Showing posts from December, 2016


I am grumpy as hell and trying to find some constructive means to deal with it. I submitted this story and it got completely ignored. Some rising star newly on the leaderboard submits it hours after me, and it is currently on the front page and generating discussion. I would like to know how in the hell a possession of a Y chromosome seems to confer immunity to the duplicate filter. This makes no logical sense. I see men get away with this stuff all the time. And I am having trouble tonight not feeling like I am being crapped on by rampant sexism on HN.So, I have refrained from answering this front page Ask: Ask HN: What do you want to learn in 2017?I wrote a reply and didn't post it because I figure it would just get downvoted or otherwise be a shitty social experience for me. I think my reply started out with "I would like to finally figure out how to care less." and went on to bitch about how I am tired of feeling crapped on by the world. Or something along those line…

A Different Drum

It is Christmas. I am in a hotel, so I have access to internet, I am tired and failing to work and trying to occupy myself. I ended up answering a few questions on Metafilter and reading some of the backlog of stuff I haven't seen. It feels pretty negative for me to do this. Here lately, when I do post on mefi, I feel a bit like a drunkard who fell off the wagon. It feels like a bad habit I am failing to give up. I really don't like seeing a community that way. I would like to believe there was a misunderstanding and I can eventually establish a healthy relationship to the site. But I increasingly have my doubts. And I don't think it's me. I think it is mefi. I am increasingly aware of how horribly toxic the place is and it doesn't seem to work to try to keep participating positively.Although I have had a few people memail me -- about my lack of activity or to thank me for something I said to them before I mostly stopped participating or whatever -- I don't fee…

So Called Women's Rights

I submitted my last blog post to Hacker News. It got no upvotes and one comment. The comment was incredibly dismissive. In part, it said: There's the boilerplate definition of feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men
And then there are articles like this. Each one invents their own take on the concept, and why they have a problem with it. That reminds me of this brilliantly dry observation: The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.

― Anatole France The problem is that the comment about my blog post is not intended to be a dry witticism. It is merely dismissive of women who are trying to say "Here is what I think is wrong with feminism and why it does not work."

Presumably, we are merely supposed to unthinkingly embrace anything that labels itself feminism and be happy with that. Because women aspiring…

The Ugly F Word

No, not that one. I am talking about the word Feminist.

I get accused of being that. I have been accused of it for years and it's like "Hello? I was a full time mom and homemaker for a lot of years!"

And then when I say I am not, people come up with weird ideas about what motivates me to say that. I can't think of any examples, but I am always like "Um, no. I can't even."

The thing is this: Feminist seems to mean "I believe a woman -- ME -- is just as entitled to a serious career as a man." And here are my problems with that:

First of all, no one at all is entitled to a serious career. There are plenty of men out there that haven't had some spiffy, awesome, prestigious, well paid career. Most men just have a job, not a career. Get over yourself already.

Second, what about the children? You are off pursuing your hard-charging career for 40+ hours per week and so is your man because, obviously, your man needs to be even more accomplis…

Fruit of the Poison Seed

"Never attribute to malice that which can readily be explained by ignorance (or stupidity, lack of awareness, a blind spot, etc)" I prefer to chalk up most negative experiences in life to error, misunderstanding, tragic happenstance and so forth. But I feel quite poisoned by my experiences on Metafilter and the site seriously tests my ability to remain faithful to that non-accusatory framing.

People on Metafilter advocate "Punch up, not down," but the site as a whole does not practice what it preaches. The pattern of prejudice I have experienced there as a homeless person suggests that the mods frequently err on the side of what is comfortable for classist assholes there, at my expense, instead of insisting the assholes get off my back and stow it.

Never mind that "Punch up, not down." strikes me as an inherently broken model that assumes we must punch someone and the only decision is whom. The site is rife with these unquestioned assumptions and com…

Facebook Live: Power in your hand to capture national attention, for good or ill

Although this Washington Post article has a very sensationalized title focusing on a single recent tragic event, the title is incredibly deceptive. The article itself actually details multiple events, all very sensational, though each with its own character of either tragedy or fuel for moral outrage.

But the article touches on a larger issue, worthy of serious discussion. In the passages between the rubber necking sensational descriptions, there are these important details: Facebook Live launched in 2015 and allows users to stream live video to their Facebook pages, where others can watch in real time, or after the fact. The service is used in a variety of capacities, from broadcasting breaking news, protests and events to giving lectures or communicating with friends. Since Facebook Live launched in April, millions have used the service to offer a glimpse into the big moments and small details of their lives.

The view isn’t always pretty. The nascent live-streaming service is…

They Say Leia and Han Kissed

Some days back, I read an article about Carrie Fisher's new book "The Princess Diarist" in which she finally fesses up to having had an "intense" affair with Harrison Ford during the making of the original Star Wars movie. Although I don't recall hearing this before, the affair has purportedly been a long standing rumor. Presumably, no one is particularly shocked.

The first article I saw characterized the affair as a situation where Harrison was a 32 (or 33?) year old married man with two kids and Carrie was a "teenager." So, I went looking for data.

It took a bit to determine that Carrie was about 19.5 when Star Wars began filming. She turned 20 not long after filming wrapped up.

There are a number of things that bother me about this shitty, salacious framing of the situation:

It is the closest you can come to implying he was a pedophile and guilty of statutory rape without actually saying it.I cannot recall ever hearing any objection to the…

One FLOHN Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I have heard for years -- and witnessed for years -- that women (as a group) are our own worst enemy. I recall hearing the phrase "women eat their own" as a tldr of the issue.

I have longstanding, very back burner plans to try to talk about those social dynamics on this blog in the kindest way possible in hopes of empowering women to find a better way, but I do not have time for that right now. But things are getting a little crazy for me on Hacker News, so I need to do something sooner than I can get to that project.

This post is about the fact that I am seeing an uptick in remarks 1) by other women 2) in response to me 3) on Hacker News 4) that I feel are not very nice, in essence. In some cases, these women very clearly know who I am and I have absolutely no idea who they are.

I have been small time internet famous for a long time. For various reasons, I intentionally lowered my profile for a while and have recently begun reversing that process. Suffice it to say, a…

North American Aerial Photographs by Pablo López Luz

I tripped across these works a couple of weeks back and was intrigued by the GIS angle. They are beautiful photos and the artist intentionally framed them to make it difficult to tell which nation you are looking at. His work began in 2014 and he desired to capture the similarity of the landscape that unites the U.S. and Mexico in the this part of North America.

Unfortunately, due to the subject matter of the photos, I have been unable to find any articles about these photos that do not give it an explicitly political spin, and never mind that the works predate the U.S election by at least two years. So I give you the artist's site where the photos appear without commentary:

Pablo López Luz

I apologize for blogging about it. If his site had any kind of commentary or framing for the photos -- or if I could turn up any non-political article about it -- I would have far preferred to just post the link directly to HN. (Perhaps there is such an article, but I am not able to find it.)…