11.28.2022

Is Our Use of Social Media All About Self Promotion?

Canyon gorge silhouette

It is no secret that people use social media in different ways and for different reasons. Some people seek meaningful social interactions with others. They rarely share links but ask questions to stimulate discussion. They respond to almost everyone who engages with them. Others rely on social media to promote their work. They often share links to their own writing, videos, art, or other content. They may be somewhat less engaged with others because their goals differ.

Remembering these differences can be helpful when a platform collapses or becomes inhospitable. Some suggested alternatives may be great for engagement and lousy for promotion. Others might be effective for promotion but poor at engagement. We shouldn't expect users to move to a platform that isn't helpful in meeting their needs.

11.25.2022

Brief Impressions of Three 2022 Horror Films: Smile, Barbarian, and X

Movie theater room cinema

I watch a lot of horror films, but I don't watch many during the year of their release. I don't have any interest in going to movie theaters, and the concept of streaming has little appeal. This limits my access to newer films, but I am happy to be patient. I can still enjoy them whenever I get around to watching them.

Since I recently saw three horror films released in 2022, I figured I'd share my impressions. The films were Smile, Barbarian, and X. All may be worth a look, depending on your tastes. As for me, I found two of them to be worthwhile.

11.22.2022

Assigning Gender to Gods Suggests We Created Them in Our Image

Female god presiding over the Earth

Why do so many people seem so convinced that their gods have a gender? Why do they insist on using gendered pronouns to describe them? Gender applies to humans, but few are eager to claim that their gods are human. They'd like to think their gods are better than us. Gender applies to many other animals too. But once again, few view their gods as animals even though some behave worse than most animals.

Why would a timeless and infinite being be constrained by gender? Many monotheists insist that their god is everywhere and in all things. This sounds impressive until they trip over gender, referring to their god as "he." Why would they think their god was male in any meaningful way? They might as well claim that their god has red hair or lives in Arkansas.

11.19.2022

Why Mastodon Is My Choice For Life After Twitter

Mastodon in the woods

After concluding that Tribel wasn't for me, I headed over to Mastodon. I found a platform with a steep learning curve and not much guidance for getting started. But I pushed through these initial frustrations, and I am glad I did. Even though I haven't left Twitter yet, Mastodon is beginning to feel like home.

Mastodon is open-source and decentralized. Unlike Twitter, Facebook, and most other platforms, this means that there is no owner. Nobody can sell Mastodon to a Bond villain. There isn't a server farm in a central location. Anyone can set up their own server to host an instance, and all the instances can talk to each other. Think of an instance as a smaller network. This massive collection of instances are part of what people call the Fediverse.