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#Gamergate, as we know it now, is a hate group.

I do not say this to make the people of #Gamergate seem any more important, or effective, or powerful, or to give any sort of new credence to their ideas. Rather, this is just a structural designation: as immediately dismissible as their tactics and stances might be (at least to anyone who has not become victim to them), I believe it's important to note that group was formed like a hate group and functions like a hate group in every way.
Social researcher Jennifer Allaway examines the ways in which #GamerGate functions as a hate group, using a 2004 study by Linda Woolf and Michale Hulsizer called Hate Groups for Dummies: How to Build a Successful Hate Group as her framework. In it, she identifies four essential elements to any hate group:

  • the leadership which originally inspired the movement,
  • the recruitment strategy it uses to appeal to insecure and impressionable gamers,
  • the social-psychological techniques by which it spreads its message and enflames its members' beliefs,
  • and, finally, the process by which it dehumanizes its victims, and turns them into targets whose attacking earns group praise.
    posted by rorgy on Oct 13 at 8:42 PM - 1303 comments

    I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their boedgas

    Last Week, Buzzfeed posted "110 Reasons Why You Should Never Leave New York City," which is somehow even more vapid than you'd expect it to be. Today, Brooklyn Magazine reviewed the list, and offered some feedback.
    posted by schmod on Oct 20 at 2:13 PM - 71 comments

    I also check my skeletons twice. You can never be too careful.

    I waited silently for her to explain that the female pelvis is shaped slightly differently from the male’s, with a larger opening for childbearing. That part was the giveaway. The real purpose of the exercise was to make her prove her conjecture with measurements--to translate the theory to practice. I also wanted her to explain why this sexual dimorphism--that is, this sexually determined physical difference--is not nearly so pronounced in nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees.

    She spoke: Males have one fewer pair of ribs than females.
    When teacher Robert S. Root-Bernstein got this answer to his question on how you should distinguish between male and female skeletons, he had to find a way to make her realise her error without disparaging her religion.
    posted by MartinWisse on Oct 20 at 3:12 AM - 240 comments

    Streaming Music Has Left Me Adrift

    Like blasted pecs or a little rhinestone flag pin, esoteric taste in music is an indicator of values. Under the heel of the major-label system in the early ’90s, indie taste meant more than liking weird bands. To care about obscure bands was to reject the perceived conformity of popular culture, to demand a more nuanced reading of the human experience than Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” and therefore to assert a certain kind of life. That assertion was central to my identity as a young adult, and I found that people who shared it were more likely to agree with me on seemingly unrelated issues. Like all aesthetics, taste in music is a worldview.
    posted by josher71 on Oct 20 at 7:53 AM - 117 comments

    When you meet a stranger, look at his shoes.

    The Rise Of Men’s British-Made Shoes
    The most famous Northampton technique is the 'Goodyear welted' shoe. Invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear, Jr., the Goodyear welted process is the footwear equivalent of the off-side rule: until somebody sits you down and talks you through it, it’s quite hard to understand.

    The process involves approximately 75 components and 200 separate operations. On average, the whole process, from start to finish, takes eight weeks to complete. The main benefit of footwear that is made using Goodyear welted construction is that it can be resoled repeatedly, giving the shoe a longer lifespan.
    posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 20 at 5:15 PM - 5 comments

    UnScientific American

    Things happen. "Psychic" events mainly take place in dramatic and family-based situations. Not in a lab. Here is one example. [more inside]
    posted by kozad on Oct 18 at 8:59 PM - 213 comments

    Sandtable

    ARES is a new tabletop wargame technology by the US Army. STTC briefing. Article. A modern take on one of the oldest forms of simulation: drawing stuff in the ground with a stick. Gary Gygax had a sandtable in his basement when creating D&D in the 70s, here's some recent pics of it.
    posted by stbalbach on Oct 20 at 3:12 PM - 13 comments

    I know who you are and I saw what you did.

    How secure is public wi-fi? A lot less than you probably imagine.
    posted by Obscure Reference on Oct 20 at 11:13 AM - 40 comments

    Cubist Reggae

    Cubist Reggae. From the mind of Aaron Funk, aka Venetian Snares, comes an EP of sharply angular, yet weirdly chill, grooves, all in a variety of unusual time signatures (7/4, 5/4, 15/8, and 21/16).
    posted by rorgy on Oct 19 at 10:08 PM - 16 comments

    It's time...

    Gough Whitlam, the progressive Labor prime minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975, has died aged 98. [more inside]
    posted by acb on Oct 20 at 2:47 PM - 19 comments

    "Their mothers were distant cousins long estranged..."

    Exquisite Corpse [New York Times]
    Taking their cue from the Surrealist parlor game, 15 renowned authors take turns contributing to an original short story.
    [more inside]
    posted by Fizz on Oct 20 at 1:08 PM - 6 comments

    'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic

    When a bad review of her first novel appeared online, Kathleen Hale was warned not to respond. But she soon found herself wading in (The Guardian)
    posted by Quilford on Oct 18 at 7:35 AM - 108 comments

    Rick Was Here, a short film on the NYU dorm room where Def Jam started

    30 years ago, Rick Ruben was a college student, living in NYU's Weinstein Residence Hall, room #712. It was there that Def Jam Records was formed, shifting the focus of hip-hop from the MCs to promote the DJs, too. Ruben and his label quickly outgrew the dorm, and he hasn't been back since. Recently he returned, and the adventure was captured and put into context by Rolling Stone Film's mini-documentary, Rick Was Here. New footage rolls alongside old, with some animations to bring a few audio-only stories to life. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief on Oct 20 at 2:55 PM - 8 comments

    They are, once again, your Joey Ramone

    On October 21, Sub-Pop will be releasing Get Up, a vinyl box set of remastered versions of Sleater-Kinney's discography. Included with the expected content was a 7" labeled 1/20/15 containing a new song. Titled "Bury Your Friends", it can be streamed at Consequence of Sound. Plugged into Shazam, the song gives you the cover art for an as-yet non-extant album, No Cities To Love. The band has officially let the cat out of the bag, and reunion tour dates are on their website.
    posted by Going To Maine on Oct 20 at 5:26 AM - 51 comments

    She says I’m always “Apollo 13 this” and “Lunokhod that”

    Tom Hanks, somewhat of an authority on going to the moon, wrote about it in The New Yorker. (You, too, can write like Tom Hanks!)
    posted by emelenjr on Oct 20 at 6:44 AM - 18 comments

    Crack, the CIA, and the Contras

    In 1996, Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News exposed a shocking series of facts: that the CIA and the Reagan administration were covertly funding the Contras in Nicaragua by aiding and abetting the flow of crack cocaine to America, particularly inflicting terrible damage on inner-city black communities. In response, the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times all began vicious campaigns to attack and discredit Webb. Although Webb was later vindicated by a CIA Inspector General report among other things, the damage was done, and the story still has an air of obfuscation and confusion around it. Along with the release of a new documentary, Freeway: Crack in the System, as well as a feature film starring Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, Kill the Messenger, key figures in the CIA-crack cocaine scandal are beginning to come forward. Could this be the start of a renewed exploration of the government's complicity in the rise of crack in America?
    posted by naju on Oct 13 at 7:34 AM - 92 comments

    Buy now, pay forever

    Continuing the exposure of how "being poor is expensive," the Washington Post takes a look at rent-to-own purchases in its article, Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa. [more inside]
    posted by fireoyster on Oct 17 at 7:22 PM - 116 comments

    And the lunatics yelling at the moon!

    In early March of this year, the New York City Philharmonic staged what initially seemed like a restrained concert of Stephen Sondheim's musical “Sweeney Todd.” Per the New York Times review : "The director, Lonny Price, started the evening with a wink toward the formalities of classical concertizing, as the cast of principals lined up in front of music stands at the lip of the stage, clad in tuxedos and staid dresses, binders in hand, as if they were about to sing a little Schubert. Oh dear." But then . . . [more inside]
    posted by bibliowench on Oct 20 at 1:57 PM - 26 comments

    Why War?

    It's a question Americans should be asking. Professor in the history department at West Point, Gregory A. Daddis, explores the changing utility of war in the post WWII environment. 'As the United States charges once more into war, little debate has centered on the actual utility of war. Instead, policymakers and pundits have focused their comments on combating the latest danger to our nation and its interests as posed by Islamic State militants.' 'For well over a decade — one might suggest over multiple decades — the United States has been engaged in war, yet so few in the public sphere seem willing to ask, as a Vietnam-era hit song did: “War, what is it good for?” It seems plausible to argue that war is a phenomenon increasingly serving itself rather than any durable political goals.' [more inside]
    posted by VikingSword on Oct 4 at 1:33 PM - 277 comments

    You'll hear of a wife murdered before you hear another one come forward.

    Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.
    Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.

    [TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
    posted by divined by radio on Oct 20 at 12:33 PM - 34 comments

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