The events of the last two years have shown the Internet is going through some growing pains. Things not anticipated, because the Internet was so full of optimism and happy thoughts in the 90s and early 00s. We were finally getting quality content! We were seeing images larger than a postage stamp, and we were receiving them in less than an hour! Sites began to focus themselves on topics, arrange themselves into groups (“networks”), and generally up the ante.
But underneath it all, there were hate-groups were collecting like-minded bigots and building recursive-feedback loops of poison and lies, and incels complaining about the fact that women weren’t throwing themselves at them to the point of encouraging violence and hatred against women for just not giving them what they want, and human-trafficking groups trading children and women like things to possess, and even worse things in the Dark Web, where everything is for sale.
The Internet brought out the best in people, and the worst. And the best is amazing – the ability to find a restaurant anywhere, to speak to people across the world in meaningful ways, to share knowledge and collaborate and be creative. Continue reading
It’s May 6th today. In a little over a month I will have my 41st birthday.
While the past three years have been a struggle, things have slowly improved. Things have gotten better.
But I have to look at that and compare to what I should be at this time in my life. I still have no retirement. I still have enough debt to make me uncomfortable. I still haven’t recovered what I had before Wall Street sabotaged the American economy with their debt scams, and I got weasel-worded out of my and my brother’s full inheritance.
Yes, I can recover. Yes, I have made remarkable steps in recovering my ability to support myself. But at the cost of years, and I still haven’t recovered fully. Continue reading
I started cooking about ten years ago because I had been eating frozen meals forever, and I noticed that at age 30, I started gaining weight. And by gaining weight, I mean I finally got above 150 pounds. Not grossly fat, not even overweight, at a more appropriate weight for my height and build, but it was really odd to notice I was finally not just eating and burning all the calories. Continue reading
I went to the Arts High School (Perpich Center for Arts Education) many years ago. Well, this past summer was my 21st annual reunion, and I haven’t seriously drawn or painted or sculpted/shaped clay since. But I remember the experience with a wistful longing like some remember past romances, with a mix of regret and heartache. Continue reading
In a previous post, I told the hard story of what happened to reduce and even my ability to post. But, don’t worry, I’m not re-hashing it here. I’ll just say that things are slowly getting better. And, while slowly getting better, I have to start making longer-term plans than just, “fill the fridge” or “clean the bathroom.”
It’s become this slow balance between looking backward and looking ahead, all the while paying attention to right here, right now. It’s about finding out how to be an adult while not losing the wonder that childhood is, that adventure that being a teenager is.
To see how much things are getting better, I planned a vacation to Florida. Mostly to get away from things, but also just for the challenge. I did the comparison shopping for flights, purchased the tickets, worked out the plans and logistics, and I went. I had help from a good friend with the cat-watching, but otherwise I did it. Every other trip I’ve ever taken has been arranged by someone else, and the fact that I planned it, I went on it, and now I’m back makes me feel a bit more adult. Continue reading
Every so often I come across someone who wants to pontificate endlessly on a topic that I just asked for a one-word answer to. Not as frequently, but often enough, I ask for detailed information regarding an error message or technological failure and I receive three or four words back. And it reminds me of a Red Green clip I saw years ago, where Harold describes the three versions of every story.
Please click the link and give it a view. I can wait.
I think this concept needs to be taught to all people in all levels of school as a valid socialization concern/communication requirement.
Think of the three versions of every story in this way:
- Twitter (140 characters or less.)
- Email (A screenful, maybe two.)
- Wikipedia article (Run away with your words.)
Or for those of us old enough to know that “stationery” wasn’t a misspelling to describe an unmoving object:
Not everyone wants a PhD dissertation as an answer to “How are you?” By the same token, it’s extremely frustrating to get one-word answers for, “How did the new interface work for the website?”
The three versions won’t replace thoughtfulness in conversation, but maybe they can prompt us at times.
‘Cause some people….
When I purchased this domain and arranged my first webhost, the Internet was a place of fun and play, a hobby for people as they stretched their minds. From rather simple online games, to gathering and correlating self-published articles, to strange crackpots’ conspiracy theories, the Internet was a strange and wonderful place, akin to wandering into a back-alley coffee shop on or near any university.
Now, it’s become a marketplace. Everyone has ads covering every spare pixel of screen space. Some sites, you can’t tell the ads from the content, and even if you can tell the content from the ads, there are such liberal sprinklings of “endorsements” and other product placements, that the content is a secondary or tertiary concern.
I finally got to watch Dollhouse yesterday, and rewatch Firefly today. Being a Buffy fan from way-back, I’m kinda struck by how much Whedon changed between Firefly and Dollhouse. How much darker, how much less whimsical, and how much more action-driven it was.
‘Course I was kinda working on my resume and doing a few chores while watching Dollhouse…