We live in a future where privacy is not only rare, it’s openly mocked. We trust our personal data to corporations either voluntarily or unknowingly, and then we’re surprised when that information isn’t well-guarded or used responsibly. Getting hacked isn’t a good thing, but now it seems like it’s an eventuality.
That’s why almost everyone has reacted in the wrong way to the Ashley Madison hacking. Last week, hackers released information about tens of millions of the site’s customers. Their names, addresses, credit card numbers, email addresses and more are now out there for the world to see. People’s private information is out there for anyone to misuse.
So why are people so gleeful about it? Continue reading
Late last week, a blog post about drinking soda went viral. I don’t know how Facebook curates its tending news stories list, but for some reason, the site thought I’d be interested in reading about it. Normally, I avoid blog posts about nutrition, weight loss and stuff like that, because they’re all written by kooks with clear agendas. There’s no reason to believe unsupported health claims made by someone writing for something like Vegan Heroes Against GMO than if they were writing about how Obama is the devil for Libertarian Tea Party Bald Eagles United.
But typically stories like that are posted by the friends you avoid having conversations with for good reason. This one was in that Facebook news feed thing, which doesn’t mean it’s more credible, but it at least means a lot of people are reading it, so I decided to check it out.
Hoo boy, was it informative. Let’s break this one down. Continue reading
On Friday, non-terrible people across the country celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The decision came toward the end of Pride Month, and the international LGBT held impromptu celebrations. Landmarks were suddenly lit up like Rainbow Brite had come to town. It was a victory for love.
But that hasn’t kept the nation’s Wrong Side of History movement down. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that county clerks in his state don’t need to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples if it is against their religion (read: if they have a problem with it and claim to be Christian). Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he is exploring legal recourses to the decision (spoiler alert: there aren’t any). Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said his state doesn’t have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, because the decision didn’t come with a specific order, because “It is so ordered,” isn’t clear enough. Amazingly, the South isn’t totally on board with social change.
This is obviously still a very divisive issue. So what about a marriage issue we can all get behind? Continue reading
There are a lot of social justice warriors out there. That’s not a bad thing most of the time. Although we all have those friends who seem to hop on Facebook hourly to express their righteous rage about some sort of pop controversy, and connect it to their own cause. What we really need these days are social media justice warriors.
I’m not talking about social media “gurus” or “ninjas” or whatever those step-above-interns are calling themselves these days. I’m saying we need to call out the people we follow on social media when they post something dumb or pointless.
If you’re a regular reader, you know that from time to time I like to update all of you fine people on what is and isn’t polite and considerate on social media. Let’s get into the latest batch. Continue reading
2015. The cinematic world is in constant peril. There is always a super villain is bent on destroying the world, and mankind looks to the skies, hoping for someone with the courage and power to fight back. Those wishes are always heeded, usually by some grim-faced dude with a penchant for one-liners. It’s the age of the superhero movie.
For the past 15 years, we’ve had a barrage of blockbuster superhero movies aimed at us. Some of the characters are already well known, some have been obscure. Geek culture has been on a steady rise, thanks in part to these movies. If you’re a fan of comic books, there has never been a better time to be alive.
So why do fanboys keep bitching? Continue reading
With the weather continuing to warm, we’re seeing a rise in animal attacks. It’s only natural that our sworn enemies would start a new offensive as they wake up after the long winter. But not every animal hibernates the way bugs, bears and such do.
What’s worse is that we seem to be letting them get away with it. We allow these beasts to probe and exploit our weaknesses. They are using our compassion, our reason, and our sense of justice against us. Don’t believe me?
How about that a chimp is now considered a person in the eyes of the law? Continue reading
When I was a young kid, I had the greatest memory. I could remember conversations word for word. I was hanging on every little detail, because in my young life, there had never been anything more exciting. It was the most interesting stuff I had ever seen, so why wouldn’t I hold onto it? Also, I was a kid, so I had pretty much nothing else going on, that made it easy to concentrate.
Now I’m in my 30s and my memory sucks. I mostly blame the internet for that. I don’t need to remember stuff anymore, because I can just look it up. I can even pull up an IM conversation and find details from a conversation with a friend if I need to. I’ve found that a day later, I can’t remember who it was that told me something, and sometimes, when talking to my wife, I forget what I’ve already told her about my day, because mentally I’m already thinking about something else. That’s when I repeat myself. Ladies love it when you tell them the same story twice in one conversation, or ask them the same question twice. It really shows that you care.
According to science, I should probably stop working out and start eating my face off. Continue reading
For most of my dating career, there was no Facebook. Looking back, I think that’s probably a good thing. Things you post never die, even when you do. Facebook came on the scene during my senior year of college, and even then, MySpace was the clear favorite of the cool kids, and would be for another two years or so. Before that, you didn’t declare your relationship status publicly. You might brag about your new fling to your friends, or bring someone home to meet your parents if things got really serious, but that was about it.
But before long, Facebook and his relation-ship labeling technology beat out MySpace and its profile song autoplay functionality. If you met someone and eventually had the “define the relationship” talk, you could then announce the results to all your friends with a couple clicks. Of course, this also meant you had to publicly acknowledge when the relationship spiraled out of control and eventually met its demise.
Then things got complicated. People started getting married. Continue reading
Comedian, writer and TV host Neal Brennan once mocked crowdfunding with the above tweet. It’s sort of funny to think about all those campaigns out there begging for your money, like the guy with the handwritten sign you ignore on your way to work. I’ve always found it funnier to watch certain projects wildly beat their goals, only to get slogged down in development or some other bump in the road neither they, nor their investors, saw coming. Remember that Android-based game console from a couple years ago? Whoops.
It’s made much more sense to me to invest only in things made by people who have previously made something of value. If someone has done work that I truly enjoyed, and for some reason can’t get the funding for his or her next project through the traditional channels, I’ll consider making a meager donation. Except for Zach Braff. Screw that guy.
So when Broken Lizard came knocking at my laptop asking for a handout, why did I turn them away? Continue reading
I graduated college 10 years ago. A lot has happened in that time. Society is very different from what it was then. Smartphones didn’t really exist yet. MySpace was dominating Facebook, and no one had heard of Twitter. Our culture was in some ways monolithic, since we still relied on traditional media forms to learn about trends and such. I’ve changed, too, but I don’t think anywhere near as drastically.
I didn’t have a cell phone in high school. When the bottom fell out of the economy, I was already on my second job in my career in journalism. I’ve never agreed with being called a “Millennial,” because there’s a big difference culturally between myself and people five years younger than me. Ten years gone, I’m certain that college life looks very different than it did when I was there–it’s probably changed more in the past decade than any other 10-year span.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is Greek life. Why do we still have fraternities, anyway? Continue reading