The usual preamble follows: I rarely do link roundups (and when I do, they're mostly for my own, specific delight and edification) so if the content or format is to your liking, try not to get used to it.
Now that Wil Wheaton's said it, it's finally so.
I'm including this one (via silveradept) just so I can roll my eyes while typing. It's rare that I get to engage in extensive eye-rolling so I'm savoring this moment so much, y'all. Anyway, WW says workers should be compensated for their work, repeating the same complaint gazillions of uncompensated writers for HuffPo have been making ever since Arianna last paid for blog writers - that is, approximately never - in claiming her platform and exposure is all the compensation you'll ever need for your services because teh eyeballs, dahlings.
I've been following the uproar over Arianna not paying - yet heavily soliciting for popular Internet writers - for the last 5-6 years. It's been a contentious topic on ProBlogger and other "writing for a living" blog sites, and while I'm with WW on this - you need to get paid for your writing, especially if it's been solicited out of nowhere by someone, anyone, even the almighty HuffPo - if you're an already well-established online presence, and you like finding a wider, more diverse audience than the niche that normally absorbs your musings, then yes, by all means, scribble away for free for the feckless Arianna.
I'm aghast not at what WW says, but at what's signaled by the fact that he said it. The fact that he's thrown his two cents in will invariably "change the landscape" to "create activism around the issue", with the likely conclusion somewhere down the road that: "Huffington Post has responded to WW's objections/initiative/activism/offerings/challenge by offering competitive compensation to our most sought-out writers" - which is a non-answer in itself, but that's a discussion for another time. But why does it always have to come to this - to another WW shouting from the rooftops - when we did that for so long without him over the same issue? Why is it that it's not until the 'big voice' walks into the room, the one who doesn't need the money, who does have a sense of justice and fairness, that the 'face' of the problem - that is, Ms. or Mr. Everyday who just wants to get paid for the post that Arianna, et al's asked them to write for free - finally gets seen by a larger, more receptive audience?
I've never seen a problem solved without someone being famous around it. Not famous because of it, but famous around it.
Some famous faces have said that trying to scrape by on $7 an hour is bullshit, so now we have the infamously too little-too late, finally rising but just barely because Republicans said so, so just get three jobs and shut up minimum wage. Apple wasn't going to pay artists for their music until an artist who was literally born rich - Taylor Swift - threw a massive, if very polite - hissy fit and refused to back down. To go back in time, AIDS didn't exist, didn't matter, and would never be dealt with until Magic Johnson told everyone he had it. Wil Wheaton speaks up about working for free for a rich woman - which thousands of people have humbly done every day for years now because What Other Choice - but because Famous Face has said so, now things might get better? Look at what it took and think to yourself: why does it always take a Famous Face for things to change?
And people wonder why others being in any sort of minority or underclass can utterly jade them. First, it's because we're expected to be as numb about and uncaring of our circumstances as everyone else is who's not experiencing them. They don't care, so hell, we're not supposed to, either. It's gauche, it's just not done, dear. Secondly, it's not the pain of the circumstances we're in - which are certainly bad enough as it is - as much as it's that we know 9/10ths of the people around us don't give a damn as long as it's Not Them. The Famous Face does, then all of a sudden it's acceptable again to have our own emotions around Said Topic? I'm sick of the revolving door, one issue after another, always "solved" - in the long run - by someone finally Famous Enough to legitimatize it.
We shouldn't need a Famous Face to back us up - not literally nor figuratively - when we say, "This is not right. This needs to stop" or "This needs to change." Yet somehow it always comes down to that, and we're not legitimate until it does. Our story? Just does not check out - or even matter - until Famous Face says so.
The rich live off the government and pay no taxes - and want YOU off the dole. Now.
I find the following articles so rich in Republican hypocrisy that, were they alcohol, I'd be getting my stomach pumped at the hospital, my totally intoxicated lethal overdose limit finally reached. I actually broke out my imaginary bright pink linkspam pen just to write this. To begin, we have 18 CEOs Called Out By Bernie Sanders For Taking Trillions In Bailouts, Evading Taxes, and Outsourcing Jobs. They not only take trillions; almost every CEO on the list pays exactly $0 in personal federal income taxes, ever.
Yet these same tax cheats who take our money for their welfare sneer at us needing any sort of stuff (although the majority who get it work very hard for much less glory and much less pay; we also pay much more in taxes thanks to the perfectly legal criminal accountants they employ). Stop taking the minimum wage, stop taking health care, stop taking child care, or any paid time off, or any sick days, stop needing a place to live, and stop with this ridiculous 'needing food to eat' bullshit, already - our workers live off Jesus, pocket change and their own sweat, which is redemptive - just ask the Nazis, Work Will Set You Free, so shut up and get back to work already (although, as I said, most of you already do: so in that case just shut up and work harder).
Lighter Stuff, because heh heh, Light
When I'm busy trying not to bust my spleen over the previous links I do reserve a tad of mental energy for more enjoyable things, so here's some lighter stuff, like Win Your Next Argument by Citing Meaningless Neurobabble (see post title for a weaksauce example), How Powerful Do You Think You Are? (in my case, very powerful - which is a nice fantasy, if nothing else; I did exactly what the article says you'd do) and How Conservatives Can Sway Liberals and Vice Versa.
The last link wanders into a morass, its central point being that liberals feature different morality than conservatives. No one could say liberals are amoral, though (as they sport more of a truly Biblical 'help others' morality than Republicans normally do) unless you argue that libs suggest many things should be done but won't do those things themselves, expecting government to do it for them. (I've actually had this argument with someone - that liberals talk a good story but want the government to do the things they suggest, like help the poor, house the homeless, raise the minimum wage, etc. What this person forgets is we are the government; that's why we elect representatives, to represent how we feel, and to act on what we think should be done. It doesn't say "We The People" because someone thought the Constitution should include good poetry, it says "We The People" because that's who the government represents, and who it is comprised of. Us).
Personally, I agree more with a study done several years ago on the topic of getting the opposite political stripe to agree with you: simply don't disagree. When your opponent has no one to argue with they tend to become more introspective, and to sometimes adjust their opinions simply because no one tripped up their ego and got them on the defensive. Politics is quite strongly tied to ego.
While I wasn't planning on any link reposts tonight, silveradept had a good roundup earlier; here's another link from them worth chewing on.
Yes, I come by tightrope walking naturally. I was great even as a baby, walking my crib rails on tiptoe
So maybe you weren't born with it (and maybe it wasn't Maybelline, either) - perhaps talent is not quite innate. This post - from DW's momijizukamori, an impressive CSS and code wrangler whose talent might or might not be natural - got me thinking the problem is people confuse the word "affinity" with "talent". Just because you take naturally to something or seem rather good at it - even right out of the gate - does not mean you have an innate talent or are any good at said thing.
On the one hand, I believe I was born with innate talent - for writing, for reading, for puzzling over things to an extent that most people don't. But this is a misnomer, there is no 'talent' involved. There is a spark, a zest for some work of the mind, and even another spark to do it well, but there is no being born good at it. I've written poetry since age six (after learning to read at age three, blah blah blah - my intelligence, which was literally off the charts, was much feted in my youth, but who cares now?) but that doesn't mean I wrote all that well.
I love to cook so much that I can't stand letting others cook for me because I know I'll miss how I would've seasoned/sauteed/broiled/roasted/steamed/baked whatever it is someone else makes me that much. On other other hand, up until the age of 19 I couldn't cook at all; I could only boil water (boil it, mind you; this did not include knowing how to cook what went into the boiling water). That was it.
I'm still trying to figure out the "best clam sauce", and that was the first real meal I ever cooked for myself. If I was really great - naturally talented - I'd have that figured out by now, wouldn't I? Success is not talent. It's spark, it's passion, it's desire (not to go all Gordon Ramsey, but if you're technically good at something without giving a damn, you'll never be good enough. You can also have huge passion, energy and desire for your chosen activity and suck all your life, regardless of how biased you are about your ability). In most things I do, I think I fall somewhere between the extremes of completely sucking and massively succeeding - inborn talent or not. And I'd be lying if I said otherwise.
tl;dr Affinity != ability.