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139 Hazekiller

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About Hobbit

  • Birthday October 28

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  1. So, it looks like I won't be able to do NaNo after all this year. Not only is there the traveling issue, but I've had several health issues crop up. Including my chicken pecking me in the eye. It seems like all will be well--it's been 48 hours and my sight is almost back to normal--but it did put everything in (blurry) perspective. I'm not going to push myself this time around. But I'll be cheering you all on from the sidelines!
  2. Yay! I may be joining you all in Nano-ing. I really, really don't have time (will be traveling for at least ten days of November) but I want to do it anyway!!!
  3. Wow! That sounds really hard to write! Congrats! This is definitely not a 100% commitment, but... ___ WorldCon 2018 San Jose, California_X_ WorldCon 2019 Dublin ___ Both, cause why not?
  4. Yay!!! Very exciting!!! Which anthology is it again?
  5. Can I just say that I would LOVE to go to Dublin? Because that's where I studied abroad! And it's awesome!! So that would be my dream.
  6. Goodness gracious. @kais, congrats on all the publishing news!! Very exciting! Also thank you for starting a new lounge. And @Silk, congrats on your upcoming presentations and performances! It sounds exhausting but very exciting. I'm glad I checked back here because I've also been gone a while. I've been working on my first attempt at a beta read on someone else's whole novel, plus helping a friend start a program for young writers. Plus, maybe playing the new Zelda game... a little bit... just a little... must... not... play... right... now... ahhhh...
  7. Like @Robinski, I've generally been at a loss as to what to say. But I do regret not saying anything, and so here I go, in the interests of trying to help. I do think that the issue here, while it does play out in politics, is not a political issue at its core. It's an issue of respect. I think we should be clear: respecting people and treating people with kindness is not a political action. It is simply a human one. As we all have seen, these kinds of heated discussions pop up in the critique threads as much as they do in the Lounge. That's because these issues, ranging from the use of pronouns to racism to how to respond to evil, do relate to our writing. They should relate to our writing. We write to reflect on and make sense of the world, and to entertain people in the meantime. I know these discussions won't go away (at least I hope they won't go away) if we just all agree to keep our discussion on this forum "non-political" or "focused on writing." I want my writing to reflect true human existence, and I want it to do so in a way that respects everyone. And I don't want anyone to hesitate to call me out, when I go wrong, in the interest of being non-political. Letting other people read our writing, especially our developing writing, is an act of trust. And it's really sad to see people who trust each other one moment, hurt each other the next. I tend to believe the best of everyone (sometimes naively), and I do believe, even though I'm probably wrong, that these discussions go south by accident (at least at first). One person says something in ignorance of its implications. Another person is hurt. I really don't think anyone on this forum is here because they like hurting people. But it does make me sad, when someone knows they've hurt someone else, that I don't always see an apology or an effort to restore trust and respect. I do want to say that if anyone ever gets into a discussion and is worried that they're going to respond in a way that makes things worse, feel free to PM me with questions, or a draft of your response, or just to vent. I certainly don't have all the answers, and I won't try to speak for anyone I'm not, but I'm generally more emotionally removed from these discussions, and I'd like to take the burden off of the people who are most emotionally affected and drained. (There are issues that I'm too emotional about to discuss reasonably -- but they've never come up here...) This forum is an amazing resource for us. I love the feedback I get here on my writing. I love being able to talk with and work with other writers in our various stages of career. I love the diversity of styles and of ideas that I get to see and learn about. Basically, I just want to say: I love you all. Even when we fight. P.S. Thank you @Chaos for your omniscient presence and your work here.
  8. Alright, here I go, changing the subject: I got CHICKS today! They are cute and fluffy and they cheep a lot, and my cat hasn't tried to eat them yet! They like to peck everything, including their own feet and each others' eyes. Also, they literally make a squelching sound when they poop. I'm super in love. If chickens start to appear in a lot of my stories in the future, well... you know what's happening.
  9. Looks like the editor was fired from Tor? Thank you, Tor!
  10. Putting the semantic confusion about context vs connotation aside... This one? My husband is quoted in it! He's talking about the article (which hasn't gone through peer review yet - computer science is different that way) in which researchers describe an classifier they've made, using off-the-shelf algorithms, to identify criminals by their facial features. The authors, when contacted, seemed completely unaware that they might have found a pattern in criminals' facial features because they trained their classifier on real world data, which may be (read: is) based on judges' unconscious biases. In fact, the fact that their classifier did find a pattern in criminals' faces is evidence that judges have unconscious biases. This same research group did a study where they wrote a classifier to identify personality traits of "attractive Chinese females" based on their facial features. Here's a quote from the first version of their abstract: "our empirical evidences point to the possibility of teaching computer vision and machine learning algorithms, using example face images, to predict personality traits and behavioral predisposition." Their data sets were based on keyword searches on Baidu, and the data was sifted by male grad students. And... their data sets were labeled S+ and S-. So much is wrong here. Luckily, in the updated version of their paper, they recognize their classifier is about perceived, and not actual, personality traits: "Our empirical evidences point to the possibility of training machine learning algorithms, using example face images characterized by internet users, to predict perceptions of personality traits and demeanors." I hope my above examples demonstrate that bias in computer-generated classifiers is already a problem. And fixing it is actually not simple AT ALL. First of all, not all programmers are even trying to counteract this, even though any classifier trained on human-generated data is going to reflect our biases. But second of all, counteracting those biases is really hard. I'm not sure what you mean by reevaluating everything from scratch. Coming up with a clean data set isn't possible, so you have to counteract biases in the programs you have. But how are you going to evaluate your data? How are you going to define fairness? My husband really likes the work of Sendhil Mullainathan, a Harvard professor who's interested in this and just starting to work on it. He won the Genius Award, so you know he's smart. So, simple? No, unfortunately not.
  11. Aww, thanks everyone! You all are the best. I can definitely relate to this. I need to mentally put some projects aside so I can focus on other, new things. WOW! That's a lot! Do you do edits on all that for each other too, or is it mostly an accountability thing? So far I've only been giving old stuff to my writing groups. Maybe I need to start submitting new stuff so I have to keep writing it! I can really relate to this, too. I do prefer the laptop for most things, but my to-do lists MUST be on paper or else my brain doesn't feel any urge to do anything. Alrighty! Let's do it!
  12. Fair. I seem to be getting too caught up in the "wanting to write" instead of the "wanting to write about something awesome." But it's such a good feeling. I outlined my entire NaNoWriMo novel and it was very... comforting? But not as exciting as discovery writing. And the thing motivating me there was that little bar graph, not my intrinsic love of the process. I should have been a bit clearer - I have several finished drafts that have been through various amounts of editing. I keep thinking, "I really need to polish these so I can submit them somewhere," but what ends up happening is I'm not good enough at editing to fix all the problems I see, and I end up in a perfectionist spiral between Must Fix This and Can't Fix It Right. Hehe, calling my bluff. I'm thinking about it. But it's not perfect!!! (Sorry, is my perfectionism showing again?) Thanks Robinski! I will "now go write!"
  13. Hello all, Just wanted to hop over here and let you know that I'm taking a little break from commenting here in favor of trying to make myself DO WRITING rather than just be like, "Oh, I edited someone's work today... that counts as writing, right??" I'm hoping to come back when I get into a better writing routine, which has been thrown off by the start of a new job (selling baked goods at a bakery!) and some frequent traveling, topped off with a new germ pool. While I'm here, though, anyone have any thoughts about how to motivate yourself to keep writing new things? Especially when you have lots of your own projects that you could edit to death?
  14. Haha don't you love it when you look back and realize you were brilliant? Very true, haha. And you're very welcome. Glad I could help!
  15. Hello! Hopefully some late comments will still be helpful. This chapter didn’t grab me. It might be because it felt too familiar — a boy being trained by a master fighter — but I don’t mind that trope so much in and of itself. I think I like stories best when they have a character element, and Pet’s relationship with his uncle didn’t have enough meat to grab me, yet. Right now it all seems very professional, very student-teacher, and since they’re related, I’d expect a bit more. But the other commenters noted some other reasons that the chapter lacks the "grabbiness" you might want. Some specifics: The opening paragraph confused me as well. I see from the comments that you were trying to describe someone getting swung around by their foot. I suppose part of my confusion was that I'm not sure how that would come about -- it seems like the uncle would only be doing it to show off to the kid, not because it would actually make sense in a fight. I think it would be really hard to swing a 12 year old around by his foot! Then again, maybe the uncle is showing off. His uncle hoisted Petro to his feet effortlessly, and Petro grunted as he came down hard. Not sure what happened -- did his uncle drop him? I felt the same way. “Are you certain they only have the one girl? It would be tragic to go in there thinking they only had one.” What is this about? Did I miss something? Was there a kidnapping? And why would it be tragic to just save one girl? "Abem opened his mouth, but the old soldier waved his hand at him and said," The conversation gets repetitive by the end. Maybe it's not un-realistic to be repetitive, but it makes for slow reading. The two guards start to blend together a bit for me. “He’s going to be a heck of a Paladar someday, eh Abem?” “I have to admit, Gandar. I can see why the Paladar wanted his help.” Love this part. After section break -- so we're skipping forward in time a bit? I think you could make this clearer at the beginning of the paragraph, rather than the end. the smooth clay skin of the signal stones his uncle had left him was still there. We're a little late in the chapter for us to have not known about this before, I think. That's all I got! You've got a good start, it could just use some punching up in places.