NY Times: When Smug Liberals Met Conservative Trolls.

It's been depressing to see Democrats devolving into a blue-tinged Fox News sort of fog of ignorance, fully able to match the red-tinged fog across the room. Just as post-Contract-with-America, copying is a terrible strategy. As Napoleon said, "The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and his enemies'."

Repubs can't control their fearless leader, Dems can't control the New Democrat vs. Sanders Left philosophies enough to field any sort of anti-chaos of their own.

That the Dems seem to be sitting on their thumbs, is not a good sign.

The American Scholar: Zombies and Plagues and Bombs, Oh My!

Really? See if you get as tired of this as fast as I did. There's a 'know-it-all' quality to some of the convo here, and it annoyed me. Young journos need to exit their echo chambers. Have you seen gun manufacturers marketing for 'zombie' assault rifles, shotguns, etc.? You can even buy a pink 'zombie' AR-15 for your daughters (or sons, if they like pink).

We have one serious pandemic, or even another fuel crisis, I do worry we'll have nuts shooting people all over this nation. "Zombie" as alternative text for "not of my tribe."

I see 'zombie' marketing as a nefarious method of lowering the bar on shooting your fellow citizens through using 'self-defense' as an excuse for murder. Zombie films promote, more than any other form of film or entertainment, pre-emptive violence. There are people who are on the edge of actually believing this stuff, and are preparing for "zombie apocalypse". Marketers are encouraging it. And I oppose it in every way possible. It is of no benefit to our culture. NONE. I correlate this with conspiracy theorism - bored people expending a lot of energy over nothingness, self-generating paranoia, churning their brains into malleable muck that can be easily led by others.

What disturbs me even more is how calm these ladies are about the news media and their profit model, how news latches onto sensationalism for $ ... and they seem to just accept it without outrage.

[Caveat: I watch no zombie films, know none of the tropes ... except for one. I once camped at Blairstown, NJ (filming site of the original "Friday the 13th") before it got famous. A less-frightening, more boring camp spot, you cannot imagine.]

Later: Good god, even the CDC?!!!!!

Catapult: There is Never a Better Way to Restart Your Brain Than to Change The Scenery Around You.

This should be patently obvious to anyone with grey matter, but in case it is not ... reposted.

// personal advice // As I've said before, never trade silicon-experience for real-world experience. Leave the tech behind, have adventures, thoroughly enjoy yourself ... THEN bring it all back and blog about it. If you want to. You don't have to. I will say the freshness of perspective hits all aspects of post-enjoyment blogging. // end advice //

NY Mag/Selectall: ‘Trending’ on Social Media Is Worthless

The first problem with “trending” is that it selects and highlights content with no eye toward accuracy, or quality.

Opportunity for another old dangerousmeta-ism ... 'hits have no polarity'. A view can be either positive or negative, and you won't know why the raw view actually came. So how can anyone say a particular wag has 'a million views', knowing that your audience will believe those are positive, supportive views?

So we use 'trending'. Because the people who measure stats have spent neither the time nor the effort to figure this one out. "Mature codebase rot."

Don't quit.

I posted this to another blogger, on another service. Thought others could use hearing it:

Richard Bach, writing to his months-previous self (who'd just had his car repossessed): "You survived because you decided against quitting when the battle wasn't much fun ... that was the only miracle required. [snip] Please don't waste your time worrying or being afraid."

From his book, A Gift of Wings, very much worth the purchase.

Quartz: How Tristan Harris, an ex-Google ethicist wants to design tech to make our kids less addicted to it.

Of note. And his site. "Never before in history have such a small number of designers – a handful of young, mostly male engineers, living in the Bay Area of California, working at a handful of tech companies – had such a large influence on two billion people’s thoughts and choices."

The Millions: Carrie Fisher's 'The Princess Diarist' One Year Later.

Why did all these men find it so easy to be in love with me then and so complex to be in love with me now?

The first generation of female Flickr self-portraitists have all but disappeared. I'm sure they are wondering the same thing. And you know what? That's a shame. They could be a force for changing this perpetual-youth culture we've got going on right now. It would be better if we loved all ages - and the process of aging. Instead of burying it under botox or excising it away with blades and lasers.