Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I don't understand the internet

Dear #,

I really don't understand certain parts of the internet. In this particular case, I'm talking about Comments. Now, no one follows my blog at all, so even if I said something worthy of rage and angry comments, I'd get maybe four or five people, most of whom know me well, who comment. As a result, it isn't really a comments section so much as a conversation, so this really doesn't apply here. Maybe someday I'll be good enough of a writer that people read my blog more often. That would probably be more likely if I actually updated more often, but whatever.

Here's what I really don't understand: If you hate whatever it is the article is about, why are you there? For example, if you're on a Mormon Feminists page and you are both Anti-Mormon and Anti-Feminist, why do you even bother showing up and reading the article? I mean, maybe they are just trolling, but... I don't understand that, either.

Or another example: On the Civilization page, on Facebook.

Most of the responses make sense: Cultural, Diplomatic, Scientific, I used to do cultural but now it is too hard, Domination is the only fun way to play, etc. But then there is this guy:

Why are you even on this page? Why do you even bother having this fill up your facebook feed? Why do you put something that most people on this page aren't going to care about, because they are actually fans of the game? And if that isn't bad enough, why don't you just change your damn windows profile name, so it stops being a problem?

Seriously. I don't understand.

Maybe someone can explain this mindset?


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear Hashtag Origins

Dear #,

Somehow in the course of writing the first few posts for this blog I neglected to mention where the name comes from, or the general idea for this general purpose blog, or, well, anything. Which kind of leaves the name "Dear Hashtag" as kind of a mystery, but not the fun kind involving clues and puzzles. Fortunately it doesn't include any dead bodies, either.

My lovely wife Holly and I were discussing baby names, and how so many people we know have gone the "creative" route with their children, and particularly with their daughters. I find this somewhat appalling, as there are SO many wonderful and beautiful names for girls. I personally find boys names more difficult, as you start getting into "That's a weird name" territory much more quickly. This can easily be explained simply by looking at general sources for names by gender.

Male Sources:
  • The Bible - This is the most common source, whether you name your child Matthew or David.
  • History - This is probably the second most common, but many Historical names come from the Bible, so there is some crossover there. 
  • Cultural sources - This is common when the person comes from a sub-culture or a different culture than standard "American." This includes African, Asian, Hispanic, Mormon, Quaker, etc.
  • Television and Books

Female Sources:
  • The Bible - There are far fewer female names from the bible, but even so Ruth, Mary, and Deborah are common enough. 
  • History - This is much more common, as many names are well known enough, including Helen, Virginia, Elizabeth, etc. 
  • Cultural - Just as with Men, only many of them have been "Americanized" and are more common names here. 
  • Flowers
  • Trees
  • Plants
  • Cities
  • Birds
  • Myths
  • Literature
  • Television and Books
This is hardly a comprehensive list, but in my experience there are ten awesome girl names for every awesome boy name. This makes my generation's complete incompetence with naming their daughters something I don't remotely understand. Anyway, during this discussion Holly brought up a weird name she'd heard someone came up with: Hashtag. As in, a Twitter Hashtag. I laughed, until she gave me something to think about: With all these weird names flying around, odds were pretty even that one of our two boys would ultimately marry someone with such a name.

That is, our son's wife, our future daughter-in-law, could be named Hashtag. #!

I laughed, and said I should start a blog with letters to my future daughter-in-law and call it Dear Hashtag. The rest is... well, future History.