The people afraid to show their peers or bosses my technical writing because it also contains furry art are some of the dumbest cowards in technology.
Considering the recent events at ApeFest, a competitive level of stupidity is quite impressive.
To be clear, the exhibited stupidity in question is their tendency to project their own sexual connotations onto furry art–even if said art isn’t sexual in nature in any meaningful sense of the word.
But then again, poetry can be sexual, so who knows?
The cowardice comes in with the fear of their peers or bosses judging them for *checks notes* the content and presentation that I wrote, and not them.
Which (if you think about it for any significant length of time) implies that they’re generally eager to take credit for other people’s work, but their selfishness was thwarted by a cute cartoon dhole doing something totally innocent.
Even sillier, there’s a small contingent on technical forums that are “concerned” about the growing prevalence of queer and furry identities in technical spaces (archived).
Even some old school hackers conveniently forget that
alt.fan.furry was a thing before the Internet.
As frustratingly incompetent as these hot takes are, they pale in comparison to, by far, the biggest source of bad opinions about the furry fandom.
The call is coming from inside the house.
Like Cats and Dogs
Last month, I wrote a blog post about Aural Alliance, which caused a menace in the furry music space to accuse me of “bad journalism” for not verbally crucifying the label’s creator (a good friend of mine) for having a failed business venture in the past, or taking credit for donating to their cause early on.
To which one must wonder, “Since when am I a journalist?”
I’ve never called myself a journalist. I’m a blogger and I don’t pretend to be anything more than that. I especially would never besmirch the work of real journalists by comparing it with my musings.
At times, I also wear the security researcher hat, but you’ll only hear about it when I’m publishing a vulnerability.
This is a personal blog. I will neither be censored nor subject to compelled speech. I have no moral or professional obligations to “both sides” of what amounts to a nontroversy.
Nobody has ever paid me to write anything here, and I will never accept any compensation for my writing.
Sure, I contributed to covering Aural Alliance’s up-front infrastructure costs when it was just an idea in Finn’s head. I’m not going to apologize for supporting artists. The Furry Fandom wouldn’t exist without artists.
This kind of behavior isn’t an isolated incident, unfortunately. A handful of furries have rage-quit tech groups I’m in because they found out I generously tipped artists that were under-charging for their work.
It bewilders me every time someone reacts this way. Do you not know the community you’re in?
The most intelligible pushback I’ve seen over the years is, “Well if everyone raises their prices, low-income furries will be pushed out of the market!”
Setting aside that art is a luxury, not a need for a moment, that’s not actually true.
There are so many artists, and they’re so decentralized, that no coherent price coordination effort is even possible. It’s worse than herding cats. Some may raise their prices by $5, others by $500. If furries were organized enough to coordinate something like this, then we’d have a tough time explaining why there are still abusers in the fandom.
Also, it costs very little to learn to draw, yourself:
Oh, but I’m not done.
The demand for low-priced digital art incentivizes people to reach for theft enabled by large-scale computing (a.k.a. “AI” by its proponents).
A similar demand for cheap, high-quality fursuits (usually at the maker’s expense) will lead to a walmartization of the furry community.
If you listen to these hot takes long enough, you start to notice a pattern of short-sighted selfishness.
When you demand something of the furry community, and don’t think of the long-term consequences of your demands, you’re probably being an idiot. This is true even if it’s actually a good idea.
If me supporting artists somehow prices you out of commissioning your favorite artist, you still have other options: Learning to make your own, finding new artists, saving money, etc.
On the flipside, the artists you admire will suffer less due to money troubles. Fewer artists starving makes the world a more beautiful place.
Center of the Fediverse
If flame war and retoot count relieved desireWith apologies to Kamelot
In the comment thread someone must have known
That the hottest takes truly leave us tired
‘Cause in the center of the fediverse
We are all alone
If you’re on the Fediverse (e.g., Mastodon), and your instance uses a blocklist like TheBadSpace (TBS), you probably cannot see my posts on
This is because the people running TBS have erroneously decided that any criticism of its curators is anti-blackness.
If you want a biased but detailed (with receipts!) account of the conflicts that led up to
furry.engineer‘s erroneous inclusion on their blocklist, Silver Eagle wrote about their experience with TBS, blocklist criticism, and receiving death threats from the friends of TBS curators.
(Spoiler: It was largely prompted by another predominantly LGBTQIA+ instance,
tech.lgbt, being erroneously added to the same blocklist, which resulted in criticism of said blocklist curators.)
Be forewarned, though: Linking to Silver Eagle’s blog post was enough for TBS supporters to harass me and directly accuse me, personally, of anti-blackness, so don’t expect any degree of level-headed discussion from that crowd.
What Can We Do About This?
If you cannot see my Fediverse posts anymore, and actually want to see them, message your instance moderators and suggest unsubscribing from TheBadSpace’s blocklist.
If they refuse, your only real recourse is to move to another instance. The great thing about the Fediverse is, you can just do that, and nobody can lock you in.
Personally, I plan on sticking on
furry.engineer. I trust its moderators to not tolerate racist and/or fascist bullshit.
The baseless accusations of anti-blackness are, unsurprisingly, false.
Burnout Isn’t Inevitable
A few months ago, I quit a great job with an amazing team because the CEO decided that everyone has to return to working in the office, including people that were hired fully remote before the pandemic. This meant being forced to move more than 3,000 miles, or resigning. I’ve been told the legal term for such a move is “constructive dismissal.”
In hindsight, I was starting to burn out anyway, so leaving when I did was a great move for my mental health and life satisfaction.
I’m an introvert. I have a finite social battery. Because my work was split across three different teams at the same company, I was a necessary participant in a lot of meetings.
More than 5 hours per day of meetings, as an individual contributor. Sometimes as many as 7 hours/day of them. I almost never had a quiet day, even after blocking one day every week so nobody would schedule any meetings and I could get productive work done.
If you’re interested in being a people manager, or have an extroverted personality, you’re probably unperturbed by this account. But I was absolutely miserable. My close friends started to worry if I was suffering from depression, because of how socially exhausted I was all the time.
I took a few weeks off between jobs. My new role doesn’t pointlessly encumber me with unnecessary meetings.
Every day, I feel the burnout symptoms leaving my mind. I feel challenged and stimulated in a good way. I’m learning new technologies and being productive. I’ve never spent more than 3 hours of any given day in a meeting.
Different people burn out in many different ways, for many different reasons.
In my experience, the consequences appear to be reversible if caught early enough. I don’t know if they would be if I held onto my old job for much longer.
The job market’s tough right now, but if you’re deeply unsatisfied with an aspect of your current job, prioritize yourself and make whatever change is necessary.
This doesn’t mean you have to switch jobs like I did, of course. It was a good move for me. Your mileage may vary.
Where’s The Cryptography?
Somedays I feel like writing about technical topics. Other days, I feel like writing about unimportant or personal topics.
If you’re disappointed in this post, perhaps you also expect everything on this blog to be professionally useful?
Well, worry not, for you’re eligible for a full refund for the amount you paid to read it.