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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Daniel B. Holzman-Tweed" journal:

[<< Previous 10 entries]

January 31st, 2012
01:49 pm
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I've been decreasingly enamored of LJ for years, for any number of reasons. I only post now once every few months, but am far more active on FaceBook and Twitter. Fewer and fewer of the political conversations I want to be a part of even happen here, but on Tubmlr instead.

This journal may be going dormant soon.

The lesson is that the Internet is littered with the corpses of companies that thought there's such a thing as a captive audience, or that such an audience could be milked or otherwise abused without end before people just said screw it and found another player.

(12 talking | Talk to me.)

September 30th, 2011
12:52 pm
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Tevatron, hail and fare well
http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/2011/Tevatron-Shutdown-20100726-images.html

My first job out of college was maintaining the software library for the DZero collaboration, one of two such groups directly observing what happens when you slam Tevatron strength beams into each other. Hundreds of physicists at scores of universities in 18 countries around the world, and my job was to make sure they all had the same software on their computers. Between D0 and CDF, we discovered a bunch of predicted particles, including the top quark. We brought physicists from as far away as Latin America, Russia, and China to the US to do physics -- during the cold war. The cryogenics, superconducting wire and magnet industries had to expand to meet our needs, creating hundreds if not thousands of skilled-labor jobs across America. Hundreds of world class (if I do say so myself) engineers, computer experts, physicists, and technicans now working in the private sector got our start on the TevaTron.

Today is it's last run, because certain people in government have rather poor fiscal priorities.

Hail and farewell.

(5 talking | Talk to me.)

August 1st, 2011
01:15 pm
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Thoughts from Black Hat Day 1
It's good to finally be back here doing this.

In past years, it would have also been an opportunity to see and get caught up with friends like docstrange, unclevlad, Gabe, Jayson, and so many more. Perhaps some are here, I am checking.

(4 talking | Talk to me.)

March 23rd, 2011
12:20 am
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STEAMPUNKS 2011 on Vimeo
So what if I was in the room but not in the camera shot? Check us out on the B.B.Fricken C!

STEAMPUNKS 2011 from Andy Gallacher on Vimeo.

(Talk to me.)

November 24th, 2010
09:18 am
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A friend asked me to write some about problematic jokes.
[Not because they want cover to tell problematic jokes, but because they want to be able to lay it out for other people why they shouldn't.]

Question: Why are *ist jokes a problem?

Short answer: Because they hurt the feelings of people who have done nothing to merit such pain, whether you meant it to or not.

Longer answer: Because they are based on either validating or making light of something that’s been used for a very long time to hurt a whole lot of people. The ability to remove that thing from its real world context and treat it only as a source of humor is a privilege some people have, and exercising it hurts other people. Further, acting as if one’s audience is composed solely of people who have that privilege marginalizes those people who might be in one’s audience who don’t have that privilege, which compounds the harm being done.

Quibble: But I don’t actually mean it!

Retort 1: Yeah, you do. You’re just not honest enough to come right out and say it, so you leave yourself an out by calling it a joke. If you didn't mean it, the fact that it's hurtful would be sufficient reason for you to stop. You’ll have to figure out if you’re lying to yourself or only to everyone else.

Retort 2: So what? Your not meaning it doesn’t make it any less hurtful.

Retort 3: There’s a real good chance that someone in your audience does mean it. Why would you want that douchebag to think for a moment that you’ve got his back?

Quibble: But people say mean things about Dan Quayle/George Bush/etc…

Retort: Making fun of the powerful and making fun of the powerless are not equivalent acts.

Quibble: But Jackie Mason/Chris Rock/etc. said something similar about Jews/Blacks/etc.

Retort: Members of a community laughing at themselves and members of the community that oppresses laughing at the community that they oppress are not equivalent acts.

ETA:[1] Quibble: But there's no right not be offended!

Retort: This isn't about anyone's rights, it's about how to not be a douchebag. Choosing to hurt people for no good reason is douchebaggery even when no one's legal rights have been infringed.


I don’t have specific cites to point to for where I got these ideas, but I got them all through informal conversation between people working on learning to oppress less and with members of various oppressed communities. None of it is original, at most I've worded it a bit differently. If this piece is giving you any epiphanies, there’s a really good chance that a you heard it first from someone who is a woman, a person of color, LGBT, disabled, a religious minority, a combination of the foregoing, or somehow otherwise marginalized and oppressed in this society – only you didn’t have that epiphany when they told you.

It’s worth spending some time contemplating why that is.

[1] Thanks to [personal profile] marnanel for the quibble to add.

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(7 talking | Talk to me.)

November 16th, 2010
10:36 pm
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Most awesome Grandma Shiffie Story EVAH!
Today we buried my Grandmother. We had a memorial project, in which her children, nieces, and nephews shared stories about her. I found that as a Grandson I had nothing to add, just variations on the same themes.

One of the stories has been kept secret for about 80 years. My Great Grandfather had a general store, back when Flushing, NY was still a farm town. Like most mobs, the one in Flushing had a protection racket, and like most shopkeepers, Great Grandpa felt he had no choice but to pay, even though he was going broke with this store[1]. Grandma -- then a teenager -- marched into the office of the mobster in charge and told him her father couldn't pay, her father wouldn't pay, and if he lifted a finger against her father she'd go straight to the police, and how'd he like them apples?[2]

The mobster backed the fuck down. The mobster cut Shiffee a deal: he'd stop collecting protection money from her father so long as she didn't breathe a word of this to anyone.[3]

Many years later, she told one of us, and now that one has told the rest of us.

Both of my Grandmothers were women with whom you did. not. fuck. Shiffie hid it better than Rose. I understand alot more about my whole family knowing this.

[1] Two of my Great Grandfathers completely missed all that Shrewd Businessman training we're supposed to get along with our Hebrew lessons and went broke running stores.

[2] "How do you like them apples?" is a phrase she'd reuse all her life.

[3] He kinda had to. A 15-year-old girl, even a Jewish one[4] vanishing or turning up dead would have brought down far more heat than any mobster wants to cope with.

[4] Remember, this was well before Ashkenazim became white.

(4 talking | Talk to me.)

November 15th, 2010
08:31 pm
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Link Salad

(Talk to me.)

November 10th, 2010
12:30 pm
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Link Salad

  • silviamg has a Mexican Steampunk short story, Distant Deeps or Skies, in Expanded Horizons. Well worth a read.
  • Speaking of Stempunk in Expanded Horizons, check out James Ng's The Key Keeper. And on back to his site for more.
  • Yes, I'm a partisan in Professor Elemental's beef with Mr. B. Elemental is actually a rapper and a Steampunk. Elemental actually shows a social awareness in his work. Elemental is actually fun to listen to. Mr. B is a washed up Britpop reject who describes himself as "re-acquainting Hip-Hop with the Queen's English from whence it came." How much fail can be squeezed into a single sentence fragment?

(3 talking | Talk to me.)

November 9th, 2010
02:51 pm
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Link salad

(5 talking | Talk to me.)

November 8th, 2010
03:11 pm
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Link salad
Some days there's too much to give each its own post.


  • One can argue whether the jury that convicted Johannes Mehserle for manslaughter with a gun enhancement should have convicted him of murder instead, but that's kind of moot at this point. When the judge elected to overturn the gun enhancement and sentence Mehserle to a paltry 2 years, with double-credit for time served, there's a very clear message sent that the law doesn't think brown skinned people's lives matter and that it's not afraid of saying so. It's hard to count the number of ways that's bad message to send.
  • Hey geekboys! Stop harassing women at our events. Stop excusing the harassing of women by focusing on their behavior rather than the behavior of the harassers. It shouldn't be necessary to say any of that, but apparently it is. Here's some resources for those who have to deal with the folks who have chosen to disregard the memo -- no one hasn't gotten the memo.
  • Once upon a time, same sex marriage was a Christian rite.
  • Via delux_vivens, a history of lies told to make you afraid of Muslims, starting with the song of Roland.
  • I love having good authors for friends

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(1 talker | Talk to me.)

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