bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
5. I have been sleeping so well the last couple of days; I am suffused with peace and tranquility good will. Last night brought a handful of interesting dreams. One of them involved the SGA crew being made to drink draughts of something like vodka because they'd investigated a gold beacon in a city like Atlantis, and after, Sheppard was nauseous, living/reliving painful memories, while everyone else had come out fine because the drink's effects were supposed to be temporary.

4. Last month's news, but oh my God, what a train wreck. Hey, did you know that a population with 55% women is equivalent to "Girlington"? NY Times fails again. One sane response here.

4a. Have this pre-Oscars Meta Awards list and Existential Olympics report to recover. Titles are funnier than the descriptions in the latter.

3. Today in a meeting, one of my colleagues in introducing me to a group of contractors said that I went to MIT and was therefore the smartest person in the room. That sort of comment makes me really uncomfortable. Because part of me says, Yeah, I might be. (Ten years ago, I would have thought, Yeah, I am.) And another part says, The school doesn't make the person; and school-smart doesn't mean everything-smart. And another part quails because I'm not always confident in myself. Ugh. I remember once, in my first year at my old job, everyone comparing what their SAT scores had been in high school, and me dreading the inevitable. After the guy who'd started the conversation pushed me to say mine, they were all whistle-y and wondering what I was doing working there and saying I must spend all day thinking about how stupid their conversations were. And what are you supposed to say to that? That in your own group of friends, you're ordinary? That kind of teasing or big-deal-making makes intelligence something to be embarrassed about, and when you try to disclaim the magical brilliance they pin upon you, you risk being accused of excessive or false humility.

2. The Plagiarist's Dirty Dozen Excuses. This came up on Slate the other day and made me think of those semi-annual fannish plagiarism scandals. The article is about a reporter, so some of the details don't apply, but the themes of deflection, self-contradiction, and calls for pity certainly sound familiar. Fandom could add an item or ten to the list. Or Bingo card.

1. If you really love me, you'll post prompts for tentacle_fest. I just left ten over there and feel embarrassed for my enthusiasm. Or prompt me here. Whichever. (Have I mentioned lately that I'm absurdly glad for fandom, because it taught me that it's okay to like what I like? Even when things turn around so that it's many people in fandom who don't share this particular taste, I've got the confidence to own it.)

0. Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] pynelyf on clearing a huge hurdle toward her doctorate! And all my love and best wishes to S. and L., who could use something nice right now.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I just read a riveting article in this week's New Yorker about an extraordinarily gifted boy from Nebraska -- his IQ was measured at 178 when he was five years old -- who committed suicide last year at 14. It's in the Letters from Nebraska section and it's called "Prairie Fire: The life and death of a prodigy," by Eric Konigsberg. I wish the text were posted on their website so you could all read it.

An essay stemming from this article that is depressing but which I think you should read anyway. )

Now my thoughts have jumbled, and I'll stop. But I wanted to share this with you because I saw a part of us in this small, familiar tragedy.

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