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Meaningful Comics

Posted on 2014.11.24 at 19:28
I've done this with characters in video games.

For my husband who plays WoW and Magic.

I've been tempted to go back to WoW, so far I've resisted.

They don't burn cities, but nerd rage still isn't pretty.

I'm pretty sure there are days when Jesus is DONE WITH OUR CRAP.


Doctor Who

Posted on 2014.10.11 at 14:46
Catching up on Doctor Who since Chris and I don't have cable. We ended up just buying a bunch of episodes from Amazon and watching them over the course of two nights. And I'm okay with the new Doctor. I'm okay with the snarkiness and the angry eyebrows. There are one or two things that caught my eye while I was watching.

spoiler space here

I loved watching Danny tell the Doctor off. After the umpteenth P.E. reference and the pissy soldier references, watching Danny run him verbally made me want to applaud. The Doctor loves to be superior and here was someone shoveling it back in his face. It made me forgive Danny for the 'Why do you do it?' question. 'Cause that seemed to be the silliest question in the world. And the logical response should have been, "Time machine/spaceship- DUH!" I know I married the right man because he was just as confused by the question as I was and it has been agreed that should either of us gain access to such a thing, we have to agree to bring the other along (and there would be no 'why' question involved).
One thing that was a bit heavy-handed, the whole 'don't ever lie to me' thing. Which pretty much guarantees that at some point she's going to screw up and lie, you just KNOW it. Now we're just waiting for it to happen.

Next episode, possibly one of my least favorite now. As soon as they said bombs I knew this was going to be a 'humanity is terrible' episodes. And we all knew that there was no way the moon was going to be disintegrated and destroy the Earth so all the moralizing and yelling and freaking out was pointless. I really wanted to smack Clara in this one because what the hell was she freaking out about? The Doctor has spent thousands (it's thousands now, right?) of years protecting the Earth, if he really thought it was in danger from whatever was hatching from the moon, he would have done something. The fact that he was willing to go hands off was a pretty good indicator that things were not nearly as bad as everyone else thought.
And no, he didn't tell her everything- this is nothing new. The Doctor lies, the Doctor keeps important information to himself, whining about it and acting self-righteous about it will accomplish nothing. Always assume he's lying/hiding shit, smack him and move on. I think she's still pissed that he's not young and cute anymore because if Matt Smith Doctor has pulled this same stunt she totally would have just smacked him.
And surprise! Humanity is terrible and when faced with the choice of killing another living creature or possibly dying themselves, they vote for the bombs. Why did we put this to a vote again?
The argument in the end just made no sense. 'How dare you not interfere and tell us what to do, go away you terrible alien.' Seriously? So many people getting in his face about playing God and meddling in the affairs of humans and the one time he decides to let us figure it out on our own, he gets yelled at for that too. Bleh. I think this episode really highlights why I haven't gotten attached to Clara. She's really inconsistent, some of that is the different writers I'm sure and some of it is how fond I was of Rory (and Amy, but mostly Rory), but she just feels very flaky and sometimes I feel like she's not really thinking about the crap she's saying or doing.
We'll see how the rest of the season goes, this episode just didn't do it for me.


A Really Good Article

Posted on 2014.10.08 at 18:29
She says she'll be taking this post down, but I wanted to be able to read it again if needed. So, keeping it for my own records and anyone who reads my stuff.

Trouble at the Koolaid Point

October 7, 2014

[Note: I didn't want to have to write this. But here it is. I'm not linking it to the blog, and it won't likely stay up long *(*Update Oct. 8** I'll be taking it down soon, but a copy has been placed on Wired** ) It is long and rambling and unedited and one of the few things I've written that I wrote mostly for myself. It is all I ever hope to have to say about it. Also? Content warning.]

This month is the 10-year anniversary of my first online threat. I thought it was a one-off, then. Just one angry guy. And it wasn’t really THAT bad. But looking back, it was the canary in the coal mine… the first hint that if I kept on this path, it would not end well. And what was that path? We’ll get to that in a minute.

Later I learned that the first threat had nothing to do with what I actually made or said in my books, blog posts, articles, and conference presentations. The real problem — as my first harasser described — was that others were beginning to pay attention to me. He wrote as if mere exposure to my work was harming his world.

But here’s the key: it turned out he wasn’t outraged about my work. His rage was because, in his mind, my work didn’t deserve the attention. Spoiler alert: “deserve” and “attention” are at the heart.

A year later, I wrote a light-hearted article about “haters” (the quotes matter) and something I called The Koolaid Point. It wasn’t about harassment, abuse, or threats against people but about the kind of brand “trolls” you find in, say, Apple discussion forums. My wildly non-scientific theory was this: the most vocal trolling and “hate” for a brand kicks in HARD once a critical mass of brand fans/users are thought to have “drunk the Koolaid”. In other words, the hate wasn’t so much about the product/brand but that other people were falling for it.

I was delighted, a few weeks’ later, to see my little “Koolaid Point” in Wired’s Jargon Watch column.

The me of 2005 had no idea what was coming.

Less than two years later, I’d learn that my festive take on harmless brand trolling also applied to people. And it wasn’t festive. Or harmless. Especially for women.

I now believe the most dangerous time for a woman with online visibility is the point at which others are seen to be listening, “following”, “liking”, “favoriting”, retweeting. In other words, the point at which her readers have (in the troll’s mind) “drunk the Koolaid”. Apparently, that just can’t be allowed.

From the hater’s POV, you (the Koolaid server) do not “deserve” that attention. You are “stealing” an audience. From their angry, frustrated point of view, the idea that others listen to you is insanity. From their emotion-fueled view you don’t have readers you have cult followers. That just can’t be allowed.

You must be stopped. And if they cannot stop you, they can at least ruin your quality of life. A standard goal, in troll culture, I soon learned, is to cause “personal ruin”. They aren’t all trolls, though. Some of those who seek to stop and/or ruin you are misguided/misinformed but well-intended. They actually believe in a cause, and they believe you (or rather the Koolaid you’re serving) threatens that cause.

But the Koolaid-Point-driven attacks are usually started by (speculating, educated guess here, not an actual psychologist, etc) sociopaths. They’re doing it out of pure malice, “for the lulz.” And those doing it for the lulz are masters at manipulating public perception. Master trolls can build an online army out of the well-intended, by appealing to The Cause (more on that later). The very best/worst trolls can even make the non-sociopaths believe "for the lulz" is itself a noble cause.

But I actually got off easy, then. Most of the master trolls weren’t active on Twitter in 2007. Today, they, along with their friends, fans, followers, and a zoo of anonymous sock puppet accounts are. The time from troll-has-an-idea to troll-mobilizes-brutal-assault has shrunk from weeks to minutes. Twitter, for all its good, is a hate amplifier. Twitter boosts signal power with head-snapping speed and strength. Today, Twitter (and this isn’t a complaint about Twitter, it’s about what Twitter enables) is the troll’s best weapon for attacking you. And by “you”, I mean “you the server of Koolaid.” You who must be stopped.

It begins with simple threats. You know, rape, dismemberment, the usual. It’s a good place to start, those threats, because you might simply vanish once those threats include your family. Mission accomplished. But today, many women online — you women who are far braver than I am — you stick around. And now, since you stuck around through the first wave of threats, you are now a much BIGGER problem. Because the Worst Possible Thing has happened: as a result of those attacks, you are NOW serving Victim-Flavored Koolaid.

And Victim-Flavored Koolaid is the most dangerous substance on earth, apparently. And that just can’t be allowed.

There is only one reliably useful weapon for the trolls to stop the danger you pose and/or to get max lulz: discredit you. The disinformation follows a pattern so predictable today it’s almost dull: first, you obviously “fucked” your way into whatever role enabled your undeserved visibility. I mean..duh. A woman. In tech. Not that there aren’t a few deserving women and why can’t you be more like THEM but no, you are NOT one of them.

You are, they claim, CLEARLY “a whore”. But not the sex-worker kind, no, you are the Bad Kind of Whore. Actually TWO kinds: an Attention/Fame Whore and an Actual Have Sex In Exchange For Jobs, Good Reviews, Book Deals Whore. I mean, could there be ANY other explanation for your visibility? But the sex-not-merit meme is just their warm-up, the lowest-hanging-fruit in a discredit/disinfo campaign.

Because what the haters MOST want the world to know is this: what you’re serving your audience? It’s NOT EVEN ACTUAL KOOLAID. “Snake oil”, the trolls insist. You’re a “proven liar”. Or, as I was referred to yet again just yesterday by my favorite troll/hater/harasser: “a charlatan”. And there is “evidence”. There is always "evidence". (there isn't, of course, but let’s not let that get in the way.)

And the trolls aren’t stupid. The most damaging troll/haters are some of the most powerful people (though they self-describe as outcasts). Typically, the hacker trolls are technically-talented, super smart white men. They’re not just hackers. They are social engineers. They understand behavioral psych. They know their Kahneman. They “get” memes. They exploit a vulnerability in the brains of your current and potential listeners.

How? By unleashing a mind virus guaranteed to push emotional buttons for your real, NOT-troll audience. In my specific case, it was my alleged threat to a free and open internet. “She issued DMCA takedowns for sites that criticized her.” Yes, that one even made it’s way into a GQ magazine article not long ago, when the writer Sanjiv Bhattacharya interviewed weev and asked about — get this — the “ethics” of doxxing me. Weev's explanation was just one more leveling up in my discredit/disinfo program: DMCA takedowns. I had, apparently, issued DMCA takedowns.

If you are in the tech world, issuing a DMCA takedown is worse than kicking puppies off a pier. But what I did? It was (according to the meme) much much worse. I did it (apparently) to stifle criticism. If a DMCA takedown is kicking puppies, doing it to “stifle criticism” is like single-handedly causing the extinction of puppies, kittens, and the constitution. Behold my awesome and terrible power. Go me.

But here’s the thing. I never did that. I never did anything even a teeny tiny nano bit like that. But sure enough, even on my last day on Twitter, there it was again: Kathy did DMCA’s. And it wasn’t even a troll saying it, it was another woman in tech who believed the meme because she believed weev. Because in twisted troll logic, it makes sense. She must have done something pretty awful to deserve what, according to weev, “she had coming.”

After the GQ story came out, the one where weev “justified” the harassment of me by introducing the DMCA fiction, I asked him about it on Twitter. “Where, seriously, where exactly did I ever issue a DMCA?” His answer? Oh, right, he didn’t have an answer. Because it didn’t happen. But see? he doesn't have to. He's already launched the Kathy-does-DMCA-takedowns meme. Evidence not required. For that matter, common sense not required.

(For the record, far as most people have been able to determine, most of what happened to me long ago was triggered by a blog comment I made that said “I’m not moderating my blog comments, but I support those who do and here’s why.” That’s right, Blog. Comment. Moderation. Just a tiny hop, really, from that to full-blown DMCA takedowns. Easy mistake.)

For me, the hot button to rally the army (including the Good People) against me was my (totally fictional) legal threat to freedom. But there are so many other hot buttons to use against women in tech. So. Many.

A particularly robust troll-crafted hot button meme today is that some women are out to destroy video games (shoutout to #gamergaters). Another is that they are taking jobs from men. Men who are, I mean obviously, more deserving. “If women/minorities/any oppressed group are given special treatment, that’s not equality,” they argue “I guess you don’t believe in equality, feminists.” Quickly followed by, “wait, did I say ‘oppressed group’? There’s no such thing as an oppressed group I just meant Professional Victims Who Pretend To Be Oppressed And Serve Social Justice Warrior Koolaid.”

Life for women in tech, today, is often better the less visible they are. Less visible means fewer perceived Koolaid drinkers.

I’m not sure I like comparing trolls to animals (because insulting to animals), but as an animal trainer, I’m painfully aware of the power of operant conditioning. Yes, sure, “don’t feed the trolls” has been the standard advice, a bullshit talking point propagated by trolls to blame their targets. “You brought this on. You don’t want this? Don’t engage.” Except that’s not actually true. It’s the opposite of true, once you’ve been personally targeted.

As any parent of a two-year old can tell you, ignoring the child usually leads to escalation. Cry harder, scream louder, and in the most desperate scenarios, become destructive. Anything to get the attention they crave. Simply moving on is not an option for the haters once you’ve been labeled a Koolaid server and/or a rich source of lulz. Ignore them, and the trolls cry harder, scream louder, and become destructive.

If you’ve already hit the Koolaid Piont, you usually have just three choices:

1. leave (They Win)

2. ignore them (they escalate, make your life more miserable, DDoS, ruin your career, etc. i.e. They Win)

3. fight back (If you’ve already hit the Koolaid Point, see option #2. They Win).

That’s right, in the world we’ve created, once you’ve become a Koolaid-point target they always win. Your life will never be the same, and the harassers will drain your scarce cognitive resources. You and your family will never be the same.

The hater trolls are looking for their next dopamine hit. If you don’t provide it, they’ll try harder. But the escalation to get a response from you? That’s not even the worst escalation problem.

The more dangerous social-web-fueled gamification of trolling is the unofficial troll/hate leader-board. The attacks on you are often less about scoring points against you than that they’re trying to out-do one another. They’re trying to out-troll, out-hate, out-awful the other trolls. That’s their ultimate goal. He who does the worst wins.

Which may explain the slow, steady increase in both frequency and horror of online harassment. What was mostly drive-by nasty comments in 2001 then progressed to Photoshopped images (your child on a porn image is a particularly “fun” one), and what’s after images? Oh, yeah, the “beat up Anita” game. And what’s left when you’ve done as much digital damage as you can?

Real-life damage.

Doxxing with calls to action (that — and trust me on this — people DO act on).

Swatting (look it up). That nobody has yet been killed in one of these “pranks” is surprising. It’s just a matter of time.

Physical Assualt: the online attack on the epilepsy forums, where the trolls crafted flickering images at a frequency known to trigger seizures in those with “photosensitive” epilepsy. Think about this. People went to the one safe space they knew online — the epilepsy support forums — and found themselves having seizures before they could even look away. (Nobody was ever charged.)

Side note: I have epilepsy, though not the photosensitive kind. But I have a deep understanding of the horror of seizures, and the dramatically increased chance of death and brain damage many of us with epilepsy live with, in my case, since the age of 4. FYI, deaths related to epilepsy in the US are roughly equal with deaths from breast cancer. There isn’t a shred of doubt in my mind that if the troll hackers could find a way to increase your risk of breast cancer? They’d do it. Because what’s better than lulz? Lulz with BOOBS. Yeah, they’d do it.

But what disturbed me even more than the epilepsy forum attack itself were the comments about it afterwards (I won’t link to it, but you can search for it on Wired). “I lol’d” “That’s awful, but you gotta admit… hilarious!” Once again, high-fives all around. This is the world we have created.

So I don’t have the luxury of assuming “it’s just online. Not REAL. It's not like these people would ever do anything in the real world .” And what you don’t hear much about is what most targeted women find the most frightening of all: the stalkerish energy, time, effort, focus on… YOU. The drive-by hate/threat comment, no matter how vile, is just that, a comment that took someone 2.5 seconds to think and execute. It might be annoying, offensive, maybe intimidating the first few times. But you get used to those, after all, it’s not like somebody put time and effort into it.

But Photoshopped images? Stories drawn from your own work? There’s a creepy and invasive horror knowing someone is pouring over your words, doing Google and Flickr image searches to find the perfect photo to manipulate. That someone is using their time and talent to write code even, about you. That’s not trolling, that’s obsession. That’s the point where you know it’s not really even about the Koolaid now…they’re obsessed with you.

This is a very long way from the favorite troll talking point “Oh boohoo someone was mean on the internet.”

Mean: “You’re fat and retarded and deserve to be raped”. (we all get tons of those, but those aren't what we're talking about)

Stalking: “Here’s yet another creepy and terrifying thing I made for you and about you and notice just how much I know about you…” (1/200)

There is a difference.

We need to stop propagating the troll-driven meme that “it’s all just trollin’ and boohoo mean words you should cry more” and start making the hard, fine-grained distinctions. The hater trolls use the 'just trollin’ and 'just mean words' to minimize even the worst attacks and gaslight their targets. In hater troll framing, there’s no difference between a single tweet and a DDoS of your employer’s website. There’s no difference between a “you’re a histrionic charlatan” and “here’s a headless corpse and you are next and here’s your address.” It's all just trollin' and mean words and not real life.

It’s all ‘just trollin’ unless you, you know, actually deserved it. Then they're all, “sure, things got a little out of hand, and threats of violence are never acceptable but, um, what did you expect?” Followed by, “Well actually, if it WERE actual HARASSMENT, then it’s for The Authorities.”
Fun Troll Logic:

IF no legal action happens
THEN it wasn’t actually "real” harassment

You’re probably more likely to win the lottery than to get any law enforcement agency in the United States to take action when you are harassed online, no matter how viscously and explicitly. Local agencies lack the resources, federal agencies won’t bother. (Unless you’re a huge important celebrity. But the rules are always different for them. But trolls are quite happy to attack people who lack the resources to do anything about it. Troll code totally supports punching DOWN.)

There IS no “the authorities” that will help us.
We are on our own.

And if we don’t take care of one another, nobody else will.

We are all we’ve got.

Which brings me to why I really wrote this.

Most of the back-story is not important, and I hope to never have to talk about it again, but here’s the relevant bits:

In 2007, I was the target of a several-week long escalating harassment campaign that culminated in my being doxxed (a word I didn’t even know then) with a long, detailed, explicit document, posted pretty much everyone on the internet (including multiple times to my own wikipedia entry). It was a sort of open letter with a sordid (but mostly fictional) account that included my past, my career, my family, and wrapped up with my (unfortunately NOT fictional) social security number, former home address and, worst of all — a call to action for people to send things to me. They did. I never returned to my blog, I cut out almost all speaking engagements, and rarely appeared anywhere in the tech world online or real world. Basically, that was it for me. I had no desire then to find out what comes after doxxing, especially not with a family, and I had every reason to believe this would continue to escalate if I didn’t, well, stop “serving the Koolaid.”

A year later, I had one of the worst days of my life. I got a phone call from a journalist, Mattathias Schwartz. He’d been working on a long-form feature magazine story about trolls for the NY Times, and it was about to come out. He wanted to warn me about something in the story, something nobody expected: one of the main subjects of his story had just — out of the blue — announced that he was “Memphis Two” the author of That Document (i.e. my dox) and added that he was part of the harassment of Kathy Sierra.

I sat down. “I’ve never heard of this person. Am I in any danger?” He gave me the only truthful answer, “I don’t know.” But then he added, “I don’t think so, because honestly I don’t think he sees you as important at all.” So, whew. He was right. I was not important. And after all, they’d already put checkmark in the WIN column for me. I was gone. I’d not be serving any more Koolaid. Nothing to see here, etc.

And there I hoped it would end, fading away as all things do as the internet moves on and this troll I’d never heard of would just go back to whatever it was that trolls do.

But you all know what happened next. Something something something horrifically unfair government case against him and just like that, he becomes tech’s “hacktivist hero.” He now had A Platform not just in the hacker/troll world but in the broader tech community I was part of. And we’re not just talking stories and interviews in Tech Crunch and HuffPo (and everywhere else), but his own essays in those publications. A tech industry award. His status was elevated, his reach was broadened. And for reasons I will never understand, he suddenly had gained not just status and Important Friends, but also “credibility”.

Did not see that coming.

But hard as I tried to find a ray of hope that the case against him was, somehow, justified and that he deserved, somehow, to be in prison for this, oh god I could not find it. I could not escape my own realization that the cast against him was wrong. So wrong. And not just wrong, but wrong in a way that puts us all at risk. I wasn’t just angry about the injustice of his case, I had even begun to feel sorry for him. Him. The guy who hates me for lulz. Guy who nearly ruined my life. But somehow, even I had started to buy into his PR. That's just how good the spin was. Even I mistook the sociopath for a misunderstood outcast. Which, I mean, I actually knew better.

And of course I said nothing until his case was prosecuted and he’d been convicted, and there was no longer anything I could possibly do to hurt his case. A small group of people — including several of his other personal victims (who I cannot name, obviously) asked me to write to the judge before his sentencing, to throw my weight/story into the “more reasons why weev should be sent to prison”. I did not. Last time, for the record, I did NOTHING but support weev’s case, and did not speak out until after he’d been convicted.

But the side-effect of so many good people supporting his case was that more and more people in tech came to also… like him. And they all seemed to think that it was All Good as long as they punctuated each article with the obligatory “sure, he’s an ass” or “and yes, he’s a troll” or “he’s known for offending people” (which are, for most men, compliments). In other words, they took the Worst Possible Person, as one headline read, and still managed to reposition him as merely a prankster, a trickster, a rascal. And who doesn’t like a “lovable scoundrel”?

So I came back because I saw what was happening.

I came back because I connected these dots:

* Weev writes an explicit warning to all women in tech that speaking out (in his words "squealing like a stuck pig") will be "punished".

* Weev demonstrates this by punishing a woman that was, for better or worse, a role model for some in the already-way-too-small group of women in tech.

* Weev then becomes celebrated in tech, spun as a straight-talking, no bullshit, asshole who speaks truth to power. Truth. Weev. Is. About. Truth. And Privacy. Ours. He wanted to protect Our Privacy with The Truth.

(If you want an example of gaslighting, imagine how I felt watching this unfold)

* And there it is. I came because if weev is credible, and endorsed as a “friend”, then the document he, at the least, ENTHUSIASTICALLY CONTINUES TO ENDORSE, is... well what does this mean?

I came back because I believe this sent a terrible, devastating message about what was acceptable. Because nobody in a position of power and influence in the tech world ever, NOT ONCE, brought up the explicit threats in that document, except for The Verge. (Tim Carmody, Greg Sandoval, you are my heroes).

I came back and watched endless streams of funny, casual, online banter between weev and some of those I respected and trusted most in tech. You know who I mean. I watched him being retweeted into my stream in a positive way. I actually did lol, though, when Twitter’s algorithm kept insisting You Probably Want To Follow Him! That’s how much our Venn diagrams overlapped.

But the one thing I never expected was that after all these years, he’d suddenly deny it. Even more so, that reasonable, logical, intelligent people would actually believe this. He’d suddenly, after 6 years, claim that a world-class, international, Livingston-winner (“Pulitzer of the Young”) journalist would just somehow… come up with that. And that in six years it never occurred to weev, not once, to publicly deny it no matter how many times he was asked about it.

(Schwartz himself came into these conversations more than once over the past year to remind weev about their conversation, to confirm that yes, it happened exactly as he described in the 2008 feature. Not that it made a difference. After all, in weev vs. amazing writer with everything to lose by lying, who are you going with? Weev. They went with weev.)

As I said in a now-deleted Twitter exchange, I couldn’t imagine “what sort of suspension of disbelief” one needs to accept a context in which a journalist who has never heard of me, somehow pulls MY name and that document out of thin air, then somehow mistakenly attributes it to the object of his story. Or that why, in all those years, weev never once publicly tried to refute this? He even wrote a response to the NYTimes story (the story where he outs himself as the doxxer) on his own blog, where he takes issue with several aspects of the article but never disputes the facts, and never even hints that weev-as-my-doxxer was inaccurate.

And he's been asked about it many times over the next years, including that GQ interview where he explained his reasons for doing it. Never once, until I returned, did he ever publicly deny it. The NYTimes article stands, for 6 years, without correction or challenges. Weev of course now claims he wrote to the NYTimes, but has never produced, you know, “evidence”.

So there I was, now having unbelievable conversations with prominent people in tech that were more willing to believe the most absurd story over, well, one of the most respected journalists still left in the world. That they were willing to believe weev over... common sense. Logic. That they had the fantasy belief that though weev was known to be one of the most skillful and manipulative liars (and that description is from a friend of his), somehow, he wasn't lying now, to them. I pushed back, but only if it was someone in the tech world who was not a troll, but an intelligent, rational, reasonable, person.

I underestimated the willingness of people to still, no matter what, believe him.

But recently I came to realize that OK let's say we do suspend disbelief and let’s say he didn’t do it. Let's say he simply wanted people to think he'd done it. That doesn't actually change it.

Because the problem, the reason I came back is this:

Weev unequivocally, enthusiastically, gleefully, repeatedly ENDORSED it. He tweeted, many times, that I “had it coming”. I deserved it. That the “truth” in my dox was why I left the internet the first time.

And so again, I connect these dots:

* A document issues an explicit threat, warning women against speaking out. Lots and lots of women in tech have seen this document.

* Weev endorses this document, enthusiastically, repeatedly.

* Prominent people in tech endorse weev

Which could easily be seen as…

* Prominent people in tech tacitly endorsed that threat against speaking out.

Some of those people are/were feminists. I cannot even comprehend the cognitive dissonance.

THAT’s why I wanted to push back. Every. Single. Time. If someone described me, or the article about me as a lie, (as @erratarob did on my last day) I stepped in to do what I thought was the most rational approach: to just keep pointing to the facts that were known. To push back on the twist and spin. I believed the fine-grained distinctions mattered. I pushed back because I believed I was pushing back on the implicit message that women would be punished for speaking out. I pushed back because almost nobody else was, and it seemed like so many people in tech were basically OK with that.

But a few days ago, in the middle of one of those “discussions”, this time with @erratarob, I realized it wasn’t worth it. He concluded that I was just trolling so people would troll me back. I asked him what he thought I should have done. And his answer was “don’t feed the trolls.” “Ignore it and move on.” Perhaps Rob didn’t know that I'd already tried that for six years, but that it was weev who kept that damn thing alive no matter how gone I was. He managed to tweet to my social security number not long before he went to prison, and well before I resurfaced. No, I didn't troll him into that. I didn't "engage".

But Rob didn’t do anything wrong. He was saying what he truly believes. What, sadly, a whole lot of people in tech believe. Rob just happened to be the last “you asked for it” message I wanted to hear. So I just stopped.

I didn’t “rage quit”, I just walked away. I shut off a big cognitive resource leak. From the beginning of my time tweeting as Seriouspony, that I tweeted I was not likely to stay and that I was looking forward to where we would end up next. I’m not GONE gone. I’m just not on Twitter. But I have to add I'm surprised to see my leaving Twitter as, once again, an example of someone who "just shouldn't be on the internet". Because nothing says "unbalanced" like having the freedom to walk away from a social media network. Because you can. Because you have a choice. Because you have the most beautiful and awesome ponies on the planet.

No idea. But I do think we need more options for online spaces, and I hope one of those spaces allows the kind of public conversations and learning we had on Twitter but where women — or anyone — does not feel an undercurrent of fear watching her follower count increase. Where there’s no such thing as The Koolaid Point. And I also know the worst possible approach would be more aggressive banning, or restricting speech (especially not that), or restricting anonymity. I don’t think Twitter needs to (or even can, at this point) do anything at all. I think we need to do something.

We can do this. I know we can. And many of you — especially you javaranchers — you know why I’m so certain. You’ve seen a million visitors a month in a male-dominated community year after year after year maintain a culture defined by a single TOS: be nice. You’ve seen how learning thrives in an environment where you can be fearless with questions and generous with answers. If millions of programmers can maintain one of the largest and most vibrant developer communities online, for 15 years, without harassment of any kind, then anyone can. Good luck trying to convince me it can’t be done. Because I have something the trolls do not— evidence.

If you made it this far, I cannot possibly express how grateful I am for the wonderful experiences I had during the time I was on Twitter as Seriouspony. The appreciation for the horses made my heart sing. And those of you who have ever talked with me there, or sent me pony pictures, or ever sent me a message or spoken to me at a conference about what you learned from me, you have done more for me than you will ever know.

And I miss you all right now. I miss hearing the stories about your life and your work and your thoughts and your pets, especially your pets. But again, it's not like I'm GONE gone.

After all, the ponies have only just begun to learn to code...

When I know where they’ll be, you will be the first to know :) And when you all find a new space, that feels right, I know you will let me know.

<3, Seriouspony

[footnote-I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-add: it’s been brought to my attention that my complaints about weev’s dox of me were apparently (and bizarrely) twisted to suggest I thought prostitution and being a victim of domestic violence were somehow “shameful.” That THIS must be the reason I didn’t want that narrative out there. First, that’s, well, I don’t even. Second, OMG you have no idea what I and my children have experienced in our lives so please, let go of the “Kathy hates that dox therefore Kathy hates prostitutes and victims of domestic violence. You know nothing of my life, so please stop imagining you know what I think, feel, or have been through. Quit trying to shoehorn me into a she-must-have-deserved-it-see-she-is-a-bad-person narrative. My reasons for not wanting a false backstory about my children to be publicized by a prominent troll has nothing at all to do with “shame” and everything to do with “actual truth”. Because even if you believe I deserved to be doxxed, the story of my children was not weev’s to tell (or let's say it was not up to the person-pretending-to-be-weev-that-weev-thinks-did-this-awesome-thing-to-me)]


Too Much...

Posted on 2014.09.25 at 22:08
First we had two weeks of Chris working extra to deal with some stuff and while it was rough, we understood it's part of his job, now some legal stuff has come up that he gets to deal with too and he's not thrilled to have that on his plate. It's what he gets paid to do and sometimes it sucks but we'll get through. However, it was a stress we really didn't need right now.
Chris' teeth have been giving him some trouble, we knew he was due for some dental work. Yesterday his pain levels went through the roof and we end up doing an emergency phone call to make a dental appointment today. We'll probably be dipping into savings to pay for this, not something I look forward to but at least we actually have savings we can use (would much rather keep saving for a house). Again though, more stress and bad timing.
A month or so ago, we found out that I was anemic, had low blood platelets and high levels of blood sugar (not diabetic high, just 'cut down on the sugar' high). We discussed what I could do and I cut down on the sugar, started iron supplements and increased my protein intake. Yesterday we did a blood test to see how I was doing and I wasn't too worried, I figured it was going to be okay and we still had time to get everything on track if things weren't quite where they should be. Instead I get a phone call from the midwife informing me that my platelets levels are even lower and that it's not connected to the anemia at all (which I hadn't realized, I though the protein and iron were for both). It's also something that can't be affected by anything I can do. Something else I wasn't aware of. With my low platelet count I won't be able to go to the birth center and the midwife won't be able to attend the birth.
Now, with four weeks to go, we get to find a doctor and get to look forward to the hospital. Through Peace Health. The people I spoke with before who informed me that they were unwilling to accommodate my gender preference in doctors. And told me that I'd have to take whoever was on call when I went into labor instead of getting to work with a doctor I trust.
And they'll have to do more blood tests... and if my platelet count goes down too much, they'll have to induce labor.
There is a rational part of my mind that tells me a hospital birth isn't the end of the world, lots of women do it and are just fine. My boss is doing a hospital birth, and if the hospital is the best for me and the kiddo, then I should have no problem with it- right? We talked with the midwife about what would happen if we had to transfer to the hospital during the birth but I wasn't thinking about the possibility that I wouldn't be able to use the birth center at all. Chris blames the midwife and is pissed at all midwives in general because he doesn't feel like it was made clear enough that this was a possibility. He feels like she's just washed her hands of us with no warning. That if he'd known in the beginning that anything going wrong would result in this, he'd have insisted we use a doctor instead. I'm more honest. I wanted the midwife, wanted the personal attention instead of a sterile experience. I'm not going to get that now, but I wanted the chance. And I may not have been expecting things to go this way, but she was honest that this had to be a normal, healthy pregnancy in order for us to be able to go forward as planned. It wasn't until now that it became clear that it wasn't.
Not sure how things are going to go financially. We paid her in advance for the visits and the birth, since she won't be with us for the birth do we get anything back? I'm not thrilled to have to have that conversation. And now we get to pay for a doctor and the hospital. That'll be a fun bill. I HATE doctor and hospital billing.
Up to now things have been doing okay and I just wasn't prepared for this to come up. And right now I don't know what I'm going to do. Or I know what we're going to have to do, but it's exhausting to think about. I know this weight. Haven't had it in months but I'm familiar enough to recognize the end of my rope. The little voice that says 'fuck it all' because it feels like everything we've done and worked through means jack and shit because it's all gone to crap.
Now I'm done. I've kept myself together through the pregnancy, no breakdowns or outbursts... suddenly I'm knocked off my track and I just can't handle it.


I lost my temper the other day...

Posted on 2014.09.16 at 18:53
I can get pretty ranty via the written word. And I will sit with friends or people at social gatherings and share my thoughts about the state of the world we live in. And I try to be reasonable and see more than one side of an issue. Often I have to come to terms with what my mind and heart say about issues. Other times I'm not sure if I'm succeeding in being as open minded as I'd like. Then there are times when I can't let things go, when I can't say, 'you have a right to your opinion'. The other day a conversation turned from trying to fix our air conditioner to political candidates, Ben Carson in particular and somehow ended with the comment about under-qualified minorities who are employed simply because of affirmative action. Those lazy minorities who are destroying our country wasn't stated, but implied and I stated flat out that I wasn't going to listen to the racist commentary anymore. "I'm not racist" was of course the first response because of course that prejudice wasn't unwarranted- "I've seen it happen at work". And the argument of knowing many minorities who were good people was offered up as defense. Check off another square on racist BINGO and suddenly I was tired of listening. All the anger and frustration I feel when I read about sexism and racism as it runs rampant boiled up and I started yelling, I wasn't listening anymore or allowing conversation. In a flood of pain at the inequality of the world, I ranted about the way we (white society) set up a social and economic disparity between minorities and whites and use the education system to ensure that they'll stay 'in their place' so we can pretend superiority, how employers in high paying jobs are STILL more likely to hire white men than women or minorities, how our education system is designed to keep disadvantaged minorities in schools that aren't equipped to give them a decent education and then we pat ourselves on the back and talk about those 'ignorant minorities who are a burden on the system.' A system we created as a trap that few will be able to escape. I would LOVE for affirmative action to no longer be necessary, for women and minorities to be equally represented in the workplace and given the same education and respect as their white, male contemporaries. But it doesn't work that way, we KNOW that women and minorities are discouraged from certain fields. Good enough for fast food, good enough to clean your house or yard- but to demand an education and training that would allow them to do more than that? Now that's asking too much. At some point during my diatribe, my husband informed me he was going out to a friend's house- probably because he wanted to let me rant in peace.
The point is, I've discovered that there's some things I won't listen to. Some issues I'm not willing to discuss rationally or civilly. I'm tired of hearing people justify how screwed up things are. Comments like "Better yourself, don't expect the government to force your employer to financially benefit you with no additional effort on your part... Minimum wage jobs are just that - minimum skill, entry level jobs geared for students and young people - NOT careers. If folks choose not to better themselves and gain more education / skills then they should not complain about their pay - every human being controls their own destiny - especially in America where you can be/do whatever you want to pursue and live wherever you choose." I'm sick of people defending inequality under the guise of 'if you just worked harder, it's your own fault that you're working your ass off as a dead-end job for shit pay'. 'If you don't like it then work somewhere else...' I'm tired of hearing it. I'm tired of ignoring it, I'm tired of listening to blanket blame of 'liberals' or 'conservatives' which are just labels used to keep people at each others throats instead of focusing on the profit-driven politicians who are more concerned with lining their pockets than actually trying to do anything to benefit the people of this country (unless it's one of the upper-class). And I'm done being polite about it, I just can't anymore. There's only so much crap you can read and hear every day before you're done. And I am Totally Done. Not in the sense that I don't want to hear about it anymore- but in the sense that if I hear someone trying to justify it, I'm not going to hold back. There will be an angry, possibly incoherent, pregnant rant about how wrong it is.



Posted on 2014.09.01 at 20:57
When I'm restless, I obsess. Going through all the baby clothes and writing down what we have. Categorizing them by type (onesies, nightgowns, socks, hats, etc.) and then by size- and baby clothes come in some of the strangest sizes. Newborn, 0-3 months, 3 months, 0-6 months, 3-6 months, 6 months... I have a feeling that when Alex comes home I'm going to have to treat him like a doll and try everything on him to see what fits and what doesn't. I have a list of how many items it's recommended I have for each type of clothing; 5-7 onesies, 3-4 stretch suits with feet, 3-8 nightgowns, 1-2 sweaters, 2-3 pair of socks... We have plenty of onesies for the first few months, and lots of socks and hats. The other outfits are more spread out; two newborn strech suits, one that's 0-3 months, six that are for 3 months. Guess we'll have to see how fast he goes through clothing and if we need more. The little changing table has three drawers and I've organized them several times. I know that's all going to change once he gets here, of course.
We also have our Amazon baby registry that doubles as a list of things I want to pick up for him both before he gets here and after. I started listing items I'd like to have first and which pay check can be used to pick them up. Next paycheck I want to get a humidifier for his room and a first aid kit and a grooming kit. However, Amazon likes to play with me and will drop the price of one item while raising the price of another, which screws with my budgeting. A bedding set I was going to wait on until October is on sale now while the wall art I was going to pick up has doubled in price. Did the prices change because it's going to be out of stock soon? Should I change things and get them now? 'You aren't allowed to get them now Keeley, you have to wait until the next paycheck, no you aren't allowed to use the credit card...'
I have a love/hate relationship with the registry itself, items that I had on it will suddenly no longer be in stock and if it's something I've really been wanting but was holding off to get until payday, it's incredibly frustrating. And I will add things like a crazed addict. I keep trying to get it down to one page but haven't had any success because I keep finding things to replace the items I've taken off. Someone bought the baby monitor we wanted for us as a gift, I take it off the list and find a set of towels I want to get for him to replace it... me = browseaholic.
His room is another focus/frustration. It's not quite ready yet, I need to wash the huge blankets and stuffed animals and get them into storage, take down the last of the posters, clear off my desk and my desk chair. We have organizers coming for the closet so I can get his toys and things sorted off the changing table.
I also need to get his car seat figured out and in the car. I haven't figured it out yet and so it's sitting in the living room until I do.
Worries: My diet needs to be better, I worry that it still has too much sugar. Too many carbs, too much fruit and not enough veggies and protein. We could be eating a LOT healthier, less fried foods for sure. Also, I'm pretty sure I need to be drinking more fluids- and not the lemonade and milk that I'd guzzle by the gallon if I wasn't worried about sugars. And I need to be more active. I'm not walking every day like I should be, I'm not doing the water aerobics as often as I should. The classes are usually in the morning when I'm really tired (and often babysitting) or the evening after I've been working all day and am (surprise!) also tired. Also, it's no fun exercising by yourself. I have zero motivation to go out and walk around on my own and if there's no one else going to the pool (on the days when I don't have to babysit) I find myself trying to put off going. We've gotten better at keeping up the apartment, but still need to step it up. The bathroom needs to have the sink, toilet, tub and floor cleaned once a week as well as the catbox changed. The carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and the kitchen needs the counters and floors wiped down once a week. That's not happening like it should and it sits there in the back of my head that it hasn't been done. We're sort of getting better about dishes, one or two will be left out on the coffee table or pile up in the sink, but I'm working on making sure the dishwasher is emptied after I run a load and that the sink gets emptied before bedtime. Laundry still happens 'whenever' and often sits in the basket after it's done instead of getting put away. And once the baby gets here? I worry that things will slide even more. I really don't want the kiddo growing up in a disaster area. It was one thing for us to live here because were adults and if we didn't like the mess then we needed to get off our butts and take care of it. Completely different for him and possibly bad for his health as well.
Hurry up and wait. We have two months to get my iron levels up, my blood sugar down, get myself in condition to be able to give birth, make sure we have everything he's going to need and get it all organized. It feels like forever and not enough time at the same time.


A thing happened yesterday...

Posted on 2014.08.12 at 11:35
Normally I filter out celebrity deaths, these are people I don't know and while their deaths are sad- any death is sad and there are quite a few people who die every day and part of me hates that we prioritize the death of one person over the death of so many others.
Robin Williams was an actor I would have loved to meet and learn if he's as much fun to be friends with as he seemed on the screen. And incredibly talented, he made movies that made me laugh and cry and 24 Hour Photo scarred me for life. And somehow hearing about his death, and that is was linked to depression, made me pause for a moment and something inside my head went, "Well, shit." I knew he was a man who struggled with issues. He never hid that from the world and it always made me respect him more because of it. Hearing that those demons finally won made me sad though. And with the attention focused on his death and his depression, I started to think about things. "A dangerous pastime" "I know." (Thank you Beauty and the Beast)
Depression- my own experience with depression and anxiety started in junior high school and continued into high school, with all the intensity of teenagedom. It was like a roller coaster of ups and downs and at the same time, I remember a haze of apathy wrapped around everything. I didn't want to go to school anymore, didn't want to do homework. Couldn't find it in myself to care enough to try and pass my classes or do the chores my parents wanted me to do at home. I knew I needed to, the fussing of my parents and teachers made it clear- and part of me wanted to do what they expected of me. But it was easier to slip into a book and shut everything else out. And the combination of the apathy and the frustration with myself seemed to pull me apart. I felt like I had a perfectionist and a dead beat living in my body at the same time. I still got up. I talked to people and made jokes, fought with my brother and sister. But little things would become an issue. I've never claimed to be the most attentive person in the world, I loose track of things on the best of days but back then my life was a parade of forgotten assignments, missed due dates and lost personal items. Teacher lectures and readings from my textbooks couldn't penetrate into my head long enough for me to remember what I needed to. And I hated that because I felt like I should be smart enough to understand, but was somehow unable to do so. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I just be normal? Everyone else seemed to be getting through this without being batshit crazy. And here I was, a freak among freaks. Even my friends (who really didn't always feel like friends- high school is like that) seemed to sense there was something wrong with me. And there were times when I reached a head space that was so tired of everything that not being alive sounded like a relief. Never went past the line, but I backed up against it more than once. And with all this, I got sick. Really sick. Weeks of not being able to keep food down, loosing weight, visits to the doctors who couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, tons of pills and tests and more pills. Having a doctor finally look at the massive medical file and tell me that he thought it was anxiety was a HUGE relief. It made sense, it gave me something to work with. Just KNOWING was a huge step. And I was one of the lucky people that Prozac helped level out enough to get by. Over the course of several weeks on Prozac I was able to handle everyday stress without completely shutting down mentally and becoming physically sick. It didn't magically cure everything, at that point my study habits were horrible and I'd gotten in the habit of just not doing things that I didn't want to. But having an answer and having the choice was miraculous for me. A more in-depth look at my file and a discussion with another doctor and I was also diagnosed with seasonal depression. We noted that I would start the school year strong after a summer of re-charging my batteries, but around January/February, the charge wore off and I would start to struggle again. March in Colorado was my nemesis and things would start to slip from my grasp in a brown and gray haze of cold and hopelessness. More understanding gave me another level of defense against what was going on in my head.
I didn't stay on Prozac forever. We've all heard the insurance story- I got old enough that I wasn't covered by my parents anymore and I was on my own. I didn't slide into the pit that I was in back in school- less hormones and knowing what was going on gave me enough to keep moving, not always perfectly. I still had times when I checked out and lost a few jobs and drove a room mate crazy to the point that she told me I needed to move out (Sorry Rachael!). But I functioned, which is more than a lot of people who struggle with depression get. I loose my car keys, or end up five minutes late to work because I decided to do 'one more thing before I go' and lost track of time- I have friends who can't even get out of bed. There are also 'I'm going to sit in the tub and shut everything off' moments and the beautiful alcohol-induced 'I'm going to curl up under the blanket and scream at my husband about how horrible I am and how sorry I am that I'm such a pathetic person' moment that will NEVER be repeated- jager bombs are evil. I'm really lucky to have people who help me get through that shit. Now I have little coping mechanisms- shoes that don't need to be tied in the morning because tying my shoes became a HUGE issue, a hook by the door so my keys don't get lost as often (of course it means if they aren't on my hook or my purse, I'm SCREWED- but it happens less frequently), deciding what I'm going to wear the night before so I don't spend an hour starting at my closet in confusion.
But not everything can be fixed with slip-on shoes. For me, knowing what was wrong after years of not knowing, was enough of a light to keep me going. For some people, they may know that they're in the hole but that doesn't give them the way out. It may even make things worse, "now I know what's wrong with me, why can't I just fix it?" First, this whole mess is chemicals in the brain bits doing stuff that I don't understand and really don't want to. And it's my understanding that there may be similarities in how our chemicals are misbehaving (which is why we all get the lovely 'depression' label), it doesn't mean that it's all the same. So I manage my off bits without drugs, others need them and they work fine, others need them and haven't found anything that helps. There is no 'one-size-fits-all cure', that makes things even more 'fun'.
Now I circle back to the result when things don't go well- Robin Williams committed suicide. Was it something he had control of, should we be angry with him for giving up? He made a choice to kill himself and now we get to circle around whether he had a right to make that choice, if he had complete control of himself to make that choice, do we blame him or mourn him, was it illness or weakness?
I read an article discussing the 'selfishness' of a person who falls off the edge and commits suicide. It can be argued that suicide is inherently selfish. The person committing suicide certainly isn't in a head space to think, 'if I do this, it's going to really mess up the people who know me', they're focused on the way they feel, putting an end to that feeling, and also possibly the thought that the world will actually be better without them screwing it up. They're totally convinced of this thought process and aren't able to see beyond it- this is the worst part of depression. It's like believing the grass is green. Of course it's green, what other color would it be? This thought feels like it's a basic truth and you don't even think to question it. It's possible to get past it- a lot of people do- and afterward you can question it and realize it may be wrong, but at the time you BELIEVE. And that belief leaves you alone in the bathroom at a party, wrapped around the toilet listening to the people in the rest of the house who are going about their business with no clue about what you see as the ugliness in your head (my personal favorite high school moment). Sometimes that belief pushes you beyond the toilet and into an even darker place. Honestly- it is selfish, you don't care that those people might want to help you if they knew how upset you were, because you really can't see it at that moment. We tell our friends, 'if you feel this way, call me.' But in that moment, making the phone call is the last thing on your mind. You've gone under and the panic has set in. Never mind that the surface is just a few feet away if you just stopped freaking out, you're freaking out and fuck everything else.
It's also very hard for someone who hasn't struggled with depression to understand/empathize/help out. And God help you if your depression is long-term, people get really tired of trying to help you deal with your shit. Because for them it seems like you're not really trying. I've been through my own slog and even I get tired and impatient. "If she'd just get out of bed, if she'd just stand up for herself instead of just complaining, she needs to stop driving people away, stop feeling sorry for herself, of course the treatment didn't work- she didn't really believe it would, she didn't try hard enough." It becomes exhausting, taking it's toll and sometimes the people who want to help have to step back because they're starting to damage themselves in the process of trying to support someone else. This can seem like a no-win situation. I have a flashback to the Swamp of Sorrows and how painful it was to watch Atreyu try to pull Artax out. He couldn't do it, and Artax couldn't go any further. This is depression- how it can be for the person fighting to get out, and the person trying to pull them out.
I had this thought- "In a way, we could see our own attitude towards suicide as selfish. We don't want people to kill themselves because of the pain we feel when they do. I hate the thought of loosing someone I love, but my mother has often said that if she was in enough pain and her quality of life bad enough, she would take steps to ensure she was no longer suffering. And the family reacted by telling her she couldn't do it. She had to stay alive so they wouldn't have to deal with the pain of loosing her. "You can't give up." It was hard for me admit that it was her life and her choice. Loosing someone to depression has to be even harder because we feel like we should have done something to prevent it. If there were only a magic word we could say that would fix things. But in the end there is no magic pill. And we really hate that, hate the helplessness. We can say all the right words and do all the right things, but it comes down to a person's choice to do what they choose with their own life. Now, I don't think we should simply accept suicide. But I think an important part of helping people who feel suicidal is to take ourselves out of the equation, make it about them instead of ourselves."
It has been said (over and over) that we need to change how we handle depression and mental illness in general. I think this is true. At the same time, it's pretty obvious that there isn't an easy answer for how we should handle it. What do you do when your best isn't good enough? There will be plenty of finger-pointing in the next weeks/months, and discussion is good- we need to at least try to sort this shit out, but the blame game can also cloud the issue. We point at one thing and say "if we fixed this, it would all be okay" without understanding that this is a complex issue with a lot of layers that need to be worked on. It's a mess, one we can end up feeling helpless to do anything about. Funny (not funny) how so much of life seems like that?


Clone Wars thoughts:

Posted on 2014.07.25 at 20:30
Chris has been watching this and I catch bits and pieces because he also watches it at work and I'm often doing other stuff while it's going on and only aware of it in a general sense.

C-3PO & his mental issues- he's a protocol droid, used in a lot of high-end political work. I imagine that he has to be wiped frequently, otherwise he'd have some pretty sensitive information in his head. Wonder what effect that could have on him and if it's part of the reason he's so neurotic. He's constantly loosing pieces of himself and really has no control over it.
Anakin- the 'hero' who ends up sucking the Emperor's cock. I mean, yeah- he's an awesome general and saves the day and stuff... except he's going to break it all. Everything he's been fighting for, he's going to destroy and he's going to end up hooking up with everything he's fighting against. What a tool.
Clones are more interesting than the 'main' characters.
Droids, also more entertaining than the 'main' characters.
Why are we sending Anakin, who we KNOW was a slave and kinda prickly about it, to deal with a race that's trying to enslave another race? There wasn't ANYONE more qualified? Are they TRYING to send him over the edge?
I think there were more slaves on that ship, that they didn't try to rescue...
A bunch of younglings are left on a planet and used as prey- including Asoka, and no one wonders if maybe they've gone a little darkside from the encounter?
And seriously the way the Trandoshans are shown in this episode is SO messed up... they lost so many Jagannath points by the time they died, why are the Trandos being portrayed as honorless whackjobs?
"The Sith may be rising" Um.... ya think?
Oh look, younglings who are going to be hunted down and killed by Anakin at a later date.
Wonder if there were any Clones who decided not to follow Order 66... Hello Wikipedia- "Not all clone troopers obeyed the Order, however. On Murkhana, Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone were rescued from Order 66 by members of the Ion Team. Led by Climber, they initially questioned the validity of the order, and even upon confirmation, refused to side with the government over those who had fought alongside them, having developed an affinity for the Jedi. Omega Squad, Delta Squad, and Ordo Skirata did not even hesitate to disobey the order, though all of them feigned compliance to avoid suspicion, as they had already formed doubts about Palpatine and his new Centax clones. Captain Maze, as well, did not execute Arligan Zey. In all other recorded instances, Commandos and ARC troopers obeyed it.[4]"


Following a train of thought...

Posted on 2014.06.23 at 17:07
After discussing the Jezebel "Thighlights" stupidity, I was contemplating objectification and my brain reminded me of the article I'd posted about men in suits being a temptation to women and the reaction many women had to the article (mostly a lot of "more please!") to the images of attractive men in suits. My brain asked, "was that a form of objectification?" and I saw how it could be viewed that way. Then I started thinking of men in suits, or dressed up in general and women dressed up in general and how we (or at least I) feel when we get all spiffied up. And I know quite a few people who don't fit the 'attractive norm' (whatever that is) who look pretty awesome when they dress up. I had a sudden urge to see a photo shoot of people in suits/skirts/dresses who may not be 'model' material but still can make a cut of cloth look good. And now I want to dress up in a suit and strut...
Objectification aside, there's just something about a good suit.


Saving so I don't forget...

Posted on 2014.06.19 at 13:17
Just read an article comparing conservative attitudes about welfare to their attitudes towards warfare. Specifically, the attitude of 'people take responsibility only if they must. The more we intervene to prop them up, the less they do for themselves. We can’t save them from their bad choices. They have to face the consequences and adjust their behavior accordingly.' that is used when discussing welfare, but when it comes to foreign policy, the US wants to be the first to go in and 'save the world with democracy', even if it doesn't work and we end up wasting money, resources and lives.
This was the comment I posted on a friend's feed when they posted the article and I wanted to re-post it here for further consideration-
The difference I see is that there are politicians who make money off the military industry, of course they're going to support more military action, no matter how pointless- because in the end they profit from it. Welfare spending doesn't benefit them directly so they're going to do their best to dismantle it so that the government has more money to spend on things that they do profit from. At least that's my perspective.

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