Having Been Human
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Fri Apr 27 21:49:40 2012
Meetup failures

Meetup is one of those websites that's kind-of-irritating but uniquely useful, at least in a big city like NYC for lonely people like me.

One of the ways they're irritating that's entirely not their fault is helping with the last leg of the meetup, where one actually has to find the other people at the agreed-upon venue. It's less-than-thrilling to go someplace, wander around for half an hour, and then leave because either nobody showed up or those that did are just the kind of people who decided to have a picture of a flower as their profile picture so they're utterly unrecognisable.

Still, at least the Google Calendar integration is nice (they autogenerate a "foreign calendar" you subscribe to that's particular-to-you, and that calendar automagically has all the events you subscribed to), and it's actually a decent (if irritating) way to manage events well.

The web interface is bad, but I'm not sure how to fix it. The email reminders are excessive (why can't I get all of the site emails as a daily digest?).

Oh well, at least I'm back home bundled under blankets with cats.

A few days ago, a dude on G+ with whom I tend to get into arguments on the Al Jazeera channel, sent a link to a literary journal he was involved with at some point. I am still scratching my head over trying to find a more charitable understanding of their organisation than my first impression, which is extremely negative. It doesn't help that my general impressions of the guy are also extremely negative. We actually seem to share a lot of concerns, and some of the general intuitions on how to achieve social justice actually seem similar too, but he's terribly rude and he and the journal seem so intent on expressing anger at people who are categorised as white that it feels like sloppily offending them is a good thing in that worldview. Or at least that's how I read it. In my worldview, we deal with racism/sexism/etc by figuring out what the norms should be, we try to build consensus around new norms among everyone, and we think about the instutitions and laws that might support those norms, if necessary. We don't deem some things "white" or "straight" or whatever and then conceptually beat them into the ground.

I'm still disappointed with a few people I've met at CMU or through CMU circles for taking a few steps in the direction of this guy; ZSparks seems to share most of his flaws, wasn't impressed with Kat, and I really dislike how some terrible metrics (by my view) seem to have entered common discourse (like the "intent doesn't matter") thing. I see it as a spectrum of bad ideas though, and the relevant journal seems to collect in it a lot of the ugly perspectives I've condemned in some parts of the feminist/anti-racist movements. At least, that's the judgement I'm working with now. There's got to be more to it than that though (or at least I hope), so grumbliness-permitting I'm forcing myself to read through some more of their content.

Uncomfortably cold today.

I should go visit Corny Island sometime soon.