Strangest Wednesdays: Do Not Pass Go

“For so many trans folks, it’s really not us, it’s everyone else who loses their minds.”

I love Laverne Cox: she plays Sophia on Orange is the New Black, and in this Gawker interview, she says some brilliant things about being trans*, being a star, shame as internalized transphobia and racism, feeling insufficient, representing an entire community, and even the difficulty feminism has had with the feminine.

Beware the Orientation Police! This comic by Bill Roundy hits all the right notes in terms of gender identity: gender and sexual orientation are different, labels fail, people who want to put you into a tidy box are not allies (straight, gay, or other), and the only time someone else’s junk is your business if if you’re in a relationship with them.

Is your photocopier lying to you? It turns out that some Xerox copiers (and possibly many others) are prone to changing the numbers in the documents they copy, and not in a “that vague blur could be a 5 or an 8” kind of way. It seem that sloppy use of image compression algorithms that can misplace pixels and even incorrectly place or repeat parts of an image. In this study, a small but legible 14 was turned into a 21, and a clearly printed 65 was turned into anĀ equally clear and unambiguous 85. This happened even though OCR (Optical Character Recognition, known to introduce errors) was turned off.

It’s a good thing that we don’t rely on photocopiers to accurately reproduce important data like spreadsheets, blueprints or arrest orders (thank you Terry Gilliam).

As we continue our technologically and culturally-assisted nose-dive toward utter dystopia, I think we should celebrate Gilliam’s Brazil for its visionary quality. Clearly I’m not alone in this, as these folks reenacted the entire movie in an abandoned office block in London.

Dum-dum da dum-dum da-da-da…


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