Shifting Articles

I’ve gone and shifted a few of my articles from my old blog to here, and I’ve published them as per the originally posted dates. So you’ll have a bit more to read here now, and it’ll all be relevant social commentary that you’ll no doubt find absolutely riveting.

A Fascinating Look Into the Mind of a Mass Murderer

Mother Jones has an article about the motivations of the Aurora mass shooter titled 5 Chilling Pages From the Aurora Mass Shooter’s Diary Debunk a Favorite NRA Talking Point. Their main point is that it’s debunking the the NRA rhetoric that mass shooters specifically choose gun free zones for their attacks.

I’m not sure that it’s safe for MoJo to debunk this claim based on a sample size of one, but this article is worth checking out because it links scans of James Holmes’ diary. 36 pages of unadulterated psychotic bliss. The 5th page even has a large headline announcing it as “Insights into the Mind of Madness”.

It’s a fascinating read. Shame it’s missing some pages, and I’m not sure if certain pages have been left out because they were blank, irrelevant, torn out, or had sensitive information. But it’s the sort of thing that will be of interest to psychologists and historians and even writers, so if there’s more to be seen, I’m hoping it gets released.

Heathen Zine Available For Purchase

A year ago I produced a physical zine called heathen. Problem was I had never distributed it far–basically, I gave copies to a couple of friends, and then kind of sat on them since (figuratively speaking of course–you’re not going to get copies that smell like my arse unless you pay extra).

Well, now I’ve decided that I am going to push these out to the world. I was originally going to write a book, but I have so many things to say about religion that I just never seemed to ever get it done. It probably doesn’t help that I am to procrastination what Elvis is to Rock’n’Roll and cheeseburgers.

This website was part of my motivation to get my work out there, and to motivate me to actually keep writing. So here you have it. I give you access to the physical copy, the PDF copy, and the Amazon Kindle edition.

They are DRM free, and if you are really quick, you can use the coupon “BYJINGO” on my store here to get the PDF free. 10 copies are available to be claimed, and the offer expires on Friday June 5th. I’ll leave the exact timezone in which that takes effect a surprise for the reader.

If you like my ranting and raving and carrying on, then please share this around, and it’d be grand if you could leave me some glowing 5-star reviews on Amazon. 😀

Are Parking Wardens Really Evil?

An article on Stuff about talking about parking wardens in Wellington city, and indicating that they are being given quotas of 3 tickets per hour that they “have to issue”.

Let’s look at this objectively, and I say this as someone who just got a parking ticket last week (I’ll let you guess who was at fault–spoilers below).

First, I believe it’s reasonable for an employer to have some kind of performance metrics for their employees. When your employees are wandering around the streets all day and are not sitting in front of managers, team leaders, or other staff, how do you determine whether you’re getting your money’s worth? How do you stop them from spending half their day at a coffee shop, or in a video arcade, or just going home? A goodly number of people are useless bastards and if they can avoid doing work, while still getting their employers to pay them, then they’re golden. It’s a minority, sure, but those people ruin it for everyone else.

In this politically correct social climate we have to suffer, the useless bastards know that it’s hard work for an employer to fire them. It’s costly to train new people, and it’s an expensive process for employers. So if they can avoid it, and if they can find a blanket method of ensuring staff are pulling their weight, they’re surely going to favour that.

Second, I believe these metrics are probably based on what should reasonably be expected for a day’s work. I’m fairly confident that the reason those numbers are where they are, boil down to the fact that most people are self-centred, entitled wankers and can’t seem to grasp why laws should apply to them.

At one of my previous workplaces, we had carparks at the back of the building which were 24×7 tow-away areas. We had staff that were on call who needed space to park in for after-hours work. Which were quite regular. One Sunday I had a prat of an old lady park there while she did her shopping. There were signs up clear as day–even for those with poor sight–that it was a 24×7 private park. Yet here she was, figuring that because it was Sunday and she was old that she had a moral right to park there. She arrived just as the tow truck driver did, so I let her fight it out with him.

It’s not just the youth who have a skewed sense of entitlement. Perhaps she was more upset that she had been caught, or perhaps she was mad because she was going to be late to bingo–I don’t know. But she was unjustifiably ropable.

If we have parking wardens going all over the city and we can expect each of them to give out a minimum of 24 tickets a day, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s because too many people are parking illegally.

As I mentioned earlier, I got a ticket last week. We have some carparks behind work, one side is all day free (which fill up very early), and the other has a 2 hour time limit. I got in a bit late and couldn’t be arsed parking down the next block where there are more free all-day parks. I figured I’d be out within the two hours and that I’d move the car then, but I figured wrong. I got stuck in a longer meeting than normal, and then had to go take a shit, so did all that first. And when I got to the car, I had been ticketed. Congrats to me, I’m a lazy dummy. Was it the damn parking warden’s fault that I had parked illegally? No. In fact, she was still there giving out other tickets to lazy dummies, so I wished her a good day and moved my car.

Accept your ticket with some fucking grace and use that as a lesson.

It’s the same as speeding tickets. It’s not revenue gathering because they’d get no revenue if people didn’t speed. That’s how you can get them where you think it’ll hurt–stick to the speed limit, or read the posted signs that tell you how long you can park and they won’t be able to gather any revenue off you ever again.

How is that a fucking complex mathematical equation?

Western Media Helping Disseminate ISIS Propaganda

There’s a great article on AlterNet explaining how the western media are doing more to help ISIS spread their propaganda than ISIS could on their own.

I think it’s true about the trolls being helped by morons, but why do modern media outlets do this? Are they actually pushing some agenda, or could this simply be explained by a desire in a digital age to be the first ones out with a story? The early bird catches the advertising dollar.

If sucking idiots into reading stupid shit wasn’t so lucrative, I’m fairly certain the major media outlets would stop doing it. Look at how over the last year or so, more and more sites use teaser headlines. You know the sort: “I thought it was a regular banana, but what she did with it next! I’m amazed!” or “It looked like a regular fluffy bunny. OMG! I can’t believe it!” Clickbait we call them. People will click on them because they must have their curiosity sated.

Traditionally, newspapers and other publishers are used to working in a different paradigm. They’ve been used to pushing information out to their audience, but now with the net, readers pull info and they do so from global sources. By that I mean that people aren’t restricted to one daily newspaper any more. With the Internet, we have the luxury of visiting several news sites all around the world. We select which channels we want to receive, whether those are visiting sites directly, or whether we are following RSS feeds, or twitter feeds, or Facebook pages, the list goes on.

The consumer pulls news from a variety of sources, and the most interesting headlines are what will attract the most eyeballs. It’s a competition. If you’re the first on the block publishing something juicy, you will get more viewers. People will see it early and in turn they will share through their channels. More eyeballs. More visitors to your site means you are earning more from advertising revenue. So it seems that it’s preferable to post an article with minimal fact checking and maximum hype as early as possible. You can always post an apology later. Which of course means a whole lot more visits to your page, both from apologists and from those trying to figure out how genuine you really are. All of whom generate revenue.