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September 01, 2014

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Just a reminder, the Pluto shirt is available a little while longer.
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tante
1 hour ago
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The best way to ruin a protest …
Oldenburg/Germany

Ballooning

3 Comments and 8 Shares
Time to dance in front of Mary Jane! If I'm lucky, she'll turn out not to practice pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism!
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JayM
22 hours ago
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.
Boston Metro Area
jtgrimes
1 day ago
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Alt text:

Time to dance in front of Mary Jane! If I'm lucky, she'll turn out not to practice pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism!
Oakland, CA
jtgrimes
1 day ago
Pre-copulatory cannibalism just seems so wrong. Post-copulatory cannibalism seems so much more fair.
jtgrimes
1 day ago
Being a spider isn't creepy enough - now you have to worry about spider necrophilia.
zippy72
13 hours ago
Ducks are at it all the time. A magpie finds a dead magpie, it gets a twig, rests it against the body, and stands there contemplatively for ten or fifteen seconds before flying away - paying its respects, so to speak. Whereas when a male duck encounters a dead duck - sexy time!
sleepgoblin
1 day ago
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Nope. Nope forever.

Announcement: Readers who feel threatened by equality no longer welcome

5 Comments and 14 Shares
Exit Sign

End of the line.

When it comes time to make a point about an important issue the tool I usually default to is humour, or satire, because I find it’s easiest to change people’s minds if you can make them laugh along with you. A lot of awful things have happened this week, and in the week before, and I’ve tried a few times to think of a clever way I could write them up while still getting the point across that, hey, things are really bad. I can’t. So here we are.

This week, Anita Sarkeesian had to leave her home after receiving horrific death and rape threats online. Her crime? She made a video that suggested maybe, just maybe, video games could treat women better. Game developer Tim Schafer linked to the video on his Twitter account, urging people to watch it, and in response people literally told him to go and kill himself.

Last week, indie developer Zoe Quinn had her personal life spilled over the internet in its entirety by a jilted ex-boyfriend. Now she’s being chased all over the internet and out of her house by more death and rape threats, subjected to a barrage of public condemnations of her private sex life, and being held up by angry human garbage as an example of how feminism is destroying video games. Fez developer Phil Fish had his website hacked and his entire life, his social security numbers, his financial details, everything, dumped online. His crime? Speaking up in support of Zoe Quinn.

This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, of course. This crap just keeps going. People who proudly call themselves “gamers” everywhere have been harassing and trying to exclude women for the last ten years, citing every pathetic excuse in the book from a “feminist agenda” to “gamer culture is under attack”. It’s disgusting and it’s awful, and it doesn’t even make sense. What are these people even afraid of?

The terrible future

Literally the worst possible thing that can happen here is equality. That’s the worst outcome, that’s the nightmare scenario. If, today, every AAA publisher said “We will start to include women more in our games and represent them better”, the only actual difference this would make to anybody shrieking about how feminists are destroying games is that they might have to pick their gender in the next Call of Duty game. Terrifying, isn’t it. Stuff of nightmares.

The problem here is that these squealing man-children, so desperate to keep women out of their precious games, want it both ways. They want gaming to be taken seriously as a culture and art form, while at the same time throwing an unbelievable tantrum when subjected to serious criticism. This is ludicrous and immature on so many levels. Gaming isn’t for you, anymore. Gaming is for everyone. Everyone gets to have their say, to make their criticism, and gaming doesn’t need you to defend it.

(Isn’t it weird how AAA publishers with their nine-figure marketing budgets aren’t out there fighting against the destruction of video games? It’s almost like there is no actual war on gaming.)

The only thing left for these people to do is put their toys back in the pram and huddle together as the tide rises against them, until they wake up in five year’s time and realise that Assassin’s Creed 7 was actually a pretty good game, even though they had to waste three precious seconds flicking the gender over to ‘male’ on the character creation screen so they can feel comfortable again. Change is inevitable, especially when half of the freaking gamers in the country are women and actually want to play some games that don’t treat them like disposable trash.

Here’s the door

So, here’s another change for you: if you really think feminism, or women, are destroying games, or that LGBT people and LGBT relationships have no place in games, or that games in any way belong to you or are “under attack” from political correctness or “social justice warriors”: please leave this website. I don’t want your clicks, I don’t want your hits, I don’t want your traffic. Leave now and please don’t come back.

I’m asking politely. You’re free to think whatever you like and to complain about whatever you like, but do it somewhere else. Comments are closed on this article, because this isn’t up for debate. I’m not seeking any input on this, or any carefully worded thoughts on how we need to take these concerns seriously or to hear “both sides of the story”. As long as I am in charge of this ship, I will happily admit to pushing an agenda: I want better representation in games. That’s my agenda. That’s our agenda.

I hope you’ll stay. I hope you’ll be part of a glorious future where a game that treats women and LGBT groups with respect won’t be held up as some weird oddity to praise and encourage. A future where female gamers don’t have to disguise their voice on raid chat, where game developers won’t be threatened with rape. Where people won’t be asking for a “gay filter” on their games because homosexuality makes them uncomfortable. I hope you’ll stick around for that.

But if you’re not on board with that, leave. If you’re not on board, find another ship, and good luck to you because that ship will be sailing against the wind.

Tim Colwill
Editor-in-Chief
Social Justice Druid

Header image courtesy Lauren.

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smadin
3 days ago
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This right here? Is good—and is also the VERY BAREST MINIMUM that EVERY game site should do.
Boston
sfrazer
3 days ago
And... added.
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graydon
1 day ago
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You either draw your lines early or late.
neilcar
1 day ago
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What the hell is wrong with people?

"This week, Anita Sarkeesian had to leave her home after receiving horrific death and rape threats online. Her crime? She made a video that suggested maybe, just maybe, video games could treat women better. Game developer Tim Schafer linked to the video on his Twitter account, urging people to watch it, and in response people literally told him to go and kill himself.

Last week, indie developer Zoe Quinn had her personal life spilled over the internet in its entirety by a jilted ex-boyfriend. Now she’s being chased all over the internet and out of her house by more death and rape threats, subjected to a barrage of public condemnations of her private sex life, and being held up by angry human garbage as an example of how feminism is destroying video games. Fez developer Phil Fish had his website hacked and his entire life, his social security numbers, his financial details, everything, dumped online. His crime? Speaking up in support of Zoe Quinn."
Charlotte, North Carolina
MaryEllenCG
3 days ago
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"Literally the worst possible thing that can happen here is equality. That’s the worst outcome, that’s the nightmare scenario. If, today, every AAA publisher said “We will start to include women more in our games and represent them better”, the only actual difference this would make to anybody shrieking about how feminists are destroying games is that they might have to pick their gender in the next Call of Duty game. Terrifying, isn’t it. Stuff of nightmares."
Greater Bostonia
acrentz
3 days ago
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Shared for: "The problem here is that these squealing man-children, so desperate to keep women out of their precious games, want it both ways. They want gaming to be taken seriously as a culture and art form, while at the same time throwing an unbelievable tantrum when subjected to serious criticism. This is ludicrous and immature on so many levels. [...] (Isn’t it weird how AAA publishers with their nine-figure marketing budgets aren’t out there fighting against the destruction of video games? It’s almost like there _is_ no actual war on gaming.)"
Santa Clara, CA (formerly ATL)

Walking New York

3 Comments and 7 Shares

Walking New York

Could a person walk the entire city of NY in their lifetime? (including inside apartments)

Asaf Shamir

Like the answer to Paint the Earth, the answer to the first part of this question is pretty straightforward to look up.

But what if it weren't? Can we figure out the answer from things we already know? Let's look at a few ways of estimating it.

First of all, how wide is a street? I've never seen one of those flashing crosswalk countdowns signs start with less than 10 seconds; if people walk at a meter per second, most roads are probably at least 10 meters wide.[1]There's a table from the 1892 World Almanac listing the widths of all avenues and streets in Manhattan, as well as the lengths of all the blocks, confirming that even in 1892 the streets were at least 20 meters wide. I found a copy of the table over at the blog Stuff Nobody Cares About.

Most people wouldn't have trouble walking 10 kilometers (6 miles) in a day. If the city were covered in kilometer-long streets laid down edge-to-edge, with no space between them, you could fit a thousand roads side-by-side in 10 kilometers. That means a person could walk back and forth across an entire 10km by 10km grid in, at most, 3 years.[2]On the streets. You have to add another 3 years for the avenues.

I don't know how many 10 km square swatches it takes to cover New York City, but it's probably not very many.[3]Turns out it's a little more than 1 to cover the land and water. And since NYC has some space not occupied by streets, this tells us that the answer to the first part of Asaf's question is almost certainly "yes"—purely from a geometry standpoint.[4]Another way to come at this calculation is to remember that Manhattan streets are numbered, and you never see four-digit numbers.

Here's another approach: I happen to remember that the US Postal Service employs about half a million people. NYC's population is almost 10 million people,[5]The city itself is about 8.5 million, and the metro area is about 20 million. so almost 1 out of every 35 Americans lives there.[6]I remember seeing some California politician boast that California had 14% of the country's millionaires. But 1 in 8 Americans live in California, so that's pretty close to what you'd expect. If New York also has 1 out of every 35 postal employees, that's about 15,000 people.

If all those employees were letter carriers, and they visit every address in the city every workday, that would mean it takes a total 15,000 x 8 hours = 14 person-years to traverse the city—much less than a lifetime! Since lots of postal employees are not letter carriers, and real letter carriers stop frequently, this estimate is probably still much higher than the reality.

Another way: Imagine that each person lives alone in a square room measuring 10 meters by 10 meters, which is about the size of a typical two-bedroom apartment. Furthermore, let's assume that everyone's apartment is on the ground floor with at least one side facing a street. In that case, at a walking speed of 2.5 mph, it would take only 2.4 years to walk past every apartment—which Wolfram|Alpha helpfully points out is roughly 1.4 elephant gestation periods.

Any way we come at this problem, it looks like the answer is "yes"—you can walk down all the streets in New York City. And, indeed, it turns out there are 6,074 miles of road in NYC, which would take a total of a little over 100 days of walking.

Now, what about the second part of Asaf's question—walking through all the apartments?

This one is trickier. As a rule of thumb, a household is overcrowded if it has more people than rooms. [7] [8] There are a bunch of definitions for different family sizes and methodologies, but they all end up in a pretty narrow range. , but But at the same time, most households don't have more than two rooms per person. Let's assume all households have 1.5 rooms per person.

Let's assume it takes 20 seconds to get from the door of a room to the door of the next non-visited room. (Most of the time it will be much less, but sometimes the next non-visited room is on another floor or down the stairs, so it's good to give ourselves some extra time.)

If it takes 5 seconds to walk into a room and back out, then you can visit every room in New York City in 10 years. Even if you only visit rooms for eight hours a day, that's totally plausible to fit into one lifetime.

However, a word of warning to Asaf:

Under NY Penal Code §104.15, entering a dwelling without permission is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

So while it might take only 30 years to visit every apartment in New York City ...

... it could take you 2,000 millennia to serve out the resulting prison sentence.

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RAddisonJones
4 days ago
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Atlanta, Georgia
rclatterbuck
4 days ago
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Askew
4 days ago
Okay, there's no point to share a post with just a "." because sharing a post without a comment will still allow people to comment directly from your blurblog, just sayin...
JayM
4 days ago
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Boston Metro Area
Askew
4 days ago
Okay, there's no point to share a post with just a "." because sharing a post without a comment will still allow people to comment directly from your blurblog, just sayin...
JayM
4 days ago
A habit from the early days of Newsblur when something needed to be there for someone else to reply to.

thechapterfourblog: Holy shit. If that doesn’t put the finest...

2 Comments and 13 Shares


thechapterfourblog:

Holy shit.

If that doesn’t put the finest point on it you’ve ever seen/heard, I don’t know what does.

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MaryEllenCG
4 days ago
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I suspect Kirk Cameron DOES think he knows more than Stephen Hawking, at least about the origins of the universe.
Greater Bostonia
Courtney
4 days ago
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...about WHAT though? Cause Hawking demonstrably knows fuck all about women, for example. Is the subject "how to make fluffy omelets?" One person is an actor and one is a specialized scientist. There's very little overlap there in general, and outside their areas of expertise, they aren't experts anymore.
Boston, MA
DerBonk
4 days ago
About the beginning of the universe/life on Earth/origin of humanity, I'd guess. At least that's what the post is implying. The point is that Hawking is a scientist who specialized in exactly this field and Cameron is an actor who has strong convictions in the matter. Not that the post's argument is particularly strong or subtle.

"We hear “do what you love” so often from those few people who it did work for, for whom the stars..."

4 Comments and 11 Shares
“We hear “do what you love” so often from those few people who it did work for, for whom the stars aligned, and from them it sounds like good advice. They’re successful, aren’t they? If we follow their advice, we’ll be successful, too! […] We rarely hear the advice of the person who did what they loved and stayed poor or was horribly injured for it. Professional gamblers, stuntmen, washed up cartoonists like myself: we don’t give speeches at corporate events. We aren’t paid to go to the World Domination Summit and make people feel bad. We don’t land book deals or speak on Good Morning America.”

- Rachel Nabors, “DON’T do what you love” (via austinkleon)
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wreichard
6 days ago
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This is very true. For me, though, it's the exact reason you should do what you love. Because there's probably no other reward.
Earth
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besen
5 days ago
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Reminds me of this http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs
marmalade
5 days ago
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While I accept that there's no guarantee of success in doing what you love, the same is true in most walks of life. Better to be doing the thing you love and failing than doing the thing you, at best, find uninteresting, and failing.
Sussex, UK
2647575412
4 days ago
good
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