Thursday, August 22, 2013
Speed Blogging Thursday, August 22 20013. On Heroism, Internet Hate, What I Don't Write About And Why.
This is a great story about a woman who prevented a massacre. I think that took real courage and skill, all without a gun.
More on the question of hate on the Internets: Huffington Post is to stop anonymous commenting because of the trolling. Not sure how that can be guaranteed, but in any case my problems with comments are not their anonymity but the emotional use of comments to express nothing but hate.
A somewhat different take on Internet hate, when it comes to hating on women, is given by this article.
It talks about the possible extra fee on women who would participate and also hints at one possible desire behind some of the trolling: To get certain types of women to shut up, pretty much.
In my opinion the scarcity of women editors on Wikipedia may be linked to something similar, by the way, because the system allows for concentrated attacks on any posts, and groups of editors may pick posts put up by female editors for those attacks. So women need to not only edit but also defend their work more stringently. That would be an extra user fee. But that's speculation right now, based on some anecdotal stories I've heard.
In Massachusetts, a rapist is playing games in the family court.
There are many extremely important stories I don't write about at all. My silence doesn't mean that the stories are of no interest to me, just that I have nothing worthwhile to say about them that others wouldn't cover much better.
Sadly, many of those stories, such as climate change and the nuclear catastrophe in Japan appear not to be amenable to political and/or technical solutions. Or at least the will to do something decisive enough is not there, even if the knowledge of what to do might be. And often that knowledge is absent, too. The same applies to some extent to Syria and Egypt and what is going on in those countries. I can't think of any short-term solutions to the pain and suffering, given the history and current power structures.
Then there are stories like this one *(warning: the link in the linked story leads to sick stuff on prison sexual abuse). Mostly I avoid linking to stories which seem to be created as click-magnets: the more extreme the arguments, the better. But in this case many of the arguments sound similar to arguments made about women and rape and noting the similarities can be useful.
*Note added later: The Daily Beast is doing post-publication editing on this piece, so it's no longer the same as what I read.