Monthly Archives: April 2013

Is This What’s Really Going On? Notes from Therapy

I screwed up some scheduling and it’s driving me crazy.  It didn’t matter in the slightest – God love me some absentminded economists – but it makes me feel like a screw-up, out of control of everything, second- and third- and forth-guessing myself.

I hate myself for it.

I hate myself for it.

That is depression. Depression is your toughest critic, your meanest boss, your cattiest friend.  In short, depression is an asshole

I know perfectly well it’s depression and yet?  Still can’t make it go away.   So instead I spent an hour reality-checking with my therapist.  Working through the steps of telling my depression to fuck itself; to focus on that everything was fine; to come up with new shiny successful tasks; to second-guess my emotions, not myself.

My new motto for the week is “is that what’s really going on?”


I think I liked it better when the motto was “is it really snowing again?!?!?”

Filling In All the Little Boxes (except for this one)

At the beginning of the month I scrounged around and after weighing way too many options, I printed out two calenders – April & May – and Frankenstiened them together.  I’ve been filling up, not just the squares which are for the big picture, or my google calendar for the individual appointments, but my social axons.  I run from one thing to another and at the end of the day, I can’t even make sense of the plot of Hannibal while creating store maps.  The process of how they make whiskey is fighting for air space with different types of teacher selective sorting and they’re both losing to thinking about decorating my living room.

You see, at the end of that frakencal, so far in advance that it doesn’t even have its own box, is “9th Party” 9th party is a big house party, celebrating not only my birthday this year, but my big 3 0.


Last year for my birthday I worked despite blocking it off, last year my mom decided to call the day before, last year my friends forgot, last year my aunt sent me a letter about her hip replacement, last year… last year sucked.

This year, big house party!  And, for some reason, it has to be a big house party in a pinteresty, decory house.  Since none of my friends even have Pinterest, I’m not sure why I care, but I can’t get the decor out of my head.  I ordered swatches from Spoonflower for this project, bought a pile of plants, and have had serious conversations about our mantle. Said mantle:


I’m thinking another bottle or two for the right side, and then a terrarium, moving the photos entirely or…. something.  What do you think?

Lit Review: Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook


Stutzman, Fred, Ralph Gross, and Alessandro Acquist.  “Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook.” 2012.  Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality, 4:2.

“Access to increasingly granular settings, to determine  which profile data other Facebook users get to peruse, may have increased a member’s feeling of control and direct her attention towards the sharing taking place with other active, non-silent, members of the network; in turn, perceptions of control over personal data and misdirection of users’ attention have been linked to increases in disclosures of sensitive information to strangers”

Summary: Stuzman et al. use a private, long-term data set of Carnegie Mellon Facebook users, finding that over time users have looked for greater perceived privacy, but have in fact increased the information available to advertisers and Facebook itself, i.e. “silent listeners.”    Although the overall trend is to share less private information over time, they do find an uptick in 2009-10 which they credit to changes in Facebook privacy policies increasing users’ cognitive burden.

Analysis:  One particularly interesting point was that of “incidental data,” the creation of new data without actual creation, e.g. that aps pull information from users and users’ friends without an active choice to share such data.  They also mention that social media users consistently underestimate their audience size, being aware of only 27% of their audience. I see a lot of potential in further research that forces users to think about and analyze such choices.

The dataset has several limitations, sadly unavoidable in the context of having such “long-term” information.  The profile elements they analyze are very basic, such as birth date, phone, and favorite media.  Additionally, they don’t address the issue of how their participant pool ages, particularly the effects of leaving college on privacy seeking behavior.  They also mention that they couldn’t determine between non-disclosures based on hidden information versus information that was simply not given at all.  Despite these, having an unique longitudinal dataset makes this worth reading.

Overall:  It will make you feel really paranoid about your own Facebook behavior, but also pique your interest.  Also the lit review is really amazing in terms of summerizing the research on multiple presentations of self.

Why I shouldn’t be left home alone with the art supplies: an exercise in procrastination

This is what I did on Saturday afternoon instead of working:


In my defense, wrapping a birthday gift was on my list.  Wrapping, note, not art project extraordinaire.

I started with some comic book coloring pages downloaded from Dover, a really awful gift box, and some art goodies.


I decided to cover the box up with random stuff and then have epic superhero woman as a topper.


The edges looked really terrible as you can see, so I covered everything with as much washi tape as I could.  This was my first real project using washi, and I have to say that I loved it.  I think it really saved the project, don’t you?


Next was the top, which had its own logistical concerns.


Happily the birthday boy was very impressed.  Less happily is that this is so not the work on the ethics of photography online that I have been trying to finish up for a week.  It’s coming though, I promise (to myself)!