Don Draper is an asshat.

The sun is on fire.  The oceans are flooding.  The Earth is spinning out of control.  Yes, it is painfully obvious that Don Draper is an asshat.  But apparently not for my father.

Disclaimer that the specific examples of Don Draper asshattery in this post contain spoilers up to and including season 6 episode 11.  Probably also potentially triggering for abuse.

Don has been having sex with the downstairs neighbor, Sylvia.  Sylvia, like Don, is married, and she has a son.  In this episode, Don gets her son out of trouble with the US military, and Don’s daughter Sally walks in on the thank you sex.  Sally freaks out and runs away, and Don throws his clothes on to chase after her, but she gets in a cab before he reaches the lobby.  He doesn’t see her again until he comes home that night and his wife Megan is putting dinner on the table.  Megan gets all flirty with Don when she finds out he helped Sylvia’s son, and Sally shouts at her father that he disgusts her and then runs off to her room.

Sally has very good reason to be upset here.  Her parents divorced in part because of her father’s infidelity.  Sally gets along with Megan, and here’s Don pulling the same shit again.

Don’s response is to follow Sally to her room and demand to talk to her.  He’s standing there banging on the door and demanding she open it, ignoring her when she says she doesn’t want to talk to him.  I was genuinely afraid that he was going to break the door down.  That’s what my father did when I was twelve and had locked myself in my room because I didn’t feel like talking to people.  Even without him *actually* knocking the door down, the possibility that he might is plenty upsetting.  He is bigger and stronger than she is.  She has no way out, and even if she did, she has nowhere to go.  She has retreated to the closest thing she has to a safe space, and he has followed her there.

And then he tells her some condescending lie about how she didn’t see what she thinks she saw, and he was “just comforting” Sylvia.  She says okay basically to make him go away, he walks off thinking he’s won, and she collapses on her bed crying.  To anybody paying any attention to Sally, it is obvious that Don Draper is being an abusive, entitled prick.

That’s where the episode ends, and my mother and I comment on how big of an asshole Don is.  My father’s response?  ”What about the woman!  She’s doing it too!”  And yeah, the woman also has a spouse she is cheating on.  But she’s not telling condescending lies after being caught in the act, and she’s not imposing her company on people who have made the effort to get away from her.  My father rolls his eyes at this and says that he’s amazed at the ways I come up with to rationalize these things.  I was already upset from the episode, and now I’m angry at him.  So I tell him that Don standing outside his daughter’s door and demanding she open it when she has good reason not to want to see him is shitty and disrespectful, and I tell him that he has pulled that shit on me before.  And so then he gets angry and starts telling me that every time he’s done that it’s been *my fault* for not listening when he talks.  I remind him of the time he broke my door down when I was twelve while I was cleaning my room, and apparently that’s my fault too.  He apparently didn’t notice Sally crying and doesn’t give a damn how upset I am by all this.  It’s twelve-year-old-me’s fault for daring to want to be left alone for a bit, and it’s Sylvia’s fault for letting Don Draper sleep with her.

Derivatives and Implicit Differentiation

I was looking through my Intro to Archaeology notebook from college today, and stumbled across a page titled “Teaching derivatives with an eye on implicit differentiation.”  This was something I had explained several times at the tutoring center where I worked, and so I was brainstorming how to do it in class in a way that felt more natural.  It’s worth remembering, so I am posting it here.  Might not be a great intro if you’re unfamiliar with implicit differentiation, since the idea is to incorporate it into a larger course, but if you’re a mathy person you might enjoy it.

First, recall from Algebra 1 that we find slope by “change in y/change in x.”  You’ve probably seen this written as Δy/Δx, where Δ is the capital Greek letter “delta” and is used instead of the word “change.”

Δy = y2-y1
Δx = x2-x1

We can add x1 to both sides in the second equation to say that
x= x1+Δx.

Let’s say now that y is given by some function f(x).  It follows that:
y= f(x1)
y= f(x2), or y= f(x1+Δx)

Let’s plug these into our slope formula.
Δy/Δx
 = f(x1+Δx)-f(x1)Δx

This gives you the slope between any two points.  To find the slope of the tangent line to a point, we let Δx approach zero (introducing this to a class for the first time, I would draw a graph on the board and show a series of secant lines approaching a tangent line to show this graphically).

For the notation, we say that the limit of Δy/Δx as Δx approaches zero is dy/dx.  I remember it as a capital letter meaning a big change and a lowercase letter meaning a small change.

After a few weeks getting comfortable with derivatives (practicing things like Δy = 2(x+Δx)-2x), we introduce implicit differentiation.

Begin with a reminder of the above process.

Now, suppose instead of y = f(x), we have something more complicated?  We’ll use the example y2 = 2x2.

We can still have two points (x1, y1) and (x2, y2).  In this case, we would use:
x2 = x1+Δx
y2 = y1+Δy.

Then we know:
y12 = 2x12
(y1+Δy)2 = 2(x1+Δx)2

We can subtract the first equation from the second and still get a valid equation:
(y1+Δy)2-y12 = 2(x1+Δx)2-2x12

Our ultimate goal is to find the slope, so we’ll do some algebra to get a Δy/Δx.  Start by foiling:
y12+2y1Δy+(Δy)2-y12 = 2x12+4x1Δx +2(Δx)2-2x12

Simplify both sides:
2y1Δy+(Δy)2 = 4x1Δx+2(Δx)2

Now we can divide both sides by Δx:
2y1(Δy/Δx)+Δy(Δy/Δx) = 4x1+2Δx

At this point, we’ve got our slope in a couple of places.  I am going to take a break from the algebra to take the limit as Δx approaches zero (note that as Δx approaches zero, Δy also approaches zero).  This becomes:
2y1(dy/dx)+0(dy/dx) = 4x1+0

Which we can write as:
2y1(dy/dx) = 4x1

At this point, notice that on the right hand side, 4x is the derivative of 2x2.  On the left hand side, the derivative of x2 would have been 2x, but since it is y2 it is instead 2y(dy/dx).  It follows the exact same derivative rules, but because we are differentiating with respect to x and we took a derivative of a y term we need the dy/dx there to remind us of that.

Now we’re almost done.  We can solve for the slope by dividing both sides by 2y1, leaving:
dy/dx = 2x1/y1

After this, there would be classwork and homework on taking this long approach to implicit differentiation to get everyone comfortable with the idea that when you take a y derivative there is a dy/dx with it.  There would be discussions and examples for how this relates to the product rule and the quotient rule, then we’d start doing implicit differentiation with those rules rather than with limits, just like we did with differentiation earlier on.

An example for you to try: find dy/ if x2y = xy2.

Question…

thisfeliciaday:

As I was checking out at a shop, the guy said, “‘Day’. That’s a cool last name. If you get married are you going to change it?”
I looked at him genuinely confused. “Of course not. Do women still do that?”

Then he looked at me weird.

Is it crazy to assume that’s going out of fashion?! Or am I some weird last radical? Haha

Literally the first time I’ve considered not changing my name if/when I get married was last week when one of my students decided to call me “Miss Mjolnir.”

allofthemath:

dont-open-fever-inside:

eternalwinternight:

hunhanny:

I feel educated

Where was this when I was in calculus

Fun fact, schools in various places actually make you do this

This is a great review and activity!

The bottom center one is wrong.  A logarithm graph looks like this:

The one they show there could be a negative logarithm, but it’s not just a logarithm.

allofthemath:

dont-open-fever-inside:

eternalwinternight:

hunhanny:

I feel educated

Where was this when I was in calculus

Fun fact, schools in various places actually make you do this

This is a great review and activity!

The bottom center one is wrong.  A logarithm graph looks like this:

The one they show there could be a negative logarithm, but it’s not just a logarithm.

(Source: littlemusicalwitch)

http://liz011.tumblr.com/post/53075098406/alexandraskingston-river-song-refuses-to-travel

kerjenfanfic:

liz011:

Okay, I really like River Song, but we can’t just sweep the problematic aspects of her character under the rug.

River Song’s entire existence depends on the Doctor.  She is who she is because she was conceived in the TARDIS (because the Doctor was friends with her mom) and because people were frightened enough of the Doctor to be willing to kidnap a child and train her as a weapon in the hopes of destroying him.

River herself says that the reason she fell in love with the Doctor was because she had been brainwashed to kill him, so while she did overcome the brainwashing by not killing him, it still caused her to have some strong feelings about the Doctor.

She tells him that the reason she’s refusing to travel with him and become his permanent companion is that a future version of him made her promise to serve her time in Stormcage.

River Song only becomes an archaeologist because she’s trying to find the Doctor.

Friends that have nothing to do with the Doctor I’ll give you, but interests?  Archaeology was “to find a good man” and is part of how she keeps running into him (crash of the Byzantium and The Library were both related to her archaeology).  Her affinity for guns is a product of being brainwashed as an assassin.  Travelling through time and space is obviously related to him.  And once she’s in Stormcage, she’s basically stuck in a box waiting for him to decide it’s time for adventures.  We have no reason to believe she goes out without seeing him.

I’ve been in love, and I wouldn’t put the entire universe in danger in an attempt to save him.  Especially when I still haven’t worked out the end of the plan (which she hadn’t—her plan was “now that you’re here we can figure something out” and he was like “Surprise!  I’m a spaceship!”).  The scale on which she is willing to put up with his shit and/or endanger everyone else for his sake is unhealthy, to say the least, and is portrayed as The Truest Love Ever, which is problematic.

OK, as you said, there’s some problematic things that are here that we can’t sweep under the rug:

"River Song’s entire existence depends on the Doctor"

Not true. She exists because her parents had sex on their wedding night without contraception & conceived a baby. They didn’t have sex & conceive a baby for the Doctor. Yes, she was conceived in the Tardis and the Silence then did genetic surgery on her to make her a weapon, but the fact remains: Amy and Rory did not conceive her for the Doctor.

River herself says that the reason she fell in love with the Doctor was because she had been brainwashed to kill him

She also says the reason she loves him are:

  • the initial stories that her mother told her during childhood that made her fantasize about him and picture marrying him. (a plot point in sync with The Time Traveler’s Wife on which this relationship is based)
  • her own research into what kind of man is he
  • what she thinks of him based on what she knows about him
  • the man she sees in him and knows him capable of being. In fact, this is River’s first and longest account of why she loves him. And as the director commentary states for FotD, he becomes it starting at the end of that episode.

So the majority of reasons River gives for loving the Doctor are because of the man she knows for herself.

She tells him that the reason she’s refusing to travel with him and become his permanent companion is that a future version of him made her promise to serve her time in Stormcage.

I can see where it sounds like that but no: the promise she is keeping is one she made for herself, to protect her husband and be an equal partner in his plan. He asks her, he does not make her: the choice is hers. It’s a majorcharacter and plot development in TWORS; it’s what the whole episode moves towards for the two of them. Hence the symbolism in the Queen chess piece in the beginning and throughout the pyramid scene.

River Song only becomes an archaeologist because she’s trying to find the Doctor.

No, she starts studying archeology to discover the truth about him for herself. Up until then, she has been manipulated with information by the Silence (“A significant factor in Hitler’s rise to power was the fact that the Doctor didn’t stop him.” She’s not joking there; that’s her lessons from the Silence.) and even Amy. (“I used to dream about you. All those stories Amy told me.”)

But the 3 important character developments here are:

  1. This is one of the major ways she is shown paralleling her father. Rory started studying nursing to get Amy’s attention, thinking if he studied medicine in some way, her fascination with the Doctor would make her take notice of him (Rory) now. So Rory starts with his field because of Amy, River starts with archeology to research the Doctor.
  2. Like her dad, she finds a love for the field that goes beyond her initial reasons for starting it. Both of them end up getting degrees because of their love for the fields — she even goes all the way to her doctorate. If they didn’t actually love their work, they would have stopped when they got the thing they were looking for.
  3. Like her dad, she loves her work so much that she pursues and excels in it totally separate from her partner. If Rory didn’t love nursing, he wouldn’t work so hard at it, tell his dad that it’s something he does even to the point where he collects things having to do with it, and pursues career points just because he WANTS them even after he has Amy. River does the same. She wouldn’t get her doctorate to find the Doctor; she’s done that. She wouldn’t build an outstanding reputation and collect archeological pieces, she wouldn’t be thrilled at the idea she’ll reach a professor position someday, she wouldn’t work so hard to get that professor post, and she wouldn’t reach that level at a high level university with such a reputation for her field work that she gets the most outstanding expeditions. Because, like Rory, she wouldn’t have to since she already has had the Doctor for centuries. She does that all for herself. In fact, we see that about her years before we see anything else and then it’s emphasized again as we discover the early part of her life.

Her affinity for guns is a product of being brainwashed as an assassin.

No, because that would ignore several points where we see that’s not true. Her affinity for them comes from her parents, all three of them. We’ve seen Amy and Rory both handle guns magnificently as well as swords and other weapons. And we’ve seen the Tardis wipe people out easily. As Amy herself said to Kovarian: “River Song didn’t get it all from you, sweetie.”

So yes, the Silence introduced and trained her in guns & other weapons. But it’s not ALL them; she’s like like Mum and Dad. (After all, the Doctor himself has an affinity for guns, despite what he says. He’s always used them in every incarnation. And many of his greatest friends are gun wielders; if they didn’t use them before him, he got them into it including Rose and Martha. The whole “no gun thing” of Nine and Ten where just words. They used themselves & because of them, their companions did.)

Travelling through time and space is obviously related to him.  And once she’s in Stormcage, she’s basically stuck in a box waiting for him to decide it’s time for adventures.  We have no reason to believe she goes out without seeing him.

Actually, we see her go out without him far, far more than we see her go out with him or him pick her up. I started showing how episode by episode, but this is long enough already. We also see her out and about without him at all, just because she wants to, and that space and time are because of her, not him.  They even refer to times when she’s adventuring without him at all. If she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be out teasing Sontarans just for the fun of it. :)

I’ve been in love, and I wouldn’t put the entire universe in danger in an attempt to save him.  Especially when I still haven’t worked out the end of the plan (which she hadn’t—her plan was “now that you’re here we can figure something out” and he was like “Surprise!  I’m a spaceship!”).

I’m sorry, that’s completely ignores so many points made in that episode (and the Pandorica).

  1. She acknowledges in the beginning that she might have to go back to that lake. She says so to him.
  2. She has been working on a plan this whole time and says so. While he is trying to manipulate everyone around him, she pushes back. She has sources in the real universe ready to go; he just has to shut up and stop fighting her on someone else helping him. In fact, she never once asks him what should we do. She tells him, here’s what’s happening, now stop being an idiot!
  3. THAT’S why it’s a pivotal moment when he chooses to stop being an idiot and manipulating her.That there’s been something going on this whole time that he stupidly didn’t include her on. That she is his partner and if she chooses it, he does need her help but she has to decide herself if she’ll take on the burden of it.

Again, this is an important parallel showing what she has inherited from her father; we see her originally out of control in the suit parallels Rory as an Auton out of control & shooting Amy. Their words even parallel each other. The Doctor tells both of them that they have to let the universe take precedent and their lover is inconsequential and then force them into his place. They both tell him shut up, they will make that decision themselves. They also both choose to sacrifice some freedom for centuries to protect someone they love.

And again, River very willingly sacrifices him in the second Big Bang to save all of time and the universe. She doesn’t know then that she and Amy will be able to save him. So that also proves the truth.

It also parallels Rose and the Doctor, except Rose said she didn’t care of she blew up two universes if it meant she could see him again. (Not to save his life, just see him.)

Is River flawed? Absolutely. Every writer is taught, no character can be perfect. Everyone must have flaws and every one has to have an Achilles heel. (As Phillip K. Dick said it, “Superman must have Kryptonite.”) River has hers. Moffat has said it; Alex Kingston has said it.

But saying she is nothing without the Doctor would mean saying we haven’t watched the show.

I feel like you’re entirely missing the point I was making when I said her entire existence depends on the Doctor.  I’m not claiming that Amy and Rory made a baby *for the Doctor* or any nonsense like that.  I am saying that the noteworthy features of her life, her upbringing, and her personality can all be traced back to him.  If Amy and Rory had never met the Doctor, their daughter would have grown up as Melody Pond (or Williams) in a stable home with two adult parents who aren’t brainwashing her to be an assassin.  Instead, she is kidnapped and brainwashed and grows up alongside her parents.  The experiences that shaped her childhood would never have happened if the Doctor had not been part of her life.  Those experiences have a huge impact on who she is.

I’m also not denying that she sees good qualities in him.  But the fact remains that she was raised to obsess over him and that influenced her falling in love with him.  Her line about it was “Who else was I going to fall in love with?”  She basically announces that nobody else ever even seemed like an option.

Regardless of how you interpret her reasons for not travelling with him, it’s still not “OMG strong independent woman doing her own thing.”  That choice is either to keep a promise to him (my interpretation) or to keep him safe (your interpretation).  In both cases, it’s about him.

I will grant that how far she went with archaeology most likely indicates that she became interested in it in its own right (though it would still be better if we saw her actually talking about archaeology things sometimes), but the reason she started was still to find the Doctor.  (I also have a lot I dislike about Rory, and given that Amy’s story is already all about Doctor and Rory, throwing Rory into the heap of Doctor that is River’s story doesn’t really improve much, in my opinion.)

I feel like we’re getting into a Nature vs. Nurture debate with your gun argument.  The Amy and Rory that “raised” River were kids who hadn’t met the Doctor (Rory) or had once fed him fish custard (Amy).  The fact that we see them as adults later who can wield guns doesn’t indicate to me that she got that from them.  The argument that most of the Doctor’s friends are good with guns carries more weight, but again, ties it back to the Doctor, which was my issue from the start.

I genuinely don’t know how you’re going to argue that we see her go out without him.  I mean, sometimes she goes out first and calls him to join, and sometimes she goes out looking for him, but we never see her just off on her own doing things completely unrelated to him.  Which I realize is at least partly because it’s his show rather than hers, but we never even hear her talk about people she’s met or things she’s done without him around, which would go a long way toward giving her more depth.

I can understand how you arrived at that interpretation of the wedding.  The end result was still that he had things under control and she endangered the universe without doing anything to help save the day, which still bothers me, but if you want to claim it as a pivotal moment in their relationship, I don’t feel the need to argue that.

My issue with River isn’t that she’s flawed.  Rose, Martha, Donna, Jack, and all of the other characters I’ve loved have had flaws.  My issue is simply that we know absolutely nothing about her that is independent of the Doctor, which makes her feel like a less fully-developed character.

(Source: alexkingstons)

Anonymous asked
dude fucking chill like if you dont like moffats writing thats fine but dont be such a little shit about it. it makes ppl who do like moffat feel awful and stupid. just stop.

Wow, I wasn’t aware that writing a coherent analysis of a show I watched counted as being a little shit.  Good thing I’m keeping it to the tags and not putting hate in people’s inboxes about having different opinions.  That’d be AWFUL.

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On a more serious note, if you’re going to feel awful about liking a show when someone points out problems with it, maybe that’s because you realize they make good points?  And maybe it would be worth considering those points rather than flying into an anon rage about it?  It’s okay to like problematic things, but you should also be okay with acknowledging that the things are problematic