Alis

/Alis

About Alis

Alis Franklin is a thirtysomething Australian author of queer urban fantasy. She likes cooking, video games, Norse mythology, and feathered dinosaurs. She’s never seen a live drop bear, but stays away from tall trees, just in case.

Truth from power.

I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.

Michelle Obama on power.

2019-01-07T13:55:38+10:0020th May, 2019|Tags: culture|

Generation Revolt.

Maybe it’s not because Millennials have rejected the American dream, but rather because the economy has not only blocked their path to attaining it but punished them for trying to.

Millennials are the most educated generation in U.S. history to date. They bought into a social contract that said: Everything will work out, if first you go to college. But as the cost of college increased, millions of young people took on student loans to complete their degree. Graduates under 35 are almost 50 percent more likely than members of Gen X to have student loans, and their median balance is about 40 percent higher than that of the previous generation.

And what has all that debt gotten them? “Lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth,” according to the Federal Reserve paper’s conclusion. Student debt has made it harder for millions of young people to buy a home, since “holding debt is associated with a lower rate of homeownership, irrespective of degree type,” as Fed economists wrote in a previous study. In other words, young people took on debt to pursue a college degree, only to discover that the cost of college would push the American dream further from their grasp.

Is it any wonder that Millennials are eager to overthrow a system that has duped them into a story of permanent progress, thrown them into debt, depressed their wages, separated them from the trappings of adulthood, and then, for good measure, blamed them for ruining canned tuna?

Derek Thompson on killing Millennials.

2019-01-07T08:28:58+10:0018th May, 2019|Tags: culture, economics, politics|

Turing complete(ish).

Interesting look at whether CSS can be considered Turing complete and thus, despite all conventional wisdom, an actual programming language.

Apparently in the last decade or so when I wasn’t really paying attention, it became Cool™ to shit on CSS. Which, as someone who grew up doing things like radically transforming my profile page in Gaia Online with the power of CSS alone, I find really—

Okay, I was going to say “odd” here but it’s not “odd” at all, is it? It’s frustrating. Because people shit in CSS because it’s, a) associated with girls doing things like modifying their Gaia Online profiles, and thus b) feminized and scorned.

Same as it ever was, I guess…

2019-01-07T08:24:59+10:0017th May, 2019|Tags: css, culture, tech|

Everything is compromised.

Reality : Bad guys already have access to personal data points that you may believe should be secret but which nevertheless aren’t, including your credit card information, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, address, previous addresses, phone number, and yes — even your credit file.

Reality : Any data point you share with a company will in all likelihood eventually be hacked, lost, leaked, stolen or sold — usually through no fault of your own. And if you’re an American, it means (at least for the time being) your recourse to do anything about that when it does happen is limited or nil.

Brian Krebs on security realities.

The full article has some strategies individual users (and companies, though that’s probably less relevant to This Audience) can do, taking into account Realities and .

2019-01-07T08:16:34+10:0016th May, 2019|Tags: infosec|

Blockchain is still garbage, film at 11.

So… okay. I will freely admit to being a Blockchain Skeptic™… but not even I would’ve predicted a 0.00% success rate in a survey of blockchain technologies. Yikes.1

Note also that this is specifically blockchain, not cryptocurrency, which is an implementation of blockchain. And even the most diehard crypto-detractor (i.e. yours truly) would probably have to concede cryptocurrencies are “successful”, for a given definition thereof, so I assume they were specifically excluded from the above-linked survey.

  1. But also: lol. []
2019-01-07T08:12:10+10:0015th May, 2019|Tags: blockchain, cryptocurrency, tech|

Nice chaps.

Partisanship is not a result of us not hearing enough about George H.W. Bush talking to his grandkids. It’s largely a result of one party devoting itself to racist, reactionary politics in the service of global corporate interests, but that’s another conversation for another time. More importantly, if you’re an immigrant who is now too terrified to get free baby formula for your child because you heard it might mean you can’t get a green card, you probably don’t care very much whether John Bolton’s guilty pleasure is watching Real Housewives; if you’re a poor person in Arkansas and you just found out you got dropped from Medicaid because of work requirements you didn’t know existed, it’s not all that relevant to you if John Kelly stubbed his toe and said the F-word.

For comfortable D.C. journalists—the sort who might go from the Ivy League to a Buckley Fellowship at the National Review and then to a more prestigious magazine and a CNN gig—the material effects of politics are much less likely to reach you. Politics is, as Chris Hooks wrote in 2016, “the way we distribute pain”—it’s “how we determine who gets medication and who dies young, who learns in a class of twenty kids and who learns in a class of thirty.” But what is politics if you’re privileged enough to insulate yourself from that pain? How do you view politics if you can pay for private schools? If you have good, employer-sponsored healthcare? It’s unlikely you’ll ever have to deal with Medicaid work requirements or skip taking the meds you need to make rent. You don’t have to choose between feeding your kids and buying their birthday gifts. So the import of politics isn’t “will I be able to eat” or “will I be deported,” it’s “are they nice chaps?”

Libby Watson on politics.

Watson is talking here about the scourge of access journalism specifically, but this also applies to a good 99%+ of the middle class, for whom life does not change very much under one party or another, and thus politics is reduced to, variously, “who did I find most charming on TV” at best… and “who will most hurt those [immigrants/single mothers/poor people/hipsters/uni students/insert-other-maligned-group-here] I don’t like” at worst.

But, y’know. Gods forbid anyone be partisan about anything. How déclassé!

2019-01-07T08:05:35+10:0014th May, 2019|Tags: newsphobia, politics|

Woohoo!

I had to do, like, three dungeons to get this guy. Three! One was even heroic! That’s three more dungeons than I ever, ever want to do in modern!WoW and now they’re over I can go back to ignoring Blizzard’s garbage-tier content as per usual.

(more…)

2019-05-13T11:21:07+10:0013th May, 2019|Tags: gaming, video games, world of warcraft|