Friday Free for all #45: Olympics, techie, weird, types

Friday Free for All

The next in an ongoing series in which I answer random questions generated by a website, although it’s been on hiatus since the Christmas Countdown began. Here, I resume with this week’s questions. Feel free to give your own answers in the comments.

If there were internet Olympics, what sports would be in it?

Oh, there are so many potential sports for the Internet Olympics (IO). Here are a few I can think of.

  1. Trolling

Competitors would face off, with one team designated trolls and the other defenders. Trolls would be scored in various areas, including most opponent time wasted, best Poe, number of logical fallacies used, and farthest move of the goalposts. Violations of Godwin’s Law and ad hominem attacks in response to trolling would cost the defenders points. Meanwhile, defenders would score points by making well-formed arguments in response to the trolls and providing valid citations. (Wikipedia is not an accepted source, which instantly makes this entire description ironic.)

  1. Unboxing

No, I’ve never figured out the appeal of these videos, either. This event would be single competitors acting on their own, with various categories, including most drawn-out unboxing of the simplest packaging, greatest degree of hyping each new level of reveal, and greatest feigned excitement at each new level.

  1. Famewhoring

This is the equivalent of the marathon, or maybe even a triathlon. Starting with only a specially-created @players.io email account, each competitor would work throughout the two-week span of the IO, building and hyping an online presence, creating a website and social media accounts, and then exploiting them. Uniquely, this competition would receive no coverage during the IO until the final day. The competitors would be on their own online. Scoring is based on the combined number of followers, views, likes, comments, and shares that all of their posts across all social media platforms get before the final day of competition. Snapchat and Only Fans are banned from the competition, though, per a ruling by the IIOC. There is a special medal, however, for anyone who can get at least one follower on MySpace. 

  1. Vaguebooking

For this challenge, competitors must create a post on their Facebook account that reveals the least information while gaining the greatest number of views, likes, and comments. Enormous bonus points if it inspires someone to create either a Kickstarter campaign or MoveOn petition in response.

  1. Banhammer

The goal in this competition is for each player to be either permanently or temporarily banned on as many social media platforms as possible, again starting with a specially created email address so that their real social media identities are not damaged. However, these addresses would not be hosted at players.io, because that would give away the competition, and could incentivize social media hosts in competitor nations to cheat. This would probably be a co-op venture with gmail or another “everybody’s got one” email host.

  1. Thirst trap shooting

This one is simple, but has multiple categories. The idea is that competitors choose and post exactly one revealing but non-explicit photo of themselves to various social media platforms, and the one that gets the most inappropriate comments, requests for racier shots, unsolicited dick picks, and general creepiness wins. This one is broken down by gender into male, female, and non-binary, with each of those categorized into straight, gay, bisexual, as well as cis- or transgender. Secondary competitions include medal categories for person getting the most thirst reactions from the category least appropriate to their declared status — i.e., lesbians hit on by a lot of straight cis-males; straight cis-males hit on by a lot of gay and bisexual men; and gay men hit on by straight and transgender women. Point scoring is also weighted by age-difference, as in the older the creeper is relative to the competitor, the greater their posts count in the overall scoring.

I’m sure there are a lot more events, but those were the most obvious. What are your ideas?

How techie are you?

About as techie as you can get. I met my first computer when I was barely a teenager, and fell in love with the concept immediately, so started learning coding very early on, as well as did some amazing things with hardware.

I remember one early experience when I had the opportunity to upgrade the keyboard on a computer, but this was back when things weren’t all USB and sunshine. The keyboard I ordered happened to be wired differently than the previous one, so keystrokes made no sense.

But, somehow, I had the insight on how keyboards worked. Each row has a unique voltage running across it, and each column has a unique voltage running down it. When you press a key, it connects voltage A with voltage B and creates voltage C, which is unique to that character. Adding shift, alt, or ctrl just tosses in another voltage.

And so I opened up that new keyboard, rewired its guts, and it worked perfectly.

BTW, this is still how keyboards work. They just might not do it with actual wires but instead via the circuit board that the things under the keys sit on.

On top of that, I’ve built or rebuilt more computers that I’ve used than ones I’ve bought off the shelf, and have done my own emergency IT more times than I can count on both hands, both feet, and a pair of abacuses. (Abaci?)

I am also really good at learning the hell out of any piece of software you toss in front of me, but that’s not as hard as it seems, because they all use the same sort of general conventions. Well, the good ones do. The bad ones, not so much, but those tend to be so specialized that they’re rare. Not unheard of, and I do use a few, but rare.

A big consequence of this, though, is that in every job I’ve ever worked, I somehow became “That guy that people go to when they fuck up something on their computer and don’t want to call IT.” This has given me one really scary insight.

Despite computers having been ubiquitous office tools for nearly the last forty years, most people barely understand them beyond using them as glorified typewriters, and that makes me sad. This ain’t rocket surgery, people.

What do people think is weird about you?

If anything, it’s probably my sense of humor. It is rather dark, twisted, irreverent, and adult. Of course, people who share my sense of humor tend to become fast friends immediately. As long as you’re punching up, you can never get too inappropriate with your humor.

I mean, here’s a really funny one that’s basically on my own community, but there’s also some reality behind it. “Q: How many gay guys does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

You: “I don’t know. How many?”

“Only one. But it takes half the ER staff to get it out.”

Of course, this one is extra funny because it’s based on the truth, because ERs and A&Es spend way too much time pulling things out of people’s asses.

Pro-tip: If you ever do wind up seeking medical attention for something stuck in your ass, don’t lie to the docs, because they’ve seen it all before and they don’t care. So dispense with the “I slipped in the shower and landed on it” bullshit, and just say, “I wanted to see what it felt like to shove (object) up my ass.”

There are two types of people in this world. What are the two types?

Those who think there are two types and those who don’t!

Nah, that’s the joke answer. The real answer is this one: Those who accept that there are all kinds of people in the world, and those who don’t. So maybe it’s a one type vs. every type dynamic?

Another way to put it is there are people who embrace the new and different and those who fear it. The former bunch lives in a hopeful world where everyone they meet has value, no matter what their backgrounds, abilities, and identities are. Well, unless they belong to the other group, which dumps those values because of their beliefs: Only people exactly like me count. Everyone else is a threat.

Group 2 accuses Group 1 of being just as hateful, and while the “just as” part is true, the reasons why are far, far different.

Those of us who tolerate accept people for what they are and what they believe. We only despise people for how they act, meaning what they do. Meanwhile, the intolerant hate people for what they are and what they believe, and don’t care how they act if they happen to look exactly like the intolerant.

So yes, there are two types of people. Those who accept the fact that there is only one Human species that lives on this planet, and all other divisions — nationality, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, language, etc., are just so much decoration on entities that are otherwise identical in every way when it comes to emotional needs and inner lives.

One planet. One people. Please.

The other type has bought into the illusion, and would continue to divide their lives, their worlds, and this planet into “Us” vs. “Them.”

The only problem, of course, is that there is no us and them. There is only and ever We.

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