Emchap's Shit from the Internet 11/2/22 🍠
I have been on Twitter off and on (mostly on) since 2007, when I was in high school. When I started using the stupid thing, you texted your updates to the site, which seems insane in retrospect. (I didn’t get a smart phone until my sophomore year in college, get off my lawn, etc.)
I was never a Tumblr person, and LiveJournal was bought by the Russians when I was still pretty young, and so in a lot of ways Twitter was my formative social network. (I got on Facebook at 14 but then its android of a creator used it to manage a genocide and make everybody’s family members racist, thus removing it from consideration here.)
I’ve made legitimate friends on it and some of my favorite stupid jokes are from it and it is also an actively negative presence in my life. Tumblr users hated the owners of their site and Instagram content creators hate that they have to keep pivoting to newer and stupider forms of video, but the Twitter user base has always seemed to me to be a little bit unusual in agreeing that the site, itself, is a bad thing that makes our lives worse. It is perhaps concerning that one of Twitter’s most common epithets among its userbase is “the hell site.”
I took a month off from being on there much recently, because the site rewards the particular kind of outrage Discourse in which everybody goes full feral crab bucket on someone for a whole day and it + non-linear timelines had turned the whole thing into a website that just served me angry, stupid takes mixed in with the saddest news stories I’d ever seen, just life-ruiningly awful shit that I could do nothing about. And then I came back because it’s a stupid dopamine slot machine and then the idiot failson of an emerald miner bought the fucking thing, and it’s not like it was good before and it’s not like its original CEO wasn’t an absolute freak, but Jesus Christ.
People are floating off to different sites, and it’s highlighting the context collapsey nature of social media to start with—my tech folks are mostly off to Mastodon (firstname.lastname@example.org), and everyone else seems to be staying put or going to Cohost (which does seem like a generally better option unless you’re very committed to OSS, plus the people who make it sell shirts that say “fuck computers”, which I think is very funny).
I’m sure I’ll become active on one or both eventually, but it does also make me wonder if it’s not just time to hang up the social media hat and do what all of my much cooler friends did years ago and get off all of the websites. I, like many of the people who work in tech, generally think that the industry as it exists is a force for bad more often than not, and perhaps I should disengage with it when not at work.
I say all of this now and I’m sure I’ll be back on Twitter tomorrow fucking around playing on as the ship sinks, but the whole situation seems just impossibly grim.
Shit to read
I enjoyed the Anti Software Software Club manifesto, and I do think it accurately summarizes the perverse incentives of most of the software industry, where nobody seems to ever point out that it’s stupid to build on a foundation of not making any money and assuming infinite growth.
The women who wrote the blog on which Julie and Julia is based died of a heart attack shortly after having covid; she was 49 and the entire situation is tremendously sad.
I loved this review of the author’s electric cargo bike, which looks fun as hell.
I fucking loved this piece on productivity journalism bullshit.
Shit to eat
Go on a trip for a week.
When you return home, have your boyfriend pick you up from the airport.
In your absence, he will have procured for you cinnamon rolls, a sack of Halloween candy, and all the pumpkin beer you couldn’t find all month.
Cry in the bathroom a little bit because it’s very overwhelming to have someone be nice to you, which you should perhaps explore in therapy but won’t.
Eat an edible, split a cinnamon roll, and make out on the couch.
Enjoy being home.
Shit to watch
I will be out my gourd on edibles and pumpkin bread and listening to ASMR Twix until 2023, thank you for understanding.