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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

Schezar Sue Them or Give Up (159 comments)

There is no technological solution. (The phone system as a whole is just so old).

There is no human solution. (The other company will not bother).

You have three options.

1. Wait until it stops and ignore it
2. Change your phone number
3. Sue Level 3 for damages (and file a police report)

In my professional (but not legal: I am not a lawyer) opinion, there is no way to resolve this sort of problem other than suing the closest legitimate business that links you to the perpetrators. Whoever is furthest downstream to the bad guys is your only target, and suing them is probably the only option. Maybe just to get a C&D, maybe punitively just in hopes of getting them to clean up their act. A police report on its own will have zero effect: the police just don't care about IT crimes on this scale.

Sue them, and as part of it file a police report. Don't even bother with any other options at this point: they are not likely to work.

(Again, not a lawyer, just an IT professional).

about 1 month ago
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The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

Schezar "Counterfeit detector pens" don't exist (160 comments)

cash can be checked for legitimacy with a counterfeit detector pen

"Counterfeit detector pens" don't exist. They're just iodine: they have no special detection properties whatsoever.

"Counterfeit pens are fairly accurate and save a lot of time, but they aren't foolproof. For instance, if the counterfeit is printed on paper with a low starch content, the pen won't detect it. If someone managed to steal a roll of unused currency paper and printed it themselves, the pen wouldn't detect it. If someone washed a $1 bill until the ink was gone and re-printed it as a $100 bill, the pen wouldn't detect it. All the pen really detects is whether the paper is made from wood pulp or an alternate, less starchy fiber."

about 3 months ago
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Why I'm Sending Back Google Glass

Schezar As a long-time Glass user, he's a bit off (166 comments)

I can easily see how he could have these problems. His use case is ridiculous.

I can't imagine a sane human being putting on Google Glass and thinking "hey, I'll watch video or read web pages on this thing!" That's almost the opposite of a normal use case. I can't imagine looking at the screen for more than a few seconds at a time.

The value of glass:

1. Non-distracting notifications of emergent information

I don't take my phone out of my pocket every time it buzzes. I don't constantly read twitter every time I happened to pull it out to see what that buzz was. Instead, I just live my life. If I'm walking somewhere, and glass buzzes, I can, at my leisure, cock my head slightly to turn on the display and read the message. If there's a short followup, I speak it into Glass. If there's a long one, I, at my leisure, deal with it later on my phone.

2. Navigation

I'll be honest. For driving, or especially biking/touring, the turn-by-turn is worth the current price of admission even if that is the SOLE use. Trying to mount a phone on a motorcycle/bicycle, let alone pull a phone out of one's pocket while biking, is laughable. The navigation is amazing to behold the first time you use it. For a frequent biker/traveler, it's already indispensable/

3. Candid photos

I have a large collection of interesting shots of my life now. The photos are indeed at an "angle" much of the time. Who cares? If I want to take a picture, I use my phone, or a real camera. I use Glass solely to catch, again, emergent moments. Something interesting happens, and I snap a photo discretely and immediately. For that use case, I defy a regular camera or smartphone to be deployed and used quickly enough without similar "angle" or "shot framing" issues.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

Glass is primarily a notification tool coupled with a navigator and a quick-draw smartphone.

I'm not saying Glass is perfect. Far from it. It has a long way to go. But this guy appears to be trying to use it in the least imaginative and least useful ways possible. He's doing the equivalent of complaining that he cant edit 4k video on his phone, or that he can't easily make toast with his flamethrower.

about 7 months ago
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In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

Schezar Re:That's annoying! (427 comments)

If you take a page from how High Frequency Traders justify their actions, then just explain this as perfectly reasonable arbitrage between the market of people who have parked and people who are looking to park!

about 7 months ago
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In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

Schezar Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (427 comments)

You have to truck in everything and truck out everything,

The suburbs also have to truck everything in and out: it's not like local farmland and local factories provide even a tiny percentage of the goods and foodstuffs used there.

Rural areas also have to truck most things in and out, for mostly the same reasons. The way the world economy is structured, pretty-much EVERYTHING is trucked in and out from somewhere else. It's a myth that non-urban areas somehow are less reliant on the "outside" than urban areas.

More to the point, there is a massive economy of scale in cities. New brings in goods in bulk, which then require minimal internal redistribution compared to, say, strip malls in suburbia.

All of that aside, cities are where basically all jobs are. Why would anyone start a company that requires skilled workers in a place with a small talent pool? How many coders or engineers live in any rural town, or even within a day's commute of one? How many live within walking distance of a building in New York?

Look at the job listings in any small town, and then look at the job listings in New York or Boston or San Fran. There's nothing to do in exchange for money in small towns and rural places for most of us. There's no career path at all.

Hell, there's also just NOTHING TO DO. We live in New York because we can walk to one of two dozen brunch places on Sunday morning. We can see opera, musical theatre, the symphony, an off-broadway play, slam poetry, a puppet show, or basically anything we want any day of the week. Want to play an obscure German board game? Thousands of people live basically next do and also want to do so. How many people would be interested in that kind of game in a town of 2000 people?

about 7 months ago
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Brazil Blocks Foreign Mobile Phones

Schezar Turkey already blocks individual IMEIs (97 comments)

Vetting individual IMEIs is neither practical nor legal, as you can't stop someone from using a government approved, legally imported phone from using it on all networks.

You're wrong. It's both feasible and, in many countries, legal.

Turkey already does this. If you use a foreign phone of any kind with a Turkish SIM, your individual IMEI will be blocked in 24-48 hours. The only way around that is to pay a significant fee to the government, register your phone/IMEI, and then wait a week or so for the registration to take effect. Note that you can't register AFTER the phone is blocked. If you let it get blocked, you're basically screwed.

Turkey does this to prevent the importation of phones that didn't pay local taxes, and also to ensure that all users of phones/data are registered and tracked within the country.

about 9 months ago
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Google To Block Local Chrome Extensions On Windows Starting In January

Schezar The primary use case of Youtube downloads (260 comments)

The primary use case of downloading a Youtube video is to use said video in another work. For example: a mashup or parody, or in a presentation at a convention where Internet access isn't guaranteed.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Cross-Platform (Linux-Only) Audio Software?

Schezar Nothing. In my Professional Opinion. (223 comments)

There is nothing. There is no good solution for you. That was the answer in 2005 when I first asked it, and that is the answer today.

Even an ancient copy of Cool Edit Pro running on Widows XP is more usable, useful, and powerful than any audio software available natively on Linux. Your non-professional, non-Windows options all share many (if not all) of these problems:

1. Limited basic functionality
2. Extensible only through writing your own code
3. Difficult (impossible) to configure
4. Literally the worst UIs you will ever see in your entire life
5. Often unable to work with digital mixers and audio interfaces

In the time it would take you to get something useful and functional working in Linux, you could spend the cash you would have made working minimum wage on Windows and Audition (or just pirate a copy of Cool Edit Pro).

about a year ago
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What is the Best / Most Hackable E-Cigarette?

Schezar Spam? Really? (1 comments)

This is flagged as spam?

1. I hate e-cigarettes. I just want to know if any hobbyists are messing with them.
2. I could only fine one article on slashdot talking about them.
3. I pointedly didn't link to ANY brand, company, or really anything except wikipedia.

about a year and a half ago
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Why VCs Really Reject Startups

Schezar Ideas are worthless (217 comments)

Ideas are worthless. We have great ideas all the time (or at least, ideas we think are great). The value of a business proposal isn't in the idea, it's in the execution of the idea.

The most important things to a serious VC when it comes to a startup have almost nothing to do with the idea itself. You don't have to convince them of the idea: they've probably heard it before already. You're trying to convince them that YOU are the one to EXECUTE that idea, and that you can do it better than anyone else. If you can't, then the'll fund that other person instead.

When you approach a VC, the only thing you bring to the table is your ability to execute the plan you've proposed.

more than 2 years ago
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Sen. Rand Paul Introduces TSA Reform Legislation

Schezar Private security theater is no better than public (585 comments)

I fly around the world on a regular basis. There is one thing that every single foreign airport I have ever flown out of shares in common: a lack of security theater.

From Mumbai to Istanbul, Narita to that tiny little airport on the island next to Toronto, I never have to:

1. Take my shoes off
2. Submit to a body scanner
3. Suffer a pat-down
4. Wait more than ten minutes to get through security

Flying within and out of the US is slower, more difficult, more humiliating, than flying through airports where terrorism is ACTUALLY a common threat. I am embarrassed every time a foreigner has to deal with my country's ridiculous soap opera of security, and simultaneously enraged when the outside world reminds me that, outside of the US, flying is a wonderfully pleasant experience from start to finish.

I don't really have a new or insightful point here other than to vent, to be honest. It's deeply frustrating to see the ludicrous amount of money we've spent on body scanners that are not only trivially fooled, but simultaneously don't catch anything actually dangerous a metal detector wouldn't have already caught and still require me to take my god damned mother fucking shoes off. Security is worse, yet somehow takes longer. I have to choose between a ridiculous body scan or an intrusive physical search in my own relatively safe country, but can travel in comfort everywhere else.

It's maddening. I avoid flying as much as possible literally because of the TSA. It's a sad state of affairs when a 12-hour train ride (which, mind you, costs MORE than a flight) is an attractive option to dealing with airport security.

It's maddening to the point that I supported Rand Paul's original initiative to ban/reform the TSA. Rand Paul is a lunatic, yet I dislike the TSA so much that he and I agreed on this one issue.

So now, it turns out, he doesn't want to do what he'd said at all. His proposal address NONE of the things that madden me so, and in many cases make them worse. Privatized security theater is no better than public security theater. The THEATER part is the problem, not the public or private part.

more than 2 years ago
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Gamer Keeps Civilization II Game Going for 10 Years

Schezar He must not be that good (219 comments)

He must be a pretty crappy gamer if, in all that time, there are still other civilizations in his way with which to have constant nuclear warfare. If he'd actually eliminated the other civilizations, he could easily rebuild everything.

Also, how on earth did he have so much global warming? That can really only be the effect of poor decisions or poorly waged nuclear war.

more than 2 years ago
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UN To Debate Taxing Internet Data

Schezar And people wonder why the US holds it so tightly (284 comments)

While unlikely (hopefully) to pass, this sort if thing is exactly the reason the United States has been so reluctant to give up its nominal control of the Internet's architecture, nevermind why so many technologists are tacitly OK with the US's continued dominance.

The nations of the world, given equal weight, err toward censorship, and many regimes with UN votes have deeply vested interests in clamping down on the extraordinary free-for-all of information exchange that the current Internet provides. I for one want the United Nations to have no role at this level, and both hope and expect the US to refuse ratification should it actually come to pass.

more than 2 years ago
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Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

Schezar Think of them as another test of ability. (804 comments)

If you are actually distracted from study by someone else using a computer silently in your field of view, you will have a difficult time with most corporate environments. Ignoring unimportant screens and filtering out irrelevant information are basic abilities of modern people.

There is plenty to debate on the issue of laptops in general. I doubt many students use them to take any manner of notes, and the one's I've seen earnestly trying fall hopelessly behind someone with a pen and paper (as notes tend not to follow a format the way an office document does). But, it's basically a problem of individual students in the end. If someone chooses to distract themselves from a lecture they're paying for, it's their own business by and large.

Debate all you want, but claiming that laptops distract the whole room is laughable.

more than 3 years ago
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Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

Schezar Distracting? Think of it as another test. (804 comments)

There are real arguments to be made here, but the "distracting other students" one is, in a word, ludicrous. Even from the article summary - "...when I'm trying to pay attention to the lecture, even someone's screensaver in the row ahead of me can be a major distraction,' - plays to it.

If you are actually distracted from study by someone else using a computer silently in your field of view, you will have a difficult time with most corporate environments. Ignoring unimportant screens and filtering out irrelevant information are basic abilities of modern people.

There is plenty to debate on the issue of laptops in general. I doubt many students use them to take any manner of notes, and the one's I've seen earnestly trying fall hopelessly behind someone with a pen and paper (as notes tend not to follow a format the way an office document does). But, it's basically a problem of individual students in the end. If someone chooses to distract themselves from a lecture they're paying for, it's their own business by and large.

Debate all you want, but claiming that laptops distract the whole room is laughable.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

Schezar Re:Nonissue (357 comments)

So how do you address this? Is it illegal for me to watch you drive your car to the urologist? Is it illegal to then google for your license plate and/or address to see who you are or where you live? Is it illegal to see you visit the pharmacist, and remember that I'd also seen you at the urologist at some point in the past?

Should it be illegal to say to my one friend "Hey, I saw IndustrialComplex at the urologist, and again at the pharmacist. Funny that! His license place was 'ASSMAN' too!" ?
Should it be illegal for my friend to tell his friend what I told him?
Should it be illegal for my to tell ten of my friends?
Should it be illegal for me to make a blog post about it?

At what specific point do you intend to make something like this illegal?

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

Schezar Re:Nonissue (357 comments)

Ahh, but our entire society's expectations of privacy have been unreasonable for the better part of the last several decades. This false sense of privacy has existed solely due to the inefficiency of access to public data, much in the same manner that entire localized business models disappeared with the advent of national television and freeways.

It's a nonissue only because the work, both in law and expectations, to actually address the fact that we're finally having to come to terms with the fact that there is a lot of perfectly legally accessible information about all of us in the wild will never be undertaken by our government or our society, and technological workarounds will evolve far faster than any legislation or agreement can. The point is moot. If Facebook didn't do it themselves, someone with a screenscraper and a database would.

If you can see it, you can correlate it. This is a nonissue only because there is no possibility of a solution for anyone who is upset.

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

Schezar Nonissue (357 comments)

If this information was already extant, and this functionality is just an aggregation and compilation of said extant data, then there is no problem. No new information is being provided: public information has simply been correlated, something any person could do on their own at any point prior.

Making already legally accessible data more readable is not in any way wrong. Anyone who fears or is angry about this is in for a shock over the next decade or so as technology reveals all sorts of already public things about them, and younger generations simply won't care.

more than 4 years ago
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Free Clock Democratizes Atomic Accuracy

Schezar It solves one problem (178 comments)

The Financial Sector.

Also, synchronized robotics, precisely coordinated CNC, and a host of other applications. Primarily, it's where absolute time isn't the concern, but rather where arbitrary time must be consistent between multiple devices (accounting for propagation delays, failures, etc...). Of course, protocols like PTP solve this fairly neatly: this particular product solves a different problem, and probably isn't actually useful.

There are two time issues to consider. One is how close your environment is to true time. The other is how close your individual devices are to one another. Messaging time-critical information between devices is severely complicated when the two devices are not on the same plane time-wise. Atomic clocks and the like solve the first problem. PTP solves the second problem. NTP almost (95%) solves both, but falls short in certain extremely time-critical situations.

more than 4 years ago
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Twitter API ToS To Force Routing Clicks To Twitter

Schezar Workaround (92 comments)

I'm confident that at least some Twitter apps will simply not do this. What's Twitter going to do? Ban the popular apps? How would they even go about this? I fully expect the following interesting behavior by the apps that will end up being used the most by people like us.

1. The faker. It will report semi-random clicks or route garbage through the gateway, but never the user's real clicks.
2. The shirker. It will simply not route anything through the gateway.
3. The hider. It will shirk the gateway, but simultaneously masquerade as some other app that itself plays by the rules.

Twitter really has two options if they want to enforce something like this. They can force ALL apps to play by their rules (breaking functionality for perhaps a large portion of their userbase) or they can accept the fact that people will route around this. I don't see the former happening, in all honesty, and they've engendered little love from third party developers of late, so they can't count on developer goodwill either.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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What is the Best / Most Hackable E-Cigarette?

Schezar Schezar writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Schezar (249629) writes "Electronic cigarettes have been a dark horse in the chemical consumption market for some years now. As far back as 2010, we were debating the merits of this technology here on Slashdot. Government, legal, and societal questions aside (well debated as they are elsewhere on the Internet), what about the technology side? Where are the hackers, the hobbyists, the arduino-augmented electronic vapor delivery systems? Who is hacking these things? Are some more open/moddable than others? Is DRM on the horizon? What's your tech of choice if this relatively new bit of technology is your game?"
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Geek Culture

Schezar Schezar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Today, I realized just what an eclectic person I've become. (Which prompted me to dust off the old blog... What a geek...)

I was at Borders book shopping, and I came to this realization when I laid my purchases on the counter. The girl looked at them and glanced up at me with a slightly puzzled expression, and at that moment I noticed just what I had bought. A book on learning Korean, a book about a rather obscure philosopher, and a somewhat girly manga (don't make fun of me! ^_^*). Now, to me my purchases were perfectly logical, but to this other person they were strange. It got me thinking.

I listen to Japanese and European music. I watch Asian cinema. I play "weird" video games (DDR, old DOS games, Atari 2600), German board games, and Dungeons & Dragons. I drink Australian wine. I go to Linux conventions. I watch hockey. I mountain-bike and compose music. I vacation in Sandusky Ohio, Wildwood New Jersey, and Baltimore Maryland. I have countless friends on half the continents and most of the states, but few in my hometown.

And so I began to wonder just how I'd come to be this way. My interests and lifestyle are so vastly separated from the people with whom I interact on a daily basis that I often have very little to say. My culture has become independant of my locale, and as well independant of my peers.

What I don't do is just as telling as what I do. I don't watch television. Ever. I rarely go to the movies. I dislike malls and detest fast food. I rarely drink soda or beer. I don't read magazines or newspapers or listen to the radio. I don't go to bars or clubs. I don't even have a landline telephone. This often leaves me with no common ground with most people. I have no interest in the "latest episode of such and such last night" or the scandalous liason of the secretary in the other department, and similarly they have no interest in the latest Slashdot article or the newest board game to come out of France.

So from where have I derived my culture? After much thought, I've come to two factors that, together, have brought me (and many other geeks) to this state: university, and the Internet.

University

Fresh out of high school, I met the majority of my circle of friends early on at the campus gaming club. 20-odd different cultures with a few common interests (Anime, Role Playing Games, Computers) came together, and each shared its own unique interests (German board games from one, DDR from another, etc...) with the rest. In short order, a sort of amalgamated group culture emerged: Geeks. Our interests converged as we lived, worked, and played together.

Now, this in itself is nothing unusual. In proximity, people will generally adapt to form local culture. This is the basis of civilization. Furthermore, if a person leaves one place and moves to another, he will lose bits of his old culture and gain bits of his new one, if for no other reason than his physical separation and increasingly sparse contact with his past.

This brings us to the second factor, and here is where it gets interesting.

The Internet

Most any information is available on the Internet, and the Internet is accessible from (theoretically) anywhere. Moreover, it is the same Internet when a person is on one place as it is when he is in another.

It thus removes the need for physical proximity in maintaining culture.

I have moved away from my uni. I live 310.88 miles from the former centre of my cultural identity. The Internet, however, has allowed me to first stay in easy and frequent contact with all of my former friends and second to indulge my cultural interests online. As I have maintained contact with my culture, I have not been susceptible to the assimilation pressures of my new place of residence.

I am still a geek, even if there are no other geeks near me.

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Happiness

Schezar Schezar writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I'm a happy person. In fact, I'd say that I don't know a single person who's happier than I am. I'm sure there is such a person somewhere, but I just haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting him. My room-mate is close, but I'd say he's about equally happy to me, so he isn't actually "happier." We're both equally happy.

Now, I know a lot of sad people. Many, many people are generally bummed, depressed, suicidal, or otherwise just -sad-. Quite frankly, the concept is foreign to me. Alien.

You see, I never get sad. I'm happy no matter what happens in my life. I've been momentarily miffed, occaisionaly vexxed, and more than once frustrated, but never long enough to spoil the general feeling of utter joy I experience each and every day. I haven't been angry at anyone in many years.

((Skip down to the bottom if you want the short version. That's where I get to the point!))

-----

One of the things that I believe facilitates this feeling is my firm belief that words alone can never hurt anyone. NEVER. Now, before you say that isn't true, indulge me.

First off, I'm not talking about words that cause action. Telling the police that I'm a murderer will hurt me indirectly, but the words themselves caused no harm: you and the police did. Nor am I talking about words spoken behind one's back. They can indirectly harm a person's reputation, but they cannot actually harm the person directly. I am also not talking about blatant lies along the lines of "Your family was just killed," when such is not true. Such meanness is beyond the scope of my little dissertation/rant.

That being said, words can only come in one of two varieties: they are either true, or they are false. Let's take the case of the latter first. Obviously, if what someone says is not true, it cannot hurt me. "You're fat, and your mother is a whore" does not harm me in any way. I am actually quite lean, and my mother is a saint ^_^. The statement can't offend me: it isn't true. Indeed, there is no way in the world to offend me or make me sad with a lie. If I were somehow affected by that statement, then there must be some truth in it of which I am ashamed.

That brings us to the case of the former: a true statement. Quite simply, I'm ashamed of nothing I've done, and I'll readily admit to anything. Suppose I'd done something horrible. Someone berates me for it. It's a true statement: what I've done is an inescapable truth. The statement cannot actually cause me grief unless I'm ashamed or bothered by my past action. As I've never done anything I'm ashamed of, there is no statement that can preclude my happiness.

I've been in some blistering arguments, and I've had bone-chilling insults thrown my way on many occaisions. Alas, they mean nothing, for they're either false, and thus not worth even considering, or true, and simply worth fessing up to.

-----

Another key factor in my unending merriment is the fact that I never get angry. No one has ever done anything to me which has made me angry. Sure, people have done some pretty nasty and/or shortsighted things to me, even in recent memory, but such trivialties are hardly worth being angry over, let alone losing friends for. Grudges are silly, and revenge is pointless.

Furthermore, I can honestly say that nothing bad has ever happened to me. No matter how dire a situation I've found myself mired in, I've always found my way out unscathed. Even the few scathings I've had haven't bothered me. You see, I tell people that "everything happens for a reason," but what I really mean is that "everything happens." The past is the past. Spend more than a moment looking over your shoulder at the rock you just tripped over, and the rock in front of you will get you just as badly.

I take adversity as it comes. As the old saying goes, when you ask the gods for strength, they give you hardship which, in the overcoming, makes you stronger.

-----

Death is another big thing. A lot of my friends are afraid of it, or else otherwise deeply affected by it.

It doesn't bother me at all. It happens to everyone sooner or later, so there's no avoiding it. Thus, there's no worth in worrying about it. Live, then die. Try to have fun in between. Worry about death after you're dead.

As for other people dying, it happens. You move on. Sure, you might never see them again, but there's nothing you can do about it. Death is natural: it isn't anything sad or devastating, it just happens.

-----

Here's the point of this whole unedited, non-proofread rant.

One thing I've noticed thoughout my whole life is that people are constantly trying to rain on my parade, to "convince me" that I'm not actually happy. They tell me I'm unfulfilled, or that I'm faking it, or that it's not -really- happiness, or some other such bollocks. I'm not sure just what to make of it, quite frankly. -I- know that I'm happy. What difference does that make to others? Why don't people believe that my life is just one long sunny day (and more importantly, why do what care?) They can't seem to live with the fact that nothing bothers me, that I take everything (and I mean everything) in stride.

(With rare, dire, extreme exception, like Nazis, or maybe Zombies,) nothing's worth being angry over, and nothing's worth fighting over: life is wonderful no matter what happens. People should spend less time trying to make me unhappy, and spend more time asking themselves why they care so much about it in the first place. Happiness starts with you: I'm already finished ^_^.

-----

As I noted before, this is a rant. Any grammar errors/typos can be carefully shoved you-know-where. ;^) I needed to kill some time at work, and after having had the millionth person try to talk me out of being happy, it seemed like a generally relevant/interesting topic.

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Socially Maladjusted People

Schezar Schezar writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Something interesting happened today.

Under a story about gamers, I posted an anecdote about someone I knew (of) in college. It was somewhat exaggerated, and written more to be funny than to prove a point. The gist of it was that this guy, whom I dubbed "Loser" in the post, was addicted to Asheron's Call. I wanted to get some laughs, and I seemed to have (+5 Funny and all).

But then, an Anonymous Coward replied with this. If you follow that thread, you'll find a rather interesting exchange. It appears that "Loser" read and responded to my post. In sum, he seemed to blame me for not reaching out, as opposed to himself for not doing the same. He was "shy," so it was apparantly my duty to engage him.

One quotation in particular interested me. At least the people playing took the time to say hello once and a while.... unlike somone else who was actually there and couldn't be bothered to even say hello to another human in the same room not 6 feet away.! So indeed, he actually found the social interactions of the game to be better than those of the real world.

What bothers me is the second part of that statement. This man is angry that other people can't be bothered to seek him out. No mention of the possibility that those people likely saw no reason to do so, just a wide swath anger directed toward the world-at-large. It's their fault he doesn't have friends.

This attitute seems very prevalent among the various stripes of social misfits. They seethe in silent anger, yet never consider the fact that they may indeed have a problem, that there might be a reason people don't reach out to them. Perhaps they don't make eye contact, or they smell, or they're rude, or they're genuinly uninteresting to talk to. Or perhaps they just sit there, waiting. Waiting for someone to "save" them, to befriend them and magically whisk them away into the social world they've never known.

That saviour is never coming.

Now, I could write at length about this issue, or even this specific case, but I won't. These are mere symptoms of a larger problem. You see, this man and all the other socially maladjusted people in the world had to have come from somewhere. What could possibly make someone so shy, or so boring, or so socially inept, that they end up this way? Bad parenting? Video games? Drugs? Poor schooling?

Large numbers of people are entering the world, fresh out of high school, with little or no social skill. They aren't integrating into the culture of their species. It's somewhat frightening. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what to do about it.

If you have any doubt, and you happen to live near Rochester NY, stop by RIT's campus some weekend and take a walk through the dorms. Or stop by one of the large clubs for a meeting. You'll see a good number of funny, interesting people interacting and having fun (myself included). But, you'll also see a large number of outcasts either sitting quietly by themselves or attempting (and failing) to interact with the more social groups. In the dorms specifically, you'll come across closed dorm-room doors and sounds of Counterstrike through the wood... and nothing else.

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Schezar Schezar writes  |  more than 11 years ago

It's been a while.. For the first time since my freshman year of college, I'm loggin back into slashdot. I never really posted or moderated, but back then I didn't have hours upon hours of idle time at work with nothing better to be doing. ;^)

Methinks I'll use this journal. Could be interesting...

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