Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 5, 2011 — 38 Comments

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

That’s it for now! I may not be near a computer for much of today as I’ll be visiting one of Oregon’s sacred sites, so please forgive me if I don’t respond to comments or emails in a timely fashion. Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Adrian Hawkins

    The real name thing doesn’t bother me so much, especially on Google Plus. Its not like they are forcing you to use Joshua is you go by Josh. If you don’t like a company’s terms of service don’t use their product.

    Its an interesting point that Ms. Boyd works for Microsoft who requires real names on some of its products. Yet she says “If companies like Facebook and Google are actually committed to the safety of its users, they need to take these complaints seriously” It doesn’t invalidate the argument shes trying to make but it does make me raise an eyebrow.

    As an IT professional I can find out a whole lot about you even without your real name.

    • “As an IT professional I can find out a whole lot about you even without your real name.”

      Uh, yeah – and that is called cyberstalking.

      • Adrian Hawkins

        Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass. The definition of “harassment” must meet the criterion that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress.

        Just finding out information about people, especially if it is a mater of public record isn’t cyberstalking.

        • Wrong.

          If you follow someone around and gather information about the person without her/his knowledge, that is stalking. If you do it via teh interwebs it is cyberstalking.

          But I would be willing to accept that what you are talking about may not met the legal definition of “stalking” as a crime, if you will admit that it certainly does meet the popular definition of being a creep.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            I am no defender of stalking but the civil libertarian in me has always been a bit queasy about its definition as a crime. It’s legal for me to be in any one of ten different places at ten different times, but if I am in all of those places at specifid time that correspond to the movements of the target, the pattern of legal presences is illegal. Hmm…

          • Adrian Hawkins

            There are plenty of positive reasons to look up information on someone online that does mean its creepy or illegal.

            I’m not saying that that information can’t be used for negative reasons – but the point of statement was that so much information is given away that you almost dont need it.

          • Anonymous

            Actually it’s called being a credit agency.

  • PaulRPulley

    Getting drunk and doing something stupid is part of being a young heathen. Not sure how it qualifies as a news story.

    • Thelettuceman

      No, it sounds like two stupid childish drunks driving themselves to excess. I’m not sure how you can write off something like this as being a part of a religious practice.

      • Norse Alchemist

        Childish, stupid, and drunken it may have been, but at least they are standing up for what they believe and for the gods that are their kin.

        What have you done?

        • Cigfran

          Evidently ‘what they believe’ is that Benny Hill sketches are a ritual template.

        • And I think it is important to emphasize that they harmed no one and didn’t even cause any property damage.

        • Um, what have I done? Not associated bad, illegal and irresponsible behavior with Paganism, that’s what.

  • The only people who are inconvenienced by pseudonyms are cops, stalkers, and people in advertising and marketing.

    • Guest

      I assume you’re joking, since this is a pagan forum, about the lack of potential interest by some people at keeping themselves anonymous

      • Sorry, I must not have made myself clear.

        I meant that the people who complain about the use of pseudonyms have very questionable motivations.

    • Aine

      “people in advertising and marketing”

      Which seems like what most social networks are now (especially Facebook). I always thought it was stupid you had to put your real name on FB or they banned (or whatever they do) your account.

      • Pffft. That rule isn’t enforced. A good number of the people I’m “friends” with aren’t using their real names, and they’ve been on a god long while with them. In fact, when my son was going through training in the Army, I used a fake name when chatting up the training tech and the other moms.

        • Charles Cosimano

          With the numbers they have it is impossible to enforce it. That rule is just there to protect them from lawsuits.

        • Aine

          I wasn’t using my real name, and they kicked me off pretty fast. But I think they kick people off who get reported by people, and some of the people on FB had personal problems with me.

  • In fact, the so-called “feminist theologians” at the misleadingly titled website “Feminism and Religion”, are all members of one and only one religion, for they are all Christian theologians who also-by-the-way happen to be feminists.

    Why should Pagans concern ourselves with the quibblings of Christians over whether they should use “he”, “she”, or “it” to refer to the creature* worshipped exclusively (as it demands) by them?

    *(The thing in question is more accurately, in my opinion, referred to, as in some early Christian texts, as Samael, “the god of the blind”, or Saklath, “fool”. See, for example, The Hypostasis of the Archons, and The Apocryphon of John.)

    • Loving the references to Samael and Saklath. Also the term “creature”. Let us call things by their proper names. 😉 I remember reading about that stuff back in high school. I liked that there were some Christians way back when who had a moral sense (at least when it came to their god).

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      Starhawk is a Christian theologian who happens by the way to be a feminist?

      • I was speaking specifically of the four people listed listed by name on the “contributors” page: http://feminismandreligion.com/contributors/.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          I figured as much. Two of them are patently Christian in their bio sketches and I suppose you went digging on the other two.

          However, Christian theologians who happen to be feminists is a somewhat misleading description of a site that lets a noted Witch like Starhawk play in their sandbox.

          • Also take a look at their “categories”, which include, “Catholic Church”, “Catholicism”, “Christianity”, “Church Doctrine”, “God-Talk”, “Mariology”, “Mormonism”, “Redemptive Suffering” (ew), “Reform” (the only entry in that category is on the subject of ordaining women in the Catholic Church), “Rosemary Radford Ruether” (a Catholic theologian), “Scripture” (guess whose?), “Women and Ministry”, “Women and the Church”, and “Women’s Ordination”.

            As for Starhawk, her one piece there has zero Pagan content and, for that matter, zero theological content in it.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Her notice that the “West” is already multicutural opens the door to an understanding of our Pagan roots. And her click-this-link activism is theological in that it arises from a moral core rooted in her beliefs.

    • Hahaha, I am so very delighted to know that visually impaired people have our own god. Oh mighty Samael, smiteth those who moveth around the furniture without notification, who hideth the tools which I needeth and cannot find, and who leaveth up the toilet seat. We praise thee, Samael, even though the automatic computer reader doth mispronounce thy holy name. Hail, Samael, I raiseth my white cane to thee. LOL!!!

      • Anonymous

        Isn’t it faster and easier to just cross train your guide dog as an attack dog? The smiting gets done way faster that way.

  • As noted by Adrian Hawkins, Boyd works for Microsoft,
    making her automatically
    a competitor of Google and Facebook.

    Frankly, I think that people who wish to hide their names or
    create other names are perfectly capable of doing that — and
    have been doing it. They don’t need St. Danah Boyd riding
    in on her white horse to save them. They have agency.

    Google, etc., are not public utilities. They do not have to serve
    those who won’t play by their rules. At the same time, people
    seem to be creative about stretching, getting around, and
    getting over the rules.

    • Both Google and Facebook have very well established track-records of egregiously violating people’s privacy. As a matter of fact, violating people’s privacy is an essential part of the business model for both companies.

    • Both Google and Facebook have very well established track-records of egregiously violating people’s privacy. As a matter of fact, violating people’s privacy is an essential part of the business model for both companies.

  • Morgaine

    Enjoy Crater Lake, Jason. I was just there myself.

  • The thing with the names on G+ is that there is not a single common rule they’re going by. G+ employees said that they would issue a warning before banning an account, but that is not true. Some things trigger a ban (hyphen, accents, titles). People with real names have been banned: Blake Ross (co-founder of Firefox), or people with weird names or people that have different characters/languages in their name which has already started to affect Chinese people. The pseudonyms are allowed for artists and writers of certain fame, but it is biased because smaller artists and writers are not getting the same treatment (like Doctor Popular).

    For many people that have their accounts reinstated you need to show some form of government ID. What? Seriously? Even when it is shown sometimes G+ does not seem it is enough, as the case of Sai who eventually had his account reinstated. They’re going on names that “sound” weird, even though they are legit, like Fox Magrathea Circe, whose account is back up. They are also breaking EU law by enforcing users to use their real names or provide ID. They say you can go by “common” names that you are known by, as long as it matches your ID I guess.

    So that leaves a lot of people in the pagan community who are using G+. There are a lot of pagan podcasters there who are using their pseudonyms. Writers, bloggers. Here’s a link regarding the discussions, which I have been following myself.

    • very nice summation! obviously google (and facebook) just wants the license to force/trick people to divulge personal information so that they can monetize it. “don’t be evil” my ass.

      • I’ve actually read a few people saying (I guess in the more conspiracy-sided) that the reason G+ needs your real name is to cross-reference it with your browsing/buying/web habits is essentially a business model they’re trying to pursue. To tie your name beyond yourcookies/webcache with your purchasing habits is something that marketers and businesses find useful. link.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re too stupid to be able to come up with an assumed name that isn’t obviously an assumed name you don’t deserve to be able to use social networking sites.


    R. Milhous Nixon

    (my real name)