Tag: SCOTUS

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

Remember yesterday when I was gung-ho about going to the DMV if for no other reason than to have something interesting for my blog?

Funny how naive I was in thinking that the DMV could offer any sort of interest.

To be fair, it’s not like I had a particularly negative experience there today — unless you count PTSD flashbacks to failed driving tests or the generally oppressive air of bureaucracy washing over hordes of upset numbers in the government’s labyrinthine system of rules and policy.

If anything, renewing my license was a quick and painless experience. The kind of trip through the DMV that left me saying-

-after I left, but would not have been my “fun activity” of choice over going to the class I missed.

Thus that did not blossom into a subject to fill my entire post. Nor did the lovely lunch I had with Mom afterwards, as much as I enjoyed it.

When I decided to scrap the idea, I half-considered writing about my unusual blog traffic today. Analytics are usually a fun subject for me, and for whatever reason a bunch of people looked at my blog today before I even wrote anything:

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The last big spike was my birthday.

However I don’t exactly have a reasonable way to explain why I got more traffic today than I have in recent days, so it would just be mindless babble.

… As though the rest of this wasn’t already mindless babble. I know, I can hear you all saying that to your screens amid a slow eye-roll.

I’ll get to the point.

I went in to CSUF for my late class, Comm Law. So far my favorite course of the semester because of the professor.

An example as to why: She overlaid a well-edited video of John Oliver’s Supreme Court dogs over the audio of a case we were covering in our homework.

Today’s conversation broached into SCOTUS decisions which have affected obscenity and porn laws. It was a conversation full of amazing conversations and references one would not expect to hear in a classroom.

One such conversation involving that innocuous fair use butterfly photo I used for my Featured Image.

I kid you not… It ties back to Pornhub.

I know, I know. When I made a half-hearted post joking about that Pornhub ad carved into a bathroom stall in the Education Building, I said I was at risk of becoming a shill for the pornography aggregate.

After the glowingly positive piece I wrote about their analytics a while back, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking my semi-rapid increase in smut-related posts was a problem.

However, the way I see it I’ve just found myself increasingly interested in Pornhub-related subjects specifically. As niche a wheelhouse as that may be.

While talking about porn in class, I specifically brought up the yearly Pornhub analytics in reference to her joking about the existance of fetish websites for everything. In response, she told us about a podcast which dives deep into the way Pornhub has changed our society — for better and worse.

As someone who drives long distances back-and-forth, I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts.

So even though she warned us that it gets depressing after a certain point, I was curious and downloaded all seven episodes of the series.

It’s called “The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson,” and I’ll recommend it at least based on the first episode.

That episode features interviews with the Belgian boy who brought the website into popular consciousness, as well as the technical guy from Canada who worked on things like search engine optimization and mobile user logistics.

With promise of going into all the nitty-gritty, uncomfortable stories about society changing, the challenges to that industry with a massive and free entity in their midst, and so forth.

If you’ve got the time for it, why not take a chance and listen through some niche podcast programming with me?

I, for one, am clearly excited enough about it to share if nothing else.


Featured Image courtesy of Charles J Sharp via Wikimedia Commons

Unorthodox historical documents

Before you get too far into this, I’m not actually talking about serious historical documents. I didn’t go digging into libraries or brush up on family photos or anything nearly as reputable as that.

I guess we did talk about a lot of interesting Supreme Court precedents in my Comm Law class tonight, so I could talk about some of those. Like Virginia v. Black or RAV v. City of St. Paul — both dealing with burning crosses, funny enough.

Or… Not really funny, I guess. Since we were covering dangerous forms of speech like incitement to violence tonight.

But you know what, that’s all boring legal junk. I have a much more exciting topic than First Amendment protections.

See after Comm Law tonight, I made a stop in the latrine on my way out of the education building’s basement. Normally I’m not one to talk about what happens in the bathroom, but I think I need to make an exception just this once.

Written on the stall wall next to a urinal, I found this actual for real historical document:

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“Pornhub is free – 2/14/18”

I probably would have totally overlooked this if not for the fact that it’s a year old in literally two days. Looks like smut makes for a happy Valentine’s Day!

The fact that I just so happened to find it so close to the one-year anniversary of what is being advertised was so funny to me that I felt a mighty need to share.

Plus, I guess I may as well be a shill for Pornhub at this point considering I wrote an entire post about their site analytics last semester. Something about that website in particular can’t escape my orbit.

I would consider this chance encounter something serendipitous after not too much exciting stuff happened throughout the day.

… Though right next to it was another quote saying that, “bitches ain’t shit,” attributed to the great foul-mouthed wordsmith Robert Frost. So I suppose you can take the cosmic underlying interest in my finding the timely vandalism with a grain of salt.

It was just bathroom wall carvings, after all.

Frankly I was just happy to find something more fun, entertaining even in a stall in the Education building — even if it’s only entertaining to me from some purely meta-textual sense. Last time I was in that building looking at wall carvings, it was some kind of vaguely threatening “don’t come to school on X day” message a couple of years ago.

Can’t seem to find my photos or any sort of Daily Titan story on that, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure we wrote a thing about it. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Either way, you’re definitely getting the much more fun story.

First attempt syndrome

First attempt syndrome

Someday I’ll move on from talking about early semester school-related things. I promise.

However, today is not that day. I spent all afternoon doing homework and have nothing else to blog about.

Silly as it might sound, I actually do have a good amount for this only being the first weekend of the semester. Probably as a result of my seven classes, many of which only meet once a week if at all.

If you want to read more about that, you can check out my blog post from yesterday.

To be fair I’m not sure the content of the homework itself is necessarily why it has taken so long. A lot of these assignments fall under ‘first attempt syndrome.’

You know, that sensation where you’re more apprehensive going into the first of a thing? Happens all the time for exams especially in my experience, and even real life things like shaving or going on dates.

The most egregious example of that first attempt syndrome with today’s homework came out of my Comm Law class. My professor’s TITANium assignment portal is a bit hard to grasp for first timers like me, and at the end of the mini-documentary I had to watch there was a quiz.

Doubling down on that anxiety.

Her quiz system being somewhat strange didn’t help. We all got three attempts to take the quiz, and two tries at each of the fourteen questions.

It’s really generous all things considered, and for that matter the documentary-watching portion had a fill-in-the-blank note sheet available online. Something I haven’t seen since Mrs. Mata’s AP Psychology class back at Redondo Union.

So I guess my Comm Law professor is just really nice about her assignments.

… Though that alone isn’t the full story. See when I say two tries at each question, that apparently doesn’t mean full credit if you answer correctly by the second try. Instead it’s a system where there are 20 points for those 14 questions (scaled so every one offers a point or two points), and each wrong first try results in half credit.

Thus, despite getting every question right by the end of my first attempt, I had a 15/20 for second guessing three questions.

While I feel the general lack of clarity there is somewhat underhanded, I can’t complain too much because we were allowed to use all three attempts to average out a better score. After the first attempt I got 100 percent on the two following, bringing my score up to 18/20.

It was a lot of extra time and confusion, but the ends justified the means.

Especially considering every right answer came with a snarky response, like calling the Supreme Court racist bastards for their Dred Scott decision, or poking fun at Antonin Scalia’s quote about “never dying” from well before his death last year.

The rest of my homework has been more straight forward. For my Senior Honors Colloquium I simply had to make a game plan for the semester, and I’ve started to distill down my resume for my Internship class’s required Career Center visit.

The only other stand-out so far is my Gaming class. By our next meeting I have to read the first two chapters of this lovely book right here:

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An anthropological study of World of Warcraft? What’s not to enjoy!

I feel obliged to give my friend Darlene a shout-out here for offering to help pass along a few of the books I needed for this class, even though it didn’t work out. She didn’t own Night Elf or Coin-Operated Americans:

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Can’t blame her on either front considering the two bookstores my Mom and I visited yesterday didn’t have them either.

We wound up going to Amazon to find and order them, and miraculously they’re already here.

Guess I’m just further evidence as to why brick-and-mortar stores are going out of business. Kinda wish the book stores put up a bit of a more competent fight.

The funny thing about these assignments is I really didn’t have to put as much effort into them today as I did. I quite literally have four-day weekends to do homework this semester.

But I just get the feeling that the mentality underlying that procrastinating statement might get dangerous with so much dense work coming soon.

Finishing more of my homework now gives me time to focus on the important things going further into the weekend. Like video games, racking up hours for Gladeo or writing my novel.

I did tell Dr. Perez I’ll be trying to write about 20 pages a week, after all. I’m hoping to get myself in a state of mind that will better facilitate the extracurricular work going smoothly.

Only time will tell whether I gracefully succeed, I suppose. But with the sheer number of mental checklists I’m making already, I get the feeling we’re off to a good start.