NVC and OSS

This is a talk I gave at Open Source and Feelings last fall.

Please enjoy it.

Hello there. Sadly the picture links in this blogpost are broken: /post/23048895912/tacoconf-anarchism It would be great, if you could find the time to update them. All the best, Per -- Anonymous

Ack, looks like they got lost in the switch to a new hosting provided.  Fixed now, thanks.

re: the bathtub analogy in your 'captioning at jsconf' post-- Joel Spolsky used it in a post from 2000 at joelonsoftware, so that might be the source. (I can't link here, but searching 'joelonsoftware bathtub grab bars' should work.) I just stumbled across it today and remembered your post! :) -Zara -- Anonymous

Thank you so much! Found a link here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000062.html

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togrutan:

\_(ツ)_/¯

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kyraneko:

thewinterotter:

kyraneko:

doujinshi:

I hate that I laughed at this

“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” and another one appears. And dodges the downward sweep of claws, darting to the side, bouncing off the pentagram’s barriers, and tripping over the demon’s tail. “In the Vatican!” she cries out as she moves, using the State Farm Agent summoning charm to modify the situation as she was taught, and mentally thanking her trainer for expecting her to be fast enough to do it on the first incantation.

Most State Farm agents, when they run into trouble, have to get the customer to do the jingle a second time. That guy with the buffalo was lucky.

The magic takes hold, and she materializes in the aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica, still holding the demon by the tail, in the middle of Sunday morning Mass. The music clatters unprofessionally to a halt as laypeople, deacons, priests, monks, nuns, and the Pope all turn their attention to the surprised demon whose fifth course of dinner has turned, unaccountably, into a visit to one of his least favorite places on Earth.

There is chanting in Latin, and vaguely cross-shaped gestures, and clouds of incense, and the demon vanishes in a puff of smoke, whether from the efforts of the clergy or of his own volition no one can say. The Agent doesn’t wait, fleeing towards the doors and escaping in the confusion.

She gains the exit and walks, purposefully, toward Rome proper; there, she ducks into the nearest alley. A burner cell phone comes out of one of the less-used pockets of her purse, and she dials a number from memory.

“Allstate,” says a smooth masculine voice after three rings.

“State Farm,” she answers. “I’m calling in a favor.”

“Yeah?” Interest. “What sort?”

As she talks she’s pulling out her smartphone, keying an app that was activated by the summoning, and pulling up the policyholder data that enabled the incantation to work.

“Insurance fraud,” she said, and can almost hear teeth sharpening on the other end of the line. She gives him the name, the address, the policy number. “Someone needs some mayhem.”

“That’s my name,” the man says.

She smiles. “Someone needs all the mayhem.”

He chuckles. Slow. Evil. Even with the echoes of demonic laughter ringing in her ears, she’s impressed. “Don’t worry,” he says, almost purring.

“You’re in good hands.”

OH MY FUCKING GOD I just read insurance commercial fan fiction and it was so good, bless you, I’m going to remember this day forever.

IT COMES BACK TO ME! *preens*

Part 2:

It’s not too long later—State Farm will occasionally loan out their teleportation trick, though Heaven help anyone who tries to use it to compete with them—and the man they call Mayhem is squatting next to a demonic circle with tacky half-dried blood under the leather soles of his shoes. Whoever dispelled the circle didn’t do a good job of it; the ring is still faintly smoldering and Mayhem has already singed his fingers on the air above it. He’s in the basement of a house with a State Farm homeowner’s policy, waiting for his partner in, erm, crime, to show up.

“Oh, good heavens.” He smiles at the sound of someone hopping delicately back, then carefully tiptoeing through the mess. Demons are messy eaters, and Flo’s wearing all white.

She steps gingerly over what might be most of a femur, looks from circle to Mayhem to—is that half a skull on the floor? “Freaky. Whaddaya need?”

“Tech,” he says. “State Farm knows the homeowner summoned them, but the Agent reported at least five people present. Maybe six. She isn’t sure, what with being busy evading a demon inside a very small space with zappy walls.”

Flo’s already got a—where does she get those from anyway? a cardboard box in her hands. Mayhem watches as she unfolds it, refolds it, and ends up with something significantly bigger, shaped like a satellite dish. He tries to watch how she does it; they may be working together, but they’re still rivals and his own higher-ups will be very interested in the latest whatever-it-does that Progressive has come up with.

A blue glow lights up the concave side. Mayhem is pretty sure cardboard doesn’t work that way. Flo makes a pleased sound, and starts rattling off names, addresses, policy numbers.

Impressed, Mayhem asks, “How the fuck?” If Progressive is developing some sort of superspy technology, well, that’s kind of ominous.

Flo grins and looks embarrassed. “I, ah, have occasional dealings with a couple guys from That Other Insurance Company. One of them knows someone who knows someone who works in quality control for the Infernal Realms, and it turns out Hell monitors all their summoned manifestations for safety purposes. His contact got me the list of who was there.”

Mayhem nods. He’s had occasional encounters That Other Insurance Company himself. Bland, grey-suited, timid men who are even worse spies than they are insurance agents. “Wait, Hell has a quality control department?”

“And all other forms of administration,” Flo says. “I understand it’s to generate maximum paperwork. It is a place of punishment, after all.”

Mayhem actually winces. “That’s definitely hellish. All right. The Agent who called me in is flying back from Italy and should meet us in a few hours. Should give us plenty of time to plan an attack. Are they all State Farm customers?”

“Just the one,” Flo replies, folding her toy up, and Mayhem watches with vague envy as it becomes a giant sword. “One Allstate, one Progressive, one Geico, two Farmers. We gonna invite anyone else to the party?” She hopes so. Mayhem’s precision strikes on any sort of insurance fraud perpetrators are the stuff of legend, and the Farmers guys would bring in enough absurdity to make it a work of art.

Mayhem’s grin is something that ought to haunt her nightmares. Instead, she finds herself matching it. “Yes,” he says. “Let’s.”