You actually can’t play too much Risk. On Game Night, we like to have two games going at the same time. Why not? It’s an excellent way to break up with your friends when you’re too much of a wuss to tell them it’s over. Why dig up old history when you can break their hold on North America or flip the board and call them a lying Judas? But this is a good read.
“I think it would be better for the story never to come out.”—US oil industry lobbyist Bill Reinsch, to MoJo’s Suzy Khimm. The story did come out, and it’s a doozy: Find out why a lobbying outfit that represents Halliburton and other US companies opposes placing unilateral sanctions on Libya. (via motherjones)
“Sorry, an error has occurred.” “Twitter is over capacity.” “We’re incredibly sorry for the inconvenience.” Frustrations so prevalent as to have become clichés. Memes, even! (You did see that animated gif of the angry panda bears, right?) And yet I’m going to say something crazy here: I’m a big fan!
I mean that only in the abstract, of course, much in the same way as I can say things like “I care about people” all the while hating every last motherfucking one of you, because of course it makes me >:O when some website I’m trying to use starts bugging out, although there are many many miles of distance between being a little >:O and taking to Twitter to be all “OH WHAT THE FUCK, [insert free service you’ve never paid a fucking cent to use ever in your life] ISN’T WORKING, FUCK THEM, I HOPE THEY DIE IN A FUCKING FIRE.”
Because it’s all part of the deal I made: it’s just plain easier for me to let other people handle this shit, and I’m going to let them! But that means I don’t get to moan and groan every time the .1 part of their 99.9% uptime momentarily interferes with my ability to distract myself with cat pics.
But it’s more than that, because look where we are: 30 years ago the PC was the exclusive domain of the hobbyist, the tinkerer, the Geek In Birkenstocks Who Codes BASIC For The Lolz, and yet here we are today and our grandmothers are preordering their new second-gen iPads and signing up for Facebook. And that’s the big issue: design has evolved, and in doing so it made technology less exclusionary and fundamentally more democratic. Which is a good thing!
The obvious parallel here is the automobile: the Model T was impossibly difficult to use and maintain, whereas nowadays anyone can jump in a Prius and be off to school or the mall or whatever it is that people do with cars when they don’t live in cities with good subway systems, because by removing the barriers to entry and by eliminating the need that car ownership required an exhaustive knowledge of the ins-and-outs of internal combustion personal travel became democratized and the sort of thing everyone could enjoy. Like blogs!
And yes, sometimes that has its downsides. Sometimes the car breaks down! And you don’t have the first fucking clue what the problem is because you didn’t have to learn anything about your car in order to be able to use it—and this is all part of the deal you made! You implicitly agreed to a certain amount of ignorance of your automobile in exchange for your automobile being easier to use, which leaves you powerless during those moments when your car is, uh, “over capacity” (but probably not “incredibly sorry for the inconvenience” because—duh—it’s a fucking car).
So what do you do? You fucking deal. You take it to a mechanic. You get it fixed. And you usually pay a lot of money in the process! To someone who’s probably pulling a normal eight or ten hour day and doesn’t actually give a shit about your car that he doesn’t even know is broken and certainly isn’t freaking out at 2AM after his iPhone vibrates off the bedside table because his master database just went down.
So maybe you should remember this the next time Tumblr 500s or your Gmail is offline for an hour, because the alternative is that you host your own blog, which means provisioning your own server and dealing with it yourself when MySQL inevitably crashes (“downtime”!), or running your own procmail/postfix mailserver and running your own redundant onsite/offsite backups and setting up your own MX records and tweaking your own /etc/my.cnf files and so on and so forth (and trust me, there is a lot more so on and so forth where that so on and so forth came from!).
Or: you can just fucking deal! And you can remind yourself that this is the infrequent but occasional downside to letting someone else deal with all of this instead of enrolling yourself for a year at iTunesU just to figure out how to receive an email (at which point you’re just going to have to deal with downtime yourself anyway—go google “the halting problem” if you’re feeling plucky).
Oh and hey, you know what else? It’ll get fixed! And you won’t even have to pay anyone! So, you know, be cool!
How do you deal with negative feedback from competitors on your own social platforms?
Honestly, we haven’t actually had to deal with this exact issue yet. However, if the nature of the negative feedback were not an obvious attempt to engage in a frivolous quarrel then we would deal with it as we would with all negative feedback. This means we would confront the issue head on, in the forum that it was initiated in.
Social media allows an opportunity for everyone to have a voice and to have that voice be heard by people who can make a difference. Therefore, it is better to deal with negative feedback openly and in public because it shows you have nothing to hide and that you are not trying to stifle any voices that may not always agree with you.
Negative feedback is just another opportunity to engage with a reader, and through this interaction we try to always end on a positive note. In general, people who leave negative feedback usually have a problem with something. If you try to help someone solve or fix their problem, it leaves very little to stay mad at.
Yeah yeah, cue your jokes about us being dads for linking to NPR, but the new Mountain Goats album is so freaking worth it. We like “Damn These Vampires” and “Birth of Serpents” a lot and have it on repeat while we eat carrots and parse John Darnielle’s consistently excellent lyricism. Ugh, it’s just good, check it out already.
In November 2000, the United States held a presidential election, and nobody knew who won, so we just kind of made up an outcome and tried to act like that was normal. Less than a year later, airplanes flew into office buildings, and everybody cried for two months. And then Enron went bankrupt, and the U.S. started acting like a rogue state, and ‘The Simple Life’ premiered, and gasoline became unaffordable, and our Olympic basketball team lost to Puerto Rico, and we reelected the same president we never really elected in the first place. Later, there would be some especially devastating hurricanes and three Oscars for an especially bad movie called ‘Crash.’
Things, as they say, have been better.
I’m only 33 years old, so I’ll concede that my life experience is limited. But the past five years have been an especially depressing stretch to be an American, and I don’t think many people of any age would disagree with that sentiment (except for maybe Kelly Clarkson… things seem to be working out OK for her). If it’s the era of anything, it’s the Era of Predictable Disillusionment: a half-decade in which many long-standing fears about how America works (and what America has come to represent) were gradually—and then suddenly—hammered into the collective consciousness of just about everyone, including all the people who hadn’t been paying attention to begin with.
This will not be lost on future historians. In 50 or 100 years, they will search for events within the popular culture that supposedly embodied the zeitgeist of the time. Some of these people will use sports, not unlike the way contemporary historians might use Muhammad Ali as a means to define the 1960s. As these future historians try to explain what was wrong with the world in the early 21st century, I suspect they will use Barry Bonds. Here was a man accomplishing unbelievable things—things so unbelievable that they literally should not have been believed, even as they were happening. But we did not really believe or disbelieve. We just sort of watched it happen, and then we watched it get out of control, and then we expressed shock without feeling a grain of surprise, and then we tried to figure out how we were supposed to reconcile an alien reality we unconsciously understood all along.
This was all I could think about while watching Charlie Sheen’s absolutely calamitous interview today. Couldn’t stop wondering if those future historians who will go looking for cultural artifacts to represent our contemporary zeitgeist won’t just seize on the day that I and untold thousands of others sat at our desks one dreary Monday and spent our lunch hours watching an internet live stream of this train wreck going over a cliff.
Texas state rep. Leo Berman explaining to Reeve Hamilton why he suspects the President of the United States was not born in the United States. He saw it on YouTube, duh. (via motherjones)
Hahah, I’m just, no, yeah, this speaks for itself. YOUTUBES! I wonder how many he’s watched. All of the ‘Tubes, or just some of them? Tell us more!! There is a video of this guy getting seriously treated by Anderson Cooper—go to www dot Youtubes dot com and search for it, it’s a winner!
Zuckerberg grew up in Dobbs Ferry. This is a nice area of New York. He went to boarding school at Philips Exeter Academy. You can’t get a finer education at a private boarding school. Then he went to Harvard. He’s not some underdog. The entitlement of the story is that Zuckerberg thought because he’s the computer guy, he was entitled to the idea and entitled to the whole thing.
Regardless of who you are, I believe that everybody in this country is entitled to justice. That’s the entitlement that our characters believe they have: justice. I would hope that people don’t come away from the movie believing that Zuckerberg is the underdog. if you’re rooting for Zuckerberg, you’re rooting for a lawless place, a place where fraud is acceptable, a place where there is no protection.
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