Over the last two years or so, I’ve received a heap of emails from people (some mostly curious, but others with paranoid fear or outright vitriol) about my talking (Ouija) board. Now, I don’t normally pay any heed to the vitriol and try to calm down the paranoid and fearful folks with explanations on what’s actually happening. Alas, my efforts were mostly in vain.
Today, I’m issuing everyone who has been on my case a challenge:
Put up or shut up
You say a spirit, ghost, demon or other such entity has attacked, plagued or otherwise been connected to you since you used one of these boards? Show me proof. Better yet, summon a ghost, spirit, demon or whatever and record it. Show me some evidence of books flying, chairs moving, loved ones (or yourself) possessed or otherwise influenced by another entity. I dare you!
I’m not responsible for actual damage including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, special, or consequential damages arising out of, resulting from, or any way connected to the use of the talking board. I’m only interested in evidence.
Originally posted on Essays in Idleness:
After recent encounters, I took a break from Buddhist stuff for a long while (that, and I was super busy with work lately). I was somehow burned out from my last visit to a temple, and just needed time away.
Then I got some encouragement from an unlikely place. My daughter goes to a Japanese preschool every Thursday afternoon,1 and the teacher is very creative and makes all of her own teaching material. The teacher made some pretend monsters with special powers, like in popular card-trading games. Some of these “powers” are silly, some are helpful. One character was a Buddha-like character who’s special power was that he didn’t move. He listens to people, but doesn’t do anything.
Microsoft. Winning fans at every opportunity.
Originally posted on Greg Young's Blog:
This was written the morning of my session at TechEd and has been sitting for a while. I wanted to give some time to see if Microsoft would have some kind of follow up.
A bit jetlagged now. Why? I flew from Bali into New Orleans to speak at TechEd, yeah that’s about two days of travel and 15 hours of jetlag. It was awesome waking up at midnight my first night here (at least in New Orleans you know you can get a good breakfast at 0200).
This morning I managed to get out of bed to go do my talk at TechEd. Upon arrival at the venue we went to registration for speakers. I got my badge. I asked how we should handle my wife coming with me for the hour duration of my talk (she wanted to take pictures). I was told they can’t handle it and we need to go to the speakers’ room at 238.
This isn’t a new thing, but there are more and more professionals (and you may take that word with as much weight as you like) who put this disclaimer on their Twitter page, Facebook or whatever other time-wasting watering hole for trite exists these days. “The opinions expressed are my own and not of my [employer, goat-sacrifice-accepting-deity etc...]” The idea is that no matter what I say, only I should be held responsible for what was said and not the people who help me pay bills.
But that’s not how it works does it?
The truth of the matter is that no matter what kind of disclaimer, warning, magic spell, enchanted stick figure you affix to your name, what you say can and always will be used. For you or against you depends on who’s ire or approval you’ve aroused. Arouse deeply enough in either direction and plenty of it will spill onto third parties even remotely associated with your name.
The internet is a magical pixieland with mounds for domains wherein each cluster of pixies hang out in popular mounds to spew and absorb whatever the firehose of kitty pics and strife that piques their fancy has to offer. [Most] people don’t like drama unless they’re third party observers (there’s a reason TV shows about women who have everything, including plastic faces, bickering over manufactured drama is popular).
The takeaway from all that build-up is simply this: What you say will spill over to who you associate, be it employers, friends or the like. You can choose to blog/tweet/share under a pseudonym (made more annoying lately by Google and Facebook’s real name policies), which is something I’ve decided to give up since Ghostnetworks went bust, or you can avoid any mention of your employer. How deeply it will affect them, as mentioned previously, will depend on who’s taken interest in you and in what form.
There’s a reason the name of my current employer or my boss’ name (who I affectionately refer to as “Boss” on Twitter) isn’t listed on Facebook (the info is several years obsolete), Twitter or this blog. Unless someone really spends the time and effort to hunt through my information, I can plausibly deny who I work for. Therefore what I express can not only be mine, the consequences for what I say really are limited to myself as well.