winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)
2017-01-22 11:28 am
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I hate Paris

This past week I’ve been in Paris for POPL and... it has not been pleasant. Generally I love traveling, and I was looking forward to visiting mainland Europe for the first time, but

I hate Paris.

Like, everything about it. This city is entirely opposed to anything resembling accommodation for disabled folks. And not just the city, but the university venue as well.

As mentioned in my previous, standing in place for a long time fucks with my circulation. There was nowhere to sit in the room where they served coffee. The “lunch” was standing tables only with, again, not even benches around the edges of the room. The one working/meeting room they had (which actually had chairs) was only open on the workshop days and got locked down before the talks finished for the day. And the library, the only other place we found to sit, is entirely closed on weekends.

In addition, the venue for the workshops was on the second floor. Technically they had elevators, but (a) the closest one was out of order, and (b) all the others were unusable because they locked the hallway doors around the workshops, thereby prohibiting access to the venue area from these other elevators. While I myself don’t have issues with stairs (yet), one of my friends here does.

Exacerbating this absurd refusal to accommodate anyone who may need to sit or take a lift, everything is noisy. I have sensory overload issues, and while it’s usually not too onerous to deal with, evidently the Parisians refuse to do any sort of soundproofing or baffling. None of the ceilings use acoustic tile, floors typically aren’t carpeted, walls are thin, and every surface is sound-reflectingly hard. Plus many of the rooms have harsh and noisy lights (yes, I can hear lights). The constant assault is exhausting. I have to wear my noise-cancelling headphones to bed in order to be able to get any sleep. The only quiet places we found were the library (closed on weekends), the working/meeting room (locked most of the time), and one coffeeshop (thankfully decorated with wood).

All the rampant ableism aside, it’s impossible to eat here. Vegetarian-wise it’s about like the early 1990s in the US: often you can get a salad, and if you’re lucky they might have one meat-free entree. Gods have mercy on you if you’re also sensitive to wheat. I’m used to conference lunches being hit-or-miss, but this year was especially bad. Of the days I even tried going, they only had vegetarian food once. And according to folks who went on other days, they mostly only had hors d'oeuvres rather than an actual meal.

winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)
2016-12-12 10:29 pm

Familiarity: You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means

I ran into this quote recently,

“We believe we are seeking happiness in love, but what we are really after is familiarity.”

The assertion sounded interesting enough, so I followed the link. In the rest of that discussion De Botton goes on to claim that what we are actually seeking in our adult romances is the same sort of dynamic we had with our parents, so we turn down perfectly good partners to seek out troubling ones with whom we can recreate our parental troubles. While I’ve no doubt this describes some people, and might even be willing to believe it describes a plurality, it most certainly does not describe all. And the unwaveringly universalizing way he makes this claim is patently offensive to those of us it excludes.

There are numberless people whose parental relationships were/are defined by abuse. To coyly describe these relationships as “[love] entwined with other, more destructive dynamics” is to normalize and erase the physical, sexual, and psychological violence we have endured. To boldly declare that, “We are constrained in our love choices by what we learned of love as children”, is to say that those who were abused as children are incapable of making healthy decisions as adults. To bombastically assert that, “Without [replicating our parental relationships], we may simply not be able to feel passionate and tender with someone”, is to say that passion and tenderness can only be felt through (re)enacting such violence as we endured as children. These claims are irresponsible and disgusting.

I, for one, have no desire to recreate the abuse of my childhood. Indeed, the surest way to end any relationship with me (romantic or otherwise) is to head even vaguely in that direction. And yet, I most assuredly do feel passion and tenderness and love. If those sensations were ‘learned’, they were most certainly not learned from my parents. What De Botton is doing is gaslighting those of us with abusive childhoods. Like most gaslighting it's a two-pronged assault: simultaneously denying the history of abuse, while also denying the healthiness of the present. De Botton is continuing the long tradition of blaming victims for the abuse they’ve suffered, lest one be forced to recognize the lie inherent in the fable of universal parental love. The lie must not be admitted, for to do so is to admit the truth that abusive parents exist and cause harm in virtue of a society that refuses to stop them or to protect its least powerful members from them. To admit the prevalence of parental abuse is to admit one's own culpability for not working to stop it. People will do much to escape blame, but they will do anything to escape blame for what they already feel guilty about.


Perhaps, in spite of De Botton, there is still some kernel of truth to the idea that it is familiarity more than happiness that we seek in love. Cognitively speaking, while excitement is valued in the short term, in the long term contentment is valued more. It's not too far a stretch to blur contentment/familiarity and excitement/happiness; so, to the extent that can be done, one might be able to substantiate the claim with data from cognitive and psychological research. But any further exploration of the idea should be done far away from De Botton's love affair with Freud by gas light.

winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)
2008-03-09 09:25 pm
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Fink users in the audience...

So Fink has decided that for anything I want to install I really need to have tetex and ghostscript installed. I already have ghostscript8.57 installed (8.51 is the newest in fink) and I already have non-tetex distros of tex installed. In any case, neither the real packages nor the "I already have it thank you very much" packages will install. (Also fink's bitching about X11 because I have the audacity to use the official Apple release rather than the fink version; and the supplied FAQ link on the topic is worthless.)

i.e. Fink is fuxx0r3d

I've never liked fink, but I already have it installed and it seems like the only option for OSX package management. So is there any way to force fink to install the packages?