Saturday, October 27, 2012

October Surprise - HuffPost Live

Well, this is interesting. I was on HuffPost Live again this week.

This time we were talking about politics, which if you read my blog a bit you'll know I'm pretty passionate about and, at times, quite active.

The topic was about the "October Surprise" theory. I'm not exactly sure it's just a theory because there always seems to be something that comes up right before an election. However, is it intentional spin?
There is such big money in American politics now that I have to say I think the spin is intentional.

For what it's worth though, I also hope that voters are just as cynical as I am and take surprises with a grain of salt. It would have to be a pretty significant one for me to go, "okay, I'm switching my vote". I think that's the same on both ends of the spectrum. Of course, those in the middle and those who've not decided are the ones they're trying to reach.

You can watch the video below. You can also find it here on the HuffPost Live site.

BTW, I really like the HuffPost Live segments I've seen and have been on. They've managed to get some pretty good hosts.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Diva Is Code For Bitch - HuffPost Live

Indeed my SEO is strong. (Thanks to Stuart Tracte, a dear friend, for that wonderful quote which totally applies here.)

The HuffPost Live folks found an old blog post of mine from 2006 where I commented at length on the negative stereotypes that come at you when you're a black woman: "I Got a Woman" - Black Women and Negative Stereotypes.

I, along with true blue experts, discussed the implications of the current "feud" between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minjai on the HuffPost Live site today: Diva Is Code For Bitch.

My opinion?  Yes, they're fighting for real BUT the producers knew there was tension and they intentionally let it escalate.  It's not unheard of that shows do this to get press mentions and, hopefully, increase their ratings.

The deeper implications, however, is the dehumanization of black women.  As I wrote in 2006, we're always cast in this role.  That's why there have been many times I've been justifiably mad but I've held back.  Why?  Because black women get mad at every little thing, right?  We're horrible to deal with and will pop off at the slightest provocation, right?  Well, wrong, but with that being the perception it's something you keep in mind when you are upset.  I don't let it silence me to the point that I don't stand up for myself, but the blow back I get is way more intense than what women of other races get.  (Maybe one exception would be the fiery Latina stereotype and how that impacts Latinas.) 

As I brought up during the discussion, you've got tons of examples of women of all races feuding.  Shows like Mob Wives has an all white cast as do some of the Real Housewives shows.  You don't see anyone generalizing from those shows that all white women are argumentative bitches.

Anyway, you can check out the segment below or here at the link.  Enjoy and let's hope my SEO continues to be strong for years to come.


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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stating the obvious: it's demographics you fucktard

Dave Chappelle taken by Travis Jensen
I'm inspired to actually write something today! Yeah!!!

Dave Chappelle is one of my favorite comics. Like seriously, I loved his show, but also understood why enough was enough for him. I've not even folded and watched the "lost" episodes.

Imagine how thrilled I was when I got an email from The Independent on Monday saying that he'd announced two shows for Tuesday night in San Francisco!???

I was thrilled. I also knew the shows would sell out ridiculously fast, so at 2pm I was ready to go. 2pm other fans and ticket scalpers had gobbled up a big chunk of tickets. What's good about the Ticketfly site is they don't make it too hard to try again AND they encourage you to try again because those carts might empty. That's so much better than Ticketmaster where every single time you want to try again, you also have to reenter a captcha to get through.  It's just hell.  Anyway, sure enough around 20 minutes after 2pm, my luck turned and I got a ticket. I was in!!!

I'll do a quick review: he rocks!  Okay, not enough detail? In all seriousness, his set was totally unscripted. He's a bad closer and said so himself, so it was a few extra minutes watching someone who is a comic genius just flow. For me, it was worth it because you can pay to go to a comedy show with people who are way more prepared but aren't half as good.

The only bad point of the show, which had nothing to do with Chappelle, was some brilliant drunk f$%ker who stopped when he walked past me to point out that I was black, "wow, there is a black person in the audience!" He did this as if I'd not noticed that I was one out of a crowd of people who were mostly anything but black.

I love people who point out the obvious, BTW.
For me, that's a demographic and economic divide. Most black people that I know, including working and educated blacks like myself, are not online at 2pm in the afternoon. I am by nature of what I do. Also, even if we're plugged in we're not that good about checking emails regularly. I know a lot of people who check email once or twice a day. It's still not really that cool to be an Internet geek if you're black. That's changing fast though, and I'm in VERY good company.

I check my email when the number changes. I work with a few tabs open and I can see when I get a new message. Unless I'm busy with work or, let me be honest, even if I'm busy with work, I'll stop for a moment to check the message.

Another point is if you're not a working professional you probably can't just drop $55 plus fees to head to a last minute show. Plus, once the scalpers got their hands on tickets I heard they were going for $200 plus. I really wonder how well they did considering they had just 24 hours to sell those tickets?

So to the dumb guy who pointed out my race, um, yeah and...?

It was nice to be able to do one of these and just tell him to move on.


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Saturday, May 26, 2012

SFNetSquared Recap: Designing a better world with IDEO.ORG

Sean Hewens from in action at TechSoup.
As a co-host for SFNetSquared Meetup group, I get put on official hosting duty every few months.  On May 8th, it was my turn again.

Here is a recap of the event written by our guest Sean Hewens from SFNetSquared Recap: Designing a better world with IDEO.ORG.   You can read it in full at the link. I posted it on our Tumblr blog last week when I was in NYC, but didn't have time until today to link it here.

Enjoy! If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, feel free to join the SFNetSquared group if you're interested in the intersection of technology and social change. There are groups worldwide though! You can also find out more out NetSquared at their website Thanks to TechSoup for being behind the NetSquared initiative and supporting our Meetups.

Here is the link to the recap of the first SFNetSquared event I hosted with Craig Newmark.


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weird People on Facebook - have any crazy stories like this?

Just don't push me. Don't.
This is a weird social web vignette from my life. I had an odd thing happen to me yesterday. There is that op-ed to do re the Goldman Sachs 12 vet who resigned via the NY Times. I read it, and it all seems to swirl around Greg Smith finally realizing that the GS culture wasn't what he thought it was. He calls them out and walks away. Okay, I can appreciate that for what it is, that's a significant decision for him and, yeah, I don't think he'll be welcome in any Wall Street firm again...ever.

But I'm cynical about it. It's not like he's publicly given away the fortune he's made or made any announcement about it going in trust to benefit a charity or create a foundation.  He's not announced that he's moving into fundraising or other nonprofit work. It won't be a first-class, hotel suites and bottle-service lifestyle for him anymore, but at 33, he can probably live the rest of his life at a level of comfort that most only dream of. For me, it's just a current event that isn't that significant, and I surely don't see it causing an awakening of conscious on Wall Street, in the financial sector at large or Washington, D.C. anytime soon.

Well, this one woman I barely know disagreed with me and by barely, I mean barely. I met her during the scholarship application review process for my alma mater last year.  One morning we evaluated applications and the next weekend we interviewed candidates.  That's it.  That's all.  No lunch before or after.  No getting together over a cup of coffee.  Nothing.  At best, she is an acquaintance.  Since I have nice but essentially superficial bonds online with other fellow alums I've met doing this, I figured this one would be the same.  We'd exchange comments here and there but all would be fine. 

I guess she worked on Wall Street for a couple of years, so she felt entitled to keep coming at me yesterday on Facebook after I posted a couple of articles that reacted to this banker's op-ed resignation.

In her reply to the first article from The Daily Beast, I could tell she disagreed. Okay, but it's my page and my opinion. Move along if you don't agree or have your say and then move along.  Either way, have you say but keep it civil. I found another article that complied parodies of his resignation. I guess, for her, it was on. For me, it was like, "huh?"

About four replies in, I said something like "lets just agree to disagree".  Most people then just leave it, but nope. She kept coming at me and a few replies later she does the "how would you solve this problem?" move. My reply was essentially to call her out for the false choice tactic.  You can't win, so instead you ask the person you're disagreeing with to find a solution for world peace or something else crazy. That's also called a bait and switch. Give me a break, we disagree and now you're trying to corner me with a question so complex that I'm doomed to fail? I disagree with you so now I have the burden of solving the moral crisis on Wall Street? GTFOHWTBS. I also said she was being "insanely aggressive" and ended my reply by saying this was the end of the conversation.

Like seriously. I had my reasons beyond it simply being a useless debate. While this was going on, even though it was late in the evening, I was working. The discussion was not only going nowhere, it was also distracting. Her keeping it going was just irritating.  Any new replies from her after that I just deleted and added again: "END OF DISCUSSION".

"END OF DISCUSSION" in bold I think, is pretty clear. She then tried to flip it by implying that me cutting her off was insanely aggressive. Nope. It was done and I was sick of her coming back with the same opinion over and over. I didn't take that bait either. Again, I just deleted any further attempts to keep the discussion going.  She then moved it to my wall by asking me would my opinion change if I knew the guy personally? The answer? No.  I'd probably ask him to come with me on a trip to NOLA or something because, clearly, he's got both the time and the money, but nope.  However, again, I side-stepped the debate and just deleted the question.

I then finished my work and went to sleep.  I did consider doing the unfriending move, but I figured she'd come to her senses or sober up, and would realize fighting with a virtual stranger over Facebook maybe isn't the most productive use of anyone's time.  I woke to see that she'd not sobered up and instead had done me a favor and unfriended me.  Thank God for small favors!

It was just...weird. It was like she was on this mission to just make me stay engaged in this debate until I changed my mind. For me, it's a minor issue. It's a bit of news that's interesting. It's cocktail chatter. I'll bring it up over the weekend when I'm out with people and that's about it. For her, clearly, it is more. I was just odd having someone I barely know nipping at me.

Me calling her out as "insanely aggressive" seemed to put her over. But who does that? I see things that people post on their walls that I don't agree with.  If I feel strongly enough, I'll say something and usually that's it.   I also realize that my opinion isn't the only valid opinion out there, but, most important, debates on Facebook are just a waste of time. 

Say what you have to say and then keep it moving. This isn't debate club and it certainly isn't moot court. I guess it just shocked her that I was like "okay, enough" and I was serious because I deleted anything else she had to say. I'd had enough. Have a child if you want to harangue someone, but leave me out of it.

It struck me as a weird intersection of female entitlement with and certainly a fair level of disrespect and condescension on her part, and just not knowing when to shut up or, at least, let the other person walk away.

Another odd story from the very weird social web.


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Saturday, January 14, 2012

SFNetSquared Recap: Craig Newmark Talks About Technology for the Common Good

I just wanted to share a link to the post I just did for SFNetSquared.

I'm a new co-organizer of this group.  The event I planned with Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and craigconnects, happened this past Tuesday.

Here is an informal recap of the event: SFNetSquared Recap: Craig Newmark Talks About Technology for the Common Good.

Enjoy and feel free to join the SFNetSquared group if you're interested in the intersection of technology and social change.


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