Monday, October 20, 2014

Can @caitlindewey not see the problem here? More #GamerGate stuff

I was away over the weekend visiting family and didn't really expect to be revisiting #GamerGate after my last post on the subject, then I come home and start going thru my RSS feeds and find this article by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey) bemoaning the efforts of #GamerGate participants to get companies to withdraw advertising from companies whose editorial viewpoint they disagree with.

Aside from the fact that I dislike the entire, "We are your betters, how dare you question us tone of the article?" there is also a huge cognitive disconnect in Ms. Dewey's writing.

Early on in the article Dewey explains one of the driving forces behind #GamerGate:

In early October, Intel hastily withdrew advertising from Gamasutra, a news site for game developers, as a result of the letter-writing campaign. (The piece over which the site lost funding was an essay critiquing video game culture and attacks on women in the industry; many readers — including, apparently, Intel — read it as a “sneering, vicious denunciation of an entire group of people.”)

A couple paragraphs later she writes:

 Topping their most-wanted list, at present, is Gawker Media’s Biddle, who tweeted a string of jokes about Gamergate on Thursday. In context, at least, the jokes were an obvious — if tongue-in-cheek — commentary on the movement’s well-documented, often hateful, idiocy. Critics construed them as an endorsement for bullying. (Biddle later apologized for the tweets.) (emphasis added)

I don't know, does she really not see how #GamerGate participants might feel like they aren't getting a fair shake in either the gaming press or the mainstream media?  Or does she just not care? And those tongue in cheek tweets:

So yeah, they are presented in a joking manner, but keep in mind that these tweets are from the editor of a group of sites that has come out as ferociously anti-gamer and anti-#GamerGate so maybe people thought there was a little truth to them.

I would suggest that if similar tweets had come from a pro-#GamerGate site regarding females or minorities, or even if I tweeted something similar regarding Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian (and I am on regard as saying that I don't particularly support #GamerGate and definately condemn any harassment that these women (or others such as Brianna Wu) are being subjected to) that they would be taken much more seriously by Ms. Dewey.

What I find especially questionable is that after printing this Dewey has the gall to suggest that those trying to organize a boycott of anti-gamer / anti-#gamergate sites are somehow in the wrong for attempting to express their opinions.  Two questions:

1.  Did she feel the same way when left wing groups were trying to destroy Fox News?  I'm just guessing but I would bet no.  Ms. Dewey strike me as the type who was out rallying against "Faux News" every chance she got.

2.  What other option do you have when you disagree with a media outlets editorial viewpoint?  How should people express their opinion regarding such matters?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Just some thoughts

At, Chris has some thoughts on #GamerGate:
Biddle is actually an Editor over at Gawker media, specifically Valleywag. I think in just a few tweets he has summed up the whole Anti-GamerGate real agenda, pushing nerds back into the basement. Biddle’s problem here is very obvious, he hates nerds, he has nothing but contempt for them and he is openly admitting it. So my question is, why should I give my time and allow the company he works for to monetize me? 
I think Chris is a bit more into the Nerd culture thing than I am but I basically agree with his point - basically...

 By most measures I am a nerd, I like Sci-Fi (Fuck Harlan Ellison's pronouncement that anyone who uses the term sci-fi (in a 1979 / 1980 issue of Starlog) should be cast into the depths of the darkest star, or words to that effect BTW). I game, I enjoy comics and superhero movies, I work in the tech industry blah blah blah, you get the point, and more importantly that is basically how I define myself, but despite that I am not 100% on board with the #GamerGate thing.

First off, I think it's silly to be getting this worked up by the actions of the gaming press.  Yeah I get pissed off when they write something offensive about me or my circle of friends / interests so I point it out on facebook, twitter, etc. and I will argue the point if challenged, but really I think it's much more effective just to vote with your pocket book. This whining about ethics is just that -whining.  Welcome to the real world - journalists are even bigger shit peddlers than lawyers and politicians.  Get used to it.

Second, despite the protestations of Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) and others there has been harassment originating out of the #GamerGate camp.  I'm not saying it is organized or even that the major players in #GamerGate are condoning it, but some people who are associating themselves with #GamerGate are doing it.  Personally I think that's bullshit and it should stop.  (For the record I have also seen some rank shit coming from the other side too, and it is just as huge a pile of crap coming from them)

Third, when it really comes down to it I just don't give shit.  I don't read most of the gaming sites on a regular basis, so what do I care if they devote thousands of inches to Zoe Quinn and her interactive Suicide Quest.  I have watched a couple Anita Sarkeesian videos at a couple times over the last year or two.  I didn't find her either interesting or enlightening so I stopped.  I pointed out what I thought were the flaws either in a post here or twitter, facebook, Google+ whatever.  And moved on now I don't visit her channel any more.  That's how you win.  Point out the flaws in their logic and vote with your money.  The more attention you darw to them by doing things like a) making death threats, b) trying to slut shame someone, c) doxxing them, the more positive publicity you give them.  If you just refuse to visit their site they lose ad dollars and that will effect a change much faster than anything else.

So after all that I am back to where I started - basically I agree with Chris.  Don't patronize site that are going to treat you like shit and don't read anything by Cory Doctrow, because believe me he hates you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I am still alive

Just can't get caught up enough to do any actual blogging at the moment.  I am trying to write something epic about #GamerGate but I am not a very epic guy so... Anyway I will be back soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Catholic Church Softens Stance On Gay Marriage

Meanwhile I am still waiting on an Ello (@ellodotco) invitation.  At this rate we will have an openly gay pope celebrating mass on a float in the Folsom St. Gay Pride Parade before I have an account.


Monday, October 13, 2014

What are you reading 10/13/2014

Usually I am the one putting out the links but I am running a little dry at the moment so what are you guys reading?  Books?  Articles?  Fiction?  Non-Fiction?

To get this started - I am working on two books at the moment:

Stealing the Network:  The Complete Series - Kind of a cult cyberthriller series.  The books are a bit dated now, but still a fun read.

The Warriors by Sol Yurick - The basis for the movie.  I read this book back in the late 70s but looking back I am pretty sure that at the time I was too young to appreciate it, so yesterday at Powell's I saw a copy and picked it up.

I will be back this afternoon / evening with the regular collection of nonsense links that no one but me cares about or reads :-).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

VMWare training

I am one of those guys who is constantly chasing the fads, not setting them, and currently that is VMWare.  Now I have used VMWare off and on for years and all our servers at work are on VMWare platforms, but I have zero formal training and (and this is only important in having something for the resume) no certifications in the subject.  IN the case of VMWare the two go together - you can't take the exam unless you have taken the class.  Unfortunately the class is $5000 unless you live near an academic partner.  I do, but guess how many classes they are offering?  That's right - ZERO.  Given that I was pretty excited to find out that Caldwell Community College and UCSC both offer online training at pretty reasonable prices.  I am not going to provide links because, well I am selfish and I want to make sure there are spots open for me once I convince my employer to pay for the training, but I have made you aware and that makes me a good person.  Even if the wall of text with no paragraph breaks makes me worse than a serial killer.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

What I am reading 10/9/2014 - Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Wired - Why the Trolls Will Always Win -

(I)t 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.

It's a long article, but worth the read; even if I disagree with some of it.  I will talk about that later - I am running late now and don't have time at the moment.