A perfect sea urchin

The Cyberculture Corner

Welcome to where I air my wrong headed views on cyberculture and the internet. I always have a lot to say and no one tells me to shut up. To return to the regular blog page, just click here.

Too Hard to Write

It was just too hard to write this part of the blog. There is too much dead and too much wanting out there on the net. I can have a great time with Second Life. The email has a spam filter. I use AdBlock Plus on Facebook. I use other productivity enhancing software for other web sites, but....

TUL is dead. No one has accepted or rejected my application. I set up my own RP board. It's easier than dealing with admins, but I don't have time to write much there.

The Site Fights finally disappeared after being dead for a year. It hurt to watch. I did not want that kind of victory. Haldis' team at the Webleagues is down to six sites and fewer fighters. Fighters use every excuse in the book to quit if they don't sneak away like thieves in the night. It is wonderful to feel disposible. At least I don't feel disposible at ZOID. We're small and we're now the oldest. Hooray, and that is not a happy cheer.

Facebook has become the new bottom of the internet. When people are afraid or unable to write, they play games. When games are not enough, they put up posters as their statuses. The posters sometimes include political slogans. Sometimes they are the silly messages silk screened on to t-shirts at the county fair or state fair, and they are sometimes statements of religious belief or grating truisms. "Some day I'll be mature enough not to engage in drama." Well some day never comes or has not come yet. "The only people who matter are...those who love you back." I'm paraphrasing but this stuff just grates, even the slogans with which I agree.

Sylvia, the old lady, with witty sayings is the worst. I hide posts that include her. She is entropy personified. I can't stand looking at her. I can't stand looking at the Simpsons either because they all look like they have jaundice. I never get to the humor or the messages. The yellow faces so revolt me. I haven't seen any Simpsons posters.

I find the posters tiring. I find Facebook tiring. I do not find personal statuses tiring, but I find it tiring to walk down my wall and see that the news of the day is animals in shelters. I'll stop to look, but I can't take on a third cat. I neutered my pets. Pet overpopulation is a tragedy, but it's not the only event going on in the world.

I am no longer using Facebook every day. I guess that is good news, but it means less involvement with my groups. I am thankful for Second Life which is fun. I use email as a tool, and Netdyam appears to be dead as well. No one has contributed to the blog for five months, and when I tried to log in I got a server error. I think it's over. Thanks Brainstormers. That was really great of you! You scored a victory, and not just over me. You went for the big one!

Eileen H. Kramer -- October 28, 2011

Voting with my Feet

It was easy. I can go back any time, but it's been a week since I walked away from Facebook. Rosh HaShannah made it easy. Another unwanted interface change made it even easier. I did not have to do anything permanent. My account still exists. I can go back there if I ever change my mind. In fact, I probably will change my mind or will I? I warned Candi about this last time I got really disgusted with Facebook. I guess one warning is enough.

I am all ready laying the groundwork to go to greener pastures. One pasture if of course Second Life. It's part game, part music service, part fun. I'm a MU**er from way back, so it's congenial. It was love at first login even with suboptimum equipment, and eight minute sessions that ended in crashes. I used to joke that Second Life didn't charage by the login. I was fortunate that way.

The second more serious change, was applying to The United Literates. It's a fiction/role play board. I'd rather role play then fend off game posts in my feed or deal with constant, unwanted interface changes, or friends that live in a world of fear, or fear that I might offend somebody by telling them they are passing on a hoax, committing slander, spouting utterly stupid truisms etc... My nice mask made my face hurt, and my good sense about bad software triumphed at least temporarily.

TUL may turn out to be dead. I may move on to greener pastures than that. I may go back to Facebook. I'll need to go back just a little, but I'll hopefully become like many users who have an account and just don't use it very much.

I don't want to waste space writing another Facebook rant. It's one of the worst things that happened to the net. For many, it is their only idea of community, and as a community Facebook is poisonous. Though I sound like a (hiss! spit! ptui!) Brainstormer, community involves some level of trust, even if it is only the trust that the person you are talking to, is not going to explode with anger if you mildly insult them. That is a pretty low level of trust, but holding your breath and biting your tongue are prerequisites to civility.

Now that is not the same as wearing a nice mask twenty-four/seven which I often felt like was doing on Facebook. It just means that if I'm on the receiving end (If you're going to give a bit of dirt and speak freely, you have to expect the same of others.) of frank talk and I find it disagreeable, I'll hold my breath and count to ten before realizing, it's an argument, it's not personal, it's a fair fight (for real, because there are very nasty tactics that masquerade as fair fights in some circles. Most denziens of Facebook are not sophisticated enough and Facebook lacks the free-for-all atmosphere that breeds those tactics.) etc...

I've long said I'd rather read articles in the Atlantic and the New York Times than certain cut and paste statuses on Facebook. I can get done with people's real statuses in minutes, and then it's like watching paint dry. And no, I don't have to share everything I read. If people are interested, they'll go to a public web site. If people are interested, I'll clue them in. Otherwise, why broadcast the public web site's work?

So I'm in search of free talk, or free fictional talk, since it is nicer not to reveal too much in a public forum. Facebook doesn't cut it. Facebook is bad software. I'm voting with my feet....at least for now.

Eileen H. Kramer -- October 6, 2011