Who Watches the Watchmen Watching the Watched?

Think about it.


ADD Check-in

The hashtag #ADDcheckin has been active on Twitter since yesterday, when Elon James White started it so people could share their experiences. There’s some great stuff there, but I absolutely have to share this one:

I use time-tracking software just so that I’ll know how long I spend on specific tasks. Sometimes it helps me manage my time well, but mostly it just lets me document how long seemingly simple tasks can take me.

To put it another way, as I said to someone just yesterday, “We’ve probably been talking for 10 minutes or so, but if you told me it’s been an hour, I’d believe you.”

Here are a few other resources I’ve picked up today from people tweeting the hashtag: Continue reading


The Killer Jargon of #SXSWi, Part 1: WTH Are You Talking About?

South by Southwest, or SXSW, as it is more commonly known these days (or #SXSW, as it more commonly appears in online references these days) is now underway, with the Interactive portion of the festival, or #SXSWi, having begun this past Thursday. I attended this part of the event as a full-fledged badge holder in 2012 and 2013, and I may do so again some day, but there is also some value in observing the festivities from afar.

One aspect of SXSWi that particularly jumps out at me is the near-total inscrutability of much of its news and gossip, especially with regard to the quest to be this year’s “it” app. Take this headline, posted to Facebook by my friend Jen: “Twitter cuts Meerkat off from its social graph just as SXSW gets started.”

Literally nothing in that headline, or the comments to Jen’s post, makes any sense at all without heaping amounts of context. I initially just assumed that Meerkat and Periscope are companies, or apps, or websites, or programming languages, or something else tech-y. It’s just funny how the tech world has normalized jargon so much. Continue reading


That’s My Police Chief (UPDATED)

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apparently enjoyed some ChiPs reruns on Thanksgiving:

Then this happened:

I’m glad to see Austin remains entertaining, if not always as weird as it used to be. I hope everyone had a good holiday, in whatever way they opted to spend it.

UPDATE (11/28/2014): This is somewhat related, and came up in conversation:


A Thought for NaNoWriMo Participants

We are eleven days into November, and I haven’t actually started on National Novel Writing Month yet. That doesn’t mean I’m out, just that I procrastinate proudly.

For those who are actively participating, and who might be feeling sone frustration, this bit of wisdom from Chuck Wendig might not make you feel better, per se, but hopefully it will remind you that all creative endeavors are painful at some point.


Just a Reminder that Social Media Can Still Be Extremely Lowbrow

We bring you “Motorboating on Vine,” via Twitter. No part of that sentence would have made any sense just a few years ago.

(Somewhat NSFW, obviously.)


At Long Last, Guys Who Play Video Games Have a Voice!!!

Lack of self-awareness at this level is just…….well, you can’t make this stuff up.

This is usually the part where most bloggers note that they haven’t written much about this GamerGate thing for one reason or another. I keep wanting to write about it, but then something new happens and it gets even stranger, and so far I’ve just ended up with an ever-growing list of links that I might one day make into an outline or history or something. The #NotYourScapegoat thing just seems too rich to pass up, though.

Here’s a bit of context, sort of:

For additional bits of awesomeness, see this Clickhole piece:

And this:


What I’m Reading, May 13, 2014

Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsPatton Oswalt Brilliantly Trolls for Twitter Outrage, Chez Pazienza, The Daily Banter, May 7, 2014

If it weren’t so hilarious it would be depressing. A little earlier this afternoon Patton Oswalt began trolling Twitter and the rest of the internet, trying to drum up outrage over nothing. Literally, nothing.

What he did was simple: He started posting tweets that referenced and apologized for tweets he says he deleted because they were offensive, but of course the “deleted tweets” weren’t real. They never were.

Chris McDougall: I Never Meant To Start A Barefoot-Running Fad, Jon Gugala, Fittish, May 7, 2014

In 2009, Chris McDougall published Born to Run, an account of his adventures in the remote canyons of Mexico. From his travelogue was birthed an industry-shifting movement that re-examined everything once accepted as gospel truth about running shoes. Continue reading


Libertarianism in 4 Words

The hashtag #libertarianismin4words was trending on Monday, leading to some amusing critiques of what I will charitably call the political ideology, along with some breathless efforts to decry the ignorance of the mockers and some noble attempts to find four words to describe the libertarian worldview that weren’t all either “freedom” or “liberty.”

I haven’t exactly made my thoughts on libertarianism a secret around here, so I don’t need to rehash or go into any great detail here. I will note, perhaps gratuitously, that four words is probably a fair limit for defenders of the ideology, at least since my own experience suggests that it has nothing to recommend it aside from abstract nouns.

I took the liberty (see what I did there?) of Storifying some tweets that I found amusing. This is by no means a complete set of tweets I liked, but rather just the ones that came up on a quick search of the hashtag:

Here were my thoughts for those who, as always, claimed that the critics just. don’t. get. it: