D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Going Radiant

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2:29 PM

Donald posted about what's been happening to Kathy Sierra. In a nutshell:

Kathy Sierra is a big name in the tech world (although I havne't heard of her...but she seems to be big in the Java space, so that could be why) and she's been receiving death threats and having disturbing blog posts and images made about her to the point that she's fearing for her life.

This is a horrible thing for anyone to have to go through. I have nothing but contempt for the punks that would purposefully put their time and energy into destroying and hurting the life of someone else. Some people are taking the view that they need to "go dark" and not post, which I think is honorable: they're doing it to show support for Kathy in this time of distress in her life.

But what happens after? What happens after the week, and there are still people out there who think this type of behavior is acceptable? I live in a city that has its share of crime, although not so much in teh violent type. Car thefts are the biggest thing recently. Everybody is shouting bloody murder: "We need to push our government to step in and put harsher sentences for these young offenders! We need to come down hard on them and ensure that they never think of doing a crime like this again! We need our judges to lock them up and throw away the key!"

Well, that's all well and good...having proper deterents in place is part of the solution, but its not THE solution. I love how our North American society always looks at things reactionally. We always want to just assume things will go right and that we live in a just world where heinous acts of violence and law-breaking are just that: heinous acts from evil people that deserve to be locked away. But that isn't the case.

I work with youth in my church, and have had the opportunity over the years to work with at-risk youth. It breaks your heart to know that the young children playing today could become the gang members and troubled young adults of tomorrow because of environment and negative role models. Yes, those two things...not money, not opportunity...the two biggest things that will impact a child's life are the environment they grow up in and the role models that they have around them.

You want to make a difference in the world? You want to see things like this change for the better? Then stop burrying your head in the sand and ignoring the fact that we have cities with huge amounts of dhildren that don't stand a chance, who have no positive role models, who come from horrible environments. If everyone who was able to volunteered an hour a week, what would our cities look like? It takes a village to raise a child, not just the child's parent(s). Our responsibility falls with those outside of our immediate families, and if we aren't moved to do anything then we can't complain when we see evil actions...we can't assume that just because we're "good people" that our responsibilities end outside of our immediate daily areas of influence.

13 years ago I went down with a group of youth to Chicago to run a summer children's program for a week. We were right in the heart of downtown, and I will never forget the children that we met...kids that crossed gang lines every day goign to school, the little boy that would always draw himself crying, and would tear up whenever you had to tell him no, or the little girl that got her clothes dirty so she did what she was taught: wash your clothes in the toilet. Where are these kids now, at the age of 20? I'd love to think they all became positive members of society, but they had two things working against them: environment and role models. Although I was happy to have had the experience, why was it that Chicago needed to recruit a bunch of Canadian kids to come and help put on a summer camp for their children?

So look...if you want to show support for Kathy and "go dark", good on you...we should support this woman during this time. But what you do after means way more. It's time we realized that being a part of society means being an active part. It means taking ownership for our communities, ALL communities.

Don't just be outraged when you see atrocity, ask yourself what you could have done to prevent it in the first place.



# re: Going Radiant

I'm more outraged at the fact you've never heard of Kathy Sierra, because it means you've never read "Head First Design Patterns" nor read her incredible posts on user experience! You are totally missing out! 3/27/2007 3:10 PM | Justice~!

# re: Going Radiant

I think the disturbing blog post and images are in the one below! 3/28/2007 8:13 PM | Steven R

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