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Comment Re: A brief history of Slashdot tr0lling (Score 1) 298

Oh, thanks, I totally forgot about the Slashdot bitchslap.

And I'm not claiming the tr0lls weren't clever and occasionally hysterical. I'm just saying that the continual repost of "BSD is dying, Netcraft confirms it" on every single story had long degenerated from trolling to nothing more than protoplasmic copypasta spam, right down there in the sewage with the casino links. (And yes, there were many funny on-topic variants of the BSD meme that brightened up lots of different comment threads.)

Comment Re: Really, this happens in America? How?? (Score 1) 179

Proposition 13 froze the property tax rates of all homeowners in the 70s, and leaves them uncorrected for inflation. It basically creates a landed gentry, where you move in and pay the property taxes of your neighbors. I was angry about it and refused to buy a house in California, which turned out to be a good decision. I used to have a "repeal Prop 13" bumper sticker for a while, but when I would leave the car parked, people kept keying the car all round the front and back and ripping or tearing off the sticker.

Comment A brief history of Slashdot tr0lling (Score 4, Informative) 299

[Apologies for the l33t sp33k, but the lameness filter is actually pretty effective at blocking even the discussion of the older common tr0lls.]

Tr0lling originally started out as posting something on-topic but factually wrong in order to get reactions from people. Tr0lling was elevated by some to become its own art form; the best tr0lls could get pedants to crawl out of the woodwork like termites fleeing a flood. And the resulting posts and reactions were genuinely funny -- anyone who understood what was going on got a good laugh. But that kind of tr0lling peaked over a decade ago.

Other garbage has since cycled through Slashdot like ugly fashions on a New York runway. First came the memes: sites confirming the passing of various operating systems, etc., which at least often tried to stay on topic. They were inoffensive, but showed little real effort; they quickly stopped being amusing. Then came the nonsensical randomness, such as a certain movie starlet known for Star Wars and a lap full of hot breakfast food (I never quite understood that one). They were perhaps attempting to be absurd but mostly came off as stupid; again, they were reasonably inoffensive. But the current rash of copy-paste has become the new nadir, where cud-chewing morons too stupid to create their own original racism have figured out enough of the clipboard to re-vomit someone else's puke in the comments.

( In a huge burst of irony, some of the tr0lls themselves got pedantic, claiming the garbage posts did not qualify as "tr0lling" under their definition. Thus ended the reign of the major tr0lls, whose posts were quickly modded down into the -1 muck along with the rest of the bile. )

Throughout all of this, anonymous cowards and other low-lifes have always posted hate speech, political screeds, and offensive, racist crap. Browsing at -1, however briefly, will expose you to the words of horrible, useless human beings. Don't do it -- just click "no".

Slashdot has fought back, of course. The lameness filter has long kept out garbage like ASCII art, and certain phrases that I couldn't quote in this post. The remarkable bottom line is that Slashdot's moderation system, flawed as it may be, has kept the comments mostly readable for a very long time. Sites that failed to emulate it have come and gone, mostly forgotten by all but the Wayback Machine. Sites that still allow comments have almost nothing usable in them (youtube is a prime example of a site with unusable comments.) Meanwhile, Slashdot's community has managed to keep some semblance of order together. That's quite an achievement, especially over the nearly two decades of its existence.

Comment Re:Exactly why is this newsworthy? (Score 1) 267

Wow. A human being, in a free country with free speech, is going to speak at a public event. *Why* is this news?

It's news because so few human beings want to speak at this event. They're having trouble finding people willing to show up.

Sarah Palin is staying home. Ted Nugent has turned down invitations to appear. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock are going to be in Cleveland but are "too busy". They almost snagged Mike Ditka but he chickened out. A spokesman for Ben Sasse from Nebraska announced "Sen. Sasse will not be attending the convention and will instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state."

The glory days of Clint Eastwood yelling at an empty chair are long gone- he isn't going either.

Comment Re:This is largely a myth (Score 1) 267

Hillary is a lot like JavaScript- you hate her, you love to complain about her, but you have to go with her because there really is no other option, at least not in the near future.

Bernie Sanders drew in two separate contingents of people who dislike HRC: Liberals who consider Hillary to be too conservative, vs. conservatives who couldn't stomach any of the clownish GOP candidates and who saw Sanders as a lifeboat. The liberal faction will hold their noses and vote for Hillary, while the conservative faction will hold theirs and vote for Trump. Sanders was a much more viable candidate, and did better than Hillary in every general election matchup poll, simply because he was able to siphon away a lot of voters from Trump.

Hillary strikes people as dishonest and disingenuous partly because everything she says sounds like it went through a committee. (Meanwhile Trump is tweeting in his underwear.) She likes insipid platitudes: "We're problem solvers, not deniers." "We don't hide from change, we harness it." "We can reform our government and revitalize our democracy so that it works for everyday Americans." etc. etc. etc. It sounds out-of-touch- she hasn't realized that people are sick of politicians always saying shit like that.

But the scandals associated with her are as boring as she is. They only gain traction because she doesn't know how to handle scandals. It's infuriating to watch her keep trying to sweep stupid little stuff under the rug even as it's being pulled away from her. Instead of handling things during one news cycle, she cops to things bit by bit by bit by bit... giving her detractors a prolonged orgasm.

Four Americans died in the Benghazi embassy attack- but let's get some perspective here. During the GWB administration, 60 people were killed in 13 embassy attacks. (All those attacks were one-day stories- since back then, nobody wanted to "politicize a tragedy".) The Benghazi investigations did uncover Hillary's email scandal- but seriously, why are we surprised that a 65 year old woman who still uses a Blackberry doesn't understand how to use email?

In 2007 the investigation of the U.S. Attorney firing scandal ground to a halt once it turned out that the GWB administration had conveniently "lost" five million emails relating to it, in violation of federal law. That's five million, with an "M", about a thousand times as many that were lost by Hillary. But that was also a one-day story- the Bush administration defused its scandals deftly.

People characterize Hillary's email ineptitude as reflecting poorly on her lack of judgment, and there's something to that. But she's running against a guy who just released a campaign logo showing the letters "T" and "P" having anal sex. At least the "T" was the one doing the pitching, not the catching, but it still shows a lack of judgement on his part as well.

Both of these two are narcissists. But they're different flavors of narcissism. She's opportunistic and careerist. But Trump has narcissistic personality disorder which is much more serious. All he talks about is Donald Trump, all his stories involve Donald Trump, and his press conferences are 100% about who is and isn't saying nice things about Donald Trump. He refers to himself in the third person. That's a big red flag right there.

Comment Does this sound like anyone we know? (Score 2) 267

This is from DSM-V:

The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in personality (self and interpersonal) functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits. To diagnose narcissistic personality disorder, the following criteria must be met:

  • A. Significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by:
    • 1. Impairments in self functioning (a or b):
      • a. Identity: Excessive reference to others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation; exaggerated self-appraisal may be inflated or deflated, or vacillate between extremes; emotional regulation mirrors fluctuations in self-esteem.
      • b. Self-direction: Goal-setting is based on gaining approval from others; personal standards are unreasonably high in order to see oneself as exceptional, or too low based on a sense of entitlement; often unaware of own motivations.


    • 2. Impairments in interpersonal functioning (a or b):
      • a. Empathy: Impaired ability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others; excessively attuned to reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to self; over- or underestimate of own effect on others.
      • b. Intimacy: Relationships largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem regulation; mutuality constrained by little genuine interest in others' experiences and predominance of a need for personal gain.
  • B. Pathological personality traits in the following domain:
    • 1. Antagonism, characterized by:
      • a. Grandiosity: Feelings of entitlement, either overt or covert; self-centeredness; firmly holding to the belief that one is better than others; condescending toward others.
      • b. Attention seeking: Excessive attempts to attract and be the focus of the attention of others; admiration seeking.
  • C. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual's personality trait expression are relatively stable across time and consistent across situations.
  • D. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual's personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual's developmental stage or socio-cultural environment.
  • E. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual's personality trait expression are not solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., severe head trauma).

Tell me that doesn't send shivers down your spine.

Comment Re:Utah (Score 1) 283

This can't be real. Either you are fibbing or have misunderstood something? Or is Utah really that fucked?

Actually it does look like I fell hook line and sinker for a parody site (and sites repeating it) with that "homogayness" quote! (I fucking hate parody sites.) I was thinking it was separate legislation from SCR 9 but it's not. (After living here for a couple years, nothing surprises me anymore. People asking me "so where do you go to church?" at technical interviews, pairs of women walking down the street wearing funny dresses and pushing pairs of strollers with similar-looking kids, etc.)

SCR 9 is still hilarious:

WHEREAS, pornography is creating a public health crisis; WHEREAS, pornography perpetuates a sexually toxic environment; WHEREAS, efforts to prevent pornography exposure and addiction, to educate individuals and families concerning its harms, and to develop recovery programs must be addressed systemically in ways that hold broader influences accountable; WHEREAS, pornography is contributing to the hypersexualization of teens, and even prepubescent children, in our society; WHEREAS, due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the Internet, young children are exposed to what used to be referred to as hard core, but is now considered mainstream, pornography at an alarming rate; WHEREAS, the average age of exposure to pornography is now 11 to 12 years of age; WHEREAS, this early exposure is leading to low self-esteem and body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior; WHEREAS, exposure to pornography often serves as childrens' and youths' sex education and shapes their sexual templates; WHEREAS, because pornography treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer's use, it teaches girls they are to be used and teaches boys to be users; WHEREAS, pornography normalizes violence and abuse of women and children; WHEREAS, pornography treats women and children as objects and often depicts rape and abuse as if they are harmless; WHEREAS, pornography equates violence towards women and children with sex and pain with pleasure, which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography; WHEREAS, potential detrimental effects on pornography's users can impact brain development and functioning, contribute to emotional and medical illnesses, shape deviant sexual arousal, and lead to difficulty in forming or maintaining intimate relationships, as well as problematic or harmful sexual behaviors and addiction; WHEREAS, recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive, which means the user requires more novelty, often in the form of more shocking material, in order to be satisfied; WHEREAS, this biological addiction leads to increasing themes of risky sexual behaviors, extreme degradation, violence, and child sexual abuse images and child pornography; WHEREAS, pornography use is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity; WHEREAS, this link demonstrates that pornography has a detrimental effect on the family unit; and WHEREAS, overcoming pornography's harms is beyond the capability of the afflicted individual to address alone: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein, recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.

At least all this stuff is stated in secular terms, but seriously, WTF? Meanwhile they have crap like this going on.

Comment Re:Utah (Score 1) 283

Aside from the criminal law, the governor also recently signed a resolution declaring porn a "public health hazard". (I'm not going to paste all that shit in, but it's fucking hilarious- go read it.) Apparently a similar resolution (this one came from North Carolina) made it into the official GOP platform for 2016:

The internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children's safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography which is closely linked to human trafficking.

It looks more reasonable than Utah's version, although it doesn't seem to recognize any sort of distinction between children being "exposed" to pornography (e.g. at McDonalds) vs. actual child pornography.

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