I wasn’t even planning on driving down to Austin for South by Southwest this year. I’d been to the event in 2011 and 2012, and the second time was largely an exercise in frustration. One year seemed to make a huge difference in the number of cars and degree of chaos. So I swore off returning for that particular reason. But certain things came together recently to compel me anyway, especially the invitation of a friend from Finland, so down I ventured. In some respects, I wish I hadn’t.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that in recent months the raucous discussion of women’s issues has reached epic– or maybe epidemic— proportions. Some of the heated discourse revolves around specific, male-dominated toxic issues, like GamerGate, but there’s also a general sense that men from all walks just don’t get how to approach women. Especially those they don’t actually know.
Subsequently, I’ve noticed a lot of related angst prevalent among men, many of whom are intrinsically decent but often come across, inadvertently, as the very boors they endeavor not to be. I should know.
On occasion, I’ve been one.
May I say a tiny two things about the “call-out culture” article and related discussions I’ve seen over last couple days? TYSM *plop*
— Andrea Grimes (@andreagrimes) March 3, 2015
here's the #DFW weather recap & forecast including last night & into tomorrow: rain, sleet, snow, light traffic, slush, freeze, Armageddon
— Randy (@texrat) February 23, 2015
Today’s electronic immediacy though means everything is local and instant. Geographic boundaries have been replaced by ideological ones that realign our interests and attention. Thanks to the Internet, I can be a better neighbor to Timo the programmer in Finland than what’s-his-name who lives across my street.
But knowing each other’s news doesn’t necessarily put us on the same page.
The Internet at large seems to believe I need more help than that. Aside from ads trying to sell me what I’ve already purchased, I’m besieged by helpful spammers. Every tweet, post or article I create is apparently just another vehicle for injecting my needs into some harvesting bot stream, and boy do they capitalize on it. Reverse Tinnitus offers one email after I complained on Facebook. Brain Power Without Limits promises another.
No idea what specifically triggered the second one. It could just be my general content.