added to my to-read list: a new book from Mike Monteiro: Ruined By Design. as evidenced by the sample chapter (“Ayn Rand is a Dick”), it clearly (and typically for Monteiro) pulls zero punches (via Jen Myers’ email newsletter)
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Jenny Lewis; what a voice, what a show.
@ ACL Live Moody Theater
just finished Russian Doll on Netflix, good stuff. best show we’ve seen in a while in the crowded romantic-buddy-dramedy-scifi-mystery-thriller genre
this Guardian story about Amazon shoppers misled by ‘bundled’ star-ratings and reviews illustrates one of the reasons I now only turn to Amazon and it’s horrible, user-hostile shopping experience as a last resort
The song from the very first post on this incarnation of my blog came up in shuffle on my drive home tonight. Coincidence? Probably. Regardless, the connection to quitting Twitter is almost too on the nose.
Ladies & gentlemen, Ship of Fools:
The bottles stand as empty
As they were filled before
And time that was in plenty
But from that cup no more
Though I would not caution all
I still might warn a few
Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag
Atop no ship of fools
Ship of fools
On a cruel sea
Ship of fools
Sail away from me
It was later than I thought
When I first believed you
Now I cannot share your laughter
Ship of fools
I wrote the first draft of this I’m-leaving-social-media post a month ago, at the beginning of March. It said I was leaving, probably, but also hedged that maybe, possibly, I’d cave and come back. Then it dawned on me that I could just quietly try out said leaving for a while without a Big Announcement.
As I stepped away, and thought about it, and missed it (or not), I also came across a copy of Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, which helped crystallize my decision. The very shortest distillation is: ok, sure, social media can be fun and helps give a voice to good people and good ideas, but in the bigger picture and longer term, its net effects on users – and society generally – are much more negative.
Facebook is an easy one, as I haven’t been “on” Facebook in any meaningful way in years. I can’t completely delete my account there, because I still need it for occasional work (barf) and event-RSVPing purposes, but it’s never really been part of my day-to-day life, anyway.
Twitter is another story. I’ve been active on Twitter for nearly eleven years, and the link to this blog post will be tweet number 10,000. Ten thousand! That’s a lot of free content creation!
Without being on Twitter, I don’t hear about the outrage-du-jour as quickly, and if it’s not a big enough deal to make it onto one of the news sites I read or podcasts I listen to, I may (gasp!) never hear about it. I confess to a twinge of smugness when someone asks, “Did you see what So-and-so said now?” and I have no idea what they’re talking about.
In the past year or so, in an effort to not die of an outrage embolism, I had already scaled way back on the number of accounts I follow, and how verbose I’ll put up with them being. But cutting off more completely has been pretty great. The times I was tempted back (“Ooh, there’s been Big News, I wonder what they’re saying about this on Twitter!”) were without exception either a disappointment or left me feeling vaguely gross again.
I will miss having a place where I can easily promote, retweet, or share things. Maybe that mattered sometimes, maybe it didn’t. I’ve decided to trust that my online pals will still somehow hear about the great new podcast I would have tweeted about (or survive without it).
I will still post here, on my blog, which is a more genuine effort that’s under my control and doesn’t hand our data on a silver platter to a giant online advertising company. I know that many fewer people will see those posts, and that’s okay. (Note that you can subscribe to new posts, if you like, or just visit whenever. No login required.)
I haven’t decided about Instagram yet. I like Instagram, and it’s the only place online that several friends and family members share anything. But since it feeds the even nastier beast of Facebook, its days may be numbered for me, too.
Lastly is the tiny upstart, Micro.Blog. Part social network, part independent web movement, it’s everything I want from being online. Maybe it’s only because it’s still small, or maybe the design decisions they’re making are actually working, or maybe it’s because it takes a bit of effort and/or money. In any case it’s an open, pleasant, ad-free network that’s nice to spend time on, with lots of interesting and genuine folks. The posts here are also available there.
That’s where to find my next 10,000 posts, give or take.
Buffalo Bayou Brewing’s Red Velvet Stout
If your reaction to the Mueller news is… anything other than “OK, this fits the well established pattern of Republicans & Donald Trump doing whatever the fuck they want & getting away with it,” you need to take a deep breath.
Founders Brewing’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout
beautiful day for my first visit to Laguna Gloria
I need the full earplug effect of in-ear earbuds in our occasionally loud open-plan office (i.e., my AirPods don’t cut it), but I think I’m giving up on this wireless pair from Aukey, which are awkward, clunky, & don’t fit well. back to wired for now. (on the plus side, I appreciate the elegant design & ease of use of my AirPods more than ever)
past the half-hour mark now on a slow-motion, three person Slack discussion. plenty of time waiting for “So-and-so is typing” to reflect on how this is so much better than having a dreaded… meeting 🙄
I write this from the FW side of DFW, from a slightly below-average Hampton Inn that was at least “free” with Hilton points. We came up yesterday to drop the daughter off at UNT after Spring Break, thinking to split the driving up a bit and make a little day-trip of it. We had a handful of random things to do & see, which turned out about as I expected: some pretty cool, some less so. The stop at an area art-supply store (Asel) was a big hit, as they had all kinds of things she was excited about, especially a rack with hangers of large sheets of handmade papers. Sundance Square was so-so; cool area but full of chain shops not at all different from what’s at the Domain in Austin.
We ate at a fancy-looking Actual-Mex (not Tex-Mex) place, but the loud couple next to our table put a serious dent in the experience for me. When we left, the woman had switched from threatening her tiny daughter that the Easter Bunny wouldn’t come if she didn’t sit still and moved on to chewing out the waiter about the service, even though they go there “all the time”.
A brewery was next on our loose agenda, but it turns out longtime favorite Rahr & Sons isn’t a brewpub situation; they’re only open on 2 days, for a couple hours each. So we went to Collective, where I found a bunch of sour and “funky” beers and not a single one I even liked well enough to get a crowler of. Oh, well. Then a few more errands, including a Half-Price Books stop with no treasures that we found. We spent the rest of the evening watching Ghostbusters in the hotel room.
Well, that all sounds less than great, ha ha. But it’s okay. Breakfast out this morning, drop off the daughter, and another trip down 35. Bought some new (to me) music for the drive: Invitation by Filthy Friends, the supergroup that includes Corin Tucker, Peter Buck, a King Crimson dude, and others. Plus, here I am finally writing something here as I’ve been meaning to.
Harviestoun Brewery’s Ola Dubh 12 Year Special Reserve
what a just fantastic show by Metric @ ACL Live 🎵
(512) Brewing’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Pecan Porter
Deep Ellum Brewing’s Four Swords
just finished Anna Burns’ Milkman. haven’t enjoyed a book this thoroughly in a long time. the unique style might not be to everyone’s taste, but I fucking loved it. the story, the style, the characters, the insights… every page was a delight. a masterpiece. 📚
from a mosey today
@ Great Hills Park
Wasatch Brewery’s Bourbon Barrel Polygamy Porter
quite an article, too:
“a mechanism for considering… whether his continued tenure in office poses a threat to the republic. Trump’s actions during his first two years in office clearly meet, and exceed, the criteria to trigger this fail-safe.”
quite a cover on this latest issue
North Coast Brewing’s Old Stock Ale 2017
sadly I won’t be able to commemorate this Neko Case show with my usual grainy, low-light pic due to the strictest no-camera policy I’ve seen in years 😕
@help my last couple of posts haven’t gotten cross-posted to Twitter. I haven’t changed anything (afaik); is there anywhere I can look to try to troubleshoot?
listening to them discuss the 2020 Dem candidates on Pod Save America this morning, I had a thought. I bet that nominee will end up running not against a divisive, unpopular, & ineffectual President Trump, but a less problematic (to many conservatives) President Pence 😕
saw a limited-run showing of the anime film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas tonight. beautiful, funny, and heartbreaking
been watching old episodes of HBO’s Mr. Show, & here’s hoping nobody plays this sketch in the White House: “America can, should, must, and will blow up the moon.”
my talented & creative daughter, a junior at UNT, started this modest Kickstarter a few days ago, and it met its goal overnight! if you or someone you know are into Hunter x Hunter and/or tarot cards, check it out!
that list of suspected noncitizen voters in Texas was so sloppy that one of the people it flagged was an El Paso County elections staffer, whose naturalization party the county’s elections administrator recalled attending a couple years ago