Showing posts from May, 2017

An FYI to Drive By Assholes on HN

I have a notification in my email that someone on HN replied to this comment of mine by quoting portions of it and then saying: Modesty is a virtue for all people, not just women. I don't know how you got the opposite impression. I had popped in to the discussion after seeing this comment:
I'll take that bet. I know several excellent women who program. Some of them in their 50's. They'd probably outclass the vast majority of the hacker wanna-be's but they have one aspect that is totally different from their male counterparts: they try very hard not to attract attention and to let on how good they are whereas any male who can hold a keyboard is off to the races bragging about their mad skills. There just seems to be much less ego involved.
I upvoted it, but did not engage it. I somewhat often upvote the comments of this particular poster, but engaging him is a waste of my time. He gets spastic for unfathomable reasons any time he tries to talk to me, a thing he…

This is ridiculous

Today, jacquesm said the following to me:
I have zero respect for you because of how you treat others.

Promising them the moon to only yank the rug out from under them when it matters. You know full well what I'm talking about here and that's something that I will not forgive you for.

Your circumstances have nothing to do with any of this.

Presumably, he is being lied to and believing those lies. I still find it mind boggling that he can take the position he takes.

Some years ago, a young person with a serious problem contacted me and latched onto me. I did my best for nine months to be supportive. Then, they kicked me to the curb. I have kept their secrets and the secrets of others for the years since for no reason other than my own sense of values. It sure as hell in no way benefits me.

I have long suspected this person was dragging my name through the mud, but had no real evidence.

This individual is a transsexual whose life was in danger for being a transsexual…

The Game

Recently, there was a "Show HN" posted to Hacker News where some guy had written a blog post that starts out blaming his poor sleep on his girlfriend's restless sleep habits. He then included data from his FitBit regarding his own sleep habits, both when sleeping alone and when sleeping in the same bed with her. Even after concluding that the FitBit data did not support his initial assumption, at no point did he apologize for his earlier accusation, nor even make much effort to clearly assert that his blamey assumption was in error.

I am aware that this was intended as lighthearted and tongue in cheek. But take the same article, reverse all the pronouns and have a woman author post it herself to HN. That would not have gotten the same warm reception.

So, the submission was bothering me a bit due to the sexism angle, but it was bothering me more that I sincerely did not think this fit the parameters for Show HN, which is not just supposed to be a blog post or landing pa…

UBI is the PC way for tech giants to tell the little people: Fuck you, got mine!

Sunday, there was another UBI article on HN about how Sam Altman, Elon Musk and other tech giants are pro basic income. The figure cited in the article for Basic Income was $10k annually. It told heartwarming stories of how this could supplement your current low income and make life more comfortable.It also posited that we need Basic Income because robots will take our jobs and there will be widespread permanent unemployment. Due to time constraints, I did not manage to read the entire article. But the part I did read said nothing about how pathetic $10k is if you are expected to live on your Basic Income for the rest of your life with little or no hope of employment.Not too many weeks back, I posted an article to HN about how California is exporting poor people. It was talking about truckers and the like who make too little to have any hope of a middle class life here. I also saw a recent article on HN about how real wages for truckers have declined in recent decades. It is no longer…

On Writing and Money

About an hour ago on HN I said this:
I often write because I NEED to. I don't necessarily enjoy it per se, but I upvoted dang because I can relate to that "an unwritten essay is like an uneaten piece of cake." That writing lives inside me and makes me crazy if I don't let it out. It may not be the most fun I have ever had, but it has a need to happen. So perhaps enjoyment isn't the write word, but pg is describing a thing akin to a hunger that must be satisfied. Dang doesn't have that impetus. I do. So I write.

Perhaps someday I shall get read as well. ;-)

As I said very recently, the current general expectation that writing shouldn't really pay, yet should still be done, is basically an expectation of slavery. With having made the above comment on HN, I want to add that the suggestion that a writer (like myself) should just go get a job that pays well amounts to telling me that I shouldn't expect job satisfaction.

People tend to be good at th…

The World Has Lost Its Ever Loving Mind

I am homeless. I do freelance writing and I blog. I am not pro Basic Income. Instead, I think we very much need to work on the issue of affordable housing and resolve that.

I am having a really shitastic month. Here lately, I have enormous difficulty getting online with my tablet. When I finally fucking got online this morning, I see replies to me on Hacker News from yesterday telling me stuff like this:
And you seem to miss the fact that with UBI you have no incentive to live and stay in an expensive area.

For the deposit amount on an average house where I live I would cover 80% of the cash price of a bigger house country side. But you know, I'd have no work.

The problem is not housing, the problem is cramming all the work in cities. My last 3 jobs could've been done remotely, I asked and was always denied even while offering to take a pay cut.

I and many like me despise living in cities, we do not live there by choice. I've slightly moved out of a big one (London) b…

So You Are Telling Me You Just Aren't Picky About Who Your Slaves Are

Some weeks back, I was again involved in a discussion on Hacker News concerning the ongoing issue that I sometimes call The Ad Blocker Wars. People don't want ads on their content and content producers don't readily know how else to effectively make money. As ad money dries up, in an effort to make up for the shortfall, ads become even more obnoxious, aggressive and in your face. This fact then pushes yet more people into the camp of "Fuck you, I am using an ad blocker!"This is true not just for small time operators like me. This problem is also taking a serious toll on well established publications with professional staff consistently producing very high quality content. Here lately, the top comments on HN in discussion of pieces from Forbes seem to routinely be about how unreadable the site is due to aggressive, obnoxious ads instead of being about the actual article.I repeated part of the discussion to my sons. Many people on HN are well paid programmers. They ten…

How to Effectively Donate Tech Skills

In this Ask HN, someone posted an article that talks about how most volunteering is really a waste of everyone's time. Sadly, I agree with a lot of points in the article, but the article does say: The primary way to usefully volunteer is to have a specialized skill that can be effectively deployed by the organization, but that rarely seems to happen. I am a former military wife and homeschooling mom. Over the years, I did a great deal of volunteer work. I also have a strong academic background and I tend to be generally pretty competent. My experiences with volunteering are that if you actually get stuff done and add value, people are thrilled to have a good volunteer. Further, you can largely do whatever you want for the organization, assuming it actually supports their mission and adds real value.

Some years ago, I did an internship at a small local homeless shelter. It was a requirement for the class I was taking in Homelessness and Public Policy. After the internship en…

My Son Tells Me I am an Anarchist

I was telling my sons the other day that "I really am...a something...and can't quite think of the right word." I then told them an anecdote I was thinking of. Someone on Hacker News posted a comment to the effect of "Blow me. (Justification for their earlier aggressive remark)." and I replied "You are telling a mod to blow you. This is probably not a wise move." Then they deleted their comment and I deleted mine and hopefully the mods never saw either one.

We then talked for a bit about how I raised my two sons, how HN does not put notification next to mod names that they are mods -- and I agree with this, because the best mods are good hosts and hostesses, not simply The Forum Police -- and reasons why I figure it makes sense to inform this individual of a thing that I assume they didn't know. The fact that they then deleted it makes me feel I am right.

My sons tossed out a few words like revolutionary to try to help me complete my incomplet…

My Horse is Higher Than Yours!

Me trying to make the point that these holier than thou types aren't going to back up their ridiculous boasts. God, I hate stuff like that.

My dad served his country for 26.5 years. He fought in two wars. He had a purple heart.

He could not get additional life insurance due to the shrapnel in his eye that could have moved into his brain and killed him on a moment's notice. It also caused blind spells. After he died, I learned that his blind spells were part of why he was so often unemployed when I was a child.

He had a serious heart condition and blood clots. He had cancer twice, possibly in part due to being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, though he had the wrong kind of cancer to get any money out of the government for it.

He dislocated his shoulder for the first time while the army was trying to teach him how to ski for some damn reason. One of his classmates was an Olympic skier who pretended to know nothing at the start. The Olympic skier got the "most improv…

Imperfect Reflections Pt 4: Jessamyn West

This was originally going to be Part 3 of this series of posts. The series stalled for a bunch of different reasons, but it stalled where it did in part because I had no desire for this to be mistaken as a poison pen piece. Early first drafts were not going well, for reasons I hope will become apparent and are not due to malice.

Jessamyn West is Employee Number One on Metafilter -- or was. A couple of years or so ago, she retired from her role as lead moderator there. At some point, I saw her say she was on the board at Wikipedia. She has been interviewed by the white house, who wanted her professional opinion about who to hire as a librarian for the Library of Congress. She has her own Wikipedia page if you really want to know more about her and have never heard of her before.

I internet met her not too many months after I went homeless when someone gifted me a membership to Metafilter in hopes of helping me sort out my problems. For me, "meeting" her was a very painful …

The Smell of Success

So, I know I have made serious inroads for women being able to open their mouths on Hacker News because of the uptick in relatively new women getting on my fucking nerves.

They don't know nor appreciate how hard I have worked to make those inroads happen (#notjustme, of course, but I have put my back into this for a long, long time). They just take it for granted that, of course, women can talk comfortably here! Duh!

They think they are cute or some shit and make nitpicky comments about things I say. To add insult to injury, they then add remarks like "I am female, if it matters."

Success so often smells like manure that I wonder sometimes why the fuck I do the things I do.

Breaking Bones

I wrote a long-ish comment once on Metafilter about how unconditional approval is an oxymoron. Part of what I said is that I am pretty accepting of people and a lot of people seem to want my unconditional approval. When they cannot get it (because it is an oxymoron and just does not work), they wind up hating me.

I have never found a solution for how to deal effectively with such people. I usually wind up trying to just stop interacting with them if that is at all possible. It often is. These are often people met in some online forum. The end result is often that I just stop participating in that forum and I move on to something else.

Such people seem to sense -- accurately enough -- that I am a potential solution to their problem with never feeling good enough or loved enough or whatever. But they seem incapable of letting go of the broken mental models that are the root cause of the problem to begin with. They do not want to see that what I have to offer them is a new mental m…

Crappy Anonymous Internet Comments

I logged in this morning to find this anonymous comment on this page of some ridiculous ranty blog of mine:
This is incredibly inappropriate, as are your other posts referencing Metafilter users and mods. "At least I am not so unfortunate to be her child". Seriously, what the fuck?

Everyone at Metafilter, including the mods, has been incredibly accommodating to you and have let you get away with so much more than they should because of your housing situation and other problems. You freak out when someone disagrees with your (often terrible) advice and you have an extremely unhealthy obsession with this community and you see things that aren't there. There is no "cabal". People aren't against you. Some don't care about you either way, some feel sorry for you, some probably even like you when you're not making an ass of yourself, but you make everyone uncomfortable with this inappropriate, internet-stalker behavior.

I'm not going to treat you…

The Wrong Metrics

So, I have been arguing a bit with someone who doesn't see how classist they are. The degree to which the world measures success by money aggravates me. I think it is one of the reasons the world has gotten so crazy.

I am currently homeless. This is routinely used as proof positive that I am incompetent and not worth listening to. In the minds of a great many people, it vastly outweighs all other measures of my worth as a human being.

I appear to be the top ranked woman on Hacker News. This gets roundly dismissed as not evidence of competence, never mind that men who have a lot of karma there are routinely told that their high karma is evidence of competence. The fact that I am doing this as a woman and while homeless does not get any reactions of "Holy Cow!" (The exclamation that led to the naming of the Lamborghini Countach due to its incredible speed.)

I also have a diagnosis of atypical cystic fibrosis, as does one of my sons. We are getting well when doctors cl…

The Textbroker Model

I have had well paid IT people say to me that they don't want to hire any writers using an online service because they are convinced that it amounts to treating writers abusively. They are sure all services are set up like UpWork and people need to bid on projects and engage in price wars, so they think it is a race to the bottom in terms of wages for writers.

In some cases, this means they aren't going to hire a writer at all for their project because it is basically too much of a hassle. But, I have a solution for you. It is called Textbroker.

I do freelance writing, such as resume editing. But the majority of the freelance writing that I do is through Textbroker. It is not a race to the bottom.

Textbroker has several tiers of quality. They are numbered 2-5. If a writer consistently does good work and gets good ratings, they get access to more tiers of increasingly better paid work.

You can also set up a team. Writers need to be at a least a 4 to get access to team work…