Tag Archives: mixed bolts

Everybody’s a journalist

…and a legal scholar, apparently. Fallout from the Patreon hack:

From: Matthew Hopkins <matthopkins@thewitchfindergeneral.com>
Subject: URGENT Media Inquiry – Randi Harper Patreon
To: des@des.no
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:33:26 +0100

Dear Dag-Erling Smørgrav ,

I am the author of the major blog www.matthewhopkinsnews.com. I am sending you this email because your name appears in a list of people who donate to a Patreon operated by a person called Randi Harper. The list was confidential but has been hacked and placed online by unknown third parties. As a result of the leak you may be named, so please read this email carefully.

Ms Harper is a controversial figure due to her extreme political views, including support for Sarah Nyberg, a political activist who at one time claimed to be a paedophile and supported white supremacism, although now claims they were ‘joking’. Harper has also admitted to drug abuse, including attempting to smoke meth from a broken lightbulb. She also irresponsibly dyed her dog blue and accidentally allowed it to lick up her drugs. The following Breitbart articles may be of assistance –

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/07/21/feminist-champion-randi-harper-in-her-own-words-stop-making-everything-a-gender-issue/
http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/09/12/meet-the-progressives-defending-gamergate-critic-sarah-nyberg/
http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/09/11/leading-gamergate-critic-sarah-nyberg-claimed-to-be-a-pedophile-apologised-for-white-nationalism/

You are supporting a person who is associated with some of the vilest imaginable extremism. Your exposure is interesting, partly because a similar leak occurred a few years ago here in Britain, when the membership list of one of Britain’s far right parties was leaked online – http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/oct/20/bnp-membership-list-wikileaks

As a responsible journalist, I can assure you I shall not be publishing the list. However, some of you may work in regulated roles with responsible access to information, vulnerable adults or children. There may be a lawful public interest in my contacting the relevant authorities (including an employer). In addition, the third parties who obtained the data have, as I said, released it online and I suspect it will find its way to Wikileaks, amongst other places.

I would like to invite you to answer the following questions –

  1. Did you know about Randi Harper’s history?
  2. Do you endorse her extremist views?
  3. In light of the revelations about her, and her support for Sarah Nyberg, will you continue to donate?
  4. Are you aggrieved at Ms Harper’s failure to safeguard your personal data?

Please provide comment as soon as possible.

About Me
I am the author of www.matthewhopkinsnews.com, a Conservative leaning blog that has had over 188,000 unique visits since January this year. My pen name is Matthew Hopkins and my real name is Sam Smith. My blog has sourced stories for some of Britain’s largest newspapers.

I am studying a Master’s Degree in law combined with an LPC (attorney’s certificate). In fact I was praised in the British Parliament by then Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming for my legal skills representing a vulnerable woman in the High Court, who faced being declared mentally incompetent – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140113/petntext/140113p0001.htm.

Kind regards,
Sam Smith
writing as
Matthew Hopkins
The Witchfinder General
www.matthewhopkinsnews.com
http://www.thewitchfindergeneral.com
@MHWitchfinder

He clearly expects me to be intimidated. Should I be flattered?

Highlights:

  1. Citing Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart, a far-right blogger whose idea of investigative journalism includes such gems as “there is no evidence that Randi Harper is actually a crack whore” (paraphrased);
  2. “Nice job you have there, it would be a shame if my journalistic and personal ethics compelled me to tell your employer that you support paedophiles” (but don’t worry, it’s totally not blackmail);
  3. Complex question fallacy (“have you stopped beating your wife?”);
  4. Patreon was hacked, the British National Party was also hacked, therefore supporting Randi Harper on Patreon is equivalent to supporting the British National Party;
  5. Randi Harper is responsible for the security of Patreon’s network and therefore for the theft of Patreon’s user database.

His mother must be really proud.

You know what, Sam-Smith-writing-as-Matthew-Hopkins? I just doubled my pledge to Randi Harper, pledged similar amounts to Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, and signed up for a monthly donation to Feminist Frequency. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to donate to Sarah Nyberg.

How about them apples?

EDIT: various markup and spelling fixes

I can’t stop thinking

I’m borrowing a line from Scott McCloud because it’s been stuck in my head since the day I first heard it (or rather read it) way back in 2000, and sometimes it really resonates with me for a completely different reason.

This weekend has been very productive (and satisfying) but also very tiring. I went to bed expecting to sleep soundly, although I often have trouble falling asleep on Sundays.¹ I nodded off two or three times over my Kindle before putting it away and lying down. I promptly fell asleep and had some very disturbing² dreams before waking up again, barely fifteen or twenty minutes later. Then I started thinking.

And I can’t stop thinking.

You’ve probably read that many great artists are or were bipolar. I don’t claim to be a great artist, but greatness (in any field of endeavor) requires drive, dedication, obsession even, and I understand where they get that drive. Imagine that you wake up in the middle of the night—or a sudden spell comes over you during the day—and you find yourself getting increasingly restless and agitated and your thoughts are running away from you and you are overcome with the urge to translate those thoughts into words, or code, or chords, or colors, or anything and just keep going until they’re purged from your brain and you can stand up and scream

I MADE THIS

and sometimes the moment passes before you’re even halfway done and you sink, and sink, and sink and you stare at the unfinished work and it stares back and mocks you because who are you to think you could ever build this?

So in the hour that passed between waking up and giving up trying to sleep, I mentally designed a wiki-style markup syntax⁴ and a Perl implementation complete with parsing strategy, class hierarchy and a plugin system for custom output formats. Then I got up and started installing that liquid cooler I bought for my desktop three months ago but never got around to installing, only to discover that the heat sink has leaked into its wrapper, so I reassembled the computer and hang it from a rail under my desk using that bracket I bought two months ago but never got around to installing.⁵ And I pretty much wrote this blog post in my head while I was disassembling and reassembling my computer.

I can’t stop thinking.

And this is what I’m like when I’m on meds that work. It used to be much, much worse. I don’t cycle as rapidly as I used to, and I never go as far up or down as I used to. So these days I mostly manage to finish what I start, unless I hit a serious obstacle and don’t have an outside factor to push me onward, and I’m much better at prioritizing and at not taking on (too) much more than I can handle.

Maybe this is why creative people tend to have cats rather than dogs. Cats don’t care if you’re batshit crazy.

Relevant (if you read Norwegian): Jaja, det er vel på tide å legge kukken på bordet igjen


¹ Even when on vacation, so it’s not work-related.
² Yes, that’s a euphemism for “explicit”³
³ I know, I know, “explicit” is also a euphemism.
⁴ which is idiotic because there are already so many to choose from, yet not completely idiotic because most of them are crap and those that aren’t have no decent Perl implementations, or are implemented as part of a complete wiki application which is not what I need so shut up.
⁵ I have ridiculously expensive brand-name office furniture in my home office. Considering how much time K and I spend in there, it’s worth every penny.

My nerd is showing

Annoyance of the day, triggered by rifling through my considerable collection of geek T-shirts this morning, trying to decide what to wear: I have the Wil Wheaton Code shirt, but can’t wear it because people think it’s me. I don’t want to be known as the guy who wears a shirt with a picture of himself. The only person who’s ever recognized it at first sight was my fifty-something boss. Instead of «who’s that?», he asked «Star Trek or BBT?». I almost proposed to him on the spot.

(I finally settled on the discontinued ThinkGeek code monkey shirt)

Wires and switches

ESR is at it again:

I can best introduce you to our concerns by quoting another of our
philosopher / elders, John Gilmore. He said: “The Internet interprets
censorship as damage and routes around it.”

To understand that, you have to grasp that “the Internet” isn’t just a
network of wires and switches, it’s also a sort of reactive social
organism composed of the people who keep those wires humming and those
switches clicking. John Gilmore is one of them. I’m another. And there
are some things we will not stand having done to our network.

Dear ESR,

I’m pretty sure John Gilmore knows that wires aren’t supposed to hum and switches aren’t supposed to click. It seems you don’t. Perhaps it would be best if you stepped away from the Internet before you break something expensive.