Richard Spencer, face punching, and violence.

Jan 21 2017

I shouldn't have to write this disclaimer, but here we go anyway: I am not one of these people and never will be.  I mirrored the documents in question because data has a way of disappearing from the Net when lawyers get involved, a phenomenon called HTTP Error 451 (Unavailable for legal reasons), and we're already seeing potentially damaging and damning information quietly going away.  So, if you're going to say that because I have a copy of a particular document on my website I support the author when I just said I didn't, please pull your head out of your ass.

What a world in which I have to say this.

If you were fortunate yesterday you got to watch this man, Richard Spencer (Wikipedia page archived at 20170121@0955 hours PDT in case somebody sanitizes it) (local mirror) (mugshot), get punched dead in the face (local mirror in case the video disappears) by what appears to be an antifa protestor on live television.  Spencer is openly and vocally a white supremacist and chairbeing of an uncannily influential white supremacist think tank called the National Policy Institute (google them, I'm not linking to their website), though in the US they're calling themselves white nationalists these days.  He wrote this article (Internet Archive copy because it mysteriously vanished from his website) (local mirror)  At the Inauguration yesterday, he said this: "Let's party like it's 1933." (local mirror) There is some controversy about this guy getting clocked while being interviewed.  Perhaps, some say, they should have given him a chance to make the first move.  Perhaps he should have been taunted into throwing the first punch to have some justification for getting nailed.

I disagree, and this is why: Have you ever gotten stomped?

Seriously - have you ever gotten the living hell beaten out of you because you were not white, or because you were queer or just because somebody wanted an excuse to take you out?  Legit beaten down, wound up in the hospital, perhaps injured for an extended period of time?  Maybe still feeling it years later?

These screwheads do not give you a chance.  They do not taunt you into throwing the first punch.  They do not let you make the first move.  They come at you with everything they've got, usually as a group, and they do not let up until either you're down and out or somebody comes to your rescue (which is rare, if ever).  They have only one thing in mind, and that's turning you into paste on the floor or sidewalk.  They do not let up until they think they're done, for some definition of done.  They care about taking you out, period, full stop.

Does that make what happend to him right?  Well, yes, he's a goddamn Nazi.  His followers, and groups moving along the same lines have done the same thing to people time and time again over the years, often much worse than he got.  People like Spencer have the gift of making up erudite-sounding words to justify it.

I shed no tears and raise a toast to the unknown person who punched him.  That was a very small taste of what some of us got for the crime of merely existing.  It isn't a matter of right or wrong, it's a matter of what goes around comes around.

A toast.

Jan 01 2017

Here's to the sysadmins, who fight to keep everything up and running.  And reboot printers along the way.

Here's to tier-1 tech support, who know the answers but are only allowed to recite from their scripts.

Here's to the pen testers, who keep plugging away.

Here's to desktop support, who occasionally see things they can never unsee.

Here's to the red team, who throw everything from Devo costumes to pork chops to ballroom gowns to the kitchen sink at the mission.

Here's to the hacktivists, who toil endlessly to make the world a better place.

Here's to the open source hackers, whose thankless tasks are labors of love.

Here's to the whistleblowers, who lay everything on the line to try to set things right.

Here's to the lawyers, who honestly answer the question "So, how much trouble could I get in if I did this?"

Here's to the reversers, who yank out their hair while asking the question "What the hell does this even mean?" over and over again.

Here's to the hackers who submit talks to DefCon every year but never get accepted.  You keep trying, over and over again.

Here's to the people with the honest questions, who uncover horrors never before dreamed.

Here's to the newbies, who spend long hours punching away to learn arcane skills to satisfy their own curiosity.

Here's to you.

2017.ev

Jan 01 2017

Happy New Year, everybody.

To everybody waiting on responses..

Dec 18 2016

It's the holidays. I'm pretty busy right now, and hoping I don't have a sinus infection. I haven't forgotten about anybody. I'll get to the time-sensitive stuff first, and rest as I can.

Happy holidays.

Real life seems like Shadowrun - so why can't I throw fragging fireballs?!

Nov 26 2016

From time to time I sit down with my gaming buddies, and we both lament and observe how well reading and playing cyberpunk games has prepared us for life in the twenty-first century. I don't think that many people expected real life to track quite so closely with many a cyberpunk world penned by the masters, from William Gibson to Neal Stephenson to Bruce Sterling. Strangely enough, many of the lifestyle strategies depicted in these stories have helped keep our own lives (and those of our families) stable and, for the most part nice to live as human history has gone nonlinear all around us. Sure, we're seeing early experimenting with direct neural interfaces in hospitals, AI research is changing the world around us faster than we can see (and some of it's even open source), grinders are starting to do some pretty weird stuff with their own bodies, and we have stupidly advanced technology available for next to nothing on the street, but let's dig a little deeper.

What's really fucking with me is how much real life is tracking some of the backstory of Shadowrun.

Still here. Just offline.

Oct 19 2016

I'm still here - haven't forgotten this blog. In the rush to get a bunch of stuff done at work with some alacrity, I seem to have run myself into the ground. More specifically, I seem to be an alpha tester for this year's version of the flu and I've spent the past couple of days sweating, throwing up, and sleeping. There was also a late-night trip to the ER somewhere in there. Oh, and let's not forget the lucid fever dreams - they're quite entertaining when you have control over them. Somewhere in the Dreaming I made the aquaintenance of a tribe of ants deep inside in the BART tunnel system and started cataloguing their graffiti while exploring the tunnel system. Once I'm back on my feet I'll queue up a few posts which are long overdue, and for that I apologize.

Back to bed for me.