Pro Tip™: if someone walks like a racist, talks like a racist, acts like a racist, they are, for all practical intents & purposes, a racist. You really do not need to know if they feel like a racist deep down in their heart of hearts to figure out what to do about them. This isn't rocket surgery, y'all. For a group of folks who coined the term "duck typing", we should be all over this.
To put it another geekly way: if someone does or says something racist, then follows it up with "I was just trolling, yo! I'm not really racist!" then one right response is "I voluntarily fail my Will save! I am thoroughly convinced that you are a shitbag racist, and henceforth will treat you like one! :D"
(Note: expanding on my twitter mini-screed here.)
I don't understand the rational basis behind people's opposition to Anita Sarkeesian's work, if indeed there is any.
I grant that I haven't plumbed the depths of Reddit, 4chan, and sundry gaming forums looking for reasoned argument, because those places are fucking gross. But what I have found seems to be naught more than a paranoid chorus of "she's out to get our games!"
Some self-identified "gamers" seem to think that Sarkeesian's saying "Stop making games". She's not. She's saying "Games can be better than this. Make better games."
The myriad cries of "censorship!" and "political correctness!" suggest the perceived danger is that games will change as a result of Sarkeesian's critique—that the amount of abuse and misogyny will decrease, and that the number of female characters with agency and development will increase. This makes the rallying cry of "she's out to get our games!" sound more like "she's out to emasculate our games!"
I have news for you, gamer dudes. If gratuitous misogyny and violence is how you define masculinity, then you've got a big fucking problem.
You would think that some things are just so racist that, on encountering them, everyone—even white folks, almost to a one—would say "holy FUCK that is some racist-ass shit, what the FUCK are you even thinking?" A sort of Maximum Ignorable Racism Threshold, if you will.
Apparently you'd be wrong, because you can be the most vilified racist shitbag in recent memory and still have people going to bat for you in the mainstream media: arguing that happened to you was wrong, telling people they should "calm down" over your racist remarks.
If this supposed threshold did exist, these racist-ass shirts would never have seen the light of day. Like, seriously, just think how many people have to have been party to that production, with none of them raising sufficient hue and cry to put a stop to it.
I sorely doubt that this is much of a revelation to anyone who's not carrying around a gigantor sack of white privilege. Chalk that up to yet another example of how privilege works to hide the realities of the rest of the world from people possessed of it.
CW: Brief mention of stalking behaviours.
It seems to be that time of year again where every retail purchase you make comes with a side of "We're doing a survey!!!1 Can we please have your postal code? :D"
Of course, the store is compiling data on where their customers live, and what people who live in each place buy, so they can try to market to you more effectively (iow, more creepily).
I'm not sure everyone's aware of this, but your full postal code gives your home address to a high degree of precision. One postal code represents
- all houses on one side of one residential street for a block or so, or
- one high-volume recipient of mail, like an apartment or office building, or
- in rural areas, a single small village or hamlet.
To put this another way, if you take a look at a postal code directory, the entries in it look something like this:
D2D 1S1: Even numbers 38-52 Strange St Anytown ON D2D 1S2: Odd numbers 53-79 Strange St Anytown ON D2D 1S3: Even numbers 56-128 Strange St Anytown ON D2D 1X5: 1000 Charm Ct Anytown ON
By disclosing your postal code, you're essentially disclosing your home address. Especially from a personal safety perspective, if somebody knows your postal code and what you look like, they can almost certainly find you and your residence.
Now, given how personal this snippet of information is, you might not feel comfortable giving it away. If so, you can spread some holiday cheer and test their computing systems at the same time! Just tell them your postal code is:
...which is the code for Santa Claus' workshop at the North Pole.
Just think! As the poor statistics sorters sift through mounds of boring data, their faces will no doubt brighten as they see that Jolly Old St Nick's helpers were indeed busily working their way through the stores, stocking up on goodies for the holiday season. Just Imagine the glow on executives' faces when they see in the reports before them incontrovertible evidence that Santa's elves have been hard at work all year picking up toys, toasters, and tequila for good little children to find under the tree on Christmas Day. ^_^
Might as well save this reply for posterity; dollars to doughnuts says I'll have the chance to roll it out again all too soon.
Here's an archived version of Mika Schiller's post, if for some reason you are wont to subject yourself to it.
( Comment body... )
I am just now starting to come up to speed on the Ani DiFranco / plantation retreat thing, but...
If somebody says that a given person's slaves were "probably well treated for the time", and the insidious depravity of that statement doesn't immediately thump you on the head, perhaps this quote will help put it in perspective:
The cells of the Inquisition were, as a rule, large, airy, clean and with good windows admitting the sun. They were, in those respects, far superior to the civil prisons of that day.
That from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica's article on Thomas Torquemada[trigger warning].
A little while back, I was asked on twitter: if tech conferences are, for women, an experience that's dangerous at worst and uncomfortable at best, how do we go about fixing it?
This is rather a big question—basically akin to "how do we eliminate sexism in society?" Conferences are a microcosm of the larger world; they transmit most of its problems and amplify some to boot. That being said, I'm certainly happy to outline what I think some reasonable starting points for allies might be.( Read more... )
We got a sudden cold snap here in the Sault overnight, which reminds me of this story from back in the day.
For us, remembrance is a very abstract thing. Up there with ideals like heroism and valour.
Sacrifice is a very concrete thing. Like trying to get your goddamn frozen boots onto your feet yet again. Or being halfway around the world and years away from your loved ones, in a reality so far removed from your past life that it might as well be a different universe. Being sick every day. Or in pain, or worse.
It's a lot to think about as I sit here and watch the snow and wind blowing outside.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
A friend on twitter asked us to recommend interesting conferences, so I looked through my notes to see what I had. One event that I'd made a note to check out further was KalamazooX. The focus of the event is on "soft skills", so I was kind of surprised when I couldn't find a Code of Conduct on the site. The "What people are saying" section, on the other hand, made me raise an eyebrow:
"I've discovered @kalamazoox is a hidden gem. Today was like a braver, more profane set of dev-oriented TED talks. Lots of passion and humor."
"In a time where organizers are censoring speakers and their content, @mjeaton and @kalamazoox is a bastion of freedom. He is a luminary."
"@mjeaton @kalamazoox believes in the open exchange of ideas, however uncomfortable, and trusts humans to think, collaborate and create."
To be sure, though, I asked the organizers if they had a Code of Conduct via twitter, and got this reply:
@shadowspar We do not have a published code of conduct. Our entire conference is about communication, respect and passion.
I parse this as
( Read more... )
We don't feel as though we need a code of conduct, because we have a "culture of respect".
- be completely shitfaced drunk; and
- offer me a drink by offering to give me an actual beverage that is already in your possession. (Your intentions may be completely aboveboard, but I have no idea where that drink's been or what might be in it.)
I identify the problematic behaviour that's being called out.
I try to honestly and searchingly reflect on how much I manifest that behaviour.
If I do evince that behaviour, then I think about what I can do to improve.
If I can honestly say that I've substantially banished that behaviour from my life, then the comment doesn't apply to me, and I let it pass.
...aaand then as soon as I opened the page, I was all like OMG, THAT PAGE IS BEING GENERATED IN PART BY MY CODE NOW. :D :D :D
The answer is apparently "HELL NO" more often than one might expect!
The BIOS is too old to boot from USB.
The CD-ROM drive won't open on its own, and doesn't seem to recognize the contents of the Debian install CD, even after booting Windows.
None of the usual methods to boot Linux from a Windows partition are working for me. Take one last stab at getting grub4win to work for me, then reboot the machine, exasperated.
The CD-ROM drive suddenly decides to clue into Debian install CD that's been sitting in it all the while, for like the last dozen reboots. O_o ... woot!
I was damn sure that I was heading for PXE territory for a while there! :D
That being said, I am long tired of the assertion, either implicit or explicit, that if I choose to treat a condition I might have with medication, that I am somehow "selling out", or better yet, that I am merely a guillible, brainwashed pawn of "Big Pharma".
Big Pharma on Youtube.
Dr Glenn Richie: "I'm not willing to keep my cancer cure under wraps just because the government tells me to. I'll call my congressman." (grabs phone)
Ben Hayflick: (snatches phone away) "You just don't get it, do you." (slams phone down)
BH: "Who do you think runs Congress? Big Pharma! It's the big pharmaceutical companies, Glenn, that make all the big decisions!"
BH: "Big Pharma paves your roads. Big Pharma delivers your mail. Who do you think teaches your kids how to read, teachers? Try again. Big Pharma!"
BH: "Big Pharma took us to war in Vietnam, synthesized crack, and killed Kennedy. Big Pharma came from outer space, invented Ben Franklin, started a little company called 'The Internet'. And polluted the ocean with high-fructose corn syrup!"
BH: "We're everywhere, Glenn. Even this..." (grabs pill bottle) "...is Big Pharma."
GR: "The heart medication I give to my patients? Nooooo...."
BH: "Now, hand over the cure, Glenn! And start enjoying the soon-to-be-free public wi-fi, courtesy of Big Pharma!"
GR: "I'll pay for my own wi-fi, thank you very much!"
BH: "Let me put it to you this way, Doctor Ritchie! If this gets out there, you'll be suffering from an acute case of cancer yourself!" (cocks revolver) "Bullet cancer."
BH: "Ha, ha, ha....bullet cancer."
- cheese or cheese-like substance
Peel, cube, boil and drain potatoes.
Add cubed cheese, cheeze whiz, or what have you, while still hot, so as to melt the stuff.
Wait a bit to let the cheesy stuff melt, then mash it all together.
Add a bit of salt and a lot of black pepper. Stir well. Adjust to taste.
- ~ 3 cups flour
- 1 egg
- ~ 1 cup water
Mix together, turn out, and knead.
Roll out fairly thin and cut into squares.
To pinch perogies, first roll up a ball of the filling then place it in the middle of a square. Fold over to form a triangle, then pinch the edges together to seal.
To cook: Boil about 5 min. They're ready when they all float to the top of the boiling water. If you like them crispy, you can then pan-fry them.
To freeze: place them on trays, with a bit of space between them, and stuff them in the freezer. Once they've frozen, you can take them off the trays and freezer bag them. (If you just bag & freeze them, they'll stick together.)
My parents & grandparents usually served these fried in butter or bacon grease, with fried onions and bacon on top, and a generous dollop of sour cream on the side. That being said, there are untold numbers of variations. This recipe's pretty easy to bend to your whims, and perogies are traditionally peasant food, besides. If you want to make perogies filled with shallots and paneer, or refried beans and salsa, or whatever, go for it! The Perogie Police will not show up with a warrant for your arrest. The Perogie Preservation Society will not picket your house. Seriously. =)
Laundry piling up? Kitchen table overrun with junk? Recycling begging to be taken out? Too bad. Protecting my sleep is too important, and after having run all day since tumbling out of bed at 6:30am, I don't think one hour to myself is too much to ask for.
What I didn't know, though: naloxone (Narcan) will block that placebo-induced analgesic effect. O_o
If your kids get some of this headache-disguised-as-modelling-compound for giftmas, do yourselves a favour and throw it right in the trash.
War is a catastrophic event and there are no more ardent peacemakers than those of us who have experienced it.
:Ian Townsend, Secretary-General, British Legion
Going to be on the road for Remembrance Day today. What'll be going through my mind? That, ironically enough, the pacifist folks who are often derided as being unpatriotic and anti-military oft seem to be the only ones doing one of the most benevolent things you can do for the troops -- namely, asking the questions, "Do we need to go to war?" "Is battle the appropriate solution for this problem?" "What do we hope to achieve by 'sending in the troops'?"
We honour our soldiers and our fallen heroes by refusing to allow their service and sacrifice to have been made in vain.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
I've had a whole bunch of stuff going on in my personal life that's made it difficult to get in much practice. Despite this, my shifting is coming along shockingly well, at least relative to how much time I've managed to put into it. Starting to work on Bach's Minuets #s 1 and 2 from the first Suzuki book. They actually sound pretty good once I get everything together.
It's frustrating to feel like I could be progressing a lot faster if I actually managed to get organized enough to put more time in. Hopefully things will improve in the coming months, and I'll manage to do just that, so I can take off like a rocket. ^_^;
I can read something like 450 words per minute. I'm not going to sit through 100-150wpm speech for very long to figure out if I'm interested in what's being said, especially if I can find the topic explained better elsewhere in text.
People in the tech world seem increasingly wont to use multimedia as the primary or even sole form of documentation for everything from software libraries to consumer websites, a practice of which I am not enamoured. skud wrote up an excellent blurb about such things over in the growstuff wiki.
I've worked with computers and software almost all of my life. The tech industry has created a lot of amazing things, and we continue to crank out more of them every day. (I mean, we pretty much bumble through the actual development and testing process, but in the end we kind of get things to mostly work. Usually.)
One place where I truly think we are falling down, though, is bridging the gap between the technologies we create and humanity as a whole. We build social networking tools without considering what kind of behaviours and societal norms they'll encourage. From a place of relative privilege, we may be oblivious to how our creations can be turned to disturbing ends. The choices we make determine whether new technologies will work for the benefit of all, or deepen the many inequalities that exist in our world.
One day, I hope to engage in my own research, looking how people change when they're using or building software: how the norms set by technologies and technical communities influence people's behaviour; why people seem to so readily commit acts or omissions online that they might consider unethical offline.
I don't think I would know that this kind of research career was even possible if it wasn't for danah boyd.
If you've read much anything about online youth, especially when it comes to topics like bullying, social media, and privacy, you've almost certainly encountered her work. Her extensive writings span a dizzying number of facets of online interaction, identity, and culture. Especially on the topic of youth, Her research has often shown that the "conventional wisdom" surrounding how people use the internet is baseless and mistaken, with obvious ramifications for technologists and policymakers alike.
I really don't get the impression that academia in its current incarnation makes it very easy to engage in this kind of cross-disciplinary research -- inquiry that's not only valuable, but profoundly important if we are to build out the future in a way that makes things better for all of humanity. danah has shown not only that this work is meaningful and that it's worthwhile, but also that it's possible to make a brilliantly successful go of it, and that's something for which I'm very grateful.
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging about women in science, technology, engineering and maths. You can find more information at the Finding Ada website.
The thing that's been piquing my curiosity to no end ever since getting here: some of the busses are marked JASMINE. Huh, what? It's not like Jasmine is riding around in them. I figured it was some kind of semi-secret tour bus, maybe Keys or Backstage Magic or something, but that doesn't make sense when you see JASMINE busses tooling around at 11pm.
Finally broke down and asked a cast member last night. JASMINE means that the bus is going out of service for any reason. Kind of figures, what with Disney wanting to keep up the illusion that everything is always magically perfect and nothing ever breaks or goes offline. =)
"NHL season could be abandoned due to labour dispute." I feel like this isn't even news any more.
My feelings are the same as always: don't feel bad for the owners, all of whom are independently wealthy, to say the least; don't feel bad for the players, the NHL salary minimum is something like $500,000. Even the fans can suck it up. The people who're really losing out in this are folks whose livelihoods depend on the league in other ways: journalists who cover it; folks who run the concession stands at the games, and everyone in between.
Something that dawned on me while I was writing this piece on bug chaining -- ever run into software where your experience was being controlled by bugs, and not the software's features? Sometimes things get so bad that you feel like you're being kicked from one defect to another instead of piloting your own way through the software.
I got a pair of Merrel Waterpro Maipos way back in the day. While they were the most amazing shoes in the history of ever in terms of fit and foot comfort, they were the the worst ever in terms of durability; they started coming apart after I'd only worn them a couple of times. I kinda wonder if they were only intended for light/occasional use, like being worn while canoeing or some such? Anyway, ideally I think I'd like something similar except built to last. The breathe-y mesh sides were awesome for keeping my feet happy -- usually a full day wearing something like dress shoes is enough to make the footwear-interior-environment pretty swampy, and travel days where you're on your feet and in your shoes for like 18 hours at a go are even worse.
The runners I've been wearing since haven't really been cutting it for me in terms of fit, function, or fashion, and the latest pair is almost dead. So...time to muckle onto some new shoes. As per usual, the stores around here have little to nothing I'm interested in, and since I'm not making any shopping trips in the very near future, it's off to the internets we go. Here are a couple of candidates...
- Keen Turia Shoe
- Keen McKenzie
- Merrell Barefoot Bare Access
- The North Face Hedgefrog Pro
- The North Face Hypershock
...when you finally figure out the name, and from thence the lyrics, of a tune you've been hearing since forever. Oftimes, the song turns out to be almost exactly unlike the mental image of it you'd formed in your head. Sometimes the two are so incongruous as to be completely absurd.
To wit: Funiculì, Funiculà. Here's Andrea Bocelli singing it. Assuming you don't speak Neapolitan, listen to the performance first, then head over to the Wikipedia page and see what this uplifting, noble tune is an ode to. =)
Jamme, jamme 'ncoppa, jamme jà,
Jamme, jamme 'ncoppa, jamme jà,
Funiculì, funiculà, funiculì, funiculà!
Jamme, jamme jà, funiculì, funiculà!
As if banks hadn't stooped low enough and done enough goddamn evil things
already, a US Senate investigation has revealed that HSBC has laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels.
A friend of mine is fond of saying, "When this kind of stuff happens in Africa, we call it corruption!" Funny how that epithet never seems to get applied to white-collar criminals over here, even when they steal more money than half the states in Africa could ever dream of having at their disposal, eh?
If you're at all a science geek -- and quite possibly even if you're not -- this thread about lab mishaps is both profoundly amusing and profoundly edifying.
- This incident, my friends, is why we never handle compressed gas cylinders with anything but the utmost respect. I'm more than a little shocked (and frightened) by how casually some paintball players treat their tanks -- throwing them around, filling HPA too quickly, and so on. A tank accident is Bad Fucking Scene.
- When you store radioactive materials, you might want to make sure that you shield them on all the sides.
- The simplest of careless mistakes can lead to the utmost consequences: five hundred thousand quid worth of computing equipment dashed to pieces, all because one crane cable wasn't secure.
- The simplest of careless mistakes, #2: years worth of work and untold numbers of irreplaceable microorganisms destroyed in an instant when somebody sterilized the wrong cell-storage tank.
- Finally, when you get down on yourself about ruining a recipe or busting something at work, you can take some solace in the fact that you're not the guy who washed $650,000 worth of gold down the drain.
(Found via Maciej.)
- Chanced upon a 24-hour grocery store that had a half-dozen huge aisles full of imported-from-Israel kosher food, and
- remembered that bissli was the canonical-ish Israeli snack food that marina had mentioned a while ago.
Pizza bissli == can haz. *crunch* *crunch* *reaches for a glass of water*