marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

He's calling it: social networking is over. According to Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg, in five years you will not social; you will video. No one will type or post photos because like GIFs, nothing can remain still. Imagine your status update/wall post/timeline delivered via live stream 24/7. You won't describe a beach day, a lunch, a dinner, a shopping spree, or an argument: you will film it. You will film all of it. You won't post pictures because SOIDH (stream or it didn't happen).

If I happen to see such a "stream" as one big public piss everyone will take on our lives forever, I forgive myself for thinking we need less publicly viewable online cesspools to drain it off into this transgression.

If you tilt the other way and want everyone to stop posting forever and ever and ever then Drumpf's your man. He's got a huuuuge plan, the best plan, and it uses the best words to end the Internet.

Personally, I think it's all nuts. I like reading - not video watching, which even on the fastest connections that use the biggest modems, the best modems, I still cannot stand watching more than a few minutes of each day - and I like writing. I especially like writing about His Orangeness in the "unfair", aka "unflattering" way that will get me sued if he's elected but before he pushes the Internet OFF button that we all know is hidden in the same seekret location as Obama's birth certificate. I bet he finds them both at once!

I like the Internet because I can Google anything and get myself sort of half-ass self-educated. This matters to people with no money but a lot of brains - that is, being able to independently research and learn whatever we care to know. The rest of y'all can stick to live pissing streams or Drumpfian totalitarian censorship or Captain Marvel furry anime porn or whatever's floating your boats these days, because I don't know or care. I'll do my thing while the vast majority of the Internet discourages me from doing mine, even when I return it no such animosity nor even that much give-a-damn, because honestly I don't.

I think my worst quibbles with the Internet are the same as always: a) it's a timesuck (so yeah, this guy is a genius), b) the sites and apps on it are designed to drag you in, keep you in and lock you down (I cannot mention AOL's Walled Garden as the perfect analogy to what's going on today often enough, because what's going on today? Has always been going on. Zuckerberg is not a genius; he's an AOL copycat. AOL nailed this shit to the wall over 20 years ago, where it's been stuck ever since by an ever-longer line of wannabes: MySpace, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, et al) rather than lift you up and empower you to get what you want done. And c) it seems to drag people's thoughts and spirits down in ways that can reshape and often harm society. I think outside of fulfilling some entertainment, self-educational and social pursuits it serves little purpose. You can buy stuff and pay your bills online, though. Yay! Then watch the very websites you use for those things get hacked and your money and identity stolen. Not so yay!

And this - the last 20 some-odd years of the Internet - is because ads. No really, I'm not kidding. There is no other reason these 'free to join' websites, email providers, chat clients and live streaming services exist or even give us the time of day. Ads. Ads. Ads. That's the only reason they or you or I are here.

*looks up above this line*

Yep. This is why I hate posting links. I editorialize so much it just winds up taking forever.

In The Hypocrisy Of It All, an ongoing (you could say live-streaming, since we see it with our own eyes, then force ourselves to forget we saw it) series that women must play our humbly supporting parts in, as we all know programming is women's work because men are too hard-driving to sit back quietly at a desk all day performing ho-hum, boring, repetitive, and womanly tasks.

'Wait! Wait. Stop, MM', you say, 'We men have the corner on that, us brogrammers; we don't let women in because women don't know how to code'. Oh, OK.

Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper and Adele Goldberg, among many others early to the programming ("wogramming"?) scene, might not just disagree but also might have a veritable host of their own brogrammers to testify to the reality of their talent. I bet they'd crap their pants at what a badge of manly honor it's become to do the very work men practically sentenced them to as some sort of dreary, low-paying, un-world-building punishment once upon a Father Knows Best's kind of time.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Via [personal profile] andrewducker we have New Law Makes Canadian Jews 2nd Class Citizens (by making them more easily eligible for deportation) [via]. I take it anyone who has - or is eligible for - a second, dual citizenship is now persona non grata et Oh, Canada because tehrists (and yes, I have just mixed Latin with a Bushism, you're welcome). Which no, makes no sense to me whatsoever...apparently they want to close the country/deny equal rights of citizenship to all but ancient Canadian stock? Which wins the war against terror with I don't know what, exactly how?

My question is (because, no, those were not my questions...I give up trying to figure out how any government thinks it fights terror, or why it thinks taking any particular action will win that fight - though I do agree that this particular law sounds a bit draconian) this is not just against Jews, right? Doesn't it apply to anyone who has - or could have - dual citizenship? And isn't saying "Jews are second-class citizens" snubbing everyone else affected? The article itself seems to suggest as much, starting off like so:

The provisions that could banish dual citizens can also apply to Canadians who might be able to obtain a second citizenship. This would include Canadian-born citizens who are descendants of many countries that grant citizenship to children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren born abroad. Many countries, like Italy, Ireland, and India grant citizenship or easier access to citizenship to members of their diaspora.

But then it goes on to zero in on Jews as the primary victims of this law's passage:

Jews are second-class citizens under this law. That’s because the Law of Return gives an almost automatic right of Israeli residency and citizenship to any Jew. Every Canadian with citizenship or a right of citizenship abroad now has conditional rights to be a Canadian. It doesn’t even matter that you or your ancestral family have not lived in Israel for the past 2,000 years. Because a government official could argue that the Law of Return means you won’t be stateless if your Canadian citizenship is taken away, the second-class citizenship law applies to you.

While a glancing attempt is made in the third sentence to not forget everyone else affected by this, the authors (ETA 1: this tiny little article has four authors!) dart right back to it being a seemingly totally Jewish problem for the remainder of the last quoted paragraph. Yet I'm not seeing much difference between, "Many countries, like Italy, Ireland, and India grant citizenship [emphasis mine] or easier access to citizenship to members of their diaspora" and "the Law of Return gives an almost automatic right of Israeli residency and citizenship to any Jew". Isn't that about the same thing? Is the author saying that because Jews don't have to apply for Israeli citizenship (and also: is that really the case?) that they're automatically going to be more strongly targeted than Italians, Irish, and Indians for deportation? (And this is a problem because anything that's not inclusive of similarly affected groups is ignorant and offensive, IMO.)

But I'm not trying to pick on anyone by asking. While I'm not Canadian (USian born) I'm part Irish, from a Jewish bloodline (my dad's) and if you look back at my ancestry, I'm apparently Italian and French (as well as German and English, and *sigh* on and on it goes) so this isn't me trying to call or single anyone out or turn my back on any group that I'm a part of, after all...news to me, btw, that I have a Free Get Out Of My Country Pass...thanks, Israel). I'm simply curious what the panic is, exactly, and how (or why) the Jews are thought to have it worse than others with seemingly the exact same sort of dual citizenship granted via their home countries.

Also curious if the website that published the article is known for sensationalism/shock journalism? I'm just not feeling right about it, not at all, not until someone explains to me why Jews actually have it worse than any other group that qualifies for dual citizenship there.

ETA 2: and while no one has commented to answer my questions just yet, I clicked through to some highlights of the bill in question. Nothing in it suggests that all dual nationals are subject to its provisions (and absolutely nothing unequivocally seems to target Jews in particular). The relevant part of the bill states that it:

Establishes authority to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual nationals who were members of an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada [emphasis mine] and to deny it to permanent residents for same reasons.

No matter how someone might want to twist this around, the article writers - if I am to take what the law says at face value - are simply not telling the truth, yet seemingly are trying to incite a riot, for I don't know what reasons.

Is Israel at war with Canada? Has it ever been? Are they serious?

ETA 3: Facebook lies. So my nose for a piss poor story is still quite good, thank you! Checked into it and it turns out this is one of those myths that circulates on Facebook, like aliens building the pyramids and how no one has ever, no, not ever, because Van Allen Belts, landed on the moon. If Facebook says it, it must be true, dawgs... Unfortunately, if Andrew Ducker posts a link for it, I tend to labor under the same illusion.

Also see: The Entire Web Is Facebook's Bitch.

ETA 3a: Well...I guess I'm back to my original premise, which is that I don't see what's in the law to single Jews out. Why do the authors of the article in question zero in on Jews - almost to the exclusion of anyone else affected by the law's obvious attack on all dual-citizenship statuses? After more reading, I see that the bill's highlights which I linked to above somehow leave out the other concerning part - that anyone convicted of terrorism or treason in another country can also get booted - and that there are no trials to ensure fairness. The law can easily be abused so that basically any dual citizen of Canada is in danger of being exiled for just about any "crime" you can think of. Exile is not a modern-day punishment, which explains much of the outrage.

At first glance, the law looked to me like it was merely about exiling terrorists and those who might be working for other countries against Canada's best interests (also as terrorists, I guess) and instinctively I felt sort of in favor of that. But then I did a lot of reading and realized, OK, this law is mostly smoke and mirrors, it's rife for abuse, and as many have said: it should be edited and many sections amended or deleted altogether to make it fairer and/or to revert it back to what it once was.

My problems with what I saw via Andrew's link are the same, and the fact that the article so completely focused on a high risk of Jewish deportation and did not properly - or at all - describe the law in question made it look misleading - if you knew nothing on the topic, as I knew nothing earlier today - an actual time-suck that might convince you the whole story is much ado about nothing - if you didn't know what was at stake and didn't have the time or desire to look into it further (fortunately, I had both).

Studying the issues in a broader context has taught me a lot about what's wrong with this law, so I'm grateful for Andrew's link, even if I had to do a lot of research because of it to finally get to the bottom of things.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I'm so far behind on news that I only see it when I crack open this ancient artifact the stores still sell called a newspaper, and that's only when I eat at home, which is just a few times a week. It takes me so long to get through a newspaper these days (I'm still catching up on November's) that I only buy one every other week and not on Sunday, either, because I rarely have time to shop the way I'd like to and cutting coupons is like OMG, I need to hire someone. So I only found out tonight that there's a good followup to my post about web form gender options while eating and reading a newspaper from Feb. 27th - that Facebook has made a huge improvement by adding a text box to theirs.

I don't use Facebook so it won't affect me (I don't know if I ever picked a gender with them, nor which one I might've picked since it's not a real-name page, anyway, and I don't care) but I'm posting this, anyway, to give a nod to [personal profile] darkoshi for pointing out the 58 flavors Facebook lets you choose from nowadays and [personal profile] firecat for wanting to see a text box everywhere.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

If your post or meme or furry cat pic is good enough for Facebook you'll know it. Like the entire Web, which is patiently waiting on standby for Facebook to notice it and bend it over, your website will - usually for just a day or two - become Facebook's bitch. To get there, first someone will "share" your content, then, if it's really dumb, or full of "oh wow, check that out" camera grabs, or merely full of some not-so-funny substance that people gingerly refer to as "lol" it can even "go viral", at which point Facebook will bury it under automatically generated content that no one will give a flying crap about because Nothing Can Be Bigger Than Facebook.

In order to become Facebook's bitch, your content must not have a) one drop of common sense, b) any measurable amount of truth (outright lying usually works; salesmen know this and so do many of the more popular Facebook posters - and sometimes these conditions can overlap, amplifying the problem that no one thinks is a problem because liars can come off like the greatest people, which is one reason why salesmanship and psychopathy are so closely related) and c) at it's "best" and/or most truthful be built on highlight-reel video of cats, dogs, mechanical things, and of course the highly objectified feminine physique. Facebook is probably the single largest soft-porn server in the world.

Facebook also functions as an echo chamber to inflate the more popular user's often-fragile ego and a sycophant mill where Like attracts Like - literally. Of course any such echo chamber can only reinforce itself, a mental condition many Facebook users refer to as 'being friends'. These people flourish on Facebook's fertile ground of entirely superficial and mostly misbegotten alliances because only the lowest common denominator can dominate on Facebook. It's the perfect breeding ground for everything that's ever been wrong with human beings.

Here's an easy recipe: create all the empty, pop-sugar, and/or flat-out untrue content that you can - you know, the sort of stuff that even Buzzfeed's editors might just cringe over - and guaranteed, you'll get to become Facebook's bitch, too.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

So my fiance created a GoFundme a few days ago over some financial, transportation, and other material deficits we've been experiencing lately. Each deficit is clearly outlined along with all of the steps we've taken (such as trying to find, in my case, a job, and in his, a better job) along with reasons why things haven't panned out too well over the last year (living many miles from where 99.9% of the jobs are and having extremely limited transportation is the big "gotcha").

After he created an outline of what he wanted his page to say, I did my ghostwriting/'look at me I'm a copy editor' thing, he read my edited version and we posted it to GFM. His GFM connects to his Facebook page which lays claim to over 500 of his "friends". We didn't have ridiculously high expectations but felt it wouldn't hurt to put our story out there since he's tying the funding to two very clear, specific goals: paying off our current bills and opening his own business in a specific profession (all discussed at length on the page). What happens next was the one thing you'd never see coming.

Within seconds of my fiance's GFM posting, one of his 500 "friends" (interestingly enough, a woman who jumps in to offer her opinion every time him and I have any sort of kerfuffle and usually sides with him) PM'd him on Facebook to ask why he was doing a GoFundme - doesn't he know that it's "wrong" to do those things?

She told him that instead of doing a GFM page, he should get a job (the GFM page clearly states he's already working but very little because his boss is constantly sick and in legal trouble, both which shut his business down all the time because he's just a one-man show; besides that, my fiance is applying everywhere he can online, by making cold phone calls, along with socializing and networking with literally every person he runs into online and off), to try to "work more" with his landlord (he already did, but the landlord has been "working with him" for over two years and is finally showing signs of strain), to look for others ways to make money online and off (but he already is), to "sell things" (as though we have not already done that until we have almost nothing of value left in the entire house) and to tell him to tell me what to do to find a job, mainly: "look online more". It was humiliating to hear him read this to me. Also, she usually sides with him in our arguments so I don't like her, anyway.

We discussed how every one of her suggestions was covered on our GoFundme page as to a) what we've done in relation to them and b) why, in doing all of that, we've still fallen short (really: it's down to lack of transportation since we've done everything she's suggested, which is discussed at length on the GoFundMe page). So if she was my "friend" I would've told her to go fuck herself after asking her if she even knows how to read, but my fiance was much more diplomatic in his response (and he's usually not the diplomat). He simply replied: "Don't you think we've tried all these things already? We're doing the best we can, that's why there's a GoFundMe because it just hasn't been enough". At which point she wished us "luck" and hasn't been heard from since.

A few hours later a guy he's been "friends" with for years - mostly through Facebook - emailed him to say: "What the fuck is this shit? Are you sending this to ME?" in response to an automated GoFundMe email. At this point I began to worry: of all these friends of his, not one had said a kind word in response, but two had bitched him out over the very thought of someone asking for their help.

After 24 more hours went by without another PM, email or Wall posting for or against his GFM page I thought: "Good, if people have nothing nice to say then they can just not say anything at all. I've lived without GFM before and I'll do so again. Fuck it." Then one of my fiance's more recent - but up until now, extremely supportive - hobby pals of his through Facebook posted a screed to his own Wall that he knew my fiance would see, warning "everyone" not to email him "ever again" with any "Fundmethis" or "Fundmethat" "bullshit" because "from now on" he'll "immediately block them and unfriend them on Facebook". The cruelty of it is shocking. But wait - there's more.

The guy went on to say "we've all fallen on rough times" but when HE fell on them he got a second job, then a third job (completely ignoring the fact that my fiance said he's already working - on days that his boss is not sick or in court he picks him up and drops him off - and ignoring how we lack any decent transportation and live too far from everything to get to any other jobs we could get, which we can't get without going to interviews, which we can't do because lack of transportation; it's obviously sort of a catch22). Then he ran on about how people like us just won't sell off enough earthly possessions, that we aren't looking hard enough online or off for work and that we simply won't give up our pride to work at Burger King. He also wanted to share with us that during HIS rough time he lived on exactly $200 a month for food so people like us should, too (though we never mentioned needing food nor how much we spend on it).

He also said if we're so damn poor then what we need to do is 1) cancel our cable (we've never had cable), 2) cancel our Internet, 3) shut off our cell phones (I've already shut off my cell phone and we've never had a landline - my fiance needs his cell phone for WORK or we'd shut that off, too), 4) mind our bills and 5) stop asking for help. The subtext seems to be that we're shiftless, no-good, lazy white trash that just needs one good mansplain' to pull ourselves out of this quagmire. Thank God he came along because now I know exactly what to do:

  • We need to try to get hired at three different jobs a piece by walking (or biking) 20-50 miles one way to apply for said jobs then 25-50 miles back home, then walk (or bike) 20-50 miles back each way to any interviews we can possibly secure, then walk (or bike) 25-50 miles back after applying for more jobs after any given interview(s)
  • Have the remaining cell phone shut off immediately so no one can call for interviews after we walk (or bike) 25-50 miles each way and back (not to mention all over town itself) for days and weeks on end to apply in person for jobs; it would THRILL this guy to know my phone has been shut off for weeks already, but probably wouldn't thrill him enough, since a few weeks isn't that long and should've been much longer
  • Have our Internet shut off immediately so we can't apply online for any of these six total jobs we need to secure; having the Intertubes shut off will also a) keep me from making anymore money at online surveys and b) prevent us from ever so much as posting a garage sale listing online again, since our phones will be shut off
  • Get at least one job for each of us at Burger King - we've failed and should be spat on for the lazy fucks we are if we can't at least do THAT
  • There is no cable since it got shut off last spring before I ever moved in; in this way we're already following his all-knowing "friend"'s advice to the letter
  • Have a garage sale (but without Internet or phones we can't advertise it except by slapping signs on trees by the house - and our road is fairly private and hard to find, out in the middle of nowhere, with only a tiny handful of neighbors) where we sell everything we own for .50-$1 which is all most of it is worth. This will surely make us enough money to buy a 9-pack of toilet paper while we learn to live without our personal effects in order to do the right thing, which, if you didn't get it the first, second or third time someone made it clear, is NOT ASK FOR HELP
  • Cut our food bill in half since we're clearly living like kings and fools if we spend much more than the magic figure of $200 (we spend almost double that and still have to eat every last leftover and cook only about half of what we'd normally eat, and even at that there are plenty of "pasta and red sauce" weeks because has this guy ever actually GONE TO a grocery store? He's got to be kidding).

If he were only running our lives for us on a daily, nay hourly basis as he obviously should not only would we walk (or bike) at least 40-100 miles round-trip each day looking for work and be unable to apply for jobs and set up interviews except in person, we'd also have amazing Florida sunburns, regular heat strokes and exhaustion, and run the risk of contracting many illnesses from all the mosquitoes we can't afford to keep off of us - and I'm sure he'd have many other really great ideas, besides:

  • The cat and dog? Who needs 'em? Throw'em outside to fend for themselves (since of course we can't drive to the shelter to properly dispose of them). Poor white trash thinkin' they should own animals - now that's kinda high-faluting' and uppity.
  • Electricity? Who needs it? You are poor peeps, right, so shut it off. Shower when it rains, cook and clean when the sun shines, go to bed when it gets dark, use blankets in the cold and wear light clothing in the heat
  • Crack whores and drug dealers exist for a reason so do what ya gotta do - it's rough times all around

Notice I'm not linking to any GoFundme here? That won't be changing. It was my idea to do one - not my fiance's - and it had to be done either way, but because he has over 500 Facebook friends I thought he'd have more pull than I would if he did a page than if I did one. But after the stern counseling and Tough Love sessions we've so helpfully received from them I'd rather pry my eyeballs out with an embroidery needle then ever do a page there again or even link anywhere to the one we've got going on now.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

In my ten minutes of reading and hitting the unsubscribe button tonight someone on one of the offending posts in question thought to ask me (after I basically had a baby or two in the comment section right before unsubscribing) why I randomly subscribe to "strangers" (which sounds so creepy, doesn't it - like it's something I'm clearly not supposed to do on this website?); they wanted to know if I do it just to piss myself off. Which is not why; it's to find good reading, which neatly leads into their next thought on the topic...

They went on to seriously warn me that I should never, ever use Facebook or any other social media where opinions and outright lies are so often presented as facts if seeing people not tell the truth or at least not research the truth upsets me so much.

Oh, rly?

Coincidentally enough, that's exactly why I don't use any of it. My fiance does and I almost wish he didn't (but I know the social aspect of it is deeply meaningful to him, so I don't say much about it anymore). I go almost crazy sometimes trying to correct all the lies, half-truths and Photoshops that look completely REAL that he encounters each day on his friends feed or whatever the hell it's called that he thinks are all the God's honest truth, exactly as presented - I go *nuts* with it, trying to explain that All Is Not As It Seems and Google Is Your Friend (at least, it is in this instance) but God knows it's easier (and saves time that one can devote to more friends-feed checking) to believe the lies, swallow them whole and move on to the next one than to stop, look even one of them up and learn the truth. I know that.

And who wants the truth when indulging in a steady stream of lies is obviously a lot more fun? That's all the Internet does anymore: cater to our basest, wildest, most inane, profane, unfocused, instinctual desires. There are small bastions and pockets of truth that survive despite the orgy of misinformation that's expanding daily online, but those bastions and pockets know they're in the minority, the losers in a hyperspeed rat race the point of which is to entertain the most people using the least amount of substance but to do so at any cost. Truth is the price most people too willingly - too gladly - pay so the show can go on.

Well, thanks a fucking lot, Internet, but no thanks. And Facebook?

Facebook is the biggest, rottenest incubator of lies since Satan himself. And I hate this un-fact-checked, untrue, misinformed dystopia that so many of you have turned it - and in turn, the entire Internet - into; just to be clear, I actually in fact HATE it. I don't find it funny, amusing, informative or even mildly entertaining. Well, ok...cat videos? Fine: I love animals and all non-violent depictions of them. But I don't need to go to Facebook to find them, either! You can take the rest of social media and just...