textualdeviance: (Default)
A couple of hipster chicks are apparently upset at a meme calling them out as geek poseurs, and are crying sexism (because having your geek cred questioned is just like rape.) Hooray.

Have written at length on it on my other blog, but I have a few, more-personal notes to make about it, too.

Specifically, I cannot express exactly how much I hate it when conventionally attractive, cisgendered women whine about how oppressed they are when they're not taken seriously by some group or other. Honestly? STFU. If you are femme, attractive, white, straight, healthy and at least middle class, the chances of you actually suffering from oppression in any real way are next to nil. Quit pretending you're more oppressed than those of us who really DO have to struggle to be taken seriously because the gene fairy didn't smile on us.

What angers me the most about this is how they seem to want the best of both worlds. They not only want to be judged on the merits they've actually worked to achieve, but want the extra competitive boost that fitting social ideals gives them. I can't count the number of times I've seen someone who's actually more qualified for something get passed over for someone who sort of fits the bill, but also has perky tits, and who does everything she can to play them up.

And of course, when this chica runs into someone who's not just indifferent to her attempts to show off her assets, but actually sees through that bullshit, she starts bellyaching about sexism. But, but, but, you don't understand! You hate me because I'm byoootiful and that's not fair! No, honey. I don't hate you because you're beautiful. I hate you because you know you're beautiful, and do everything you can to make sure everyone else knows it, too. Making a fuss about that tells me where your real priorities are, and if it's obvious you care more about what brand of shoes you're wearing than the topic at hand, you're not going to win my respect.

Wearing a low-cut shirt or a ton of makeup as a way to try to impress someone is the femme chick's equivalent of casually flashing a Jaguar keyring or yammering on about who your parents are or what Ivy League school you were legacy admitted to. If what you're trying to sell me on is something you didn't actually work to earn, I'm not only going to be unimpressed, but I'm going to show you the door. If you're not concentrating on your actual qualifications and are instead trying to impress me with what you're wearing, I'm going to wonder what you're trying to hide.

I'm not saying that people who just happen to have been born with good bone structure shouldn't be taken seriously. On the contrary, I think that judging people on bone structure at all is stupid. So when you're trying to convince me that I should do so, I'm gonna get turned off. I'm not judging you on your looks, but on your character.

And that? Is not discrimination.
textualdeviance: (Default)
LJ seems to be dying down in the last couple of years now that people are getting more into short-form stuff like FB and Twitter. Which probably means there aren't a lot of people actually reading this journal anymore, even if they still have it friended. Fair enough.

It also, however, means a lot of my own day-to-day babble is going elsewhere, too (both for format reasons and to try to reach a larger audience), which means most of what's going here is the long-form personal stuff that doesn't fit somewhere else.

Which probably means I'm boring the crap out of the people who actually are still reading it.

Ehm. Sorreh?

I spose it's kinda funny, though. Because I use different spaces for different things, exactly what picture one gets of me is going to depend a great deal on which of my online presences one sees the most:

If you only read here, you'd probably think I'm a navel-gazing whiner with a slight obsession with politics and social activism. If you only read my other journal, you's probably think I'm a mentally masturbating pervert. If you only read my Twitter feed, you'd probably think I'm a pop culture obsessive who never strays far from her TV or computer. If you only look at my Flickr account, you probably think I'm a globe-trotting travel fiend with a sideline in birding. If you only read my comments on political news articles, you'd probably think I'm a sign-wielding activist firebrand. And FSM only knows what you think if you're only reading the totally random crap I post on FB.

And if you never read anything I write online at all, you probably know next to nothing about who I am. ;)

Seriously, though....

It does kinda bug me that the more in-depth communication possible in this format seems to be a dying art. I "know" more people than I ever have before thanks to the shorter-form stuff, but my own personal monkeysphere can't accomodate deeper communication with everyone I contact, even if I want to (really, really want to, in some cases.) Trying to have a moment of human bonding in 140 characters with 213 people just isn't really possible.

The death of human contact predicted by technophobes when we first started toying with Usenet and IRC never really came true, because people were using it as a means of reaching people beyond their immediate neighborhoods, and thus making deeper connections than mere physical proximity can allow.

But I do wonder if we have started edging that direction, now. The means of in-depth, meaningful contact online still exist and always have, but people are using them a lot more rarely, now. Whether that's because we're pushing the limits of our monkeyspheres too hard or because we just don't give a shit anymore, I don't know, but it is kind of worrisome. Technology itself is not a barrier to human bonding, and can in fact be a facilitator for it. But only if we're actually using it for that purpose. If we're moving toward seeing other people online as just NPCs in some giant MMO, we're losing out.
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textualdeviance: (trapped)
So, another year's Geek Mardi Gras* is basically done. Holing back up in the hotel room for the rest of the day and then flying back home tomorrow afternoon.

Even though there were good moments, this year's fest felt markedly different to me on a lot of levels, and I'm actually in kind of a crappy mood. Part of it's physical. The heat/humidity are killing me, and I picked up some sort of digestive bug yesterday (bleh,) but there's also a mental component to it, too.

Like most folks, I dislike crowded, noisy spaces, and big cons like this are quite awful on that count. But I'm also finding that I dislike meatspace and dealing with strangers in general. Even strangers with whom I theoretically have a lot in common, like I would here (or in queer spaces.)

I still enjoy going out sometimes, but only if there's a central purpose for it. Travel, for instance, I do because I want to see new places, and I do occasionally enjoy seeing a first-run movie in a theater, or doing a bit of retail therapy. But for the most part, if I don't have to go out and deal with masses of people I don't know, I'd rather not.

And I most certainly don't want to do so for the purposes of socialization.

I love people. I do. Really. So much so that I prefer actually getting to know them. )

If I had to rely only on meeting people in physical space, I'd never have any friends, and I wouldn't be married, either (M and I met on a BBS, after all.) So why on earth would I want to waste a bunch of time trying to pick out that one person in a crowd of hundreds who might actually like the real me when I can do that kind of filtering in a much shorter amount of time, and from the comfort of my own computer?

This is not to say that I want to conduct friendships or relationships entirely online. I'd much rather have M within poking distance than stuck in his office across town, and anyone who knows me knows I'm a major cuddle slut with the people I love. It's just that when it comes to the initial butt-sniffing dance, I'd much rather do it in a way that lets me instantly sort for affinity, allows for actual conversation, and allows me to get to know a person instead of just a physical body.

Life's too damned short to waste any of it sifting through haystacks to find a few needles. So sue me if I'd rather bust out the metal detector and make that process a hell of a lot quicker and less painful.

*DragonCon. As opposed to SDCC, which is Nerd Prom.
textualdeviance: (Default)
First impressions: My, it's flat. And has a chewable layer of smog. Ick. Also, there are only about half a dozen buildings with more than ~50 floors. I was somehow expecting a metropolis, I guess. Some rather pretty old architecture here and there, however. Hoping to see more if we can run around a bit.

Was also rather impressed by the massive nuclear plant we saw as we were descending (four cooling towers. Eesh. Dunno if that was GA or MS, tho.)

Other than that, I haven't seen much of it yet. I tried desperately to get some proper sleep last night and it just didn't happen. Finally passed out around 2:30 or 3, and then got right back up at 6. Tried to sleep on the plane--no go, even in first class (yay for mileage plan bonuses.)

This lack of sleep, and my usual annoyance at the first part of travel (Big Fucking Airports, too-close quarters with strangers, eensy beency airplane loos, fucked-up car rental locations...) made me far too tired and cranky to do anything else tonight. Only posting this here now because it's keeping me awake until a reasonable hour to turn in. So I don't, y'know, get used to waking up at 5 am here and then start passing out at home around 8 pm when I get back.

Registration for the con is tomorrow afternoon. Will get the lay of the land then and get a better idea of what I'm doing the rest of the time here. May spend the earlier part of the day driving around in circles.

***

Oh, and in other Texty-licious news: I have a job again. My old team apparently wants me back--so much so that they're foregoing an interview. So I'm starting again the week after we get back. Dunno much in the way of details beyond that, though. Curious what the contract length is, but I'm up for just about anything, really. I'm enjoying my sabbatical, but I'd also enjoy a regular paycheck again.

On the chance that I do have a long contract ahead, I think I'm going to treat this weekend shindig as sort of a last hurrah before going back to the grind. So, tonight's catatonia aside, I plan to party my everloving geeky butt off.

That, combined with shittastic net access and cel signal here at the hotel, means I'll be on the brownout side of Internet Dark for the next few days. Holla if anything interesting happens.

***

Random sad fan note: I actually hauled out M's laptop on the plane so I could watch yesterday's ep of Ideal and jot down the first few grafs of a fic whose bunny was threatening to chew my leg off and beat me with it. Huh.
textualdeviance: (Le Connor Temple)
[livejournal.com profile] foxipher posted this, and I had to laugh a little.

Are geek boys still pining away about not being able to get laid?

With the caveat that I probably need to take my own advice at times, here's why the stereotype of the sexless nerd should be considered a mythical beast:

Nerds like sex. Nerds have sex. Nerds have the best sex with each other.

Nerds who pine away in endless lust for non-nerds and ignore the lovely fellow nerds standing right behind them in the autograph lines at the con? Aren't going to get laid. If you're ogling the professional model booth babes instead of the non-implanted-and-Botoxed chick in the cute glasses with a bag full of action figures, you're looking in the wrong damned place.

To wit: Connor Temple should be getting plenty of tail )

Now of course, Connor is a somewhat rare case, being as how he's played by a guy who is actually quite foxy and hawt IRL. Andrew is a bit on the short, scrawny and slightly spotty side, but really, most average, everyday nerds aren't going to have his Puppy Eyes and Dimples of Doom working in their favor. And I get that. But there are still a bunch of nerd boys who don't even have a tenth of his conventional hotness factor who are still merrily shagging away, and it's only because of one thing: They've chosen others like themselves, instead of feeling rejected just because a swimsuit model isn't interested in them.

Undoubtedly, there's some good advice in that article linked above. Even if you're focusing on the right pool of potential partners, standard advice for everyone trying to get some still applies: Don't be rude, pay attention to personal hygiene and try not to monopolize conversations by going on about your particular obsession of the moment.

You also need to make it clear to the object of your attentions that s/he is more than an object. There are definitely some folks out there who are into no-strings sportfucking, but generally speaking, most people want to know that they're wanted on a personal level as well as a physical one, and if you don't feel that way about a given person, then move on until you find one you do feel that way about. It's less painful for all involved.

Being a nerd shouldn't be a barrier in and of itself to having a healthy and active sex life, and being a nice guy isn't the problem. Limiting yourself to those people that mainstream culture have brainwashed you into believing are the only source of satisfying sex? That's the problem.
textualdeviance: (WTF Tasty Bite)
And I love the power of international fandom.

Oh, lawsy, what a thing to wake up to!! *ded*
textualdeviance: (WTF Tasty Bite)
You know, there are a few interesting points in this piece, but they're completely drowned out by the OMG EVIL TECHNOLOGY!! nonsense, not to mention the reeking hypocrisy. (Seriously: You're going to use a video hosting site and Skype interviewing to try to make a point about how mediated communication is dehumanizing us?)

For the record, there is one truth in the hand-wringing about technology and human interaction: Many of us have less physical contact with other people these days, and that does make a difference. Skin-to-skin contact has major physiological benefits, and it's important for us to get a lot of it. Long-distance contact, regardless of whether that happens through old-fashioned snail-mail letters or more-modern means of communicating with people who aren't in the same room, is not enough on its own.

That aside, it's absolutely preposterous to suggest that people are somehow dehumanizing others merely because we have more-efficient means of communicating than we have before. In fact, I'd argue that the reverse is true.

Geography != Community )

People who are bound to the idea that DNA or zip code is not just enough of a social commonality in itself, but a preferable one have told me that there's something wrong with me because I don't socialize with my relatives and don't really know my neighbors, and yet spend a great deal of time communicating online with people who live across the country or on the other side of the equator or Prime Meridian. Me? I wonder what's wrong with people who are so afraid of interacting with people unlike themselves that they're terrified to venture into online socialization.

Don't get me wrong: I'm a big fan of in-person socialization. Hell, I'm an enormous cuddle slut. And I do lament that time, distance and scheduling make it difficult to go hug the people I love regularly. There are times I wish I could teleport my entire flist into my living room so I can glomph them for real instead of just with words. But there's no way I'd give up the opportunity to have known these people at all just because I was busy trying to make connections with locals with whom I otherwise have nothing in common.
textualdeviance: (Button Monkey)
There are times I feel terribly inept at what I do, and figure I'm doing something that any idiot can, and therefore will continually face a struggle to get the career I really want.

But then I see stuff like this, and I'm reminded that I'm a freaking genius compared to most.

I suspect I only feel inadequate because I live in Geektopia and spend a lot of social time online, and thus most of the folks I know are at least as tech-savvy as I am, or considerably more. And, well, I live with a brilliant coder and networking wizard who is more or less bonded with computer guts on a molecular level.

There definitely are a lot of people in my immediate world who have equal or greater knowledge of both media and tech, and thus I'm sure to have a lot of competition for jobs around here, but in the larger world, my skillset really is pretty unusual. Most people certainly use the stuff I create and muck around with, but they haven't the first clue about how to make it themselves.

Yeah, I'm not exactly curing diseases or feeding the poor, but I'm still doing something rare and, IMHO, fairly important. And maybe that's enough.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Considering that I edit photos for a living, you'd think I'd already figured this out, but... Sadly, no.

Here's the core problem:

I hate Photoshop. No, really. I hate it. I hate Adobe's UI, for one, and the thing is a giant, memory-sucking behemoth that takes about 10 minutes to load on anything other than the computer equivalent of a Testarossa. Even Elements doesn't solve that problem.

For hardcore image and design work, of course that's the industry standard. But when you're just doing day-to-day grind stuff? It's like using a commercial kitchen to make a tuna sandwich.

Unfortunately, because it's so popular with said hardcore designers, it's basically wiped out the market for any and all other photo editors.

The Company's efforts this direction have been sadly lacking. Paint, always a standby for grunt work, just doesn't really work with photos in any useful way. Live Photo Gallery is missing some key elements and has some features that are actually bugs, IMHO. And Picture Manager has some fatal flaws, and won't do any creative work.

My favorite tool, Photo Draw, ceased production 10 years ago and won't run on Win 7, so I can't go back to it. Also, it's old enough now that it can't handle newer formats anyway. Word and Publisher and all those other bits have some photo editing options, but they're really designed for docs, not photos.

So... I'm screwed. I find myself having to do one thing in one program, and then switch over to something else to do the other stuff I want to do, and that is a giant pain in the ass.

My criteria: )

Anyone know of anything that will do all this that also is simple, streamlined and loads fast? Or am I stuck wrestling the Photoshop Beast of Traal?

ETA: Thinking about this more closely...

I really do like Picture Manager in a lot of ways. It has just about everything I want, with just a few problems: )
textualdeviance: (Cascadia)
In addition to the health update...

*Uprooting stuff:
I think we're finally free of having to muck with Chez Fou. The new owner is now in touch with the service people who screwed up the original job, so I doubt we'll be involved anymore.

Also, we signed off on the inspection report for Charenton, so that should be basically done, now. We have a few bits of documentation and miscellaneous stuff to do for the lender and title co. and such, but assuming that it passes appraisal, we should be in official Pending (aka sit around and wait for closing) status by early next week. And then comes the serious furniture shopping!

Speaking of furniture shopping: Hey, [livejournal.com profile] havdrake? Next time you have a free weekend, wanna come look at stuff with us? I know we have similar taste, and I'd love to get your feedback on some of the stuff we're considering, to be a third set of eyes.


*'Puter stuff:
Thanks to declaring this weekend to be downtime from Uprooting-related things, I finally had enough free time to back up all my docs, pics, video, etc. so M could install the spiffy new hard drive I've had sitting around for... A year? At least. So I'm now installing all the software and IE plug-ins and such I need. Actually, I'll probably be doing that for weeks, as I remember stuff I need to install.

We also installed Win 7, with which I am rapidly falling in love. OMG so fast and so many awesome little touches. Between that and the new drive, my machine feels like a Ferrari. (Which of course means that my bloody slow piece o' crap at work is going to feel like a '74 Pinto in comparison.) I'm sure I'll find stuff to complain about as I get my hands deeper into the guts, but for now, I'm impressed.


*Dear gods, I love living in the NW stuff:
Also, I was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] fenchurche's adventures in blackberries to go raid the ripe vines running through the greenbelt behind our apartment. Got a good quart bag full and barely even touched what was out there. That bag then became part of a coffee cake, which turned out beautifully (no pics, dangit.) It's been a long time since I've done wild berry picking, and I'd forgotten how amazingly good they are right off the vine. NOM.


I feel amazingly calm and relaxed today. Sleepy and tired from all the recent stress, but I do feel like a lot of that stress has finally started resolving, which is a huge load off my mind. Still more to come, of course, but for the short term, I think I'm in good shape.
Aug. 3rd, 2009 11:19 pm

Ponderance

textualdeviance: (fuzzy grammar)
Maybe I'm just imagining it, but it seems to me that the quality of online discourse has declined at the same rate of improved connectivity to remote areas in red states.

Used to be, when you'd have a debate on some forum or whatever, you'd get a certain quantity of misanthrope trolls, Randian megalomaniacs and far-out space cadets, but overall, things were relatively sane.

Sure, people would disagree, and politics and such were never homogenous, but people knew that a poorly spelled missive with no research beyond "this happened to my cousin's best friend" would earn them a boot to the head. You had to be sharp, coherent and completely prepared to back up whatever you were spewing or you'd be Instant Breakfast for one of the guys who ended up founding Wikipedia or something.

But now that one-horse towns have broadband, all of a sudden, the whole internet's becoming less literate. It's no longer enough to simply avoid users with AOL or WebTV accounts and the back-fence chittering spaces they'd frequent. Any public posting that hits on a topic of interest to mouth breathers with an eighth-grade education and a sincere conviction that gay people and feminists are agents of The Terrorists will, as a matter of course, be flooded with barely readable posts from said numbnuts.

Oh, for the days when it was just the script kiddies, the occasional Ponzi schemers and that one weird guy who kept trying to get you to believe that the Masons are behind everything and you can get free electricity by sticking paper clips into pickles.

And when forums actually had moderators.

Sigh...
textualdeviance: (litereacy)
So, I'm seeing some folks who are tapering off on LJ, and spending more time on Twitter and Facebook, which is kind of disappointing, because it's sort of scattering people, and making it difficult to maintain communities.

That said, I do spend a bit of time on Facebook myself these days, and I can see purposes for all three places, but I haven't really found a great method of using all three in concert.

I think the trick is going to be trying to find a way to integrate all of it into a single place.

At the moment, LJ is kind of an all-in-one space for me: Primarily a place to read and write long-form blog posts and participate in discussion-oriented communities, but it's also where I have all of my RSS feeds--comics, news, other blogs, etc. I can get some Twitter stuff here, but not any FB stuff at all.

Facebook, on the other hand, makes for a great address book, and will import posts from Twitter and LJ (public ones, at least), but has no real way to properly integrate RSS feeds and has truly dreadful means of keeping up with communities and modifying content based on friend groups. And Twitter, well, it's too short-form and self-contained to use for any of that.

Hmph. Clearly, I'm going to have to create my own all-in-one site somehow.
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textualdeviance: (Leia-Solo)
Scalzi said it best recently, but I do have to weigh in.

Y'know, if you like Macs, yay. Glad you have something that works for you. Me, I like to have more control over customizing my own hardware and software experience, and I need something that plays games better and fully supports my right mouse button habit, but if you just want a net and graphics box, go to it. Different tools for different jobs.

But why can't some people just leave it at that? Why do they have to peddle these things to everyone they see as if they've just found Jesus? Are they trying to find a way to justify the cost outlay by convincing other people that they're cool or something? Because I can't think of any other reason why people would be having a religious experience with these things, and being so fuckall obnoxious about it. They're like the modern version of the '80s Beemer snobs. Ugh.

No, Steve Jobs is not the second coming )

I'm not saying that PC hardware is objectively better than Mac hardware, or that Linux or Windows are objectively better than OS X.* Truth is, each hardware and software configuration (and there are many) has its own merits and problems, and which of those matter more has a lot to do with what, exactly, you want to use your machine for and what your budget is.

I'm just saying that when you start preaching at me with your hand on that glowy little Apple logo as if it were the Good Book, you're not making any converts. You're just being an irritating douchebag and you make me want to slap you with the nearest fish.

And frankly, in terms of their characters, I'd rather hang around with honest nerd John Hodgman than self-absorbed assmonkey Justin Long.



*Sure, I have some vested interest in people continuing to buy MS products, since the company helps keep this family in cat food and DVDs, but I don't claim to speak for the company, I'm not in their marketing department, and I'm not interested in blowing smoke for its own sake. I'm usually one of the first to squawk when they do something stupid--which they do.
Jun. 4th, 2009 05:39 pm

It's mine!

textualdeviance: (jazz hands)

holygrail, originally uploaded by TextualDeviance.

Installing now.

Tags:
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:09 pm

Ooo

textualdeviance: (groovy)
Yes, I'm biased, but I actually really do like Bing. Dorky ass name, but IMHO, really useful. Kudos to the folks who assembled it.

And in other company news... Hi, Paul and Ringo? That's pretty damned amazing.


In Texty news, I'm rather sore today from yesterday's adventures, so I'm hanging out here at the villa, despite it having so little in the way of cooling options. At least most of the windows are north-facing, so the back of the place is relatively cool. I'll probably start being constructive later when it cools off a little more. The place has become a bit of a pit since we've been spending so much time/energy working on the house and have so little left to pick up after the cats (and our slobby selves) here at the domicile.
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textualdeviance: (jazz hands)
This is both awesome and creepy.

I'm currently watching M turn down our street.
textualdeviance: (Starbuck sidearm)
So, if any of y'all local BSG fans don't already have plans for the finale (Mar. 20), I was thinking about having a little shindig up here at the homestead. Big flat screen HD TV and surround sound! Comfy seating with free coating of cat hair! Snackies produced by yours truly!

We also get the early HD feed of this (the 7pm airing) so you wouldn't be stuck here half the night (unless you wanted to be.)

Ping me if y'all are interested and I'll throw together an evite.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Anyone else awake and watching the live LHC feed?

I know jack about physics and even less about particle physics, but for some reason, this whole thing fascinates me.
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Dec. 12th, 2007 12:19 am

O_O

textualdeviance: (jazz hands)
I had no idea Randall Munroe was so damned cute. And a funny speaker, too.

Jun. 13th, 2007 11:24 am

Ahahahahah

textualdeviance: (litereacy)
M just sent me this hilarious chat transcript.

If there were a geek equivalent of the Darwin award, this guy would get it.

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