We have another Saturday Haturday update! :D
There are 7 new slouchy pride hats up in the shop, including genderqueer pride flag hats, and four different rainbow hats in new colors.
**Spacerobot Studio donates 10% of sales to ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)**
Finally back after a bit of hiatus. Got more hours at the day job, still adjusting and trying to balance that job and etsy. Also got an extension kit for my knitting machine and it took a while to get that up and running. But we’re back now with more hats!
Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher, and where his description of cancer is a front line soldier's portrait of a respected nemesis, The Gene is more of a flyover survey of an emerging science. I learned a great deal about the origins of Genentech and Celera and the genetic underpinnings of sex and orientation. That said, the passages about his family - his paternal uncles and their mental illnesses, played out against the backdrop of Partition; the relationship between his mother and her identical twin - are as wise and lyrical as anything Mukherjee has written.
It's a long book. As is my habit with formidable non-fiction, I listened to it on Audible. Shoutout to narrator Dennis Boutsikaris for bringing this complex material to life.
From Kate Bornstein’s My Gender Workbook, pg. 67 (with the subheading, “Gender is Pure and Simple When You’re Pure and Simple, but Who Ever Really Is?”)
“Pure identities (or identities that pass as pure) are valuable things. They’re valuable to those who have them, because there’s a sense that someplace will always be home, a space with others who claim similar pure identities. And our pure identities are valuable to others. We become easier to deal with. Other people know who we are. So we begin to lean into an identity, we support our lives on some identity, and when we or someone else starts to mess with it, then all of a sudden we’ve got something, this identity, to lose, and we get very protective not only of our own identity, but of the purity of that identity as a membership requirement for others. This might be how identity politics does itself in. We need to get past this.“
This book was published in ‘98, so almost twenty years ago. The more things change…
Kel Cheris is a gifted mathematician underemployed as an infantry officer. Shuos Jedao is the technological ghost of a genocidal general. Together, they fight crime, where "crime" is defined as heresy against the calendar. In Yoon Ha Lee's brilliant device, a calendar is a social contract from which physics - and hence, weaponry - flow. Calendrical heresy disables these weapons and thus undermines the power of the state.
If you love bold, original world-building, reflections on colonialism, and complicated relationships between clever protagonists who have every reason to distrust one another, you'll eat up the Machineries of Empire series as avidly as I did. If military SF and n-dimensional chess sound like a bit of a slog, see if you can stick with it anyway. The language and imagery are utterly gorgeous, and these very timely stories have a great deal to say about complicity, responsibility, and the mechanisms of societal control.
So at the start of the month my laptop's power-supply and keyboard both turned dodgy within a week of each other. I sourced a replacement power supply off eBay, and I know I can get the keyboard, I just haven't ordered it yet.
But that reminded me that my desktop has been out of action for most of a year. It's on-switch had been getting gradually worse and it gave up entirely while I was away from home last summer. Making matters worse, the case design is dire and a metal clip to hold the motherboard in place also pins the on-switch connector onto the motherboard (which is definitely powered, an LED lights when you plug it in). I finally found a way to get it out without trashing anything this spring, but the connector isn't wired in a straightforward manner, six wires feed seven pins of a nine-pin block, so you can't replace it with a standard two pin switch.
Ordering laptop bits made me realise I might be able to source a replacement switch, given I had the part number, and indeed I could. A fiver got me a brand new OEM switch, which arrived this morning. Plug it in, power on, and nada.... Looks like it's a dead motherboard, not a dead switch. Which means completely rebuilding the desktop. I have a much better case I can frankenstein components into, but at a minimum it means sourcing a new motherboard* and I'm not certain I'll be able to transfer the processor, which is potentially worth doing as, while it's 8 years old, it's also an early i7, so potentially still more powerful than the i3s and i5s most new PCs use. I'll have to do some digging to judge.
Of course, whichever route I take, I'll still need to reseat the processor in the new motherboard, and my coordination isn't exactly great. In fact I think it's measurably worse than the last time I did this, tw computers ago, and I got help then. I may need to lure my neighbour into offering to help.Bah, computers.
* Plus a Win 10 license and a new primary drive - it was running Vista, which I'm not prepared to connect to the net anymore, plus I don't want to overwrite the existing drive, so I'll swap that to being a slave