It gives me no pleasure to delete a feed that I have been following off and on for more than a decade now, but the logorrhea combined with intentional scandal-seeking behavior has become too much. Screen after awful screen of gotchas and callouts in a single post. Whatever for?
I’ve been on bluesky’s wait list long enough for it to become irrelevant, so of course I received an invite code last night. If you want to see an empty profile that probably won’t see much use check out @miljko.bsky.social.
Two blog posts of the old-school kind, as in people writing in depth about things they love:
- DAK and the Golden Age of Gadget Catalogs from Cabel Sasser
- Index Card Cases, Wallets, Covers, Pouches, etc. from Chris Aldrich
And both out on the same day (I’m behind on my feeds!)
Speaking of Rao, I missed this recent nugget of his about the affairs of the world:
At best you could say: With negligible power comes negligible responsibility. So why are we all acting like we’re Marvel superheroes and supervillains with the weight of the world’s fate on our shoulders?
I’ve wondered the same thing myself! People are disavowing and reaffirming left and right, and for what?
Venkatesh Rao wrote about the future of “the blogosphere” and all of it is interesting, but this is broadly applicable:
Immortal, complex, graceful: pick 2 of 3. And that’s at best. At worst, you’ll have a complex system that’s dying gracelessly.
He is not optimistic about blogs, at least not as we know them.
Here is an obvious analogy for you: the physical world — meatspace, if you will — as “meat” of an actual body, both skeletal (muscles, ligaments, tendons and such), and visceral (entrails, the liver, vital organs); the internet as nerve impulses connecting the various parts both sensorially (how are the navels of the world doing these days?) and in effect (from Facebook groups to GoFundMe pages bringing actual change).
You know how X and other social networks made everything feel connected to everything else? Well, there is an organic counterpart to this phenomenon, and it’s called a generalized tonic-clonic — or grand mal — seizure, manifesting, in the clonic phase, in widespread convulsions of the body.
The reason why our bodies are usually not convulsing is that the nerve impulse pathways are tightly controlled in space: there are separate nerves, differentiated brain areas for different roles, and let’s not forget the biggest separation of them all: two semi-independent brain hemispheres connected only by the corpus callosum which, imagine this, is sometimes cut completely for treatment of refractory seizures. There is also chemical separation: many of the pathways are inhibitory, and the most abundant neurotransmitter in the body is not dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine or others you’ve heard of because they go haywire, but glycin, a modest amino acid which people don’t hear about because it is so good at its job of tamping down bad impulses.
The world’s ongoing convulsions started — after an initial tonic phase — right after we have all become interconnected: Hezbollah, Hamas, and your neighborhood association all hooked up to the same firehose. There is a feeling at the edge of my consciousness that the answer to solving them is in ourselves, and not in a new age self-fulfilment way but in pragmatic steps we can take to extrapolate from this most obvious analogy.
Dave Winer (@dave) is right, except for one thing: X should have enabled inline links to go alongside the walls of text. I never did care for Twitter cards, but how can you have an interNET without links? Mastodon and Threads, inexplicably, have the same problem.
By the way, if you — like me — have been wondering why the Brain Pickings RSS feed has gone silent, well wonder no more: two years ago it had a rebrand and is now The Marginalian. Being otherwise preocupied at the time I must have missed it.
And if you’ve never heard of Brain Pickings before, well, you’re in for a treat. ↬Tedium.