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Everything posted by foxbunny

  1. I will try, though I will note that I teach argument and am qualified by the State of Texas to do so. If you would like to discuss the many logical fallacies in this thread including slippery slope fallacy, burden of proof fallacy, straw man fallacy, fallacy fallacy, etc. I will be happy to oblige. One might find discussion less vexing if one concentrated more on understanding -what- is said and presenting one's strongest evidence rather than trying to pick apart -how- it was said in order to find problems (real or imagined). One should also avoid phrases like "you think" or "you assume," and stick to actually quoting (perhaps including "you said" would be fine there). Here is what I understand so far: You are concerned that the FCC will stifle communications and development, going to the point of censorship based on your belief that government agencies will do this when given the opportunity. I disagree because of the FCC's track record and my belief that we should not assume the worst of someone or something based on its association. I would love to actually discuss the issue at hand. I find it very interesting.
  2. I think it should just be about the mouse Emily living in a place where she feels she doesn't fit in. I'm interesting in where others can take it. Will she try to modify her perspective and fit in? Will she have some friends of similar background to her at the worship services in the student center? Will she feel rejected by those around her because she doesn't fit in and make some bad choices because of that? Is there anything you feel would be a good (or interesting) path for her?
  3. I had an idea. I started a story here. There's only light characterization and a handful of names, but the setting is there. I'd like to invite folks to continue the story with three notes: The perspective is third person limited. The camera is behind Emily. You can go close or far, but don't switch to first person. The setting should stay on campus or immediately nearby. To note, Southern Methodist University in Dallas is the inspiration, but not the actual setting. The central conflict in the piece revolves around the sense of inferiority linked to "otherness." Someone who is outside the norm is not necessarily subject to discrimination, but still may not feel as though they fit in. Otherwise it can go wherever. One way around the setting issue (if you see it as such) are to use flashbacks. I may work on this more as well. Emily ran her pencil over her notebook in mindless doodles. Class was always so boring. English Composition I felt like a review of her high school English classes. She didn’t see the point. She did the writing and reading and turned everything in on time (if not early), but it wasn’t interesting. Dr. Brand’s voice, though, was the worst part. It was a weird mid-tone drone that ran on for an hour and a half every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. It felt like a punishment. A class she had to pay for. She didn’t really pay, her scholarship did, but it still wasn’t like high school. She could mostly tune out during class. Not completely, though. She needed to pick up on assignments and catch a few notes here and there. Things about Horace and Shakespeare and prosody. She could answer when called, but that wasn’t common. Pass the tests, turn in the papers, and get through the class. Her advisor, Dr. Angleton, said to think of the first three semesters as a way to see if a student is serious about college. Easy, almost mind-numbing classes, weed out the malcontents. Classwork was non-existent. Everything was homework. She considered, halfway through the semester, unlistening to Brand buzzing on and on about the beauty of the words, whan that aprill with his shoures soote, that she might be one of those malcontents. She could do the work. She was smart enough, she was sure, and she wasn’t averse to digging in to her studies. That wasn’t the problem. It was the school. The culture. She felt like she didn’t belong. She was one of maybe ten mice out of six-thousand undergraduate students. There were more students in her freshman class than the entire population of the town where she grew up. And she figured that her girls in her dorm could have probably pooled their allowance to buy every house on the street where her parents lived. So she kept quiet. She tuned out. Emily folded her spiral shut and pushed it into her bag. The strangest thing about college was having no bells. No signal that class was over until someone started packing up and the professor called out the reading for the next class. Tasha, her roommate, said she should skip class sometime. A lot of students did. Two or three absences over a semester don’t really hurt and can be refreshing. Emily’s athletic scholarship kept that from being an option for her. Someone at a desk outside her classes had a clipboard where she had to sign in and out. It was usually the rabbit girl who ran errands for Coach McEwen. If Emily missed a class, she would have to be sick or at a competition. She couldn’t just skip because she needed a break. Of course, if not for the scholarship, she wouldn’t be there. She sat down on the steps outside Manger Hall. There was an hour before she needed to be at Athletics for her workout. Mandatory, Coach said. Emily didn’t mind the workouts. She enjoyed them, in fact. Focusing on technique and routine, controlling every muscle precisely took her mind off slog of her classes. That was also the time when she was around the most of her own kind. She wasn’t prejudiced, she would say, but she was just more comfortable with other mice.
  4. It's not worth it, Rythe. You gripe about being ignored when every one of your points aren't given a response then you gripe when you do get a response because it's "off topic." So. Believe what you want.
  5. I'm not saying my opponents (people who hold a different opinion that I do on this) are fear mongering. I'm saying that people who are making broad generalizations because of their extremist position are fear mongering. If you have a cyst on your hand you don't need to cut off your arm. That's extreme. What if we looked at the Church the same way? Pedophilia, pornography, extortion, fornication, etc, etc, etc. An extreme view would point to these problems as not limited to certain individuals within the Church, but as a normal part of the Church. And people do make this argument. They say that Christians lie and point to a stack of evidence of this. They say that Christians are violent by pointing to another stack. These are not isolated incidents, mind you. Yet, I would not be willing to say that all of one group, by virtue of being associated with that group, must be like my prejudice about that group. The difference between fear mongering and presenting facts. Name a corporation that, in its public or private statements has been happy about a new entry to the market whose presence has resulted in a decline in profits, has been happy to lose market share. Note that I didn't say that "a fundamental aspect of their design" is that corporations want to be monopolies, only that it's true, which you admit as well when you state that this is a result of "general human greed and powerlust that can affect anything." Saying x will lead to 7 is not the same as saying x is a fact. Can we see that? Corporations, had they their druthers, want 100% marketshare. This is not disputable. And monopolies sometimes work as the most efficient means to provide a product or service (imagine companies competing to provide water throughout a city). So, that's the opposite of fear mongering. That's stating verifiable fact. We (I hope) will notice the distinct difference between the verifiable fact that Corporations want 100% marketshare (i.e. to become monopolies) and the implications of the statement "So. Who wants to bet on how soon it gets abused? And then who wants to bet on how soon this rule gets morphed into some Orwellian anti-"hate speech" regulation?" Can we see the difference? Known fact versus assumptive speculation of bad results. Not the same. Saying that an organization will not be able to properly fulfill it's role based on its track record is a valid argument. Saying that the ACA (or spying, or whatnot) is evidence that the FCC will force ISPs to block websites despite the FCC's decades' long track record of doing its job well... Non sequitur. In order for that to make sense there needs to be a cohesion in the government. Instead we have alphabet soup. FCC NSA DHS FEMA NEA ETC all run by different people. Having worked in a corporation I know that the CEO knows jack about what goes on in any department. He's the top guy and he's beholden to the board of directors. If we parallel that, we still have one CEO (the president) who can't get anything done really without the ascent of the Board (Congress). Do people misuse things? Of course. People confuse opinion for fact. They confuse their point of view for logic. They are hypocritical, saying one thing while meaning another. I guess it's about intent. When someone's intent is to make people share one's own paranoia, I would call that fear mongering. If a building is collapsing, pointing this out isn't fear mongering. Feeling a raindrop on your head and screaming that they sky is falling is fear mongering. I just can't see the worst in people by default, I guess. Maybe that's a failing. The ACA (for as bad as it is) was put through with good intent I firmly believe. I have seen absolutely nothing to the contrary. That's not because I like one party or another (I have yet to see a party that doesn't turn my stomach), but because I'm not going to assume that someone is being awful because they are associated with a particular group--i.e. the government. If you have valid reasons to think that the FCC will step in and order ISPs to start blocking otherwise legitimate websites then please present that evidence. Punching at the alphabet soup assumes that all government agencies are the same, and further that everyone who works for the government is the same because of how tiered the whole thing is.
  6. The internet isn't where it is because of competition. It has grown because of cooperation. Massive cooperation. International agreement to a set of standards and protocols. Interconnection of networks from different companies. And the FCC has been involved during that process, intentionally staying out of the way of what was working and offering guidance about potential problems. The internet as we have it now is the result of almost half a century of work by people from all around the world (including governments). When someone resisted, they were such a small part that they eventually had to give in. Now there are regional players who have enough power to make unilateral moves. Most simplistically, the FCC was established to make sure that when you pick up your phone you can call your Aunt Sierra regardless of what phone carrier she has. Similarly, since the first US computer network was established in 1969, has been the authority over internet communications in the US and has been there to ensure that the same access happens. Until recently, that hasn't been an issue, so the FCC hasn't really done anything (they didn't have to). The problem is that companies are trying to stop working together. They are trying to cut networks into pieces and prevent access to content a consumer would otherwise be able to access. The Open Internet Order is a response to businesses deciding that they don't want an Open Internet because they can make more money by preventing their users from accessing outside content. The FCC has been doing a lot to allow a free market to develop, but businesses only like a free market when it benefits them. Monopolies are actually the goal of corporations--no competition=getting all the profit. See: pretty much every large company that has bought a smaller company in their industry and proceed to "restructure" it (shut it down and lay everyone off). If the goal was to prevent access to particular content, the FCC has been working to the exact opposite effect for almost half a century. My problem with the whole "the government's out to get us" is 1) the fact that the government is so inefficient that it has a hard time making budgets and 2) the fact that such outcry is nothing more than fear mongering. It's fear porn. We get so excited about being under attack that we have to make up threats. It's like a social version of the hygiene hypothesis. And as a side note: slander, libel, false advertising, making threats, inciting a riot, verbal assault, using obscene language in public, and perjury (among other things) are also restricted speech. Like if you said "this person is x" when that's not true and the statement would serve to harm that person's image you're committing slander (and if you write it, it's libel).
  7. You're entitled to your opinions. I simply disagree.
  8. Even if you do have a choice, the money goes back to the same few companies ultimately.The reason our internet speeds are so slow for the price compared to, well, pretty much everywhere else in the world is because there is no reason for the companies to bother investing in rapid upgrades because of the stranglehold they have on the market (same reason we use Swipe over the the far more secure Chip and PIN like pretty much the rest of the world).
  9. The whole Order deals with providers, not consumers. The Order is worded specifically toward PREVENTING providers from restricting access for consumers. The "General Conduct" section you're referring to specifically deals with the FCC having a standard by which to determine if a provider is doing something that prevents consumers from accessing content. Remember that the FCC regulates all communications. Cell phones, for example, have flourished under FCC rules. Television, too. You can say whatever you like on a cell phone and watch a variety of programs from Little House on the Prairie to hardcore pornography. Remember that the Order is a result of the problems the Order addresses. Time Warner blocking access to Netflix, for example.
  10. It's up to you in what you're trying to say. The type of allusion I'm talking about points to other works or ideas. Allusion as anchor. The opening line of "The Waste Land" is an allusion to "The Canterbury Tales." April is the cruelest month... Alludes to Whan that Aprill...
  11. Like (Blank) and (This) "Pessimistic?" and "don't know how to smile" I've just found that poetry is usually better when it is more concrete and allusive than vague and elusive.
  12. You can leave things vague or with obfuscation. Just like punctuation, capitalization, and stanza organization add meaning, word choices do the same. It may sound obvious to say so, but consider that adding specificity to one word serves to obfuscate or obscure another. Alternately, you can remove some words completely. It's a bit of a slog, but you can ask yourself for each word "Is this word completely necessary to say what I want to say? Would the poem be more understandable, less understandable, or the same if I removed it?" Leave a word only if it would make the poem harder to understand by removing it. You can do something similar with lines by asking if a line makes sense best where it is or if it would better convey its image elsewhere. Think of how much easier it was to think about the idea of a Stanza when you got the image of a room. Poems build images for readers. Consider "Metaphors" by Sylvia Plath I'm a riddle in nine syllables, An elephant, a ponderous house, A melon strolling on two tendrils. O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers! This loaf's big with its yeasty rising. Money's new-minted in this fat purse. I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf. I've eaten a bag of green apples, I've boarded the train there's no getting off. What it is meant to convey is probably obvious (pregnancy), but it uses images (metaphors) to convey this concept and does so in a way that is not flattering. Remember that the reader constructs images based on your words. If you give vague words, however, they will not form vague images. They will breathe life into the poem you likely did not anticipate. I read the poem initially as relating to a woman's menstrual cycle. But it might also be about quitting smoking. Remember that you are not the narrator of your poem.
  13. Try out various things. In the first version of Snow I had sentences for each line and the first line was "He pitched hands of salt over the path." I rewrote it as a paragraph and divided the lines at important words and tried to make groups of related words. water-ocean tongue-tasted smoke-clouds The other thing I learned through workshopping snow is to use the physical and concrete over the nebulous or conceptual. Instead of being 'angry', the narrator should punch the wall or something that physically represents anger. Maybe throw something. Even just getting red faced or hot When you are going to use concepts, though, make your concrete images as strong as possible. In other words, if you're going to have "angry", it would be helpful to have "Marlboros" in place of "nicotine" or "Folger's" in place of "coffee". Just ideas.
  14. What I mean is I like the stream of consciousness. It's primarily in present tense, but sometimes looks ahead (maybe I'll play guitar) or back (nicotine didn't help either). You might look into changing your capitalization, punctuation, and stanza divisions. The big thing is being consistent. How you use punctuation and capitalization should be a clue to the reader about changes. Stanza is Italian for "room." Think of the divisions as rooms where you're storing a set of ideas and how each room should be distinct in some way (unless the point is to have them be uncomfortably similar). In poetry, every aspect of language should be used to convey meaning. Here's a poem I had written for a class. This is the refined version after 4 workshops. I kept it all past tense, but it talks about events before and after the main scene and links them together. Snow Wet snow clung in clumps to his knees as he shovel-scraped the drive clear. He pitched hands of salt over the path, gray meltwater sheeting down and pooling along white drifts. Then he lit a cigarette against the cold and watched the water trickle along the curb as it snaked for the ocean where water starts and ends. He pulled the smoke in and held it, rasping his tongue over cold-chapped lips. The salt on his fingers tasted like when he was four and visited his grandma down in Pensacola where the beach was the kind of snow that burned the soles of his feet, so he would throw himself into the Gulf and come up with his nose stinging the way it did as he let out the smoke in slow curls that sank up into the clouds with all the smiles and sunny afternoons that couldn’t make it to Wisconsin that year. Then, when he’d smoked down to his knuckles, he went inside and took off his mukluks, and his feet burned from the type of sand that turns toes blue--even through his thick, waterproof boots.
  15. I've played with it a bit. Usually it was a way to dig into a different way of thinking for alien characters. Language is cultural and physical, so I would come up with concepts that had to do with what was important to the characters' cultures and fit with their physical abilities. Big rodent teeth or a long muzzle would affect how sounds are pronounced.
  16. I wonder if you might move forward a bit more if you added more concrete. Change the general to the specific. Protagonist, for example, can become Odysseus or Hamlet or Katniss (please, not Katniss). The reason for concrete words rather than using a more nebulous word is because a concrete word has more meaning conveyed. Direlda mentioned in another thread that "tree" conveys a different picture to everyone. "Sequoia" would be more specific and "Hyperion" would be even more specific, maybe too specific.
  17. I like some aspects of both. I think the cut up is a little more interesting, but the regular version is clearer.
  18. Destiny of an Emperor was a great game (first one I finished). It had a great story, fun play mechanic (for a 1980s NES RPG), and had decent replay value because of some choices you could make as the player. There's an unexpected betrayal that actually touched me emotionally.
  19. At this point I think you just need tools to help you say what you want to say and explore your own work. You have demonstrated that you are willing to make changes to improve your piece and are capable of modifying your work. From this point it's all just doing your REPs (Revise, Edit, Proofread) and trying out techniques. This is actually how I work with other writers (peers) in workshop.
  20. You can use it as a technique to explore meaning. Changing word order, making associations that you might not otherwise. story without reason rhyme no plot
  21. It's most often done with prose, but it can be done with poetry. The literal method is to write out the text, cut the pages into strips and mix up the results. Literal cut-up does not always use intent, but is arbitrary. So for the above statements a modified cut-up might look like this: Poetry write out text mix up results literal literal done arbitrary A more traditional cut-up might look like this: Literal cut-up does not always use intent, but is done with prose—cut the pages into strips. It's most often to mix up the results. Write out the text arbitrary. The literal method; it can be done with poetry.
  22. A technique that you can try is a modification of cut-up. You rearrange thoughts or words to create new meaning.
  23. Most video game storytelling has touched me by holding a pillow over my face and screaming "Movie! Watch the movie!" until I stop trying to participate. Most games act like movies. Your actions in the game don't matter because you are just the actor filling the role of Cloud for this performance of FFVII. Interactivity, in such cases, is just a gimmick without any real consequence. It's like Dora turning to the screen and asking the viewer to shout a word back. I find myself annoyed by fetch quests that are designed solely to give me something to do as the player between cinematics. Rails/invisible walls are equally annoying because they don't make sense. And the no-fail element so common in games is ridiculous. Yet games with these elements are often praised for their story. Some of these elements are OK because they can be used to teach the player how the game is played. They are the training montages of video games--effective in limited use. In most games, these elements are the game. When people share their stories of awesome things that happened in games (which means they were affected by those things) they are most often interactions between the game and the player--I wandered into a camp with three giants and did cool stuff and defeated them. Did the player write that story? The camp was a written into the game world by the developers. The way the giants reacted was written by the developers. The outcome, though, was uncertain. That is the power of video games. I could have run. I could have climbed a hill and fended off the giants with arrows. I could have been killed. And the result of that interaction would change my behavior as a player--confidence or caution. The original Fallout games (the first two) were great for the fact that they had a well-defined stories and yet allowed the player to do as they chose--and they were actually fun. The story would continue without player interaction--which means the player failed the original quest by running around and goofing off or getting distracted by another interesting element. There were mysteries that would encourage the player to actually follow the main story (which had multiple solutions) and subplots, and the ending of the game was determined by the choices you made. It was a lot more like playing a campaign of Dungeons and Dragons than watching a movie or reading a Find Your Fate book. That's where I found the story that had the greatest impact on me as a player--when I had to choose between the mission and what I believed was right, and it was a real choice with real consequences in the game world. Most games are like funnels guiding you to the pre-determined ending. Maybe I'm jaded because I know that developers can make a compelling story that's fun and actually allows the player to interact with the story rather than simply mash buttons to make the story continue.
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