muckefuck: (Default)
So here's a little test post to see if my DW entries are appearing on LJ. If you see it, why not wave?

I'm finding the old journaling habit hard to kick. All last week I was mulling over an entry on the current state of spring (which is excellent). Then last weekend I took Nuphy out for his birthday and ended up having a sexual adventure, so I thought about blogging about one or both of those. Perhaps I will.
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muckefuck: (zhongkui)
When I look back months or even years from now, I'm going to see the gaping two-week hole in posts and, in a moment of forgetfulness, ask myself, "Was I on vacation then?" Sadly no. What happened was that I suffered the same sort of writer's block that I do whenever I try to treat this venue as anything more than a glorified scratch pad.

You see, I noticed six months ago that my 5,000th post was around the corner and decided this needed to be distinguished in some way. But I failed to give it much concrete thought until very recently. I tried to think of how to sum up thousands of posts without having to actually read more than a few of them, and eventually stumbled upon the solution of text analysis software. But my preferred tool couldn't read more than a page at a time, the downloading software I've used before doesn't seem to be maintained any more and yadda yadda. Basically, my technological hopelessness quickly thwarted my ambitions and I slunk away.

So this is how the world missed out on an entire half-month of lame food posts, lame gardening posts, and amateurish reviews for books you're not going to read. The next post will be a placeholder that I will contemplate replacing with actual content for a while but never get around to. Sometimes art imitates life way too closely.
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Oct. 23rd, 2014 10:21 pm

Nameless

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Over the last few days, I've been reading up on the developments in GamerGate, trying to puzzle out whether I'm missing something and there are some legitimate grievances behind all the mobbing and abuse. All it's done is bring down my faith in humanity another notch.

It also makes me eternally grateful that I got my youthful anger out of my system when I did, back when the stakes were so much lower. The worst that ever happened to me in terms of abuse was one forged email from "God" berating me for my misbehaviour and fake news clipping plugging in my name as the suspect. The only time I had to deal with an email bomb, it was on a work account that I never use and, thus, a more-or-less random attack.

It also makes me more baffled than ever at young people's seeming indifference to online privacy issues. I never worried about anything more than upsetting a friend by betraying a confidence or tipping off a boss to how much private posting I was doing from work. The idea that I could have hundreds of enraged anonymous haters bombarding my workplace with hatemail and even DOS attacks because of an opinion I expressed never crossed my mind.

It makes me more thankful than ever that I've found such quiet eddies of the Internet to hang out. And it makes me more sceptical than ever about the latest Internet jihad. Yeah, it felt good to see Cook Source taken down over the haughtiness of its copyright-clueless editor. But even at the time, the thought occurred to me that this same tactic could be deployed against...well, anyone. All the characteristics which made the online world so enticing to me when I discovered it over twenty years ago are turning out to have terrifying drawbacks. I wonder if it's really possible to fix them and still keep what's good about this mode of communication. I certainly have trouble seeing how to balance anonymity with answerability or empowerment with responsibility.
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Dammit, sick again. This time it's a cold. I'm doing the zinc thing, but I suspect my social plans are fucked for the second weekend in a row.

Years ago, before I'd ever heard of LJ, I couldn't understand why anyone would keep their journal in public. Now that LJ is dying, I'm finally seeing the utility of it--at least for externally-motivated types like me. The social feedback, even if it was concentrated on my less diary-like posts, encouraged me to post more overall. As my memory gets more unreliable, these are the posts I find it most valuable to go back and reread, but there are fewer and fewer of them.

So I'm wondering if a change of style is in order. Instead of crafting entries for an audience which no longer truly exists, perhaps I should learn to content myself with sketchy summaries of my activities, like what I do when on vacation. The upside to offering less detail is that more information would get recorded more regularly. Quite often in these entries, I find myself referring to incidents which happened days earlier, which isn't all that helpful when I'm trying to use the archive function to establish a chronology.

So with that in mind, I'll note that talked with Mom last night for the first time since she and my sister came down to visit. And I confirmed that I embarrassed them both with my little freak out about grimy little hands on the settee, which perhaps explains why they haven't seen fit to call. As usual, I'm caught between the easy-going, accepting person I want to be and the anxious penny-pincher I really am. At least I'll be down in a week to sort that all out--provided I can stay healthy.
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Every time I try to view or update LJ and can't I ask myself, How many more borderline users just withered away? I had some ideas for a post or two yesterday, but I wasn't able to even comment on posts until the end of the day, and by then my inspiration had fled.

I've been trying out other social media, but I'm still finding them rather unsatisfying. [livejournal.com profile] bitterlawngnome had been urging me for months to get on Bearbookbruizr, luring me on with his appraisal that it's reminiscent of the good ol' days of LJ when it really was a burbling cocktail party. And although I can see what he means, I'm still finding it difficult to overcome the extremely Facebookish interface. Also, I'm finding myself torn about whether to go hog wild and just Buddy everyone I know there from either FB or here or whether to exercise a bit more restraint.

Two bears in particular I'm dithering about what to do with. One is Dale, who I still haven't forgiven for his little hissy fit last week. I'm reassessing that relationship and asking myself again how healthy it really is to keep up with someone so dreadfully insecure. On the other hand, there's the nice Wisconsin guy I met at a Game Night several months back and haven't seen again since. My attempts to banter with him kind of blew up on me, so I've dialed it back and now our conversations are dull as paint. For a while, I was actually avoiding FB in order not to be stuck chatting with him, which was arguably more blessing than curse.

Edit: Ironically, it took three tries to post this. Then I wasn't able to get in to edit it again until right now. Turns out LJ is suffering another major DDOS. Seriously, if they can't figure out which is the right Russian mobster/politician to pay off, couldn't they just give them all a cut?
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This was intended to be a whimsical little paragraph about how I summoned this morning's thunderstorm by watering the garden last night. But that didn't happen because I found my workplace without power.

They waited hours to send us home, then I went out for lunch with a coworker. I thought this would make a nice little entry, but I got distracted when I got home and somehow that didn't happen either and before I knew it, it was time to go out.

I had to meet people at a bar, and that didn't turn out much how I expected, but it was interesting all the same. So I resolved I would post about it as soon as I got in. But, wouldn't you know it, [livejournal.com profile] monshu chose that moment for his midnight snack. So I gave him an oral summary, he filled me in on everything that had gone on since I last saw him, and after that was all finished, well, it's past my bedtime and I'm beat.

Now I need to rest up so I can be ready to do the same thing tomorrow.
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Mar. 15th, 2011 11:15 am

Outrageous

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I've avoided commenting on anything related to the earthquake in Sendai because, well, I don't have a good track record when it comes to commenting on disasters. Moreover, what I would have to say would be mainly about my reaction to other people's reactions, which risks going beyond navelgazing into full-on hypocrisy.

But the whole tamtampamela affair speaks directly to a growing concern I've had with the nature of my online contacts. At least three of my Facebook friends shared her "God is Good!" video before I found evidence (via [livejournal.com profile] fengi) confirming that it was a hoax. Not I'm not bragging here about not being taken in. Although I did suspect it was a troll post, I was dubious because I couldn't quite imagine someone clever enough to make it being idiotic enough to put their actual face on it. Even now, I have friends of friends claiming that her association with Landover Baptist Church doesn't prove anything because she could still be a genuine fundie nutcase who's swallowed their satire at face value.

These are the contortions that intelligent people will go through to convince themselves that they haven't been punked. It's why tamtampamela's inbox is filling up with death threats. Rubbing someone's faces in their own psychological weaknesses is not a way to make them your friend. What bothers me most about the whole uproar is not the offensiveness of the hoax but how deep the need was among a broad segment of people not only to believe that someone who had such extreme views existed but to seek them out. Literally within hours of the first reports, I saw people on FB musing openly about how soon it would be before we heard of some fundamentalist preacher blaming the catastrophe on its victims.

Apparently, they've still waiting. I mean, I can't imagine that my flist wouldn't've informed me otherwise given how quick some were to find and post the amateur video of a complete nobody. I'm not disputing that there exists someone who honestly holds such opinions, but so what? I would never associate with such a person in real life. If they started ranting to me on the bus, I would change seats. So why would I invite them into my own home? Consequently, I haven't actually played the video. As I complained to [livejournal.com profile] monshu last night over dinner, what benefit does that bring anyone? It doesn't broaden my understanding of humanity and only increases my cynicism. It won't make me more sympathetic to the tsunami victims than I already am. And I have no need to raise my stress level by looking for more examples of human stupidity and cruelty than are already found in a casual survey of the news.

The only people who conceivably could benefit from watching the video--those who make it a practice to actively seek out causes for outrage--are highly unlikely to. I don't see many of them holding up a mirror and saying, "Tamtampamela did not exist so we had to invent her." No, I see that energy directed toward loathing the instrument of their humiliation. It's human nature; it's what I would do in a situation where I'd been the one duped. So this all leaves me with the question of how do I deal with such people--particularly when they are genuine friends instead of social networking Friends. If only FB had content-based filters--or if only I could find a better way of interacting with social contacts online. Or maybe the problem is even more fundamental and the solution lies in the same direction as [livejournal.com profile] welcomerain's and [livejournal.com profile] spookyfruit's decisions to turn their backs on online social networking.
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I've got mixed feelings about ignoring LJ in favour of FB during the last day and a half of winter madness. On the one hand, it was gratifying to get so much immediate feedback, particularly on Friday night when I was getting anxious waiting for [livejournal.com profile] monshu to make it back. On the other, if posting here is writing on sand, then posting to Facebook is writing on water. Even as I was updating, I was thinking how impossible it would be for me to look back in a year or so and reread my blatherings. And for better or worse, I do that. LJ has become my external memory, a repository for everything from drink recipes to depressive thoughts; as my retention becomes ever more sieve-like I'm constantly regretting not posting more.

But though I've long since gotten over the idea that every entry needs to be a mini-essay, I still like to bring a bit of polish to my prose. Not a high bar, but as I get more fat and lazy, it gets harder to surmount. For everything that appears here, there are at least two posts composed in my head that never made it to the page. (There are even those which have made it to the page but not to public view.) I'm not sure what to do about that--get over myself and slap up any old thing, since readership is an afterthought? Or get over myself and accept the fact that anything we do is a ripple so fleeting that trying to preserve it even in a modest way is senseless.

(Incidentally, the impetus to complete this came from the fact that I haven't been able to log into FB for a couple hours. How sad is that?)
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Does anyone else here have LJ notifications sent to Gmail address? Since I switched e-mail accounts a few days ago, I've found that the two don't seem to be playing well together. As of this morning, I've only seen notifications for half the comments on the last WotD post. So I posted (and deleted) a test comment myself and never got an e-mail about it.

I haven't ruled out LJ weirdness, since I used to have this problem occasionally with my old account as well. And test messages from my work e-mail as well as general correspondence seem to be getting through okay (albeit slower than was the case before). Maybe I should go with a Yahoo e-mail account after all?

Update: I think I may have figured this out! I seem to falling afoul of the Gmail feature which collates mail from the same addresses. So whereas I thought I deleting one notification, I may actually have been trashing two or three simultaneously.
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Mar. 10th, 2010 11:28 am

Failbook

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Speaking of LJ language settings, I don't think I've had my account set to "English" since the day I discovered I had a choice. After all, it seems a pretty easy way to get some added reinforcement in whatever language you're learning. I tend to default to German, but I've also had it set on Welsh, Dutch, Polish, Irish, and possibly some others. (No prizes for guessing what it's set on now.)

So when I joined Facebook six months ago, I began checking out the language options even before signing up. At first I chose "Gaeilge", but the questions on the homepage smacked so heavily of Béarlachas that I grew distrustful, and ultimately went with German instead. (As a consequence, I soon found that I had no common vocabulary when it came to discussing the site's functionality with others. That was fun when trying to explain to my older brother how to use Facebook's native postal system instead of posting stuff on everyone's Pinnwände...er, Walls.) That setting stayed until a couple months back when, tickled to discover that there was an option specifically for Canadian French, I chose that option. Even more than the terms "Babillard" and "Clavardage", I was amused by the use of "adepte" where I suspect the French French setting has "fan". It made my Ami(e)s sound like a bunch of fickle cultists.

Now that I'm all about the Irish once more, I considered giving that setting another try. There was a discussion of Facebook on the Daltaí forum some months back during which it was explained how translations of the site come about. I never realised they are done according to a consensus model rather than being the work of a single dedicated translator. Terms are suggested and then commented upon before being approved for inclusion, and some of the people involved I recognised as quite knowledgeable speakers indeed.

So I changed my setting...for like all of five minutes. Looking over my News Feed, I spotted this:
Trí uair ó shin.
Everything I read tells me that the correct Irish for "three hours ago" is "trí huaire ó shin". Now I realise what a bastard numbers can be in Irish; trí and ceithre are the only words in the language that both lenite consonants and prefix h to vowels. And uair is part of a small class of measure words which appear in the nominative plural after higher numbers instead of the genitive singular.

But the point remains that this is the kind of elementary error that a native speaker would never make. If something so simple is bolloxed, then what else in that localisation can I not trust? I'm going to be generous here and assume that it's Facebook and the anglocentric widget it uses to generate these timestamps that is at fault here, not the translators themselves. But the whole point of selecting a target language is reinforcement. If every day I see "Trí uair ó shin" lurking in the lower reaches of my News Feed, then sooner or later it will cease to leap out at me as incorrect, and the next thing I know I'm reproducing the error.

So back to French it is, mes adeptes!
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Today someone called me "a fucking creepy ass stalker" for referencing something mentioned in their LJ profile in a reply to them on a comm, enjoining me point blank from making use of "information that I didn't give you." I admit, I found this bewildering. After all, what are the data on someone's profile if not information they are giving to you and everyone else on the Internet? I know I don't have anything there that I wouldn't want everyone--from my grandma to my worst enemy--to know about.

So my question to you all is: Who is your LJ Profile for? Who do you expect to read it and what are you comfortable with them doing with the information listed there? What edits have you made because of the uses to which the information there was put on LJ or elsewhere?
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Well the "off chance" mentioned in my previous entry wasn't quite so off after all. We were relaxing after dinner, me having just taken care of some online bidness, when [livejournal.com profile] monshu commented, "I was trying to read your journal earlier, but the bookmark doesn't work." Turned out the bookmark was fine, he had just tried following it during one of LiveJournal's completely uncharacteristic moments of totally flakiness.

I asked him why the sudden interest and he gave me a noncommittal answer. I wonder if I've been remarking on the quotability of his utterances too much of late (I scribbled down two over the weekend; after the second, he asked, "Oh, is that going in there, too?") and he's curious to see how his words are being used.

In any case, I tried to encourage his interest. I said, "You should read [livejournal.com profile] caitalainn's journal, too." Then I pointed out that I've got a dozen idle codes buring a hole in my pocket. If he got an account, he could set up a Friends page with the two of us on it. Wouldn't that be conveeenient?

He hasn't taken the bait--yet.
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