beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Started reading "The Girls With Kaleidoscope Eyes" by Howard V Hendrix

you know I hate to stop in the middle, but, it is foul, and I don't know if I can wade through to its conclusions. ETA: I did, because I wanted to complain about it in very strong terms, so I checked. It really is that nasty all the way through. /ETA

It's your basic midwich cuckoos gig, the mysterious blackout babies that can outsmart and manipulate everyone, only there's stuff about the NSA making an AI with the purpose of understanding humans, and something something social media kids these days profit.

It don't make sense.

Like, the basics don't. The kids spending all day online blogging is taken as evidence of a severe disconnect with humans, rather than them being intensely social with humans all day. There's a grab bag of 'diagnoses' offered that don't make sense next to each other or together, if they're meant to be about the same children. ADD and autism are on the list, but also a bunch of other stuff. And all the kids are referred to by the adults and the text as girls, but when you actually meet them their school counsellor explains they identify as gender fluid and use they pronouns. But this is a symptom. Of them having no sense of identity and feeling themselves to be plural. Because something something internet?

The phrase "the political uses and abuses of 'tolerance' and 'diversity'" gets used by the point of view character. ETA: I read more. The computers ultimate agenda is forced diversity and tolerance on pain of death. Now I want to clean my brain. /ETA

And the worst bit is the inciting incident is their teacher trying to kill the children, and a FBI Special Agent turning up whose first priority is somehow to understand his motives.

Like, they've caught him, they have evidence, he'll even say he done it, so why is there even all the rest of the story?

And the attempted murder guy talks about evolving "hypercollaborative, hyperconnected group mindedness"... from the same people the story says have no empathy and can't connect to people? Reminds me of that cartoon about schrodinger's millennial, antisocial group mind. Then he talks about his regular students "all their depth was on the surface", "I saw their eyes were dead." And obviously since he's the bad guy that wold just be examples of bad guy thinking... but the whole story is trying to get you to understand him, and giving you next to no time with the potentially AI kids, so, which point of view does the story have?

It's just... slime and ugh.

It's told as a flashback from the moment she gets out of her car with guns ready, presumably to go after the children. Which is also where it ends, I skipped forwards to see if they were subverting it at all. It's no more clear by the end, but it don't look so very subverted. Like, there's some line about her not having decided, but ffs in what universe is killing children one of the options?

So the whole story is about laying out reasons to murder a bunch of neurodivergent gender fluid ten year olds.

Which is foul.

And it manifests as a giant Kids These Days rant which seems to blame communication for a lack of basic empathy.

Someone in this story lacks sufficient empathy, and it ain't who the story thinks it is.

The machine tasked with understanding people would be in the best position to actually explain them to each other. The one with the task of assessing threat could best understand where no threat truly exists.

The difference between raman and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging.





I am currently regretting buying this magazine, even on a 'to see if I like it' basis.

Date: 2017-05-11 02:44 pm (UTC)
brithistorian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brithistorian
After reading your entry here, I went and looked up the author, who I'd never heard of. He's a piece of work (to put it mildly). He's the reason we have International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day - it was started as a reaction to a post he made on LiveJournal saying writers shouldn't post things online for free. Then on his website, he has a semi-incoherent rant which, if I'm reading it correctly, says that capitalism hasn't worked because government has interfered too much, and if we'd just give capitalism a proper try we'd all be better. His professional writing includes a journal article on " The Neglected Humor of Gawain's 'Anti-feminism.'", which I'm sure is just a laugh a minute. Another of his rants is entitled "Making the Pulpmonster Safe for Demography: OMNI Magazine and the Gentrification of Science Fiction." *eyeroll* Yeah, won't be reading any of his stuff. Thanks for the warning.

Date: 2017-05-13 01:21 am (UTC)
brithistorian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brithistorian
As much as I hate to admit it, that doesn't sound like a bad idea.

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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