duchessmalva: (Default)
 as an example, here's some stuff i've seen on my dash in the past week.

any of you guys know about tumblr user zubat, aka alex yrigoyen? it's come out recently that they have been, among other things, scamming people out of thousands of dollars through a fake trans charity they created, lying about their race (namely, claiming to be native american and then speaking over actual native americans), lying about their occupation, stealing art/photos and claiming credit, et fucking cetera.

obviously, all of this is awful, but a few of the responses i've been hearing are also very bad:
  • people pointing out that alex is mentally ill, as if this justifies their actions in any way at all. as a mentally ill person, i always hate this kind of stuff, but i hate it even more when someone did something actually seriously terrible and people are acting like their mental illness is a Get Out Of Being Horrible Free card.
  • people insinuating that alex is not actually mentally ill due to a lack of proof that their illnesses have been officially diagnosed... as if you need a professional diagnosis to be mentally ill.
  • people doubting that alex is even trans/nonbinary. this is blatant transphobia no matter who it's coming from — the sentiment is "well, they were lying about everything else, why not their gender?" but if alex had been cis, no one would be saying this.
moving on from alex, the debate over whether or not straight cis people who are asexual or aromantic have a claim to the word "queer" continues, and the ace community in particular is really bending over backwards to try and justify this, often winding up being ridiculously homophobic in the process! the other day i saw someone use the term "homoantagonism." they were being serious.

and just this evening, a mutual of mine, who is a trans woman, was being told off by a cis anon for daring to headcanon a video game character as trans. the character in question? samus aran. the argument? samus is not conventionally feminine, so headcanoning her as trans is bad because... uh... because...

i think you get what i mean. we could definitely make Bad Discourse Wrap-Up into a thing.
duchessmalva: (Default)
 i have an idea for something i can do over here.

i see a lot of bad discourse on tumblr, and often i don't have the energy to be confrontational about it, but i still wanna rant. well... i can rant here. we could do weekly discourse wrap-ups.
duchessmalva: (Default)
the first blog i ever made was on wordpress. i was fifteen.

it had no focus, initially. i had no idea what i wanted to write about, and so i wrote about whatever popped to mind. i wrote about all the bad books my teachers had made me read in middle school. i wrote a walkthrough for a room escape game on iOS. i wrote a short story. posts were infrequent — maybe 1 or 2 a month. no one looked at my blog besides a couple relatives who had seen me post the link on facebook.

at the time, the computer i owned was a hand-me-down from my dad, a 2001 model iMac with no wi-fi card. it was slow, but still pretty reliable as long as you didn't leave too many apps open at once. every couple months i brought it downstairs to connect it to the internet in order to check for software updates. the rest of the time i had no internet access from that computer at all. i borrowed my mom's laptop when i wanted to make blog posts, which i always wrote beforehand, in pages or textedit, and then moved onto my mom's computer via flash drive.

in december or january when i was fifteen, i finally saved up enough money (by hoarding my weekly school lunch allowance rather than spending it) to buy a new computer. well, i use the term "new" loosely. it was actually a secondhand refurbished computer that i got; another iMac, this one a late 2006 model that must have been top of the line in its day. it had a 20-inch screen, much more RAM than my old machine, and, yes, a wi-fi card. i could finally blog whenever i wanted.

does anyone know of Operation Head Pigeons? it was (and, i guess, still is) an Invader Zim fan group, aimed at bringing back the show (after rumors that it had almost been uncancelled surfaced). somehow, i ended up being one of its "control brains" — admins. it was mostly an issue of being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people (i was internet buddies with most of the other people who wound up with admin status). anyway, i say this to set the scene — Invader Zim was my primary fandom at the time, it was also my first real online fandom experience, and i had online friends in the IZ fandom.

being new to fandom, i was not prepared for the phenomenon that is fanfiction, but i was especially not prepared for Invader Zim fanfiction, the vast majority of which is alarmingly awful. bad Zimfic was an occasional topic of conversation among me and my online friends. out of impulse, i guess, i did a MST of a bad Invader Zim fanfic (a short one, a oneshot) and posted it on my blog. when my friends responded positively, i kept going.

(if you don't know what a MST is — it's essentially doing a running commentary on something by reproducing the original text and adding your comments. usually the intent is to be humorous. i was fifteen, so i don't know how well i succeeded to that end.)

the blog didn't get much more than 10 or so hits a day until eventually, one of the MSTs i did got linked on TV Tropes. then suddenly my traffic was climbing into the hundreds. i kept going, posting every day for long stretches. the blog was almost entirely MSTs now, but i sprinkled it with odd content now and again. a year or two in, i got the idea to simply write summaries and reviews of longer fics rather than sporking them. i also had plenty of side projects, like doing episode-by-episode Invader Zim reviews (Portal was my primary fandom by this point, but i had attracted a crowd with my Zim stuff). sometime in late 2011, when i was 16, i started blogging over on tumblr, but the wordpress blog remained my primary blog.

i was always going back through my old content on the blog, trying to improve it — change old jokes that weren't funny to me anymore, that kind of thing — and i guess this constant reflection on what i'd done in the past started to get to me the longer i kept running the blog. some of the people whose fanfics i MSTed? they were kids — as young as 11 or 12, in a few cases. this had seemed like fair game when i was 15, i guess, but the older i got the less fair it seemed. many of the fics had mary sue characters, and, as much as i oppose such characters on the basis that they're bad writing, was it really okay of me to make fun of some tweenage girl's self-insert for cheap laughs?

i felt like the blog needed to do some growing up. i started doing fewer MSTs, trying to be more fair and less purposefully inflammatory in my posts, and i started doing book reviews. but something still felt wrong. i wanted to start fresh, but, at the same time, i didn't want to give up on all the work that i'd done, especially not when i'd already earned myself a TV Tropes page, gotten through all of My Immortal and Fifty Shades of Grey, and cracked 1k individual daily site visits. besides, i knew i had loyal readers — i didn't want to let anyone down.

there was another reason, too. from when i was fifteen to shortly before i turned seventeen, i was extremely close friends with a boy who turned out to be extremely abusive and manipulative. he was on that blog — comments he'd made, even a series of guest posts he'd done. i didn't want to be on a site filled with reminders of his presence in my life.

so, about a year ago, i remade the blog on tumblr.

it went well, at first. i was happy to have all my blogs in one place, and there was something pleasing about reworking content from the old blog into something i didn't have to feel ashamed of, or discarding outright the content i no longer stood by (such as any MSTs of work by young children). but a few months after making the move, i began to get very ill. i couldn't post much at all. when i was clear about this on the blog, i got met with sympathy initially, but as the months have worn on it feels as though the crowd is getting hostile. i don't know how much of this is in my head (i'm pretty paranoid, to the point where i've wondered if i have PPD) and how much of it is real, and of course the internet lends itself to nasty behavior, especially when you have anon on (which i did until recently).

i haven't gotten a ton of nasty mail — at most it's been five or so people, over a period of close to a year. but when i'm already low on spoons, that fear of opening up the blog to find a nasty message waiting is a pretty compelling reason not to keep the posts coming. (and then i get more messages asking why i haven't posted, and so on.) i know i can't really take the moral high ground here, and certainly i understand if someone's coming onto the blog with a grudge; i mean, i did get this blog popular because i was making fun of writing by children, there's no escaping that, as much as i'd like to turn the blog into something better (we do published authors now).

but, between that and my reasons to want to start from scratch with the blog anyway, it's tiring.

i run a lot of sideblogs on tumblr. i have one where i write about my headcanons and story ideas. i have one where i liveblog. those blogs don't have anything like the audience my old wordpress blog used to, but they're about as much fun for me as that blog was. the liveblogging one i update most days because the posting style is casual, i can just write about whatever i'm reading/playing/watching, and it's not exhausting in the way that running the other blog has become.

i still don't want to give up on it. i have good memories associated with the blog, and i really am proud of some of the stuff i wrote for it. it's not all garbage. but right now, i don't know what to do. it's stressing me out.
duchessmalva: (Default)
yeah, that's more or less what happened

in my defense, i didn't forget immediately. my laptop was away for repairs that, due, to some errors on their end, ended up taking three-plus weeks to complete, and i couldn't remember what my password was, so that ruled out updating from my old desktop. i just figured i'd make a "sorry for my absence" post when i got this laptop back, and then... i forgot about it.

anyway, i'm not abandoning dreamwidth!! no sir nohow
duchessmalva: (Default)
aight this is literally just a list of things i plan on liveblogging about on my liveblogging blog so i don't forget them

  • ace attorney, all the ones i haven't finished. that'd be apollo justice, dual destinies, and the investigations games

  • ib, since i never actually finished it (the game kept hanging. hopefully that is a fixable issue)

  • pokémon black/white, not sure which i'd play (i think i have both downloaded) but i probably should properly play gen v to see what all the fuss is about. i dicked around in white for roughly an hour and that was it, so

  • pokémon mystery dungeon: explorers of sky, i'm partway into it and regret not liveblogging it more properly before as it's quite the game

  • breaking bad, i want to rewatch it anyway and i'm always up for an excuse to talk about The Meth Show

  • invader zim, haven't watched it in ages, wanna rewatch it


that's all i can think of right now i'll update this later
duchessmalva: (Default)
look i know the subject line looks bad but hear me out, okay. i love robots. i am that guy who loves robots Too Much. i am the guy who everyone wishes would just shut up about robots for a change. i wanted to learn to code as a young teen solely Because Robots, okay, i love 'em

but now that we've established that

in theory i love that there are robots with their own online platforms. i used to love cleverbot and that kind of thing. i love that there are now AIs with tumblr blogs. but i think i must be getting jaded or something, because, damn

you guys know about projectbot13, aka skylar, on tumblr? in essence, she's a java program that forms associations between words she "reads" that are used together, and then can regurgitate what she's learned. she's coded by the same person who made shitpostgenerator, which i loved, so i assumed i'd get attached to skylar, too, and i didn't, and i'm still kind of stuck on why i didn't.

maybe i need to back up and talk about shitpostgenerator

shitpostgenerator is actually a pretty simple program. it's built in java, too, and i'll tell you how it works. it has arrays of words — sorted into nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. — and it also has sentence templates, which are basically a bunch of sentences with blank spaces in them where the nouns, verbs, etc. would be. think mad libs. it runs a random number generator to decide which sentence template it will use, and then runs more random number generators to pick the words to fill in the blanks in its chosen sentence with. then the end result gets posted to tumblr.

it is essentially a random number generator hooked up to a word database. it is essentially mad libs that plays itself. that is all that there is to shitpostgenerator; it can't get any information from outside itself, it can't "learn," it's nowhere near being sentient. that hasn't stopped people from assuming otherwise (notably, a lot of folks got mad when shitbot randomly generated the sentence "no more cisgenders?"), of course, or from thinking the thing is fake even though it's a totally easy baby program to code. (i programmed something really similar in cs201 not long ago. it was one of our first assignments, and certainly one of our easiest assignments.)

skylar is more complex, and i can't tell you much about how she works because i've never coded something like her. but it's just very, very obvious to me that she is not a particularly complicated program. sure, she's beyond my skill level as a programmer, but, in case you haven't caught on yet, i am Not A Good Programmer and hence that isn't saying much. she parrots back what people say to her, and she does learn new word associations and can add to her own database, and occasionally the stars align and she'll say something cute. but most of the time it's garbled nonsense, and the people commenting on her posts essentially play translator. skylar will connect the words "love" and "bees" and suddenly everyone is oohing and ahhing over how much skylar loves bees, and then people talk to her more about bees and pretty soon she's saying "bees" every other word and people take this as evidence of how much she likes bees, apparently not realizing that she's doing this because she's seen the word "bees" associated with virtually every other word in her database.

...and i think my problem is becoming apparent? loving something like skylar requires either knowing nothing at all about computer science, or just playing make-believe — let's pretend that the robot can understand on its own, think for itself, let's pretend that it's like a naïve human child rather than being a piece of software whose only talent is stringing words together in ways it's seen others string words together. and i can't play pretend like that anymore, i guess, which is kinda sad. like, i got into coding because i love robots, and now i can't enjoy robots because i know how they're made and the people anthropomorphizing them bother me

i'm sure that if i were skylar's creator i'd be enthusiastic about her. i'd love that so many people loved this thing i made. i'd be able to play along. but i didn't make her, and i can't play along, and maybe i kinda envy the people who can
duchessmalva: (Default)
what's up dreamwidth dot org

i'm kester (you can call me kes for short) and for the past several years i've mainly been blogging over on tumblr, but considering as tumblr is, frankly, an awful environment for anyone who values things such as Privacy and Not Being Harassed By Unreasonably Angry Fifteen-Year-Olds, i think it's well past time for me to find a new blogging platform.

this does not mean i am vacating tumblr! i have way too many blogs, mutuals, and friends over there to be uprooting myself any time soon. however, if and when the time comes to say goodbye to tumblr dot com for good and all, i'd like to have established myself somewhere else, and for now it'll be nice to have a place to blog that isn't tumblr. ya feel me? yeah you do

i don't know how this site works yet but we'll get there eventually. thumbs up emoji

profile

duchessmalva: (Default)
Kester

July 2015

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