If there is a phone related problem I’d love to see solved, it’s opening my phone up to do something specific but then getting distracted by a notification and forgetting what it was that I wanted to do in the first place. Distraction free computing?

It’s extremely hard to use WordPress as a microblogging platform because literally everything about it is oriented toward maxiblogging.

I kept getting a popping noise from the speakers connected to my MacBook Pro, along with an annoying prompt in Discord all the time telling me my iPhone was available as a microphone. Realized I needed to turn off Continuity Camera on my phone, which I never use. Go to General > AirPlay & Handoff > and turn off Continuity Camera. No more popping noise, no more Discord annoyance!

I got an AeroPress for Christmas and luckily I immediately tried the Stumptown method, because since then I’ve tried a few other methods and they make horrible coffee compared to that one. If I had tried another method first, I might not have fallen in love with my AeroPress and the La Colombe beans. It’s just amazing how sensitive coffee brewing is to relatively small changes.

I shut down the Mastodon instance I was running today, literally just now. Over the holiday break, as I was moving, I used Mastodon very little and found I didn’t really miss it. Micro-blogging or short form social media was interesting back in 2006 when Twitter first started. It was a lot of people just sharing what they were up to, what they liked, and so on. But social media is different now. Instagram and Facebook accelerated us into a moment where we are all extremely image obsessed, and Twitter somehow became the place online where you cultivated and maintained your political image. The Twitter users migrating to Mastodon brought this idea with them, and a lot of posts are just people broadcasting their political beliefs as incontrovertible truths that everyone must adhere to. It’s exhausting and I’m over it.

It would be nice if we could someday get back to social media as something we use to broadcast our interests and hobbies to the world, instead of using it as a way to bludgeon people into submission with our thoughts and feelings.

The Staircase, the new HBO series that just wrapped up, was very entertaining. I didn’t watch the original documentary, but I had read an article all about “the owl theory”, which I had found very convincing, so I was vaguely familiar with the murder of Kathleen Peterson.

To someone unfamiliar with some of the details of the case, it was very easy to feel like the series was giving a lot of credence to the owl theory, by repeatedly showing Kathleen being spooked by owl sounds outside. Is the subplot with the bats a further allusion to Kathleen’s alleged issues with wildlife? Probably?

The series leaves out certain facts about the crime scene that can strongly influence your opinion about Michael Peterson’s innocence, and I think it’s extremely suspicious. I can understand that the show, for the sake of suspense, may want to paint an somewhat ambiguous picture of Michael early on, so they can hit you with more damming evidence later, but by the end I don’t think the show went far enough in this regard.

Before the last episode of the show aired, I did some googling and found a lot of people who were like me: people who felt like Michael Peterson wasn’t guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the show didn’t help remedy this perception much. But after finding a very eye-opening post on Reddit about the case, all doubt was gone for me, and by the end of the show I ultimately felt like it was extremely misleading.

I felt the same way after the 2018 Waco series which portrayed David Koresh as a likable rockstar character and not the sociopathic child molestor he actually was. To the credit of The Staircase, it’s not as egregious as the Waco series in regards to making the psychopath at the center of the series seem super cool and hip, but I still call into question the compulsion to create media that feels a bit like the narcissist himself was involved in crafting their portrayal.

Sure, you could say it’s so that the audience can sort of feel what it was like to actually be there, and to be so thoroughly suckered by the charisma of these men, but I really don’t think that is much of a defense. At the end of the day, these were men who did bad things, and leaving out details and events so that the main character of the show still remains somewhat likable is just dishonest and manipulative.

The brouhaha over what percentage of Twitter’s users are bots has joined my internal list of the most frustrating stupidities I have seen on the internet. It’s such a clear example of how people’s perception of a thing totally ruins their ability to think objectively about it.

It’s an inarguable fact: if you look at the replies to popular tweets on Twitter, a lot of those replies are created by bots. That’s easy to see. The core problem is that people are taking the feeling “30% of the content I see on Twitter is written by bots” and turning it into “30% of all the users on Twitter are bots”.

There are a lot of people who “lurk” on Twitter. People who probably know better than to open themselves up to the kind of mean-spirited criticism that awaits you on the internet. These are real people, but to some of the studies that Musk fans have pointed to, an account that never tweets is possibly a fake account, or a possibly a bot.

The fact that 70% of Musk’s followers haven’t tweeted in more than 120 days isn’t any evidence that those people are bots, it’s just evidence that a significant majority of people who have Twitter accounts simply do not post. And good for them! I’m sure they are living happy, productive lives somewhere else.

I don’t know how I didn’t mention Outer Range in my last post. I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than, Severance. It’s an unabashedly & pretentiously weird and arty show that, based on what I’ve read online, is very divisive. I was honestly shocked at the negativity and hostility directed at the show online, because I never felt like it hit a wrong note. But on the other hand, I know when something feels that way to me, it’s probably going to really upset other people.

It’s got all the hallmarks of a future cult classic and I am totally there for it. I don’t really know how to say much else about the show. If you like David Lynch but think his stuff is too lacking in coherence, it’s great: dream logic, magical realism, science fiction all rolled up into one big beautiful package. I think you liked John from Cincinnati, which I love with all my heart and soul, you’d like Outer Range as well. How much that last sentence offends you should be a pretty good measure of how much you may like the show.