Creative Destruction

January 22, 2007

Good Things You Should Go Look At

Filed under: Blogosphere,Link Farms — Robert @ 4:50 pm

It’s become a theme in my life: if I am swamped by deadlines and simply cannot. afford. to. take. time. to. slack. off. – that’s when I will find web sites that were designed by God to suck the time out of my day.

So, rather than suffer alone, let me slag your productivity as well. Go visit these sites:

The Comics Curmudgeon – a cranky person goes MST3K on the comics page.

Wondermark – words fail.

Flash Element TD – a game/puzzle. Blow up the Creeps before they get you.

The Yak Shaving Archive – a collection of tips gar-on-teed to make your life more efficient. Thus making time for Flash Element TD and the Comics Curmudgeon!

December 24, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #43

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 4:57 am

Hey, it’s the 24th. Merry Christmas, for those of you who do that sort of thing. (Me, I have my own way of celebrating Xmas – I call it “time and a half day”).

(I’m going to be traveling more or less nonstop for the next five or six days, by the way, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to check in on “Alas” in that time.)

Please feel free to use this thread to discuss anything, including posting links to anything you think is cool (including your own stuff – in fact, posting links to your own stuff is encouraged!).


December 16, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #42

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 7:47 pm

Talk about anything you’d like. Also, if you have good links to share — either your own stuff, or someone else’s — don’t selfishly keep ’em to yourselves.


November 21, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #40

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 8:17 am

As usual, feel free to post whatever you like, including links to your own posts, in the comments. Here’s some of what I’ve read lately:


November 19, 2006

A Semi-Random Link List Textually Correlated To A Good CCR Song

Filed under: Blogosphere,Link Farms — Robert @ 8:33 pm

Early in the evenin just about supper time,
Over by the courthouse
they’re starting to unwind.
Four kids on the corner
trying to bring you up.
Willy picks a tune out and he blows it on the harp.

Down on the corner, out in the street,
Willy and the poorboys
are playin;
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Because I felt like it, that’s why.

November 13, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #39

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 7:28 am

Y’all remember how this goes…


October 29, 2006

Anatomy of a Feminist

Filed under: Blogosphere,Feminist Issues,Link Farms — Gled @ 6:08 pm


You seem to be focusing on word games as a way to attack what I do.

Marcella misunderstands. I wasn’t attacking what she does*. I was criticising what she did, i.e., what she wrote, in the specific comment to which I was replying. I was also criticising what feminists typically do, which that particular post exemplified. It was always possible that her post might in fact be atypical of her own writings. My overall impression of them – and of her – is that they are generally insightful, fair, and interesting. But I had not studied them in sufficient depth to form a view as to whether the specific criticisms were typical of her or not.

(*I’ll take that footnote here: I am in no way hostile toward either Marcella herself or to what she does. I do, however, have a very robust style of criticism which I apply just as rigorously to those, such as herself and Barry, whom I respect and like, as I to to those I don’t. I understand that this style may be perceived by its targets as hostility, though it is not intended as such.)

Unfortunately the comment with my substantive criticism appears to have disappeared, but my objection was that in that post, she, through her wording, collectivised the behaviour of men as perpetrators, and excluded them as victims.

If you read my blog you’d find that I don’t exclude male victims or pretend they don’t exist. I don’t give male victims equal time because the victimization isn’t 50/50.

Let’s have a look at a few of her recent blog posts, not so much for the substance of what she says, but her choices of topic, and how she frames the issues:

October 11, 2006

Alas, an Eruption

Filed under: Blogosphere,Feminist Issues,Link Farms — Gled @ 7:03 pm

At the beginning of September, I was idly browsing at Alas, when I came across the following buried at the bottom of one of the pages:

Alas, a blog runs on WordPress blogging and review software.

I was curious. I knew about the blogging, but what’s this “review software”? I clicked. Imagine my surprise at encountering a whole section of the site I never knew even existed. “Amped Reviews”, it said, “Honest Reviews of Movies Retailers, Products, and Websites”. “Don’t believe the hype”, it exhorted.

So Barry has a second string to his bow, I thought, and to start with it looked pretty innocuous. The first section is “Movies”, featuring reviews of “Grandma’s Boy” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Scrolling down there are reviews for an Ipod, Faraday Flashlight, Fleshlight, A PPC 7600…

Fleshlight? That took me by surprise. Somehow I didn’t think Barry would be into sex toys, but why not? It’s not obviously something he would necessarily disapprove of.

…MILF lessons, MILF next door, Bangbros??? For those of you who don’t know it, Bangbros are a porn outfit that cater for a distinctly misogynistic segment of the market.

I wasn’t sure where Barry stood on the anti-porn/sex-positive feminism front, but I’ve never gotten any sense of his being pro-porn in any way. (He’s since clarified.) I really couldn’t imagine him approving of this. What was going on? Had the site been hacked? Did he have an evil twin? Whatever the explanation, it was clear that I had a major scoop here. Ampersand is a big name in the feminist blogosphere, so I did what any blogger would do. I immediately posted a humiliating exposé without bothering to find out any facts emailed him to find out what was going on:

It’s not my intention to embarrass you, but in the tradition of blogger-as-journalist, I feel duty bound to blog about this. I’d like to give you an opportunity to comment before I do.

I also promised to give him notice before publishing. Since I hadn’t given him that notice, he was under no immediate threat when he posted an explanation on Alas.

As he pointed out in that post ‘a couple of “Alas” readers ha[d] noticed’ – me and at least one other person. So he probably realised that it was only a matter of time before it became public. Better for him to do it at a time of his own choosing. And having done so, I felt there was no need for further coverage by me.

He made a mistake in not allowing comments. A comments thread would have allowed people to let off steam. A comments thread would have kept the post visible for longer, so that certain people who didn’t see it, would have. The inevitable eruption would have happened sooner, and have been over sooner. He’s now remedied that, but only for (pro)feminists. Feminists aren’t the only people who feel they have a stake in Alas. I have feelings about it too. However critical I may be of feminism in general, and Barry in particular, I recognise and value the resource that is Alas, and don’t want to see it damaged.

So what’s the verdict? Did he sell out? Yes, I think he did. His claim that “how that all works isn’t something I have any knowledge of” isn’t tenable He may not know the details, but he knows (because I explained it to him) that links from Alas to the review site improve the latter’s search rankings. In any case, ignorance isn’t really an excuse. The only possible defence to the sell-out charge was that he was conned, that Mr. Douglas, the buyer, exploited a loophole in the contract to violate it in spirit, but Barry himself has rejected that defence:

A couple of readers have speculated that I didn’t know that the new owner would link to porn on his pages. That’s not true; I kept the links off of “Alas,” but I knew that he would be putting links to porn on his own pages.

His current defence – that he doesn’t think porn is that bid a deal, one way or the other – doesn’t wash either. Barry may not care much, (I don’t either. It’s not my Ox being gored here) but a large part of his constituency does, and if he want Alas to be a place where they can come to engage in open debate, then he had a duty to them to keep the space clean for them. Neither do I think selling cartoons to magazines which might accept adverts for porn sites is comparable. There’s no connection between his cartoon sales, and what should be a neutral space for anti-porn feminists.

I hope it’s not too late for him to repair the damage. He’s made a start in his most recent posts.

I can’t finish this without commenting on the behaviour of some of his critics – not the ones expressing their hurt, or making reasoned comment, but the ones engaged in vilification and character assassination. I remember Heart, for example, who seems to be leading the charge against him “making a demand” that Barry create women/feminist only spaces on his blog running on his server using his bandwidth paid for with his money because he had attracted a larger audience than she had, like she had some Goddess-given right to the fruits of his labour written into her double-X chromosomes. Barry gave her a platform; I would have given her the boot. Several others I remember pissing all over him, even while he was giving them the breaks.

He may have stumbled, but he’s better than some of his critics.

Alas, an overview: (Originally courtesy of curiousgyrl, though I’ve added a fair few myself.):

Update 2: OK, I give up. I’ve dumped the classification, and merged the lists. I was getting too much grief. The following is just a record of what I intended, and no longer applies.

Update: A note on the classification

I started this round up, with two things in mind. Firstly, when I oringinally wrote the post, it wasn’t clear to me whether Barry was still in denial about the general fucked-upness of what he’d done. I thought by listing the posts, I could draw his attention to the sheer volume of criticism – not just the jackbooted thugs who started the pile-on, but also the thoughful, sensitive objections from people who were hurt by what he’d done.

Barry was hurting too, and I also wanted him to know that he still had friends. So I separated out what at that time was the only unequivocally supportive post by Shelly.

Since then it’s become clear that the community has started to use the lists as a resource. This has been my most read, most linked-to post ever, by a wide margin. I’m not vain enough to believe that my glorious prose is what is attracting so much attention, but hopefully the visitors at least read my glorious prose, even if that’s not what they came for. So I’m very happy to continue maintaining the lists.

It’s also become clear that the simple division between “critical” and “supportive” is quite inadequate to capture the full range of opinion in all its nuance. Some posts – mostly from outside the community – expressed no discernable view one way or another, so I created a separate “other” section. Other posts were mild, or ambivalent. Still others were both critical and supportive. My criteria for assigning them to one of the two categories is entirely subjective – If I were Barry, would I feel more criticised than supported?

I’ve considered rejigging the classification, but in the end, I don’t see the point. Any new set of categories I could come up with would suffer the same problem. On the other hand, I still think it’s worth keeping the classification because Barry is still feeling battered, even if he’s no longer in denial, and this makes the support he’s getting visible.

Bottom line: Please don’t feel offended if I’ve filed you under ‘critical’ and your post was intended to be ‘supportive’, or vice versa. The division of many of the posts has been on a knifeedge.

October 10, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #38

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 3:39 am

Hey, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? But y’all still remember what an open thread is for, I’m sure. As usual, I want to emphasize that self-linking is not only allowed, but encouraged.


The F Word presents: The Carnival of Feminists!

African Women’s Blog presents The First African Women’s Carnival

100 Little Dolls presents The Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction And Fantasy Fans A Census of African-American Blogs
Not really a carnival, but it still seems worth spreading the word (or link) around. Professor Overton is asking folks to help him compile a list of blogs “in which at least 20% of the posts address issues of concern to the African-American community.”


September 8, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #37

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 2:56 am

I’ve been listening a lot to the cast album of Urinetown lately, and it’s grown on me. The musical has a sly way of pretending not to understand the stupidity of its cliches, even while it earnestly makes them two steps stupider, which I just find hilarious.

Anyhow, that’s what’s on my mind right now. Please use this thread to post whatever’s on your mind, including links to your own stuff, or to someone else’s, if you’d like.

September 4, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #36

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 5:43 pm

As usual, readers are encouraged to post links to their own stuff, or even links to other folks’ stuff, or whatever the heck else you’re thinking.

August 24, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #35

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 5:42 pm

It’s the latest, the greatest, the snappest and the happest!

Anyhow, please leave your comments about anything, and your links about anything, including stuff of your own that you’d like us to see. Link-whoring is encouraged!

Here’s some stuff I’ve been reading:

August 21, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #34

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 9:09 pm

Bibble babble bof blick and boing, I tells ya!

July 27, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #32

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 2:08 am

By the way, I’m currently on vacation in Ithaca, New York. My computer access is limited, so blogging from me could be even more erratic than usual for the next week or two.

Now, on to the links…

July 22, 2006

Link Farm and Open Thread #31

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 11:15 pm

You folks know the drill… go ahead and use the comments to post whatever you want, including links to your own stuff that we should see. Meanwhile, here’s some of what I’ve been reading:

July 9, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #30

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 2:52 am

Y’all know the drill – feel free to post whatever you like in this thread, including links to cool stuff I wasn’t smart enough to link to (posting links to your own stuff is encouraged, too).

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

July 5, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #29

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 3:13 pm

I have lost my watch. It’s somewhere within a foot or so of my desk, or perhaps on my desk. I can tell because it beeps once an hour. But I can’t find it. I’m torn between being annoyed and amused by the situation.

Anyway, some links:

June 20, 2006

My Blacklog

Filed under: Blog Status,Content-lite,Link Farms — Gled @ 3:31 am

As I recently hinted, I’ve been doing a lot more thinking than writing these past few days, so I thought I should try and organise my thoughts so as not to forget anything. This then is a list-cum-linkfarm of various things I intend (maybe) to blog about (or perhaps just comment), or for which I’ve previously indicated I such an intention.

Off-site posts to which I want to respond.:

  • My surreply to Cathy Young is nearly complete.
  • Hybrid Garbage HT. This is the hybrid-vigour theory applied to humans. Problem is, to the best of my knowledge of the relevent science, ‘race’ in humans, unlike breeds of animals, is a social construct rather than a biological reality. Biologically, there is only one human race.
  • Update: Brandon Berg has disputed the above characterisation of the state of scientific knowledge, and, having done a little research it now appears to me that there is no scientific consensuson this issue. I think it useful to distinguish between social race – which is a social construct – and anthropological race, which appears to be a valid, albeit disputed, scientific theory.
  • You might be a white supremacist if. There’s a very interesting discussion in the comments.
  • New: In this post on Alas, Barry gives two subtly different definitions of the term “rape culture”. The first is defensible, the second less so. Unfortunately it is his second definition which in practice is how feminists use the term. He compares the concept with a “culture of violence”, but that phrase’s typical usage is again different.
  • New: In a thread on Alas, starting with this comment, there has been some discussion over the legitimacy of certain (re)definitions. Update (4 July): One side-effect of this redefinition, unintended and no doubt unwelcome to its advocates, is that Zahid Mubarak’s murderer, Robert Stewart cannot be considered to be a racist under that definition. While there are many adjectives that can be used to describe him, “privileged” is not one of them.

Recent posts and comments here on CD:

Older Threads, here and on Alas, I want to revisit:

  • This comment by Barry “require[d] a longer response than I [could] give [then].“. I don’t appear to have ever made that response. I also seem to recall him criticising me specifically in that thread for ignoring the needs of children. I can’t find the specific criticism, so perhaps I’ve misremembered, but I’d like to respond to it anyway at some point.
  • I took Barry’s novel tool for analysing the stated vs. implied goals of the anti-choice lobby and applied it to the anti-C4M position. My analysis could be improved – I choose, for rhetorical effect to stay too close to Barry’s version of the implied goal, and I ignored what the third state goals of the anti-C4M lobby: protecting women’s health.
  • Imagine that future technology made it possible to safely remove a foetus from a pregnant woman, and incubate it in an artifial womb. Women would then be able to walk away from a living foetus like men can now. Would they then be willing to give up abortion? Not without rights equivalent to C4M!.

Other things I want to blog about:

  • Developing the idea I first articulated in this comment that legitimate safety advice and victim-blaming are often confused, I’d like to suggest some criteria to distinguish them.
  • Are you a “partisan hack” if you don’t condemn objectionable behaviour, ideas, etc., among those you identify with? Barry seems to think so. Mythago apparently does not.
  • In the penultimate substantive paragraph of my reply to Mythago, I suggested a criterion by which a person citing a member of a particular group as advocating a particular position could be regarded as cherry-picking. I’d like to develop this idea.
  • Privilege denial and Privilege Reversal – Two more sexist framing devices feminists use to minimise and avoid addressing the issue of female privilege.
  • I also want to make a general critique of the concept of privilege, independent of the specific framing devices used by feminists. Update: See this post.
  • New: I’d also like to critique the concept of ‘rape culture’
  • Here‘s one of my earliest comments on Alas. I wasn’t proud of it then and I’m not now. But what, apart from the factual error, was “so wrong in so many ways” about that specific remark?
  • New (4 July): “If [FOO] affected men instead of women, something would be done about it” is a common feminist maxim. How true is it?

Feel free to use the comments to discuss any of the matters here, or to suggest other issues you’d like me to address.

May 25, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #26

Filed under: Link Farms,Uncategorized — Ampersand @ 11:52 pm

Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these….

May 17, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #25

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 3:13 pm

Here we go again! You know the drill – feel free to post whatever you’d like, including links to your own stuff, in the comments.

May 11, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #24

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 7:24 pm

As usual, feel free to use this thread to post about anything you’d like, including links to your own stuff if you want.

Meanwhile, here’s some stuff I’ve read lately:

May 8, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #23

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 2:55 pm

More of what I’ve been reading….

May 5, 2006

Link Farm & Open Thread #22

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 12:11 pm

As usual, an open thread, and links to what I’ve been reading. Take care, y’all.

April 30, 2006

Link Farm and Open Thread #21

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 5:46 am

As usual, feel free to post your own links in the comments, and to discuss whatever comes to mind. Meanwhile, here’s some of what I’ve been reading lately….

April 22, 2006

Link Farm and Open Thread #20

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 11:30 pm

As usual, use the comments to discuss whatever you’d like.

Just so y’all know, I’m going to be returning to Oregon today (Sunday), and will probably not have steady internet access again until sometime on Monday.

April 21, 2006

That’s a lot of random facts

Filed under: Link Farms — Adam Gurri @ 12:43 pm

I know we've had our differences where vomiting out numbers as evidence is concered, but Nationmaster and Statemaster are so very addictive.

So next time you find yourself losing footing in a debate, just shout: "Oh yeah?  Well what about Iceland, who has the most films produced per capita?  Didn't think about that, now, did you?" 

April 17, 2006

Link Farm and Open Thread #19

Filed under: Link Farms — Ampersand @ 3:27 pm

This is an open thread. Feel free to post whatever you’d like here, including links to your own stuff or just to neat stuff. And in that spirit, here’s some of what I’ve been reading lately. (Apologies to the folks I found these links through; usually I try to give credit, but I managed to lose track of that info this time).

Why is this, my first link farm, labeled #19? Because this is just my first link farm on “Creative Destruction” – I’ve been doing this a while at my home blog. I thought of numbering this one #1 here and #19 at my blog, but that sounds like it will just confuse my poor little mind in the long run.

As you’ll see, this link farm edition has a special emphasis on fat acceptance, and on immigration. (No links combining the two topics, however.)


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