Thursday, December 13, 2007


Hey so just wondering whats up with this one..

I recently turned seventeen (17 for those of you who want the faster way to read it), and no, I don't have a problem putting that out there.
But I have been thinking about this especially ridiculous paradox.
Being 17 means being in between the legal system's considerations.
Basically, at 17 the law considers me mentally capable of making intelligent, correct, and morally upright decisions; I say this because according to judicial law I am, at 17, able to be tried as an adult in the court under the assumption that I am old enough and intelligent enough to know smart from stupid, and right from wrong.
HOWEVER, under the other laws of the state of Texas and the United States of America, I am considered developmentally, as well as mentally, incapable for making informed and intelligent decisions for myself, and that I am more capable of completely destroying my life.
Isn't it strange that they half of the time expect me to be completely mentally and morally sound, and the other half of the time I'm too stupid and irrational to decide anything for myself?
So basically, the government considers me an adult only when it is convenient for them to do so; meaning that I am considered an adult for all the bad things, and none of the good things.
I can get the death sentence for murder under a jury of my peers and the state, but I can't smoke and effectively slowly kill myself. I can be finger-printed, listed as a felon, and have my entire adult career and reputation botched at 17, but I can't have a credit card under my name, or control my own finances/buy a house.

So, all I'm saying is, if you want me to be an adult, then let me be one, and if you don't, then don't!
I am not okay with being considered both incapable of making adult decisions while being held responsible as an adult for the decisions I do make.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Religion, lies, and power

So, after having watched several nights of "God's Warriors" (I know, weird right? Why would someone like me care?) I have made up my mind.
Pretty much everyone is just power hungry and obsessed with being right. I like being right, I'll admit it, it feels good to be right. But, to involve your religion and beliefs, come on now, we aren't four. It's like arguing weather or not you think the pink ranger is cooler than the green ranger. It's so arbitrary and stupid and never accomplishes anything. Plus, no one can get their religion right, it's very sad. Because if you're supposed to be all religious, shouldn't you, well, you know, actually know what your scriptures say? Because I'm pretty sure that God didn't tell the Christians that he thought that the business and war minded republicans were the proper leaders to follow. And I'm pretty sure that Muhammad didn't condone killing (innocent) people for what they believe in. Oh, and Moses, yeah I'm pretty sure he didn't really like the idea of making people your slaves or debasing others...
So if you're going to propel your religion into politics and other people's lives, be sure you know what you're talking about first, and that you've got all your facts straight, because right now, to me, everyone just looks like a bunch of hypocrites who are just power hungry and will do anything to get it.
I know we're only human, but seriously you guys, get a grip on yourselves.

Nobody is

Sorry guys, but seriously, get over yourselves. And please, while you're at it, stop lobbying/fighting/blowing each other up so you can try an run my life. NEWS FLASSHHHHH! I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINKKKK! And frankly, if it doesn't DIRECTLY effect you, why do you care?! If you're not out getting an abortion, having an affair, believing in evolution, not praying however many times a day you're supposed to, whatever it may be, then why are you trying to control the laws for it? I mean, in my opinion, people are out trying to stop these things that avidly, must be at least a little guilty of the crimes they're lobbying so ardently against. I'm going to live my life and I don't want my religion fucking making all the rules, because what if YOU don't like MY ideas? Well, if those are the rules well then that's too bad and you're going to freak out and get mad and violent and ridiculous. But if it's your rules, then it's okay, right? Oh, wait...I don't agree. I think I'll go turn into a giant douche bag just like everyone else who didn't agree with my rules. I'm going to believe in what I want to believe in and I don't want your beliefs making that impossible for me. KTHNX.

Stop caring about my soul, it doesn't effect you, and you're not going to convert me, and so you're just not going to get saved.
I'm pretty sure that my soul is safe, according to what I believe in, and I don't really care what you believe in.

So in conclusion, believe in what you want to believe in, it's your decision. It's your life, live it the way you want it to be lived, but don't try to control others, it just causes problems.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I love finding things

So I stumbled upon this lovely picture today while randomly googling (how cool is that, we've made it a verb!) words.

A presidential sex train maybe?

I don't know, but it sure looks awkward. And the guy behind Prez really seems to be enjoying himself.
Looks like his P.R. people forgot the he's not supposed to do anything that could look even remotely homosexual in public (however, we never said anything about in private...)

Sunday, August 12, 2007


So, this weekend, I was enlisted by my father to help interview/film/make myself useful at this forum thingy that I had never heard of, had no idea what it was about, and even when I was told what it was about, I didn't get it.
So, I'll try to enlighten you. The forum/conference/workshop/whatever you want to call it was We Are All Actors, a group, (which you would know about if you clicked on the link) was assembled to solve the issue of building a transparent, digital, illuminated database in which all of the government's spending records were stored and accessible to the public, thus enlightening we the general population of our government's true actions. No gimmicks. No lies. No forgery. No politics. Just money.
What do they(me/we) want to accomplish? Hm...that's the tricky part. We want the site to be navigable, but thorough, we want to be able to build a system of links that can take you from the least complicated/detailed section of a federal spending bill, and be able to find out who supports it, who got money for it, and who gave money to them to get in the position to support it influentially in the first part.
As you can image, this is infinitely complicated. Something much beyond the realm of my tiny teenage brain. But thankfully, and for a long time unbenoced to me, the workshop was filled with big intelligent brains of people who know what their doing. From Grady Seale, a website manger/developer for the New York Times, to Brad Fitzpatrick, the founder of Livejournal, to Joseph Smarr, Plaxo's identity Guru, to Dick Hardt, the CEO of Sxip/guy who apparently gives the best presentations in the world. These people are capable of doing what needs to be done, or at the very least, finding someone who CAN.
But as you can imagine, I knew none of this coming in. I had no clue who Brad Fitzpatrick was, or Dick Hardt, or anyone else. So, as you can imagine I was a bit...stunned when I found out who they really were. They seem normal enough, you know, super smart and whatever, but normal. I wasn't particularly intimidated by them or anything because I know that they work in the digital world that thus far has yet to impact me (though they do effect my father), but they were sort of interesting.
Honestly I can't really tell you why I bothered to go into what I think and thought of them, other than to let you know that there are people out there who have no clue what these people do and why they're so important, and therefore interact with them as normal, not super smart human-beings.

But, anyway, moving on.

The WAAA2007 workshop was very interesting, and it does strive to do something that could really revolutionize the people's role in government, thereby empowering "the people" to lobby for change, and as we all know, change is good.

I'm allowed a rant every now and then

Okay so,
time to complain about one of my biggest pet-peeves.

Your stupid 1337 speak and "AIM speak". It drives me insane. How hard is it to put the "yo" before the "u"?!? All the letters are on the same row right near each other and can be typed with ONE HAND. It only takes me about .4 seconds longer to put that "yo" before the "u" and I look infinitely more intelligent and less lazy than every one else. HAHA!

So the "u" thing is just annoying because it just makes you look ridiculously lazy, but once you get into the super AIM speak, you start to just look idiotic.

Here are some examples:

Wat (wait, seriously? This makes me think the word is pronounced WAAT. Dumb.)
Rly (yeah kids, lets not bother with spaces or other letters that AREN'T CONSONANTS, cause I can totally pronounce that.)
Roflmao (Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off??? WHO WOULD GET THAT?!?!)
Nrml (How do you say this? Nerml?)

and then you get all your silly faces like >.> and ...I don't even remember the rest.
But, the point is, once you get to these things it basically proves that you're incapable of spelling or speaking like a normal human being. And since when did you need to communicate with arrows?!? They don't even look like real faces!! Besides, it's not like you're conveying any more emotion with those things anywayyyyy!!!

Seriously, do yourselves a favor and start talking like at least semi-intelligent people who are capable of using real words, or at least avoid using them every other sentence...


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our next topic of business (I know! I'm on a roll tonight!)

Is determining what is the threat to me?

Is it some creepy fifty-year-old man sitting in his basement trying to meet up with me?
Or is it some boy my age who lives five miles away from me who is a great sweet talker?

I think I'm going to pick the later of the two. Why? Because the second one is close enough to me in age, location, and interests that I feel safe. That is mistake number ONE. Suddenly I feel safe, so I open up to him (or her, whatever gender you want, I won't be biased), and now they know all about me. They know what I like, what I don't like, what school I go to, how old I am, what my interests are, and what I'm most likely to be doing that Friday night (uh-oh). So now I'm about to meet up with Mr. Emotionally Unstable Teenage Boy With Raging Hormones, hurrah! Safety first kiddos.
Mr. Emotionally Unstable Teenage Boy With Raging Hormones of course has a hidden agenda, who doesn't? And even IF (and often times that's a BIG if) he doesn't because I don't know everything about him there is bound to be something there that freaks me out, so now I feel unsafe. And that's what all these security measures are there for, to make ME the user feel safe, and cozy.
Because by the time I figure out that this person is crazy, scary, weird, whatever I don't like, it is WAAAAY too late. The cat's out of the bag folks.
So, I think that there needs to be a serious re-assessment of the real threat to users like me and even those NOT like me. Because by this time, TRUST ME, we all get that there are creepy old men out there who want to do bad bad things, and we know how to avoid them. But what we don't know how to do is avoid those people who we are peers with, and who make us feel or be unsafe.
We hormone filled teens can often be a threat to ourselves and others, and what we need is a way to protect us from our own instability. The Internet makes us too transparent, to a point where we end up ruining all of our friendships and safety mechanisms (put in place by our parents and others) because we don't know when the hell to shut up and stop telling people's big secrets.

Okay so...

There's been so much discussion (as I'm sure all of you who are reading this already know) about Internet security, user privacy, and identity protection. Many sites claim to have created a safe environment for digital/social networking, however...these people seem a bit mired in some virtual realm that ignores the real hazards of the Internet for its users.
To elaborate, I'm going to start with a pretty well known example, Facebook. Now, I have a Facebook account, with about eighty or so friends, all of whom I know in person, but who don't necessarily know each other. But nonetheless we all exist in this same space and interact, even if it is unintentional. See, the thing is, even if you think you're only visible to your friends, you're also visible to your friends friends, and your friends friends friends and so on. These networks that normally would not interact in the physical world are now sitting beside each other and able to interact with one another. So, say you upload a photo of yourself on Facebook and you "tag" one of your friends in that photo. Now that you have "tagged" them in that photo, their friends can see that photo with them in it (because technically, it's their photo too..) and so now you have opened that photo up to be viewed and commented on by people you don't know and have possibly never seen before. Sure, there are ways to protect yourself from these things, but I don't know how to do it, I just know they exist.
So yes, we could say Facebook is much safer than other social networking sites, because it has the capability to be safe, but their downfall is that they do not elaborate on those safety options so that the user knows EXACTLY what that particular option protects them from. So, in a practical sense, Facebook isn't any safer (in fact, it may be LESS safe which I will explain a little later on) than any of its competitors, because they fail to do the fundamental step of informing their users of all the practical applications of these safety measures. Thus, the users neglect to implement ANY of these security options because they don't know how to use them, what they do, and how they're going to effect their use of the site.
But, this is not their only downfall. They have also created an inherent spying tool. They built in the capability for many people in many different social networks to track the actions of any of their friends. You get a moment-to-moment update of all of your friends actions on the site, wheather one of your friends added someone you know, or if they "posted" a comment on someone else's page, and what that "post" said. You can see what changes they made to their profile, you can see what events their planning on going to and WHERE those events are and when (hello stalkers, if you want to know what any one's up to...just look on your homepage! Creepy to say the least). And all of this information is put right in a little feed in the middle of your homepage.
Now, we have a problem. Because what if you (I'm thinking basic, teenage problems here, but you can see what this can turn into, I hope) make plans with one friend (we'll call this person Friend A), but then at the last minute you get invited to something much better with someone else (Friend B) who doesn't know Friend A, and so you make up a convenient little lie to get yourself out of your prior commitment and head out with Friend B. Okay, so that's all well and good, (because in the physical world, Friend A and Friend B wouldn't interact so you'd be "safe") but then, say Friend B posts a comment the next day on your Facebook talking about how great said event was. Now Friend A goes and checks their Facebook Homepage and sees the update on their feed saying you got a comment from Friend B, and how seems to be about an event that occurred last night. So, you click on it and go look at your page and discover OH SNAP! you lied. Thus begins a messy little fight and you end up on bad terms with Friend A because your Facebook suddenly created a relationship between all your social networks and made YOU transparent, oops.
So of course, there probably is a way to disable this function, but I do not know how and so therefore if a user such as myself can't figure that out, I think that shows us that there just might be a problem. This is a function that is almost completely unique to Facebook, many other networking sites have a feed that is directly controlled by the user (say, bulletin postings) , so that way the user can still maintain a distance between all of their networks and control what is seen about them. This makes the site much safer because it is all user controlled, unlike Facebook. Myspace lets you code your own page if you so choose and hide whatever information on your page (say comments, age, location, certain photos, schools) from others; a function that Facebook as of yet does not have, and if it does, it certainly isn't easy or well known by its users.
This has caused me to christen Facebook "Stalkerbook", because everything I do is documented somewhere on a feed saved by a server and accessable by anyone who is friended by me. This is a problem because weather you want to admit it or not, what happens in the digital world directly effects your life in the physical world because it is a document of all your actions and opinions and is accessible to pretty much anyone.