How it feels to be appropriated (and what that tells us about intellectual property)

Saturday 2014-04-19 17:00 -07:00

from the yoink dept.

Maori Jesus
Maori Jesus
Titaniumdreads (Flickr)

A couple years ago, a friend with whom I’d been working on a screenplay cut me out and ran off with the work, modifying it extensively in the process. It became a mild success, but not before making me feel like crap.

I’m not writing to bury my former friend — indeed, I waited almost twelve months before writing about it, so I could be sure I didn’t leak revenge. But I do need to talk about how it affected my life.

Transgender is a transhumanism is a technology

Sunday 2014-03-09 17:00 -07:00

from the silence=death dept.

My partner might be upset with me for writing this post, but that’s the point.

I’m in the awkward position of having broadened the focus of my blog to the point where it necessarily includes topics that are difficult for me to address without at least delineating where I’m coming from. As you have probably worked out from my portfolio and headshot is that I am indeed trans, aka transsexual, aka transgender.

I’ve been avoiding discussing this part of my identity for two reasons. One is obviously that you tend to lose non-trans readers when you bring up trans issues. The second is that I feel I should be able to talk about technology ethics and transhumanism without leaning on personal experience.

However, I’ve discovered that many of my positions on technology are shot through with my personal experience. The metaphors and examples I reach for can only be my own. The only way to remain a writer and stay silent on trans issues would be to indulge in what the powers that be now euphemistically call ‘parallel construction’, i.e. lying. And that turns my stomach even more than the fear.

Moreover, while I am still concerned with what potential employers might think of me, I would want to work for someone that puts the courage to have difficult conversations ahead of both expediency and face-saving. And that’s the choice I make by not covering or lying about my identity.

Pluses and Minuses

Tuesday 2014-03-04 11:16 -08:00

from the sitting-in-dark-with-lights-out-is-boring dept.

Girl wearing Anonymous mask
Girl wearing Anonymous mask, ACTA protest, Toulouse, Feb 11, 2012.
Pierre-Selim, for Wikimedia Commons. CC Attribution Sharealike 3.0 Unported

About two months ago, I deleted my Google Plus profile. It was shortly after Google tied G+ to YouTube.

I’m still extremely wary of social networks, especially post-Snowden. However, I’m a writer, and I need to be read. I have decided to reengage with Google Plus for the same reason I deal with publishers and venues: I want exposure. I resent that every Google service is now a gateway product for Google Plus, which in turn profits from the information it collects, but the same could be set for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr/Yahoo, or nearly any other number of free online services.

Yes, this is selling out. But it’s the kind of baseline selling out required to get your foot in the door, to exist. And I am willing to make that trade.