Apr. 8th, 2017

shadowkat: (Default)
It's a beautiful but cool day here in NYC, and the sun after days upon days of cloudy, gray, rainy weather, has come out along with a pristine blue sky that looks a bit like a robin's egg. Perfect day to go shopping for a new computer in the city. But, I'm still procrastinating. Mainly because I despise buying computers, and don't want to do it. I may wait until next Friday, which we have off as a union relegated holiday (Irish/Italian Catholic Union -- It's Good Friday). I've been talked into getting a Mac Book Air by my brother and passing on the expensive MacBook Pro upgrade. I currently have a fifteen inch Mac Book Pro, the Mac Book Air is 13 inches.

I don't want to change. I'm tired of change.

So far this year:

* changed offices - from Mid-Town Manhattan to Jamaica, Queens
* complete change in the federal government. Basically we went from the bubbly Obama Administration that promoted equality, compassion and a love for the arts to the evil 45th who seems to just want to destroy the world and hand it over to dumb white trash folks who whine about not having money in the process.
* church has changed from pastoral to program oriented, which is fine if you like the programs and I'm sort of on the fence and having troubles finding any that appeal
* had to move journals - from LJ to DW completely

Granted most of these changes, actually all of them, were in the works for quite some time now. I admit it, I was living in denial, hoping they wouldn't happen. Silly me. And I know there are more changes on the way, some good, I'm getting a raise and possibly a transportation pass that permits me to go anywhere in the city free of charge. Some not so good.

Ugh. Watershed Years can be very discombobulating.

So, procrastinating on the new computer, and on buying a new arm chair. I don't like spending money on things, clearly. Services and trips, yes. Things, no.

On the whole LJ move, I found a way to visit LJ without logging in or having a journal, read a few people who thought we were nuts for leaving and over-reacting. Basically the same ill-informed response as the Russian co-worker. One guy made the point that LJ has always been under foreign ownership. I don't know if that's true.[ ETA - apparently it is in part. Although...Six Apart is a bit like Sony, it's Japanese/American enterprise, with headquarters in Japan, but also companies founded in the US. So for products developed and based in the US, US law governs.] But regardless, it didn't matter until they moved the servers to another country. If you are French, and own a company that resides in and is incorporated in the US (probably Delaware, because that state has lower tax obligations and restrictions apparently - everyone is incorporated in Delaware), it really doesn't matter all that much that you are French, your company falls under US jurisdiction and is subject to US laws. Where you personally reside or which country you are a citizen of is inconsequential in regards to your company, which is considered to be a separate entity from yourself and can be governed by separate laws. (Sounds illogical doesn't it?)

Same with internet services. It doesn't matter if you are Russian, if the servers reside in the US, your service is subject to US law. And so is the TOS or user agreement. And US constitutional law trumps contract and commercial law. US Federal Constitutional Law trumps State Constitutional Law -- how do you think we got the same-sex marriage law passed in every state? Anti-same-sex marriage laws were deemed to be in violation of the US Constitution. It did not matter if they weren't in violation of Utah's constitution. Conflict of Laws fascinated me in law school, so much so that it is one of the few things I was good at and remember.

It's the same with procedures...if you have a federally funded and state funded contract, the federal law governs not the state. (A bit of a headache that one.) Except if the federal law violates the US Constitution, than the US Constitution governs. That's actually the role of the Supreme Court of the United States to determine if a law, statute, court ruling violates the US Constitution and should be overturned. And US Courts determine if a contract, user agreement, etc is in violation of common law, state law, statutory law, etc.

When you have a disagreement between two entities in separate states, you determine where the dispute arose, and what it was over -- if the dispute arose in say Alabama but it was over something that resides in NY, NY Law Governs. Same with foreign disputes. If the dispute arose in say California, but the subject of the dispute resides in Russia, Russian law governs. That's why I imported my journal to DW when they moved their servers to Russia, it's also why I was mainly cross-posting. It's also why when I read a user agreement stating my journal was now solely governed by Russian Law, I deleted and left.

From what I've read online and discussions with my co-worker, I think a lot of people don't understand those distinctions. No reason why you would -- I didn't understand it until I went to law school. Sometimes it seems illogical. Why would I be subject to another country's laws if I am typing a post from my home in NY. Or wouldn't I have been subject if the owner is from another country, doesn't it matter if the owner if not a US citizen? Wouldn't that govern? No. Doesn't matter where the owner of the product is from or resides, it matters where the product, service, company resides and is incorporated. The owner could reside in an island in the Carribbean, but if the data from his social media service resides in California, it's subject to US and California Law.


Apr. 8th, 2017 10:17 am
shadowkat: (Default)
When subscribing to someone, if you want them to have access to all of your posts, locked and unlocked, please remember to grant it. It's not like Live Journal where you grant access just by friending them (ie subscription and access at the same time). They've split the two. You have to make an effort to grant both, and it can require a little bit of work. Often I've subscribed but forgotten to grant access or vice versa, and had to go back and do both.

I discovered this issue a while back, when a friend discovered she could read my posts on LJ that I was cross-posting from DW, but not on DW. I told her that we hadn't granted each other access.

So here's the deal:

Subscription = means you want to read someone's journal
Access = means that you want them to be able to read your flocked posts
shadowkat: (Default)
Just found this US Court Decision posted by Lawyers for Good Government on FB. It's inspiring.

Our country has a long and ignominious history of discriminating against our most
vulnerable and powerless. We have an equally long history, however, of brave
individuals—Dred Scott, Fred Korematsu, Linda Brown, Mildred and Richard Loving,
Edie Windsor, and Jim Obergefell, to name just a few—who refused to accept quietly the
injustices that were perpetuated against them. It is unsurprising, of course, that the burden
of confronting and remedying injustice falls on the shoulders of the oppressed. These
individuals looked to the federal courts to vindicate their claims to human dignity, but as
the names listed above make clear, the judiciary’s response has been decidedly mixed.
Today, G.G. adds his name to the list of plaintiffs whose struggle for justice has been delayed and rebuffed; as Dr. King reminded us, however, “the arc of the moral universe is
long, but it bends toward justice.” G.G.’s journey is delayed but not finished.

G.G.’s case is about much more than bathrooms. It’s about a boy asking his school
to treat him just like any other boy. It’s about protecting the rights of transgender people
in public spaces and not forcing them to exist on the margins. It’s about governmental validation of the existence and experiences of transgender people, as well
as the simple recognition of their humanity. His case is part of a larger movement that is redefining and broadening the scope of civil and human rights so that they extend to a vulnerable group that has traditionally been unrecognized, unrepresented, and unprotected.

G.G.’s plight has shown us the inequities that arise when the government organizes
society by outdated constructs like biological sex and gender. Fortunately, the law
eventually catches up to the lived facts of people; indeed, the record shows that the
4 Commonwealth of Virginia has now recorded a birth certificate for G.G. that designates
his sex as male.

G.G.’s lawsuit also has demonstrated that some entities will not protect the rights of
others unless compelled to do so. Today, hatred, intolerance, and discrimination persist —
and are sometimes even promoted — but by challenging unjust policies rooted in invidious
discrimination, G.G. takes his place among other modern-day human rights leaders who
strive to ensure that, one day, equality will prevail, and that the core dignity of every one
of our brothers and sisters is respected by lawmakers and others who wield power over
their lives. G.G. is and will be famous, and justifiably so. But he is not “famous” in the hollowed-out Hollywood sense of the term. He is famous for the reasons celebrated by the
renowned Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shehab Nye, in her extraordinary poem.Despite his youth and the formidable power of those arrayed against him at every stage of these proceedings, “[he] never forgot what [he] could do.”

And it ends with a beautiful poem by Palestine-American Poet Naomi Shehab Nye, entitled "Famous".

N. S. Nye, Famous

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
shadowkat: (Flowers and writing)
While at work, hunting places to dream of escaping too...retreats not too far away from the city limits, I hit upon this article about social media on the Kriplau Web Site.

Better is one’s own dharma, though imperfectly carried out, than the dharma of another acted out perfectly.
—Bhagavad Gita

From my hilltop home office, ideal for secluded writing time, I see birds at the feeder and late winter flakes. Though the chickadees seem friendly enough, I eventually crave human interaction. I turn to the dreaded time waster that is Facebook.

Social media sites can be informative and effective. In the time it would take me to post one flyer, I can invite 100 people to a workshop or event. For a self-employed person, this is handy. And, in the right frame of mind, it’s heartening to see what long-distance friends are up to.

I’m more likely to sign in when lonely or bored (the wrong frame of mind). I want to be distracted from myself, which inevitably pulls me in an uncomfortable direction. There is a jelly-like feeling in my gut; I am no longer grounded. Self-judgment ensues.

Yoga teachers encourage us to forego comparisons. As the Bhagavad Gita suggests, I can listen to my own calling and perform it imperfectly. But on Facebook, I see the “feet on sun lounger” post, with brilliant sea beyond, when I’ve just shoveled snow. I see the writer I admire with a stellar review in the New York Times. I feel a clench inside: Am I doing enough? Am I clever enough? Why am I not barefoot on the beach with a best-selling book to my name?

Abstaining from social media would be the healthy option, as many studies note. In one, conducted by the Happiness Research Institute, participants who refrained for a week found their “happiness rating” increased. According to the study, they were “more decisive and enthusiastic and less worried, lonely, and stressed compared to those who remained on Facebook.”

If I scroll long enough, I’ll come across a friend doing just this. “Goodbye,” she posts, tossing her bottle into the murky e-waters. I should do that, I think, and keep scrolling. I crave another dopamine hit, a small burst of pleasure to counteract the feeling of envy about the quitter’s courage. (Animal videos work well, specifically those featuring pandas or elephants.) Recent research describes dopamine as activating “seeking behavior”—causing us to desire and search. The social media vortex is the perfect place to fall into an endless dopamine loop.

I want to be more enlightened than this. I want to move beyond comparisons that lead to jealousy, an unflattering attribute. I know it’s an indicator; something brews beneath. I could look at social media exposure as a chance to test this.

I can relate. Today for instance, and that day at work...where lonely and bored...I find myself hunting solace in the belly of the social media beasts and find none. Craving connections and finding disconnection...because we often find that which mirrors our state of mind, whether or not is precisely accurate. Or at least I do.

I see the friends who haven't granted me access not the ones who have, if I'm on DW. Or I miss the posts I crave as opposed to seeking solace from the ones that are sitting within sight.

And the loneliness I'm attempting to escape descends...often I think it is loneliest in the room filled with people than in a space where only I reside. And as I reach across the oceans and time zones via my computer...I wander if I'm only leaving scant messages in bottles that will never quite hit their destinations. And if they do, will it even matter?

And the conversations in the rooms and the corridors remind one of the lyrics of an old Simon and Garfunkle song. Where people listen only to the bits of sentences...the dangling conversations that ring in the hollow spaces between.

I long for more, but it seems forever just out of reach. An airy mass, not real, and dispersed the moment I touch it.


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