Like a One Legged Man in a Pie Eating Contest

One of the common battle lines in the (not)war for equality, is ‘privilege’: on one side the division of society into equality haves and equality have-nots; on the other the stories of white men who are stuck in a poverty not of their own making. The arguments of both sides can be compelling, yet they can’t both be true. Or can they …?


Not Letting the Dice Decide

While sexual harassment in roleplaying games isn’t front page news in the same way that the rags and tatters of Hollywood pretence are, it happens. And, unlike the real world, it can sometimes seek to excuse itself by relying on not having happened in reality. However, I don’t think something is automatically acceptable just because it’s a story rather than a “real” event or because that’s how the game world is.

The Cost of Being Seen

While the web might have started out as excited amateurs building their little corner then sharing it with others, it’s now also home to large companies and content professionals. Which has made recouping the cost of running sites and creating the pages on them a major driver of “normal” website structure. The usual models are either pay-for-access or paid-by-advertising, but I came across a new idea today: internet user as middleperson.

Gestalt Not GetStuffed

There’s no denying that at least some social change has occurred because of a small number of activists highlighting injustice until support for change becomes the new normal, However, is that transition from vocal in minority to accepted among the majority slowed because so many activists discuss the change they seek within a zero-sum framework?

10 Reasons Why a Cup of Coffee is Better for You than Kafkaesque Torture

One of the most pervasive pieces of advice in articles on how to be “successful” is to put aside hobbies in favour of extra graft on your job or a side-hustle. However, I’ve noticed another similar suggestion cropping up that suggests “success” listicles might be more sinister than a simple misunderstanding that money is a tool not a goal: seeking isolation from contentious influences.

Play to Strengths

Mind/body: people are so proud to go to the gym; so ashamed to go to the therapist.

– Alain de Botton

The difference in social acceptability between staying physically healthy and mentally healthy puzzles me. Even (Especially) at public school, I encountered a strong “sports are good; thinking is bad” culture. Obviously, it’s got a macho bullshit element: real men play rugby in shark-infested radiation sumps without feeling any emotion other than rage and manly non-erotic attachment to one’s fellows. Of course, I was mildly subversive about it when the opportunity presented. Which is why my sixth-form sport was bridge; I even have sporting colours for competing in competitions.

But it seems utterly backwards. Pick any physical challenge and there’s another animal that’s better at it than we are; we’re not strong, fast, aquatic, enduring, atmosphere resistant, poison resistant. The only physical thing humans are better at than any other animal is being sexually attractive to humans; which admittedly is another thing that real men are – but only in a heterosexual way. Whereas, we are arguable the most mind-possessing species on the planet.

Which makes focusing on the physical and disdaining the mental about as sensible as an electrician being laughed at for rewiring a house using tools and experience rather than painting his face with tapir spit and waving a balloon around his head.

And, as any good tradesperson will agree, you take care of your tools. So, we should be proud to take care of our minds.

Either Way, It’s Better Than Imaginary Enemies

This short film about growing up seen from the perspective of a girl’s imaginary friend rather pleased me:

Not utterly sure whether abandoning the imaginary is a necessary part of adulthood – but then I suspect most authors would be silent without their imaginary companions – but the aesthetics are most apposite to my interests.