Twitter rule: always punch down

Scalzi has some comments on the banning of Milo, and I particularly like this point.

It’s good that Twitter punted Yiannopoulos, but let’s not pretend that it doesn’t look like Twitter did some celebrity calculus there. Yiannopoulos and pals had a nice long run pointing themselves at all other manner of people they didn’t like, for whatever reason, and essentially Twitter didn’t say “boo” about it. But then they harass a movie star with movie star friends, many of whom are Twitter users with large numbers of followers, and whose complaints about Twitter and the harassment of their friend get play in major news outlets, and Twitter finally boots the ringleader of that shitty little circus.

So the math there at least appears pretty obvious from the outside. You can punch down on Twitter and get away with it, but don’t punch up, and punch up enough to make Twitter look bad, or you’ll get in trouble (after more than a day). Is this actually the way it works? I’m not at Twitter so I can’t say. I can say I do know enough women of all sorts who have gotten all manner of shit by creeps on Twitter, but who weren’t in a movie and had movie star friends or got press play for their harassment. And they basically had to suck it up. So, yeah, from the outside it looks like Twitter made their decision on this based on optics rather than the general well-being of their users.

This is exactly the rule set that fosters bullies, and is going to make the problem worse.

But who will replace him?

It sounds like Roger Ailes is going to be fired from Fox News. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, but now I’m wondering who is on Rupert Murdoch’s short list of replacements?

  • Satan? Only problem is that he’s mythological, and is also in high demand to lead Christian megachurches.

  • Pat Robertson? He hasn’t had a sex scandal yet. (Has he? Don’t tell me, I don’t want to think about it.)

  • Alex Jones? He’d probably turn it down as he struggles to fit it into a false flag narrative.

  • The most likely, best choice, who would fit in perfectly with the ethos of the organization: Dick Cheney.

How long do you think we’ll need to wait?

A Playboy playmate, Dani Mathers, took a picture of an older woman in the shower at a gym, and then a photo of herself sniggering at her. She even took the time to caption it, If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either, before sending it out to the public. I guess the other woman didn’t look like a Playboy Playmate of the Year, which is more than enough grounds for derision, right?


She has sort of badly apologized: she didn’t mean to make her ugly thoughts public, she intended just to share her contempt for women who are insufficiently pneumatic with a good friend. She’s now getting hammered on social media, has lost her job at a radio station, is banned forever from that particular gym, and the police have been notified. But there’s a worse punishment awaiting her.

How old is she? In her twenties? In a few years, she’s inevitably going to be in her thirties, then forties, maybe even, heaven forfend, her fifties. It’s how nature works. She’s going to get older. And as she becomes increasingly aged, that loathing of other’s bodies is going to turn inward and torture herself. The only question is how long it’s going to take before she starts exaggerating her own emerging flaws in her mind. 10 years? 5 years? Now?

It seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me, but if it’s self-inflicted, it’s her own damn fault.

Writers, do you need work?

There are jobs out there! Look at this classy winner of a writing opportunity.


I hope no one out there is desperate enough to even consider this “opportunity”. It sounds like a mill to churn out crap books for the Amazon e-book program; only the person commissioning all those words is going to profit from it at all.

Another possibility, since it cites “blog” “content writing” as a skill, is that this is one of the sources of these annoying come-ons I get. Every day, there are people who send me queries asking if I’d like to commission them to churn out blog content! On any topic! Cheap!

I don’t answer “no”. I answer DELETE.

If you, like everyone else, are playing Pokemon Go…

You need to read this. If you log in via your google account, you are giving the game total access to your email, google drive, etc. That is not acceptable. Go to your google security settings and see for yourself…and tell it no.

It’s a brilliant little game, but one thing a day of playing it has convinced me of — its implementation is crap. Buggy, inconsistent, and now also, a security risk.

Great. Twitter allows Pointless Polls

Of all the things Twitter needed to improve their service, allowing meaningless polls of your subset of readers wasn’t one of them. But there you go, you can create polls and get the biases of your readership expressed in cold, hard numbers that mean nothing at all.

Here’s an example.

Do you agree that Black Lives Matter #BLM is the new black version of the Klu Klux Klan?
80% Yes
20% No

(I think you’ll need to go to this link on and have a twitter account to vote.)

So here’s a guy who has a lot of racist friends, who has made an utterly stupid racist statement, and is asking all of his fucking racist buddies to validate it.

Thanks, Twitter.

I played some games today


On the recommendation of Russell Glasser, I gave Hearthstone a whirl today. I was impressed — that is one slick piece of work. I had no idea what to do or how it worked, but it’s beautifully designed and led me through the gameplay entirely painlessly — and even with a fair bit of fun. I enjoyed it, but I don’t know that I’ll get addicted to it. I guess I’m just not into card games.

The other game I tried out today is the fad of the hour: Pokemon Go. I have never played Pokemon before; my kids were all into it on their gameboys, and they also played the card game, but I was a very bad dad and didn’t join in at all. So this thing was a complete mystery to me, and still is. Unlike Hearthstone, the explanations within the game are virtually nonexistent, and you have to just stumble around and try to figure out what the heck to do.

I finally figured out the first bit, and Mary and I went on a nice sweaty (it’s hot!) walk around the neighborhood and caught Pidgees and Weedles and a Bulbasaur and an Oddish and an Evee. Unfortunately, now I have no idea what to do with them, now that I’ve got them, because the game just assumes you’re a Pokemon pal already. If you’ve got any hints, let me know.

One nice thing is that they’re both free. I guess there’s stuff you can buy as you get further into them, but I’m so dang casual there’s probably not much risk of temptation.