crankyoldman: Claudia's IS the tech support [Warehouse 13] (Claudia tech)
I don't know if I've talked about this much, because frankly it's taken me a while to process this and compare with experiences of other people. But I was reading yet another thing about how college grads have it hard finding work and yet another thing mentioned "unless your degree is in engineering or computer science, you're really not guaranteed a job".

Engineering degrees can in fact be just as problematic as any other degree, depending on the university you went to (mind I am talking about US institutions only as that is all I have experience with). In fact, once I'd come out of the haze that had been my undergrad years, I realized just how screwed I could have been had I not a) a willingness to take a risk and go to grad school because I have parents who are financially stable b) a willingness to leave a job that was essentially killing me in small measures.

this got long )

Edit: Apparently xkcd thought it would be a good time to make a comic about networking in the most hilarious timing ever.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Laguna Hrm?)
So this article got linked by one of the webcomic artists I follow on twitter.

I have to admit, these kinds of complainy articles really tick me off. Part of it is personal; I really didn't get to a level of geekitude that was in any way hardkore until I got on the internet, and especially not until I got into the various transformative works and remix cultures: fanfiction, FSTs, cosplay, roleplay, whatever else I've dabbled in. There was no community before that, just me watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad and hoping that because I was dating a guy with a good Magic: The Gathering reputation they'd let me in on their games with my less than stellar deck.

I wonder if the guy that wrote that article has ever had to sit around for four hours waiting on their boyfriend to finish playing hackey sack so they could have someone, anyone to talk to about programming with, and then just being given a book and told that they were being "clingy". Or immediately jumping at the new girl in school because OMG SHE HAD A TOMOGOTCHI SHIRT ON. Or waiting years to buy a PS2 because there were too many pressures in his life both personally and professionally to even attempt to escape into another time consuming hobby. Or spent months roleplaying someone else's videogame character and finding it was the only thing that they could look forward to in the day.

Probably not. He wouldn't be complaining if he had. He's one of the Chosen Nerds, one of the kinds that merely had to like something to be considering Important. And it's bullshit.

I personally love the increasing accessibility of everything; not necessarily by content, but by means. It is not more shallow to have an iPod instead of a Walkman, or to torrent the show you're obsessed with instead of having to wait weeks for it to come in the mail. More accessibility has always meant more options, more people, more viewpoints. Without the internet I never would have considered some of the implications of my chosen forms of entertainment, untangled my sexuality, or learned how to sew. Without the internet I would have continued to think that my creativity was something silly and unnecessary and to just focus on practical things.

And even still, we can't forget this is a first world accessibility, one which still excludes so much of the world.

Did I sometimes wish that one of my major gateway fandoms, Final Fantasy VII, had been less popular so I could continue with my own theories? Of course. And did I whine about new canons not following my standards set by the original (and imperfect too!) one. I got over it, because it's a waste of energy. I found new places in old places and old places in new ones. I adapted, not expecting a whole franchise or fandom to bend to my will.

But that's the difference between you and me, Patton Oswalt, isn't it? If you knew how to adapt, how to see outside yourself you wouldn't be writing articles on Wired complaining about other people's passions and enthusiasms not living up to your 1980s ideal.

The internet and the information age has many issues, but the popular culture accessibility is the least of its problems. There are journalists who are lying and ruining their integrity because it is so easy to just hit "post"; you can smear someone's entire reputation in 140 characters or destabilize people's finances simply because your credit carrier doesn't agree with some group's idea of free speech. THOSE are some real issues.

So wake up complaining dude, and realize that it's you who has become outmoded.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (f the cosine)
So, I had a pretty good time at a costume party last night, pictures of the costume to come later. I went to a primarily nerd gathering as it turned out, and quite a few of the costumes were the sorts of things you see at conventions or nerdly injokes. There was a Black Butler group, a representation of several Treks (some Original Series, some New Trek, DS9 Bajorans, a Captain Janeway), A JOAN FUCKING HOLLOWAY WITH A PEN NECKLACE, and more ninjas than I can shake a stick at. There were also a couple completely tasteless costumes, because well, some types of nerds have utterly no self-awareness or sense of propriety.

As you can imagine, I was mostly nerding out! And I got recognized by a couple of really cute girls in my Hades costume and yay, good time!

Of course, there was a downside. The downside was The Girl Thing.

just because she likes the same weird shit as you doesn't mean you're soulmates )
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (tim gunn)
I've had people ask me why I'm always so on about positive body image, and tend to defend "fat" a lot. I have gotten into really REALLY heated arguments with dudebros over it, and had other women tell me that it's easy for me to say, I'm skinny. And you know, it kind of is. I'm not going to deny that. I'm also not going to deny I've gotten a lot of flack before for being as thin as I am (always from other women, mind, I have never had a man tell me I was too thin, but too small of boobs, however...). But really, getting that kind of flack is nothing compared to what it must be to not be thin, and I recognize this.

and this continues )

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