Jonathan David Page talks about whatever he happens to be thinking about. Sometimes other people join in.
A collection of cool people and projects.
In which I write some quick remarks on writing, as a break from writing.
You’ve probably heard about the UCSB shootings already. Short version: a guy with mental issues and a history of disturbing rhetoric and behavior, which was apparently ignored by those around him, snapped and went on a killing spree, murdering his roommates Cheng Yuan Hong, George Chen, and Weihan Wang by stabbing them. He then went to a sorority house and attempted to enter it, with the intent—based on his manifesto—of murdering all of the occupants. Failing to get in, he instead killed two sorority members who were outside at the time, Veronika Weiss and Katherine Cooper, before leaving and shooting Christopher Michaels-Martinez, and finally, himself.1 All six victims were UCSB students. All six of them had lives and futures and dreams and friends and family.
The feminist community erupted with rage, like everyone else, at the murders. But soon, the rage was also directed at the reaction to them. It’s clear that the murderer—Elliot Rodger—had absorbed a lot of society’s endemic sexism. Hell, you want a citation for that? Take a look at the middle of page 11 of his manifesto:
Because of my father’s acquisition of a new girlfriend, my little mind got the impression that my father was a man that women found attractive, as he was able to find a new girlfriend in such a short period of time from divorcing my mother. I subconsciously held him in higher regard because of this. It is very interesting how this phenomenon works… that males who can easily find female mates garner more respect from their fellow men, even children.
Now, the disturbing part? Go back to the beginning. Read some of it. It’s the story of a perfectly normal little boy. This is how we raise perfectly normal little boys. This is the attitude that’s embedded in the media we consume, and the interactions we observe. And that’s why we need to talk about this.
You should check out “In the Colossus’ Shadow”, a project which analyses the rhetoric the the award-winning PlayStation video game Shadow of the Colossus. Masterminded by the excellent Hayden Duke Russell in collaboration with the most eloquent Christopher Ruocchio and yours truly, it serves as our final project for our rhetoric course. This project will hopefully be the first of several similar ones. It’s mostly video-based, so it’ll fit right in with your diet of Let’s Plays and livestreams.
At this point, a lot of you have probably heard about the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, which has come into the public eye to the point where the BBC reported on it. The implications have been fairly well-covered in the media: disclosure of passwords, disclosure of private keys, etc. In other words, Bad Stuff. This article aims to cover the technical details of the bug in a manner suitable to non-technical people. It may get dry. However, no previous knowledge of computers should be required.
I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this site. I’ve done a few different things with it, but none of them have really felt right. Some of you may remember that, once upon a time, back in the days of yore, this blog lived at jd-page.com. That URL still works; it just redirects here.
Since then, I’ve changed domains twice, first to blog.jd-page.com and then to its current home at sleepingcyb.org. I’ve rebuilt the entire site three times, too: I originally based the site on Textpattern, moved to Jekyll for a while, migrated to Tumblr, before coming back to Textpattern again. I’ve redesigned the look of the site too many times to count, covering everything from the industrial-inspired dark gray, lime green, and fuchsia of the original, to a fairly staid black-on-white style, to the current red-accented narrow-column presentation. It’s gone through one name change, too: the original title of the blog was “Null-String”, which was eventually changed to “Sleepying Cyborg”, to match the domain. In short, this site has been my personal playground for the past four years, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.
If you think tools indeed aren’t value-neutral, then how can you justify that the loop could be broken on our end? Implicit in your making that claim is that people, through sheer will, can alter or disentangle themselves from the inherent value of a tool. Or that though tools aren’t value-neutral, the value isn’t inherent to the tool. Where do you stand?
My response at the time was:
Update, 12 Feb 2014: The banner is gone, but the tool should still be available at thedaywefightback.org for a while longer.
Sorry to belabor the point, guys, but if you haven’t contacted your representatives about the NSA yet, please do so. We need the bipartisan USA Freedom Act passed to decisively say that unwarranted mass surveillance is inappropriate behavior, and we need the FISA Improvements Act, which would make what the NSA is doing entirely legal, crushed.
For more information see thedaywefightback.org, and please, call or email your representatives! There’s a banner below which makes it super easy. You enter your phone number and zip code, and it gives you a script and connects you to their offices. When I talked to the lady at Senator Burr’s office, she mentioned that they’d gotten a lot of calls about this, so yes, we are being heard!
Again, sorry for the politi-spam, but this is really important stuff. Real content coming soon, I promise, so until then, ladies and gentlemen.