This is just a short note to say that Facebook has deactivated both my Facebook and Messenger accounts, and I can’t seem to get back into them and won’t be creating a new one (see my post about leaving Facebook).
If you want to stay in contact with me, please chase me down on another platform. I’ve got a bunch of contact methods listed in the header of this website, but I’ll list them here too:
After several years hosting my blog on Wordpress.com, I decided that I didn’t want to pay the A$120/year renewal fee just for the privilege of hosting blog at my own domain name (which I already own), especially since I’ve already started paying for US$5/month for a Digital Ocean droplet to host a couple of other things.
So my blog has moved from WordPress to Hugo. It’s not currently super pretty because I didn’t spend much time on the themeing, but it is functional, and all my content is still here, and I don’t think I’ve broken any old links or made any significant URL changes.
In light of recent news, and following my (regrettable and hopefully brief) return to Facebook, I made the below post as a comment on a forum I’m a part of, in response an article that had been shared about Facebook putting profit before public good (also: 9 Horrifying Facts From the Facebook Whistleblower).
I decided that, despite a lack of polish, it was worth me re-publishing here:
So this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart and makes me very ranty.
Depending on where you work, this content may not be safe for work.
Earlier this year I wrote an article for NORMAL, a new sex education website and sex toy store. My article was about sex between people who have penises, and I’m really proud of how it turned out, and it’s just been published! Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
We can all agree that (unless you’re somewhere on the asexual spectrum), sex can be a lot of fun.
For the first time in my life, I’m living alone. And I’ve found that it works surprisingly well for me. I was worried that I’d crave human social interactions, or that I’d go down an ADHD hyperfocus rabbit-hole and forget to eat for the entire day (resulting in an inevitable and debilitating headache or migraine). But as it turns out, as an introvert, I’m actually rather enjoying having my own space, tempered by the ability to reach out to friends online, and am able to keep my kitchen stocked with enough food that I can prepare in advance so that even if I am hyperfocussing, I can usually muster the effort to heat up some leftovers and bring them back to my desk.
This post is a follow-up to Autism Assessments (part 1).
After a consultation with a clinical psychologist a bit over 2 years ago, resulting in me self-identifying as autistic, which made me feel better about my various neuro-atypical behaviours and continuing to seek support and information surrounding neurodiversity, I started to realise that autism that may not be the only way I’m neurodivergent, and I sought out additional details about how my brain might work.
tl;dr: Join me in exploring some alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Discord, Slack, Zoom, Skype, etc. Only through trying them out and starting to develop a critical mass will we be able to free ourselves from these giant platforms that don’t have our best interests at heart.
When it comes to social media these days, we users are very definitely the product. We are bombarded with ads (or need to resort to ad blockers), censored for posting things that the platforms deem risky or not profitable (such as sexually explicit material or expressions about less mainstream parts of our identity), and at the same time are powerless to reliably get the platforms to remove content that is actively harmful.
A few months ago, I wrote this as a comment on a Facebook post of mine. It’s easier to share with people in the form of a blog post, so here it is. I’ve also written a follow-up to this post.
For years I’ve struggled with things like non-verbal social cues, facial expressions, tone, etc. I was aware that these were traits of autism (which isn’t to say they’re only present in autistic folks).
This post is a form of procrastination. I’m not sure of its purpose, but it feels right to write it.
Possible purposes may be:
To distract me from other work To foster some accountability To share my experiences in the hope they help others, if only be showing them they’re not alone To receive empathy from others To get feedback from others with similar experiences Whatever the case, here we go.
Over the last few of years, I’ve undergone a lot of changes, and taken some pretty huge steps in personal development. This post is an attempt to tell the story of how this all unfolded. Some of the details are a little fuzzy, but the general narrative is sufficient.
Content note: Non-specific discussions about sex and BDSM; more detailed discussions of polyamory/non-monogamy, and bisexuality. Fairly specific mention of my realisation of bisexual/polyamorous/kinky identity and coming out.
Over the years I’ve attended and organised various conferences, hackathons, and other events, and it’s been interesting to observe the ways in which each of them handle (or don’t handle) diversity.
This post is a collection of notes and pointers about the things I’ve noticed are some of the most important things to help increase diversity at events. When I say diversity, I’m largely referring to the diversity of the attendees at events.
tl;dr at the end.
Sometimes, when I express a mindset that I’ve adopted, people are intrigued by it and find it a useful way of framing certain thoughts. When that happens enough times, I figure it’s time to document the mindset for wider dissemination; this is one of those.
A while ago, I was considering my relationship with a close friend. I realised I was interested in exploring a non-platonic (romantic, intimate, or sexual) relationship with them.
“Keep the doorstep clear, please,” The tram driver intones over the PA for what must be the tenth time during my commute. The doorstep remains crowded, along with the rest of the tram. Standing, back against the window, occupying as little space as I can, I crank up my music and try to relax.
My day starts well: I wake relatively well rested with plenty of time to shower and breakfast before leaving home.
Tl;dr at the bottom.
I live in a social echo chamber in which giving compliments is quite common. Often in society we don’t know how to give or accept compliments and without feeling silly or embarrassed.
I receive quite a few compliments, and still struggle to receive them (showing gratitude but not shrugging them off due to embarrassment), but I try to give them fairly liberally. Recently, I received an unprompted compliment from somebody, reminding me that I was awesome.
“Offence is taken, not given.”
There’s a school of thought that says that you can’t control whether or not somebody will take offence to your words or actions. In this world of “political correctness,” or, as I often prefer to call it, “not being an arsehole,” there are those that think language policing is going too far: that people should be less sensitive, get a thicker skin, and just deal with it.
I wrote this post because when I was looking recently, I couldn’t find a good article that communicated this point. Presumably my search-fu wasn’t working that day, because I’ve just found several, which I’ve referenced below.
The word “guys” isn’t gender neutral.
I don’t know many people who use “guy” singular, to refer to somebody who doesn’t identify as male. Yes. I know that progressive, descriptive dictionaries like Merriam-Webster state that both “guy” and “guys” are gender neutral, while Oxford still states that the singular form is male.
This post may get a bit rambly and is kind of self-indulgent, but some might find it an interesting story. There’s a tl;dr at the bottom.
I use a password manager to manage passwords to the majority of services and websites I have accounts with. Most of these sites have unique and complex passwords that I have no hope of remembering. I like it this way.
Password managers can’t help with everything.
2016 was a struggle for many of us, with some pretty unpleasant stuff going on all over the world. To combat the feeling that 2016 was nothing but a huge trash fire, several of my friends have published lists of their 2016 highlights, and reading them really warmed my heart, as I felt so pleased for them having some wonderful experienced (there was much compersion to be had!). So, in return, here is my list of things that were awesome about 2016.
I don’t tend to write book reviews, but this is important. I’m not sure I’ve ever written one before, so please bear with me.
Book cover: Fight Like A Girl – Clementine Ford Clementine Ford’s Fight Like A Girl is a book about feminism. It’s about a woman who has battled sexism, body shaming, and abuse all her life, and fighting like a girl who, surviving all this, has come out the other side strong, independent, and not giving a damn what men think.
NB: This post and Communicating and Living Authentically were my attempts to sort out some thoughts. I don’t think I quite finished sorting them, let alone express them clearly here, but this may still be useful information. It took me 2 days to decide this wasn’t too private to publish.
When somebody asks about “relationship status”, the default interpretation in monogamous, heteronormative society is “do you have a partner?” As someone who practices polyamory, my answer to this question is usually “it’s complicated.
NB: This post is dealing primarily with communicating feelings and emotions with partners/friends etc., rather than communicating/teaching objective information.
I have difficulties with communication. It’s true of all of us, I think. We sometimes can’t adequately find the language to articulate our thoughts, or, worse, we’re afraid to do so, because we don’t want to admit how we feel (either to ourselves, because it’s too painful to think about, or to others, because we’re not sure how they’ll react or respond).
In recent times, I’ve occasionally referred to how many “spoons” I have at my disposal. This mostly comes up for me in a context of interacting with other people socially, usually either in the context of going to an event where I’m meeting new people, or having a discussion with people (either in person or online) on something on which we disagree. As an introvert who attempts to avoid or avert conflict, these interactions often require a lot of energy or courage for me to participate, so often I’ll say “I don’t have the spoons for meeting new people today.
I’m a middle-class, cisgender, white, male living in the 21st century. This affords me a non-trivial amount of privilege. I was reminded of this tonight as I had “Call the Midwife” S04E03 on in the background and I listened to how the English landlords refused lodgings to the Irish, and how homosexuality was treated with oestrogen tablets, with unpleasant side-effects. Despite being a fictional show, I don’t doubt it reasonably accurately reflects the reality of mid-20th century England, and it made me extremely uncomfortable, but also glad that I life in a time and place where I’m not directly affected by this sort of thing.
This is the post that prompted me to start this blog a month ago.
I understand online privacy better than most. Unfortunately, privacy (and security; the two often go hand-in-hand) is often at odds with convenience. I have previously sacrificed convenience over privacy and security in many instances, because the latter two are important to me. Fair warning, this post doesn’t answer how to compromise between the above; it merely highlights my frustrations while trying to do so.
For years, I’ve pondered the idea of starting a blog. It never seemed worthwhile, and there always seemed to be plenty of hurdles.
Hosting Where would I host a blog? As a big supporter of data sovereignty and data liberation, I didn’t want to lock myself into a particular service and so considered self-hosting.
On the flip side, as a systems administrator, I didn’t really want go have to deal with the maintenance of yet another service on one of my servers, particularly something like WordPress with I get the impression needs regular updates applied, which aren’t necessarily available in a timely manner from my Linux distribution’s package manager.
Hi folks, and welcome to my blog. Please have a look at my About page to find out who the heck I am, and hopefully that’ll give you some context for what to expect here. Hope to see you back soon!
Scenario Over the weekend I decided to upgrade my MacBook from MacOS 10.6 Snow Leapord to MacOS 10.7 Lion, for no particular reason other than “it seemed like a good idea at the time”. I encountered a few minor issues in the process, but it was mostly painless except that my Time Machine backups stopped working. This post details some of the issues I encountered and how I solved them.