Oct 25

I was wrong

I was wrong about this.

Strangely, Gravity helped to change my thinking. It and Stone in the movie reminded me of the many interesting and awesome women I’ve met over the years who deserve a fair chance. That’s what art can do, and does best – changes your thinking. If it doesn’t, it’s not art.

(And I will never understand those who claim that movies and TV shows are not and cannot be art.)

I think I was mostly reacting to the fact that I am for radical equality, and even though I understand and agree with why as a male I am always looked at with more suspicion and distrust than I personally deserve, there is a good reason for that – women have to manage risk as well. And many more risks than I do, at least in daily life.

Something else I was reacting to is something that most women probably aren’t aware of, because just like sexual and street harassment for men, most women never, ever see it.

I’ll illustrate by a specific example, though this happened more than once.

I used to be in charge of night shift production at a company. I hired people. Quite a few people as it was a high turnover type of job (not because it was terrible, but it was monotonous and hard). One time we were looking for another staff member. I interviewed a few people. I had wanted to hire an older woman – probably 60 – for the job, but she ended up not accepting.

So I hired my second choice, who was also perfectly qualified for the role. Unlike my first choice, however, she was a strikingly attractive, tall blonde woman.

The very first time someone saw who I’d hired, he came up to me and said, “Man, it’s good to be king” and walked off.

Everyone, everyone — even the other women on my team – assumed I’d hired her just for her looks. Never mind that she was good at her job and very diligent.

Yes, that absolutely sucks for her and I didn’t realize how much beauty can be a curse until then (though, on balance, it’s better to beautiful than not I’d wager) which was just another difficulty in her life she had to deal with.

But from the other side, when as a male you show interest in and hire an attractive woman, even if it’s just to hire for for a job, you are assumed by your male peers and many if not most women to be doing it for the worst of reasons. That is, to attempt to sleep with her.

It gets old. And if I were a less stubborn dude, maybe it would have made me question even my own hiring decisions.

My post was a reaction to everything – right or wrong – that I could possibly do as a male being questioned for motive* by everyone all the time. I was just trying to avoid it. But I don’t really think there is any avoiding it, for women or for men, at least not until there is a better world.

I still don’t have any good answers. I want to treat my female colleagues exactly the same as my male ones. But society in general makes that difficult if not impossible.

But I’ve done difficult things all my life, and ill-advised ones, too. Why stop now?

*This is not a normative statement – this is just a fact that it is done.

Oct 24

Specificity

And then you get GPS coordinates that are weirdly specific, like this: 36.0104905391688, -81.8258090983823

Yes, I did really need to know that location down to the position of the mite on a gnat’s butthole.

But I’d definitely rather have that than the vague or off-planet ones.

Oct 24

Rape seed

I just can’t understand rape. Perhaps because I’ve never desired to have power over someone, it just makes no sense to me. Aside from the absolute horror inflicted on the victim (which, really, should never be put aside), how is it at all worth it to the perpetrator? I mean, I guess I just don’t understand what these (mostly) men get out of it.

Whatever that it is in others that could possible enjoy that or at least feel compelled to commit such an act, it’s just totally absent in me.

I’ve had drunk women pass out literally in my lap and I felt not the least urge to rape them. Or even to look down their top for that matter.

And I am no saint, not in any way.

This really creepy guy was in my friends group in high school and he once asked me and a few others hypothetical questions such as, “What would you do if Kate Moss was passed out in your bed?”

The others’ responses were predictable. I don’t need to recount them here.

My response was, “Well, I’d get her a blanket if she looked cold.”

Puzzled looks all around.

Yes, I did call myself a feminist in high school and yes, many ass-kickings were attempted to be dispensed due to this fact.

Did not give a fuck then, still don’t now.

Oct 24

Limits

Yes, I do know that we are near the physical end of MOSFET chips but I do think it’s funny as well that the first “Moore’s Law is dead” article I recall reading was around 1989 – nearly 25 years ago.

This person remembers that too, I’d bet.

Right or not, my trust in your predictions is diminished if you are only right because you say the same thing for 25 years.

Oct 23

NR

It is beyond amusing to watch the nerd rage when Apple releases hardware that’s better than anyone else’s – the nerds complain about it being “too expensive.” Guess what, you pay for quality. Always have, and always will.

“But, but, I can get a laptop for $500,” they sputter. Yep, sure can. One that weighs more, is slower, has a far worse screen, and will fall apart in a year. You’re welcome to it.

Nerd rage is the most fun rage of all to make fun of, because it’s so inconsequential and yet they take it so very poorly when you call them on it.

Oct 23

TIL

Today I learned there is a trail in North Carolina called “Old Butt Knob.” And nope, it ain’t “butte” as there aren’t really any buttes in NC.

See for yourself.

Oct 23

Finding things

I’ve gotten so good at finding the real location of things on vague, poorly-drawn, out-of-scale and misleading maps that sometimes I even scare myself.

Sometimes, I have almost nothing to go on to find a trailhead or location. For instance, this is what I started with for this trail, though I later found a vague map that helped. Sometimes though I just have words and I still usually manage to find the location. I just happened to use as an example the one I was looking for right now.

I found the trailhead in less than three minutes.

Here it is.

That one wasn’t even hard, really.

When I started this project, it might have taken me half an hour to find it. Or I might have never found it. That’s how much better I’ve gotten at this in the past year.

If it exists, at this point I can pretty much find it.

Useless skill #678.

Oct 23

Not very coordinated

I found a site that listed these as GPS coords:

Latitude: 633385.7500000

Longitude: 635181.75000

Yeah, that’s not actually on this planet. Or any planet.

Oct 23

Dia

Typical dialogue with people who don’t know me very well if I stay at their place or similar.

Them: Don’t you ever sleep?

Me: I was asleep right before you started talking to me.

Them: But you answered right away! That’s not asleep!

Me: That is how I sleep. I was fully asleep and I woke up the moment you started talking.

Them: But that means you weren’t asleep!

Me: Yes, I was fully asleep, as deep as I ever sleep.

Them: But you heard everything I said!

Me: *sigh*