Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Posts Go Unseen


When I look at the statistics on this blog one fact stands out above all others: if I don't share a post on either Facebook or Twitter, no one - not one person - views the post. 

I don't think my writing is so compelling that it should be otherwise, but this fact does bother me. For many people, Facebook or Twitter is the internet, and that wasn't how it was supposed to be. The internet was supposed to be all about decentralization - a wonderful smorgasbord of different topics and viewpoints - not curated or algorithmically provided to us. Instead we have gatekeepers, and not even human ones, but gatekeepers in code. 

I started doing the opposite -- posting on Twitter and then sharing the post to this blog, but that way generates no views here either. So, that is probably a waste. I think it's time to abandon this platform and focus on one. It's hard for me to give it up though, along with my domain. Does it make any sense to retain my domain name if I just post on Twitter? I'm not sure it is. I own it for 5 years, so I won't do anything to change that. It's my address in cyberspace and I'm going to hang on to it until I'm dead (or beyond!). Don't be surprised if I change my mind in a week, month, or year and start posting here again. I go back and forth on this. I feel both compelled to write here and that it's a big waste of my time. I'm a whack job; I admit it.

Based on the book I reviewed recently, Sandy Hook, I think both Facebook and Twitter have been remiss in policing hate and lies, but that Twitter does marginally better. So, if you wish to see what I'm up to, or care about, simply follow me on Twitter: 


Sunday, March 20, 2022

More Creepy Stuff in Texas

Book Review: Sandy Hook by Elizabeth Williamson

Sandy HookSandy Hook by Elizabeth Williamson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was impressed with this book, but I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. It was heartbreaking at some points; depressing at others.

It is bizarre to me that people could believe the Sandy Hook murders were faked. But there are other bizarre beliefs out there: Pizzagate, the Big Lie – that Trump actually won the 2020 election due to massive fraud, that the Democrats are Satanic pedophiles, that 9/11 was an inside government job, and just recently: that JFK Jr. will come back to life in Dallas and declare Trump president. People showed up to witness this!

There should be a special place in hell for people who create and spread these lies for profit. Other people get involved to be part of something, and others are just crazy. But, it seems to me to be an indictment of our educational system. How can so many people be this gullible? What happened to common sense? I hear teachers talk about teaching “critical thinking,” but maybe that’s a stretch – maybe teaching something more basic like common sense might be a better choice.

Lastly, it show how much worse our lives have become since the rise of social media. There are benefits, but it is apparent to me that the problems it creates outweigh the benefits. There are other ways to stay in touch with the people that matter – besides, are most of those Facebook “friends” really friends?

The book is worth reading because this is a big problem and we can expect more and more of it in the future.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 18, 2022

When it Comes to Guns, Context is Everything

Right-wing pundits are making snarky comments implying liberals are now OK with guns because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Well, yeah, of course we are!

If you cannot see a difference between using the most powerful weapon you can get your hands on when your country has been invaded and taking your rifle to pick up BBQ, you are a moron.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

March 17, 2022: Train Pictures

It was nice out today so I got went to the McDonald's drive-through and got a fish sandwich combo and then drove to the Geneva train station. Two trains came by while I sat and ate my lunch.

This westbound freight had 4 engines in front and was moving very fast. I was way too close to the tracks to get a good picture of it. The train itself was surprisingly short - all autoracks.

I moved back and got a much nicer shot of this westbound Metra commuter train, though in this case it would have been fine if I had been really close.