I never liked Facebook. I deactivated it in late 2015 then deleted it shortly before Trump got inaugurated. I didn't like the way Facebook operated with regards to data. I loathed the fact that I had to download an extension to make Facebook somewhat usable.
I would also be lying if I didn't mention that also I quit Facebook to distance myself from everyone I knew from college.
Those last two years at university were a special sort of hell. I got my worth in education, but there are times in which I wish I had spoken my mind instead of just going with it. That instead of being some absurd jackass, I could've been, at least, a rational one.
On Ello, I said that 2015 would be the year in which I "put my foot down" and actually move on up either in my career or into graduate school. The other thing that I meant, but never mentioned outright, was that I would go back to "being myself", which like the other thing I failed to do.
Well, almost anyway. I felt that I was more myself on Ello than on Facebook or Twitter. I geeked out about things that I usually wouldn't elsewhere and I talked about trips I took with my family when I was kid in a discussion about books and travel.
I also met a lot of cool people there. Fellow writers, artists, and the like.
I spent the weekend reading through Rascal, a book written by one of those very writers, Logospilgrim. Rascal: A Manifesto sets out to help the reader embrace themselves through seven vignettes, each titled after the "seven deadly sins". Each sin becomes a virtue as Logos talks the reader through how others, what Logos calls "the abuser", justify the immoral nature that they give these "sins". I should note that Logos characterizes the abuser as either a violent, controlling parental figure or a religious doctrine that makes said suffering acceptable, giving false hope of a better afterlife.
The theme of embracing one's self in the face of social adversity, abuse, and fear is something that Logos has tackled before in other works. Her memoir from 2015, There's A Hula Girl on my Dashboard, uses those same experiences as a springboard as she talks about her journey discovering her own religious faith-where it was, who helped her, and what she found out. Her other recent work, The Corner Store Epiphany, also tackles the same themes as seen in Rascal, but focuses mainly on finding comfort and motivation through hobbies that she enjoyed from her childhood and ultimately uses those pastimes to move forward from what (and who) held her back.
Or to put it simply, to become a Rascal.
I read this book partly to prepare myself for when I start writing out the post on self-censorship, internalizing what should've been said or asked, and telling people what "they want to hear" as opposed to just straight up being honest. The other reason why I read it, is that I have a lot of catching up to do with regards to keeping in touch with people. I wasn't in the best frame of mind to do so for the past few years. I know that a few relatives have sent me messages after I left Facebook and have promised someone while I was working that I would in fact e-mail them shortly after. That was two years ago.
If any of you are reading this, I'll get back to you soon. I also know that I'm slacking on a book review for Sean Bonner's Don't Go Outside and I need to let a few people on Patreon know that I received their stuff.
I've also been sitting on a Raspberry Pi for about a year, which I only booted up a few times, that I meant to use to educate myself on Python. I think you get the idea by now.
I know that in past checkups, or Freehand posts, I lauded the people I patronized by spotlighting their work. In the previous edition, I did so egregiously alongside the efforts of people like Peter Boghossian and Dave Rubin who provide platforms for the exchanges of ideas including ones they disagree with. If it wen't for the current circumstances-as in the fact that we have a "Twitter President" among other things-I would say finding the idea of debating ideas in 2018 revolutionary is, well, weird considering the tools we have now. But here we are nonetheless.
I still stand by what I said previously though, that investing money into these content creators has, within a course of year and a few months, had the same effect on me as those early experiences on Ello.
(And yes, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that Logospilgrim also has a Patreon.)
It has also, in part, helped me clean up my Twitter that I previously struggled and failed to do. Twice, even after tweeting about it sometime in the past couple of years. Being able to stay in the loop following around four-hundred and ninety-five people as opposed to plus seven-hundred without going mad is nice alongside other reasons. Some of which I'll probably touch upon in said post on self-censorship.
I also cut out a lot of the video game streamers and Let's Players I used to watch. I got easily distracted with those in the former and I'm not exactly one for chatting in most cases. Many in the latter I merely lost interest in and I believe that at least one of them is on the way out with the way their Overblood riff went. Then again, the way they started leaves a lot to be desired while aging very poorly because the MST3K model for LPs which started out as more mocking than riffing for a closed internet community loses most of its comedic value when unleashed into the wild a la the Streisand effect. I won't link those, but it shouldn't be too hard to find them. Just be aware that there's foul language, some of it bigoted depending on which one you discover and you wonder why there's a stigma against those who play video games wether or not one identifies as a gamer.
That said, and goes without saying, that those who I currently patronize do excellent work on that front. Steve Benway's another good one along with Jimmy Hapa, Octav1us Kitten, Lazy Game Reviews, and PushingUpRoses among others. I did a tweet with my seven favorite YouTubers in 2016 that needs serve updating along with being lost to the midsts of time, or just resting in a Tweet archive. It would be a nice diversion.
But I digress. Four months in and I'm already optimistic about the rest of 2018, at least on a personal front. Hopefully it will also be on a wider scale, in which certain figures leave office, open science and open access becomes more of a thing, and that outrage culture takes a good look at itself. If Jordan Peterson is right about one thing, it's this...
That's enough waffling for one day...
There is however, quite a bit on Facebook and it's issues, or blatant disregard, of user privacy alongside other things. I'll list them here:
- Max Schrems who founded europe v. facebook has been investigating Facebook's handling of personal data since 2011. Here's a report in which he and his new NGO, nyob, briefly discuss the issues which lead to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
- I shared these before on Twitter, but Sean Bonner talks about leaving Facebook in 2012 and Salim Virani suggests leaving the site in 2015, mentioning many concerns along with those shared by Scherms and europe v. facebook.
- Dylan Curran tweets about what both Facebook and Google remember about you, in terms of the data collected.
- Deleting Facebook is also a hassle because of bad UX as explained by Katie Reid for Co.Design.
- Not on Facebook, but for those who do not want to leave or can't afford to do so, here's a quick fix to ensure that your data doesn't end up with third-party apps. Of course, denying them permission in the first place also helps.
- ...and if you want to delete Facebook, this will help guide you through what happens while also providing a direct link.
Videos from the Queue
If you have a working DVD of the Doctor Who serial "The Armageddon Factor", then you're probably already familiar with this series, where Tom Baker read through four short horror stories. Here's another where he reads through Ray Bradbury's "The Emissary" if you liked what you saw above.
- Kim Justice's latest video talks about Frank Herbert's Dune, its adaptations and why the games outshined the films with a focus on the Amiga game.
- DJ Slope follows up on a couple of creators featured in his Kickscammers series.
- Particle Accelerators have more utility than you think as Ariel Waldman explains.
- Bret Weinstein on "The Art in Science".
- Gameplay Jenny's started playing Stardew Valley a few weeks ago and it's been a fun ride so far.
- Helen Pluckrose has a couple of interesting reads on Areo; one which defends the University's role amidst the increasing resentment towards them and the other asking those who identify as male feminists to note the flaws in how they advocate for women.
- Liana Kernzer weighs in on the Count Dankula court ruling and discusses the issues surrounding free speech laws. There's also a follow-up video where she responds to those who did not completely read the piece and assumed (wrongly) that she was against free speech.
- Alexander Blum writes about how he finds Jordan Peterson interesting as someone who identifies as being on the Left.
- A stark reminder that the culture which allowed Donald Trump to prosper in the spotlight to the point of presidency wasn't the fault of Breitbart and Alex Jones.
- Speaking of Alex Jones, this is worth taking a look at. If you're on Twitter, I would also suggest following Kelly Jones.
- There are a few interesting articles about Karl Marx's perception of Jews that Guy Walters tweeted recently. I remember Jon Ronson mentioning this connection in Them where it was the conspiracy theorists and extremists who thought so.
- Andy Ngo responds to the recent attacks on his reporting from the Guardian (US) and GQ.
That's it from me this week until whenever I blog next. Might start work on that post in a bit or work on some scenes for Incarceration Troupe, depending on how I feel. Have a great weekend and I'll write again later.