Tag: tonytown

10 years old…and I am still here…

10 Year AnniversaryPeople still ask about “Hold No Virtue.” I try to explain it as this. Being virtuous isn’t something to be aspired to or cherished, indicating a material value at some level and thus will be withheld in lieu of fear of loss. Virtue doesn’t belong to the virtuous, rather vice versa…the virtuous are just being good. To hold on high someone that is good is part of the mistake, as I think it should be the baseline for how we interact with one another. I simply think that we have it within ourselves to be better without handing out prizes for it.

Now…as for the “Tonytown” part…well I am happy to say that wasnt actually my idea…

…and then Rob says with that crazy grin,
“HAHA…She’s about to get a free ride on the skinboat to Tonytown!”

It’s funny considering how this all started. I was just starting to tinker around with hosting and just starting to get my sea legs back on the unix of things, and wanted to convert what journal entries I had left to a digital format for later reference. I’d been tinkering with domain usage and an old friend Rob had a saying about me referencing the term “Tonytown” I knew that would be the perfect name for this. The really funny part is that I had assumed I was using the c2/cafelog right (which I wasn’t), and was making all those journal entries public instead of keeping the journal entries private.

…you see there are things you just cant live down, or laugh at. But that is it, the origin of how this all started. I went from accidentally posting all my entries and memories…from Dancing with Death and mentioning (and getting called out on) high school crushes, and even accidentally leaving a homemade rss aggregator running so well that I was getting more traffic from other bloggers articles than they were getting on their own posts.

But it’s always been fun. It’s always been an enabler for me to speak my mind on the subjects that even some of my close friends aren’t comfortable discussing. It’s enabled me to grow what was a hobby into a skill, and even more into expertise. At one point I even labelled myself a giant dork for having such a hobby. 10 years of WordPress (in all its incarnations), 10 years of expression. This little piece of internet real estate was my true enabler. It let me groom and cultivate the world…all colored lovingly in my rarely humble opinion.

10 years…and I own a successful IT company rather than worry about the 9-5 grind.
10 years…and now I’ve met all the wonderful bloggers, writers, and people that inspired me.
10 years…and now I own my own hosting company…not just one little blog.

…and this was very likely the first little step.

Cheers interwebs! Happy 10 Years of putting up with my nonsense!

-Tony



Thoughts on minimum wage increases…

minwageI am just thinking aloud here, but my logic is telling me that minimum wage increases shouldn’t and don’t have the effect some people and organizations say will happen.

See…here is what raising minimum wage gets everyone, the middle class pays for it, as the salary changes made to accommodate for manpower will initially result in price hikes, but in efforts to minimize client/customer impact, all middle positions will be the first ones hit as those are the easiest to justify. The $5 extra you might get from a raised minimum wage doesnt magically come out of the decision maker’s profits. It doesn’t work that way. Businesses are there to make money, and the owners of those businesses are rarely there on behalf of all their employees.

More importantly, lets touch on the targeted demographic: minimum wage earners, which is specifically NOT the unemployed demographic, which everyone immediately assumes to be the primary beneficiary. Nope, what we’re talking about are the people that already have jobs, because the businesses will not restructure themselves with a goal of spending more money on labor. they will restructure themselves in a manner that minimizes the impact of increases in cost of labor.

This doesn’t help the poor in the least, it just makes 10% of the country less poor, and 30% of the country more poor as the impact of adjusted salary plans are engaged to accommodate for the hike in minimum wage.

Now, do I have your attention? Good. Here is what I think will make it worse. This disconnect in income differences further segregate wage earners from each other. This meas those that make more are further separated from those making less, initially this is only a change in wardrobe or car model, but over years it quickly develops into a very clear social distinction between groups that average less and/or more annual income. I am saying that it will exacerbate a social division already present. Inflation hits and the cycle repeats itself.

Now, I am not an economist, and this is all pure streaming thought with only cursory research, but seriously, how is raising the minimum wage by itself going to fix the poverty line?

-Tony



Why Read A Banned Book This Week?

banned_books_weekThe answer here is simple. Because somebody, somewhere, is afraid of it. Because somebody, somewhere, is threatened by it. Because somebody, somewhere, wants you to be ignorant of it. It sounds aggressive when I describe it like that, doesn’t it? I hope so. One of my greatest fears is that I’ll be caught in a position that doesn’t afford me the option to learn and grow from an experience…and books are huge part of this.

Strangely enough though, for the first time, I’m taking a closer look at books that have been banned from schools and libraries in order to understand why exactly we would ever ban books.

What I am quickly finding is that the banned books are more often than not incredibly important and some were even required reading when I was in school. These were the books that provoked us and forced us to weigh in on ourselves morally…and somehow managed to become scapegoats for religious/political agendas. Of course this makes me want to read them even more. Go figure.

Having been a direct target of this kind of censorship, I have always reached instantly for those books that people find offensive so much that they burn them or ban them. What is in there that people fear so much that they would try to restrict and/or destroy it? Even with my proclivities, I don’t even find religious ideologies so repugnant that I would want them banned. I simply feel that it’s too important to have that knowledge available to us, with very little exception. I’ll argue this point even unto the science-fiction critics that complain about accuracy and pseudo-science. Imagination and experience are simply too important for us to narrow the scope of our available content.

I know where this argument takes us though, and I want to point out that I am certainly not saying we should have literature teaching people how to intentionally endanger or hurt one another, but books teaching us why people would want to do this would be incredibly important in my opinion. It seems to me that far too many people have taken it upon themselves to declare war on things they’ve only heard about, rather than relying on their own experience…something our government’s foreign and diplomatic policy could stand to consider as we continue to forcibly alienate more and more countries that are culturally incompatible with us. It’s not good enough that these cultures are oceans away, we must instead keep them so politically and personally hated that our perception of options isn’t to live and let live, but to suppress and eradicate. I simply find the situation strikingly similar to how people get themselves so stirred up over whether or not people have access to a book.

Is my allusion such a stretch?

I’ll try it on a different way. Despite a very crazy, abusive, and oppressive childhood…I managed to grow up into an extraordinarily moral individual. I owe so much of this to a list of books I couldn’t even begin to list out, but I will say this: many of them are on that banned book list. Some were actually required reading in school. I didn’t develop my values from reading only what I was told to…I learned from a whole world of philosophers and teachers, some religious and some not-so-much. I sometimes saw wisdom from despicable and evil people, and sometimes read how incredibly virtuous people could single-handedly sacrifice thousands in political posturing. The crazy, the scary, the imaginative…far too many of them incredibly insightful…restricted at libraries because someone ELSE didn’t like the contents. I learned a very strong sense of self, of right, of wrong, and how easily people deliberately convince themselves something morally horrible is acceptable in the name of a higher power that expressly forbids the act.

It pains me to think that maybe if people read more, they would have less time to convince themselves to act in such extremes, and have more time for the insight and inspiration that inevitably arrives from reading a good book…even one that might offend them.

Links to many of the banned books are below. Enjoy!

-Tony

www.ala.org

www.banned-books.org.uk

www.buzzfeed.com

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.time.com