Where have all the tech posts gone?

If you’ve been following lkrms.org for my tech-related posts, I’d suggest heading over to tech.lkrms.org and re-subscribing.

Having one blog that covers all of my interests has kept things simple, but the reality is that only the rarest of followers will be interested in both my “personal” posts and my “technical” ones (which are usually incomprehensible to non-nerds). I’m planning to write both types more regularly in the coming months and thought you’d be better served by keeping them separate.

If/when time permits (ha!), I’ll do some design work on both blogs, but for now, they look the same. Which is probably a bit confusing, but I’m sure you’ll cope.

SBS: “‘Not constructive’: PM dismisses plan for companies to reveal pay gap”

SBS: “‘Not constructive’: PM dismisses plan for companies to reveal pay gap”

Uh, Scott, I hate to be the one to point this out, but workplace conflict “between one set of employees and another set of employees” is already present.

It’s a widespread, high-impact conflict called the gender pay gap. You’re obviously familiar with it. It involves people being systemically paid much less than their penis-owning but otherwise equally qualified colleagues.

Accounting for this conflict accurately, business by business, industry by industry, is an essential step towards eliminating it (not just “narrowing” it, you misogynistic asshole).

One doesn’t resolve or avoid conflict by denying its existence, Scott. Then again, you have a trophy for the boats you “stopped” by denying their existence, so I guess this is business as usual for you?

Babylon Bee: “Ken Ham Ejected From Theater For Yelling ‘WRONG’ Every Time ‘Jurassic World’ Actors Say ‘65 Million Years'”

Babylon Bee: “Ken Ham Ejected From Theater For Yelling ‘WRONG’ Every Time ‘Jurassic World’ Actors Say ‘65 Million Years'”

It’s satire, but only just.

This send-up of Ken Ham at a hypothetical Jurassic World screening has disturbing parallels with how my father would have behaved under similar circumstances (although you’d never have been able to get him into a cinema–he needed to be able to censor everything first, to ensure we were protected from scantily clad women, naughty words, and the evils of evolutionary science).

I still remember him standing up during a solo end-of-year performance at my siblings’ high school (I was being homeschooled at the time). I believe it was “Fever”, and he didn’t approve of the song or the seductive way it was performed. A very loud “boooooooo”, clearly heard by everyone in the hall, followed. Even though, at 12 years old, I was still very much under the spell of his brainwashing and control (so I believed he was justified in objecting to the performance), I was utterly mortified. It would have been even worse for my brother and sister. And that poor girl… I sometimes wonder whether her singing career faltered after that (assuming that’s the trajectory she was on). Regardless, it would have been so traumatising for her.

This sort of thing was normal throughout my childhood. The delusion was that we (as right-thinking Christians) were significant players in a desperate battle for survival, and were therefore justified in boldly “resisting” whenever anyone or anything dared to accidentally challenge our values or beliefs.

It’s no wonder I’m in therapy.

Update: here’s Ken Ham’s response. I told you it was barely satire.

Serena v. Naomi (or not)

It’s been interesting to hear a few different angles on the whole Serena Williams / Naomi Osaka thing today. Being 2018, probably humanity’s most polarised year yet, responses seem to veer towards one of two extremes: disgust with Serena (how dare she ruin Naomi’s moment?!) and disgust with the umpire (how dare he change the course of the game?!)

Annoyingly, I think parts of both arguments have merit. Is it possible that they’re both right?

There is undeniable truth in Billie Jean King’s comment on Twitter:

When a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.

Even I’ve watched enough Grand Slams to know that male players are routinely far less deferential to umpires than Serena was, and they are barely ever penalised. Whoever might have otherwise won, it’s undeniable that this umpire’s sexism changed the outcome of the game, and Serena was completely justified in railing against it. Whether it was wilful or unconscious sexism isn’t at all relevant–sexism ought to be challenged, in all of its forms, in elite sport and everywhere else.

Meanwhile, I totally sympathise with Naomi Osaka, whose phenomenal success has been overshadowed by this controversy. She deserved an opportunity to play in her first Grand Slam without any of this drama. The same is true for all elite female athletes–they should be treated as equal to their male counterparts, unencumbered by sexism and misogyny. But in sport, as in life, the patriarchy is still far from smashed, and the results continue to be messy.

Let’s not make the mistake of blaming Serena for distracting us all from Naomi’s victory. Responsibility for that rests solely with the male umpire who treated her in a particular way because she’s a woman.

Surely we’ve learned to stop blaming women for the mistakes of men by now?

PS: congratulations on your win, Naomi. I’m sorry that it’s been tainted.