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Hello, Scholars (& Friends!)

My undergrad degree was in philosophy and I passed the bar exam in 2012 (oof) so now I teach (yay). My interests are broad and varied; I enjoy reading academic papers on random topics like feudalism and the role of priestesses in ancient Rome.

I'm working on an epic fantasy novel inspired by the environmental crises in northeast Africa, but I won't talk much about the writing process nearly as often as I'll squee about obscure research dives.

I am still bitter that StumbleUpon got bought out by the Uber CEO and shut down and wrapped up into because is garbage. I want to discover obscure blogs, not have a repetitive stream of big media articles shoved at me on a repetitive loop.

Flipbook isn't really better :(


I'm learning Mandarin and my mother is learning Ancient Greek. This is making me think about the continuum of relative inflectedness, with Mandarin at roughly the lower bound. These are all natural languages, so, why do they have different degrees of inflectedness? Are all the points occupied by a natural language equally good trade offs between, e.g., information encoded and ease of learning?

I assume that there is a literature on this, which I just don't know about.

Did a Zoom with primarily my mates and partners. It lasted 40 minutes (free plan) and was fine.

48 hours later, the wife is *still* analysing, in forensic detail, the comments, the jokes, the status of his family unit, the job role and the attitudes of a gentleman she hadn't even met before. Asking me endless questions about all of the above.

Me - I forgot about it the 40 minute virtual chat seconds after I received 'The host has ended the meeting'.

I hope to fuck they don't invite me again.

I get frustrated by histories of Appalachian-based old time music & its modern cousin bluegrass when they appeal to a mythic white-centric rural past. The critical black contributions to these musics are often erased, much like the cultural presence of black Appalachians (what Frank X. Walker calls Affrilachia). The banjo is an African instrument after all! These musics are deeply informed by the minstrel show, the blues, & jazz.

What is a political philosophy that celebrates weirdness and difference and its radical potential?

I started thinking about this because I got thrown a question during my thesis defence whether I am arguing in favour of human divergence rather than convergence (my thesis is about privacy as kind of breathing space). To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it so much in terms of political philosophy, and I’m a bit concerned about drifting into middle of the road liberalism with middle age 😀

So I had been thinking about creating a list of terms that I was using for my thesis and how I engage with them. When my director and I had a chat last, he suggested that I create a glossary for each chapter or part in order for readers and myself to have an understanding of what the term is are and how they are used. So now I am doing just that and it was such a good idea and it's working out so well for me because it allows me to thoroughly work through these definitions

Are there any good serialized audio feeds/podcasts about free software or related topics that highlight the voices and perspectives of women, people of color, queer, disabled, and/or neurodivergent people etc.?

I'm tired of my options being Linux for Men who make "triggered" jokes, and women who talk about the proprietary/business world.

"When I asked the man behind the system [...] how the students in these classes feel about being watched, he admitted that they didn’t like it. They felt violated and surveilled, he said, but he shrugged off any implication that it was his fault."

Since a lot of people seem to not know:

Boycott: A call for consumers to cease purchase or use of a product or brand until a demand is met.

Walkout: A one day action where all of the workers at a company, during the day, suddenly all stop working and walk out to rally

Strike: A prolonged action where all of the workers at a company cease working until a demand is met. Which often involves...

Picket lines: When striking workers stand outside a business rallying and urging for a boycott

Grumbly about unpaid labour in my field 

Hey guess what there's a research ethics board opening at the Public Health Agency of Canada

You will have to attend all-day meetings sometimes

It will be unpaid

The ethics board

Is exploiting people for unpaid labour

This is what the ethics board is doing

And now I've drawn up a cover on Wattpad and written a few paragraphs. Kobolds in Space is becoming a thing. May Tiamat have mercy on my soul.

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Watching a “language” develop when kids can’t speak to each other

An interesting article about an experiment in language evolution, by @cathleenogrady for @ArsScience #linguistics

ancient history, birth of civilisation, feminism, mythology 

Let us never forget that the oldest
preserved poetry was written by a woman.

At the same time it is the oldest creation myth on record, the oldest narrative about the birth of civilisation which we know in writing, and a cautionary reflection on gender roles.

We do not know the exact day that woman was born or when she died, but we should choose a day in our calendar to celebrate her.

Attending a highly interdisciplinary conference only 2 hours away with a mix of academic & community practitioners. The moderators have not contacted me & the chair has not answered my question about presentation logistics or getting the moderator's info. I come from a field that usually uses basic PPT slide decks for conference talks. My topic is highly technical but also very interesting to a broad audience if presented well (which I am capable of). Reader, what would you do in my situation?

Am currently looking into what commonalities different plains cultures share, particularly plains cultures that have historically had access to domesticated horses and were separate from nearby river valley cultures.

The Huns are an obvious starting point, but were there any warm-weather cultures? Most of what I'm finding is ~Russia and the American plains, but I'd like to look at more regions.

Have you ever thought about folk songs in fantasy worlds?

Preindustrial types sing a LOT. Shanties and hollers pace your work but without the coherent storytelling of ballads or protest songs, they get convoluted. F’rex “Black Betty” popularized by Ram Jam might be about a police wagon, a whip, a musket, a prostitute, all the above. Or “Haul Away Joe” probably existed for decades before adding a lyric about the French Revolution.

I'm using metadata to outline for the first time. Been fussing w/ the new features as part of for
-- now if only I could figure out keywords.

Anybody know if they're working right in the beta? Project keywords are fine but for scenes... I can't get them to indent or color-code or anything. Does anybody use Scrivener? Does anybody know if it's just a beta glitch?

I'm trying to get a sense of scale / distance for a fantasy map. From about how far away (in good weather) are mountains visible?

From what I can tell, Mesopotamia and Britain are about the same size. If there were steep mountains in Scotland, would you be able to see them in good weather? From London? York?

Dear authors,

Please stop using both ω and w in your equations.

People tired of squinting at papers trying to figure out which is which

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