this week soon one of these days I shall be making adjustments to this site. It may be unavailable for a time. But, be assured (or be afraid), it will be back. (I must confess, sadly, that I am getting lazy in my old age.)
I recently listened to a podcast in which one of my favorite podcasters spent five minutes discussing a comment that podcaster made on Twitter. The complaint was that the person to whom the comment was directed (and which the podcaster admitted had been a mistake) had responded with a screenshot of the comment, rather than with a “quote tweet.” The podcaster’s point was that said podcaster could have responded to a “quote tweet” by admitting the response was wrong and apologizing for it, but could not respond to the screenshot. (My reaction was relief and self-congratulation that I never became a twit on Twitter.)
That such an inconsequential incident, such a tempest in a twitpot, could assume such significance, if only for a short time, is, frankly, distressing, which leads me to recommend Dr. Charles Johnson’s post at Psychology Today Blogs, in which he takes a look at how our metastasized “social” media has monopolized our attention and distorted our discourse, and at what we can do about it. Here’s a bit of what he has to day:
Machine learning algorithms don’t need ill intent or even a simple desire to maximize profit for them to have destructive effects. Instruct an algorithm to attract the maximum number of eyeballs (which is what people most often want them to do) and content that is ever more addictive and divisive becomes the natural result. Addiction is the best way to assure attention and divisive content is particularly habit-forming. Over the long term, content that actually benefits us stands little chance in this context.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger’s Paul Mulshine had enough of “Black Friday” (the phrase, that is) and wants it to just go away.
He wrote that a century and a half ago . . . .
It looks like Cape May and Wildwood, where we used to vacation when I lived in the Philly area,
are doomed have a less than propitious future.
In these parts, spring and fall have almost disappeared. From being a matter of months, they have become a matter of weeks.
When I was a young ‘un, growing up not far from where I write this, temperatures would gradually get cooler from September to November, usually with a bit of Indian summer around Thanksgiving. Then the cold weather would set in. Frosts were common from late October on.
We haven’t had a frost yet, and, last week, I drove the recycling to the recycling center with the top down on my car. And that warm day was not an exception.
This week, we are wrapping ourselves in down, but we still haven’t had a frost.
I fear we are well past the tipping point.
Thom talks with Dr. Mary Trump about the prospect of Donald Trump’s running for president again and about the future of the Republican Party. Spoiler: She is not sanguine.
And, in more news of the polite (Warning: too stupid for words).
Guns and stupid, guns and stupid,
They go together like love and Cupid.
Let me tell you, brother,
You won’t find one without the other.