Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 00:55 on 28-11-2013, Michal permalink
at 00:46 on 28-11-2013, Arthur B
I just got to the bit in the articles where he theorises that more regimented societies like the "British or Japanese" might be able to produce women who don't put icky emotions in everything.

Oh god, my sides. And he even wears a fedora in all of his author photos. He's like a satirical cartoon of all that's wrong in fandom given blustery, hectoring life.
at 00:29 on 28-11-2013, Adrienne
Speaking of, any Ferretbrainers who don't already read James Nicoll's blog might enjoy it. However, as one might be able to deduce from the aforementioned articles by that asshole Wr*ght, he's not kidding about anything tagged 'memetic prophylactic recommended'.
at 00:22 on 28-11-2013, Adrienne
Oh, god, yeah, J*hn C. Wr*ght. He's terrible. He had a big rant some years back about how Homosexuals are Destroying Humanity (and SF) that made a lot of waves in part of the blogosphere.
at 00:10 on 28-11-2013, Arthur B
From the article in question:
Either by the deliberate intent of the reviewer, or by the deliberate intention of the mentors, trendsetters, gurus, and thought-police to whom the unwitting reviewer has innocently entrusted the formation of his opinions, the reviewer who discusses the strength of female characters is fighting his solitary duel or small sortie in the limited battlefield of science fiction literature in the large and longstanding campaign of the Culture Wars.

He is on the side, by the way, fighting against culture.

Hence, he fights in favor of barbarism, hence against beauty in art and progress in science, and, hence the intersection of these two topics which means against science fiction.

Oh wow, this guy is a special boy.
at 23:42 on 27-11-2013, Dan H
"Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters."

I take it that it isn't about these Strong Female Characters...
at 21:18 on 27-11-2013, Michal
That was a nice article. It was certainly refreshing after stumbling, via James Nicoll's blog, on J*hn C. Wr!ght's 3.5-part series (soon to be 4, and the number is sure to climb) "Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters." Which is not recommended reading, nor has anything to say that the title does not already imply.
at 13:38 on 27-11-2013, Alice
Bookmarking the Strange Horizons article to read later - thanks for the link, Adrienne!
at 13:06 on 27-11-2013, Arthur B
My Twitter is set to e-mail me when someone sends a direct message so it's not a terrible way to contact me. But you shouldn't count on me being aware of anything anyone else says on there because I don't read it.
at 13:01 on 27-11-2013, Adrienne
Also, this roundtable article over at Strange Horizons, entitled Different Frontiers: Taking Over English, is a good read about English, postcolonialism, and SF.
at 12:54 on 27-11-2013, Adrienne
Fair enough. :) So do you actually check Twitter ever, such that it would be a reasonable way to attempt to communicate with you, or should I give up on that idea?
at 12:39 on 27-11-2013, Arthur B
Oh, you play Echo Bazaar?

Well, played. In the long run the slow pace of unlocking new content (both at the player end in terms of the time it took to do stuff and at the developer end in terms of the time it took to unleash now things) took its toll and I lost interest. It has honestly been an age since I've even kept up with what's going on with it so I'm not aware of any of the changes.

I'm confident you weren't going to stalk me, I'm just managing the expectations of anyone else who might be reading. :)
at 12:13 on 27-11-2013, Adrienne
Arthur B: Oh, you play Echo Bazaar? I miss it, I feel like they sucked a lot of the joy out of it recently and it makes me sad.

I apparently already follow you on Twitter, actually. (My memory is terrible lately, because stress.) I wasn't looking to stalk you, though! Just to potentially communicate with you in some manner that wasn't going to irritate a bunch of other people.
at 10:59 on 27-11-2013, Arthur B
@James D:
That might be the case, but even so it's in poor taste considering that the games industry is notorious for suckering people in on the basis of fannish dreams, working them like dogs, and then discarding their burned-out husks when someone younger, cheaper, and even more exploitable comes along.

To be honest it reads more like an ad designed to put off anyone who isn't desperate for a job or who has sufficient self-esteem to want a life outside of work, which feels like a recipe for exploitation to me. Plus if your first interaction with an employer consists of lies, insincerity and mind games that doesn't actually bode well, you know?

My twitter name is awakeasaurusrex. It's not very interesting for stalking purposes though because it's mostly abandoned, and is only ever used for logging into stuff which uses Twitter as an account system (like Echo Bazaar) or for following/interacting with Slender Man ARGs. (I also purged it a while back because I see no utility in an archive of witty one-liners whose contexts have been lost in time like tears in rain.)
at 08:04 on 27-11-2013, Adrienne
Arthur B: I think I remember that you have a Twitter, but I don't know what it is -- will you tell me?
at 03:41 on 27-11-2013, James D
In fairness, Penny Arcade is probably popular enough among the CS/IT crowd that if they made the job seem too appealing, they'd probably get about a billion applications. I'd be willing to bet the actual job is way less shitty than they make it seem.
at 02:42 on 27-11-2013, Melanie
Negotiable, but you should know up front we're not a terribly money-motivated group.

Oh, wow. So, basically, "as little as we can talk you into--you're not some kind of capitalist pig that cares about that kind of thing, right?"
at 01:36 on 27-11-2013, Arthur B
It's been a few months, so it's time for Penny Arcade to say/do something awful. This job advertisement (backup if it's pulled or edited) has them affably joshing about how actually they pay a crappy wage and don't give a fuck if you're in an offensive work environment (specifically citing that as a feature of the job) and they're advertising for one position but are actually piling on more than you can probably reasonably expect any one person to do in that role.

tl;dr version: "We would like a super genius IT person with an extensive list of qualifications and experience who can deliver the moon on a stick. We will pay you poorly and fuck up your work/life balance and you will never, ever be allowed to tune out and forget work".
at 19:31 on 26-11-2013, Arthur B
1 hour on train to work and 1 hour on the way back achieves a lot. Especially with Dick and Moorcock, whose works tend to be brief.
at 18:52 on 26-11-2013, James D
Plus, if Arthur gets a girlfriend, he might not ever finish those ridiculously lengthy Philip K Dick and Michael Moorcock reviews!! (seriously, how do you have the time to read that much)
at 09:58 on 26-11-2013, Arthur B
It is a lonely life, the way of the necromancer...

For serious though, the combination of nerdboy self-esteem issues early on (including deeply embarrassing full-on Nice Guy syndrome at points) followed up with busy career/not actually diverting much attention to looking later in life adds up, especially when you include the fact that there's been instances where in principle I could have chased something up, but in practice it'd have been a terrible idea or otherwise wasn't actually appealing to me. I'm not actually the sort of guy who throws much energy into the pursuit of sex and/or romance when you get down to it.
at 09:16 on 26-11-2013, Adrienne
Arthur B: I cannot believe (pursuant to a comment over on a thread) that you have spent most of your life single! I, for one, have a GIANT NERD CRUSH on you -- how are so many people of your preferred gender(s) failing to perceive how awesome you are?
at 11:08 on 25-11-2013, Arthur B
@Andy: Thanks for the clarification. I had other questions but luckily I found a handy guide that explains everything.
at 11:02 on 25-11-2013, Andy G
@Arthur B:
Isn't the important place some sort of timey-wimey separate dimension in which all the Doctor's timelines overlap or something, meaning he can see his earlier incarnations? Anyway, he only went there to rescue Clara, and then they both return to the real world. It was more a contrivance for the audience's sake that Hurt was introduced there. Later on, Hurt is transported into Matt Smith's timeline by Billy Piper playing the conscience of a WMD.