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Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site

Full of schadenfreude if you are a fan of:
- marital fidelity
- recognizing scams
- responsible database management

Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site


An Open Letter to the Governor of Indiana

3 min read

Dear Governor Pence,

has not been doing great in the media lately. First Pawnee had to merge with Eagleton1, then the Mole Women emerged from Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s bunker.

In all seriousness, I would be glad to have those issues. They are preferable to the reality of transitioning from an HIV outbreak to legalizing discrimination by religious organizations.

There is no getting around it - this is about discrimination. No matter how many times you tell us it is not, you also won’t just say you are against the discrimination of LGBT people. Pretty sure Stephanopolous is not known for hard-hitting journalism, Mike. He was putting a softball on a tee for you, and you struck out.

Can you think of another reason a business would need “free exercise of religion”? Or that it would need to use that new-found religion as a defense in civil litigation? You have had several months to think of some examples. I’ve tried for a few days, and I am coming up empty. Maybe if it actually was the same as the federal RFRA, which has been falsely claimed by several conservative news outlets, this would be easier.

I have been an Indiana resident since I was in elementary school. It makes me glad that this kind of skulduggery2 is coming to light, because there is always the small hope that the attention will help the problem. Now the CEO of the richest company in America, Parks and Rec’s own Nick Offerman (and Jeff Tweedy), and your predecessor are all throwing you under the bus. I know if there is one thing you guys like more than religion, it is capitalism.

But if the past is any indicator, things probably won’t change. I’m not sure if it is the cause or the effect, but smart, (even mildly) progressive people have been leaving the state for decades. Little, trying-to-be-subtle moves like this are the reason. This policy is only driving more people out of the economic ghost town that is (northern) Indiana.

Please don’t make us form a religion3 and sue you, which we are now allowed to do under your law, which does not define what a religion is.

Good luck with reelection,
Your constituency

  1. It was honestly hard to find something negative that happened to Indiana in that show. Which makes this even more disappointing - it is like you are correcting the show, saying “No, it’s ok, we’re actually assholes.”
  2. Awesome word. Should be used more often.
  3. Our first commandment is “don’t be an asshole.” To inject some of the founder’s personal bias into it, our second commandment is “Notre Dame sucks.”


The Internet as a Megaphone

3 min read

We live in exciting, sometimes terrifying times. It has become fashionable to carry a device on your person at all times with more computing power than NASA's Apollo command center. Products raise millions of dollars to essentially communicate with that smart device from several feet away. The most popular uses of of these mobile devices are to shoot round birds with a slingshot at makeshift towers built by pigs, and to broadcast any minute detail that pops up in the ol' brain bucket. Broad new horizons.

However, users of these devices (and the services they enable) bring with them horizons that are neither broad nor new. Certain , previously ignored and subsequently rendered powerless, now have the means to broadcast globally and connect like-minded individuals regardless of geographic location. This message amplification has the ability to force society to progress with great strides, as with the LGBT community. But for some reason, the net-positive effect does not happen with everyone. The most recent instance of this is Gamergate.

In years past, I might have identified myself as a gamer. In the sense that "I enjoy and often play video games in my free time", it is an accurate descriptor to this day. After the past few months, I would be reluctant to identify myself this way. If you have successfully avoided any Gamergate news up to this point, good on you. Keep it up. If you feel like being sad about life, read this summary from Newsweek with actual Twitter statistics, or this in-depth summary about the implications of this type of movement.

Upon further research, this seems like a deeper cultural issue, unrelated to . I would say it is an American issue, but it is likely present elsewhere too. Kathy Sierra, a prominent tech figure, has now had to essentially leave the internet for the second time in less than 10 years. Before that, several private personal pictures of celebrities were leaked, of which there was a single male (and he was collateral damage, as he was dating one of the targeted female celebrities). Even before that, dumb old white guys were talking (seemingly sincerely) about "legitimate rape" in congressional election coverage. The megaphone created by our newly-connected society seems to have pretty terrible opinions about on an alarmingly consistent basis.

TL;DR The only way I know how to help is to write about it. I will be a parent soon. It scares me to think that the difficulty of that kid's life will be so greatly affected by a single genetic coin-toss.