Aug, 2012

From Buzzfeed:

After a year spent looking at the dark underside of the Internet — including bestiality, necrophilia and child pornography — this Google contractor wasn’t even hired full-time.

“I had no one to talk to. I couldn’t bring it home to my girlfriend because I didn’t want to burden her with this bullshit. For seven, eight, nine months, I was looking at this kind of stuff and thinking I was fine, but it was putting me in a really dark place.

Google got someone from a federal agency to talk to me, and that’s when it occurred to me that I needed therapy. She showed me photos of seemingly innocuous activities (kind of like a modified Rorschach test) and asked me for my first visceral reaction. I was like, “That’s fucked up!” It was just a father and a child.”

Link to the rest at Buzzfeed

Aug, 2012


I feel as if Tumblr as a whole gets upset far too easily. If you see someone doing something, like, say, eating meat (this is just an example), you can bet there will be someone there to viciously attack the person.

They will insult them, degrade them and harass them so that the whole world knows what an awful person they are. But when it comes straight down to it, harassment of that nature isn’t beneficial to anyone, not even the one sending it.

What does the sender achieve? What kind of a life must one lead, in which they are filled with so much negativity that they must delegate it to others? Why would someone choose to live their life this way? Not only are you lowering the quality of life of another human being, you are lowering the quality of your own. Calling someone “disgusting” and berating their life choices- regardless of which choice that may be- makes you no better than those at places like the Westboro Baptist Church, where religious extremists do just the same thing to people every day.

It also does not help the other party. Do you honestly think that someone is going to listen to you while you berate them and insult them? Do you really think insulting someone’s choices will make them “see the light”? Because it won’t. You aren’t facilitating change; you’re facilitating hate.

The point of this post isn’t to upset anyone. It’s to ask Tumblr to be a little more positive. Try to be happy. Optimistic. Don’t harass those around you for their life choices. It will make everyone happier. Try not to be hateful. Because for every nice and accepting person on Tumblr, there is a veritable hoard of hateful people standing right behind them.

So let’s just try and get along, all right?

I would even extend this more broadly toward American culture as a whole. Not just Tumblr. These days, when two party’s have a disagreement, they fight it out to the death. The other side must not coexist! And I’m not just talking politics. I’m also talking Janet vs. Americans who hate breasts; Kanye vs Taylor; [Insert comedian here who said comedic stuff] vs. [people who don’t share that comedian’s sense of humor]

It’s becoming more and more frequent that when someone to does or says something someone disagrees with, they get bullied into an apology or into disappearing all together. Some even receive death threats.

Now, death threats are an extreme example of harassment and it can be argued that the they come from the most extremist of personalities, who are few, existing on the fringes of any group. I would agree, mostly.

It can also be argued that dissenting voices tend to be loudest due to their passion. We barely hear from the kind and thoughtful personalities because they’re so soft spoken. Again, I would agree with this.

However, any amount of unkindness and lack of civility helps no one or a situation…if, in fact, helping is what these people are trying to do. Sometimes I’m not so sure. And the mentality of such individuals tends to imply that they are immune to making mistakes themselves, which is obviously untrue.

When we do something dumb, we let it slide with an explanation, but when someone else does something dumb, we crucify them.

It seems that portions of American society is losing comprehension of the subtle options in between love and hate, good and bad, right and wrong etc. There’s usually a middle ground, but we seem to be blinded by the forest of “Likes and Dislikes”. Indifference, tolerance, understanding, and the concept of “Live and Let Live” is becoming a lost art.

Aug, 2012

Visual Artist Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) and blogger at Skepchick asked secular leaders, who are men, to speak out against the violence and abuse directed primarily at the women in our communities. Here is what these men had to say:





















Aug, 2012

We live in a world where every single one of the more than 500 television episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ has a well-researched Wikipedia article devoted to it, but by comparison there is practically no information about many of the greatest artworks of the 20thcentury,” said Richard McCoy, a member of the conservation group and a founder of WikiProject Public Art. “This project can serve as a model and demonstrate the importance of documenting contemporary art while highlighting the significance of one of America’s most renowned artists.

ArtsBeat: Project Enlists the Public to Document Outdoor Sculpture by Tony Smith (via absolumentmoderne)

Aug, 2012

It saddens me to see girls proudly declaring they’re not like other girls – especially when it’s 41,000 girls saying it in a chorus, never recognizing the contradiction. It’s taking a form of contempt for women – even a hatred for women – and internalizing it by saying, Yes, those girls are awful, but I’m special, I’m not like that, instead of stepping back and saying, This is a lie.

The real meaning of “I’m not like the other girls” is, I think, “I’m not the media’s image of what girls should be.” Well, very, very few of us are. Pop culture wants to tell us that we’re all shallow, backstabbing, appearance-obsessed shopaholics without a thought in our heads beyond cute boys and cuter handbags. It’s a lie – a flat-out lie – and we need to recognize it and say so instead of accepting that judgment as true for other girls, but not for you.

“I’m not like the other girls”, Claudia Gray

Excellent article. I always end up thinking this when I see reblogs like that. Female competition is a horrible, poisonous thing (that I’ve only recently gotten over engaging in, and I am much happier for it).

(via birdwithapeopleface)

Aug, 2012


Last semester, I had the pleasure of working on a semester-long group project with a trio of exchange-students from Norway (one of the countries mentioned in the first frame). Apparently they were here for a year-long stay during a 5-year hybrid program that combines their undergraduate and MBA coursework so they can go straight to that higher pay bracket. They’ve been able to live independently from their parents since they turned 18 thanks to their government-subsidized education system and the grants they receive. A little budgeting goes a long way too — they spent their Spring break gallivanting around Hawai’i.

TL;DR: Seems legit.

Aug, 2012

In the case of voice-to-text technologies, however, all writing becomes a kind of rehearsal for verbal interaction. In this light, an important effect of computerized dictation technologies is that they could lead people to become more skillful speakers, and thus more thoughtful participants in meaningful discussions. If writers of the future are composing text almost exclusively through computerized dictation, then they may become more thoughtful and nuanced speakers in the process. That is, the effect of dictation technologies may not be just on our writing, but that they may train us to be better verbal communicators, not just with our machines but with our fellow humans too.

Siri, Take This Down: Will Voice Control Shape Our Writing? – Robert Rosenberger – The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)