Truth or Dare

Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple of years, it is abundantly apparent that ‘freedom’ has become a hill that many millions of people are still willing to die on. Of course, we don’t have World Wars any more that liberate the oppressed from tyranny. The Internet is our battlefield, enemy an interesting juxtaposition of a past where the bad guys were a lot easier to identify. Let’s agree that liberals hate the conservatives, and that same is true on the other side: progress stifles monopolies, multi-faceted freedoms makes policing an increasing challenge In the middle, the Judicial System have their work cut out keeping everything balanced.

Really, very little has changed since Roman times.

The key variable in all of this is us. Us lowly peons are suddenly party to government decision making on a daily basis. We have the opportunity to challenge experts and those in authority in a manner that is, quite frankly unprecedented. Of course there’s still a group of people who make dick jokes and fuck about because me me me I’m the most important thing on the Internet AAAAAAAAAAAA. This proves, if it were needed, that even when presented on a plate with salad an opportunity to change the world, some people would rather wank in public and not care.

I’m hearing the word curation a lot more lately, as platforms open themselves up to everybody’s input without making a simple, and quite logical assumption based on how Humanity has always functioned. There is ALWAYS someone who turns up to ruin it for everybody. Unless you make your social media platform a closed entity, that requires people to log in and register and then abide by a set of rules which you will robustly enforce on an equal level regardless of infraction, there’s going to be trouble. Facebook’s inability to be either consistent or transparent in this regard is going to dog them in the Western world for some time, but until that indignation is truly worldwide, it won’t matter one iota.

The problem with having curated content however is that you need to believe those in charge are truly looking after your interests. I still have reservations over Blizzard’s handling of women and minority groups in their games, but it is apparent we’re light years ahead of what was true a decade ago (you’ll need to read the Blizzard Watch article I linked in the tweet for context to this). Your annoyance with rate of change will vary, of course, and listening to people with mental illness over the last week berating those who don’t have a fucking clue what it feels like to live in darkness is a case in point. You may not like the way people are talking, but it is a start. Sometimes, you don’t get the beautiful, well-lit and brilliantly narrated explanation that’s craved, it’s a brick to the face instead.

Curation is something I’ve practised on Twitter for years, and it becomes increasingly easier over time to spot the wankers almost instantly. However, now there’s a new area of the landscape that never needed tending to which is beginning to require attention: the Entitled. The demographic you might believe that inhabits this space isn’t nearly as white and male as news articles would have you believe either. There’s a lot of people, of either sex, who could do with a reality check. However, the biggest single issue remains undimmed: what about me? Why am I not important, or special, or taking your attention away from other people who are clearly not as smart, clever or hardworking as I CLEARLY AM.

Arrogance is a dangerous emotion. Assumption is even worse, because your existence, like it or not, is VERY small compared with the bigger picture. On most days, you’ll just get by but if you’re dumb enough to post without thinking it through, or get obsessed or fixated with one subject and nothing else? Social media shows up the flaws in us all, often without realisation. If the smart people can watch you for months and realise that you’ve got them muted, don’t be surprised if they leave. However, you might want to think about why it happened, because those revelations can be really helpful long-term.

Idunno.gif

What worries me most is that we’ll all be looking back on this decade ten years from now and wishing that lessons had been learnt far sooner than is currently the case. Freedom has consequences, and if individuals continue to fight so passionately to maintain their versions thereof, there’s a war coming that could make the ones before look quite simple and pedestrian. I keep reading about the historians and economists predicting the fall of current Civilisation, but I’d argue it’s already taking place.

What will then rise in its ashes is what should be concerning everyone.

Bicycle Race

You know I mentioned my e-mail address stopped working a while back? Well, yesterday I discovered a quite important e-mail that had gone astray.

Prudential-RideLondon-Logo.969ed2c7675d

I made it into the Ride London 46 Ballot. Fortunately I’ve not missed anything vital and the participation’s confirmed, though not gonna lie, I’m terrified. It’s exactly seven weeks on Sunday, which is also the day before we go on holiday, and suddenly everything’s become a panicked, anxiety filled mess. This is not how it was hoped such a thing would initially be prepared for and so, as a result, it’s time to take a fucking huge step back at the weekend and quietly consider what is needed.

However, before anything else, it is time to start selling the reason why I initially signed up to do this.

I grow tired of the pontificating on Social media by people who talk a good ‘let’s all change the World’ speech but don’t ever push their own boundaries to do just that. So, I’ve set myself a £500 target, and have already contacted Mind, who will provide me with a jersey and encouragement along the way. This seems to me a far better means of making sure that the people who really need help are getting it, because I’m giving money to an organisation who’s sole task is to do just that. Rather than just sitting on my arse saying I care, this is a constructive means of making things better.

If the anxiety ridden depressive can do this, then maybe that will act as an incentive to others.

Freedom 90

On Saturday, it became apparent that one of my vanity e-mail addresses had stopped working. There may have been some quite important email that has vanished, but I will never really know the cost, and it is far too late to worry. What this prompted was a long, hard look at what happens to my email and what is merited as ‘important’. It transpires I have ten e-mail addresses, gathered across the years. At no point have I ever deleted a message on at least three of them.

The rest of the day was spent sorting out the chaos that lack of activity had produced.

notdoingthatagain

In the end, 25,000 messages were trashed. This includes mails sent when my first ever Gmail account was created, back in 2005. The vast bulk of rubbish was acknowledgements from sites such as Twitter, or online forum which I belonged to, that simply never got dealt with at the time. It took a couple of hours, but the effort was more than worthwhile, and it allowed me to see exactly what account was getting what trash mail. The long-term benefit is that the actual volume of mail into my Mac (which collects from all the Gmail accounts and the vanity domain addresses) has been reduced by over 80%. Using the GDPR fiasco to unsubscribe from multiple newsletters and online gumph that’s no longer needed, it’s like the last thirteen years of bollocks into my Inbox never existed.

typing4

Needless to say, it’s a little embarrassing that it took my own stupidity to kick-start the action, but now that’s done, there is no going back. The sense of satisfaction and general organisation cannot be adequately overstated, either.

Like so many things, this should have been done years ago.

12 Reasons Why

Yesterday, I decided it is time to stop being alone. It can be horribly isolating, this life we all live separately, only pulled together by those things shared and loved collectively. Therefore, it is time to ask questions of those around me, as reminder not only of the point, but how my outlook is interpreted by others. The Internet’s undoubtedly less pleasant in some places, Mike’s right with that, but that isn’t going to be what happens here. Sure, I’ll be putting the ranty pants on from time to time, and asking people why the fuck they did that to begin with, but it will not devolve to fisticuffs.

If you try and start a fight, I refuse to play with you any more.

There is also a vested interest here in so many people that are read and followed. I see others however trying to build brands and sell themselves, with people like me quite obviously making up the numbers. You could well be listening, but without interaction it is impossible to tell and over time it becomes a one-sided conversation. When there’s an effort to communicate, what do you take silence as being? So, from this point onward, it is time to be more selective with who I work with. It is a fair assumption that if someone get the right hump they’ve been unfollowed having made no effort to interact, I made the right call.

This is becoming increasingly important to help me understand how to best communicate virtually going forward.

This, ultimately, is why the blogs are here, and what the writing is about. Forward motion remains earnest creation in an effort to entertain and stimulate people’s own though processes. If that happens, then the individual chooses to leave because they’re not interested in these things? That is the inevitable consequence of my action and is totally acceptable. Having kids taught the vital next step in responsibility, insight I will eternally be grateful for.

Many people have declared me frustrating over the years: every time this happens, there’s a self-imposed shift in presentation, but never in attitude. This stuff is not presented to annoy or frustrate, only to promote thought. If those feelings occur, laying blame at my door is all well and good, but it remains your outlook that is offended. Only by truly embracing our own potential and understanding that to do so means giving part of ourselves away, do we truly become aware of ourselves.

There’s a realisation too this morning that some people will see these comments and assume this was asked as means to draw attention to myself. All I did was ask a question. That’s what will happen more and more as time goes on. How you choose to respond is out of my hands, and this should always be the way that happens. This is no longer about me, but all about you. What is offered here now is a means to start a discussion, to open your own mind to the possibilities.

It is time to make my stand here.

Start Me Up

The first day back post Half term is tough. The 6.58 alarm call hurts after a week where being anywhere on time is not 100% essential. The kids, walking to school like zombies, are further evidence that I’m not alone for the dislike of the early start. However, it undoubtedly gets easier. Right now, however, this tea better bloody get working.

teagetmesome

This week, I will mostly be testing my limits. I’ve already managed summat not done since January, the house is tidier than for quite some time (but still needs a clean) and the week is planned pretty well. The trick is, of course, whether that can be stuck to or not.

Only one way to find out, I suppose…