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User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot Party Details

Here are the key details about this week's Slashdot anniversary party in Portland, Oregon:
BridgePort Brewpub / 1313 NW Marshall Street / Portland, OR 97209 / (503) 241-3612 / October 18, 2012 / 8 PM - 10 PM
  • BridgePort Brewpub is open to all ages. They have a full dinner menu with entrees ranging from about $10 to $20. Vegetarian and vegan options are readily available. Bring ID if you look under the age of 30 and plan to buy beer.
  • I have reserved a table under the name "Slashdot". Because of the large size of the group, we'll be charged an 18% gratuity. We cannot get separate checks, so please bring cash. There is an ATM in the restaurant in case you forget.
  • Parking on the street is readily available and is free after 7 PM. TriMet stops are about a block away. You can secure a bike in front of the building.
  • The restaurant offers free Wi-Fi and has some TVs if you want to get online or check sports scores. Our hashtags are #slashdot15 and #slashpdx.

If you haven't signed up in advance, come anyway! We'll find a chair for you.


Journal Journal: Not with a bang, but a whimper... 29

I've been on the dot for over ten years now, and that's only counting me contributing to the conversation. I lurked for at least a couple, three years before even posting. During that time I watched it grow and flourish. It went from a site that was entertaining to read while waiting for jobs to finish to a site that I checked regularly. It was during this Golden time that Teh Circle grew and there would be 20-30 JE's a day from interesting people all over the world. Great discussions ensued and a pretty cool community was formed.

Then, slashdot started changing things. JEs became more difficult to post, discussions faded more, and finally there was a mass exodus to Multiply and beyond. Teh Circle was broken. I stayed and new people came to the dot, I met knew friends and continued to interact with those, like me, who just didn't make the transition.

I've since found a good chunk of Teh Circle hanging out on twitter and the discussions and interactions continue, albeit it in a different form. Teh Circle is even building on G+, which I will be investigating myself soon enough.

Where it will not be going, however, is back to the dot. Each change breaks more than it fixes. Each "upgrade" makes the experience that much worse. I used to post things here because, frankly, this is where I had the biggest audience. Now, I think maybe a handful, if not, read anything I post. I have the maximum amount of friends on slashdot, 400. Since Sunday, none of them have posted a journal. NONE.

So, I think I am finally done. I no longer think of slashdot as destination so much as a fond memory. Like a College Dorm floor, only everyone's graduated and moved on.

I'm sure I'll be back on occasion, but really, it's time.

Fare thee well...

Journal Journal: Zombies... In my Garage! 4

Friends of mine shared this short video with me done by some local teens for a class project. It's called Zombies... in my garage!, and it's a Zombie flick influenced by Run Lola, Run. It is very, very well done; totally worth the watch. (Luke727, I think you of all people will get a kick out of it)
The Military

Journal Journal: The Death of Osama Bin Laden 29

Perhaps it is easiest to start with the conspiracy theories, and then work my way into the core thoughts. First off, that there are different accounts, different details, and different stories all swirling around actually makes more sense than not. Remember a lot of the senior folks were watching this real time from video feeds. I've been in the legal field 12 years, I've done my fair share of trials, and I can tell you just how easy it is for a group of people to all see the exact same thing and come away with different recollections. All this different stories aren't official, they're just from unnamed senor officials. A lot of them probably are privy to the information, probably might have even watched it real time. They just saw things differently. If it was all a hoax and a fraud, I doubt there would be nearly as much discrepancies. You also have to weigh the political risk of claiming Bin laden is dead, at the hands of US Navy SEALs, only to find out that he is not. There is simply too much political baggage. Remember, no one knew this was happening. There would be no reason for it to make the news if it failed. So, whatever your conspiracy theory may be, I ain't buying.

On to the crux of what I feel. I feel neither elation nor sadness at Bin Laden's death. I think a lot of that is because I have spent the last 12 years or so in litigation. I have had very just cases. Cases in which our client was severely harmed by the defendant, and we ultimately won. Justice prevailed. But the harm, once done, can never be undone. Justice is righting the scales. It means that someone is held accountable, it means that there are consequences for the harm someone has suffered; but it cannot simply undo the harm.

I believe the action we took against Bin Laden was justified. I will not shed a tear for his demise. But is death cannot erase the loss of the victims of 9/11. It certainly won't roll back all the liberties we've sacrificed on the alter of Almighty Security; nor does it make us that much safer. So what is there to truly celebrate?

I don't just mean celebrate as in be happy, I mean take to the streets en masse with fireworks singing patriotic songs celebrations. For... what? Because a single man, 12,000 miles away, isolated from the world, is dead? We're a nation of 300 million! There was never a chance that he could truly hurt us. How many Americans are killed every day by distinctly American means? Car accidents. Smoking. Guns. Obesity. Drugs. The fact is, from sheer statistics, no one is better at killing Americans than Americans. Perhaps even more importantly, that's the way we want it.

There was a fear that came to the US from 9/11, but I think it is misplaced as physical fear for oneself. After all, we live in a country that has mass shootings. Regularly. In schools, FFS! How scared of sudden violent deaths can any of us really be?

I think the fear instead was a psychological one. One of our traits as Americans is to be very inwardly focused. 9/11 reminded us that not only is there another world of people out there, but that there were a lot of folks in that world who hated us. Hated us and actively wanted us dead. And now, they actually had.

So that's why i think for a lot of people Bin Laden's death has been so visceral. He was the face of that hatred, and he is now dead. But just as irrational as that fear was, so to is it to think that somehow the world isn't still filled with people who hate us. It always had been. It always will be.

So we have a choice. We can acknowledge that there are people who want us dead and accept that they are very, very unlikely to achieve it. Leastways not before we succumb to one of our idiosyncratic deaths. Or we can continue to fear for our safety, and sacrifice our liberties in the hope that the only thing standing between us and another 9/11 is the TSA. (And that without groping our six your olds, or turning checkpoints into instant home porn, they're not up to task.)

I made my choice. I acknowledge that Bin Laden committed atrocious acts and deserved to die. I'm OK with my country being the ones to pull the trigger. But I do not accept that he ever had the power to truly threaten myself, my family, or the people I love, any more than they are threatened by the modern life we choose to live. I will not choose fear.

Journal Journal: Thank you /.!!! 5

For a return to the April 1st awesome that shows you do still have a sense of humor :-)

Oh frabulous day!
United Kingdom

Journal Journal: Holy Hell I got Mod Points! 14

The last time I had mod points was during the 2004 presidential campaign. I waded into a politic thread and modded the jabs, left and right, and that actually made me laugh as funny. Haven't seen a mod point since.

Until today. So if anyone sees anything that could use some help, lemme know. I got 5 of 'em.

Journal Journal: !Fan 7

That's not actually true. However, I've noticed that the little blue buttons indicating a Fan are not showing up. Friend, Friend of Friend and Foe of Friend are working. Just not Fan.

I'm not a coder, web designer, or admin, but I do wonder how you manage to have 75%. 100% and 0% I can understand. It's the 75% that just seems wrong.

Journal Journal: XLV 1

I enjoyed it. I didn't think Pittsburgh would get blown out, ad they tried hard at a comeback. Would've been nicer to see them extend the drive further, but I think Green Bay just played a helluva game. And, since they did it with next to no running game, I assume we can look forward to even more pass happy teams next year.

Journal Journal: Red 5

Retired, Extremely Dangerous

Saw this last night at the cheap theatre down the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot moved along nicely, the action sequences had a great blend of humor and stunts, and I thought the cast was great. A perfect popcorn film.

I also had no idea it was assocaited to DC COmics until I saw the credits. Anyway know about both?
The Internet

Journal Journal: QOTD 2

This is as I remember a RT from my twitter-stream. I wish I remembered the names for proper attribution, but, unfortuantely, do not.

The Internet: Where the men are men, the women are men, and the children are the FBI.

Journal Journal: The 400 Club 9

I'm now at the Max. There are some more friends I wanted to add after a lengthy thread, so I started having to remove one for each one I wanted add. As it moves along I'll only be doing those which haven't posted recently, have never Journaled, and there was no reciprocation or friends of friend relationship.

Sorry if it's you, nothing you did!

Journal Journal: Four by Philip K. Dick 4

I read a volume that had 4 Philip K. Dick stories in it. The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Ubik, and the ever famous, Do Andoirds Dream of Electric Sheep.

Dude was depressed.

I'm not sure if it was reading them back to back or not, but they carried a weight of darkness with them that went beyond just the story. I know he is a cornerstone of SciFi, and deeply influenced many, but I can't help but think how much better his stories would've been if he had given his characters the entire gamut of emotions instead of just baseline to low.
Role Playing (Games)

Journal Journal: My Rams 2

I have been a Rams fan for years. Most of that time has been spent watching them wallow in various degrees of ineptitude, though "The Greatest Show on Turf" years were pretty fun. As I told Luke727 earlier in the week, I had no doubts that the Rams would be able to find a way to lose tonight. In all honesty, they have been playing over their level all season. They were, after all, 1-15 last year!

But I'm not disappointed. To be disappointed means to have your expectations dashed. I had no serious hope for the Rams this year, especially not with a rookie QB. What I did see, however, was a team that is more respectable. No longer a doormat, the Rams now have to actually be played. Their defense has improved and become stronger, their offense has a franchise QB now, and even their special teams are improving.

I knew that this was not going to be their year, but I have hope that next year will. The difference of course is that, even though I say that every year, I don't think it's sheer Homerism this time around.

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