The Call’s Gnuz & Lynx Roundup 2015.07.05

XS_XXXGood day! I’m back to posting after a long period of reading and study the past few weeks. Last month, most of my study time involved lessons in Hindi, with some new study and revising of Bengali, on which I shall be focusing more this month.

I’ve gained an understanding of the basic vowels and consonants of Hindi via its Devanagari script, and am now filling in gaps in my knowledge of the graceful and intricate script of Bengali. I’m mostly focusing on the version spoken in West Bengal, with some of that used in Bangladesh as well.

Each month, I devote most of my language study to one spoken and written tongue, with the rest of study on other subjects and revising of prior study. I wish first to gain the competency to write fiction and poetry in the vernacular, and of course to improve my everyday usage as well. I’m not quite there yet, I think. Next month, I’ll resume Tamil as the main subject of study.

This morning, I’ve scheduled updates on all five of my blogs, my hub-page The Unspeakable Blogs, of course my Tumblr site, My Horrific Elegance, This blog, the Call, my Blogger site, The Collect Call, and my two remaining WordPress blogs, The Checkerboards of the Gods, and The Prank Call, my recent personal blog, with some earlier posts recently transferred from this site’s archives.

I’ve been updating the layout of my sites as well, at least the WordPress ones, with new Category organization and better use of SEO techniques for all subsequent entries where possible. I’ve added links to the blogrolls for each site, improved navigation via widget layout.

I have bad news. Checking my financial status and online expenditures, I cannot afford to pay $50.00 per year for this blog’s media file and ad-blocking upgrades, so those will expire sometime next year.

I don’t blog regularly enough to make a Patreon account worth the while of any interested Patrons, so I’ll have to blog cheap. So next year, ads will come back, but again, they are WordPress’s, not mine. I’ll continue promoting my peeps’ indie-published books through linked widgets in the Call’s sidebar.

As always with stuff Kai’Siri say,

Talotaa frang.

The Blogs

The Odd, the Gnuz & the Sciencey

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On Mockery

Ridicule is a powerful, and to the self-righteous and those in power, dangerous weapon. From simple humor, to satire, to outright derision, we may often cleverly direct barbs at those who make questionable claims with intent to deceive, control, or harm others; to take their votes, their money, or their health and lives.

Here, I speak only for myself with regard to others’ beliefs…

I’m happy to let most people keep to their beliefs, as long as they do likewise for me. After all, nominally, at least, there’s a guaranteed freedom of belief in my country, despite the wishes of dogmatic sectarians in religion and politics. I respect that freedom to the extent it’s respected for me.

So beliefs I leave alone. It’s claims that I’m concerned with, not beliefs. Not all claims are innocent, and some need to be called out when they are made when false and/or harmful.

Many take offense at ridicule, and this is understandable — few like to be laughed at rather than with. This sometimes results in threats and intimidation by the offended, but often just fallacy, mudslinging, and misrepresentation to salvage credibility in the face of looking foolish.

But in the United States, where there is nominally a Constitutional guarantee to freedom of speech and expression, there is no freedom from the consequences of what you say anywhere in that same document, especially when you say patently absurd things to pander to, defraud, or influence others unethically.

Anywhere. In. The. Constitution.

Look it up online if you care to — you won’t find it. And while you’re at it, look up the Streisand Effect as well, a common hazard when attempting to suppress criticism.

So satire, ridicule, and outright mockery are powerful tools; dangerous to the powerful, applicable to the silly and puffed-up, and apply rightly to claims made for unjust and unethical purposes.

Whatever you believe, it’s what you actually say that matters, and the aftereffects might not be what you like, but don’t whinge and cry persecution for your beliefs when called out online for saying the ridiculous or the utterly appalling.

I’m not concerned about your beliefs beyond respecting your right to have them…

…and you’ll just make things worse. ;-)

Fractals of the Week: Minions of the Wastes

G’day! Here are more recent uploads to deviantART, both available as prints and as free file downloads. This week has been fertile, as I’m creating new presets for images, including these monstrosities. This week, I’m featuring images via MB3D, which has seen a lot of recent use during self-training sessions and preset experimentation.

All JPEG, PNG & GIF images in this post are original works by the author, created via Mandelbulber, Fractal Domains, Ultra Fractal, Frax, and Mandelbulb 3D and unless otherwise stated are copyright 2015 by Troy Loy.

Flash Fiction: Young Festerling

It happened again. But this night was different. I had that dream again, just like I did the night of my 13th birthday a month ago.

It was that…thing again, a big, slimy, wormy-looking monster hovering over my bed, and me not being able to move or scream, just looking it in the — eyes? — before I woke up sweaty and cold that first night.

It was squealing, sighing, tittering, making awful slurping noises, and weird smells, one after the other, waving ropy arms around like it was trying to tell me something, being real quiet so no one would hear it but me.

But tonight was different.

I never told anyone, though, since one time I understood what it was saying to me…

…and I’m not afraid of it anymore. It told me what to do. So this night, I got up and obeyed it, and sent my family to heaven. Just like the monster said to. They’ll be so much happier.

The big, wormy monster rewarded me…gave me a present. It’s on my shoulder now, and I’ll keep it a secret, just between us, a sign of love…

…I can’t let people know about my new tentacle.