The last weeks have been intense in many ways. So let’s get into detail.

Weaponizing cat GIFs

My family is big. At one point I had around 12 uncles and aunts. With their SOs and children, dogs, hobbies and all the rest. One of my aunts decided to create a whatsapp group and she added the whole bunch to it. It was a good idea. Family matters more than pretty much anything else. However there’s a catch. Given the limitted topics that can be discussed in such a narrow group of people [1], this conversation tends to follow some predictable patterns:

  • They send pictures of their children.
  • Weather comments are encouraged.
  • Random meme forwarding, mainly covering local politics are, ermh, tolerated.

And. Well, I think I get it. But this group lacked my voice. What can I say? In Warsaw the weather is nice? Or, I solved an issue in a massive entity framework codebase? Nah, not really. It’s a weird position to be in. I want to take part. But I don’t believe I have any reasonable input to these people. And then, … everything became obvious. Let’s use the hive mind, let’s … become the interneCs. And there’s just one way of doing so. By sending cat GIFs.

And this is what I learnt: you can stop any conversation in any digital media by a well placed cat GIF. Simple. Effective. Evil. And this deserves some deeper analysis. By doing so, are we improving the world? [2] Well, perhaps; who am I to answer such a deep question. What I know for sure is that it works. When they know that any BS is going to be answered with some brief movie of a cat doing catty things, somehow they loss some of their motivation. And this makes everyone lives a little bit better.

The dark ones

For the last 2 years I’ve been following the US campuses news with interest.

You must understand that I spent my university years in a tech institute. 95% boys. No beer allowed in the campus at all. It was just us, and advanced calculus. During that time I grow completely dettached of anything human[3]. Only the machine was relevant. What will it compute? What’s the intent of this piece of code? What are we trying to achieve?

During those years, I never, and I mean it, I never thought about the lack of ladies. It was the situatcja. It was reality, nothing you could argue with. 15 years after that I was hired by DICE and a new period just opened. There, the situation was different. The lady proportion was higher (but not by much)

And here is when everything started.

I was introduced to the world of the Politically Corret[5]. It was, and it is, a battle on language. Reality morphs. Timeless concepts are no longer valid. What you believed it was reasonable it’s now dead, unreasonable and bigoted. And that, … that was a shock. But … what the hell was happening?

  • Knwoledge evolves, get up with times.

This is true. I guess. Dunno. We’re just newcomers in this life race[4]. But the problem with language is that any change propossed to it is a blatant challenge on the individual conception of the world. Through this lense, accepting new terms is not exactly a cheap matter.

On the other hand, as we advance and get a more nuanced vision on everyday issues, the appearance of new words is, in essence, unavoidable.

  • Agendas, everywhere.

And here comes the problem. When you’re exposed to a new wording of a known fenomena. What’s happening? Well, in my view the problem arises with the intent of the person that is introducing this new concept. A reasonable question to ask is “what’s the intent of this individual?”. And here is where everything comes apart.

  1. The issue with feelings/awareness.
    And here is where my problem begins. I guess. But, how much data do they contain? And, again, the answer is “not much” really. More in the future.

  2. Working with new facts:
    This is the real double whammy.
    When facing new realities there is no darkness is just[6] us and the new reality. It’s painful. But at the end of the day, better for everyone. But, my question here is: how often can a new fact be uncovered? Because my intuition is that this could happen only on particularly extreme cases. In this light I tend to revert to case 1.

Smurfling songs

A couple years ago, during Christmas. In a strange Saturday morning mood. I decide to make the best kind of present to my close friends: a smurfled version of a particularly sexist song from the Spanish 60s:

  1. Mainly for civil reasons. I mean, everyone has that weird-brother in law. And I’m not different that anyone, that’s for sure.
  2. I discovered a couple years ago that the vast majority of the rethorical questions are supposed to be answered “no”.
  3. Yes, it was like become a SEAL but with an HP Unix mainframe.
  4. A reference to the red queen race, btw.
  5. At that time I discovered the idea of “feelings” in discourse.
  6. Me.