Links For January 25, 2014

Dr. V’s Magical Putter – Caleb Hannan writes a story about a mysterious inventor, Essay Anne Vanderbilt. The big “twist” of the story is that Dr. V. is transgendered. Oh yeah – and in the tag of the story, she commits suicide.

The Dr. V Story: A Letter From the Editor – Bill Simmons apologizes for the story and for not realizing that Dr. V’s gender was more than just another fact to be checked.

We made one massive mistake. I have thought about it for nearly three solid days, and I’ve run out of ways to kick myself about it. How did it never occur to any of us? How? How could we ALL blow it? That mistake: Someone familiar with the transgender community should have read Caleb’s final draft. This never occurred to us. Nobody ever brought it up. Had we asked someone, they probably would have told us the following things …

What Grantland Got Wrong – But ESPN does have someone on staff who knows about transgender issues: columnist and Baseball Prospectus cofounder Christina Kahrl.

Unfortunately, that isn’t where Hannan stopped. Instead of fulfilling his mission in its entirety, he lurched into something that had nothing to do with his story, but that he was excited to share, repeatedly: Vanderbilt was a transsexual woman. By any professional or ethical standard, that wasn’t merely irrelevant to the story, it wasn’t his information to share.


Tech Workers, Political Speech and Economic Threat, by Shanley Kane

The conflation of individual and corporate identity is widely believed to be the natural output of a dedicated and passionate tech workforce, rather than an artificial and deliberate corporate strategy. Of course, the ideal of the “passionate and dedicated workforce” so cherished in tech culture relies on the image of the workforce as a self-actualized, united body with no dividing line, much less tension, between the power structure and the individual.


Who Gets To Be A Superhero? Race And Identity In Comics

An artist named Orion Martin noted that the X-Men comics have skirted around the depiction of the people on the receiving end of much real-life discrimination: the main lineup in the X-Men team has been mostly straight, white dudes.... So Martin decided to reimagine them, recoloring some famous panels so that the main characters are brown — a gimmick that changes the subtext and stakes for the X-people.


Anglo-Saxon game piece found at royal complex

It’s the first discovery of this particular form of gaming piece in 130 years, and it’s the only time one has ever been found outside of a burial context. This one was unearthed in a room adjacent to the feasting hall, a place where it would actually have been used in active play rather than as a ceremonial grave good.


A History of the Future in 100 Objects

Not satisfied with the trifling benefits of Smart Drugs and Glyphish, we transformed ourselves even further and faster; the Amplified Teams, Miriam Xu’s Lace, the Javelin, and the Posthumans demonstrate how homo sapiens became something very different — and not always in the way we intended.


What The Fuck Is My Wearable Strategy?


IndieCade East Conference Conversations, Part 1 of 5: History – Some thoughts from IndieCade East chairs Margaret Robertson and Kevin Cancienne on the history of games and game development (including a mention of the talk that I’ll be giving).