“[But you’re…] A girl? So I can’t play? But then I am black so maybe I can. Your only problem’s gonna be deciding which one of your narrow-minded stereotypes is gonna kick your lily-white ass. Afraid you’ll get beaten?”—The character Julie Taylor in Latter Days
“I think our biggest competitor is actually, probably Zynga. It’s not other nonprofits it’s actually competing for people’s attention. That fantasy football player in Canton, Ohio who might play two hours of Farmville at night, how do we get them to think about Uganda?…If building a real farm on Kiva can be as compelling as building a virtual farm on Facebook, then I think we’ve done our jobs really well.”—Kiva President Premal Shah, via TechCrunch
As a gentle child grew into adolescence, the taunts and bullying intensified. Finally, Seth Walsh couldn’t take any more.
He was a gentle child, they say, who preferred to “relocate bugs” rather than kill them, who made sure his younger brother got his share of Easter eggs and who once apologized to a bed of flowers when he picked one and placed it on the grave of the family dog.
Another approach, best termed “decentralization,” … works with and not against the Afghan tradition of a weak ruling center and a strong periphery. It would require revision of the Afghan Constitution, which as it stands places too much power in the hands of the president.
Perhaps more surprisingly, today’s military leaders have themselves abandoned the notion that winning battles wins wars, once the very foundation of their profession. Warriors of an earlier day insisted: “There is no substitute for victory.” Warriors in the Age of David Petraeus embrace an altogether different motto: “There is no military solution.”
“The measure of a man should be his accomplishments. I’m not a man because of how pretty I am or because of my great new outfit. I’m a man because of what I’ve done and who I am and what I stand for and what I talk about. I don’t really see in gay culture the trend towards making that the goal: to center your life around your accomplishments and your values and your sense of integrity and your sense of honor.”—Jack Malebranche, author of Androphilia, on masculinity in The Butch Factor
I think we value masculinity so much more in our society than we do femininity. There’s male privilege which just happens. … When you talk, people will listen to you. When you have an idea, people will believe that it works. You’re constantly rewarded for masculinity. Even in different kinds of queer communities, like dyke communities, “butches” are rewarded for being more masculine. The same thing happens in gay male communities. The butcher, bigger, stronger, more straight acting men are more sexually valuable than feminine men.
I feel I had to grow more and learn to become a man. Just seeing how we teach men to be men. I had to learn the same way as everybody else did. … If you pay for dinner or if you take up lots of space with your body or if you act like you know what you’re doing all the time, then that’s what men do so that’s what I’m going to do. And it didn’t feel right and I didn’t know why.
It wasn’t until I started be able to be in gay male spaces that I realized there 100 million other ways of experiencing maleness and masculinity that what television and billboards and sports or whatever said. … You could be friendly and funny and silly and affectionate and genuinely care for another man.
”—Jackson Bowman, female-to-male transgender, on masculinity in The Butch Factor
“Going from wearing Abercrombie & Fitch to try to fit in to wearing 4 inch platform heels and spiky orange hair. If I was going to be a faggot no matter what I did, I might as well be all the faggot I could be. I was going to be called a faggot whether I tried to hide it or whether slammed it in their face. As it turned out, when I slammed it in their face, everyone shut the fuck up because they were too scared to say anything because I looked like I would cut a bitch.”—Trevor Hoppe on masculinity in The Butch Factor
"They (major labels) are despicable scum. They fly out to Cupertino and let Steve Jobs smack them around and then fly home and try to take every dime they can get out of start-ups in order to make them feel better about themselves."
Skype is just one of the thousands of firms, large and small, that would be burdened with the obligation to design their systems for breach. […] It’s hard to blame harried law-enforcement officials for wishing they could freeze time or control disruptive technological changes. They can’t, of course, but they could do a great deal of damage to both the high-tech economy and the security of global communications before they figure that out.
The top three mobile handset unit sales ‘leaders’ (Nokia, Samsung, LG) are outselling Apple in raw units an astounding 23.5 to 1, yet for all of that effort, combined they are garnering only 82 percent of Apple’s profit level.
President Obama wants to destroy the internet. I wish I were wearing a tin foil hat, but unfortunately, this is quite real. The ACLU and EFF think so too.
This proposal will cripple the technology industry if passed next year because when you must design for government spies first, innovation can’t be the top priority.
More importantly, President Obama’s proposed violation of the 4th Amendment will most assuredly lead to the demise of the 1st Amendment if passed. It’s the equivalent of Chinese censorship in that proactive observation is the first step towards dissent suppression. Democracy cannot thrive when you live in a panopticon.
I’m reminded of Prohibition’s mistakes: the idea’s foolishness, the restraint of personal liberty, and the motivation by a false premise. Breaking the fundamental technology of the internet won’t stop terrorism. President Obama needs to treat the cause of terrorism and that has nothing to do with domestic wiretapping.
“Until you use an iPhone, a Mac, drive a BMW or Audi, you don’t even realize how great the experience can be or how much it can drive the success of a product. […] They don’t measure products by what they do, but by how well they do them.”—Sachin Agarwal, A product is not just about features. It’s about experience.
Sometimes I wonder if there is something in San Francisco’s water that’s giving me a chemical imbalance because I’m so happy right now. The last three months have just been wonderful.
There are my constants.
I have an amazing husband. He’s sexy, smart, charming, and a true gentleman. He’s not my spouse, he’s my partner. We’re living life as a team. We balance each other in constructive ways. I wish that I could explain how blessed and empowered I feel by being married to Arthur because I never thought I would find someone who would yin my yang the way he does. Waking up and falling asleep with him are my favorite moments of the day.
I have an amazing family. I am fortunate to have friends that I consider part of my family in addition to my traditional family. Most are not physically present in my life, yet I still feel connected to them. They’re an IM, video chat, tweet, email, or (gasp) phone call away. I’d do anything for them and I know that feeling is mutual. My siblings visit this summer and my move to SF overwhelmed my sense of how lucky I am to have the people in my life.
There’s a new adventure.
I have an amazing job. The hours are long, but I’ve never been happier professionally than I am at Awesm. I work with a team that is bright, funny, and giving me opportunities to create something wonderful with them that I couldn’t on my own. I’m sometimes bothered that I haven’t had a big professional win yet in my life. Even if Awesm were to fail (not something I anticipate, otherwise I wouldn’t have joined, but always a possibility given the volatile nature of startups), it would be a failure amidst many personal wins already along the way. It’s the first high risk, high reward bet I’ve made where I still feel on top three months after placing my bet.
I live in an amazing city. It’s the home to God (Angels in America) and Starfleet (Star Trek). It’s where people wear flowers in their hair when they come to visit and leave their hearts before heading home. San Francisco mirrors the many crossroads America is at: dynamic multiculturalism, aging infrastructure alongside cutting edge innovation, “all Americans” and unassimilated Americans living with new immigrants the government prevents from becoming Americans, monolithic multinationals beside disruptive startups. Unlike Los Angeles, there is culture here. People are more real. The food is amazing. There’s an urban center and distinct neighborhoods. I love my neighborhood. Oh, and I don’t have to drive.
There are other things too.
I’m finally starting to see the results I’ve wanted from working out. I’m finally starting to feel somewhat stable financially (though I’m not there yet).
I’m bullish about the future. The challenges of the country excite me. The ideas I have for businesses now and later excite me.
Despite how I may occasionally sound when protesting or petitioning or critiquing, I don’t want my passion to be perceived as anger.1 I’m not an angry person. I never have been. I can’t recall having a physical outburst of anger, but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fought (and usually lost to) tears.
All of the experiential tangents of my 26 years seem to have brought to me this point in life that I’m incredibly grateful for. Sometimes I feel suspicious — that everything seems a little too perfect. I am not saying that life has been easy or without challenges, but that all of the challenges have been opportunities instead of barriers. I know that life will not always be like now, but I’m savoring it while it lasts. I just had to share.
That’s my nature. I believe improvement is always possible. I’m passionate about bringing it when I see how it can be brought. I don’t care so much for establishment because life is too short to fight with those who are content. I’m also starting to figure out how to recruit allies to join me in my causes. I know that I’m a work in progress. ↩
“When he enlisted me in the dressing of a deer or the beheading and plucking of a turkey, he would make the point that our food isn’t just something we buy, that if we don’t labor directly to produce it, we need to remember that others do labor to provide it for us and that often their labor is of an unpleasant kind that we prefer not to do ourselves. This is true not just of the food we eat but of everything we need in life, and its a truth about which we become ever more ignorant as our technological progress steadily distances us from the sources of life’s necessities.”—Koontz, Dean. “Lunch Lessons.” Saveur. Oct. 2010. (via 4shotsofespresso)
Why are you such an angry person?
You now live in the city that you want, in an apartment that you want and you work at a job that you love. You have a hot husband with a humongous heart and schlong. You have a great body that you treat to great workouts. You have a network of friends who care about you.
So, why, oh why are such a large number of your blog posts and Twitter posts gripes, complaints and criticisms? You should be joyful. Why are you so angry?
If you revealed your identity, perhaps I could better understand your perception to adequately answer your question.
I’m not an angry person and I think that those close to me know that.
Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work reads like a conversation you might have if you were so fortunate as to have a three hour lunch with the author, Tim Gunn. It’s filled with wisdom that comes from experience as an educator, compassion that comes from humble beginnings, and gossip that comes from working in a highly competitive creative industry. Through his anecdotal inner monologue and hindsights, Gunn’s blunt honesty and attempts to “take the higher ground” were comforting to me a young professional somewhat uncertain of how he’s going to get where he wants to go.
I highly recommend this book. There are too many great lines to post, but here are a few of my favorites:
Making it work means finding a solution to a dilemma […] When my students made it work, they reached a new level of understanding about their abilities to successfully problem solve, and that gave them additional resources when moving forward to the next task at hand. When we figure a way out of a tricky situation in our lives, we learn something and gain confidence in ourselves. Making it work is empowering.
People need boundaries and rules. Society does, too. You don’t flourish if you’re left to do anything in any situation. I say this about art and design all the time, and it doesn’t always make me incredibly popular.
Risk taking in fashion in fun, but risk taking in our careers and in our education is essential. Ambitious people are more attractive and more fun to be with than people who maintain the status quo.
If you have great ideas, you have a responsibility to the ideas to present the work well.
Creativity should be fostered, but so should conceptual development and execution. Parents should want their children’s self-confidence to be earned.
The buffet style of education, where you take what you want when you want it, is so unfortunate, in my opinion. I know young people. They gravitate toward what comes naturally to them and what they think they want. But what they’re comfortable with isn’t necessarily their destiny.
I often say in keynote addresses to college students that I figured out what I wasn’t before I figured out what I was. That struggle to find out who are you are is so hard. You have to keep eliminating things that you aren’t and then see what’s left over. Most important, you should never pretend,. There’s nothing harder than living life as someone you’re not, even if being what you are is very hard, which is what being gay was for me for a very long time.
I love New York City and am so inspired by it. It’s a magical place to me. Even when it’s muggy and gross and the subway stinks, I am completely captivated by the city and find new things to love every day. […] It reveals just enough of itself every day that I’m never bored and never overwhelmed.
Wanting to look good in public has to do with the respect that I have for myself and the respect that I have for the people around me. One of the things I love about New York City is how much people dress up for one another. Walking down the street is such a pleasure, because people are really turned on. Yes, it probably took them more than five minutes to get ready, but it was so worth it. They make the city a prettier place.
I’ve learned at the age of fifty-seven that as much as I’d like to say X, Y, or Z, I must consider how I am going to feel afterward. And the answer in the case of angry or snide remarks, is: not great.
So many people I see complain when they’re faced with changes, “But that’s not the way we do things.” We know that. That’s why we’re having this discussion. Please put it behind you.
I find with complaints in general, you need to know the whole context, including what the expectation was. So frequently, I’ve found that the expectation has been totally false, a creation of the person’s own imagination. They’re disappointed not to get something they were never promised.
People like this want the cheaper version of fame: celebrity. They want to be famous, not for having done anything. That’s the opposite of what I think our young people need to be taught, which is: It’s wonderful to aspire to things. Aspire to be invited to the White House. Maybe one day you will be.
As anyone who sticks around in an industry for a while know, the people who have the best careers and best lives (and often who do the best work) are not the demanding, screaming, flinging divas. They’re the people who take their ego out of it and pull all that energy into their creative lives. […] You have a huge advantage over the competition if, in addition to being a talent, you are easy to work with.
Carry on, and let’s see what happens next.
P.S. This was the first book that I read entirely on my iPad. The experience was great!