Google Reader

I recently started switching the majority of my RSS feeds on my Google* Home Page over to Google Reader. I have 3 tabs in Google Home Page and wasn’t really checking at least half of what was there. Now I have Google News and BBC News on my Google Reader. Maybe now I’ll have some idea of what’s going on in the world instead of being oblivious about most everything.

I’m still in the process of transferring stuff in bookmarks or on the Google Home Page over to Google Reader. Google Reader does seem to handle a large amount of information/links/etc better than a Home Page that you check 1x-2x a day. Also, maybe Google Reader will solve my “open 20 billion tabs in Firefox” problem. We can only hope.

At this point I’m wondering how long before I hit information overload.

*I’m not endorsing any specific type of Google product.

Everquest 1 has been around

…the block? *chuckle* Cue the cyber jokes? Yea, let’s start this slightly off the topic… and then get back on topic. I do wonder whether or not cyber occurs more often in MMOs or chat rooms or IMs. That’s another blog post at the very least though. It’s neat Everquest 1 is still around. It’s going on 10 years old…. and I’m having fun playing it again. Though, it’ll be interesting to see if I still have fun when the free time runs out.

This was pretty neat to look at.

And there was an article on Boston Globe featured on GUComics today that sort of seems appropriate to include in here. It seems that even though MMOs have been around for awhile; we, as a society, don’t know what to do with them when they affect social (face to face) interaction.

It’s also interesting to learn that there’s been no studies of video games/computer games involving adults.. or at least not enough for the psychiatrist in the article to mention.

Also, he said the average age of gamers is 30. I wonder if that means it’s mostly one generation right now? Not saying limited to just one generation; but, it sounds like when the computer became widely available compared to when games came out might have some effect on who is most interested. I’d be curious to know how many of the gamer population having trouble with their gaming time is actually ashamed of what they are doing. I wonder if shame is just the best way to explain the problem right now. “You wouldn’t understand” or “I don’t know how to explain” doesn’t automatically translate to “I’m too ashamed to talk about it, let’s talk about my porn habits instead.” (If you haven’t read the article yet, maybe you want to now?)

This is more research I’ll be looking forward to seeing done, or maybe doing in a few years or so!

While I wasn’t surprised that WoW was mentioned in the article I was surprised that EVE Online was. Also wasn’t surprised that Everquest 1 or 2 weren’t mentioned. Based on that, I’d also be interested to know how other countries view computer/MMO games. Are they more or less acceptable? Are a smaller proportion of the population playing them? If so, are they more likely to suffer problems than in this country? Last I knew, Lineage 1 and 2 had more players than WoW… but no one hears about that because it’s not in the U.S.

Political emails

Or maybe I should say political innuendo and lack of thought. I don’t know. I got this email (word for word, typo for typo, caps for caps):

In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California, with respect to the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John McCain is very appropriate:

‘The Pledge of Allegiance’ – by Senator John McCain
“As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.
This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.
One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.
Mike came from a small town near Selma , Alabama . He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.
As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.
Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.
One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.
The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.
So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.”
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

PASS THIS ON… And on… And on! You can even send it back to me, I don’t mind, because its worth reading again. oh……and then you have this clown, who refuses to place his hand on his heart and say the pledge……

Subject: Remember this picture on election day!
Let’s all remember this on election day…if you have family serving in the military, make sure you send it along. I don’t care for Hillary, but at least she shows respect for the country she lives in!
I had heard about this but a picture is definitely worth 1000 words! God save us!!!

Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem.
Barack Hussein Obama’s photo (that’s his real name)……the article said he REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE PLEDGE… can a man like this expect to be our next C ommander-in-Chief.

With this picture included:

Give me a fucking break. A man like this can be our “next Commander in Chief” because in this country we have the freedom to not say the pledge of allegiance. We aren’t required to pledge ourselves to an icon of our government. Pure and simple. The next election won’t be decided based upon blind patriotism. Or at least I hope not; our country needs a lot more help than I figured if that happens.

I can’t stand the political emails that circulate. They are all about emotions and innuendo and never about stopping and thinking about what is actually being said! Sometimes email is bad.

And yes, I checked, the email is true according to snopes. See here; I was mildly surprised. Oh, and it is good that this is actually true. I’m not looking to bad mouth the unfortunate people who were P.O.W.s. That’s an experience no one, ever, should have to live through.

Everquest 1

I’m playing EQ1 again. It’s free right now. And not only that but I have access to all the expansions.. so I made a drakkin. I’ve been away long enough it’s almost like a new game. Even counting the month or so I played… last year?

SOE opened up access to EQ2 as well. When I logged on EQ2 yesterday I couldn’t figure out why I did… so I didn’t stay on long.

But, I’m amused and surprised. Surprised I’m having this much fun with EQ1 soloing in the newbie/tutorial dungeon of all places… and I’m amused I’m surprised.

We’ll see how far this level 10, I mean level 11, magician gets.

Quotes from Violet Blue

A few days ago Violet Blue wrote a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle titled “Every girl online is fat, ugly and unsexy. Here’s how to get over it.”Perhaps the best part of her editorial was this:

I just write and talk about sex. But every woman on the Internet gets called slutty and ugly and fat (to put it lightly) no matter what; all we have to be is female. In dinner conversation, my friend Lori reminded me of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Give a man a mask, and he’ll tell you the truth.” I restated it for the Internet, replying, “Give a man a mask, and he’ll slit your throat.” The application here is, “Give a man (or a woman) an anonymous account, and he’ll eviscerate your self-esteem.”

The problem is, with so many women I talk to, the trolling is effective. The number of times I’ve talked down a crying girlfriend after she’s been trolled in her comments about being fat, ugly, skanky, slutty or stupid is higher than I can count (no matter what she writes about). Trolls watch too much mainstream porn and TV, and believe stereotypes are real; they slap us with it and then we believe it, too. We compare ourselves to overly thin models, actresses, and porn stars, and it messes with our self-image and our ability to express ourselves sexually, and especially to enjoy sex.
I love the Oscar Wilde quote. For now I’m assuming the quote is correct, I’ll research that later. It’s an apt description of trolls as well as a general description of society. When I decided to make this post I thought I had more to say. I guess what it comes down to is that women are more likely to fall victim to trolls than men since women have already had/are having their self esteem bombarded by society practically as a whole.


While I was talking to AT&T on the phone today about upgrading my text message plan because, between school and friends, I’ve been sending more text messages; OP sent me this link on techdirt. Needless to say, I was amused to get a link about too much text messaging when I was calling about upgrading my text message plan… Oh I shared the link with the AT&T rep. She found it amusing.

From the original article: Jerald Block said that “internet addiction” is a “common disorder” that deserved inclusion in a manual of mental disorders used by health professionals. He also argued that excessive – as he put it – sending of SMS’s or computer gaming should be put into the same category as an internet disorder.

I must say, that’s probably a good idea. Computer gaming addiction and internet addiction is a real thing in our current society. However, who measures the excessive?

An “expert” talking about “cybersex”

Q: Have you ever done first-hand research into cybersex—as in, have you ever had cybersex yourself or observed anyone having it?

A: I’ve done surveys and talked to patients. It’s not like I’m just doing this because I’ve heard someone say whatever. As to whether I’ve gone online myself, I haven’t, specifically because these days even if you don’t go online you are totally deluged with email. For example, if somehow you get on this or that person’s list and then they sell the list to everybody else. Every day I probably get thirty emails about “enlarge your penis.” So even without getting on any porn websites, I know what they’re like. All you have to do is just go once on a porn site and immediately your address gets spread out. I just really don’t need that in my life. So the answer is, no I haven’t.

That came from here.

Obviously, she has no idea what she’s talking about. Cybersex according to Wikipedia here. I just skimmed the page – didn’t actually read much. More motivation to do some research or study on the Internet and how the Internet affects our lives – in ways we don’t even realize. The only question is where to start.