what didn’t happen in Juneau didn’t stay in Juneau
In “It Happened in Juneau”, near the end of the third season of Northern Exposure (one of very few TV series of which I’ve seen every episode twice), Maggie flies Joel to Juneau for a conference; they both get lonely, and drunkenly seduce each other. But Maggie falls asleep and cannot be roused, so Joel puts her to bed alone.
In the morning they return to Cicely. Maggie believes that they did copulate, and partly regrets it. Some time goes by before Joel succeeds in telling Maggie what really happened. She is insulted: “Why didn’t you? I had consented!”
Maggie later invites Joel to her house to try again. She asks him to say his desire for her is so strong that he’ll let nothing get in its way. She then finds (or reveals) that that expression of desire, rather than the execution, was what she really wanted from Joel, and dismisses him.
This affair bugs me on two points. First: I can accept that Maggie is insulted by Joel’s inaction, but in a normal woman wouldn’t the insult be outweighed by relief? (Well, the people of Cicely are quirky, and Maggie more so than some.)
Second: what Maggie asks of Joel in the end, taken literally, includes a commitment to rape her. Am I sick for noticing that? On reflection, I guess it’s in character – and suitable for prime time – that Joel is too startled (and perhaps deflated!) by the dismissal to respond with more than a bewildered verbal protest; but I’m still disappointed that the script didn’t explore that point at all.
Backtracking a search that led to my runes, I found this page that seems to claim that the futhark descended from a Russian system based on segments selected from the wheel graph W6. One needn’t accept the claim to find the system at least a little bit interesting.
Got an idea for a transhuman story element.
Assume that the technology exists to let you acquire fluency in a language of your choice as easily as you install a font on your computer. (Such technology figures in When Gravity Fails and probably bunches of other fiction.)
My idea is a Private Language Generator, a utility that uses some source of true random noise to generate a language — syntax, phonology, morphology, lexicon — from the ground up, and install it using the interface assumed above. When two or more people use the device together, they acquire the ability to communicate ‘naturally’ in a language that no eavesdropper can interpret.
This leads to a new kind of traffic analysis. Any two people who post Tweets in the same unknown language thereby expose their association. So maybe the PLG is not all that useful for secrecy. But lovers, for example, might use it for fun. (See also The Languages of Pao.)
divided by common letters
I’ve been getting Russian spams in which some of the Cyrillic letters “Аа В Ее К М Н Оо Рр Сс Т у Хх” are replaced by the similar Latin letters “Aa B Ee K M H Oo Pp Cc T y Xx”, defeating Google Translate.
what is sex for?
A recent essay on Big Think says:
Birth control isn’t about my health unless by health you mean, my capacity to get it on, to have a happy, joyous sex life that involves an actual male partner. The point of birth control is to have sex that’s recreational and non-procreative. It’s to permit women to exercise their desires without the sword of Damocles of unwanted pregnancy hanging gloomily over their heads.
It seems to me that pro-sex rhetoric would have more traction if it gave some weight to the role of sex as an expression of love, which reinforces the bond of couples. Even independent of procreation, that’s a social purpose that the most pleasure-hating communitarian could at least grudgingly endorse.
best libertarian book evar
When did this happen? Mary Ruwart has webbed the first edition of Healing Our World.