Who to support on Patreon?

I pretty much love Patreon.

[Side note: Is it Pay-tree-on or Puh-tray-on? Vote in comments!]

I love it because I can take my discretionary charitable budget and micro-slice it among a bajillion deserving projects. I don’t need to give twenty of eighty dollars to make a difference! I can give a dollar a month here, a dollar a month there! And it really does add up! And people really do benefit!

Gosh, I love this.

At this time I give Patreon money to:

Rachel and Miles XPlain the X-Men
Ursula Vernon
Elizabeth Bear
Crash Course
Carla Speed McNeil
Tom Siddell (Gunnerkreigg Court)
Goblin Fruit

That’s, like, two mildly fancy coffee drinks a month worth of helping artists. I would cringe in embrassment that I’m doing so little, except that this is DELIBERATELY how it WORKS!


So, friends and neighbors, what other Patreons do you support? Do you have a Patreon? Give a shout-out in the comments to deserving causes and people!



So I just heard about Shine Theory

So I just heard about Shine Theory for the first time. And my first thought was, “you mean this isn’t how everyone does it?”

So here are a few scattered thoughts on the idea that being friends with smart, powerful, motivated, creative people makes your life better.

1. Of course it’s possible to be mercenary about it. To deliberately seek out smart, powerful, etc and try to ingratiate yourself into their lives for the single purpose of benefiting yourself without giving anything back. This is not new. It’s called sucking up, and humans have been both doing it and defending ourselves against it for millenia.

2. It’s also possible to mistake the brittle brilliance of the incredibly emotionally needy for smart, powerful, etc. In which case one might find oneself mired in a sucking vortex of codependence. If you find that your relationship with this other person isn’t improving your life, that’s probably a sign.

3. I love how this works in my life. I love the people I know who are accomplished and accomplishing, who are working on new things, who are critiquing and creating and thinking and talking. I love the volunteers and the professionals, the quick wits and careful arguments. I love being in an occasional position to recommend someone for a job or blog post. I love bringing my friends to each others’ attention.

4. It’s not about knowing FAMOUS people. We don’t all get to know Beyonce. But I do get to meet brilliant, motivated, scathing, funny women at conventions and conferences. I get to meet people online, become fans of their work, introduce myself to them at conventions, and find out whether we have anything in common. I can’t really count the number of times this has made a friend for me. I also cannot count how many times I’ve met the person and we don’t click — I don’t keep track of those. What would the point be?

5. Humans, we’re smarter than we think. We know when we are lying to ourselves, and no amount of lying to ourselves makes us feel good and safe and secure. If you make friends with people who are not your peers, not better than you at some things, not more successful than you at SOME things, you know in your heart that your success isn’t worth as much as it could be. It’s hard to feel good about yourself if you know you’ve gerrymandered your comparison pool.


That’s not really a coherent review of Shine Theory, but it’s what I’ve been pondering this week.


And now we catch up, maybe

I’m still sick. MUCH BETTER than I was, but still sick. So I am spending today trying to catch up on things.

Have a few links I haven’t actually gotten to yet:

Books for the Horde: The New Jim Crow Reading Group

YouTube video, Jack Weatherford Speaks at Embry-Riddle University about Genghis Khan

Get Your Shit Together: Life and Death Planning


I hab a code in my node

I have finally caught one of the many colds wandering around my home and workplace.

Time to sniffle and snuck and drink a lot of tea.

Later, gator —



Further thoughts on The 100

The 100 is a tv series, now in its second season. The premise is that, some time after a nuclear conflict makes Earth uninhabitable, the orbiting station containing the last of humanity is failing. The adults on the station send one hundred teenage criminals and political prisoners to Earth to see if the planet can now sustain life.

Hijinx ensue.

I mostly like this show. It’s a CW show, so everyone is unbelievably pretty and nearly every conversation is held in urgent hushed tones. There are factions and conspiracies and secrets and shifting allegiances, and it’s all INTENSELY melodramatic. (I happen to adore the CW’s commitment to its niche. It knows what it has going for it and it COMMITS. I admire that.) I appreciate the way the characters actually grow and change and adapt to new situations. I appreciate the set and costume design a great deal. I truly admire whoever is responsible for Wound and Gore Continuity, because that person is kept busy.

I have a couple of quibbles.

1. These kids, these teenagers, they are third generation space-bred, at least. Yes, artificial gravity, sure. But these kids are RIPPED. They are thick with muscle. How? Why? What are they eating, up on the Ark? We are told, repeatedly, that the Ark is short of absolutely everything. Everything is rationed. No one can be born without someone else dying, essentially. How do they all get to be so gorgeously fit, with no nutritional deficiencies?

2. These kids, the get to the ground and suddenly they know how to DO all these outdoorsy skills. Now, I spent a certain amount of my childhood wilderness camping. I *know* how hard it is to get firewood all day, to keep anything dry or clean. I know how tricky it is to find food, to prepare edible things from just-barely-not-alive foods. You can read about it all you like, but that still doesn’t mean you can DO the thing. Reading about juggling does not make you a juggler. Practice does. Reading about fire-starting does not give you a fire. Practice does. These kids, they can ride HORSES, dammit.

3. Why are they not all getting pregnant? You cannot expect me to believe that these incredibly healthy kids, upon being freed from parental and societal constraints, are not having a LOT of sex. A. Lot. Of. Sex. And they have no forms of birth control that we are told about. Now, it’s possible that they all have some sort of science-y reversible sterilization, chemical or surgical, that was done as a matter of course up on the Ark. But if so, I would like to hear someone MENTION it. Make it a plot point! Like, later on, the tools for reversing it are no longer available, and the Sky People are all sterile. Or, make it a plot point that the chemical birth control starts failing. Something, people! Give me something!

4. All these people — Sky People, Grounders, Mountain Men — ALL of them are wasteful of irreplaceable resources. They cut ropes instead of untying them. They tear things, throw things away. This makes no kind of sense, especially when we see Grounders homes and villages and clothing — they ostensibly re-use everything. So why are they dramatically cutting ropes? Why are they not reacting in horror when the Sky People throw something away? And why would the Sky People throw ANYTHING away in the first place? We are told that absolutely everything on the Ark was recycled. These people, adults and teens, would all be relentless reclaimers and recyclers. Their very existence has depended on reuse for generations.


Quibbles aside, I do enjoy this show. I very much appreciate that the teens are mostly portrayed as serious adult characters. With different experiences than their parents, sure, but competent and capable.




Well, so far this year I seem to be keeping <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3149418-sigrid-ellis”>my Goodreads page</a> reasonably updated.

You can see my very short reviews and remarks, and what I’m currently reading, over there!



BBC’s The Conversation

<a href=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/conversation”>The Conversation</a> is a podcast from the BBC. Hosted by Kim Chakanetsa, it is exactly what it says on the label — it’s conversation between two women from different countries who work in the same field.

It’s like going to a convention and listening to awesome guests interview each other about their work.

I am learning a lot from this podcast. About the jobs these women do, about the state of their home countries, about the education paths for women world-wide. The careers are incredibly varied, as are the countries.

I highly recommend it.




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