Dear Soycrates, you moralizing vegan blowhard, suck my big fat satirical cock

unquietpirate:

soycrates:

unquietpirate:

soycrates:

socialjusticevegan:

unquietpirate:

Maymay is hard at work on the next Predator Alert Tool!

Predator Alert Tool for Diaspora* will be the first truly unhosted PAT app, robustly designed to work across de-centralized, federated social networking plaforms, and with an even stronger focus on addressing cyberbullying and online harassment as well as offline violence.

However, as you can see above, they are also having some technical difficulties. Their laptop keyboard has stopped working. They’ve worked out a very temporary, clunky solution for now, in order to keep coding. But their real keyboard needs to be replaced — a repair that costs a little over $200.

If you’d like to support development of the Predator Alert Tools (or just want to support maymay in general), now is a great time to send them a donation. More information about how to do that here. Thanks!

Seriously, maymay has created an entire collection of tools to help and protect survivors, since the big names who run social media site can’t be bothered, and they do it completely for free and basically on their own. So yeah, if you can donate or signal boost so they could fix their keyboard, I think that’s the least we could do.

I’ve broken my laptop in the exact same way last week, and while I sympathize, I’m going to stress that this is no way gets in the way of coding. This does NOT make using any program harder. I’d love for someone to pay to fix my laptop so I can understand why they’d want someone to, especially when they provide a free service, but to say their keyboard “needs” to be replaced is kind of an overstatement, don’t you think? 

Hey there. I don’t know you, so I’m assuming that means you also don’t know me and don’t know much about Maymay. But, for what it’s worth, Maymay is homeless, lives on the road, and receives absolutely zero income except for donations of money and food. And the reason they live this way is largely so that they can focus 100% on helping solve serious but not lucrative social problems that more financially-motivated others with their type of technological expertise have chosen to ignore

If you’re interested, you can read a little bit more about what they’re doing here.

Having someone else pay to replace your keyboard might be unnecessary for someone in your position, since I assume you have a job and a house. I imagine it was unpleasant but not impossible to cover the cost of your own repair. But someone who has no income, has to carry everything they own around, and does a lot of their coding in places like bus terminals and other crowded public areas doesn’t have that luxury. $200 is several months of bills (phone, server), food, and transit costs for May. They can’t realistically blow that kind of money on a computer repair.

Obviously, everybody’s got their own financial situations they’re dealing with. There’s certainly no expectation on you or anyone else to help a stranger out. Hell, I already spent all the extra money I could afford this month (and more) donating to another friend who needs help hiring a trans*-friendly custody lawyer. But for those folks who do know Maymay, understand their situation, appreciate their work, and have some extra cash to spare, making a small donation would be appreciated and very sweet.

I’m sorry, I must have been unclear to warrant this response.

“Having someone else pay to replace your keyboard might be unnecessary for someone in your position, since I assume you have a job and a house. I imagine it was unpleasant but not impossible to cover the cost of your own repair.“

There’s no way in hell I could afford a $200 laptop repair. But I’m in the exact same boat:

image

I don’t have to pay to fix my entire laptop, as you can see, since I bought a keyboard for $20 dollars that works just fine. No, it doesn’t look fancy. But there’s nothing wrong with it!  And even though I could ask for help in getting my laptop fixed, I really feel there are better things people could be doing with $200 dollars than making my laptop look nice. $200 could buy a lot of food and blankets for a lot of people.

I think you thought I said that they should just suck it up and pay for their own laptop repairs, which is definitely not what I’m saying. I’m saying there laptop works fine, even if it doesn’t look great. I understand wanting to have a more aesthetically pleasing workplace and having the comfort of a laptop that doesn’t come in a bunch of pieces (I work from my laptop too, with probably about as much income as they receive – we’re probably very alike in the ways that we live!), but in no way does this make the laptop any less usable than a laptop with a normal keyboard.

I do suggest that, if enough donations are raised, it would be just as cost efficient to get a used or refurbished laptop altogether – unless they are using something like a mac (even then, it would be much more cost efficient to sell it and get a cheaper laptop). There are laptops in the 200-300 price range, which makes it pretty awkward to pay for repairs on a broken laptop for the same price.

I didn’t mean to cause any offense (and I certainly don’t think I meant to convey that they shouldn’t be asking for donations) but it did make me intensely curious as to how this situation could be a problem that was described as “needs fixing”. 

In the very least, consider this a signal boost to my 5,765 followers.

Alright, fine, I mean this is basically splitting hairs over semantics. Certainly, nobody absolutely “needs” to have a computer that works in a specific way, or to own a computer at all, or whatever. Arguably, nobody really “needs” anything except maybe food and, even then, endless debates rage about how much and what kind of food counts as “needed” vs. “wanted.” Whatever. I’m just trying to help my friend get their laptop fixed for christs’s sake.

Here’s the thing: In my experience, the distinction between “needs” and “wants” is a pretty abritrary one. They are hardly universalizable categories, for obvious reasons. I could get into some argument here trying to justify Maymay’s decisions about why they ask for crowdfunding support around certain things (like computer repairs) and not others (for example, I personally think they could really use a warm coat that fits and some gloves, rather than just wearing three layers of beat-up hoodies full of holes and shivering all the time — but they’re never in a million years going to ask anybody else to help them with that.) But I’m not going to.

Why? Because different people have different priorities about what things make their lives more worth living. When I have a little bit of extra money, I spent it on bodywork and psychotherapy, because that’s what I feel like I “need” — and I make other decisions in my life that allow me to prioritize that. Others might argue that getting regular massage is a luxury, but they spend money on videogames or eating out at lunch or they drive a new car or own a smartphone, all things which probably feel necessary to them for their well-being (and very well might be) but that I see as indulgent expenses that I could never countenance for myself. It’s not that the way a given individual spends their resources should never be subject to analysis. It’s that these kinds of decisions are so personal and contextual, there’s no point in arguing about them at such an oversimplified level of abstraction.

The point here is that I am not Maymay’s mom, and neither are you. Repairing your laptop isn’t a priority for you, fine, don’t repair your laptop. But lecturing total strangers about how they should spend their money is just rude — whether that be lecturing Maymay about how they should purchase a more “appropriate” computer for a homeless person, or lecturing Maymay’s supporters for sending them donations instead of using that money to buy people blankets, or whatever. Come on. Nobody’s asking you to fund a financial decision you consider irresponsible. But this is the beauty of crowdfunding. If you don’t want to support the thing, don’t.

Meanwhile, there are other people for whom it feels good to have an opportunity to help out someone whose work they appreciate in a way that is directly related to the continuuance of that work. And, if there are enough of those people to raise $200, Maymay will use it to get their laptop fixed. And, if there aren’t, they’ll figure out some other way to cope. Because that’s how crowdfunding works. We’re not talking about how the government allocates our tax money, here. We’re talking about how relative strangers on Tumblr decide to spend $10.

Anyway, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to tear into you personally. I just have a lot of loved ones who are or have been homeless, and so I hear this kind of shit constantly and it drives me crazy. Homeless and poor folks are entitled to just as much agency around how they spend their income as anybody else. If you, for whatever personal reasons you have, don’t want that income to include money you gave them, don’t give them money. But suggesting that other people who do want to donate shouldn’t, because you think the person asking doesn’t really deserve the kind of support they’ve requested, is fucked up.

TBQH: My personal opinion is that, if you’d like to have a working keyboard and you can’t afford to get your laptop fixed right now, you should try asking your friends and family (or some of your 5,765 followers) for support. Why haven’t you? I bet some of them would be genuinely happy to help you out.

Thank you for the signalboost. Sincerely.

Dear Soycrates, esteemed Philosophy BA from McMaster University,

How many blankets or how much food could you have bought for homeless people with the money you spent on your tuition?

If you’re truly concerned with efficient use of money, why did you choose to major in philosophy instead of, say, business or accounting?

If you don’t want to donate money, have you considered sending me some food instead, or would you first want to know whether I eat vegan, like you and your well-cared for Vegan High Horse, or if I eat the cheaper mass-produced poison that’s actually what I can afford without stealing?

Meanwhile you think your college degree is an effective use of your money to change the world or something? Shit son, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Speaking of bridges, would you like to join me for a sleepover under a highway overpass while we hide from cops? I know of a number of really good ones with relatively spacious cavities and a few even have nice views of nearby cities. Bring everything you own, including your sleeping bag, your clothes, food and water enough for three or four days, your laptop, and don’t forget your bulky external keyboard, which I’m sure you use to type out philosophical masterpieces about ethics that literally no one else on the planet can type, especially not the University Ivory Tower professors who you paid how much money to study under, again? I mean, why do either of us even bother with keyboards at all, we should just use pencils and paper, especially given that neither of us are writing computer code. Oh wait.

No but seriously, we should just use pencils. Certainly that’s a more efficient use of our money than typing code for anti-rape software that no one else is writing, anyway. But if you are gonna bring your keyboard to the sleepover, I hope the keyboard isn’t too heavy or hard to carry, because when you carry everything that you own with you wherever you go, every ounce matters, which I trust you already know because apparently our lifestyle is pretty similar, according to you and your extensive personal knowlege of my life that you acquired as a BA in Philosophy. Silly me.

Anyway, obviously you are spot-on about my main concern about my broken keyboard is how my laptop looks, because aesthetics is definitely the only thing I’ve been talking about here, unlike your morally superior focus on utility and efficiency. I’m so glad you’re here to keep me focused with your incredibly perceptive Tumblr blog!

You’ve convinced me. What I was asking for help with was stupid and entitled of me. I’m a bad, bad greedy person. So you can forget about the keyboard, and I’d be very appreciative of any donations of food you can offer instead, because then I’ll have to spend less money on food and can save more of it for other, more discretionary spending that isn’t morally approvee by esteemed ethicists like you, which of course I will check in with you about first to make sure it meets your standards of efficiency and necessity for what things my poor dirty hands touch.

But I also understand if you choose not to donate to help me out. Hell, everyone knows we homeless people are just gonna spend our money on keyboard repairs anyway. Next time when I ask for financial help, I’ll be less honest and just tell you I’m gonna buy a 40 and a dime bag, a’ight?

See also: How to patronize homeless people with a morally superior attitude that reeks of liberal judgment 101, a new McMaster University course taught by Soycrates. Tuition cost: free!

5 replies on “Dear Soycrates, you moralizing vegan blowhard, suck my big fat satirical cock”

  1. @nino ♥, it’s not as unrelated as it might look. There’s a lot of disconnect in the US between activism that actually gives an informed damn about people, and activism as a consumer product – get your identity here! – that merely makes people feel like they are pure and righteous.

    While there are solid arguments for veganism, it has attracted a subculture of people who can afford to spend a lot of time and money obsessing over what they do and don’t eat. This is not a stereotype that applies to all vegans, obviously. But it’s pervasive enough that when a self-identified vegan is doing something particularly clueless and obstructive (see above) other activists sometimes feel like it’s warranted to give them an image problem. I.e., to complicate the picture they’re presenting to the world of "I care! I’m doing something terribly important!" Because they’re overtly proud of their politics, and yet, they’re having a direct, negative effect on other radicals.

    This both pokes the vegan community to not continue developing a reputation as the place where shallow people congregate, and pokes Soycrates not to be a hypocrite.

    I wrote this out because it might be a US-based problem. I’d be thrilled if it’s different in other countries.

  2. @nino: Oh weird, I guess there was a glitch in the federation?

    @imaginedragons: Yes, that.

    Anyways, in their infinite cowardess, Soycrates deleted their posts, because taking down embarrassing shit you’ve said is what true activist bloggers do. ;)

Comments are closed.