Most of last week was devoted to moving my self-hosting project off of Amazon and to another hosting provider. It's almost complete, although I still need to shift domain registration and a few other things.
More and more I've been thinking about "discourse(TM)" through the lens of Harry Frankfurt's essay "On Bullshit", which has a lot to say about both online flamewars and fake news.
For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose
I've been diving deep into Seannan McGuire's Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the followup to the brilliant and award-winning Every Heart a Doorway. The first novel was a mystery set at a school where the girls and boys who return from wonderlands struggle to live with our reality. Down Among the Sticks and Bones goes back 20 years to describe the story of Jack and Jill. Maintaining tension in a prequel about the tragic secondary characters of Every Heart a Doorway is difficult, but McGuire does it. It's also a book that pulls few punches in using portal fantasy in talking about gender role stereotyping and expectations:
They were starting to feel, in a vague, unformed way, as if their parents were doing something wrong. Both of them knew kids who were the way they were supposed to be, girls who loved pretty dresses and sitting still, or who loved mud and shouting and kicking a ball. But they also knew girls who were dresses while they terrorized tetherball courts, and girls who were sneakers and jeans and came to school with backpacks full of dolls in gowns of glittering gauze. They knew boys who liked to stay clean, or who liked to sit and color, or who joined the girls with the backpacks for of dolls in their corners. Other children were allowed to be mixed up, dirty and clean, noisy and polite, while they [Jacqueline and Jillian] each had to be had to be just one thing, no matter how hard it was, not matter how much they wanted to be something else.
Deprived of real choice by their parents, Jacqueline and Jillian fully embrace the illusion of choice they get in the Moors, a fantasy realm of vampires and mad scientists.
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