Religion has been undeniably used by dictators and fascists throughout history to consolidate their power.
Yet, whenever this fact is mentioned, we get constant pushback claiming that this is some kind of "perversion" and that there's some core of purity and goodness to religion.
Yet the essence of religion is to control behavior, identify chosen people and condemn heretics and apostates. It's tailor made for separating in groups from out-groups and is therefore the essence of #fascism
Unpopular opinion: we should normalize black people coming to Mastodon, being safe and speaking their minds.
They might talk about internal discomfort and biases we might hold.
It's not their responsibility to educate us. It's our responsibility to create a place where black people are accepted.
I was looking at the news this morning and I think it's the perfect time to bring this up.
On Dec 2, 1859, Abolitionist John Brown was the first American ever executed for treason. The second ever executed for treason was Aaron Dwight Stevens (March 15, 1831 – March 16, 1860).
Their crimes? Attempting to free the enslaved. The first Americans executed for treason was for the crime of freeing the enslaved.
Legality is not always a measure of justice & morality, but a measure of power. This was only two life spans ago.
May we learn from these atrocities & uphold justice forever.
@MykDowling I'm a Python dev, not a Rails dev. If I can get my business to make enough money, I'll hire a Rails dev to work on upstream/ecko.
since people have been asking: all of these debugging comics are part of a zine I'm working on. It's not out yet but you can sign up at https://wizardzines.com/zine-announcements/ to get an email when it comes out
Addendum on my accessibility advice, refining it based on feedback/questions
After answering many questions on #accessibility and #screenreaders used by #blind, #LowVision, #PartiallySighted, #VisuallyImpaired people, I think it would be good to summarise them in their refined forms in one spot for easy reference.
1. Writing well as a general advice stands, however, I wrote my post in English and naturally included some points specific to English. Screen readers are programmed to work best with languages according to their spelling conventions regarding capitalisation, punctuation, and symbol usage; covering anything from casual to academic writing styles. Substituting letters with symbols/numbers falls outside of such conventions, meaning words will not read correctly.
2. #AltText, and the time it takes to write them, is very much appreciated, regardless of length or level of detail. However, the more detail you can put in the more we can appreciate the image and your reasons for sharing it.
3. Multi-word hashtags in CamelCase, yes: #ThisIsWhatAnAccessibleHashtagLooksLike. It does not matter where you place them; either in the post's text or at the end. The best analogy for screen reader users being able to deal with hashtags in text is that we've become used to them in the same way we're used to people saying "uh", "ummm", or other extraneous vocalisations when talking.
Bonus: By all means, use emojis for that extra bit of expression, but in moderation.
Final thoughts: Screen readers can be customised by the user to make it work best for them, including minimising any annoyances. The above points will help loads regarding shared content. Assume that a screen reader user has optimised their settings to deal with the rest.
Once again, thanks for reading! 😘
#FediTips #Mastodon #ScreenReaderUsers #inclusivity #community
long post on accessibility advice from a blind screen reader user
OK #Mastodon. I've seen several toots on #accessibility for #screenreader users, however, I've not seen one from a screenreader user (as far as I know). I've used ZoomText, Outspoken, JAWS (AKA JFW), Supernova, NVDA (Windows), and VoiceOver (both on Macs and iPhone). I don't have experience with Windows Narrator or TalkBack. I would like to rectify and clarify a few small things.
First off, any awareness of accessibility issues, and endeavours to make things more accessible is great. Keep going!
Blind/low-vision people have been using the internet as long as everyone else. We had to become used to the way people share things, and find workarounds or tell developers what we needed; this latter one has been the main drive to get us here and now. Over the past decade, screen readers have improved dramatically, including more tools, languages, and customisability. However, the basics were already firmly in place around 2000. Sadly, screen readers cost a lot of money at that time. Now, many are free; truly the biggest triumph for accessibility IMHO.
So, what you can do to help screen readers help their users is three simple things.
1. Write well: use punctuation, and avoid things like random capitalisation or * halfway through words.
2. Image description: screen readers with image recognition built-in will only provide a very short description, like: a plant, a painting, a person wearing a hat, etc. It can also deal with text included in the image, as long as the text isn't too creatively presented. So, by all means, go absolutely nuts with detail.
3. Hashtags: this is the most commonly boosted topic I've seen here, so #ThisIsWhatAnAccessibleHashtagLooksLike. The capitalisation ensures it's read correctly, and for some long hashtags without caps, I've known screen readers to give up and just start spelling the whole damn thing out, which is slow and painful.
That's really all. Thanks for reading! 😘
I will never understand far right Conservatives who claim to be fans of #StarTrek but who then complain about current Trek being “too woke”
From Day 1 the entire premise of the Federation is that it’s a post-scarcity socialist utopia whose mission is scientific discovery and the peaceful exploration of space and discovery of new cultures.
The shows have always pushed the social boundaries of the times they aired in. Trek isn’t “turning woke”, Star Trek has always been woke. How’d you not know?
“We found that a senior man (someone aged over 35) would, on average, ask 9.3 more questions than a junior woman, while a senior woman would ask just 2.3 more questions than a junior man.” https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-04241-y
My publisher is planning to release its whole catalog of books (SF&fantasy novels written in French) under a free license (Art Libre or CC).
We are looking for partners interested in helping with the FR->EN translation and, most importantly, with the distribution in the North American & English market.
So we are looking for professionals of the publishing industry willing to spread free-as-in-speech culture.
Thanks for sharing/retoot
meta, FediBlock, long
Well, apparently it's time to talk about QOTO again. Sigh. They've now started a "cancel culture"-themed disinformation campaign under the name of "United Federation of Instances" (https://gitlab.com/ufoi/constitution/-/tree/master).
Their claim, once you poke through all the lofty wording, is essentially that defederation is "out of control" and that's proven by them getting defederated from other instances over the behaviour of a single user that they banned.
Just one problem: that is complete bullshit. They were defederated for many reasons (some receipts attached) that had nothing to do with that users, and everything to do with their moderation policies or rather lack thereof.
A couple of weeks ago, they mass-mailed instances asking them to unblock their instance, with the same sob story. They claim that they did this by the book, "only manually contacting instances with published contact information".
The reality is that their e-mails clearly weren't appreciated by many instance admins (who had blocked them for very good reason), and that they also clearly hadn't looked at the block *reasons* on the instances which blocked them.
They were told all of this, repeatedly, by many different people (including me), through multiple different platforms. Yet they continue to claim in their UFI "proposal" that it was just about that one user, and everything was by the book.
No mention of any of these issues whatsoever. No mention of how they were effectively harassing instance admins who very clearly wanted nothing to do with them. Not even so much as a private apology.
Their "proposal" also includes some very problematic wording that I can only read as politically conservative norms of moderation (and I hopefully don't need to explain why that is bad). Again, receipts attached.
This whole thing reminds me a lot of the Libre Monde misinformation in the Matrix community. That document was likewise very formally written, and managed to convince a lot of people of things that were somewhere between misrepresented and outright false. Several years later, it continues to make the rounds, despite having been debunked over and over again.
We should be extremely careful that something similar doesn't happen here. They seem to be taking a similar "make it look official" approach to spreading misinformation, and there are entirely too many people who will happily believe anything that looks official...
If you didn't have qoto.org blocked yet, this would probably also be a good moment to consider that.
And the rest of the contributor list may also be worth a look: https://gitlab.com/ufoi/constitution/-/blob/master/CONTRIBUTORS.md - I don't know whether the non-QOTO folks just bought into misinformation or are deliberately spreading it themselves, but either way something probably needs to be done about that.
And let's all keep an eye on where this goes, please, so that it doesn't become a long-term source of harassment.
Geek, skeptic, tango dancer, cancer survivor (so far). Probably on the spectrum (no formal diagnosis). It's pronounced like "Mike", and my pronouns are he/him.
Fediverse (Mastodon) server for Myk & Ann's extended family