The Cautionary Tale of Timmy McGinnis

vandal arrestedI’d like to tell you a story about my fictional friend, Timmy McGinnis.

Timmy was a pretty normal guy, who did pretty normal things for a young man.  That is to say, Timmy did some things that were against the law.  He liked to smoke pot, and he occasionally played a practical joke on someone that might involve vandalism.  He also liked sex.  He routinely filmed his practical jokes, pot smoking, and sexual escapades with a video camera he had received as a gift for his 16th birthday.

One day, some police officers came to Timmy’s home with a search warrant.  It seems one of the women that Timmy had consensual sex with had filed rape charges against Timmy.  Timmy had only had consensual sex with this girl, we’ll call her Sandy Vagina, but unfortunately for Timmy, she was drunk at the time, and she didn’t appreciate the fact that he’d posted the video he shot of them having sex to the internet.  It was quite clear from the video that Sandy was completely intoxicated.  She seemed to be having a good time in the video, but the jury decided she was drunk, and therefore she couldn’t “meaningfully consent,” and Timmy had raped her.  Timmy was sentenced to 15 years, and was released on good behavior after 7 years. Read more »

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Please Do Not Bike on the Sidewalk

don't bike on the sidewalk

A law common to most US cities.

Okay, so I’m an anarchist, and therefore not a fan of laws, lawyers, the nanny state, or other such deplorable ideas, but I am a fan of acting smart and in ways that support my fellow humans, rather than to potentially harm them.  This is the primary reason I always ride my bike in the street, unless the sidewalk is the only option. Bike safety should be important to any cyclist who wants to stay alive when riding on the city streets. This message is in the interest of preserving the safety of both cyclists and those they must interact with when navigating the cars and pedestrians in the city.

I consistently see people riding their bikes on the sidewalk, and I’ve nearly been run down by them a number of times as a pedestrian, as well as having nearly run over them a number of times as a driver of an automobile. Biking on the sidewalk is just plain dangerous.

There are at least three really important reasons that cycling on the sidewalk is illegal, cyclists.  I don’t do it.  Why?  Not because it is illegal.  Not because of the signs or laws or cops or tickets I might receive.  Because: Read more »

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Ethical Social Networking

ethics cloudEveryone seems to be into social networking these days.  You read it online everywhere.  Facebook this, Myspace that, Twitter the other….  It seems like everyone enjoys communicating online, and many of us via social sites.  I’ve also been reading a lot lately about the boon that social networking has been to charities and non-profits.  All of those people sharing links and info has resulted in more money heading into the coffers of those who seek to change our world for the better.  While this is all good, I began to wonder about the personal responsibility  and specific actions I could take as an individual to make the world of social networking a more ethical place.

I have been using computers and networks for many years.  I was one of those guys out there cruising on the internet and other networks before there ever was a World Wide Web to surf.  In all that time, I have learned a great deal about etiquette and ethics in the online domain from friends and coworkers.

Friends have written nasty emails to me, and vice versa.  I’ve been on both the giving and the receiving end of digital miscommunication; where the sender’s emotional content was misinterpreted by the receiver – a commonplace occurrence with computers.  I have witnessed firsthand long email battles, and even participated in a few.  I’ve visited the newsgroups and the forums, and seen some of what passes for communication there.

I’ve also spent a lot of time reading about things we can do to communicate more effectively, and to let people know when our buttons get pushed without pushing back.  So here are a few of my handy little suggestions for what to do to be a responsible, ethical social networker: Read more »

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Cyclists and Pedestrians are People, Too!

pedestrian auto accidentHaving been nearly run over or run off the road by countless drivers over the years, I feel these tips are imperative. Please treat cyclists and pedestrians with some respect, drivers! Here are some tips for you:

  • Do not open your door if you see a cyclist coming up behind you. Because I’m not in a two ton hunk of steel, I will almost certainly break my bones when this happens. Trust me, it will be you who will pay for my injuries, even if I have to take you to court and have them order you to pay me for the rest of your life. Why? Because you will be the one guilty of breaking the law and my bones, simple and plain. Have some respect. Don’t open your door right in front of me. I saw you look. I saw you make eye contact with me. Why did you open your door, asshole!? You’re just lucky I dodged you. My bike tire could easily have shattered your pelvis as you exited your vehicle. Read more »
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