Sexual Harassment, Anarchy, and the Tor Project

Back in November of last year, I shared this openDemocracy video of Jacob Appelbaum, “journalist and researcher for the Tor project, [talking] about technology, freedom and resisting surveillance at the World Forum for Democracy.”

While this current post has no bearing on his rousing speech or the approach to technology with regard to communication (and vice versa) it supports, I’m compelled to write it as a sort of follow-up.

Recently a number of women claiming sexual assault, sexual humiliation, and rape have spoken up publicly about being victimized by Jacob. Some of them are/were significantly involved in the Tor Project while others may be associated with the broader cryptographic & cybersecurity community.

I read all of the accounts to date, some of which are still anonymous, one of which is lengthy and provides a large amount of context, and I believe that they should all be believed. I’ll link them at the bottom.

In the media—especially social media—talk abounds in regard to the subject of sexual harassment permeating all levels of society, but I want to highlight something that will be different than what we in the US usually hear and expect with regard to our legal system and notions of punishment.

Two of the victims, Isis Agora Lovecruft (@isislovecruft), and Alison Macrina (@flexlibris) are or were involved in anarchist collectives (Isis Agora is much more prominent about her anarchist status, as evidenced from her personal website) and as a result have opinions that contrast with what mainstream society may expect.

Below are some excerpts from their posts.

Alison Macrina:

People speaking up were dismissed as a lynch mob — an ahistorical and offensive way to describe a critical mass of people who had previously been silenced and were demanding accountability. There have been repeated calls for “due process” and the involvement of the court system, which ignores the violence that system perpetuates against both accuser and accused. Calls for police intervention are particularly alarming to hear from a community in which so many advocate for a stateless society.

For all of you screaming “This is not what justice looks like! Why don’t you just go to the police?!” let me just wax realpolitik and, like a good little German, quote some Gesetz and cite some statistics.

The “due process” of a state court, in my case, will be detrimental to both Jake and I, as well as numerous other people. The law is very clearly against both of us in this case, with the overwhelmingly likely outcome that he would be kicked out of Germany.

Isis Agora Lovecruft:

Not to mention that, if our goal is to prevent more people from being harmed by Jake, prison is not an option. Overwhelmingly likely, even in Germany, Jake would be raped in prison. I do not wish these painful things I’ve gone through on anyone, not even those who have caused me pain. Further, most abusers have a history of having been abused at some point in their past, and Jake going to prison certainly will not help him amend his behaviour.

And here is part of Lovecruft’s statement on her website:

I am an anarchist! And when I say that, I do not simply mean that I would like to see all States destroyed, social hierarchies crumble, and state capitalism perish. I mean that I believe inequalities in power dynamics pose a hindrance to the progression of human thought and scientific understanding, that the overall degrees of freedom for collected conscious agents should be maximised, and that all forms of government are intrinsically immoral due to their disregard of individual consent. I don’t believe in control even down to the microcosmic, interpersonal level. Expressed more colloquially: “fuck you, you’re not my dad! make total destroy! kill it with fire.

I note these statements—which are but small passages of their posts regarding Jacob and his abuses—because they are in stark contrast to the prevailing incarceration-centric approach here in the US, which can be seen very notably and recently in the Stanford case of Brock Turner.

I by no means wish to say Brock doesn’t deserve an extended prison sentence (I signed a petition to recall Judge Persky who so leniently let him off, but my justification for signing lies outside the scope of this post), but only to juxtapose the community-centric approach and emphasis on transformative justice that anarchists—especially these two—espouse for terrible crimes.

https://blog.patternsinthevoid.net/the-forest-for-the-trees.html

https://medium.com/@flexlibris/theres-really-no-such-thing-as-the-voiceless-92b3fa45134d#.yr2e1ibq3

Most-used Shortcuts User-interface Helper Element idea

[Update: This tweet just brought to my attention essentially what I was looking for, and it’s called Cheatsheet for OSX. Just installed it and it works well so far!]

So I just found this idea in an email to myself from five years ago. Still haven’t seen anything quite like it, even at a ad-hoc level. This idea pertains to an OS-wide level, ideally.

When in a shortcut-heavy program like Pro-Tools, iPhoto, iTunes, etc., it could be useful to have a little optional window pop up when hitting shortcut keys, like option + command, shift + command, etc., and in this window would be listed the most frequently-used shortcuts by that user, and a quick description of what those shortcuts do.

For instance, in iTunes, if I were to hit:

option+command

The little window would fade in, and list:

option + command + E - Equalizer
option + command + L - Downloads
...
...

This could be dynamic, where if you hit just command, every shortcut that uses the command key would show up in the little window (starting with the ones most frequently used, then if you hit shift, it would filter to only shortcuts that use both of those keys.

The closest thing I can think of is in, say, a right-click context menu in Finder on OS X, if you hold down option you’ll see the contextual menu items change.

CSS parallax effect for my About page

I just revamped my About page using a CSS-only method described in detail by Keith Clark here. Really happy how easy it was to use and extend!

The key is using the CSS perspective property in the wrapping div, where the children planes then appear to scroll at different speeds due to applied transform: translateZ(n) properties:

keith clark css parallax method

I’ve been wanting to play around with this for a while, without getting into Javascript methods, and from Keith’s post and the follow-up comments, it appears the modern browsers—especially Chrome, natch—do either a fast or acceptable job of rendering it performantly due to the browsers being able to use hardware acceleration.

Running list of pinned tweets

Basically my own favorite tweets that I’ve pinned at one time or another. Here is their graveyard. Visit them, plz.

ColourLovers API mini-project

colors.telecommutetojuryduty.com

Built using Angular, Bootstrap, and open access to the ColourLovers.com api, check it out! It’s a simple way to view the most popular patterns, palettes, and individual colors from ColourLovers.com.

This was a super old site I built long, long ago, with some pretty scrappy jQuery and gross jQuery markup templates, but it felt like a good thing to upgrade now that I’m learning Angular. Plenty of features I’d like to add, but for now, it’s mostly just a quick n’ easy way to browse some nice tones.

Source code is available to peruse here.