utility theory

“Ahead of His Time: A Mini Biography of Nikola Tesla.

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This mini biography is intended to share the life of Nikola Tesla and the work he produced, in simplistic form. I hope to enlighten the readers on how he developed his inventions and discoveries, and how he envisioned his wildest aspirations for the future.

Enjoy… (((:

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Nikola Tesla was an inventor, discoverer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, theoretical and experimental physicist, mathematician, futurist and humanitarian. He is the primary cause for over ninety percent of the transmission of electrical power the world relies on today thanks to his discovery of the rotating magnetic field. The inventor utilized this discovery in his invention and patent of the first commutatorless alternating current induction motor which changed the future of power transmission. All electrical technology using or generating alternating current today is due to Tesla, without which all our trolley cars, electric vehicles, subways, manufacturing/industrial plants and electrified power lines, which bring power to almost every single electrical appliance/equipment in our homes/work, would be impossible.

One could argue that Tesla is responsible for the creation of the Twentieth Century, and the present day we enjoy today. He was the first to demonstrate the transmission of wireless energy, and is the true father of radio. In his labs experiments, he conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, photography, electrical therapy, and some of the first X-ray imaging. He was the first to demonstrate remote control, building a wireless controlled boat first exhibited in 1898. At Colorado Springs, in 1899, he created artificial lightning bolts 100 feet long, and sent currents around the Earth from his transmitter and back with a mean velocity of 292,815 miles per second. Although not recognized for, he was the first to discover the electron, radioactivity, terrestrial resonance, stationary waves (scalar waves), and cosmic rays, which he recorded traveling up to fifty times faster than light. Tesla predicted television, the internet, smart phones, weather control, and interplanetary communication. He theorized an idea to produce an artificial Aurora Borealis to light the night skies, and a particle beam to be used for defense in war. He intended to unify all his innovations into one big machine known as his “World System,” but lacked the investments and funds to finish his work on a large scale. His failure to accomplish his goals left him with a distorted persona of a mad scientist, and a dreamer whose imagination created an unrealistic hope for the future. 

Tesla was a Serbian born on July 10, 1856 at midnight in Smiljan, Lika (in what is now Croatia). He was educated at an early age by his parents before attending the Gymnasium Karlovac in Croatia, the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria; and the University of Prague excelling in linguistics, mathematics and sciences. He was a hyper-polyglot who could speak eight languages including: Serbo-Croatian, English, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin. He claimed to have had a three-dimensional memory and thought process that tormented him in his youth, but later aided him with building his inventions in his own mind without wasting any physical energy. He was known to be able to recite by heart full books, mathematical formulas and poetry such as Goethe’s “Faust,” Njegoš’ “The Mountain Wreath,” Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” Byron’s “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” and Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin.”

In 1881 while walking with a friend in a City Park reciting Goethe’s “Faust,” Tesla first envisioned the rotating magnetic field and his induction motor– complete, perfect, and operable in form. This visualization would represent the same diagrams shown in a lecture given before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1888.

After his revelation, in 1882, Tesla’s began working for a telephone company in Europe, while he worked independently on his induction motor. In 1884, he moved to America in hopes of capitalizing on his new discovery. Initially, Tesla was hired by Thomas Edison, but the famous American inventor was not interested in Tesla’s alternating current system, due to his already strong interest in direct current power transmission. Tesla would continue working for Edison until Edison promised him $50,000 to make improvements on his DC generation plants. After completing the task, Tesla asked to be paid, but Edison denied him his offer and explained that the offer of $50,000 was just an “American joke.” Edison offered Tesla a small raise, but Tesla resigned instead.

After his fallout with Edison, Tesla was offered his own lighting company by some small investors, but unfortunately, they were also not interested in Tesla’s alternating current system. Tesla would invent a new and efficient arc lamp for the company, but would be forced out of the business after completing his work. This was a bitter blow to the young Serbian who resorted to digging ditches for $2 an hour in order to get by in a new country.

Tesla’s luck would soon change in 1887, after he received a chance to demonstrate his system of alternating currents to some financiers with his famous “Egg of Columbus” demonstration. This great event would lead to the filing of his Electro Magnetic Motor patent which utilized the rotating magnetic field principle. Prior to this patent, it was considered impossible to eliminate the brushes and commutators on the old motors, but the introduction of Tesla’s new electrical theory and practice was an obvious departure from the old into the new. It was completely revolutionary yet so simple, and it opened a wide door for the introduction and commercial development of AC motors.

Tesla pushed forward building apparatuses equal in productivity to DC motors, forcing the scientific community to recognize his work. Because of this work, in May of 1888, a publication of Tesla’s work was read before the American Institutes of Electrical Engineers. The introduction of Tesla’s apparatus showed how inefficient the old motors were compared to his own, which utilized poly-phase currents in such a way that made the commutators of the old motors obsolete. This new system would spark a strong interest in American entrepreneur, George Westinghouse, who would later buy Tesla’s patents, and throw all his resources into the development of Tesla’s work. This new industry in power transmission would eventually start a feud between the Westinghouse Company and Thomas Edison’s Electric Light Company–known as the “War of Currents" (AC/DC).   

Compensating off his new patents and now working with the Westinghouse Company, Tesla was finally free to test the limits of his invention on larger scales than before, but to his dismay, the inventor was forced to find ways to build his machines using high frequency electricity instead of the low frequency he was used to in order to better fit his machines with the Westinghouse Company’s production. This presented complications for Tesla, but thanks to his years of study in electricity, Tesla was able to utilize Lord Kelvin’s theory on condenser discharges, which led to the invention of his “Tesla Coil.” With this invention, he was now able to experiment with his work at much higher potentials and frequencies – enabling him to build an AC apparatus of efficiency surpassing that of DC motors.

In 1891, just before becoming an American citizen, Tesla was asked to repeat his experiments before the AIEE. During his lecture, titled “Experiments with Alternate Currents of Very High Frequency and Their Application to Methods of Artificial Illumination,“ Tesla left the audience of America’s greatest engineers spell-bound as he demonstrated by experiments a new theory of light. He demonstrated that incandescent lamps do not require the faulty carbon filament widely used at that time, but could be replaced with a solid block of carbon powered by a single wire branched from his AC generator. Tesla implied that this new application to lamps could be made at little cost, and could be just as dependent and reliable as a gas burner. He went even further and demonstrated that electric light was possible without incandescent lamps. Throughout his investigations of high frequency phenomena, Tesla satisfied himself with a conclusion that an electric field of sufficient intensity could fill a room and light electrodeless vacuum tubes. This would be his first public demonstration of his “art of wireless transmission,” making him the true father of wireless. This was done by connecting two large sheets of zinc to the terminal of the circuit with the sheets being spread apart about fifteen feet away from each other. The sheets served as condensers and both received the charge of electricity from the wires connecting the sheets to the transformer, creating an electric field between the two. Tesla introduced a glass tube from which the air had been exhausted, and,when this vacuum tube was placed between the zinc sheets, it gave out a bright illumination sufficient to light a room. Tesla waved the tube around freely, like a Jedi showcasing the first light saber, and the tube continued to glow as long as it remained in the electric field. The electrical wizard went on to show the absolute harmlessness of his electric system by passing thousands of volts of electricity through his body–lighting light bulbs and shooting sparks out of his finger tips. He accomplished this without killing himself by upping the speed of his dynamo, transforming his AC current into a continuous flow of static currents, which allowed him to pass a large amount of energy through his body without any harm. To help better explain this, DC currents carry an electric charge along a conductor which travel in one single direction, like a straight line, while the charge in AC currents alternate back and forth in waveform. Static currents, on the other hand, are stationary with no movement. Tesla would speed up his AC currents so fast that they would transform into a static current, allowing him to safely store this electricity in his body until he discharged it into his light bulbs resulting in illumination.

These amazing demonstrations would set Tesla apart from the rest of the scientific world. The inventor would be showered with awards and invitations from all around the world begging him to share his work. In 1892, he would finally be persuaded to give two lecturers in London, and one in Paris before returning to America to continue his work.

Back in America, Tesla and George Westinghouse remained consistent in their fight to market their new AC system, despite the heavy smear campaign conducted by Thomas Edison to show the dangers of AC. Edison went as far as holding public demonstrations using AC to electrocute dogs, cats and an elephant to prove his point. He is also responsible for the creation of the electric chair, in 1890. Edison did everything he could to make sure history remembered him and not Tesla, and it is rumored that Edison spent a fortune every year trying keep his own name before the public. Regardless of his inhumane campaign, it still didn’t take away the fact that AC was more efficient than DC. In 1892, the General Electric Company merged with another rival of the Westinghouse Company, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company. This merger would introduce some major competition for the Westinghouse Company since this new formed company now controlled three quarters of the electrical business in the United States. In 1893, the Westinghouse Company caught a break and was contracted to power the World’s Colombian Exposition, in Chicago. Tesla’s Poly-phase System installed at the exposition made certain that AC was superior to DC, ensuring the Westinghouse Company the contract to harness Niagara Falls. This would put an end of the “War of Currents” and force businesses to accept the new system. Since the AC patents were controlled by the Westinghouse Company, Elihu Thomson, the manager of the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, hired Charles Steinmetz in hope that both could somehow bypass Tesla’s AC patents and secure their own AC system that would allow General Electric to compete with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Their jobs were basically reduced to finding ways to pretend like they created a new invention. In order to do so, they paid a janitor to steal Tesla blueprints from the Westinghouse plant in Pittsburgh. After the Thomson-Houston company was caught committing industrial espionage, they claimed that “they needed to study Tesla’s motor designs to make sure their’s were different.” Embarrassed by his actions, Steinmetz deliberately omitted Tesla from his major works including “Theory and Calculations of Alternating Current Phenomena,” and “Theoretical Elements of Electrical Engineering.” The associates of General Electric gave Tesla no reference at all in their works which made them popular, even though Tesla was the forefront of the field, and his book, “The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla” was basically a Bible for electrical engineers at that time. Elihu Thomson, Charles Steinmetz, Mihajlo Pupin, Thomas Edison and others basically took a huge shit on Tesla because they despised him and wanted him forgotten.

Regardless of the drama, Tesla carried on with his work. Now financially comfortable and free to experiment as he pleased, Tesla vigorously continued his investigations into the unknown…

(To be continued…)

anonymous asked:

what is a "spoon" or "spoons" in magical terms?

Firstly, it is not a magically exclusive term, but something that has come to be used in magic by people who utilize the concept in their day-to-day lives.

I absolutely suggest you read this amazing article on [The Spoon Theory] by Christine Miserandino. It is a bit long, but it perfectly describes the concept fully. It is what really opened my eyes to the concept, and it is now something I have come to recognize in my own life too. However, as a tl;dr version, I’ll be summarizing spoons as I understand them below.

“Spoons” are a measurement of energy levels use by people with chronic physical and mental illnesses. Basically, people that deal with such things on a daily basis have limited energy levels; we also may have a different level of energy each day, which are classified as “spoons.” One day we may have more spoons than others, some days are less - for some, the energy doesn’t tend to transfer from one day to the next if you happen to have “extra spoons,” though sometimes, if you really push yourself past the limit of “no spoons,” you can take from tomorrow’s energy, but then tomorrow’s energy will be lower for that.

Doing things, even the simplest things, requires spoons. In most cases, each task has a different level of spoons that need to be used for the task to be completed. Again, this also fluctuates - one day it may cost less spoons to, say, shower, but the next day it takes more. It vastly depends on the kind of health day you may be having. Once you use the spoons on a task, you generally don’t get them back. There is risk of not having enough spoons to get done everything you need to. It becomes a matter of prioritizing and really planning out how you’re going to use your spoons - which, ironically, can take spoons.

“Spoonie witches” are people with chronic illnesses who utilize the Spoon Theory in their lives, who are low on energy levels, and therefore may not be able to execute the long and very draining rituals that some are prone to. Mind you, that doesn’t make anyone less of a witch or magic user - there is fulfilment in such rituals, sure, but the same thing can be achieved in other ways, and I believe someone shouldn’t push themselves to their physical limits for the sake of a spell. 

That is where spoonie magic comes in. It is a branch of magic that has been formulated on two fronts - the first is creating spells that are low on spoons, so people can still do magic and achieve results without wiping themselves out; the second is creating spells that can actually help increase energy levels so people have more energy to do things within their day.

These are my views on the topic, in any case, and some people may see it differently. But I hope that gives you some idea about the topic. :)

Can you tell a real academic journal article from a parody?

I don’t know about you, but I love quizzes.

Today I’d like you to try to guess which of the following excerpts is taken from a genuine scholarly article in an academic journal, and which one is a hoax. The first one comes from the world of accounting, and the second from the world of science.

So here’s excerpt number one:

There is a paucity of research on sexuality within accounting studies in general, and next to nothing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT) sexualities in particular. One major problem associated with this neglect is that the heteronormative bias within the accounting studies goes unchallenged, reproducing a heterosexual/homosexual binary that posits heterosexuality as a normative standard by which other sexualities are judged and found wanting.

Challenging the heteronormativity that pervades accounting studies and organisations, this article contributes to this knowledge void by presenting a new line of research which examines LGBT sexualities. It is argued that queer theory can enable accounting scholars to disrupt heteronormativity, destabilise essentialist notions of sexuality as fixed properties of individuals and thus advance the study of sexuality within accounting beyond topics such as sexual harassment. Three research trajectories with example research questions are presented to that end: (1) disrupting heteronormativity; (2) queering accounting organisations; (3) queer allies in accounting contexts. In sum, this article underscores the utility of queer theory to accounting and sexuality research and practice, and calls for increased research activity of this type in this area.



Here’s excerpt number two:

But deep conceptual shifts within twentieth-century science have undermined this Cartesian-Newtonian metaphysics; revisionist studies in the history and philosophy of science have cast further doubt on its credibility; and, most recently, feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of “objectivity.”

It has thus become increasingly apparent that physical “reality,” no less than social “reality,” is at bottom a social and linguistic construct; that scientific “knowledge,” far from being objective, reflects and encodes the dominant ideologies and power relations of the culture that produced it; that the truth claims of science are inherently theory-laden and self-referential; and consequently, that the discourse of the scientific community, for all its undeniable value, cannot assert a privileged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic narratives emanating from dissident or marginalized communities.



No doubt both of these selections make you want to gouge your eyes out. But which one is real?

Answer:

Excerpt number one.

It’s from an article called “Sexualities and Accounting: A Queer Theory Perspective,” from the March 2016 issue of Critical Perspectives on Accounting.

The second excerpt is from “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” an article Professor Alan Sokal submitted to the journal Social Text. It is full of gibberish and incomprehensible leftist jargon. He submitted it as a parody of leftist academia – and Social Text, not getting the joke, actually published it.

Let that sink in: Professor Sokal submitted a meaningless string of leftist buzzwords to a peer-reviewed journal, and got through.


We want this system to get more funding?

-from the Tom Woods letter (2/28/17)

HEY THERE FRIENDS HAVE THIS

  • Ladybug and Chat Noir defeated Hawkmoth in their first year of Lycee
  • (in this hawkmoth isn’t Gabriel, because while that’s a nice theory and while I do utilize that theory sometimes, I favor the theory that he isn’t more)
  • Plagg and Tikki told them, respectively, that a new Hawkmoth wouldn’t be coming up for at least a long time, so they could either stay with their chosen or leave
  • Both decided to keep their Kwamis with them; Tikki was Marinette’s best friend as Plagg was Adrien’s
  • Two years or so after the defeat, whispers of a new movie based on the events of and work of Ladybug and Chat Noir came about
  • Marinette really doesn’t want to see hide nor hair of that movie; being a superhero had been the most stressful thing she’d ever done, and although she doesn’t transform into Ladybug often anymore, she still gets the chills and the nightmares and the fears that had come with it
  • Adrien doesn’t want to see it either, but he wouldn’t object

Keep reading

Okay! Pride Month is Coming up; why I identify with “Q”, and won’t call that Q-word ‘a slur’

(That Q-Word Redacted for this post, so that I can talk to about the word without using the word – yeah, it’s awkward, but I’m trying to talk  specifically to the people who’re afraid of it)

If you find that word hurtful, and ask me to tag my posts so you don’t have to stumble across it, I can do that. That’s like telling me you’re allergic to eggs. If I invite you over for lunch, I will make sure not to let eggs cross your lips, even through cross contamination.

But telling me that the Q-word is nothing but a slur, and that there “is no ‘Q’-community,”  That’s like telling me “Hens do not exist.” When we raised chickens for eggs through most of my childhood (true fact about me, btw).

And, just in case there are folks reading this who believe chickens are cryptids, here’s a handful of primary-source descriptions of various “Q-Studies” programs at colleges around the United States:

California University at Northridge: College of Humanities

The program explores how heterosexism, heteronormativity and transphobia intersect and collide with national, ethnic, racial, class and other identifications, fostering a community of learners who grapple with issues of diversity, gender, sexuality and social justice.

Denison College (Columbus, Ohio)

To that end, q-studies examines the cultural, social and political implications of sexuality and gender from the perspective of those marginalized by the dominant sexual ethos. It explores the ways that culture defines and regulates sexuality as well as the ways that sexuality structures and shapes social institutions.

Hampshire College (Amherst, Massachusetts)

Q-studies at Hampshire utilizes gender theory/philosophy, historical analysis, critical race theory, and contemporary critique to further the discourse on queer identity and community, as well as notions of q-ring heterosexualized relationships and identities. Courses and projects within q-studies focus on the law, family structure, media representations, public health, religion, the arts, cultural studies, sexuality, and biology.

Oregon State University

Q-Studies teaches students, through theory and practice, to:

  > Recognize and articulate entwined relationship between heterosexism, patriarchy, gender regimes, racism, classism, colonialism, and xenophobia
   > Critically engage oppression and inequality through intersectional analyses in scholarship
   > Practice tactics of intervention in their scholarship and activism that challenges all systems of oppression and inequality
   > Interrogate one’s own multiple and shifting social locations in relationship to intersecting systems of power
   > Practice social justice and transformation through scholarly, artistic, and organizational projects that engage both the OSU campus and local, national and international communities.

[…]

While it was originally used as a derogatory word for people who might identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender, LGBT communities and grassroots movements reclaimed the [Q-Word] in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The claiming of the [Q-Word] is meant to disrupt simple identity categories and challenge ideas of “normal.”

Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)

As an interdiscipline, Q-Studies focuses not only on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans) lives and communities, but more broadly on the social production and regulation of sexuality and gender. It seeks intersectional, social-constructionist, and transnational understandings of sexual and sexualized embodiments, desires, identities, communities, and cultures both within the U.S. and beyond.

[…]

As a direct result of student activism, Wesleyan made its first faculty hire in Q-Studies in 2002. Students in Wesleyan’s Q - Alliance lobbied the administration, secured faculty support, and staged a kiss-in in front of the admissions office.


So, you see – the Q-Word has long been used for a lot more than an isolated individual’s personal sexual orientation and / or gender identity. And it’s been so widely used, over the course of the last generation, because it’s useful.

Yes: it’s a hard word. And yes, it’s a crooked word (it’s basically a word that means “crooked”).  It is, frankly, a linguistic crowbar. And you know what crowbars are really, really good for? Open doors that have been nailed shut.

And there are a lot of doors that have been nailed shut, over the course of history. I’m not giving up a tool that was invented to rectify that state.

[Edited to add: I was so hungry when I posted this, I forgot to answer the question posed in my title. *ahem*

I identify by means of the Q-word, because I’m asexual in an aggressively heterosexual world.

But I would still identify by means of the Q-word if I were heterosexual because I’m disabled in an aggressively ableist world, and in this world, the cultural norm demands that disabled bodies are stripped of sexuality (and also adulthood, and the granting of consent).

So I’d find use for the Q-word from whichever end I pick it up.]


(Works cited / Sources [warning: that word not redacted, there)

youtube

Century of The Self
2002
BBC

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed our perception of the mind and its workings. The documentary explores the various ways that governments and corporations have utilized Freud’s theories. Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in public relations, are discussed in part one. His daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in part two. Wilhelm Reich, an opponent of Freud’s theories, is discussed in part three.

To many in politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly, the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

Along these lines, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of consumerism and commodification and their implications. It also questions the modern way people see themselves, the attitudes to fashion, and superficiality.

The business and political worlds use psychological techniques to read, create and fulfil the desires of the public, and to make their products and speeches as pleasing as possible to consumers and voters. Curtis questions the intentions and origins of this relatively new approach to engaging the public.

Where once the political process was about engaging people’s rational, conscious minds, as well as facilitating their needs as a group, Stuart Ewen, a historian of public relations, argues that politicians now appeal to primitive impulses that have little bearing on issues outside the narrow self-interests of a consumer society.

The words of Paul Mazur, a leading Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in 1927, are cited: “We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

In part four the main subjects are Philip Gould, a political strategist, and Matthew Freud, a PR consultant and the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud. In the 1990s, they were instrumental to bringing the Democratic Party in the US and New Labour in the United Kingdom back into power through use of the focus group, originally invented by psychoanalysts employed by US corporations to allow consumers to express their feelings and needs, just as patients do in psychotherapy.

Curtis ends by saying that, "Although we feel we are free, in reality, we—like the politicians—have become the slaves of our own desires,” and compares Britain and America to ‘Democracity’, an exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair created by Edward Bernays.

Masculinity and Queerness in the Media: A Meditation on Dean Winchester

Hey guys! So my comm class final was to write a 9-10 page essay on some topic concerning “gender and sexuality in the media.” Obviously, I turned immediately to analyzing Dean, and chose to look at how particular forms of masculinity and queerness have been presented in media, the evolution of these qualities and their relationship over time, and the implications of this progression over time on modern media stories. The resulting essay is one I think you guys might enjoy, so I’m sharing it here. Please keep in mind that I was writing this for my school assignment, so its in slightly different language than is usual for tumblr discourse, and its probably both better and worse researched than my usual meta (aka I definitely gloss over/don’t go in depth on some things that are bigger issues in the fandom than my teacher needed to hear about, but I also really utilize a lot of legit communications and media theory and stuff [side note: if you are a meta writer/fan of meta/queer yourself and you haven’t watched The Celluloid Closet yet, dear god GO DO SO]). As such, I think people might enjoy this essay for an analysis of stuff we talk about a lot but that approaches it from a different perspective/angle than a lot of the written work here. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!


      This essay seeks to articulate the cultural significance of the movement campaigning for the character Dean Winchester to be written as openly queer on the show Supernatural. To accomplish with, I will be exploring the ways in which hegemonic masculinity and queerness have each been constructed in the history of mainstream media and the evolution of their relationship over time from mutually exclusive and diametrically opposed to potentially existing in unity with each other. This essay first surveys how Dean is the cultural successor in many ways to iconic portrayals of masculinity, and explores the ways in which this particular conception of masculinity is often constructed in opposition to queerness. I then engage in an analysis of the various ways queerness has been portrayed in the media in juxtaposition to this masculinity, and also subversively in conjunction with it in strategies like queer-coding. I then return to Supernatural to explicate the ways in which the show invited counter-hegemonic readings of Dean’s masculinity, and how fans have extended this scrutiny to Dean’s assumed heterosexuality as well. I then look at the ways in which a queer reading of Dean has gained legitimacy and the implications of the movement to make this reading a more prominent part of the main text of the show. Finally, I conclude with speculation on the possibility that the show’s creators will incorporate these fan interpretations into the body of the show, and the cultural significance of such a potential development.

      This paper utilizes queer theory to understand how queerness was coded into media texts of the 20th century and the strategies by which audiences decoded these interpretations, and also to understand how particular norms of masculinity and queerness have been constructed in opposition to each other and the evolution of their portrayals in popular media. This critical analysis will look both at the content of Supernatural and its media predecessors, and at Supernatural’s audience responses to the text in order to understand its significance as a media artifact.

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anonymous asked:

Why do people think Sekhmet is evil? Doesn't she punish the wrong doers?

Hi anon!

Honestly, the people of ancient Egypt were actually pretty scared of Sekhmet. She was one of those deities who needed to be propitiated so that she wouldn’t attempt to destroy humanity (again). Her first and primary focus was to destroy humanity, at the direction of Re, because humanity was starting to rebel. The only way to placate her, after Re had a change of heart, was to get her drunk as all get-out so that she couldn’t continue on her blood-soaked rampage.

Another reason why they wanted to propitiate her stems from her Seven Arrows. These Arrows were netjeri who did the bidding of the goddess. They could, and would, wreak chaos against others at Sekhmet’s direction. To appease Sekhmet, the people would leave her offerings, especially at the chaotic time of Wep Ronpet and the Epagomenal days to keep her netjeri from attacking them so that her chaos-inducing netjeri would leave them alone.

Her epithets, alone, should indicate just how frightening she could be to the people and to the gods: “The Devouring One,” “The Terrible* One,” “The One Who Terrifies the Gods by Her Massacre,” “The One Who Terrorizes the Two Lands with Her Fear,” “Lady of the Bloodbath,” and “Unrivaled And Invincible One.”

* “Terrible” doesn’t necessarily mean something that inspires horror, but it can also mean “formidably great,” which is possibly the case here.

Sekhmet was a goddess who was not to be fucked with. The gods and the ancient Egyptians, themselves, knew and understood this. If the power from whence she was born was to continue to behave in line with ma’at and not lose it, then she needed to be appeased with any and all means necessary. Just in case.

So, she was awe-inspiring and fear-inspiring even in antiquity, but she did punish those who were not in line with ma’at. Some of her epithets show that she was very, very fond of justice, “Great One of Laws,” “Burner of Evildoers,” “Protectress of the Divine Order,” “Smiter of the Nubians*,” “Destroyer of Rebellions,” “The One For Whom Evil Trembles,” and “The One Who Loves Ma’at and Detests Evil.” 

* The Nubians were considered to have lived outside of ma’at because they were foreigners. It was only when they were ruled by the ancient Egyptians that they became a united part of the country and began to live within ma’at.

Another reason why people tend to view her as evil is because, unfortunately, early Egyptologists weren’t very good at keeping their own prejudices out of their work. Unfortunately for us, many of the books regarding our deities were written back at the turn of the century where remaining neutral on the subject at hand was not very well practiced. Wallis Budge is a very clear example. He tended to view the ancient Egyptian religion through his own Protestant lens and utilized his pet theories in an effort to gain more funding for his work.

Since there is a plethora of easily accessible information in this age of the Internet that comes from the turn of the century, we are, unfortunately, finding the prejudices within those texts. I know that, sadly, Sekhmet was often equated with Set, who was viewed as a sort of ancient Egyptian devil as opposed to the mercurial deity he actually is.

Scholarship in Egyptology is much better about refraining from using personal beliefs in the writing - unless they are, of course, expounding on a theory they have - but there has been no new scholarship specific to Sekhmet in a very long time. It is up to us parsing together information from various anthologies to provide a better picture of her for those people who have subscribed to the old pet theories out there.

What I sensed was that while the laws of supply and demand governed everything on earth, the easy money was in demand—manufacturing it, manipulating it, sending it forth to multiply, etc. As a rule of thumb (and with some notable exceptions), the profit margins you could achieve selling a good or service were directly correlated to the total idiocy and/or moral bankruptcy of the demand you drummed up for it.


This was easier to grasp if you were in the business of peddling heroin, Internet stocks, or celebrity gossip; journalists, on the other hand, [did not] understand … their role in this [charade].


In the past, newspapers had made respectable margins selling a non-inane product largely because people had little choice but to herald their sublets and white sales alongside the journalists’ tales of human suffering/corporate corruption/government ineptitude.


The times were prosperous enough that much of the print media even chose to abstain from taking a share of the demand-creation campaigns of liquor and tobacco brands…. Indeed, journalism … was about delivering important information about the world—information … democracy … needed, whether [people] knew it or not.


That journalism’s ability to deliver that information—to fill that need—ultimately depended, to an unsettling degree, on the ability to create artificial demand for a lot of stuff that people didn’t actually need—luxury condos, ergonomically correct airplane seats, the latest celebrity-endorsed scent—was an afterthought at best, at least in the newsroom.

—  Maureen Tkacik

We have to recklessly abandon ourselves. Now may seem to be a tempting moment to speak of some ‘people,’ 'we’ 'the workers,’ etc as a subject to organize from. With all the utility of Marxist theory to understand the world aside, its time we come to some bitter conclusions about race that is uncomfortable. Slavery did not end, colonization has continuity with the present juncture, imperialism was not something the antiwar left in the 1960’s imagined.

And 'worker,’ 'proletariat,’ 'we,’ 'Man,’ 'the people’ are just a fiction. There is no revolutionary subject.The Marxist revolutionary subject could not imagine the political economies of the racial (non)people-classes - of colonization or slavery as not just a relationship of property and accumulation but a racial ontology to capital itself. Those who could never claim the labor contract as the basis for grievances - who have never been allowed to be workers in the first place and thus exist outside of Marxist theories of revolutionary subjectivity make clear the political fiction behind the 'proletariat’ as a place to organize from.

The future will be communist but if we are to go forward we cannot hold on to the same glaring flaws of Marxist theory. If Federici’s critique of Marx’s position of the transition from feudalism to capitalism being universally progressive by pointing out the ways in which gendered enclosure and bipolitics worsened in that transition, meaning we cannot continue to see these flaws as anything but. Taking seriously Indigenous studies and Afropessimism means we cannot pretend as if 'proletariat’ or the 'we’ means anything but an exclusion. We cannot afford to project an identity upon the future.

you know something that im thinking about re: the monetizeyourcat shit that went down that especially bothers me is how easily she was able to use a cursory understanding of gender studies and marxism and combine that with a contrarian slant and a significantly younger and less well-versed and thus bam basically establish an entire set of coercive theories around herself

like from the very outset there were pretty significant lapses in the materialist basis of her theory of gender as labor and political transness (IE if gender was a material class how could it be considered infinitely mutable vis-a-vis subversion? how does identifying with the victim in a relation of power necessarily imply a dialectic of liberation if its never furthered) but there was never a place to articulate that because simultaneous to its deployment was a long term emotional campaign of shaming, attacking, and claiming abuse whenever its specific tenets were questioned, and all the while using it to “convert” people to a warped understanding of political queerness

what im trying to say is myc is a very intelligent person and so much of what she has said intellectually she’s intrinsically linked to her emotional and mental well being, meaning that whenever her ideas are questioned she can very easily shut down the conversation by either claiming she’s being attacked ad hominem or that she was never a leader, she never wanted this, she’s just this poor schmuck that’s being unfairly picked on

its all an act. maybe she genuinely believes what she says and some of her theory has utility insofar as it opens doors for people to explore gender and sexuality but its so deeply tied to her long term campaign of grooming people into a warped trans simulacra i dont think any of it is really salvageable. a lot of us who saw the intellectual flaws in her theories and in her behavior should have spoken up and i regret not having done so (if in part because i didnt feel it was my place, as an outsider to that community) but i will say this: everything that’s on her blog now is crocodile tears, it’s a fucking suite of emotional ploys and tactics fine tuned to bring her audience back to her, and i urge people not to fall for it. im not going to level any blanket judgement on her b/c thats not my place but all i can say is she is 27 years old, has people paying her to write, she is not a helpless victim, she knew what she was doing was wrong, she has the intellectual maturity to develop an entire complex gender theory entirely predicated on understandings of human emotion and relations she should have the maturity to realize her presence here is not a good thing