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POPULAR: What Did You Read Today?

shame personified
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I've read a fuckton. It's my main free time go-to besides watching Bleach and playing Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies right now. Not that I've had a lot of downtime lately, but. Been trying to take advantage of it when I do.

- Fanfic-wise, caught up on PMD: Hands of Creation, Land of the Roses, PMD: Guiding Light. And there's more fics where that came from~
- Finished N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, picked up and read 30 pages into its sequel today, The Obelisk Gate
- Chapters 1-5 of Paul Roberts's The Impulse Society
- Roughly 10 academic articles generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder for my final class paper I finished this weekend
- At least a dozen sections of the DSM-5, also for school.

I've also started to read the daily updates of Eunoia Review and listing-to-port on Tumblr. Lovely poetry && short stories.
 
The #1 Deerling Fan!
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1. Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly. Out of the recent books I rented from the library, I find that I liked this one the best.
2. Astra: Lost In Space, volumes 1-5 by Kenta Shinohara. I normally don't like sci-fi manga because they get too technical or complicated for me, but this one was surprisingly good, a few fanservice-y (But not overly revealing or gross) moments not withstanding. Also, Luca is my favorite character. He's such a lovable little troll and he doesn't take anyone's crap! Not even from the lone wolf edgelord character!
3. The recent chapter of @System Error's fan fic.
 
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The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes. Not so much "wise and witty" as smug and patronising - I'd have dropped it by now, but it was a present so I'm trying to get through it
 
A cat who writes stories
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Lately, we've been reading The Humans. It's about an alien from an advanced race obsessed with mathematics, who has come to Earth to purge all knowledge of a specific mathematical proof, and gradually grows to care for our odd, disgusting species.
 
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Finished The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes. Not quite as unbearably smug as Ten Million Aliens, but at best it's merely mediocre
 
What I tell you three times is true.
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I read Lord of the Rings fan fiction, as written by an A.I.:

System Prompt (human-written)

Legolas and Gimli advanced on the orcs, raising their weapons with a harrowing war cry.

Model Completion (machine-written, first try)

The orcs’ response was a deafening onslaught of claws, claws, and claws; even Elrond was forced to retreat. “You are in good hands, dwarf,” said Gimli, who had been among the first to charge at the orcs; it took only two words before their opponents were reduced to a blood-soaked quagmire, and the dwarf took his first kill of the night. The battle lasted for hours until two of the largest Orcs attempted to overwhelm Aragorn. When they finally stopped, they lay defeated and lifeless for miles and miles.

“I take nothing,” said Aragorn. “But I give my word, at my peril and mine, that I will never forget this day of horror. None of us will forget. Ever!”

“I’ll never forget it!” cried Gimli, who had been in the thick of the battle but hadn’t taken part in it. One of the wounded orcs he had carried off, he was the only one of the survivors who remained uninjured. “We’ll keep the memory of that day of evil, and the war with it, alive as long as we live, my friends!”

“Then we’ll keep it alive as long as we live,” added Legolas. “And we won’t forget the first great battle of the night, even if we may have forgotten the final defeat.”

“I agree,” Gandalf said, “but we will all remember it as the last battle in Middle-earth, and the first great battle of the new day.”

Aragorn drew his sword, and the Battle of Fangorn was won. As they marched out through the thicket the morning mist cleared, and the day turned to dusk.

The Two Rings were returned to Rivendell. Frodo and Sam woke up alone in their room, and Frodo found a note on his pillow. He opened it and read:

May the Power of the Ring be with you always, and may its light never fade. I am not sure if it matters which of the two rings we accept this day but, as you asked me, I have chosen mine. I am sorry to leave you, Frodo, but know that we are very close to the end, and that you are with us forever. May this letter find you safely in Rivendell; and if it does not, then I will accept the ring in your stead. If by any chance you find or give this letter to the enemy, may they learn the strength of the ring and may the Two Rings never be broken!

The A.I. in question is GPT-2, product of OpenAI, a "non-profit research company investigating 'the path to safe artificial intelligence,'" according to this story about the AI in question from Ars Technica (editor is bugging out on my mobile, so have the link raw: Researchers, scared by their own work, hold back “deepfakes for text” AI). And here's a link to the official press release if you wanna see more writing samples (raw link again: Better Language Models and Their Implications).

I think the robots are coming for our jobs. They want to write fan fiction.
 
shame personified
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  • The Case for Animal Rights by Tom Regan. Extremely thorough and solid argument about moral philosophy and what duties we do or don't owe both animals&humans.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Good story, medicore writing, mediocre characters. Wasn't at all what I was expecting 'cause I thought it was 100% epistolary??? Oh well.
  • The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra, which I didn't realize was self-help at all until it was too late, but whatever. The parts true to nonfiction on spirituality were a delight to read.

Am about 1/3 through Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller. I read Tropic of Cancer forever ago and loved the raw writing style, though this one's kinda letting me down in that regard.

...All these taken together are quite, uh, eclectic, now that I think about it. Shrug.
 
A cat who writes stories
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Partner and I finished His Dark Materials a little while ago, then La Belle Sauvage, and now we're most of the way through The Humans, which was a recommendation by my favourite uni writing teacher. It's pretty good. Not sure what we'll read next! I really need to get back to reading Blue Mars solo, though.
 
The #1 Deerling Fan!
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Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee and Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed.
 
What I tell you three times is true.
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Can Pikachu die? Online fan conspiracy theories and the Pokémon gaming universe by Dr. Lincoln Geraghty of the School of Film, Media and Communication. Published in Journal of Fandom Studies, DOI 10.1386/jfs.5.1.3_1

Although, a consideration of the transmedia aspects of the Pokémon franchise is important, this paper focuses more on the relationship between the narrative (the story of Ash’s travels meeting new characters and pokémon) and an ever-growing and creative fan culture online. I explore how fans use the narrative structure of the games and television series to create their own fanfic to fill in blanks and gaps in the backstories of characters and develop their own theories behind mysteries surrounding different versions of the games. The prevalence and popularity of these conspiracy theories suggest that fans are in a constant struggle to seek some sort of control over the Pokémon story, finding understanding within the universe of the games.

I cannot make this up. Actually a decent primer for various fan theories, but the tone is...well, either condescending or hilarious. I can't tell. He made a table!

Fig. 1: The Most Popular Fan Theories:
Game/Design Related ConspiraciesExpanded Universe Related Theories
Most adult men died in Great Pokemon War (Lt. Surge in Red/Green/Blue)Most adult men died in Great Pokemon War (Lt. Surge Kanto season 1)
Ditto a failed Mew clone (appearance
and backstory of Mew’s origins)
Ditto a failed Mew clone (appearance
and backstory of Mew’s origins)
Pokémon can die (Blue’s Raticate not
seen again)
Death in the Pokémon universe (ghost
types and backstories of certain
characters: Yamask, Duskull, Lampent)
[continues][continues]

Okay, it's adorable. I love this. We need more academic papers on the role of Pokemon fan fiction. The world needs to know!
 
What I tell you three times is true.
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Four days, no sharing? I'll right then, I'll double post.

I'm halfway through George Orwell's Politics and the English Language, origin of the phrase "All issues are political issues." That's a belief I share and recently discussed, so I figured I'd research the quote's context. And what I'm finding is...review advice?

MEANINGLESS WORDS. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning...Words like romantic, plastic values, human, dead, sentimental, natural vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, 'The outstanding feature of Mr X's work is its living quality', while another writes: 'The immediately striking thing about Mr X's work is its peculiar deadness', the reader accepts this as a simple difference of opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way.

As someone pumping out reviews like there's a gun to my head, it was unnerving to find Orwell's esssy so personally relevant. It's like this 1946 essay was made just for me. I'm watching Orwell point out flaws I'm guilty of, and it's a hard dose of medicine, but I needed some humbling. Here on the Bulbagarden forums, I haven't had a negative review or even a negative response to my own reviews. Perhaps I need some.
 
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Finished Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller. Started and finish the long prose poem, House of Incest, by Anais Nin. Not sure if I'll pick up Pet Semetary by Stephen King or Watership Down by Richard Adams next yet.
 
The #1 Deerling Fan!
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Finished Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller. Started and finish the long prose poem, House of Incest, by Anais Nin. Not sure if I'll pick up Pet Semetary by Stephen King or Watership Down by Richard Adams next yet.
Check out Watership Down if you can! It's great! It's one of my favorite books.
 
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Check out Watership Down if you can! It's great! It's one of my favorite books.
That’s the one I went with first haha. Read 30 pages last night and Fiver’s a cutie. Plus the realistic detail for anthropomorphic rabbits is nice.
 
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"The Communist Necessity: Prolegomena to Any Future Radical Theory" by J. Moufawad-Paul. About 50 pages out of 130.

Interesting stuff on the failure of european movementism contrasted with people's wars happening at the same time, and the inability of movementism to grasp the fact that disorganised, disconnected 'theories' are not going to bring communism to life. Stuff on the academic use of the word 'communism'. I don't know what to think about it yet. I can't discern its stance, or if it is different from 'sectarian' stuck-in-the-past maoists and the like. The author clearly states that he is, but he still wants to bring value to the people's war. Being wary is reasonable, after all, but learning from failures is important too. It's a very grey topic, I suppose.

I also wanted to start reading this one: TEEN: - Pokemon: A Marvelous Journey
Thankfully it's on FF so I can download it as epub and convert it to mobi to read it in my Kindle.
 
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I also wanted to start reading this one: TEEN: - Pokemon: A Marvelous Journey
Thankfully it's on FF so I can download it as epub and convert it to mobi to read it in my Kindle.
Oh wow! Seriously?! I think that's the first time anyone has ever mentioned wanting to read my work on a Kindle format! I'm so happy! However you choose to read it, feel free to do so on your own time! I'm always looking for new readers and feedback, so when you get around to it, I'd love to hear what you think! But be warned, the very early chapters were written in 2015, and they're...admittedly rather rough.
 
What I tell you three times is true.
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Oh wow! Seriously?! I think that's the first time anyone has ever mentioned wanting to read my work on a Kindle format! I'm so happy!
Weird question: what is it about "on a Kindle format" that makes you happy? It's not something I've experienced, and I have my own theories on why you might feel this way, but I'd rather not play armchair psychologist. It's an interesting perspective to me, and so I want to hear more about it.

"The Communist Necessity: Prolegomena to Any Future Radical Theory" by J. Moufawad-Paul. About 50 pages out of 130.

Interesting stuff on the failure of european movementism contrasted with people's wars happening at the same time, and the inability of movementism to grasp the fact that disorganised, disconnected 'theories' are not going to bring communism to life. Stuff on the academic use of the word 'communism'. I don't know what to think about it yet. I can't discern its stance, or if it is different from 'sectarian' stuck-in-the-past maoists and the like. The author clearly states that he is, but he still wants to bring value to the people's war. Being wary is reasonable, after all, but learning from failures is important too. It's a very grey topic, I suppose.
I'm always amazed at how people can read whole books on theory. I'm still reading that Orwell essay, and that's just an essay.

Funny story; Orwell quotes a communist pamphlet in his essay...as an example of bad writing:

"Politics and the English Language" said:
These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad - I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen - but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative samples. I number them so that I can refer back to them when necessary:

...

(4) All the 'best people' from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror of the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoisie to chauvinistic fervour on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis.

Communist pamphlet
Yeah, seems Mr. 1984 wasn't a fan of the communists, or at least how they expressed their ideals. Though I heard there was this guy named Stalin, and Orwell wrote this essay in 1946, so he might be thinking of some...other things.

Eh. I like to be as tolerant as possible towards other people's politics, especially when we're only discussing theory, so I'll hold my political leanings for prose. My contributions to political discussions tend to derail threads. I speak from experience. And regret. Mostly regret.
 
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Weird question: what is it about "on a Kindle format" that makes you happy? It's not something I've experienced, and I have my own theories on why you might feel this way, but I'd rather not play armchair psychologist. It's an interesting perspective to me, and so I want to hear more about it.



I'm always amazed at how people can read whole books on theory. I'm still reading that Orwell essay, and that's just an essay.

Funny story; Orwell quotes a communist pamphlet in his essay...as an example of bad writing:



Yeah, seems Mr. 1984 wasn't a fan of the communists, or at least how they expressed their ideals. Though I heard there was this guy named Stalin, and Orwell wrote this essay in 1946, so he might be thinking of some...other things.

Eh. I like to be as tolerant as possible towards other people's politics, especially when we're only discussing theory, so I'll hold my political leanings for prose. My contributions to political discussions tend to derail threads. I speak from experience. And regret. Mostly regret.
Funny thing, which you probably know, Orwell actually did fight in the Spanish Revolution/Civil War, on the side of the anarchists. There wasn't a better way at the moment to understand Stalin's wretched policies than to witness how he fucked this one up purposefully. He tells of his stay there in 'Homage to Catalonia'.

Honestly I just stick with it if I like how it's written. I like its use of grand words, I guess.


Oh wow! Seriously?! I think that's the first time anyone has ever mentioned wanting to read my work on a Kindle format! I'm so happy! However you choose to read it, feel free to do so on your own time! I'm always looking for new readers and feedback, so when you get around to it, I'd love to hear what you think! But be warned, the very early chapters were written in 2015, and they're...admittedly rather rough.
<3. Honestly, if I read it on site or on FF my eyes would suffer... a lot. The kindle helps with that!
 
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