I’m really enjoying summer so far. Temperatures have mostly been moderate and the nights deliciously cool (“great sleeping weather” as they say). After a long winter, it’s wonderful to have open windows again and the ability to just walk out the door without gearing up in winter gear.
But my least favorite day of the year approaches. Summer Solstice — the death of the light. Thermal inertia makes July and August uncomfortably warm, but, alas, the days get shorter and shorter.
Meanwhile, here in June, it’s time for another edition of Friday Notes.
The first of which is that this might be the last edition of the series, at least for a while. The main reason is that I’ve pretty much gone through the pile of tiny thoughts I don’t think warrant a full post (or even a Brain Bubble). The secondary reason is that I’m a bit fed up with WordPress and I’ve been questioning the value long-form blogging. I find it harder and harder to be interested in making the effort given the low returns on the investment.
Summer Solstice is less than two weeks away (man, spring went quickly), and less than two weeks after that it’ll be this blog’s 11-year anniversary. (In between those, I’ll celebrate 9 years of retirement.) Bottom line, I’m thinking it’s time to change things up, but I’m not sure which direction to go.
It’s something I’m pondering.
Part of the problem is that I’m really tired of false Followers and Likers — those who apparently have no actual interest in this blog but are promoting theirs. I can’t do anything about the false Likes, but I routinely remove Followers promoting blogs that sell things. I also remove Followers who never introduce themselves and never make another appearance after the Follow — no comments, no Likes. My posts get few enough page hits that I’m pretty sure they are not lurking silently.
Not that I care much about the Likes. I’d disable the capability, but it would only apply to those seeing the blog on its website. The loathsome WordPress Reader does an end run around that setting — just one more reason to despise it.
It’s the falsity of it all that gets to me. Humans are such a deceitful bunch of liars. I am so sick of the constant bombardment of robo-calls, junk mail, spammers, and other fakers and liars. I don’t know why we put up with it.
The other thing is that, as I mentioned in the last edition of this series, very much to my astonishment, I have a YouTube video that’s gone mildly viral. This one:
I say “mildly” because the 60,000 views it’s gotten so far are a drop in a bucket compared to the millions of views popular channels get in a day when they release a new video.
But in my little corner of reality, 60K views is mind-blowing. In the entire almost eleven-year history of this blog, the home page has only gotten 31K views, and my most popular post, over a period of almost seven years, only 8K.
I long ago resigned myself to being an outlier in almost everything, but I’m starting to think I should have been a YouTuber. That simple little video has a (to me) jaw-dropping 2,068 Likes and 234 comments. Nothing I’ve ever written comes anywhere close. And, unlike my posts, it seems to have led to some engagement with other videos I’ve done.
So why am I doing this? The main idea was leaving something behind, and possibly educating people, but kinda been there done that on the former and there has mostly been a deafening silence on the latter.
Obviously, it’s me, but I am what I am, so what the hell. Onward and… onward, I guess. Whatever.
Dogs are said to be perpetual infants because they are so domesticated. (The counter example is working dogs, which are grown up dogs, but I often wonder if they’re lonely and feel unloved.)
I’ve mentioned the infantilization of modern culture, especially with regard to entertainment, and it has occurred to me it may be due to something similar: over domestication, being so spoiled, and, as they say, amusing ourselves to (brain) death.
I also wonder if the rampant post-modern deconstruction and secularism hasn’t damaged us. We’ve killed myth and legend that used to ground us (and replaced them with comic books and shallow science fiction). Has that undermined our social foundations? Have we lost track of who we are and what truly matters?
Is it just me or has Google search gone downhill in the last whatever years? Seems like a search used to return better results, but lately there’s been too much utter garbage, and I’ve sometimes had a hard time finding useful information.
Has the flotsam and jetsam of the internet finally overwhelmed the ability to find things? Is it just not possible to effectively index and catalog such a vast ocean of content?
We used to think our kids, because of computers and the internet, would be so much smarter than our generation, maybe even scary smarter. But does that really seem to have happened? No doubt they’re really good at video games and social media, but if comments I see (mostly on YouTube, but also in other social media) are any judge, it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Perhaps the sheer volume of content has proven too much for them, too. It seems to have given us a background of noisy content that makes it hard for any one thing to stand out.
Do we want the stars or just to be another answer to the Fermi Paradox? I don’t fear alien visitors in large part because any species that can accomplish space travel is probably pretty grown up. And I really do think genuine intelligence correlates with moral, or at least ethical, behavior.
(Yeah, my raging misanthropy has never been more raging. Sorry, but not really.)
Signs of a bullshitter:
- Doesn’t answer direct questions or acknowledge errors.
- Doesn’t provide concrete examples.
- Opaque and overly technical language (often misused).
- Irrelevant tangents to deflect questions.
Trying to talk to some people is such a waste of time.
Things to research:
Whatever happened with self-driving cars? They used to be all the rage, everyone was either promoting them or worried about them. I haven’t heard anything recently, though. I’ve long been curious about how large numbers of them might interact — would their lidar systems interfere with each other? (I understand Teslas are entirely vision-based so signals from other vehicles wouldn’t be a concern.)
Whatever happened with 3DTV? I assume it went the way 3D media always goes — a shiny idea that never works out (because it’s a dumb gimmick). Are 3D movies still a thing? (I haven’t been to a movie theater in many years.)
Whatever happened to “everyone is going to Mars”? Did the sheer silliness of that finally sink in? Or was it just a fad that grabbed everyone’s attention for a while, but then got old? (“Space is the place!” But is it really?)
Are rental scooters still a thing? They were a divisive issue for a while. Who won?
(While it’s true that completely ignoring the news puts me a bit out of touch, it also makes me a much happier person.)
During the time it took me to bang out this post, I got another half-dozen comments on that video. None of them worth responding to because they’re all versions of “I don’t get it” (I’ve never understood why people broadcast their ignorance this way).
There are those who’ve asked intelligent questions, or — demonstrating curiosity and a desire to learn — even at least a question. But all those “me so dumb” comments are really depressing. If you’re not going to do something about it, keep your ignorance to yourself.
Upon consideration, maybe I’m actually glad I am such an outlier.
Stay curious, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.