Men need to

(ETA: I have no idea why the template formatting is so screwed up on this entry. Possibly because I had to re-edit the pictures and then re-upload. It’s making me crazy.)

I ran across a fabulous AdWeek story today, about the UN Women campaign using actual results from Google autocomplete searches — which are aggregated from actual Google searches done. 

Unwomen hed 2013

 So I of course said, “Huh. Well, maybe it’s just the same if you do the searches only with ‘men’ instead of ‘women’.” 

Or, not so much:





Yeah, yeah, I know: “Men use the interweebs more, and this is just what they search for.”

Good to know.



Simple rules when using the Internet

I know, I’m probably biting off more than I can chew here, but what the hell.

1. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

This goes double if you’re going to post as “Anonymous.”

The only possible exception to this: you are whistle-blowing on some egregious, illegal practice that you can’t possibly own up to in real life. In that case: run for the hills, because tracing where a posting originated is as simple as asking Google, “Hey, where did this originate?” (You know Google saves every search made from every IP ever, right?)

2. If you link to it, you own it.

If you offer up a link to something on your blog, on your Twitter feed, or as a Facebook status, you are advertising that you agree with the opinions found therein, unless you very specifically call out that you are disagreeing with it. (NB: if you are a professional comedian — i.e., someone would recognize that you are funny consistently and over a long period of time, not necessarily that you’re getting paid — you can get away with “sarcastic agreement” as your disagreement mode. Only professional comedians.)

Way back in the early days of the Web (when this blog had already been around for several years, nyuk, nyuk) there was a political blogger named Instapundit. I haven’t heard about him so much any more; don’t know what he’s doing, don’t care. But his shtick was to link to something foul, infantile, or race-baiting and then say


When called on how he was clearly promoting these things, he would say, “Oh no no, I just thought it was an interesting point of view.”

In a word: bullshit.

He wanted to link to inflammatory crap without putting his name on it.

If you link to it without commentary, you own it.

The only possible exception to this: you link to a major media site, such as the New York Times. In which case, we probably know why you’re linking. Be a good Internet citizen and add a little commentary so we know where you are with this, okay?

3. Don’t read comments.

Seriously. There’s nothing to be gained from this. There are people who have nothing better to do than sit around all day and argue nonsense from behind a fake name. There are people who are paid to sit around and post garbage. Don’t participate.

There are two exceptions to this:

  1. Horace Dediu’s blog Asymco. That blog has one of the most respectful and curious set of commenters I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t hurt that Horace is bringing his A-game with every post. You can disagree with him…but the usual Internet set up of “My ignorance is as good as your knowledge!” just looks like the lameness it is on Asymco.
  2. My blog.


You’ve heard about these acts. The Internet’s gone dark today. You haven’t called your representatives. Why should you do anything? Well, because you’re not asked to do that much in general, frankly. And sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted.

Call your representatives and say, “This is BAD. Vote NO.” Christ. Just do it, would you? (It’s hard living in an area where my congressman is always against this stuff, but yours might not be. CALL.) If you have zero idea of who your reps are and where they stand, Pro Publica has done the legwork for you.

An analysis of SOPA and PIPA from the right-wing Pajamas media. (Because when lefties analyze stuff, they’re biased.)

Oh, you want balance. Here’s the notoriously left-wing Cato Institute on why SOPA is a con. (The oh-God-don’t-send-me-to-Cato version.)

SOPA/PIPA are supposed to shut down online piracy of movies and other media and save jobs? Yeah, not so much. A Hollywood professional on why SOPA/PIPA are bad.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

— Benito Mussolini