kerravonsen: What is essential is invisible to the eye (essential-invisible)
Go look here for a fascinating discussion about men, women, the world, and the chimerical concept of "the rules".
kerravonsen: Harry Potter writing with quill (Harry)
It just occurred to me to wonder... why do the Hogwarts Houses have passwords to keep people out? (*) It is yet another thing which divides the Houses and prevents them from getting to know each other. Why should one have to barricade oneself inside a tower when Hogwarts is supposed to be the safest place in Britain? Surely one wouldn't need protection from within the castle?

No wonder the poor Sorting Hat had to keep singing about unity - none of the staff of Hogwarts bothered to lift a finger to facilitate it. Almost complete segregation was the rule. The only times people from different Houses are allowed to interact are when they are competing against each other, (a) in class and (b) Quidditch. Yes, it is possible for classes to be set up so that cooperation rather than competition is the norm, but in practice, even when students are working in teams, they are always split along House lines.

I mean, I'd already noticed that the mealtime segregation wasn't helping, but the passwords on the House entrances is yet another enforcement of isolation - even if one had friends in other houses, one isn't allowed to bring them into one's common room. Or at least, strongly discouraged from doing so. This means that two opportunities for socializing (meals, and relaxation time) have been completely cut off. For no good reason. Yes, I don't think "tradition" is a good reason. And I'm wondering how that tradition started, and when.

(*) Yes, I know there are Plot Reasons. I am looking at this from a Watsonian perspective, not a Doyleist one.


Dec. 28th, 2013 02:15 pm
kerravonsen: Rose looking at puzzled Ninth Doctor: "Eh?" (Eh?)
For those who did not realize it... my previous post was not an appeal for pedantic corrections to canonical naming conventions. It was intended to be FUNNY.

Thank you to those who did get it.

For those who are curious, my personal naming convention is probably going to be:

The War Doctor
Shalka!Nine (darn, I forgot to include him!)
Ten-A (okay, forget this, Ten after JE is still Ten, even though he is technically Twelve)


Jun. 20th, 2013 10:25 am
kerravonsen: hand stretching up: "Help!" (Help!)
Please, someone explain to me what "bromance" means.

Fic Meme

Feb. 14th, 2013 02:38 pm
kerravonsen: Almost anything is fixable in fanfic (fanfic-fix)
From [ profile] astrogirl2:

Let's play this game where you guess my favourite tropes and fictional character types.

Those of you who know me, or know my fic, what patterns are you seeing?

This may be a challenge for some of you, because I'm pretty multi-fannish, so I could hardly expect people to have read all my works. Please give it a go anyway, because I'm CURIOUS.
kerravonsen: Harry Potter writing with quill (Harry)
One of the things that bothers me about the Harry Potter series is the role of Albus Dumbledore, or, more specifically, Dumbledore's actions and motives in regard to Harry and the war in general. Especially the reasons behind his actions. Because I keep on having to toss my hands in the air and exclaim, "What was Dumbledore thinking?"

I find it very difficult to come to a conclusion about what motivated Dumbledore. I am certain that he meant well, but beyond that, I am baffled. He said one thing and did another. He was supposedly wise, and yet did incredibly foolish things. Why? It's not enough to say "he wasn't perfect" or "he was only human"; this isn't a question of imperfection, but inconsistency. In the light of what we know at the end of the series, a number of Dumbledore's actions really do not fit with someone who is both wise and loving. Because if he was loving, he was incompetent, and if he was wise, he was callous. Was Dumbledore aware of the likely consequences of his actions or not? Was he blindly optimistic, a well-meaning incompetent, a bit senile? Was he as cunning as a fox? Did he consider any price worth paying for the greater good, even if he wasn't the one paying the price? Did he genuinely love the ones he claimed to love, or were they all pawns?

I'm not going to attempt to come to a conclusion. What I am going to attempt is to list the problematic incidents and give a range of answers as to why Dumbledore did what he did. And in some cases, not give any answers at all, because I can't think of any.

pondering problematic plots )

I'd appreciate if you could suggest further answers and further unanswered questions for this, as well as pointing out any mistakes I've made.

ETA: Decisions in Harry Potter may be helpful to look at as another aspect of the chain of influence that Dumbledore was involved in.
kerravonsen: Miles: The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart. (Miles)
The Ignorance of the Privileged: Problems With Erasing or Overlooking the Evidence of Hatred. This is a thoughtful piece of meta about Lucius Malfoy and his portrayal in fanfic as distinct from his character in canon.
kerravonsen: from "The Passion", Christ's head with crown of thorns: "Love" (Christ)
Yesterday, I was reading Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be and the following passage struck me:
Many people believe geekdom is defined by a love of a thing, but I think — and my experience of geekdom bears on this thinking — that the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. It’s the major difference between a geek and a hipster, you know: When a hipster sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “Oh, crap, now the wrong people like the thing I love.” When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER.”

I thought, I am a geek for Christ.
Read more... )
kerravonsen: (fractal)
It is curious that Frankenstein's monster, having no name, was bestowed by the public with the name of his creator, while Dr. Frankenstein in turn became nameless.
kerravonsen: Hexagonal corridors of the Liberator: "Hexagons are scifi love" (SF-hexagons)
Best reason ever for not turning to the Dark Side of the Force: "Why would I want to be angry and miserable all the time?"

Credit where credit is due: this idea came from a Star Wars/Stargate Atlantis crossover fusion (The Dark Side by Astolat) which I stumbled across while looking for podfic, started reading it, and stopped when I realized it was slash (the version I found wasn't the one I link to here, and for some reason, that version (which I can't find again) didn't have warnings on it).
kerravonsen: Snape: Anti-hero (Snape-anti-hero)
This all started because I was pondering Dumbledore, and "What was he thinking?"
I still don't know what he was thinking, but it's been fun making this huge diagram about various people's decisions in HP. I love GraphViz.

What do y'all think? I know I haven't covered everything, but hey, it's something.

ETA: I've now split the big diagram into four separate diagrams. Hopefully that makes it easier to follow.
kerravonsen: cartoon Ood: "would you like a piece of my mind?" (Ood)
Signs in fanfic that mean I should stop reading the story, because it won't be worth finishing it. I don't always listen to myself, though.
here are the signs )
kerravonsen: "Are you challenging my ingenuity?" (ingenuity)
A varant of the meme that is going around:
If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach. — Alfred Hitchcock

When I write a story, If I wrote Cinderella, what would you immediately expect to find in it?
kerravonsen: Martha on the moon: "Sense of Wonder" (Martha-sense-of-wonder)
There is a common mistake in so many mysteries, whether classic or SF-themed (Original Trek was particularly guilty of this): that the thing they're looking at (whether it be a mysterious curse, an unknown poison, a strange lifeform, or something else) is COMPLETELY UNLIKE anything else they've ever encountered. The writer doesn't realize that (a) such a thing is extremely unlikely and (b) such uniqueness actually makes the mystery EASIER to solve, because rather than looking for a needle in a haystack, they're looking for an echidna in a haystack. The real thing that makes a mystery harder to solve is when the phenomenon is not unique, but when it is very similar to other things, so similar that it could have multiple causes. When the phenomenon is unique and one can't find out anything about it, it shouldn't be a cause for despair. The lack of data is data in itself, because it eliminates a whole slew of possibilities that one now doesn't need to waste time investigating.

Why do I say this? I say this from my experience as a computer programmer, which means I have decades of practice in detection - of bugs in computer programs.

Here are a few rules of thumb that I've learned over the years:

* The most common explanation is the most likely. Investigate that first.
* Contrariwise, don't assume that the most common explanation is what happened; actually investigate it.
* Witnesses are unreliable; they will tell you what they think caused the incident, not what actually happened. Skill in questioning witnesses is required.
* When doing experiments, one must reproduce the original problem, preferably in a similar but cut-down form, whether that be experiments on mice or specially-written test programs, or whatever else. Otherwise one can't be sure that the proposed solution is an actual "cure".
kerravonsen: Peri, rolling her eyes: "rolls eyes" (eyeroll)
There's been a lot of fail and outrage in fandom recently.

1. There is FAIL.
2. OUTRAGE ensues.
3. Failer becomes defensive and perpetrates more FAIL.
4. OUTRAGE doubles.
5. Failer's friends protest and perpetrate additional FAIL.
6. OUTRAGE triples.
7. Optimistic fools wonder aloud why we can't all just be friends.
8. OUTRAGE quadruples, this time directed at those who are outrageous enough not to join in the OUTRAGE.
Read more... )
ETA: Due to this post being linked to by metafandom and becoming a classic example of Step 8 of the above cycle, this post has been f-locked.

ETA 2: I've changed my mind after calming down and some positive advice. This entry is no longer f-locked, but comments are frozen, and new comments are screened.
kerravonsen: cover of "The Blue Sword": Fantasy (Fantasy)
Come up with an internally-consistent reason for chain-mail bikinis.
kerravonsen: cover of "The Blue Sword": Fantasy (Fantasy)
Prompted by this post, I'd like to ruminate a bit about types of magic in fantasy novels.
diffindo! )
kerravonsen: Kerr Avon, frowning: Character is PLOT (character-is-plot)
I have stayed out of the warnings debate and have only been following it at a remove (witnessing incredibly bad behaviour firsthand is bad for my blood pressure). I've been around for earlier rounds of the warning debate, but this is the first time the question of triggers versus preferences has come up, and it has been enlightening. PTSD is serious, folks!

So, two things:
1) I don't have warnings on my stories, because, as far as I know, I haven't written any stuff that needs warnings. Should I go through all the stories on my site and add "Warnings: nothing" to all my stories? Am I mistaken in thinking that I haven't written anything triggery?
What do you think?

2) [ profile] winterweathered has created a community called [ profile] ficsafezone, the purpose of which is to help people who have specific triggers vet stories without warnings (see community profile and sample post). I like this idea, I hope it works, because even if fans do start warning their stories better, there are still going to be stories out there which don't have warnings, and this could help bridge the gap.


kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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