Funny how Congress definitely can pass a law to force rail workers to take what they’re given because the rail work is so vital to the economy, they they apparently definitely can’t pass a law forcing rail companies to give the workers what they ask for because their work is so vital to the economy.
Monday, November 28, 2022
Sunday, November 27, 2022
This is a bit of an expansion of some thoughts I had in the early days of the post-Elon Twitter Upfuckery, but the fun, for sufficiently loose definitions of fun, part of all this is that post-Elon Twitter is a rare example of right-wing conspiracy theories meeting reality and exploding.
The reason this doesn’t happen very often is that there are systems in place whose sole purpose is to deliberately insulate the beliefs of the right from reality. For a long time, that insulating layer were Republicans in power, who played along with the rubes but didn’t get high on their own supply.
But by the time the inmates were fully in charge of the asylum, the combination of generally complex systems and an entire infrastructure designed to create an alternate version of reality meant that right-wing conspiracy theories were rarely acted upon, and, on the off chance they were, the results of that were obfuscated to make sure the worldview’s legitimacy remained intact.
This, of course, was not true. Twitter’s moderation was inconsistent and capricious because, first, moderation is hard, and second, Twitter’s moderation goal wasn’t “keep people safe” but rather “prevent Twitter from being yelled at too badly”, which made them very slow to react to things like neo-Nazi death threat campaigns.
The solution was, at least nominally, FrEe SpEeCh, defined as “zero consequences for the vilest fucking ideas on the planet”, which of course blew up when some of the new legal comedy was anti-Musk free speech, which didn’t stay free for very long.
An even bigger example is the Blue Check Debacle, still unfolding as I write this. The right-wing conspiracy theory was that Twitter’s blue check system was elitist and capricious because the Elites wanted to impose their Elite Faux Expertise on the unwashed masses, and that’s why their COVID-denial account couldn’t get a blue check. They even turned “blue-check” into one of their fun made up pejoratives.
In reality, blue checks were elitist and capricious because tech weirdos have starfucker tendencies and power corrupts and instead of checks meaning “you are who you say you are” they decided it meant “we’re not going to bother letting people know you are who you say you are unless we think you’re important” which is a fundamentally elitist and capricious metric.
But because they had incorrectly identified the problem in their eternal quest for victimhood, Twitter’s “fix” was to let everyone have the “important” part for a nominal fee and ignore the “you are who you say you are” part. Great solution to the problem if that was the problem but of course it wasn’t and it blew up spectacularly and now they’re scrambling to find a convoluted plan that pretends they were right all along while keeping people from impersonating Eli Lilly.
It’s all playing out in real time, and failing spectacularly, because, again, the insulating layers that keep this from happening are mostly absent. Elon himself is a product and active member of right-wing white nationalist faux-aggrieved Twitter, so he’s ruling based on those beliefs. And because Twitter is its own broadcast network, in a way, it’s all being aired, publicly, in real time, with minimal filtration. It’s glorious to watch, assuming you can isolate that feeling from the giant pile of collateral damage that’s happening.
Saturday, November 26, 2022
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
The Colorado nightclub shooter’s father and grandfather are both vile, virulent, violent homophobes of the highest order. So on the off chance the shooter is in fact enby, and it’s not just a lawyerly ploy from a group of people whose entire thesis is that people can and do identify that way frivolously, casually, falsely, and for personal gain, the shooting was STILL the direct result of right-wing homophobia and hate and the environment that creates.
They pulled this shit with the last (for a sufficiently loose definition of last, as must be said with mass shootings) right-wing mass shooting terrorist. Find a thing they think is exclusively identified with liberals (last time it was “from Berkeley”), and loudly proclaim that despite all the obvious evidence to the contrary, it couldn’t possibly be their fault.
Monday, November 21, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
OK. Here’s the deal. I cannot in good conscience keep provicing content to Twitter now that Trump’s back on it. They brought him back for the engagement boost and the only way to counter that is with engagement removal.
So. The Not A Blog is back, and it’s a fucking blog now. Twitter is microblogging, this is macroblogging. Unleess I only have a little to say, at which point it’ll be a tweet-length micropost here.
Posts and content will continue to be linked to on Twitter but that’s it, until the site burns to the ground or I’m confident the tiny audience has moved on to other platforms.
One of those platforms is Mastodon. Yes, the carob of social media. Some of my weeks-old follow requests finally processed, so maybe it’s working better? You should be able to search me there with You Are Dumb or my official Mastodon address, @firstname.lastname@example.org
I may, in fact, have to fuck with Instagram, at least for Oldnderd, but we’ll see.
I believe you can “follow” Blogger blogs and also RSS them and over the next few weeks I’m gonna see if there are things I should be doing to make that work.
Coming out of retirement because, frankly, the possibly fatal wounding of Twitter gives me some stuff to say that I’m not necessarily seeing said a lot of other places, so I might as well say it myself.
And one thing Elon Musk has accomplished, for a sufficiently loose definition of the term, is to have a group of followers with worse arguments than Trump’s. It’s hard to believe, but hear me out. It’s a lot like the arguments of Trump supporters, but with less variety. It’s a small, shitty subset of the Trump arguments, which makes it even more repetitive.
But my “favorite”, that we’ll be discussing today, is “And yet here you are, USING TWITTER!” to anyone complaining about how Musk is treating Twitter’s rules, policies, pricing, or employees. Oooh, you sneaky Musckvite, you’ve caught me, a Twitter user, using Twitter to complain about Twitter, which I use. Clearly, you’ve won the day.
Twitter, you see, is a social media site. And every single social media site is a Faustian deal with the forces of evil. Facebook’s litany of evil is well documented, but if that’s where your family posts its news, you shake hands with Zuckerberg and count your fingers after.
Mastodon? Guess what, you’re now the Carob Person. Using Mastodon is constantly insisting to everyone who loves chocolate that once you get used to the weird taste and texture, it really is superior to chocolate in every way.
Twitter’s Faustian bargain, pre-Musk, was fairly standard. Twitter is an aggregation of the comments section every news article used to have before they decided that was too much work and they could just post the article on Twitter and let it happen there. Inadequate and inconsistent moderation meant a constant stream of harassment if your account or your tweet saw enough eyeballs.
It’s Twitter behavior that led to the coining of “reply guy”. You’re welcome.
The point is, there isn’t some magical non-Twitter place to go to interact with people the way you do on Twitter, which is why Twitter still even fucking existed for Musk to buy. This is how all social media companies of any size retain their position - by creating a web of connections that makes it very difficult to leave no matter how bad the experience gets or how toxic the ownership becomes.
That paradigm stops applying, of course, when some dipshit takes over and fires everyone who keeps it running properly because they refuse to be hardcore serfs in his dudebro fiefdom. Which is another reason to dust off the ol’ URL and point it somewhere moderately functional.