On the Panopticon and Being Discussed by Strangers . . . or Be Careful What You Click On

I had a weird experience the other day. I was checking out the stats on my other (not-about-writing) blog. There was a noticeable uptick in the number of views.  In exploring the details of where the viewers were coming from, I noticed that quite a few came from the same source. I copied and pasted the source URL into my browser to see what was going on.


It was some kind of conversation forum where a bunch of peeps were discussing shoes, outfits, style, and the like. One person had posted a link to some pics of me for the other forum peeps to look at as an example of someone whose style was similar to her own. Her forum-buddies chimed in their various opinions. Apparently I was found lacking and the poster was deemed superior in every way.

That wasn’t the weird part– indeed, as the Interweebs goes, everyone was quite civil. Plus I’ve already been to the 8th grade, so I am aware that people put each other down, damn with faint praise, and act all judgy (I sometimes– to my continung chagrin– do so myself). Nevertheless it was weird to be discussed by people I didn’t know. It was kind of like being in the bathroom stall in a public washroom and overhearing people you don’t know talk about you. I also felt strange about being in the forum and reading what they wrote without them knowing I was there seeing their comments. Until this year I’ve stayed off social media, and avoided participating in blog comments sections and other such places, preferring to lurk and just check out what others say. I suppose entering the panopticon was inevitable, and so were the vague unsettled feelings that come with it.

It’s funny, I was totally prepared- when starting my blogs- for people to write and say mean, nasty, horrible, and unreasonable things. So far, no one has. But I didn’t expect to be unsettled by ‘overhearing’ discussions.

Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies

One of the reasons I write urban fantasy is that I can essentially explain away kinks in logic with “a wizard did it” (or in my case, “a geek-chic bookstore clerk who is also a death psychic did it by mistake; she’s really sorry”).**

Here in the so-called real world *** I don’t have much patience for bad reasoning. That’s why I liked this:

Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies

How to Use the Taxonomy

People trying to convince you that coconut oil will cure your leukemia? Refer to the taxonomy. Your mom concerned you don’t believe in god? Refer to the taxonomy. Cousin trying to convince you that sleeping with chunks of malachite in your pillowcase will restore fertility? Refer to the taxonomy. Some ijit on the Interweebs blathering on and on? Refer to the taxonomy.

** That’s a big part of what goes on in Blood Rain by the way.

*** Yeah, sure, right.  I’ll believe that this is the real world as soon as you make me can get down from this unicorn.

Iceland in 2016

The raven, hrafn, is an important bird in Icelandic folklore. It is said that the Norse god Oðinn had two ravens that counselled him, Huginn (“Thought”) and Muninn (“Memory”).

Ok, I made a decision: I am going to go to the:

2016 Iceland Writers Retreat

(link to the 2015 page as 2016 is not up yet).

The man-panion may even come with me because he digs volcanos and hot springs and such (not literally). I wonder if I can talk my friend and fellow writer Ray into coming with me, too. ‘Cause Ray and I like to get into trouble together, it’s one of our best things. 😉