Tag Archives: Ricky Gervais

Stark contrast

There is an old ‘expression’, The people will rally against the injustice of children, yet for the most, only if it hurts THEIR children. It is a saying that most people ignore because there is a string of pain, the realisation that the need of ‘me’ overrules the need for all. And guess what, Apple joined those ranks a while ago. We see BBC News headlines (last year) like “Ricky Gervais slams Apple over Chinese factories” and we laugh, but the pain is a lot more real than you think. There is an ignored side and there Apple does not seem to give an ‘eff’ (as long as the revenue comes in. It is there advertisement section, the one that is ‘hidden’ in games. Games that give an advertisement and that is OK, but then they take you STRAIGHT to the installation page. Where did we sign up for that? And this is not some innocent ‘barbie game’ this is how pokie and gambling sites assault the weary and the vulnerable. They take the game and the problem to a whole new level. You see, the ad is not the real issue. The issue becomes when you want to close the window and the super-small ‘X’ that closes the window is in the top left corner, and if you miss it, the excuse will be ‘We assumed you wanted the program’, but the close icon is small enough to miss it way too often.

So not only is Apple setting a stage, they are doing this in the setting of “We do not want any issues in the schools where OUR children go, we do not care about the rest” it is a stage that is speculative, but consider the impact. How many children get exposed to that part? And they are not alone, there is more and more out there coming to all of us regarding a ‘game’ named coin master. Even if it has an ad with Joan Collins. In Change dot org (and a few other places) we see messages like “I have been playing coin master for about 8 months and saved up all my coins and spins and spent a fortune on the game then one day i open up my game and the 117billion coins i had and 22,000 spins are gone , i had been reset , apparently coin master are reseting accounts with high savings which is against their own rules because they cannot tell the difference between people who play honest and the cheaters”, now this is a setting of accusation that require data and evidence and I do not have any myself. But coin master is important as it is not only vying for your cash (which is fair enough). It is combining with the ‘sentiment and acceptance’ of pokies, but what we see is not a pokie, it is a game that looks like a pokie and there we see a problem. The makers were decently brilliant, but there is a new stage, “what looks like one” is not the same as one actually is and the makers are in the clear and there is a larger station where it is happening under the noses of Apple (and a few other places), but there the stage is not protective, because it is as I paraphrased “in the schoolyard where we see no Apple employees” so no one at apple seems to care. So when we take a look at some media that give us ‘Complaint Website Flooded By Angry Coin Master Players’ we think that there is a case for action, but that article is almost 2 years old, as such they are doing something really really right or Apple just does not give a hoot (or is that hooters) about their consumers? And the stage is rapidly getting larger. Deceptive conduct (like the gardenscape ads), several ads all showing something that the game does not have, or perhaps in some obscure mini game. And the people are getting less and less choice, because the in game advertisements are seemingly not policed. 

And Apple (Facebook and Google too) needs to start acting. 

And here is the rub, we might see the complaints, yet the game was downloaded in extent to 100,000,000 times, so their app will hold what Apple might see as a remarkable advertisement magnet, and there is the problem, when an app becomes too big too fail there is every chance that the three players will not act in fear of driving people to one of the other two channels, but in the mean time your children are just in danger, because if an app (or game) like ‘Happy Color’ can spout these two advertisements, what other apps will expose your children to the dangers of gambling? 

And consider the start contrast hat Forbes is trying to give us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2021/09/04/ios-15-apple-just-revealed-a-game-changing-new-iphone-privacy-feature/) a mere 3 weeks ago. There we saw “We already knew iOS 15 would come with multiple privacy features that will further hurt the data-hungry habits of Google and Facebook. But now, Apple has just revealed that iPhone users will finally get a choice whether to enable Apple’s own personalised ads on their devices” yet, how does that fare for the in-game advertisements? The Forbes article does not bare that out and I feel decently certain that Apple (Facebook and Google too) is not willing to put the foot down there. So in the end how much danger are your children in when they play a ‘free’ app? Consider that nothing is for free and a player like Coin Master makes on average $24,000,000 a month. I did not look into the revenue of Lightning Link, but that is clearly a pokie, so it is clear gambling. The problem there is that kids might not understand the difference. So you thought EA games was pushing a setting? I think parents have bigger problems and in this Apple (Facebook and Google too) have a much bigger problem protecting the vulnerable and that is something the media seemingly tends to shy away from a little too eagerly in my books. This whilst somewhere in February this year we saw ‘Apple slapped with class action suit over gambling apps’ where we also see “according to plaintiffs, users are unable to collect actual cash in the casino games, but they do have the ability to win and therefore acquire more playing time. This system — paying money for a chance to win more playing time — allegedly violates anti-gambling laws in the 25 states at issue in the case” and that is only the US setting, Apple et al could have stopped this by blocking that stage but it seems they were eager to get more cash, so even as some would voice “The people who play, are literally paying to kill time”, it is a point of view that is fair enough in some cases, but the advertisements seen are using the little tricks to get a few more vulnerable players into their fold and that is a larger station. If there was a much larger ‘X’ in the advertisement they might have been in the clear, but they did not and moreover they take you STRAIGHT to the app installation page whilst the sentiment to do so was not there. A stage of deception a few times over and there will be a larger invoice for all the players allowing for this. In a stage where political players all over the field are gunning for their coffers these players did something really stupid, they are making it easy to gun for them and when the politicians get to use the cards ‘gambling’, ‘vulnerable people’ and ‘easy exploit’ together (optionally in one sentence), places like Apple (et al) will be handed a fine that could end up being considerably larger than the $1,200,000,000 fine they faced in march. 

These players see it as mere parking fines. The fines are tax deductible, the 100,000,000 downloads seem to validate a speculative advertisement revenue of $10,000,000 a day in just ONE APP and that is the stage, if the case only takes 2 years, the players are looking at an optional $7,000,000,000 in advertisement revenue, the people do not stand a chance to get a fair shake here, so where can they go?

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Filed under Gaming, IT, Law

Brain what?

Today I stopped (via YouTube) to watch one movie that I had not seen for some time. Who could pass up the chance to watch Natalie Wood again, in this movie with Louise Fletcher and Christoper Walken it is all about recording the brain. The movie Brainstorm (1983) is all about what is not possible and it is done well, the story takes a little dip when the military gets involved (like it was in the 80’s) but overall still an entertaining movie. I wondered what would happen if some young upstart (new director) gets to talk to a decently financed producer and makes this into a mini series for whatever streaming service takes it. A friend of mine (yes, I actually have those) wondered why I am not going that distance myself. Well, I turned 59, I am not a director, I do not feel that I would make a decent director and starting a new career as well as getting schooling at 59 is not my idea of retirement preparations. 

So as I was pondering that field we were not meant for show business, apart from the optional new anime by Ridley Scott where I am considering to do the Dutch voice over, there is no real flame to go that distance. Yet, in that same setting I was wondering the advances that Electroencephalography has made (if any), you see that is still an important part, if there is to be any real AI in computing, a better recollection and parsing systems is required and Electroencephalography might be the only technology that gives (at some point in time) a more human (or is that humane) setting towards AI. That drive could be part of the brainstorm mini series. It is not the weirdest idea, the writer Bruce Joel Rubin did make a real good script, he was also behind Ghost, Jacob’s Ladder, and Deep Impact (and a few more), as such this man has earned his stripes. But the nagging feeling that the movie left behind beckons exploring. The 80’s was a great era for loopy ideas, but not one for deeply thought through options. I reckon that these movies are all under investigation by the streaming houses as remaking IP tends to be a lot cheaper than making new IP. The fact that this movie is almost 40 years old gives it the forgotten tender group.

Yet in all this we need to wonder if this all we are, are new IP settings (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones) so rare that remaking is all we can do? There are almost 130 million books out in the open, is finding new IP that hard? The producers seem to clamp down on the bestseller lists and when the going gets tough they fold (example: Percy Jackson series), yet in all this the world has so much more to offer. It had one additional thing to offer, because my mind got the better of me. It started with me reading a part wrong ‘One idiot abroad’, this was accentuated with the slightly ‘psycho’ look of Stephen Merchant. It showed two additional people and the thought came ‘One won’t make it out alive’ and I giggled. That is a popcorn moment, it is reality TV that I would watch, especially when death becomes a factor. Consider all these celebrity survival games. We all get it, there needs to be a winner, but let’s be honest, should the losers survive? 

There is no way that you haven’t had  similar thought at some point. It is almost as corny (and perhaps essential) as letting an anti-vaxxer Twitter influencer die of Covid-19, some things are just meant to be and should that person be allowed to deprive actual victims of essential oxygen? We are setting the stage that the makers have given us and we twist that setting a little more. It is almost like walking into a bookshop and placing some of the Stephen King books ‘the Stand’ in the non-fictional section, there is a little demon on our shoulder whispering “You can do that, do not be the pussy you usually are”, and at some point we just give in.

If we are out thinking patterns, is it not equally so that intelligence will be shaped by the quirks we give into? Yet what is the stage where we record these impulses and can they actually be recorded at present? If electroencephalography is the way to that, is it not also the way towards an actual AI? If a biochemical computer can be mapped and truly be understood, is that not a first step in creating a silicon version to do something similar? Yes, I understand that they are not the same, but to get the other version working, it needs to be able or an effort needs to be made to mimic the other version, that has been true for the longest time. You see, mimicking also shows what goes wrong and when we understand, truly understand why it is going wrong, we can work towards new levels of innovation.

The path to innovation is never a straight line, only according to some person with a business degree and basic knowledge of Excel, they think it is a simple formula, but the rest, those treading innovation will tell you it is something different entirely, perhaps a new Brainstorm might reveal a lot more scientific paths than we give the art credit for.

Speaking of credits, those who follow me, let it be known that a certain counter is at 21,447, as such certain revelations will not take much longer.

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Dark Friday

There was an article last Friday. I knew it was bogus from my point of view, so I waited until the end of that event (actually this is the last day). It starts with the sub line, which gives us ‘Brands, activists and charities are questioning the annual consumer feeding frenzy‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/23/has-the-backlash-to-black-friday-already-started), it was the undertone that made me wonder and even as I knew it was from my point of view a bogus article, I waited to see how it unfurled. And behold, hallelujah, someone states the stupid part and my case is won. It is seen with: “The whole Black Friday thing is fake and customers are getting wise to it,” said FatFace boss Anthony Thompson. “Bigger brands and retailers should look very hard at what they are doing. They are damaging the high streets and local independent traders who can’t compete with these fake promotions and customers are getting ripped off.”” I am certain that Anthony is a driven ideologist towards his own brand and we cannot fault him for that. You see clothing, shoes and other temporary items dread these sales moments as it undermines their bottom dollar, they need their margins and for them Black Friday is a problem, yet it is not something fake. It has become something real, it always was real, yet now it impacts people to a much larger degree. I remember last year, I got Assassins Creed Origin with statue for well over 55% off. What was $199 was offered at that point for a mere $85, so that was a real saving. There was more at that point, and I got one or two additional things. I believe it was Nioh, with season pass and all extra’s for $24, a bargain if ever there was one. this year my budget is strapped, so I have to forego Black Sunday this year around, which is a shame, because getting yourself a nice Christmas present 4 weeks early with 50% or more off is a huge deal. That is also the impact of Black Friday; it is close to Christmas for all those people doing their Christmas shopping early. A Xbox One S for $299 (+ games) is a real deal and those who have the old Xbox, it is also a nice step up and that is beside the point that the slimline Colgate white One S is actually really pretty to see, there is no denying that. Loads of places give 20% of TV’s, Camera’s and laptops, so at that point getting the device that is on its last legs a quick replacement is a good option to have.

Nothing fake about this moment and we all need it, even as some people are in denial (especially Anthony Thompson), most of us have too small a budget, we cannot afford to get the nice things as the cost of living all over the world keeps on going up and there is less cash to go around for other things. At that point the Black Friday is a blessing. Especially for parents, most kids desire a console, or perhaps a new mobile. At that point 20% makes a dent in that bill and even as some parents give the present early stating no bog presents at Christmas, for these kids Christmas came early and they are all so happy. It also applies to adults, especially when we take a look at Applewear and Fitbit deals, there were plenty.

Yet there is nothing fake about other venues either. When I see: “The Charities Aid Foundation is backing the UK’s efforts for global charity event Giving Tuesday on 27 November, which encourages people to do something for – or give something to – a charity they care about. Celebrities including blogger and Strictly Come Dancing participant Joe Sugg, Ricky Gervais and Martin Lewis are supporting the day which last year raised £213m online alone around the world” I see that there is reason to look in other directions too. I am a little amazed that there was no union. How would it be if a store on the Black Friday announces that any sale under $109 adds 50 cents to that charity and over $109 the send $1 that way. It could effectively add millions to such causes and that would be a reason to embrace Black Friday even more. Knowing that I was looking forward to this black Friday hoping that there was some cash left, I would not have whinged at the extra $1, even with a purchase of $85, the saving was already awesome and the extra dollar would not have dented it. So when I see this article, is it really about a missed opportunity for charities, or were some of the people at Charities Aid Foundation negligent to see if a deal could have been made with the thousands of retailers for those few extra coins for every visitor? There was even the chance that some of them would have been willing to add it that little extra to every deal they had, even more money lost out on.

There is a similar issue with the opinion piece by Stuart Jeffries where we see: ‘I’ve discovered the Joy of Missing Out. Black Friday isn’t for me‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/23/black-friday-joy-of-missing-out) an be seen in more than one way. Apart from the sensation of ‘Missing Out’ which tends to be a negative one. Like many other men, I do not really warm up to 50% fashion sales, unless I am in dire need of Jeans, Cargo Pants, Polo shirts or something like that. He takes us to an advertisement with: “Take the ad starring Martin Freeman for a mobile phone company. His train carriage is filled with boneheads staring into their handsets; even in the loo he finds the guard furtively watching something on his phone when he should be checking tickets. “What is wrong with you!” Freeman yells. And then a beat, before he realises that what’s wrong is him. He doesn’t have a two-year data deal to get unmissable TV, music, movies and sport promised in the voiceover. Freeman winces – and there it is, Fomo in the face“. I personally believe that contracts are for the most not a spur of the moment thing. They are long lasting and even as I had a great deal 2 years ago where I got an additional 200GB for $50 (considering that any gig over quota gets rewarded with $10 to the bill, $50 is a steal any given day. We need to think long term when we sign up to those deals. It will impact long term, yet getting a console, a game, movies or perhaps even a TV is a short term impact and 30% of a 65” 4K TV is actual money for savings. These are things you do not normally buy, so getting them in January or February when all the sales are on is the time to get them, now Black Friday changed that by offering a similar deal just before Christmas and people are getting in line a year ahead to see what else is getting the large write-off. We have to as it is almost the only moment when we have the option to spend cash on something we normally cannot afford. It is at that point that we see that the article was stupid, hollow and misguided, especially when we realise the ‘customers are getting ripped off‘, how is 20%-30% discount ripping of customers?

As for the entire Charities Aid Foundation, we see another path, perhaps it was taken; I do not know that part. Yet the entire setting where I give the option of $1 (or £1) per sale and 50% of that if the amount was small would have made an extra mountain of cash for Charities Aid Foundation. Was that path taken? I guess not, but that would be speculation. From my point of view, even cash strapped when you gain (in my personal example) 114 coins of profit, handing one over to charity seems perfectly normal and it would be given when the savings were really nice, the impact would have been marginalised to zero. Not everyone can do this, but the bulk can and in that I do not see a ‘backlash to Black Friday‘, I merely see a ‘missed opportunity for the Charities Aid Foundation‘ and of course all other charities trying to get a few extra coins on November 27th. As I see it, giving Tuesday could have started early, optionally giving the premise for people to give one more coin on Tuesday too, so how much will be missed out on as we whinge in one direction whilst we all know that there are more and more people depending on this point in time to get something essential, something the budget does not allow for?

It is in that trend that I always look forward to Christmas dinner on December 27th when all the supermarkets are pricing their Turkeys and hams down by 60% or more, December 25th is merely 0.273% of a year. When you can do that (most atheists and agnostics can) does it really matter when you have an abundance of food as a meal? whether I do or do not does not matter, when our lives are set to strapping for a budget we look towards what the opportunities give us and it seems to me that for several players Black Friday ended up being a missed opportunity. I wonder if that book ‘The Joy of Missing Out: The Art of Self-Restraint in an Age of Excess‘ by professor Svend Brinkmann takes into consideration the timing of maximising one’s budget, and as it goes on sale in March 2019, at a time when there might still be book sales going on, so we can find out then.

I am curious, merely because the list of people getting to live a life of excess is actually dwindling down. Even as incomes are not the worst, some groceries (especially meat) went up by 12% last month, and when you consider that budgets are tight, 12% has an actual impact on people, especially in places like meat & milk, items most of us need on a daily basis.

Budgeting is becoming an art for many families and for them Black Friday is becoming an opportunity to put a dent in what is needed versus available funds, nothing to miss out on. So if we see the Charities Aid Foundation using next Black Friday to give a ramp towards Giving Tuesday, I would happily hand over those extra coins if I am able to participate in the Black Friday deal, we will see what happens on Black Friday 2019.

This is merely my view on the matter, feel free to oppose it.

 

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Filed under Finance, Gaming, Media

Values of insanity

I need to revisit my last article ‘Evolving our lives’, not the article itself, I thought it was a decent article and I stand by what I write. It is the massive absence of visibility that I see in the press that is so overwhelming, that it makes me wonder what on earth is going on.

You see, the fact that someone hacked the phone of Jennifer Lawrence is ‘great’ news. It had several pages of links of all shapes and sizes. I feel for Jennifer, I am happy that she is taking a stand and I hope her lawyer gets to take the hacker and his family to the cleaners for the next 5 generations.

The statement from her attorney Lawrence Shire is quite clear “This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible” (source: Perez Hilton at http://perezhilton.com/cocoperez/2014-09-02-kate-upton-leaked-nude-photos-addresses-statement).

My issue is not with Jenifer, as I stated I do feel for her. It is the LA Times (and many other US newspapers) that I am having an issue with. The LA Times who published only 10 hours ago: “After illegally obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses were made public Sunday, the FBI is on the case — and so is Lena Dunham“.

It is interesting that the FBI is all about the famous, yet, as it is portrayed Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and a few others, who seem to be the object of extreme hatred and this visibility, remains mostly absent.

Now, I do not agree with some of the views Anita Sarkeesian had, especially in her video ‘Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)’, she is entitled to this view. She does bring in several cases a correct view, but again the fact that the view of the Darkness 2 is pretty much how the comic depiction is was not stated. Also is not stated that the prostitutes in Assassins Creed 2 and Assassins Creed 2 brotherhood were a weapon for Ezio Auditore to kill from hiding and to remain unseen. There is more than just a game here and courtesans were a reality in that era in Italy.

Consider the following historical fact “The Venetian authorities became concerned that it was impossible to distinguish between courtesans and respectable women. Rules drawn up in 1543 determined what the courtesans could wear” and “There was a red light district in Venice but there were also courtesans who were less obvious. They were educated prostitutes who were refined and well dressed and serviced the social elite“. This is how reality was. There is no real defence from me, for the most Anita Sarkeesian gives a truthful view, even though that view is not giving the whole picture. The same she does with watchdogs, where not just women, but also men are the target, yet her reasoning does hold water. In addition, the issues as shown in Far Cry 3 are not unknown (at http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21586575-laws-punish-domestic-violence-are-too-often-honoured-breach-everyday-aggression) the economist and many others show that there is an abundance of violence against women. This does not make it okay, but it is a reality we are all still fighting against. The economist states “it is a slow process“, I personally think is “a much too slow process“. There have been several views by many people that things have to change and I personally believe that Anita Sarkeesian should be allowed to voice these issues in safety and whilst not getting harassed.

My issues only partially against that view is that Bethesda (Fallout, Fallout New Vegas, Oblivion, Skyrim) and Lionhead studios (Fable series) and Electronic Arts (Mass Effect series) offer the option of creating a main female character, that part she left out. In addition, Female Shepard from the Mass Effect series is just as deadly as the male one. Yet, I admit these seem to be exceptions.

As Anita and Zoe are real people, why is their safety not more strongly advocated? Anita Sarkeesian’s dangers made the Washington post, yet it seems that these people (both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn) seem to have escaped the view of the bulk of all American Newspapers. An Indie game developer stood up for her, his name is Phil Fish. When I looked for more info, I found this description on some Wiki page “Phil Fish (Powerword: Jacques Paul Philippe Poisson) is a shitty video game designer who received immense praise following his creation of a Super Paper Mario rip-off called “Fez”. A filthy hipster, Fish is widely reviled on the internet mostly because he’s a douche and a drama whore. He’s also French Canadian, which goes a long way towards explaining why he’s such a stuck-up narcissistic twat“. The hatred spilt all over several sites is unbelievable, now, perhaps the man has an ego issue, I do not know, because I do not know the man, yet his quote in support for Zoe Quinn drove a level of hatred that is beyond belief.

Let’s get back to the issues involving women.

There is an anti-women group in gaming wave going on that seems to be utterly unparalleled and is far beyond any normal dimensions. I have no idea how repugnant something called ‘the Daily Caller‘ is. Yet consider the issue. A model named Kate Upton, her phone was hacked and we see this “So What Does Rep. Fred Upton Think About Kate Upton’s Hacked Nude Photos?“, which intros as: “Michigan U.S. Congressman Fred Upton is staying personally silent on the weekend hacking and posting of nude pictures belonging to his niece, model and actress Kate Upton“, so the man is her uncle and he is asked to give his view on his naked niece? How sick is this reporter? This was not some photo-shoot in Playboy and Penthouse, no this was the violation of her privacy and many are making ‘light reporting’ of it all. This is a side that Anita Sarkeesian seemed to have missed in her article, it is not just the gaming image but the press is to some extent glorifying this! Is it such a wild assumption that this is bringing a new low level of cyber-paparazzi? I wonder how much money lawyer Lawrence Shire could get and how much publications will bring in revenue on this matter. This is not about objectifying women, this all reads as a chauvinist tactic ‘to keep women in their place‘, which, if true is a crime as heinous as the acts Pol Pot’s killing of well over a million people. Does anyone remember the Killing Fields or did you all forget that massacre?

The victims are given this response “After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions“, so if there is a targeted attack, where did it come from? We get back to the basic need of a secure internet. The system has been built on such levels of ‘convenience’ for speed, that the entire issue of security seems to have been ignored to some degree (a targeted attack that becomes a successful transgression is one that requires investigation). You see, if we accept that any system can be transgressed upon, that it stands to reason that a clear market for the wealthier client is required. Consider the news that the US president was not allowed to have an iPhone and we read “explaining why he is sometimes seen with a bulky super secure Blackberry“, why are the personal assistants of both Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton not looking into that field? Yet, are these not new values of insanity?

Why should any woman need these additional levels of protection from criminals like these? It all goes back to the issue of non-accountability. People can do whatever they like and no one will be there to stop them. If we see the years of publications and the years of recorded issues on Domestic violence, we see an utterly flaccid legal system with too little actual results. The internet is just a new iteration of inaction.

Yes, the FBI is looking into this, yet how long until these women see results? How long until Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian can go home in relative safety for using their right to free speech? How long until the international press will take these issues and goes for real coverage of the issue, and not in some feigned opposition view as we saw in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/01/how-to-attack-a-woman-who-works-in-video-games) with text like “So, for those out there who have decided to join in and harass a woman developer or critic out of the games business, this is how you do it“.

Did the Guardian print the following in their papers: “If you want to take a good honest look at the breasts of Jennifer Lawrence and perhaps more, this is how you hack the phone“? Oddly, that is not what was printed, so why these two values? Yes, I know that the piece of Zoe Quinn was in sarcasm against the harasser, but I think it missed the point, especially as there is an abundance of non-journalistic sources burning her, whilst only the Guardian gave her any (but debatable) visibility. Is this the realistic view of Anita Sarkeesian view that women are objectified, yet now in a very real way?

Moving forward

I hope that Lawrence Shire might be willing to place a few calls and get a group of real journalists into the plight of both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, possible with Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton standing next to them. You see, I think that this is all linked to a much bigger problem, if the threat to both Quinn and Sarkeesian is unreal, then people have a right to know, but if the threat is real then ignoring the threat is no less criminal then what the hackers are trying to publish. All this whilst the media is just printing the names that will improve their circulation, so in their view, the lives of Quinn and Sarkeesian have no value and are ignored.

I will accept that a Hollywood star is news, however, within the last 15 minutes as I was writing this last night speculations regarding Jennifer Lawrence grew by 12 pages, not one fact on either Quinn or Sarkeesian by any reputable source was added. This is not life in the fast lane, this is ‘garbage in the junk lane‘ and too many who should be vocal, remain silent.

The responses

Emma Watson’s response on Twitter is perhaps the clearest “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy“. Yet, I am personally not certain whether she is correct; when the by-line from the Independent ends with ‘Poor Jay Law!‘ which was read by another woman in a tone of ‘ah well’ we can safely state that the matter is a whole lot worse. The tweet from Ricky Gervais, although badly received is deeper than some realise “Celebrities, make it harder for people to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer“, which might read as “When you are famous, you have no inherent rights of ANY kind, which means that either you pose naked for the press at large or someone will get those shots for them“.

Which gives us the unjust consideration “Breasts and genitals are coin, coin is essential, you are only temporary!” Whether Ricky Gervais was actively trying to state this, or “The only safe nude of you is no nude of you!” is up to Ricky Gervais, but I hope that my way of stating this all shows that the dangers women at large face (famous and non-famous alike) seems to be escalating. The view that “Domestic or partner violence is a global concern. Worldwide 30% of partnered women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime” is not a figment of anyone’s imagination, yet the fact that women overwhelmingly do not report these issues and only a fraction of the reported issues are successfully prosecuted remains a fact. This all links to all the issues we saw earlier.

There is an implied inherent air of ignoring, not prosecuting and persecuting these offences, yet overall these issues are more and more visible. I do personally disagree with my previous statement, yet consider the amount of registered domestic violence occurrences and how many of them were successfully prosecuted? Here I do not blame the police; it seems to me that at times their hands are tied even more than those of the victim. Consider the quote from the less likely reporting instance (the Daily Mail). “Domestic abuse prosecutions more than doubled from 35,000 in 2005 to 74,000 in 2010, and the conviction rate increased from 46 per cent to 72 per cent“, yet as we have seen from several sources like the CPS we see: “Nearly 1 million women experience at least one incident of domestic abuse each year (2009/10 British Crime Survey data: http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs10/hosb1210.pdf as reported in latest cross-government VAWG strategy http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/call-end-violence-women-girls/vawg-paper?view=Binary)“, so in 2010 we still see that less than 10% makes it to court, for whatever reason, so that 72% is not a victory it is nothing less than a joke on a massive failure in my view.

That what follows!

For some reason the NSA has an abundance of data, yet women remain in fear of life, we see that consultants and federal agents are looking into the mailbox and pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, yet no progress has been made. You see, something does not add up, when you target 101 celebrities, it means that you are trying to invade 101 secured accounts, now, it might be possible to get ‘easy’ access to some of them, but 101 targets gives the FBI a place to hunt, this is another question that boggles me and I do have a postgraduate degree in this area. Yes, I know that there is plenty of technology around, but in all these issues, traffic needs to occur and specific points were accessed. How did Perez Hilton get her pictures so fast? Was his ‘apology’ sincere? Was he used or was he the go between so that the global press knows that they are truly out there and for sale?

I do not have the answers, yet, here we see again a press driven value of insanity and let us be honest, at present there is no end in sight and too many women are currently in the firing line, not a firing line of Misogyny, but one of Inaestimabilis (non-English for worthlessness), which is a much more dangerous notion, because hatred can be fought, yet if a population at large deem a group to be without value, then we as humanity will have truly become a failure.

Should you consider me wrong (which is forever a valid consideration) then answer the following questions for yourself:

  1. In the US the following numbers were published by the Huffington post: “Number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,614: Number of women, in the same period, killed as the result of domestic violence in the US: 11,766“, now make a 1% list, so make a list naming 66 dead soldiers and naming 117 women killed through domestic violence. How long did it take to make either list?
  2. The following two facts come from Steve Stewart, Prosecuting Attorney, Clark County, Indiana. Namely “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (“Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)” and “There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990)” Now, these numbers are a little old, but even then a dog was more than twice as likely to receive safety and treatment than an abused woman.

Where to go next? Well, that is as ever a good question and I am honestly not certain. In my view, placing these issues in the light and coverage by all papers it needs to have is an absolute first. I also think that the US Congress needs to think this through to a larger extent, they should consider that as UK and Australian law is a little better in protecting privacy they should consider the consequence of these women, packing up for a large part of the year and move to Sydney Australia (or London). These places have the same exotic shopping places and they are more likely to enjoy privacy away from the US, how would congress react when the Hollywood top feels safer outside the US and ends up spending their millions outside of the US? I wonder if Governor Jerry Brown truly considered the dangers that the lacking and hacking safety of women will bring him (and the state of California).

 

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