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Anita Sarkeesian and Liana K

Today I recommended Anita Sarkeesian's "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" to a friend and realized that there is a new video in her playlist. It was about the "Women as Reward" trope, where women's bodies or their sexual attention is integrated in the game mechanics to act as rewards for players. Examples of these are cases where players get rewards for having sex with other Non Playable characters or get a smooch of victory or a sex of victory as a reward. Anita's video was eductional as ever a more pleasant experience was watching a video by Liana K.

So when I first watched Anita Sarkeesian last year I could see a video titled "A female game developer's response to Anita Sarkeesian" in suggestions. Though there were some valid points in many of Anita's responses a lot of it was plain Ad hominem, because just because a woman says it doesn't make it right. This time I watched one of her video and I was pleased because she was actually trying to have a conversation, she posted a video where she reviewed the series she the series of videos she made and there she thanked Anita Sarkeesian for starting this dialogue on women in video games even though she disagreed with her. That's amazing. She was trying to bridge a gap and people actually listened, at least many of them. She didn't call things like "this is pro gamer", "this is anti gamer" but it was like "here I disagree", "here I don't". She also called on the reaction by some people that just because she, a woman, disagreed with Anita Sarkeesian all women disagree with Anita. She clearly called it out sexism and plain generalization because she does not represent her gender and can have individual independent thoughts.

She is kinda inspiration and an example that "poles" can be brought close and bridges can be built. And I think this should point to the lesson that it is good to express your opinion, you can wrong or misinformed but if you are open minded and respectful, then can opinion can lead to a conversion which can lead to be better understanding for all.

Two Years without Facebook

I stumbled upon this blog post by Guru Prasad, where he describes spending two years without Facebook. He did it for privacy reasons and because Facebook is collecting way too much information than they should. He is also annoyed by the fact that Facebook is not as much a medium to stay in touch but a stream of photos and shares choosen by the algorithm of Facebook often to sell you targeted ads.

I also tried such experiment last to last year, but that for two weeks not two years. And no one will care if you are there or not, most of the people won't even notice your absence. I also hate the fact that facebook track your every mouse gesture your every moment you spend on their website. I definitely don't mean to say that social media is evil phenomenon but that doesn't mean everything is good about them and I want to take the bad parts out. For the similar privacy/power balance reasons I want to move away from Google services. I already use DuckDuckGo for search and I've also diched Google Chrome for firefox. I'll try to spend some time this winter finding alternatives to gmail and how I can move away from it.

I'm not diching Facebook yet, but I guess I can partially mitigate its bad parts. One of to do it would probably be using a command line client for facebook in which I choose who's posts and shares I subscribe to. I don't know if anyone has done it yet, but I think that should be possible given the api by facebook. Maybe I can also use elinks?

When Women Stopped Coding

In 1970's the number of women was low(10-15%) in every field, be in law, medicine, computer science and physical sciences. The numbers have been increasing steadily till date except for computer science, till 85 it was was something around 30% and then it started decreasing. Now computer science has less than 20% women and whereas other field have achieved near perfect gender equality in terms of percentage of women enrolled. What went wrong? According to the author, 80s saw a release of series of SciFi movies with a geeky male protaganist. At that time computers were only toys and they bought only for boys. We got our norm, men are geeky women are not and there by we got the diversity problem in tech.