Last Sunday was Father’s Day; and there was a surprise waiting for us at Jaenelle’s crib – a Father’s Day card! ‘From Jaenelle’, as it were. Of course, since she is still little, she got some help in making it. Rhys, of course, loves it to bits.
Vincent usually uses a bit of his saved up money (or an unused gift card) to get his Dad a bottle of his favourite liquor with my help – ergo, the boyo gives me the money to pay for the pressie after he picks out what he thinks is the best option. But since I’m still in hospital fighting off infection (which is why I haven’t been ‘around’ per se), I couldn’t help him this time around. I gave a couple of suggestions (albeit a bit late) of options that Eldest Son can get from the grocery. It’s a wee bit of help, but at least he didn’t forget it at all.
Jaenelle is growing well; she’s in positive birth weight now and has been moved to the special care ward and has been getting a mix of bottle feeds and tube feeds. She’s still a bit too little though to really breastfeed, though she gives it a good try, she gets tired too easily and does what they call tongue thrust – ergo the baby’s tongue gets in the way and pushes out something that is put in the mouth, a normally good survival instinct, but gets in her way in this case. I might be able to help her a bit more but for the cannula in my arm preventing me from bending the limb properly.
So, my son Vincent decided that he was tired of playing the XBox One, XBox 360, the PS2 and the Nintendo 64 and the DreamCast, … and he had a Christmas gift card he hadn’t used yet. He decided on a new game console, suitable for 2018 gaming.
(In case you’re not familiar with the story, follow those two links, which have to be read to be believed. Evidently Matter started calling around, asking people about Kane’s personal and professional life in preparation for their profile of her and her work—doing journalism, in other words—and she threw a hissy fit and started defaming and smearing the journalists in question, who were respectable professionals, beyond reproach in their dealings with her.)
While my gob is totally smacked by the massive screeching witchhunt that this Shanley crazy did over proper fact-checking investigative journalism, Kate Paulk links me this delightful contrast.
Seriously, it is a joy to behold for those of us who actually value true equality and meritocracy.
Open source was my refuge because it was a place were nobody cared what my pedigree was or what I looked like—they cared only about what I did. I ingratiated myself to people who could help me learn by doing dull scutwork: triaging issues to keep the issue queues neat and orderly, writing documentation and fixing code comments. I was the helpful kid, so when I needed help, the community was there. I’d never met another programmer in real life at this point, but I knew more about programming than some college students.
It Really Is about Girls (and Boys)
Twelve-year-old girls today don’t generally get to have the experiences that I did. Parents are warned to keep kids off the computer lest they get lured away by child molesters or worse—become fat! That goes doubly for girls, who then grow up to be liberal arts majors. Then, in their late teens or early twenties, someone who feels the gender skew in technology communities is a problem drags them to a LUG meeting or an IRC channel. Shockingly, this doesn’t turn the young women into hackers.
Why does anyone, anywhere, think this will work? Start with a young woman who’s already formed her identity. Dump her in a situation that operates on different social scripts than she’s accustomed to, full of people talking about a subject she doesn’t yet understand. Then tell her the community is hostile toward women and therefore doesn’t have enough of them, all while showing her off like a prize poodle so you can feel good about recruiting a female. This is a recipe for failure.
Honestly, the problem comes from caring too much about the superficial stuff, versus the really meaningful and important things. The constant obsession about sex, sexuality, and who you’re sexually attracted to lends to really boring conversation and people because guess what – people aren’t just their sex drives and their sexual organs to me. Thankfully, the ones who do constantly focus on the superficial unimportant crap – SJWs and their endless focus on gender, race, sexuality – are very loud and obvious and I can steer clear of them. I seriously DO NOT CARE about your ethnicity, dangle-or-boobs, or boinkchoice, I’m more interested in if ‘you are a jerkass’ or ‘can I actually talk to you without you biting my head off in a giant ragefit of a rant simply because we disagree’?
Seriously, the people who whine and cry about their hurt feels are not new. I leave you with the wonderful Ray Bradbury’s words on that.
The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/Republican, Mattachine/FourSquareGospel feel it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.
Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from the book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever.
“Shut the door, they’re coming through the window, shut the window, they’re coming through the door,” are the words to an old song. They fit my lifestyle with newly arriving butcher/censors every month. Only six months ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with the censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn Del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.