Category Archives: rage against the machine

la guerra fria

The Cold War lives on to this day with renewed enthusiasm. I like citizen diplomacy. I had a Ham Radio station and license all through high school (1970’s). I had many radio friends in the USSR.

The Johnny Carson interview in this is tops. This reminds me of my 6th grade class (about 1970). Cold War was running hot. A student asked, “Teacher, why do the Russians want to kill us?” She replied, “They don’t. Some child like you there is asking the same thing about us right now.”


In 1982, a 10-year-old American wrote to the head of the U.S.S.R. He wrote back and she became our youngest diplomat.

too hard to check it, just go on faith

A common tactic if you’re trying to prove something that’s not real is to pad it up with so many references and citations that no one can decipher them all. You have to take it on faith. Well, there are so many, it must be true!

Article: Why are we talking about white supremacy?

I read this article this morning due to a link I received by e-mail. It’s good material and difficult to process.

From mass incarceration to sentencing laws to racial discrimination in housing and home loans, the invisibility of institutional racism is maintained by the fact that it is literally hard to see.

Systemic racism is reproduced and extended through everyday practices that allow people to live in a racist society but fail to make meaningful connections between their own observations, their nation’s history, and broader patterns of domination.

that foreign meddlin’

Things jump out at me in ordinary reading, like this: Facebook’s advertising system is exploited by foreign governments and other malevolent political actors who have had free rein to spread disinformation and discord

Yes, technically true, but it’s really “that Russia shit” dressed up another way. It’s only those “foreign” governments, not ours. It has become too big to fail.

the fragile state of alternative social media

Tedious social media thought dump 💩 :

I’ve always been most fond of offbeat social media. I prefer the networks that are NOT fist pick, and I don’t mind being alone on them. I post like I don’t care if any anybody ever reads them, and I really don’t care. While interactions are nice (and desirable), posting with a focus on getting attention goes bad quickly without a big dose of restraint. I just prefer to post what I’m thinking, even if it’s tedious and boring. My quantity of goof posts annoys people sometimes. It’s up to the recipient to control that. Posters can be unfollowed or muted, for example. I’ve had many unfriend me. Excessive, but that’s their business. I’ve done it, too.

The popular social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are where the people are, so I do them. Except for the reward of seeing friends, my happiness level is low. The filtration, coercion, and data mining induce stress.

I started out blogging on the My Opera Community in 2003. It was great for years, then Opera Software shut it down. Most people then migrated to WordPress, as did I, but I’ve never been much of a fan. I still maintain a WordPress archive of My Opera.

I was most fond of Google Plus (Google+, G+). Slick, so easy on mobile, great communities. Now Google is going to shut it down in 2019.

I tried the Mastodon federated social network. It’s the best thing I’ve seen so far, but after getting booted from three hosting instances in three weeks due to owners changing their minds, I’m not doing federated anymore. Riding along on somebody else’s hosting leaves one vulnerable to constant tedious resets.

I also do VK (VKontakte). Russian Facebook-like experience. Quite good, actually. I have no apologies. English is popular and people are from all over the world.

MeWe is supposed to be a rising star. I’m trying it. I don’t know. It might not work out. I like it, but I don’t. 🤨

I’ve never felt so adrift and limited on alternative social media. It’s a bad time to be dependent on big corporate social media. I’d especially like to cast off Facebook, but I don’t see doing it right away.

#facebook #vk #mewe #twitter #mastodon #googleplus #wordpress #myopera #socialmedia

ads and “prop”

I enjoy dissecting and paying attention to advertising to see if I can spot the manipulation involved, also to see if there is a surprise or special creativity to it, and finally just to ridicule it sometimes.
Mitsubishi has one on that I can make fun of.
Ad: “Don’t you want to test drive a Mitsubishi?”
Me: “Not at all.”
At least Mitsubishi doesn’t equate buying a car with love as most of the Subaru ads do.
The two most annoying ads for me right now are Anoro with that whiny Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way” song, and Operation Smile “This Little Light of Mine” for being so cloyingly emotional.
Both Anoro and Operation Smile use sound processing that plays hell with 5.1 surround sound by making the ad swirl around the listener and even appear to come from another room, like some kind of voice throwing. It seems to be purposely disorienting to make an impression.
For me, analyzing advertising goes hand in hand with analyzing propaganda in the news.

posting therapy

There are some small off-beat social media services that I use as a personal rant box, like screaming into a pillow. It’s embarrassing, yet I find it exciting at the same time. Whatever it takes. 😱
Sometimes I think my post volume gets annoyingly high. Being unfollowed or unfriended can be necessary and doesn’t bother me. I’ve done it to others.
It reminds me of my years in the My Opera virtual community. I never cared if a single person read or responded to my things, though I liked it if they did. I did it for myself.
When things get difficult, hitting the keyboard helps a lot. All this also reminds me of when I worked in a restaurant and my sidework was cutting lemons. There was something relieving about it. Working with the hands. A knife, slicing into the skin of a piece of fruit, the citrus smell, repetitive motion…