cuz she was too busy working to see a doctor.
Philosophical Principles of Writing Fantasy, pt. 1
I don’t like it when fantasy stories have people born with magical powers or the ability to do magical powers. It plays into this idea that people are born with “gifts” which is one of the central myths of our society and is based on sand. There are no gifts, there are only skills, and people who think they’re gifted just learned their skills early enough that they forgot that they learned them.
This isn’t to say I don’t like stories where people are born with magical powers. I like Harry Potter just fine, for example. I just don’t like that aspect of the story, it plays into philosophical underpinnings that are fundamentally flawed.
Of course, in the Fifth Season NK Jemisin uses people born with fantastical powers to spin off wonderful metaphors about the history of race and colonialism, which works great.
But for me this is not what I’m after with my own fantasy, and I don’t write stories where some people are born with magical abilities and some people aren’t.
The GOP tax bill—the amount of money that was given to corporations and the rich would have paid for Medicare for all and healthcare for every man, woman, and child in this country for the next five years. So it’s there. And additionally, we added several hundred billion dollars additionally to our military spending, when the military didn’t even ask for it. They didn’t even want that additional spending, but we lopped it on there—and that could have financed public college tuition for years as well. So we actually have the money for these things.
We actually have the money for these things.
It’s not “ponies and unicorns”
It’s not “pie in the sky”
It’s not “unrealistic”
It’s not “too expensive”
It’s all about who has the courage to change the status quo and realign our priorities
We actually have the money for these things.
the end of The Big Short isn’t fucking around
this is fantastic now children in Puerto Rico wont be able to receive the education they deserve thanks to their messed up government
Its even worse than that. I’m living through it. Not only are schools closing, hospitals are collapsing. Only around 9% of the island has electricity and it comes and goes at times.
People are dying in hospitals because of lack of diesel for the generators, a lot of the water is now infected, there are disease outbreaks and scareceness of food. I am safe, but many are not.
Some have water, others don’t. We need help. Sending money would be helpful but what would help even more would be sending water filters, filtering water bottles, food, medicine, if somehow possible diesel.
All of you reblogging this news helps, but what we need is physical help. If you can’t, then spread the word, but God if you can send supplies… Please… PLEASE do. We are dying. Help us, help us save ourselves. Help us save our people. Help us save out ISLAND.
If you’re not in a position to ship or transport useful items to the island (which is sure as heck the case for me in New Zealand) then the best thing you can do is give money to a reputable relief organisation operating in the area.
Choose the fundraiser you want from the dropdown menu in the “Your Information” section (as you can see from the picture they have several).
You know, every time Puerto Rico comes up I’m reminded of a comment my dad made in a discussion about it, in response to someone claiming that the PR situation is terrible but oh well, what can we do? They’re SO far away after all and the logistic problems are SO hard.
He said, “When the Soviets blockaded the city of Berlin in 1948, America flew in to West Berlin enough supplies to keep the city going by airdrop for over a year. Puerto Rico today isn’t much bigger than Berlin was then, and America has grown immensely in wealth and power since that day. The problem isn’t lack of resources, it’s lack of will.”
Nothing about what’s happening to Puerto Rico (and still happening) is inevitable in any way. This is deliberate. Don’t forget it.
this whole thing is way too good to be giffed you need to expirience it
Two and Jamie. Stealing sandwiches.
The Invasion - season 06 - 1968
OMG it’s not just Three! Sandwich stealing is a multi-regenerational thing!
Well now I just want to see Thirteen casually steal and eat Kate’s sandwich when she’s looking the other way, while Osgood splutters, unable to decide whether to protest or just laugh.
And now I must make a list of how likely each Doctor is to be a Sandwich thief.
One: Guilty. This trash panda INVENTED sandwich stealing.
Two and three: Sandwich thieves caught on film.
Four: Not guilty. He’s got pockets full of jelly babies, so he doesn’t need to steal sandwiches. Also his companions were, in order, a crack investigative journalist, a savage with keenly developed hunting instincts and a fantastic knife arm, and Romana. He wouldn’t dare.
Five: Guilty. Why else do you think Tegan was always so hangry?
Six: Guilty, but only out of self-preservation. A Renegade Time Lord can’t be expected to subsist on carrot juice alone.
Seven: He made the sandwiches. Eat them at your own risk.
Eight: Guilty, guilty, guilty. But in his defense, he couldn’t remember he’d already eaten his own sandwiches and thought yours were his.
Nine: not really a sandwich kind of person.
Ten: OMG THE BOY CAN’T EVEN WALK INTO A STRANGER’S HOUSE WITHOUT GOING STRAIGHT FOR THEIR JAM JAR. Of course he’s a sandwich thief!
Eleven: Doesn’t like sandwiches, unless they’re full of fish fingers and custard, and since nobody else would make that kind, he is not a sandwich thief.
Twelve: Literally none of the food you saw him eating in series 10 was his own.
Oops I forgot one!
War: Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to steal their sandwiches.
I don’t know why I find the second doctor and Jamie stealing sandwiches to be so funny, but I do.
There exists in the world enough food and resources for every person on Earth to live comfortably. And yet some people live in abject poverty, and a small minority live in unbridled luxury. This much, at least, is inarguable.
Why this is the case, and why a majority allow a minority to have all that wealth and power instead of taking it away from them, has been the subject of a lot of thought over the years. Karl Marx alone wrote thousands of pages on the subject.
The accepted wisdom seems to be, at least in most Western nations and certainly in the United States, is that while the current system is imperfect it’s the best one we have, and that other systems are worse. Liberals will tell you that it’s a process of gradually moving to a more equitable planet where a rising tide lifts all boats. Libertarians and others on the Right will tell you that a small number being ahead and the rest being left behind is right and proper, because capitalism rewards those who deserve it and the “invisible hand of the market” is the only sensible way to run an economy. Other libertarian positions, like that the right to property is inviolable and that taxation is theft, are further ways of ensuring that the powerful keep what they have and the poor stay satisfied with what’s left, because if only they strove hard enough they could be powerful too and deserve all that inviolable property and untaxed earnings.
The question to ask yourself when someone cites you some first principle notion like “People have a right to property” is “Who does this idea benefit?” Does it benefit the powerful or the powerless? And who, do you think, wants you to believe in a world where the powerful deserve what they have and the powerless deserve to be where they are? Who does that belief benefit? (Unless you’re already powerful, it sure doesn’t benefit you.)
Often when you tell someone you’re a socialist, they will respond with something along the lines of “They tried that in the Soviet Union and it failed.” This question could be born of malice—where someone is deliberately using a straw man—but more likely it’s simply out of ignorance—where someone legitimately thinks the Soviet communism is the only way to enact socialist ideas. The easy rejoinder is to point to social democracies like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, and say (while obviously still imperfect) there’s an example of how this works in the real world. You can also point to cooperatively owned business models, like those of the Mondragón corporations in Spain, which show that it’s possible to run a successful company with a collective rather than capitalist ownership structure.
But fundamentally the question always comes back to “Do you think it’s a moral catastrophe that wealth is so unequal in the world?” Because if you don’t then there’s something fundamentally sociopathic about your worldview.
And once you acknowledge the moral catastrophe, the next hurdle is the one that says “Yes, this is wrong, but the system’s too big and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Except there is something you can do about it—you can vote, and protest, and make your voice heard. We’re the 99% precisely because we outnumber them. Which is why we can win.
A line of displacement
In New York history, there’s a definite line that runs from European settlers forcibly removing native Lanape, to projects like Central Park forcibly removing the black Seneca Village, to the tens of thousands of people Robert Moses threw out of their homes for his highways and housing projects, to Bloomberg throwing people out of their homes to build things like Barclay Center which he gave to a Russian oligarch for a song.
The message New York gives is that the poor and powerless have no business taking up space that can be used by the wealthy and powerful.
#WhoAgainstGuns has already raised over $5000 to help prevent gun violence! Donate and you’ll receive an exclusive commentary track for the classic story “The War Games” featuring Doctor Who podcasters, writers, and artists. If we can reach $7000, none other than Steven Moffat will join the commentary! And you don’t want to miss that. Details and how to donate here.
“Rich people force poor people to work for them for wages. The poor do not get to negotiate these wages. Wages are what the market dictates is a fair price for one hour of their labor. Though a cashier at McDonald’s handles easily hundreds of dollars in an hour, she will be paid $7.25 an hour regardless of what her employer earns from her labor and they will insist this is fair. She may hate her job and cry every night on her mother’s pullout couch wishing she could find a better, higher-paying job, but all of this suffering is her choice, obviously. Oh, that’s right — a lot of people think that if you’re not being coerced to work by top-heavy goons by gunpoint, you’re somehow not being coerced to work. They like to spin these weird pretzels of logic where those without money or resources are actually free to live in a world where the rich have now privatized the commons and kicked out the ladder. When confronted with the reality that single moms work because if they don’t their kids are taken away, they shrug and insist those moms shouldn’t have had kids. When confronted with the bleak dilemma that many millions of chronically ill people face staying in horrible jobs every day to keep their health insurance, they shrug and insist it’s their own fault for getting sick in a country where medical care is prohibitively expensive. So on and so forth. Capitalist shitbag science means the rationalizations for injustice never end. No, unless you’re literally being held down by gunpoint, none of this will ever qualify as coercion. They always win because you’re always free to choose something else — apparently.”
The Soviet Union
The problem with the Soviet Union was not Communism, but authoritarianism. That’s why democratic socialist states like Norway and Sweden don’t have gulags.
The rich and powerful will try to con you into believing that success is a matter of “personal responsibility”, that, in other words, any problems you have are your own fault. You should obviously be more pious, more responsible, more intelligent, and any failure is because you are lazy, irresponsible, and stupid. Better yet if there’s some other group of people you can look down your nose at and think at least you’re not as lazy, irresponsible, and stupid as them, and isn’t all the problems really their fault anyway?
This is all a distraction from the fact that the system is rigged against you, built by the powerful and wealthy to make themselves more powerful and wealthy. There is corruption and rot at the heart of capitalism.
- "Saul, Again" (Caped)
- "The Spine of Worlds" (Kaleidotrope)
- "Judges' Cave" (Kaleidocast - originally published in Lakeside Circus)
- "Trials of the Dead King" (LORE)
- "Logos Ex Machina" (365 Tomorrows)
- Logorrhea Edited by John Klima (New Haven Review)
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Literary Kicks)
- Why Robin Sloan is the Future of Publishing (and Science Fiction) (io9)