We Are We

john_lennon

I am the index.

I am the walrus.

Coo-coo-ka-choo.

john-lennon

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Private Sector Says ‘No’ To Indiana Bigotry

Joe Skipper / AP )

Gov. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana has risked sending his state into a fiscal downfall with a recent decision to sign into law a pro-discrimination bill dressed up as Christianity. This bill was put forward by the corrupt, immoral people of Advance America who want to protect hatred for others over the protection of ideals like freedom and liberty.

In response to this extremely stupid and anti-gay bill the State of Indiana has already begun to suffer. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, canceled all programs that required travel to the state. The Gen Con gaming conference and the NCAA also both expressed publicly that this may cause a change in future venues within the state.

If these radical bigots don’t start accepting that their religious beliefs do not amount to an excuse to commit acts of discrimination against others they are welcome to be free of the boycott.

Otherwise … #BoycottIndiana!

Fukushima Daiichi Update

Fukushima Workers

I squeezed some of this topic into a recent podcast on My Podcasts on YouTube. It’s important to know that the Fukushima reactor is still not fully scrapped and that while radiation levels are low they are also not decreasing by any significant measure in all recent online published studies.

Resources and Blogs:

IAEA Updates

The Guardian Reporting On Worker Death In Decommission Process; accidental death by all reports and not a direct failure of TEPCO to safeguard their employees health and well-being in this specific case.

Fukushima Update Blog (LA Times Reporters)

Fukushima Diary (Iori Mochizuki)

Radiation Warning

My YouTube Podcasting Has Erupted

This is the first of the podcasts I’ve been cutting over the past few days.

It’s a lot of fun to switch gears as a broadcaster into new mediums.

Though it’s become clear to me that the fun part of doing the recordings is getting addictive versus the boring part of doing the editing.

These are going to get a bit … wild … in coming updates.

If you’re catching me here then consider linking up with me over on the YT as well.

Too Many Puppies

Eric in a Cowboy Hat

Geez, I made too many and started so many projects over the years.

Really nuts going through this blog stuff. 

Easily my biggest post is Kira’s Kingdom.

Starting doing minor podcasting with a voice recorder and discovered a nice little resource for my fellow Web creators to brush up on:

Digital Media Law Project: Fair Use

(URL: http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/fair-use)

Also have this always saved and ready to go now…

THIS PODCAST DOES NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF YOUTUBE, GOOGLE OR RESPECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS. THIS CONTENT IS USED IN THE FULL SPIRIT OF THE FAIR USE POLICIES AND PRACTICES.

 

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Follow @ Blogger:

 

http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com

 

Follow @ Twitter:

 

https://twitter.com/EricLightborn

My Life Right In This Very Moment

public-domain-books

That damn thing happened again. This uncontrollable entertainer slash wannabe author has exploded inside me again the moment I started the life hacking away from the catering, home repairs and yards — odds and ends bullshit — and back toward my old way of being a hardcore nine to fiver giving up every day off I could to squeeze every drop of green out of the whole deal. It’s a problem. In one mindset it is key at this job app’d up point to go do the face-time thing anywhere where it’s not just a “blah, whatever” type resume submission.

But instead I’m in the process of opening a Patreon centered on my writing and just finally bought a web-cam of merit to adhere to the “best practices” guidelines they provide. Probably a new YouTube channel before long too. The thinking here is that, as I have whined about before here into the blogs, there really isn’t any good reason for me to online-publish things like pieces of upcoming fictional works and poetry anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this style of free-flowing Web content and this style of post would always show up on this blog.

However, when I look over my hard drive there is a lot of pieces on here that are better suited for a Patreon feed than just sheer live blogging potential future IPs so third-parties can just come in and give zero credit to the author while using a level of ads that is obviously excessive. People should get paid for their best work and art is work like any other. If I were to guess the objections some raise about this style of crowd-funding it’s that they don’t see writing, music, and art in general as something valid to pour money into unless it comes pre-packaged by the existing industry involved.

old_typewriter

What I think many are unaware of in this matter is that in the “old days” a writer of merit would receive an investment in the form of a large lump sum directly from the publisher then given a deadline to produce. This investment was expressly for living expenses, research materials, leisure time, and anything else that might enhance the final product. No going back from the Digital Era, obviously, so e-publishing is just a beast all serious writers have to tackle to ground or be eaten alive when you try and call yourself that in public. But there are many projects going on here and no time at all to finish all of them unless I do that thing where the heady stuff and the final draft prose is paying for itself.

Enough about that. My neighborhood was popping off a second ago. Live music from up the hill and little kids singing some pop song I don’t recognize from over the fence. Out here in the backyard after running around town a bit. This is Santa Cruz, CA by the way or “Surf City USA” or as I want to be known as the birthplace of NHS and Santa Cruz (Brand) Skateboards & Clothing. No I don’t work for them it’s more that you might have seen those stickers around and those are referring to my little surf / skate town here.

Think I liked San Francisco more but the housing costs are just stupid high so that’s off the table unless I could network that shit. Oh what else? All this poetry explosion going on in my head is probably because I’m in love again, which is nice but complicated when these new feelings are for a long time close friend who is keeping at a distance most days. Always been a fool for love but thanks to serious bumps in the road in my youth I can speak very openly and directly about these topics if people are comfortable enough with me to do so. Often the things left unsaid in romance can be sexier than spilling your guts twenty-four seven but oh doggies do things get complicated sometimes and the need for honest communication shifts into the foreground so strongly that it’s almost slapping you in the face.

Okay, that was a “rant” they call them in this box of digital expression that is linked to other boxes that occasionally do this creating unique ideas stuff. Peace, love and chicken grease.

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Eric Lightborn / Eruptide@YouTube out.

Anita Sarkeesian: Entrepreneur, Activist or Phony?

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For those not keeping up with the pulse of YouTube: a channel by the name of Feminist Frequency run by Anita Sarkeesian has recently gathered $160,000 via Kickstarter to produce what is currently a three part video series focused on sexism in videogames entitled “Damsel in Distress.” Originally she asked for $6,000 for this project and spoke of academic value as well as intense research involved in the final product.  But the videos about videogames are only the catalyst in a tale of Internet Infamy that begins with feminism and ends with pseudo-science.

businesswoman

The dubiously high amount of money involved raised many eyebrows due to the fact that YouTube videos of this exact nature are produced on shoe string budgets every day. She refuses to allow comments or ratings which is a tactic looked down on by most Internet users for obvious reasons. Compounding this is some evidence to show she likely screen captured the videos of other YouTube users rather than recording original video from the games she supposedly bought for the research stage of the project. But I’ll return to that topic later. Whatever else may be true of Sarkeesian there’s no arguing that she has become extremely successful directly as a result of this Kickstarter project and is rumored to have entered the professional gaming industry as a consultant to EA Games on the title Mirror’s Edge 2.

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Which brings me to the first quandary: Is she a capitalist genius or just a case of luck combining with opportunity? I don’t think it’s as easy as some of her detractors would like to discount her as simply a “troll” (meaning intentional instigator) taking it to the next level. That’s one possibility but considering the nature of human greed I find it also likely she uses pop culture as a crutch to avoid the more scientific elements of social commentary all while appealing to her base, in this case hard-line feminists, to keep the donations coming with lots of red meat. All the benefits but none of the heavy lifting. As an example of this she doesn’t present any information to the viewer about learned and demonstrated behavior in the field of Child Development Psychology which would be the cornerstone of a hypothesis involved in linking external input like the themes and plot devices in videogames with outward attitudes toward the opposite gender.  Fancy way of saying she is obviously not doing an academic piece.

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One thing that occurred to me when I saw her first video was most of her arguments could be transplanted to rail against rap and hip hop music, or against the fringes of the artist community, or pretty much any extreme form of expression. But somehow I don’t imagine a young woman who wants to decry the evil rap music industry right next to figures like Bill O’Reilly and Pat Robertson would catch much traction on YouTube. Sarkeesian’s main point in summation, while it takes a different route to get there, is no different from the position of the religious right-wing: society is harmed by things I find offensive being popular.

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That brings me to my second quandary: Is she an earnest activist that is merely making amateur mistakes or is there intentional deception by stating her opinions as facts numerous times? Again I’m not entirely convinced the worst to be true. It’s not all that impossible most of what she has presented that has ruffled feathers is just us witnessing a slow learning curve on her part to avoid logical fallacy. I read some old political posts of mine and felt deep shame … because I wrote them prior to taking a college course on critical thinking and proper argumentation. So hey, total benefit of doubt thing going on here. But to ever buy this one in full I need to see her start basing factual statements in facts and come to see that if you decry a social injustice you perceive but provide no positive solutions then others who feel as you do are left feeling disempowered (common theme in her videos) instead of united in this common worldview.

laptop-thief

My final quandary: Are we being lead around by the nose here or not? The strongest point that leads me to think this a con artist at work is not so much the large pile of cash she got but rather what other users pointed out: she is almost certainly using footage of Let’s Play videos (someone voices what is essentially a podcast alongside a game they’re playing) to pad out her game footage shots and blatantly ignores or misrepresents the context within a story line she critiques. As a quick example of misleading viewers about the contextual story line within these games she references Fable 2 as a title that represented the “male revenge fantasy” overlooking the fact you can select to be female without affecting any element of the story and after the death of your sister you are mentored by a powerfully authoritative female character. As to the other point I’ve heard some users say she “stole” these clips of game footage but (1) not giving attribution is bad Web-etiquette but not stealing per se and (2) with the exception of the audio these Let’s Play videos are likely the sole property of the game makers or YouTube not the person who used a computer to mesh together game play and commentary. Find a copyright lawyer to really nail that down but in the case of potential plagiarism I’m near positive that unless they have a partnership with a gaming company thus a legal department behind them they can forget about this sort of thing being declared anything other than Free Use by YouTube. That said, it’s beyond suspicious to me that such a highly funded project would borrow footage in this way at all.

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The sad part is no matter what Sarkeesian holds as her true intentions the focus on tired clichés being overused in gaming and how these plot devices, or tropes, are used to enforce unfair gender stereotypes is an opinionated stand to take but it’s just a simple fact that the professional gaming industry is predominately male and could greatly benefit from say a youthful female voice on YouTube encouraging women to strike out toward careers in gaming design and development. I have no doubt the gaming industry as a whole would welcome a more gender balanced input when it comes to design and development. The number of female gamers in the market keeps rising and they often bring different tastes and expectations to a videogame than male gamers do.

But instead of that sort of encouragement, so far anyway, we have three videos that contain contradictions and have yet to succeed in proving or even attempting to prove the central premise that fictional fantasies lead to negative attitudes and beliefs about others. We already beat that horse to death with the whole violence in the media causes violence in real life bullshit that was debunked over and over again.

Correlation is not causation, Anita.

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More Video Links:

More than a Damsel in a Dress: A Response” by KiteTales

Three Simple Questions for Anita Sarkeesian” by IWALVG

Female Game Developer’s response to Tropes vs Women” by dolldivine

Damsel Trek…” by Triox45

GAME OVER: Anita Sarkeesian has won” by MundaneMatt