August 15th, 2009

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win a copy of Chad's book

Win a galley proof of Chad's book [*] by guessing the number of coins in a box over at his blog.

[*] For those of you new here, my husband Chad Orzel is a physicist who's written a pop culture book called How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, which explains quantum mechanics through (imaginary) conversations with our dog Emmy. It's fun and understandable, if I do so say myself, and will be out on December 22 from Scribner. You can learn more at the book's website.

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links, including WorldCon

skwidly has posted notes from my two explicitly-race-related panels at WorldCon, Writing the Other and Other Assumptions and Writing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Geographic Terms (this would be the panel with L. Jagi Lamplighter that has resulted in an imbroglio).

Also, two of yesterday's link dump items are highly relevant and written by people who, I would bet money, have never heard of WorldCon. Fandom is a part of society, people.

  • Notes From The Geek Show: An Open Letter to John C. Wright :: "You would do well to start with the premise that the head of the SyFy Channel's public commitment to not simply presenting more homosexuality but to presenting it as a non-issue *might* actually be born of a genuine belief that this is an ethical thing to do. // . . . we, the Elders of Sodom do have those opinions, trust me, and many within our ranks hold such opinions not because they are themselves homosexual, (we are open to all and sundry, welcoming even to the Brethren of Breeders,) but simply because they have a trait we refer to as "empathy." The ethics we hold to among the Elders of Sodom is, generally speaking, based primarily on this "empathy," and therefore rejects homophobia for the same reasons it rejects racism, misogyny, and all other forms of prejudice."
    (tags: sexuality sff)
  • catvalente: An Open Letter :: "I said I wouldn't try to change your minds. It's pointless. All I'm saying is that when given an opportunity to spend my $10 on a book by someone who hasn't personally insulted me and my friends, and someone who has? It's an easy choice. It's a predictable choice. And fortunately, not a one of you is making it any harder by writing such heartbreaking works of genius that I have to second guess that choice, even a little bit."
  • We are respectable negroes: Is “Racism” dead?: An in-depth conversation with America’s most inflammatory and most misunderstood word :: "WARNNN: Divorcing you from structure seems to be at the heart of this flattening. // Racism: Exactly. They focus on individual attitudes—racially hostile attitudes—so as to limit the scope of racism to the hearts and minds of benighted souls. Not systematic discrimination in housing, the criminal justice system, education, employment. Not racism with any kind of heft or history to it, but just attitudes. That way, anyone can be racist and all racisms are equal. They can say, “Hey, racism is a 2-way street!” That’s their new favorite saying."
    (tags: race)
  • stuff white people do: mistake non-white people for service workers :: "Derald Wing Sue, a psychologist, labels such incidents "racial microaggressions" (he adopted the term from an earlier psychiatrist, Chester M. Pierce). Sue defines these behaviors as "everyday insults, indignities and demeaning messages sent to people of color by well-intentioned white people who are unaware of the hidden messages being sent.""
    (tags: race)
  • How to fix racial disparities in medical care. - By Darshak Sanghavi - Slate Magazine :: "Over and over, this theme recurs: Universal quality-improvement plans coupled with publicly reported measures are the best way to cut health disparities" between different races and classes.
  • book_icons: For fellow fans of Kate Ross's Julian Kestrel mysteries!

More when I have time; something is horribly wrong with my computer.

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WorldCon: The Philosophy of Science

Three panels, one general report, and maybe one followup to go. Slow but steady . . .

The Philosophy of Science
Chad R. Orzel, James Morrow, Jeff Warner, Richard Crownover, M.D., Ph.D., DD Barant
To what extent does SF explore the meaning of science for scientists and create the ideas that our culture has of science?

Barant & Morrow are SF authors. Crownover does clinical medical research; Orzel is a physicist and non-fiction author. Warner is a media criticism guy.

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