Friday, August 27 2021

Quote of the Day

This entire process is controlled entirely by AI who are only programmed to maximize profit. The content doesn’t matter at any point in all of this. No one is plotting the ideological endpoint of the colonization of your attention. No one even knows what you’re looking at.

The algorithm doesn’t understand if posts are political or comedic or left or right or fake or real. It literally just doesn’t know. The only thing it understands is how long people are looking at the screen because that’s where the money comes from and the only thing it was told to do was generate profit. It’s doing it’s job according to the parameters of success we laid out…

We programmed them to be customer obsessed because profit supposedly indicates value, but when you’re being a person instead of a customer, it thinks it’s failing. When you’re engaging in a politics that isn’t as profitable and addictive and online and reductive it feels like its failing and it wants the customer to come back. So the algorithmic solution to this is to turn every aspect of being a person into a customer behavior. Your feelings, your friendship, your love, your politics, your thought, every…fucking everything.

The internet isn’t just entertainment. It’s where we learn our politics, enact relationships, experience friendship, express our fears and our hopes, and that’s customer behavior and it’s being streamlined. Our souls are being streamlined into profitable groups as much as possible. It’s altering us. It’s more complicated than addition. It’s your soul.

*exasperated sigh*

What do you want me to say, bitch?

We programmed the AI to be customer obsessed. So it wants us to behave as customers. Which means consuming reliably, predictably, constantly through their medium. But the medium is also inviting us to be people on it. To engage in politics, in learning, in thought, in feeling and friendship and love. In being.

So–our souls are being streamlined into recommendation holes.

Your soul.


My brain is exploding today

I have too much in it and everything in it is threatening to tip out or mix together and absolutely be forgotten and lost forever. Let’s de-tangle all this and get it out, huh?

Breathe. Ok.

Keyboards keyboards keyboards

Yesterday after 4 days of furious note taking on my computer, my hands started to do the thing they haven’t done for years; my fingers got aching and tingly, so did my palms and the backs of my hands. Do I slam down on the keys too hard? Clearly so. As my plan is to write novels, this is a problem I need to fix now.

So I did some keyboard research, and this is what I found:

  • Keyboards in general are designed for people with regular to large sized hands. At a length of 6.5 inches, my hands are definitely smaller than regular.
  • Hence, ergonomic keyboards often have small-handed people reaching to hit all the keys, which kind of negates a lot of the ergonomic part. Reports on Reddit by small handed people note that some of the most celebrated ergonomic keyboards (the Moonlander, ErgoDox, and Kinesis Advantage 2) did not work for them.
  • Orthogonal keys are keys on a keyboard that are stacked in a straight line instead of staggered like on a regular keyboard. So, for example, Q-A-Z keys are in a straight line above and below each other. I feel like this could possibly help, but I’d have to order a whole keyboard to try it out.
  • There are really not a lot of ergo options for small-handed people.

But I did find a Reddit post with some options, and they seem to be:

Which are all really so far down into custom build-your-own keyboard kits that they are Daunting. For a less DIY solution, the Microsoft Sculpt was a suggestion. But it doesn’t have low-force keys, and I think that is what I need to stop the tingling in my fingers that pretty directly seems to come from pounding my keys all the way down into the floor of the keyboard for hours.

My husband handed me a Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition he had lying around, and I’m typing on that now. It took a bit to get used to over my Apple Magic Keyboard–they are very different animals. Not having to “bottom out” the keys and needing to use only about 60% of the force seem to be helping the tingly sensation in my fingers, but my hands are still sore. These are also linear mechanical keys, and not having any feedback from the key to know I’ve pressed it just far enough to get a letter to appear onscreen is bizarre, and I feel like I’m using a good bit of brainpower trying to regulate my keystrokes. But I don’t have to look down at the keyboard quite as much. Though my hands are all over it. BUT I am using more fingers than I do on my Mac keyboard, possibly because it takes so much force to slam those babies down.

So this will be a less than fun experiment to find what works, and while I’m not looking forward to it, it is necessary.

All the thoughts I’ve thought and words I’ve written and things I’ve watched about Inside, and I only had the barest clue what it was really about

Honestly there are so many whirlpools of thought careening around my head after watching CJ The X’s video essay Bo Burnham vs Jeff Bezos that I am still processing and don’t really have a ton I can articulate yet. Here’s a snapshot:

  • I’m old
  • I’m OLD
  • It’s interesting how intellectually I really started to buy into the idea of building a platform and monetizing but unconsciously could never motivate myself to even take the first step toward actually doing that
  • I’m really glad I never had kids because between this and climate change what have we done omg
  • Is it interesting that the rise of the internet and corporations turning us into transhumance cyborgs for profit pretty much sort of happened at the same time as climate change? Or is that just capitalism hollowing out every single cell of all life everywhere?
  • I need to watch this 16 more times, because I do not gut-level get it, but I’m pretty sure I heart-level get it. And I’m pretty sure that if I want to appeal to the people I want to appeal to in my writing, fully getting it would help
  • ….am I a little sad that I will never be a transhuman cyborg?

My social media plan, revised

Ok so after watching Bo Burnham vs. Jeff Bezos, I’ve re-thought my social media strategy. To say the least. I was contemplating doing little 5 minute essay like things on YouTube about interesting, little-known historical figures as a platform to gather in an audience who might also be interested by my novel which will have little-known history in it. As a way to show people some work of mine while trudging through the novel trenches and not having anything to show to an audience for years.

Nope. That is now not the plan.

The realization is that I don’t really like posting on social media (right now). I don’t feel like I am making any sort of meaningful connection through it, not even with friends and family I’ve known the balance of my life OFF of social media. What I like doing is making these crazy blog posts where I can empty out my brain of all the information I collect like a magpie with shinies and to be able to reflect on some things that I have stumbled upon and enjoy them and make some connections. I really like the fact that there are no comments and that I’m not “interacting” and feel free to say what I think without having to justify any of it to anyone. And I really like the fact that those who don’t care or agree with me can just not be in this little space on the internet.

I’m going to make a Twitter account which will be nothing more than posting links to new entries, so that people can find me on the social media and can chose to click and read the post or not. When I have things to announce, I’ll announce them there.

Eventually I’d like to have a Patreon for any sort of fan interaction. No algorithm, no AI, a closed community of people interacting because they want to. Maybe it’s not the best, but feels more right than performing my life for profit.

My working plan, revised

I also had the thought today–seriously, it’s taken me 3 hours to unwind and layout a morning worth of thoughts that were just collectively melting my brain trying to keep a hold of them–that working in back-to-back sprints might be a little too intense for me. Especially because this Uninhabitable Earth book is maybe the most depressing book I’ve ever read about how we are all no-fixing-it screwed and we just keep getting more screwed every single minute. I’m finding myself completely wiped out after 2-3 hours of reading and note-taking.

But I’m working in sprints, so why do they need to be back-to-back? I want to try 1 sprint every hour of the work day instead. I should still get the same amount of work done, but I’ll be able to process more and relax my tingly (still, even with this fancy gamer keyboard) fingers & hands, and get some of the other things in life done that also plague me. I’d start today, but I had to stay up late watching the video so I slept in then I had to finish the video and whoops there’s my morning gone and then all the info overload and now it’s 2:30, and I’ll be lucky to get 2 sprints in today, because there’s some other things I was going to do this week that I haven’t even started.

So I guess, bye! See you next week….