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About Goldengirl

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    Eye of Avadon

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    Geneforge IV: Rebellion

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  1. Lu Xun is really good, and one of the nice things about him is that he deals in short stories. Thus, you can either devour his oeuvre fairly quickly, or savor each tale and still go at a reasonable clip. The definitive work that I'd recommend here is R. Keith Schoppa's Revolution and Its Past: Identities and Change in Modern Chinese History. It lays some foundations with the founding of the Qing Dynasty and the Macartney Embassy from the British in the late 1700s, but it's mostly focused on the 1800s through to more or less now. It's definitely a textbook, but it's got a narrative focus, is well-written, and focuses on a lot of the different stress points that led to the failed and successful revolutions in recent Chinese history. I've also returned to Dian Murray's Pirates of the South China Coast, 1790-1810, which, among other figures, covers the legendary Zheng Yi Sao (alternatively known as Ching Shih).
  2. This was the first book of Spence's that I read, and I cannot emphatically recommend it high enough. The added benefit, since it's about the literati, is that you'll get plenty of good literary recommendations from reading it. The May 4th movement at the end of World War One was one of the brightest moments of cultural production in modern Chinese history, for example, and it is enlightening to see the perspective of such a turbulent period of time from the fall of the Qing Dynasty, through the establishment of the People's Republic. Lu Xun, a master writer from that time, has been in my mind a lot lately. Lu recalls a discussion with a friend who urged him write, in which he explains that he is fatalistic about the future of China, Perhaps all of humanity, now, is in such uncertain times.
  3. I managed to snag some books from the library right before the order came from the governor's office to shut the libraries down. Have been savoring Time is the Thing a Body Moves Through, by T Fleischmann, which is nice. It's very literary, a mixture of prose and poetry and poetic essay. I get the feeling I'm reading it too quickly instead of doing a close read, but I always have that feeling with poetry. Anyway, it's nice, it's about the art of Felix Gonzales-Torres, how that art made the author feel, life as a queer and trans person, among other things. The more fantasy type book I've been going through lately is Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. It's a YA book that I've loved ever since I was younger, set in a world that is very unique and distinct from any other fantasy world I've encountered. The illustration is breathtaking, as well. The series is also, imho, able to grapple with some pretty heavy concepts effectively.
  4. I've considered playing through Geneforge, but it just feels too topical. I know diseases mostly aren't what gets Shaped, but they're nevertheless present. I've excluded Avernum 6 out of hand as well for this same reason. Fortunately, Jeff mostly doesn't seem very interested in diseases as plot devices; they're harder to kill with swords and fireballs, I suppose. I'm in Washington state, where the governor just issued extra restrictions for our shelter-in-place order. Fortunately, I am still allowed to go out one (1) time per day for exercise purposes, walking my dogs. My pets have really been highly supportive of these quarantine measures, which I'm sure they think are entirely for their benefit.
  5. Maybe it's cliche to see if anyone is devoting time that they may be in lockdown to playing thorugh Spiderweb Software games. I, after all, am mostly not doing that. But, that said, what are y'all doing with your time in lockdown/shelter in place? And if you aren't in lockdown (because you have to work, presumably), what are you doing with the free time you have? Aside from looking at some of my old games nostalgically, I have been reading much more voraciously than I have in a long time, calling my governmental representatives to beg for bailouts, and calling pretty much everyone in my phone contacts list.
  6. You are a: Communist Anti-Government Bleeding-Heart Libertine Collectivism score: 100% Authoritarianism score: -17% Internationalism score: 0% Tribalism score: -100% Liberalism score: 100% That'll do, I suppose.
  7. What a time it has been! Thanks for sticking through, even when people (myself included) got frustrated with your antics.
  8. As I said, Krugman had some very non-specific analysis. My own non-specific analysis, inspired by Krugman's analysis of "republican facades,' is that the power of the presidency has expanded dramatically to the point where it has overgrown the rule of law, already. By and large, Congress has not worked to contravene this.
  9. From an electoral standpoint, trying to remove Trump's mandate to be president seems moot. From a political standpoint, strategies of how to resist Trump's policies and goals is far more productive. re: rule of law. Paul Krugman recently compared Trump's presidency to the fall of the Roman Republic. Krugman's analysis seems pretty non-specific, here, and if anything just makes me think of how executive power has been ballooning in size historically since the onset of the Cold War, which is what uniquely gives presidents the ability to be more influential than they have been previously. Obama used them to pass policy through an obstructionist Congress, and Trump may use them for the same purpose if he is unable to effectively garner support among all parts of the GOP.
  10. I wouldn't be surprised if the Drakons were working on this in the shredbug facility, and only started working on that after the Presence failed to be controlled. I would say that the Presence really only makes sense in the Mera Tev / Okavano Fen, otherwise it simply doesn't make sense how it would make it to the Foundry.
  11. In all fairness, the Clinton campaign is joining in on the effort in Wisconsin.
  12. It's hard to not feel this very personally, as a poor trans woman and left activist. So, my comments will remain brief. Suffice to say, likeability is a crucial feature for a good president, even beyond just public appeal. The president is also the face of US diplomacy, after all, and no one can say that that doesn't require skill. The president also is the face of their political party, which means that they are instrumental in maintaining party discipline. In both of these applications, I think Clinton would have been far more skilled than Trump.
  13. Well, fixing the island-hopping issue with the boats would be a great start. Retconning the second Shaper continent would be a good idea, too.
  14. Since finishing my undergrad in the spring, I've taken a short break from reading non-fiction to catch up on more light reading. I've been working my way through the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett, which is really refreshingly honest and light and just plain ol' witchy fun. I've got a long list of books to read after that, but I'll mention those as I get to them!
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