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review 2018-12-21 19:57
When aliens meet the Internet
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel - Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green is a sci-fi sociopolitical commentary about the perils and pitfalls of Internet fame as well as social cooperation on a global scale. In Green's debut novel, April May finds what she thinks is an art installation in the heart of New York City so in true millennial fashion she enlists the help of her friend Andy to film their first interaction with what they dub as 'Carl' the robot. While this may be the first video of its kind with one of these robots it turns out that there is one in every major city in the world...and they're clearly alien to our planet. What follows is a realistic look at the arrival of Internet fame and someone completely unprepared to deal with the visibility and responsibility of such a mantle. Trolls, flame wars, sycophants, corporate deals, possible planet-wide destruction, and girlfriend drama are just a few of the myriad dilemmas that our main character finds herself facing. I didn't find April May to be a particularly likable or endearing character which made it difficult for me to feel any sympathy for her plights. I'm not certain but perhaps Green intended for the reader to feel rather indifferent towards her to illustrate how as a society we tend to place any kind of 'celebrity' up on a pedestal but like any human being they have faults and foibles. If that was his goal then he accomplished it I think. Some of the pros: I really enjoyed the shared dream aspect as it felt like a callback to The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time but I felt like it could have used more detail/descriptors instead of focusing so much on April's inner turmoils. I also liked how Green wrote about a topic that has only really been touched on in nonfiction formats (although Zoe Sugg's series Girl Online discussed it too) and couched it in a sci-fi framework. Some things I didn't love: Uneven attention to detail and the ending was less than stellar. (I'd go so far as to say it was crappy.) Overall, this wasn't the best sci-fi novel I've ever read (not by a wide margin) but it also wasn't the worst. For a debut attempt, I think it was pretty well executed and I'd be interested to see what he might create in the future. 4/10

 

I choose to believe this is an aerial shot of the shared dream. [End paper source: Noteworthy]

 

What's Up Next: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2014-09-17 19:00
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (Not A Book! Well, not originally, I think they made a book of it later...)

Just an update on what I've been doing lately, since I wasn't reading...woah, that sounds crazy huh? Well,

Lizzie Bennet Regrets Nothing

That's right! You might wonder now what I've been doing instead. Don't worry: this post is all about informing you exactly of what! For those of you who recognised the gif, YES INDEED I'VE BEEN WATCHING THE LBD!

And of course, for those of you who have no idea what 'The LBD' is, I'll explain!

The LBD stands for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and simply takes less time to type. It's an awesome web series (which you can watch for free on youtube) based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - the 'Lizzie Bennet' kind of gave that away, huh?
Anyway, I really, really, really enjoyed it because the actors are genius in their roles as Jane Austen's characters. Of course some things differ from the actual story, but that's what makes it fun and realistic for this time period! The plot is pretty much the same (we still have a marry-crazy mother, an energetic younger sister, a Wickham and a certain mister Darcy) but I love how they worked it out for this series! Also, the episodes are only 4/5 minutes long so you can watch one whenever you feel like it or have some spare time.
Interested? Here you go!

Oh by the way, Hank Green developed this (with Bernie Su) so if you didn't have enough reasons to give this a shot, now you do (;

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text 2014-05-06 16:56
Admitted Sexual Abuser Will Be a Paid Guest at VidCon! DFTB-WTF?

Yet another update to the YouTube Sex Scandal (for the full story check here, here, here, and this great video sums up the whole situation).

 

Good News: On May 4th, the official Nerdfigher tumblr (effyeahnerdfighters.com) FINALLY made an announcement about the elusive "resource team" that Hank Green said was putting together a response to the scandal and are putting in place measures to prevent it from happening again. [source]

 

Bad News: Luke Conrad, an admitted abuser of multiple women, will be a paid Special Guest at VidCon (a YouTube convention specifically targeted at teens). According to mellowblueness, who continues to be a great resource for information on this issue, at least two of Conrad's victims will also be attending Vidcon. [source]

 

This calls into the question the sincerity of the statement from the effyeahnerdfighters' post, that "The VidCon team is committed to improving safety options and opportunities for attendees." 

 

One would think the first step of ensuring the safety of attendees would involve not forcing them to have to share space with their abuser, much less to pay to see that abuser celebrated on stage.

 

It's even more interesting considering when author C.C. Finlay asked the official Vidcon Twitter account asking for a link to their official anti-sexual harassment and conduct policy, two days before the effyeahnerdfighters post went up, he was informed that not only did they not have one, but they didn't need one. [source]

 

Considering many of the victims who came forward about their abuse mentioned having met their abusers at Vidcon, this cavalier attitude about the lack of a harassment policy and the insulting/erasing declaration that everyone is "extremely respectful to each other" shows just how far the people who helm this organization have their heads shoved up their own asses. 

 

I think Whitney, one of Conrad's victims, does a fantastic job of summing up the situation:

"right, so, all of these ‘discussions’ and ‘panels’ and ‘video series’ about abuse and consent and manipulation and rape culture being planned by vidcon and the heads of the nerdfighter community in response to the past month & a half’s worth of conversations about abuse and consent and manipulation and rape culture are totally valid and not at all emblematic of laughably glaring hypocrisy considering the fact that they are still paying one of the most high-profile admitted abusers to appear at vidcon, where at least two of the women he abused will also be in attendance. 

 

right."

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video 2014-03-31 05:28

Sexual Abuse on YouTube

 

Fantastic video by PotterMosh, summarizing all the events of the YouTube Sexual Abuse scandal, and adding some much needed commentary. Absolutely worth watching and sharing, not to mention to yet again wonder why the "bigger names" on YouTube are staying so pointedly quite. 

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url 2014-03-25 18:30
Youtube Abuse Recovery by TheGeekyBlonde

The BEST video response to recent Youtube/DFTBA sexual abuse scandal [click here and here for details], and it's not by John Green or Hank Green, but rather a 16 year old girl, youtuber and sexual abuse survivor. 

 

What's really interesting is how she points out that the sexism in the Youtube/DFTBA community is systemic, specifically citing how the venue for the "Women on Youtube" panel at VidCon (run by the Green brothers) has been progressively smaller each year. Resulting in last year where the panel was held on the lawn outside of the convention center. 

 

The video is worth your time to watch and will leave you thinking about what community leaders owe to the members of their communities. 

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