# The End of a Blog and the Start of a New One

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m going to be moving my blogging activities!  Some friends and I decided to start a new group blog together.  It’s called Bad Menagerie, and I’ll be blogging there henceforth.

This is quite exciting, and I hope you’ll enjoy the new content just as much as I will — many of the people I’m blogging with are far funnier than I am!  (Also, there will be comics and other art.  There already is.  It’s da bomb.)

We started the blog Monday, and have three posts up so far:

IT’S ALL SHINY AND NEW I AM SO EXCITED GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, what will happen over here?  I’m not going to delete the archives of this blog, obviously — all the permalinks will remain intact.  I will be freezing user registration and commenting here in the near future, though, and resetting my top menu to show the old blog archives (here) and the new blog (where I’m actually blogging).  The rest of this site will remain active as my author website.

Thank you for reading and following my journey here.  I truly hope you all will enjoy the new blog as much as I think you will.

# The Theoretical Minimum: Interlude 1, Spaces, Trigonometry, and Vectors + Lecture 2, Motion + Interlude 2, Integral Calculus

This is part of my series of commentary on the physics book The Theoretical Minimum.

I’m lumping this all together because they’re all math background.

I read through these sections without skipping anything even though I didn’t have to, because, you know, math; I can literally do this stuff in my sleep (by which I mean I have successfully done calculus after being up for more than 40 hours).  But it was very interesting to read the authors’ crash course in single-variable calc — the angle they came from was informative, and I picked up a few pleasing pedagogical tricks that I may use with some of my own students at some point.

Yay calculus!

### Notable Quotes

That’s basically all there is to differential calculus. (p. 36)

This made me howl in amusement.  Not because the book is wrong — it’s not!  And they did a great job on teaching calculus in ten pages! — but because I imagined telling my high school students that.  (To be clear, for a book on physics that is aimed at people who know calculus but may need a refresher, it was excellently done IMO.)

The fundamental theorem of calculus is one of the simplest and most beautiful results in mathematics. (p. 50)

Agreed!

There are some tricks to doing integrals.  One trick is to look them up in a table of integrals.  Another is to learn to use Mathematica.  But if you’re on your own and you don’t recognize the integral, the oldest trick in the book is integration by parts. (p. 55)

This perspective is fascinating to me, and I suspect it’s one of those mathematician/physicist divides that made me twitch in my physics lectures in undergrad (and my friends would all roll their eyes and laugh at me).  Because I would never consider either tables or Mathematica to qualify as actually “doing” integrals!

I was also surprised at the weight given to integration by parts as “the” basic integration tool.  To me substitution is the most basic (and is a backwards chain rule rather than a backwards product rule) and is the first go-to.  Integration by parts feels to me on the level of partial fractions or trig substitutions — useful for its own specific subset of problems, but hardly the broad skeleton key the book seems to imply.  I do wonder if this is another mathematics/physics difference — if the vast majority of integrals physicists deal with happen to fall into the type that are solvable by parts, it makes perfect sense that it would be considered the basic tool of the trade.

### Thinky Thoughts

I liked the framing of an indefinite integral as a definite integral with a variable limit — I hadn’t seen it explained in quite that way before.

Also, I knew integration by parts came straight out of the product rule, but I’ve been doing it for so long that a layer of abstraction had built up and I’d forgotten!  Always good to be reminded of these connections. :)

### Worked Problems

#### Exercise 4: Prove the product rule and the chain rule.

I know I’ve done these proofs before, but it’s been long enough that I didn’t remember how they went, so I figured why not.  My blog is being difficult about Latex formatting for some reason, so I’ll just give the gist.

Product rule: Add and subtract the appropriate quantity, and it all falls out very nicely.

Chain rule: Realize that g + Δg = g (t + Δt).  This is easy to intuit via a visualization of a t versus g graph, with points marked (t, g(t)) and (t + Δt, g(t + Δt)).  The gap between g(t) and g(t + Δt) becomes Δg, and voila.

# Things to Consider When Starting a Group Blog

First of all, I have exciting news!  Which is . . . this blog is moving soon!

Yes, this IS exciting.  I’m much more excited about blogging as part of a group, and everyone I’m going to be blogging with is fascinating and funny (most of them much funnier than I am), as well as being very smart people with excellent experiences and perspectives to share.  I’ll be making an announcement when the switchover happens, and I hope you’ll all continue to follow me there!  (The archives here will remain in existence.)

Now, this post might have been better saved for the group blog, but I felt like writing it now.  We’re working through many of the minutiae of how we want to run it, and I thought this information might be useful to others.

### Questions You’ll Have to Decide On if You Want to Start Blogging With a Group

1. What are everyone’s goals with the blog?  What would everyone like to get out of it?
2. What level of commitment will you require from each other, if any?
3. Will the blog have some sort of theme when it comes to content?
4. Will there be a general tone you want to strive for?
5. What about strong opinion posts that the other contributors might not agree with, such as political posts?  Will they be permitted on the group blog?  Should there be a disclaimer?  Should the other contributors get to approve them?
6. What about dark or controversial subjects, or angry rants?  Is everyone involved okay with those types of posts?
7. Will there be content guidelines as to posts being substantive?
8. Will there be content guidelines as to profanity, sexual suggestivity, or anything else?
9. What if a member of the group blog would like to leave the group blog, or just not contribute for a while?
10. How will you decide on name, theme, colors, static pages, etc.?  (With a large group a good procedure for collating opinions was not immediately obvious.  We sort of had to feel it out.)
11. Who will be responsible for the domain name and hosting?
12. Who will be responsible for blog chores like moderating comments and ensuring consistency of tagging and categorization?
13. How will you schedule posts?

1. Do this with people you already know well and are very sure you want to (a) work with, and (b) be associated with in people’s minds online.
2. Realize that with a large-ish group, there may not always be a unanimous favorite on things like names, wording, or aesthetic decisions.  This is okay!  Take everyone’s opinions into account and aim for decisions that everyone’s good with, even if they’re not everyone’s first choice.
3. Be flexible.  Expect compromise.  If you want control over every little thing, a group blog is probably not the best thing for you.  The point of a group blog is to do it as a group.
4. Group decisions on major things (like the domain name) are important, but they take a lot of time.  With any minor changes during construction of the blog that are not irreversible, don’t bog down the process by checking in with the whole group about everything.  Let people move forward with the work and update others on their progress, and everyone can discuss or edit each other if they don’t like something.
5. Let people edit each others’ typos in general.  (This was suggested by one of our members who’s part of another group blog, and we thought it was a great idea.)
6. Find a theme and plugins that help support a multi-author blog.  It will make your life easier.

I’m sure I’ll learn even more once we all start blogging together.  Anybody else have advice?  We’re still in the constructing stages so I’d certainly love to hear it!

# The Theoretical Minimum: Lecture 1, The Nature of Classical Physics

This is part of my series of commentary on the physics book The Theoretical Minimum.

### Notable Quotes

The job of classical mechanics is to predict the future. (p. 1)

I love this.

The rule that dynamical laws must be deterministic and reversible is so central to classical physics that we sometimes forget to mention it when teaching the subject.  In fact, it doesn’t even have a name.  We could call it the first law, but unfortunately there are already two first laws — Newton’s and the first law of thermodynamics.  There is even a zeroth law of thermodynamics.  So we have to go back to a minus-first law to gain priority for what is undoubtedly the most fundamental of all physical laws . . . (p. 9)

As a number-lover, this sort of thing just makes me all kind of amused.

But there is another element that [Laplace] may have underestimated [when he said the laws of physics could theoretically predict the whole future]: the ability to know the initial conditions with almost perfect precision. […] The ability to distinguish the neighboring values of these numbers is called “resolving power” of any experiment, and for any real observer it is limited.  In principle we cannot know the initial conditions with infinite precision. […] Perfect predictability is not achievable, simply because we are limited in our resolving power. (p. 14)

This concept, I am keenly aware, is what makes my Russell’s Attic books science fiction.  My main character is only able to do the calculations she can on the world around her because I permit her to have indefinitely good resolving power.  It’s kind of a required secondary power for what she does.  And reading this section, it completely tickled me that it has a name!

### Thinky Thoughts

I’ve said before that I reduce all physics to doing math.  I felt like I was cheating a bit in this section, because saying a system is deterministic and reversible is the same as saying you can model it with a one-to-one function.  So I bopped along just thinking of the functional invertibility of the the rules, most of which I knew off the top of my head.

Sigh.  You can take the mathematician out of mathematics . . .

# The Theoretical Minimum: Preface

So. I’ve always wanted to learn physics.

I know this will sound bizarre to most people.  I went to freakin’ MIT — one of my physics professors as an undergrad won the Nobel Prize the semester after I was in his class.  But I’ve never felt I’ve had a good intuitive grasp of physics, nor studied it to a depth where I felt like I understood it.

A confession: Physics doesn’t come naturally to me.  It’s not intuitive.  (I always end up reducing it to mathematics, and then it makes sense.)  Because physics ran a bit against the grain of my brain, I didn’t study it heavily in college beyond my undergraduate requirements, and I always regretted that.  I’ve always wanted to know more, and felt a bit like the physics world was this fascinating enchanted universe but I’d only ever managed to have my face pressed up to the glass, catching glimpses without being able to be a true party to the wonder.

While I was down with cancer, a college friend of mine gave me a book called The Theoretical Minimum, by Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky.  He billed it to me as, “for people who have a decent foundational background and know calculus, but who were never able to study physics to the point they wanted to.”  I said, “Hey, that’s me!”

Well, I’ve been reading it, and it’s quite excellent!

To keep myself on track with it, I’m going to blog about a chapter every week or thereabouts.  I apologize if people find these boring — I’ll try to keep them pithy.  I started the book a while ago so hopefully I should be able to keep up with the posts  (in fact, I’m going to write a few of these and buffer them before posting, and then send them up every Saturday or so).

So, these posts will be some commentary on The Theoretical Minimum, whatever I feel like writing about it.  I shall start with the Preface, since it’s quite worth starting with:

### Notable Quotes

As it happens, the Stanford area has a lot of people who once wanted to study physics, but life got in the way.  They had had all kinds of careers but never forgot their one-time infatuation with the laws of the universe.  Now, after a career or two, they wanted to get back into it, at least at a casual level. (p. ix)

This is pretty much exactly me.  Also, I often regret that there aren’t more opportunities for hobby academics — thanks to online endeavors like Coursera and edX, that’s changing, happily, but it can sometimes be hard to find courses that are just that bit beyond the basics.  Especially for more theoretical scientific disciplines.

Okay, now next week — on to the physics!

# Why/Why Not: “The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality”

It’s been a privilege for me to know Julie Sondra Decker for some time.  In addition to being a fiction writer and artist, she’s a passionate advocate and educator on asexuality (check out her recent excellent article for The Toast here!), and is a lovely person to boot.  I’m beyond delighted to have her join the blog today — the very day her book The Invisible Orientation comes out, a book I’ve been waiting to see hit the shelves for a while.

Why was this a book you needed to write, or only you could write?  What parts speak to who you are as a person, your life experiences, or the things you want to see more of?

Julie Sondra Decker: There were literally no books out there for general audiences on the topic of asexuality. NONE. One fellow wrote a textbook, but it was both academic and written from a non-asexual point of view. Another fellow released the partial contents of his blog in a self-published book, but most of the promotion he does is through the same blog where you can read its contents online—it’s not marketed in a mainstream way. So basically, asexual people and their loved ones go to the bookstore, look for books about this topic, find a whole lot of nothing, and conclude that they’re alone or asexuality isn’t real. There’s a ton of power in a book being there for those people. I wanted it to exist, so I wrote it.

Part of the reason I decided it should be me to write the book was that I’ve been writing all my life, and people seem to pay attention when I write about this. I’m one of the only asexual people who had developed a really significant platform online, and because I’d already started pursuing publication for my fiction when my fairy tale trilogy got signed to an agent, I had some idea of how mainstream publishing worked. I was in a unique position to both develop the content and get it out there. So I did.

The book has very few personal bits; the introduction is a personal story of how I came to identify as asexual and why I think it’s important, but the rest is general. Despite that, every piece of it reflects my experience living in a world that doesn’t recognize asexuality or wants to erase it, and while it’s the first book of its kind, I hope it helps pave the way for more asexual people becoming secure in their identity, more non-asexual people supporting and nurturing their asexual friends and loved ones, and more asexual narratives in mainstream culture—including fiction.

Why was this a book that you couldn’t write—why did it force you to grow as an author? What terrified you along the way? What parts of it stretched you, made you think, made you research? What parts were you most afraid of getting wrong?

I have so much to say about this! First of all, I was afraid the book would feel too much like a single person’s perspective if I spoke in my “I” voice throughout, so for the most part I kept the personal content to the introduction and backed off the personality for the rest of the book. However, I worried that the audience would find it dry and disconnected if I didn’t find another way to make it feel personal, so I decided to incorporate illustrative quotes from asexual bloggers to facilitate reader connection. And it also served to feature diverse asexual narratives throughout—I had contributions from asexual people of color, asexual people with autism, asexual people with disabilities, asexual people of various gender identities, asexual people of many different romantic orientations; it ended up being the perfect solution to the problem of giving the audience a “who” to connect to without stealing it all for myself. Because believe me, I worry that being the author of the first book that’s probably going to be THE asexuality book for at least a while will necessarily make it seem like I’m speaking for my entire community, and I never wanted to do that. So I decided, in the limited ways available to me, to let some of them speak using the microphone I handed them.

As for being terrified, there are several places in the book that I am sure are controversial, and the entire time I was writing them I kept cringing, thinking I just know this is going to get someone angry. I know you can’t please everyone, but I wanted so badly not to get it wrong—especially since it’s so easy to make a mistake and be judged ignorant. The section I’m thinking about specifically was my discussion of asexuality’s intersection with the queer communities. In some circles, suggesting asexual people are queer—or that they experience overlapping or analogous struggles—can get you flamed so hard you will turn into a crunchy piece of ash and crawl under your bed. But then other queer communities absolutely think asexuality is queer and/or marginalized because of heteronormativity, and are dedicated to inclusion. I addressed the reasons asexuality makes sense as a queer identity and also the reasons why certain queer communities may have legitimate, non-xenophobia-related reasons for not wanting to include asexual people, and I follow up with a section on queerness in general. And the section finishes off with a long bulleted list of experiences asexual people have that contributes to their marginalization as an identity, along with some bullets that they share with LGB and T populations. I did as much homework on this section as I possibly could, but I wasn’t satisfied with it. I decided to reach out for help—and in so doing, I also invited help on other sections in the book in which I was discussing parts of asexual experience that did not intersect with my own experience.

I posted a request for people with certain identities—including non-asexual people—to contact me if they’d like to read short sections of the book and react to them with their unique perspective. And I got a surprising amount of support; more than eighty readers of my blog e-mailed me offering up their demographic information and an offer to react to excerpts, and more than two thirds of them actually delivered on their promise. The section about inclusion in queer spaces kicked up very few dust bunnies, happily, but I was pleasantly surprised at the opportunity to expand, refine, and correct other sections in which I’d initially had minimal or misleadingly sparse content—most notably asexual people of color, religious asexual people, asexual men, autistic asexual people, and kinky asexual people.

Ultimately, I could not have served my community anywhere near as effectively with this book if I had not explicitly invited them into it. It was an amazing experience and the outpouring of support was humbling.

You should see my acknowledgments page. (Pages, actually.)

Give us the blurb or an excerpt from The Invisible Orientation.

A short description of the book’s content, along with lovely blurbs and reviews from others, can be read here on the book’s page. My book was also excerpted in TIME Magazine recently, with a short excerpt from the book that they titled “How to Tell If You Are Asexual.”

But here, I will offer a short excerpt that hasn’t appeared elsewhere, from a sub-chapter of the book’s section about misconceptions: “Shouldn’t Asexual People Let an Experienced Sexual Partner Change Their Minds?”

One of the most frustrating misconceptions about asexuality is the widespread belief that asexual people must not have tried sex—or, similarly, must have tried sex with the wrong partner(s)—and that they can be “converted” through a good sexual encounter. Amazingly, a very high percentage of the people who come up with this one believe themselves to be just the one to carry out the experiment! What do asexual people have to lose by “just trying it,” right? Can’t those stubborn people just open their minds and let someone show them a good time?

Some asexual people have tried it. Some asexual people don’t want to for the same reason that many heterosexual people don’t feel obligated (or even able) to have sex with a member of their own gender to find out if they’re really straight. Asexual people don’t have to try sex to make sure they wouldn’t like it; whether they’re attracted to others is the basis of whether they’re asexual, and attraction tends to play a big part in most people’s choices of who to sleep with. People usually want sex long before they get it. It’s not common for a person to suddenly start finding other people attractive because someone gave them good sex.

No, sex with a talented partner is not going to flip a switch for asexual people’s ability to become attracted to others. And no, it’s not close-minded of asexual people to refuse to “try” a self-proclaimed master of the art. If, for instance, there’s a straight guy and his feelings about getting oral sex from a man can’t be described as “indifferent,” he may understand why he can’t expect an asexual person to “just try.” Some asexual people aren’t only expressing that they aren’t excited about or interested in sex; some are actually repulsed by it (as many heterosexual people would be if the only sex available was with their own gender). No one should offer to try it with an asexual person as if it’s a favor to them for the benefit of their self-exploration, and no one should act like their unwillingness to have sex is an attitude problem.

Unfortunately, many asexual people feel pressured to go through with it even if they really, really don’t want to . . . because they’re told over and over again that something worthwhile and fulfilling and beautiful is waiting in coitus, and they’re told they “just can’t know” until they do it. What if they do try it, still don’t experience sexual attraction to others, and realize they were right about themselves in the first place? Do critics nod and finally agree that they did everything reasonable to make sure they were really asexual, and finally start accepting the orientation?

Of course not. Asexual people then hear “If you tried it once and didn’t like it, try again! You did it wrong, or with the wrong person! You didn’t give it a chance!”

“I didn’t enjoy it because I don’t enjoy sex with people I’m not attracted to” does not exist to these folks. That just doesn’t compute.

Some people who say this are assuming asexual people tried and had a bad experience, which led them to conclude once and for all that sex was not worth it. The first problem with this is that sexual attraction is something people usually experience before ever having sex for the first time, and they don’t have to prove that they’re feeling it or get “switched on” to the idea despite having no inkling that it would feel good. They’re compelled by sexual attraction. Asexual people are not. Trying it anyway isn’t going to change whether they’re attracted to others, though it may help them understand what they’re willing to do sexually.

And the second problem with this is that trying “again” still isn’t going to satisfy anyone who says this. If an asexual person tries a second time, a third time, a fourth time to like sex and they fail, they will continue to be bombarded with suggestions that they try a different partner, a different gender, a different position, a different time of the month, whatever—as long as they keep trying until they like it. This is absurd because, again, a negative can’t be proven.

Lots of people enjoy the idea of making an indifferent or even a gay person realize how great heteronormative sex is, after which, of course, the “converted” will thank the “converter” profusely for the eye-opening, transformative experience. People love thinking that they’re so good at sex they could even make an uninterested person crave it. And this, yet again, is a symptom of ego—this “experiment” would not be for the benefit of the asexual person, but for the purpose of fueling the other person’s self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment, as well as confirming their preconceived ideas and narrow perspectives. Again, it’s about them, not about the asexual people.

Asexual people would really rather their experiences be about them.

Finally, give us a funny or unusual piece of trivia about yourself.

I have a very long list of ways in which I am a living contradiction:

• I love babies but don’t want to have kids.
• I like buses, trains, and airplanes but I don’t like travel because I don’t like getting there.
• I hate school and I got a degree in education. (Then proceeded to not be a teacher.)
• My body thinks it’s left-handed except when I write.
• I love baking and then I’m meh on eating what I bake.
• I hate sports but I’m obsessed with inspirational sports movies.
• I don’t enjoy public speaking but I’m decent at it and not afraid of it so I do it all the time.
• I’m a vegetarian for anti-cruelty reasons but I’m not an animal lover.
• I read and write fantasy but have zero interest in role-playing (video games or tabletop).
• I love eating very bitter or very sour food, but will roll over and die if I eat something even slightly spicy.
• I grew up hearing you’re supposed to be good at either math & science OR language & history. I excelled at science and language. And failed miserably at math and history.
• I’m introverted and mildly asocial but I don’t mind crowds and have a lot of friends.

Thank you so much for joining me today, Julie, and best of luck with release day!  The Invisible Orientation is available from the following retailers:

Julie Sondra Decker is a versatile author from Tampa, Florida. Her fiction is primarily focused on speculative subjects—science fiction, fantasy, magical realism—and she writes for young people as well as for adults. Her nonfiction addresses awareness efforts for underrepresented subjects, most notably asexuality. Julie has been a prominent voice for the asexual community since 1998, spreading asexuality awareness through her popular videos and blog essays. She has been interviewed in many mainstream publications, including Marie Claire, Salon, and The Daily Beast, and she was a prominent interviewee in the documentary (A)sexual by Arts Engine. She is a regular contributor to Good Vibrations. Julie is also a webcomic artist, a singer, and an avid reader. As an aromantic asexual woman, Julie is happily single. In her spare time (on the rare occasion that she has any), she enjoys baking, playing tennis, blogging, and posting wordy rambles on the Internet.

Find Julie Sondra Decker on:
Blogger

# Hugos 2014

I’ve only got a minute here — I’m buried in edits — but I wanted to drop a quick note about this year’s Hugos before we’re too far out.

The full list of winner and nomination votes is here: http://loncon3.org/hugos/2014%20Hugo%20awards%20full%20details.pdf

First, congratulations to all the winners!

Second . . .

I’m on record as having problems with the Hugos.  But this year has made me feel a lot more invested and a lot more excited about both the Hugo process and SFF awards in general.  Not because everything I wanted won — in fact, I think my first choice lost in more categories than it won, giving me a few wallops of disappointment! — but because I observed so much passion in the discussions surrounding the Hugos this year, so much love for the genre, so much desire even by people who had problems with the awards to make their voices heard, to vote, to make it be better.

I can’t say I still don’t have problems with the awards.  But in one year I’ve gone from not caring at all about the Hugos to caring quite a lot, and I think that’s down to the people in the SFF community around me, the people who put so much passion into recognizing the voices in our genre that speak to them.  You’ve made me care, y’all.

Also, the Hugo packet?  Pretty rad reading.  I’ve gotten way more into short fiction the past few years, and I really dug having such a great collection of it to immerse myself in.  And I’ve gone on to recommend a bunch of the short pieces I read this year to others.  (I’ll probably be making rec posts for some of them here, too, as soon as I get some time.)

I’m very much looking forward to nominating and voting next year now.  And I hope even more people consider nominating and voting as time goes on.  I have to say, it felt rather excellent to cast my ballot for honoring some remarkable talent, and I’m excited to keep doing that.

Truly, congratulations to everyone who won.

(And hey, now maybe I’ll finally send in my application to be in the Emmy academy.  After all, Orphan Black NEEDS that nomination . . . ;) )

# I Am An American, and This Is Not Okay

The violence in Ferguson is still happening.  Another journalist was arrested today.  The National Guard is coming in.  By all appearances, the local PD seems to be invested in fanning the flames and working against the Missouri Highway Patrol (who briefly had things under better management) and the DOJ/FBI.  Follow the links from my previous post for coverage.

I want to say something about what’s happening here.  It’s not as important as what other people are saying — go read them — but I want to say it.

There’s a fairly vocal subset of the US-based Internet who seems to like to cry, “Free speech!  First Amendment!” at the drop of a hat.  Even when it doesn’t apply.  Like when people’s words get criticized (not a free speech violation).  Or when people lose the platform that was previously provided by another free person (also not a free speech violation).  Or when people are banned from privately-owned spaces (seriously, NOT a free speech violation).

You know what qualifies as actual First Amendment violations?  Gross, extreme, no-American-should-be-okay-with-this First Amendment violations?  What’s happening in Ferguson right the fuck now.

Journalists being arrested.  Press and citizens being told by authorities to stop recording.  Police aggressively preventing citizens from engaging in peaceful assembly or protest.  News helicopters being banned.  People having guns pointed at them or handcuffs slapped on them because they were standing or walking or talking or shouting or protesting or recording or associating in a manner a police officer didn’t like.  Curfews.  Snipers.  Tear gas.

IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS, IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THIS IS WHEN YOU GET MAD.  THIS IS WHEN YOU GET BEYOND OUTRAGED.  THIS IS WHEN YOU THROW A FUCKING SHITFIT.

The people of Ferguson are my fellow Americans.  And this is what it looks like when Americans’ rights are being violated.

For God’s sake, get angry.

# Ferguson: Everyone Needs to Be Following This

I haven’t said much on Ferguson because I don’t have anything smart to add, and also I’m here safe on the West Coast and not in St. Louis having tear gas thrown in my fucking yard.  But I realized: I can and should signal boost, even to my small audience here.  To anyone I can.  Because if you’re not following what’s going on in Ferguson, start right now.  Police are assaulting unarmed protesters with tear gas — journalists are being arrested — a no-fly zone has been instituted — police are ordering citizens and reporters to turn off their cameras —

THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI. JUST OUTSIDE ST. LOUIS.

And there’s no substantive response — none — from the state or federal governments.

A lot of media outlets aren’t giving full coverage.  Places to start:

@AntonioFrench is a St. Louis alderman tweeting from the ground in Ferguson, he’s giving a stunning level of coverage eta: It’s being reported on Twitter that he’s now been arrested.

Here’s a Twitter list of people tweeting from Ferguson

Here’s a Twitter list of journalists tweeting from Ferguson (thank you to those journalists — media, we need more, send more)

This article summarizes responses from horrified military and vets: “We rolled lighter than that in an actual war zone.”

This livestream is no longer live (as of this writing) but you can see prior footage of police attacking a group of unarmed protesters with hands raised — police demand that they turn off cameras but they keep filming.

Talk about this — tell people — link about it — especially my fellow USAians, let our government know that this is not okay.  That our leaders MUST respond.  Let the people of Ferguson know they are not alone.  Make #Ferguson trend across the country, demand a response from the government of Missouri and our president.

I am angry, and I stand with Ferguson.

# Suicide

Trigger warning: suicide, mental illness, physical illness — philosophical discussion only, no personal experiences, but not positive or uplifting. IF IN DOUBT DO NOT READ.