Archive for the 'pop-psych' Category

Adding crazy

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Red says:

Life has a way of being crazy.  Even so, sometimes we look around and say, “you know what, I think there isn’t enough crazy here, let’s do something about that,” and then decide to have a baby.

Our first baby is due in about three months, and never would I have guessed how extremely geeky or romantic such an undertaking could prove to be.

First of all, we’ve got all these chemicals going through our brains, making us care more about each other, be more tender toward each other, etc.  I suddenly understand why so many people who get married after knowing each other for a year or two, and then have a baby right away, end up getting divorced after the kids grow up.  First, they have the new relationship energy carrying them, and then they have this biological dependency going, and they don’t have a chance to figure out that they don’t even like each other until all that wears off.  I am so glad Patch and I waited, and let ourselves go through several stages of relationship before adding a kid to the mix, but I am also enjoying this new form of romance.

Second, ZOMG, do you know how much cool geek stuff there is for parents and kids?  My favorite quote from Patch, so far is, “I guess my kid’s too young to make blinky bugs with, since it’s not even born yet.”

Ever since our talks of kids went more from theoretical to reality based, Patch has been working on figuring out which laptop will get a Babybuntu partition.  Sadly, it appears no one has written an official Ubuntu for babies, and with Patch’s schedule, I don’t see him writing one before the kid’s a teenager; but we have been paying attention to other advice on how to involve kids in computer use from day one, though we understand that at at first, “a baby is really just a warm burrito.”

Not to mention how incredibly geeky-cool it is to get ultra-sound images of the developing fetus.  I mean, really!  They do it with sound waves!  Which is about as close as I may ever get to being scanned by a sonic screwdriver.  (Speaking of which: this year’s Dr. Who, Christmas Special, was a spun sugar delight of Moffat-y nonsense that  went down like frosted gingerbread, without the heartburn.  <3 )

What kinds of crazy, romantic geekiness do you have planned for this year?

Poke her face

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Red says:
The spread of Gaga into popular culture continues, and I am bombarded with Poker Face videos from every direction: (more…)

Chirp: Honesty on the Internet

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Red says:

I just read an interesting article by Eve Simon talking about how to use Twitter for branding.  While she was talking specifically about ways of thinking that apply to businesses using Twitter to leverage a customer/client/user base, if you apply what she says to your personal tweets, you hit upon some of the things I have been thinking about lately.

Historically, the way to approach the Internet was with extreme caution and lots of thought about how to protect your personal information, often even including your real name.  This kind of caution and paranoia comes easily to me, and makes a lot of sense.

About two years ago, one of my major aliases got compromised, and I felt violated.  It was not done maliciously, just thoughtlessly, and I realized that not everyone thought the way I did about security and safety.  With the recent, and not so recent, mess over Facebook’s lack of privacy (which Danah Boyd has expounded upon at length with a great deal of thought and intelligence), privacy on the Internet, what it means and what rights individuals have to it is the question du jour.

Bear with me, but my next step is theology.  I was raised Quaker, with the associated beliefs in integrity, equality, peace and simplicity — which doesn’t gel with paranoia or falsely representing myself.  Two years ago, I wouldn’t have said I was falsely representing myself by having an alias; after all, I am the same person under all the names I use, and I maintain integrity under all of them.  But with all the thought about privacy issues, I’ve had to consider my different personas.

Even when I write or meet people under my own name, I have different things which I feel are appropriate to disclose depending upon my audience.  I am different people at family gatherings than I am with friends, and different again with co-workers or students.  Those differences translate to virtual space, though with a different set of splits, and I am an egoist on Myspace, a series of obscure non-sequitors on Facebook, and an artist on Twitter.  I know who my cross-over readers are, and I draw parallels in the different virtual mediums tailored to them.  I am honest in all, but selective.

And that selective goes back to the first article about building a branded identity on Twitter.  Is there a way to brand as nothing more, less, or different from one’s self?  As it becomes increasingly difficult to hold identities separate from each other, is our world forcing a more complete honesty, a deeper level of integrity upon us?  Will we find other ways to separate the different parts of ourselves despite the gravitational spiral towards transparency that the ever amassing data base that is the Internet is building?  Do we have a right to do so, or a responsibility to work on becoming a unified whole?

Perhaps transhumanism will be as much about unity of the individual as it will be about any genetic and technical modifications we make.  Radical transparency may have as much influence on the evolution of humanity as fire once did.

I find that strangely comforting.

Gaga for Stardom

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Red says:

Lady Gaga seems to be on all the cool kids’ minds at the moment.  “She’s a performance artist,” they say, explaining why they love her, even if her music is cheesy.

So, I go on-line, and watch a few of her music videos, and just don’t get it.  There isn’t anything that makes her stand out from any of a hundred other over-produced music videos.  Puzzled, I let it drop.

And then someone sends me an article, and I finally understand what she’s trying to do.  She wants to be the Andy Warhol of music.  And perhaps she is succeeding.  I must admit that I have never been taken with Warhol either, though now in both I can appreciate that there is thought behind the art.


Were-fore Wouldst Thou

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Red says:

One of the interesting questions that came up in the virtual release party for Thieves and Scoundrels was whether [the author in question] would rather be a vampire, werewolf or zombie.

Of the three who were asked this question, Patch being one of them, all chose vampire.  Patch’s wording was, “well, if we’re talking about Vampires after Stoker got to them, they really are the obvious choice.”

Which led me to wonder, “WHY?”  What’s so obvious about that?

I personally would choose lycanthropy.  If you end up in a mythology where you have no control over the change, you get to run bloody rampage without the dictates of conscience stopping you.  If you end up in a mythology where you get more control, having that optional quadrapedal form and not having your life limited by a clock, well that just beats everything hands down.  Go vampire, you lose sunlight forever, and extended travel becomes near impossible.  No thanks.  As for zombies, that’s dead without benefits.

Anyway, see you cloak swirling ponces in the arena. ;-)

Having played the Bayonetta demo …

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Patch says:

I wonder if it is possible to go so over the top with your hypersexual portrayal of female anatomy that you move beyond sexism, objectification, et. al., and into … I’m not sure that I want to apply the term “art”, but the game is so lovingly put together, that it really cannot be dismissed (even more so, in both directions, than Tomb Raider). (more…)

Stress Soup

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Red says:

Patch and I know better than to play competitive games together unless we are both VERY chill.  So most of the time we prefer co-op games, and one of our current favorites is ‘Splosion Man, which is set in a fun world, and has achieved a set of game play challenges which work really well for developing the individual players and the team.

However, the stress levels at our house have reached a point where even a nice, co-op session of ‘Splosion Man can turn into a nasty fight, with lots of deep button pushing.  Le sigh.  Statistics say that a majority of couples break up over money issues, and it’s true, unstable times can make it really hard to find the romance. (more…)

Mr. President

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Red says:

I am an American, and I choose to dream.

Thank you, to my generation who, “disproved the myth,” of their apathy.  I am proud to be part of our shouting voice.

Family and Films

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Patch and I had my mother visit for the holidays this year, and it was wonderful.  We spent lots of time introducing her to Patch’s extended family, playing games, and just spending time together.  I sometimes take it for granted that Patch and I each love and get along with each other’s families, we are so very far from the stereotypical animosity towards mother-in-laws.

My brother, on the other hand, isn’t even allowed to go to his fiancee’s family gatherings, and spends many major holidays home alone.  That makes me very sad, though he has accepted it as the status-quo.

All this ties in to the fact that I watched Knocked Up (the ’07 one, not the ’04) and Juno within a week of each other, and was very struck by both of them, for very different reasons.  The first was absolutely awful; it tried to be real by showing that everyone is impossibly flawed, and the only kind of love that can happen is when two people are so desperate that they will love anyone just so they don’t have to be alone.  The second, however, was utterly charming; it was real about flaws, but allowed each character to find love and happiness in the right way for them, not only despite, but because of their flaws.

I am lucky to live a life where Juno resonated so strongly for me, and I feel sad that Knocked Up resonated with anyone.

Meta this dimension

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Red says:

(Mini rant warning.)

Over at the MetaPlace forums, there seem to be a mixture of people excited about utilizing the coming tools, and people who really think that the future of on-line gaming, and on-line metaverses is necessarily 3D. This is an attitude I run into a lot, and I really must disagree. Though humans live in a three dimensional world, I would not say that they require those same dimensions in every aspect of their lives, especially not on the Internet.