Are you a photosensitive sneezer? It’s funny; I am, but not in the way this article seems to describe this phenomenon. I can only sneeze when looking at a light if I needed to sneeze already; it doesn’t just happen spontaneously because bright light appears. (Bonus points to Scientific American for the phrase “for the trait to be expressed” AND for getting a “shed light” in there. I get the light-sneeze from my mom, and my mom does love a good (bad) pun, so this is a suitable turn of phrase. Heh.) I do prefer my phrase “photosensitive sneezer” to the term “photic sneeze reflex” – but their other article on the subject includes ACHOO as an acronym, which has a “Happy April Fool’s Day from Scientific American!” feel to it, so I can at least appreciate the whimsy. The pointer toward light-induced seizures and migraine are especially curious.
We need to help people, and computers, to avoid being distracted by unimportant, attention-grabbing, information.
SA also has a great piece on the road to pseudoscientific thinking. Is it paved with good intentions? Could be … Could also devolve into magical thinking, which is just as unhelpful to us, intellectually. The best part, though, is; it is UN-learnable.
The results are IN on the Pen and Goss (or Rex and Simone) flash fiction contest at Janet Reid's blog. I note with some fascination that she points out that a lot of entries were "constrained by reality" ... a hint to the Reidership?
|This is not-Rex indulging not-reality.|
Speaking of Janet's blog, I haven't linked it in ages except to show off my wee and timorous beasties. The decision to seriously contemplate self-pub, I think, may have colored my collection-linking tendencies, which disappoints even me. I haven't even *read* BookEnds' blog in too long. So how about a great link today, on textbook bad agenting? However I end up publishing, in the end, it's always good to learn, and Mizz Reid is a good teacher. She's also a great cheerleader, reminding authors that we are NOT beggars at the banquet of publishing.
You should never be made to feel that you are somehow a lesser part of the publishing process.
Okay, and *sigh* - I'll go there, as the kids probably haven't said for years, and get to the question of Nazi-punching. My feeling is this: no matter which side of the political or ethical/activist spectrum you fall on, this is YET ANOTHER DISTRACTION. Distraction has become the modus operandi at the highets levels of government and across all media (journalism and well beyond), and this is in its way just as frightening as any ideology.
Still. I don't mind too much that ethics allows for a little schadenfreude (why yes, I chose THAT particular word for every reason you might imagine) - in that, if we're not actually punching the Nazi, we are not required to remorse that one was punched at all.
I'll close out THAT thought, and this Collection, with two quotes ...
"To delight in a kind of comeuppance when someone is hoisted by his own petard—when someone who advocates violence against others meets a kind of of nonlethal violence—to enjoy hearing about that, that's not a crime. That's not an ethical transgression. That's asking more of human beings than they can resist."
"(W)hy are you writing about this relatively trivial question rather than something important?"