May 20th, 2009

running, bomb tech

Reminder: Emergency Contact Information First Post

niqaeli reckoned that this was a good time to revive the Emergency Contact Information First Post meme, and tajasel has a nice static copy of the relevant information, updated for Dreamwidth; I've included the original information for LiveJournal below the cut.

If you've done this in the past, take the time to go back, take a look at the entry, and revise it if there are any changes. The basic meme as it stands only asks for your own personal basic information; I've chosen to include additional information that might be of interest to emergency medical types, including some medical history and contact information for individuals who are actually genetically related to me and local.

If you haven't done this, I recommend that you do. It's actually not all that uncommon for the closest friends of someone who blogs under a pseudonym to know a friend's username, phone number, given name, and deepest darkest secrets, but not exact physical address or family name, if those haven't been relevant for mailing care packages. iroshi has been close to me for almost as long as I've been on LJ, and has seen me at my absolute mental worst, and helped me pick up the broken pieces of my head and put them back together, and she still didn't know my family name when someone asked her about me. I hadn't thought these important enough to tell her, but these things can be relevant in the physical world.

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Everybody's comfort level with this sort of thing varies, but if you are comfortable with this, and/or have listed your contact information in a filtered post for sharing with your friends, consider placing one at the beginning of your journal where it's easy to find.
flaming, angry

Spam users, and why they're bad!

So I've seen some people are wondering why the upsurge in bot users who don't do anything except post nonsensical entries with spam-links and add people as friends are a problem, if people don't add them back and they do not leave spam-comments in other people's journals. These are the reasons I've identified; there are probably more.

They annoy people, and they have no legitimate reason to be on LiveJournal; their presence is actively against the Terms of Service.
They're using LJ server resources for their own benefit to drive up search engine ratings, at LiveJournal's cost, taking away from the processor time and storage space that would be available to legitimate users, rather than using a domain and hosting they paid for.
They attempt to hoodwink LJ users into giving them money in some cases.
Some of them attempt to lure LJ users into visiting malware-ridden sites and converting LJ users into unwitting zombies in their botnets.
They're taking up namespace; most of the usernames are garble but not all of them.
They're taking up people's time, granted only a few seconds at a time, but these little things add up.
They're forcing LJ support to handle people complaining about them.
They're diverting developers' effort from things that are more useful to the userbase.
They're taking Abuse time and energy to research and suspend, which takes away from Abuse time and energy spent on other issues.
They make it damned hard to find any real human on http://www.livejournal.com/stats/latest.bml

They need to die with fire.
tea

Using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to evaluate relationships in your life!

I first met Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in high school Health class, and found it quite sensible indeed. While there are certain arguments with it, it's at least a handy and interesting tool.

Chatter in another journal, about friendship, being a good friend, and not being a drag on one's friends, brought me to an interesting idea: that the safety and quality of a relationship should be lined up against Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to see how the friendship fulfills the needs (sometimes), or (more interestingly) to make sure that the relationship does not pose a threat to the needs.

It is in fact a pretty decent checklist for evaluating the basic safety of a relationship, starting with the most basic level.

1) Physiological: breathing, food, water, sleep, homeostasis, excretion, (and sex).
Does this person attempt to deny me reasonable access to air, food, water, sleep, and the bathroom? Does this person cause me physical injury?
Sex is a little bit different; there is no reasonable way to declare that the hot individual that you just met in a bar is denying you access to sex on a basic-needs level when they won't get in bed with you. However, if there is a person/organization/medication in your life that is preventing you from any sexual fulfillment (assuming a consenting adult partner and/or time by yourself), seriously consider the impact that is having on your life. If someone is getting in the way of your having the basics for survival, it doesn't matter if they're the best creative partner ever, if they're in a position where they can also interfere with your life on this level, it's time to do some serious re-evaluation.

A certain amount of support on this level is sort of assumed for the purposes of being a decent human being if it's within one's reasonable power to grant, like not waking someone up for frivolous purposes if they've just gotten to sleep, or giving someone a glass of water if they're thirsty (assuming this isn't an emergency survival situation like everybody is lost in the desert). "Not being an axe-murderer" is a requirement at this level.

2) Safety: security of the body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of the family, of health, of property.
Does this person put me in physical danger, put me in danger of losing my job, steal my possessions, jeopardize my health, deny me reasonable access to available resources, try to make me act in ways that are against my moral code, and/or do the same (or deny access to anything on Level 1) to members of my family? If some dickhead is trying to get me fired, or is deliberately waking my sister up when she's trying to sleep, this doesn't say good things for our future as friends, even if they're not actually an axe-murderer. Again, basic aid with these things is in the being-a-decent-human-being category. If someone is bleeding, provide first aid and/or alert someone who can provide it. If someone is about to step on a banana peel, tell them.

3) Love/Belonging: friendship, family, sexual intimacy.
Does this person try to separate me from my friends, alienate my family when I'm trying to maintain contact with them, promise me sexual intimacy and then deny it, interfere with my attempts to seek sexual intimacy with a consenting adult partner? This is getting into classical this-is-an-abusive-relationship checklist material, which means that it's not things that people necessarily take for granted as rights. Aid in stuff like this is a little above-and-beyond in many cases, but basic "I'm sorry to hear your mom died" is still general social decency.

4) Esteem: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others.
Does this person attack your self-esteem, offer destructive criticism, take credit for things that you have worked on without acknowledging you, not acknowledge things that you have worked hard on, treat you dismissively, make a point of pointing out the human failings of people you hold in high esteem (particularly by singling them out for criticism and ignoring the equal or greater flaws of others), put you down to people who like and respect you? These are also on the classical this-is-an-abusive-relationship checklist, but verge into the "wow, they're a dick in general" area, because it's possible to be nasty in these areas without having a close relationship or actively endangering someone's well-being. Aid in this is getting into the friendly, going-out-of-your-way-to-be-nice territory.

It's possible to be friends with people who don't provide active support on this level, although some people would classify this as more "acquaintances", depending. Active support can be anything from a casual "Hey, nice job on that" to a serious one-on-one self-esteem booster session.

5) Self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts.
I would consider it possible to be friends with someone who has wildly different perspectives on a number of points of self-actualization, so long as there is mutual respect for the other's perspective and well-being. It's possible to believe that something is the only possible way for you personally to see things, but acknowledge that someone else can see it differently, and perhaps even thrive with a different viewpoint and do badly with your own viewpoint. This can be on issues both small and large. Someone who thinks that Star Wars is better than Star Trek can still be friends with someone who believes the opposite, and they can both be friends with someone who thinks that Babylon 5 pwns all. Other things are a lot harder to reach common ground on, like the sort of co-worker who believes that interracial dating is bad and wrong, although they're a great person in many other respects. It's possible to question someone else's choices in self-actualization without attacking, especially as there is so much room for differences of opinion that do not result in a loss of physical and/or emotional safety for either party.
  • Current Music
    "Suburbia", the Pet Shop Boys
Azzgrin, Azure: Lunatic, crazy

Interesting Interest Theatre, Round III

aedifica asked about: blue hair, chaos, do another, dream treatments, mud cult, nevermore, s.oteri, stargaet.

blue hair

I never considered the possibility of having hair of an unnatural color prior to 1995, although I did try coloring my hen Aurora's white hackle with dandelion petals, because I thought she would look good as a blonde. (She would have, too: she was an Egyptian Fayoumi, and a yellow hackle would have made her resemble a Golden Campine.) Then I went to CTY, and someone (possibly pyrogenic) decided that we should go for blue hair. I immediately decided that the idea was glorious, and was all for it. Sadly, it did not come to pass, as one of the RAs got wind of it, and Josh was the only one who was confident that his parents would fax in permission for the alteration. I eventually did go blue in 1998/99, and I loved the look, but the bleaching and maintenance were not fun. I went blue again in 2000/2001 briefly, but had to dye it black for a job. I've occasionally overdyed my very dark brown hair with blue since, for a fun blue-glow-in-the-sunlight effect, but haven't been able to keep that up. I'd like to have permanent dark blue hair.

chaos

Both mathematical chaos and chaos magic(k) fascinate me.

do another

This is from Support. I was never part of the Schools team, but the phrase got tossed around some, and it was also a catchphrase at my old tech support job.

dream treatments

This is from the anime Darkside Blues. It's been quite a while since I watched it; I should watch it again.

mud cult

This was a CTY event. There was a rainstorm over a weekend, and everything turned to mud. A bunch of us started playing in puddles and having a mudfight. First they banned throwing the mud, so we started chasing each other with handfuls of mud and *placing* the mud on each other. Then we got shooed on from that, as we were too close to out of bounds and getting too muddy. We re-convened in the quad, where the volleyball court had turned to mud also, and had a barefoot, bathing-suit-clad mud dance (asking for more rain for more mud). There were mud-chants. Eventually it was lunchtime. We tried to go in the cafeteria all over mud, but were unjustly barred entrance. We staged a sit-in until we got too hungry, then went and got showered off and came back for lunch. It was delightful fun.

nevermore

Another CTY reference; this refers to people who a) are in their last year due to being too old to come back next year ("my nevermore year") and b)people who are now too old and will not be able to come back. It is sad to be a nevermore.

s.oteri

This is from Margaret Wander Bonanno's Preternatural series, a species of telepathic space jellyfish. The novel deals with a first-contact situation between the aforementioned telepathic space jellyfish (yes, it's okay to laugh) and a series of creative and messianic types throughout history, which culminates in contact with a novelist who has written tie-ins for a certain popular science fiction show, and the aging cast of that selfsame show, which is a thinly-disguised Star Trek (no, seriously, "thinly disguised" is an utter understatement, and Karen is the most delightful self-insert ever, and I love her (and Margaret) to pieces). For reasons that are difficult to articulate, the novel was a seminal work in my adolescent career. It remains a favorite, particularly the s.oteri named Azure.

stargaet

This is, um. Picture this: it's 20 hours until the end of National Novel-Writing Month, and you have about 12k words to go. What do you do? Obviously, you write crackfic about being naked in the gateroom. NUDE STARGAETS. OMG.
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