2014 March 18
I judge people by where they get their news. Understanding the world in which we live is part of being a good citizen, a good member of the community, and being able to effect the changes you want to see in your world. Your ability to evaluate the quality of your sources tells me a tremendous amount about how seriously to take anything you say. As guidelines they aren't absolutes, but I've been using this model for 20 years and it's not failed me yet.
Don't follow news at all: Anything you say about current events is just noise and thus safely ignored, mostly neutral though with a mild tilt left or right depending on what radio station you listen to in the car, as their news segments will influence your views.
A combination of evening or morning local broadcast stations, the local newspaper, and local media websites: You're 75 or older, a product of your generation. You are moderately informed but fit very solidly in the general demographic of the region and likely don't have much depth or breadth of understanding of most issues.
A combination of broadcast and cable news, local and national papers, mainstream media websites*: You make an effort to know more about what's going on and are potentially well informed on the general issues.
Only alternative media (local alt-weekly, Village Voice, Mother Jones, Alternet, etc): Reasonably informed on the hot alt issues, but probably missing out on ...
2014 February 09
Hugs. This has come up a lot over the past year or so and I keep meaning to write about it so now I am. I get asked at least a few times a month why I don't hug people more often. I probably have overthought this because that's what I do. I try to err on the side of caution. I'm always open to hugs, hugs are wonderful, even necessary, and there are a handful of people with whom I've an established pattern of hugging such that it would be more strange for me to not hug them. But I very rarely initiate hugs because I don't know the state of mind of the person I'm greeting and don't want to impose an action on them they don't really want. I'm never sure if it's welcome or wanted. Even the act of asking is loaded, it is awkward for them to respond 'no' even if they have a really good reason. Here's a hint: Any damn reason, or no reason at all, that they have for saying 'no' is a really good reason, it's their body.
In my social circles there are a lot of performers, a lot of people who are constantly bombarded with people wanting contact, connection with them. We socialize women to not say no, to be accommodating and passive, and surrender their agency. In this context it's overwhelmingly men who are demanding physical contact, but I've certainly seen plenty of women doing the ...
2014 February 08
Desuetude declines, dusting off the long neglected nigh forgotten soapbox. It’s been quite a year, it’s been quite a while, my life has gone wildly askew several times, I think I’ve finally determined the direction of up. Some housekeeping is in order.
When I decided to resuscitate my long moribund site I figured upon simply availing myself of one of the many blog tools listed on djangopackages.com. I haven't written code on a regular basis in some time so figured it would be much simpler to just cobble together my new site from tools others had built. Much to my dismay even the currently active projects are still all using function based views. Class based views have been around for years and I’d like to be forward looking in my architecture, they are quite nice and certainly more pythonic in general. So I referenced the fine works of James Bennett and found myself writing yet another blog tool, soapbox. Also considered as a name: high horse. Because I laugh every time I say it. Ultimately it took a weekend to rewrite the blog,review,and projects tools using CBV and another weekend for the UI.
I’ve also moved to a responsive design that mimics my business cards. I started out with the django-bootstrap
* app but found it too restrictive and I was having to write very verbose and convoluted templates and css to make it do what I wanted, so I opted instead to go with pure ...
2013 May 06
Music is an incredibly powerful emotive force, at least for me. I grew up in a time period where musical allegiance was identity (I'm sure that was the case both before and since my youth, but I can only directly speak to the mid 80's through early 90's). Within each subculture was the inevitable 'punker than thou' mindset that is so poisonous to community and to true love of music. I was clever enough not to fall for that. I embraced music of all genres and delighted at discovering things that sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. I am a music snob, I'm extremely selective in what I like. But I don't limit myself to a small subset of all the music available to enjoy. I'm as likely to enjoy South African Pop as Chinese Indie Hip Hop and have strong views on a variety of what is commonly and improperly called "classical". You must love a genre or selection of genres to appreciate parody of it, such as PDQ Bach.
That said I was not clever enough to eschew the underlying ideation on purity of intellect and spirit, which I at times in my life have been truly driven to pursue.
"This way is the purest, this way is the surest and all the dead dialects illustrate the pointless" - Manic Street Preachers
Seeking such purity in a world of gradiation is a futile endeavor and yet I persist. The instinct to ...
2012 December 12
It would appear the QR Code scams are on the rise. If you aren't familiar with QR Codes, they're those odd little squares with geometric patterns in them you see on ads etc.
Scan this little box with your smart phone and it will take you to a web page or give commands to your phone to do other things. Like send text messages, activate your camera and start streaming it to the internet without your knowledge, etc etc.
When I first heard of these many years back my first thought was "Wow, that's an incredibly high risk thing to do with your phone, why would anyone even consider it?" I appear to be in the minority in that view. Then again I also wouldn't reveal my password in exchange for a candy bar