Live365 (“Adventures of Feedle’s INBOX!”)

In yesterday’s inbox, I find:

Hello Archturiat,

Earlier this year I purchased Live365 with the hopes of growing it into something great, but I’ll need help from stations like yours. The Live365 team has just started bringing stations back on the air and already have over 100 stations, but to realize our vision, we’re going to need many more.

Every day, we’re working on making Live365 a stronger platform for our stations to share their content. We’ve improved the previous streaming infrastructure to make streaming more reliable and allow our stations to use higher quality audio. We’ve built Auto DJ automation to make sure that if you don’t have something scheduled, your station doesn’t have dead air, and we’re always listening to feedback from our broadcasters to improve the Live365 experience. We’re in this together.

Join Us Today

I believe in the future of curated broadcast. Content chosen and scheduled by a real person. We know you have a powerful message to share and we want you to share it through Live365. We’d love to have you join us and if you’re not ready, let us know what we need to do to make that happen.

-Jon at Live365

Now, as I’m sure more than one of you know, I ran a station on Live365 for quite a while, almost from the beginnings of the platform.  I had heard through the grapevine that they had been resurrected from the dead sometime in the last six months, and I was happy to see the “new owner(s)” reaching out to the people that had accounts on the platform and try to get them back involved.

What I wasn’t happy about was the fact that the “new” Live365 has no pricing tier that’s even remotely approachable for someone broadcasting as a hobby, and that the cheapest package was around $60.  Now, it’s worth noting that tier is comparable to the “old” Live365’s $50 tier, and given the increase (and overall bullshit) involving the licensing situation that’s not surprising, really.

But this does mark a completely new direction for Live365, one that does not help the situation for small broadcasters at all.  Live365 used to be littered with small operations, some good some bad, but many were voices and programming you just didn’t hear anywhere else.  For better, or for worse.  Now, the barrier for entry is $60/month, minimum (not to mention the time and energy to create programming, even if all you are doing is uploading music to be spun out of Live365’s servers).

That’s steep for a broadcast operation (like The Voice of Mercury on Live365) that never had more than 5 TLH/day and usually no more than 3 or 4 concurrent listeners… even at its peak 6 years ago.  I could easily justify $20-25 a month, and the occasional music splurge, on that.  But $60 is JUST TOO DAMN HIGH.

Now, I’ve been talking with a few of you about biting the bullet and going ahead and paying for it anyway, and divvying up timeslots to others in exchange for helping out with the bill.  And I still want to do that, and it is on my list of things to do this summer.

But at the same time its hard to imagine that the “new” Live365 platform will even last long at that.  The pricing tier doesn’t seem fair or equitable for small-time broadcasters, many of whom (present company included) have been content to be “underground” and/or “closed-circuit” since Live365’s original demise.  It’s always been simply a “hobby” ever since my teenage days of NEEON-19 and the like.  Yes, it has been fun, but $60 buys admission to a decent amusement park for a day, and I’d rather be on a barf-coaster quite honestly.

But here we are.

So, who wants to (re-)start a radio station?

Can’t sleep snowflakes will eat me.

Complete side note.

I’m beginning to understand a lot about myself lately (probably the result of the meditation demands of my new group). As much as I try not to show it, I have a lot of anxiety and pent-up fears. I suspect that this is what living a life “on the spectrum” can do to you, my apparent high-functioning notwithstanding.

Part of my ability to function with “farmers” is my exact ability to hide hunter instincts when they don’t suit, although they are there. And the downside to being a hunter is you are always afraid there’s something bigger than you out there with you in mind as dinner. I’ve been observing a lot in housecats their awkward position as predator AND prey (given the small size of felis silvestris) and how many of the behaviors we find rather adorable about cats are actually ways of them dealing with that conflicting instinct. The love of high places. The sleeping in boxes. Raven’s fear of the Grabby Ape.

Medications are wonderful things. One happy accident of some of my recent problems is I got put on a sleep medication that has anti-anxiety properties. Well, that, and maybe the aforementioned meditation is helping as well. I can start to see how anxiety plays into my reactions and interactions, and that I’ve spent a lot of my life in a state of fear.

Maybe that’s what L. has been trying to tell me all these years. I have nothing to be afraid of, after all. I live in a time in history where war is rarely at my doorstep, crime is going down all the time, and (for the moment) I live in a place with freedoms and employment opportunities so that I’m well fed, well medicated, and more or less warm. Day to day, hour to hour, I really have nothing to worry about.

But I still can’t sleep. Snowflakes will eat me.

No, you don’t need an app for that.

App fatigue.

It’s a real problem, and something that’s beginning to even rub me the wrong way. Every place has an app. The convenience store has one. My grocery store has one. My credit card has one. My bank has one. Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and the kiosk on the corner has one The pretzel kiosk at the mall has one..

Knock it the fuck off, people.

Not that long ago people were getting burned out on carrying “frequent shopper cards” for all the places they shopped. Walgreens, Kroger, AutoZone, Chipotle, Blockbuster, and the coffee stand punchcard fattened our wallets needlessly.

Today my phone is stuffed with apps for places. And I’m getting sick and tired of it.

The worst part is the apps we have often don’t work. Walgreens wants me to use Android Pay for everything, which is fine.. except it hardly ever works when I need it to. Walmart Pay also seems to never work when I need it, and I spend five minutes at the cash register scanning the stupid barcode, fiddling with my fingerprint, tapping things on my phone… when I could have simply handed them my debit card and been out the door.

If your app doesn’t make my shopping easier (or give me a substantial discount) you can stuff your app up your ass.

91.x.x.x/8 is banned.

I just spent a piece of my (very beautiful in Denver, tankuveddymuch) morning cleaning up after a r0dent hammered the hell out of’s webserver and brought a few things down. I don’t know if it was a DDoS targeted specifically at me, or at my hosting provider in general (it’s worth noting none of the other boxes at the same company seem impacted, however they are hosted in Texas where the webserver is in Northern California).

So, after getting things restarted, I went digging in my hosts.deny file. The great thing about running things like “Denyhosts” is you get a pretty clear picture of who the bad actors are. And one /8 keeps showing up in my hosts.deny file: 91./8. So, for the first time in my entire life of running (15 years and counting) I’ve banned an entire chunk of the Internet from even accessing my site.

The last time I did anything close to this was when I added to my apache configs as “personæ non gratæ”, and that was for a short time until their bot started behaving and doing reasonable crawls and not taking up a significant chunk of my entire monthly transit. However, in digging around a bit, 91./8 is responsible for almost 3% of all bogosity against servers. That’s a lot for one network, and it’s a lot for to bear.

So, effective immediately, 91./8 is permanently banned from servers. If you have a reason to be accessing anything on my personal network from that network please contact me via a Google service (ie. Gmail or Hangouts, or comment on the eventual propagation of this to G+) and I’ll whitelist your individual IP. Note that if you get a DHCP address that may change I will be very unlikely to whitelist multiple addresses or anything larger than a /26.

Emotional day at the doctor’s office…

Once and a while you get a diagnosis from a doctor that seems obvious in hindsight.  “Of course I have this disease, it makes perfect sense because I’ve been feeling this way for months/years” and you wonder why the hell you wasted your time. As you age, these sorts of moments come more often, as our bodies do fail in frighteningly predictable ways after whatever warranty expires.

Sometimes these routine diagnoses are just one more tickbox on your medical chart… they don’t mean anything long term.  They don’t change a thing: you are still in pain, still limp that way, still can’t do what you wanted to do.  Or, you’ve already overcome the underlying cause, either through simple adaptation or lifestyle changes.

One in a thousand of us get a diagnosis that angers us.  “All these years I’ve been trying to tell people that something’s wrong, and nobody’s listened” is the feeling you get.  You have something like fibromyalgia, for example, that has no obvious signs or symptoms other than your perpetual feeling of malaise… which let’s face it, is very difficult for a doctor to measure with a ruler and write on a chart.

If you are unlucky you get all of these things in one doctor’s visit.

Today was that day for me.  I’ve known for a while I have something going on with my heart, and I’ve heard the Latin-rooted words surrounding my basic cardiac conditions bounced around without ever really understanding the deeper meaning.  As I’ve been recovering from heart surgery I knew that the rest of my life I’d be having to watch the ol’ ticker, ever mindful of things like sodium and cholesterol intake.  But I guess it was when the nurse educator handed me the packet from the Adult Congenital Heart Association that I truly understood the implications of the simple fact my (now) regular cardiologist was stationed in the Children’s Hospital.

Regardless of my weight, regardless of my poor dietary habits, regardless of how much exercise I got, and regardless of anything I could have done I’d be sitting here talking to a cardiologist.  My heart attack wasn’t completely my fault, and why I’m here in this doctor’s office is not because I’m a fat fuck… it’s because I was born with a genetic heart condition that would have lead me here at this point in my life regardless.

True, I could have eaten better.  I could have pushed myself to exercise a bit more.  But I’m here not because I had a heart attack.  I’m here because I have a fucked up heart valve and a aorta that’s way too big for its britches.  Even if I maintained a perfect 130/80 blood pressure we would likely be having this discussion today about fixing my broken heart valve and ensuring my body’s major artery doesn’t erupt.

And then I got angry.  I got mad at all the people over the years who’ve belittled me because of my weight.  I got angry about the countless PE coaches who pushed me to the point I couldn’t breathe, and blamed it on my laziness I couldn’t run anywhere near as far, anywhere near as fast as any of the other kids.  I got upset over the countless doctors who never bothered to investigate my claims over the years that I often get exhausted when I shouldn’t, and that even short sprints or moderate aerobic activity are difficult for me to do.

“They didn’t know,” my inner voice tries to say to soothe my anger.  And that just makes me angrier, because (often as I gasped for breath) I tried to explain that I just couldn’t.  Even as a young adult when I was empowered to do something by society I never got any doctor to seriously hear my claims that it’s difficult to exercise for any length of time.  They just penciled in “morbidly obese” on my chart and that was the end of it.  No primary care doctor ever ordered the echocardiogram that would have shown the bicuspid heart valve clear as the nose on their face, and maybe I could have worked on building my stamina at a young age when it’s likely I could have trained my circulatory system to compensate for the shitty heart valve.

“They didn’t know.”  How many teenagers struggle with the same thing I struggle with every day?  How many kids gain weight because they can’t exercise like the other kids… simply just can’t keep up… and deal with the endless taunts and jabs of classmates?  How many kids deal with it poorly because they have something “else” wrong with them?  They’re gay.  They’re smart and/or eccentric.  They’re a minority.  THEY’RE ALL OF THE ABOVE.

How did I survive my youth?  “They didn’t know.”

They didn’t know how how hurtful those words were.  But the Hunter remembers.  And up swells all the feelings of inadequacy, all the struggles, all the pain.  But the Hunter also stops himself and feels an odd sense of pride that he HAS survived.  Regardless of how much it hurts, he wakes up every day with hope that maybe today will be better than the last, or at least not worse.

I’m still out there searching.  For food.  For shelter.  For mates.  And the Hunt continues, and for one more day I have avoided the arrows of the Great Hunter that hunts us all.  And I guess that’s better than all the hurts, because it means I’m stronger after all… just not in the way that others can always see.  And I want to join hands with all my friends who struggle with similar issues and give you all the biggest hug.

And have us grunt together.

Goodbye, and hello.

Angel has left the building.

Something has happened to me the past week. I’m not 100% sure exactly when it happened, to be precise. Maybe it happened when I went to Denver for the job interview and realized my life was about to get very interesting. Maybe it happened that fateful day I heard that I not only did “well” on the interview I blew people away with my intelligence and ability to deal with hard technical questions. Maybe this is a change that started on Feb 26, 2014, when I walked out of BendBroadband’s office for the last time as an employee and proceeded to make my way to the operating table of St. Charles’ Hospital.

But the defining moment of change was on one of those mornings with just me, the bathroom mirror, and the forever jarring view of myself staring back asking the question I try to ask every day: “How are we today?” That day I said back to myself, “I’m spreading my wings to move to Denver. Care to come with?”

Molting has always been a hard process for me. It happened once before recently, and I think I’m still dealing with the fallout of not letting myself completely heal from the last molt. That day I sold my house in Arbor Lodge, packed up my possessions into a 8×20′ storage locker, and began this last four-ish years of healing I’ve been through. That day I shed those feathers, threw them in a locker on McLoughlin Blvd., and said I’m ready to hunker down and hibernate if I have to.

I wasn’t ready for that molt. I was still reeling from the loss of losing my home, losing my lover, losing everything I had tried to build of the life I came to Portland to develop after my parents passing. That molt was not by choice, it was by necessity. I didn’t choose the timing.

This molt is different. It’s my time. I’ve chosen this. I want to change and lose the scarred and tattered wings I grew when I needed to simply focus on survival. I’m ready to thrive again, ready to grow and change, and ready to embrace whatever tomorrow will make me look like.

I’m frightened and scared. I’m kind-of naked out here, new wings still taking form, new feathers starting to come through. As such, I’m occasionally volatile, often kind-of raw, and still learning what “normal” is again. But I’m excited about new opportunities, ready to face them regardless of where they lead.

Your Queen of Swords stands before you, hand outstretched in invitation. I’m spreading those wings and moving to Denver. Care to come with?

So, there was this time I went bowling..

This post is mostly just an FYI, for the 1% of the population that doesn’t know this.

On February 28th, I went to the Emergency Room unable to catch my breath after playing a couple of games of 10-pin down at the local bowling alley.  On March 2, I had a quadruple heart bypass.  I spent the next week more or less half-conscious in the hospital.

My recovery has been slow, I’m still in a moderate amount of pain.  On the plus side, I feel pretty good.. in some ways, I feel “better” than I did before I went into the hospital.  Before just getting through my day was often a struggle.  Now I don’t feel like I’m struggling to get through it, even if I need to occasionally sit down or have a nap if I spend too much time walking around.

One of the upsides of this was I got to spend a couple of weeks at this wonderful home of a friend-of-a-friend.  It was a nice pastoral setting, kind-of out of the center of town.  It was a very supportive environment, and a huge thank you to Helen and her good doctor friend for tolerating me when I was recovering.

Also, Matt, Mee, Brendan, and Silvia came to visit for a couple of days when I was discharged initially.  If not for their support, I would have been kinda screwed.  They made sure I had a safe place to go, and that means the world to me.  Thanks guys.

So, that’s the short of it.  I’m still hurting from the surgery, but the scars are healing.  I have good days and bad days.  But at least I have years ahead of me.

Heart surgery sucks, by the way.  Would not recommend.

Why I’m bear-ish on Bitcoin

OK, this has come around again, so I guess I need to actually fill a few of you in on something. I hate to be the one to break this to you. But, Bitcoin isn’t going to ever achieve any kind of mass success.

There’s no conspiracy theory, no “big banks are keeping it down, man!” plot. The reasons why Bitcoin will fail like EVERY OTHER ATTEMPT to create a digital currency before it simply boils down to this.

Social and political issues have never been solved technologically. They’ve always been solved.. well, socially and politically first, and the technology has only played a factor long after the shouting has stopped.

The reasons for this involve “tipping points”, and I won’t go into the whole theory on tipping points and macroeconomics here. Go read Freakonomics and The Tipping Point if you want an exhausting analysis as to the reasons Bitcoin has yet to achieve enough critical mass (and more importantly, enough critical mass in the right areas).  The TL;DR edition: until you can use Bitcoins at a mass-market retailer, fuhgeddabout.

But let’s wander back to the first point, which is, technology never solves social ills by itself.  It only solves social and political problems when it is clear to enough “somebodys” that Societal Ill A can be solved by Technology B in a direct, linear fashion.  And, to that end, Bitcoin doesn’t even serve to solve the societal ill it claims to combat.  And that goes double here in the US, I’m afraid to say, because we do live in a self-styled “democracy”.. and I’m ashamed to admit this, but most Americans are too dumb to understand any cause and effect that can’t be summed up in a 15-second infographic on CNN.

Bitcoin is trumpeted up as being a way for, say, the Occupy Movement to finally free us from the financial tyranny (*snort*) of the Big Banks.  Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but.. please explain to me how any third-party currency, be it Bitcoins, Lindens, or Disney Dollars, “frees” me from dealing with the Big Banks when it is impossible to buy any of the “necessities” of life (food, clothing, shelter, and transportation) without using US Dollars.  It’s not just difficult, it is impossible.  Even the handful of small merchants who accept Bitcoin are doing it largely via automatic exchanges that are converting the coins into US Dollars at clearance.  You can probably count on one hand the pure-play merchants who are keeping any quantity of Bitcoins on hand.

And that shouldn’t surprise anyone.  How many brick and mortar merchants keep a large quantity of cash on hand?  None of them do, don’t be silly.  They may keep a few hundred dollars in change, and they may have a day’s receipts worth of cash because they haven’t made the bank run yet.  But in the back of the grocery store on the corner there isn’t some massive safe with thousands of dollars locked away in it for any longer than it has to be.

And that goes double for Bitcoins, because of the very volatile nature of the “currency.”  Minute to minute prices of Bitcoin fluctuate, so if you’re a merchant that accepts Bitcoin you are playing a game of “beat the clock” every time you accept Bitcoin.   You want to get that out of the liquid state of Bitcoins into cold, hard US Dollars as quickly as possible, lest you potentially lose the entire value of the transaction when the Bitcoin market has one of it’s frequent and violent cases of shitting itself.

Businesses are highly risk-averse, and there is no greater risk heavier than acting as a currency exchange.  In effect, every merchant that wants to accept Bitcoin has to know the value of Bitcoin to whatever they’re paying out in expenses in (and with rare exception, regardless of where in the world it is, that essentially becomes the US Dollar).  There is actually one or two of the major Bitcoin trading houses who do this automatically via a “shopping cart”: and guess what they clear the funds in.  Usually, the quicker the better.

Point is, even in some hypothetical future scenario where Seven-11 takes Bitcoin (hey, it could happen, they take PayPal, amirite?) they’re not going to be trading in Bitcoin, just accepting it and converting it to a more fungible, negotiable currency.  Right now, that currency is the Federal Reserve Note US Dollar, who.. yeah, we know.  Big banks.

At the end of the day, big banks have their hold over us precisely because they’re.. big banks.  When Kroger needs a loan to open a new store, they’re not going to launch a Kickstarter. They’re going to talk to their banker, and depending on their financial solvency they may issue more stocks, or a capital bond, or borrow the money.  In all three cases, the people who are giving them the money will be giving it in US Dollars, and expecting payment in US Dollars.

And why not?  The US Dollar is a reasonably stable currency.  You know that if you loan out $1,000,000 at 5% interest exactly how much you’re going to get paid back.  And the only calculation you have to make as the loaner of the money is the risk of the investment itself compared to other potential investments: you don’t have to necessarily worry that the currency will be worth substantially less in five years’ time.  The ups and downs of the US Dollar are “well understood”, the risks are largely able to be mitigated.

The only way Bitcoin will ever succeed as a widely accepted currency is if the US Dollar fails.  And to be honest, if that happens, no cryptocurrency will save us: there will be no capital available to keep the lights on to even think about a cybercurrency.

Why I’m actively buying a bottle of Stoli

I don’t drink vodka. I’m not a fan of it at all. I’m also not a fan of Dan Savage.

And, yet.. today, I’m going to stop by the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Stoli vodka. Maybe I’ll pick up one of those funky fruit-flavored ones so I can actually maybe drink the stuff someday.  No, I’m not going to start listening or reading Savage anytime soon.

Yes, I’m aware of the fact that there’s a popular #dumpstoli campaign right now. But this campaign (like a lot of things that comes out of the piehole of Mr. Savage) is not only misguided, it’s very much quite wrong.

First off, the Stoli we buy on the shelves here in the United States doesn’t even come from Russia, it comes from.. well, depending on some different factors most likely Latvia (although supposedly some Stoli is actually distilled in one of a handful of countries including even Canada). The brand is owned by a Eurozone corporation with it’s HQ in Luxembourg.  And, yes, it’s majority owned by a wealthy Russian businessman (who I understand spends most of his time in Paris nowadays anyway).. but one that has few, if any, ties to Pooty Poot.. and one that has been critical of his government in the past.

But more importantly: Stoli has a long history of actually SUPPORTING the LGBT community before this.  I won’t go down the laundry list, but this BusinessWeek article pretty much sums it up.

I have my suspicions that this has nothing to do with “gay rights”. Maybe somebody just needs a new sponsor for one of his media properties, and maybe this is an excellent way of browbeating one of the importers or producers into sponsoring his show.

It’s certainly not because Stoli did anything wrong. At best, this looks more like spousal abuse 1 than a campaign for change.

Stoli, I stand with you, even if I think the rocket fuel you sell is way too astringent to actually drink.  Будем здоровы!

Show 1 footnote

  1. Not to discount spousal abuse, but it is a similar pattern to one form of abuse I’m familiar with: be all lovey-dovey one minute, and then lashing out for some minor perceived slight that may not have even been intended

Thoughts on friends and DEFCON..

I’m probably going to lose a friend or two over this. Maybe. Actually, I’d like to think that I’ve whittled the kind of people who WOULD “unfriend” me over this down to irrelevance, so maybe I won’t. Anyway, here goes anyway.

A lot of people have wondered over the years why I no longer go to DEFCON, or for that matter, just about any “hacker” conference. I’ve been vague most of the times as to why, often blaming money or “time” as the reason. But it’s a lot more complicated than that.

The real reason? I feel like I’ve grown up.

I’d like to say that a lot has changed since the first DEFCON (which I didn’t intentionally attend, but a coincidence put me in Las Vegas that weekend.. DEFCON III was the first one I technically “attended”) and today. I’d like to give the community the benefit of the doubt. I would love to be proven wrong about my attitudes and opinions. Yet, every time I think I’m about ready to rejoin the fray, I get reminded of why I no longer attend.

Ten years ago, I made a decision to exclude from my life things that were not in line with my “personal manifesto” (some of you are privy to that Manifesto). One of the important parts of that (as it has evolved) was removing myself from situations and groups where Progress, Love, and Light were not at the core; to no longer associate with people or groups that did not hold those ideals in practice. By my standards, I’ve done a pretty good job of holding myself to those “standards.” Far from perfect, but far from where I was 20 years ago when I was younger, angrier, and less refined.

I have wonderful friends. I know some of the most beautiful people in the world. They are all generous, warm, and real. They’re not perfect. But I can honestly say, as I look at my collective friends, that I’m honored to have every one of them in my life, and my life is richer for their presence. I cherish every one of them.. and most importantly, I’d trust any one of them with my life, my soul, my essence.

My dear uncle Oscar was the kindest, most gentle man I ever had the privilege of meeting. His personal philosophy was he would rather have one really good friend than a thousand “acquaintances.” It’s a life lesson it didn’t take me long to learn as I entered adulthood the value of true friends. Friends who would keep me fed and sheltered when I’ve been poor. Friends who would make sure I’m safe when I’m having a medical crisis.  The saying is “friends help you move, true friends help you move bodies.”

Friends I don’t have to share my deepest, darkest secret.. because they don’t have to be told. “I’m a bit genderqueer,” I recently revealed to one of these friends. “I’m considered a twospirit by much of my tribe and intentional family.” The response was a shrug and an “I already knew that,” even though I never told them nor did they read that here.

I’ve met a good chunk of these fine people, directly or indirectly, through the “hacker scene”.  To a very large degree, I believe these are people I would have eventually ran across anyway, be it from the mutual communites that overlap “hackerdom” and more “normal” pursuits.  Or maybe even not more normal.

As part of my adapting to life in a new town recently, I’m starting to wonder if I want to reconnect to the hacker community.  I’m torn, because I think there’s lots of interesting things going on in the “scene” right now.  People are experimenting with fun technologies (things like the Raspberry Pi and similar cheap computers) and it has rekindled my passion for all things “hack” (in the more traditional sense of people bashing together old technology to do new things).

But the struggle is that lots of folks are playing with this tech and don’t identify as hackers.  The movement is called “DIY” today, and I think if I was a teenager again I’d be going to those meetings instead of LA2600, and be more interested in Maker Faire than DEFCON.

I haven’t even touched upon the most disturbing aspects (to me) of the whole “scene”, in regards to the hazards that someone who is genderqueer, or for that matter even a cisgendered female, faces being “out” in this community.  I’ve seen it myself over the years.. and heck, I’m not 100% innocent myself (see: I was once young, angry, and less refined).  The hacker scene is a weird, strange place.  For as much as it is filled with misfits and malcontents, they are often brutal to people who aren’t THEIR kind of misfit and malcontent.  Homosexuals I know in the scene have been called “faggots” and ostracised from some groups solely because they are gay.  We are seeing a lot of the same voices “speak out” against the “social justice movement” even though I personally believe that we have (as a community) have treated women like absolute shit for two decades and are now largely reaping what we sow in that regard.

Things needed to change.  Being a “hacker” is not the domain of the “white, cisgendered male” any more than gaming is.  From the very beginning there were people among you who were “gay”, “genderqueer”, and “black.”  For that matter, there was one particular hacker from my time who was all of the above, and she’s one of the most talented “computer security professionals” I’ve ever met (and I had a crush on her long before her transition).  If she entered the scene today I suspect she’d be treated cruelly by the “scene” even long after she proved herself “worthy.”

Maybe I’m wrong.  And it hurts me that I’m (in essence) judging the same community as harshly as I feel they are judging others, and in large lumping the /b/tards, reddit fuckups, and my formerly beloved “hackers” in the same category (and the irony of that prejudgement is not lost on me, believe me).  And I value the friends I’ve met through the “hacker scene” as strongly as I value all my friends.

I just don’t feel welcome anymore by the whole community.  I’m too different, and I feel “othered” even though I’m about as “old school” as they come.  Maybe I’m just getting old, and feedle is, in fact, feeble.

DEFCON isn’t my space anymore.  You can’t go home if home has packed up and moved on without you.