Declaration, Bullying, And Doing The Math

I have three scenes to get through today to set me up for the Epic!Battle! at the end of Dru 5. I am going to kick this book’s ass today, I swear. So this will be short.

* The Copenhagen Declaration on Religion in Public Life. I take this as a step forward. I have a close personal relationship with my gods, but I don’t like other peoples’ gods shoved down my throat, I do not require anyone else take my word for the existence of my gods, and I am still undecided on the question of whether or not gods actually objectively exist or are just psychological processes. (That’s reducing a complex ongoing philosophical argument I have with myself to a nutshell; I’m not going into all of it here. Suffice to say I think undecided is a good place to be when contemplating such questions.)

I consider the declaration a step forward. Secular societies have a better human-rights record than religious ones; organized religion is probably the most effective con game ever invented. I’m comfortable having my own religion/spirituality be just one of my many little personal quirks, rather like my preference for Havarti and my belief that mateless socks in the laundry are actually the larval form of wire clothes hangers. All in all, if one must believe in the unbelievable, I think that’s the healthiest route.

* New York Times on resources about bullying and cyber-bullying. I’ve been bullied and stalked, I’ve seen people I care about bullied and stalked. It’s not pretty. I am undecided whether bullying is actually on the rise or just more visible now with the technology we have. It seems people are pretty steadily nasty all through history, and a great deal of that nastiness is overlooked for one reason or another. Anyway, that doesn’t mean anyone should be bullied, or that parents or educators should stand for it. ‘Nuff said.

* An interesting piece about Harriet Wasserman, a literary agent who absconded with some of her clients’ royalties. (Hat tip to Victoria Strauss for the link.) This should not be construed as a case against agents; Wasserman is an anomaly, much like Ted Mooney representing himself effectively is an anomaly. Still, “trust but verify” is a business practice I wish more new and aspiring writers would practice. This is a business, and checking the math and doing your research doesn’t stop once you’re published. Get used to doing it before you’re published, and save yourself a lot of grief both before and after that blessed event.

* The ever-thoughtful Issendai returns to the subject of sick systems, exploring why they are so tenacious. (Be sure to read parts one and two of this series; they’re highly useful.)

There. That’s done. Now I’m going back to getting Dru in trouble. Lots of big, big trouble.

See you around.

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