Friday, March 02, 2012

This probably isn't public blog-material, but this is just special enough that I had to share.  My Sister is staying with us for a while with her children.  Those children hung out with me in my computer room/office thing while I worked and read and drew pictures.  Seriously - no television, no movies, a little music, and a couple YouTube videos.  I'm especially proud of the reading. 

Children today, well, people today - including these people, don't read enough, in my opinion.  Heck, I don't read enough, in my opinion.  Sounds mean to say, but that's just the way it is.  I got told today that someone should only read things he or she knows about already.   That means no astronomy if you don't know astronomy, no history if you don't know history, etc.  Sure, it was a kid saying it, but it was still said.  Sigh...

- Jim

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wait, they're remaking Total Recall?  Dammit!  I liked that movie!

- Jim
Do you want to know how to triple the amount of visits to your Blog?  Just title a post "Facebook".  Yeah, I don't understand it either.

I'm not going to dwell on it too much longer, but I just wanted to point out that I'm not giving up Facebook, I'm just redesignating what I use it for.  Facebook will simply be less, period.  Less about me, less about my interests, less about my time.  In some ways it's like the street vendor scenario I described earlier, and in others it's like a library where the librarian develops new experiments in book sorting.  Sure, there are gems there, but they are so hard to find that more work is needed to gain smaller and smaller returns.

And yes, I already block all messages about games and applications.  Otherwise the mess would be far worse.

I do have a Google+ account, but I really don't see that going anywhere at the moment.  There is just so little activity and so few people combined with so little to do that it just isn't worth my time.  I check it once a week to make sure nothing has changed, but since everyone in my circles is already on Facebook, there just isn't any new material.  Or any material at all for that matter. 

I'm not interested in internet fighting anymore, but I dislike the fact that people interpret my silence as a point for their argument.  To be honest, I just don't care.  The old saying about an internet argument holds true - even if you somehow "win", you lose, and winning is impossible.

Nah, I'm currently content with this flow of events. 

- Jim

Monday, February 27, 2012


I have essentially completed my disengagement from Facebook.  It's not through any drama, though there was some, that I made this decision, it is merely an extension of how uncomfortable I am with the way Facebook presents it's data.

Imagine a party where people rarely talk to each other, but nearly everyone screams as loud as they can in order to get people to listen to them.  I dislike the street hawking, if that can even be considered an applicable reference.  I prefer the old Myspace page where you had to go to a friend's (or someone else's) page in order to find out something they may have shared.  There were things you could keep private, there were things you could show everyone, and life was generally... quieter.

The problem with MySpace was that people could modify how their pages look.  It sounds like a good idea until you realize that everyone had an annoying song, everyone had cheap flashy graphics, half the pages were impossible to read, half took too long to load. 

Now, in their defense, Facebook has taken steps to try to reduce the noise level on the streets.  The problem is that blocking voices yourself is too absolute and the algorithms that Facebook uses to sort what it thinks you want to see and block what it thinks you don't are too... well, they don't work.  They're not me.  I'm not sure if it's just not random for as wrong as it gets.

Then there's the whole part about screaming on the street corner.  Eventually you get to a point where you want to keep score.  More friends, more connections, more responses, more interaction.  Deep down, I don't really care, and yet, it's a thrill to find someone liked something I wrote or responded in a positive way to a thought I shared.  I'm not immune to the screaming for attention, I just feel bad about it afterwards.

Anyway, Facebook is a good way to keep up with the people who I want to keep up with.  It's opened my eyes about friends who apparently have no desire to associate with me in public, even a digital public.  It has its uses, so I won't entirely give it up, but I will concentrate more on the blog - where people can go to read what I share at their leisure.  Or not.  Readers can share their thoughts on a topic with me, but the process doesn't cater to people who just want to pick fights online.  Yeah, I can respond if I wish, but they don't score points with anyone else.

There will possibly be some shorter posts where I share things that interest me throughout the day, but they will be less prevalent than they were on Facebook.  It's more work, which means less inane posts and more posts about things that matter more, to me, of course.

- Jim