Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

The following is an apocryphal accounting of the approach of Judgement Day, true to the nature of such to the nth degree, and to be taken with every bit of the gravity it deserves …

If you’re one of those thinking a bullet was dodged on the 21st of May you are missing something … or from Joplin, MO.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are heading for the last roundup, and last week’s “deadline” was nothing less than a census before culling begins.

All the advance press on this palaver being subject to interpretation, it’s now clear that the parameters used to establish who makes the cut and who bites it are not exactly what that fuckwad from Oakland espouses, although he may very well be part of the testing process. His biblical references and yaddidy yaddidy on the “invisible judgement day” … small ‘j’, small ‘d’ … are merely a smokescreen masking the real criteria that will be used to establish who rises like yeasty bread and who’s toast.

Although nonbelievers may balk at this revelation, the truth is, in part it’s facebook that will be used to separate the productive wheat from the useless chaff, and anyone fooled into thinking only their friends are watching what they post needs to be led to the light.

It has been revealed that god isn’t stupid and actually does have a sense of humor, so sensibly decided eternity will be one hell of a lot more fun and interesting if populated by only funny, smart souls. In other words, dour, dumb downers will be heading in their chosen direction. (Not up … duh … )

Figuring that Adam/Eve/apple thing was more than a bit simplistic, counted too heavily on impetuosity and didn’t really give much clue to anyone’s true nature, an Onion was substituted and social networking was extended toward humanity as a test of an individual’s character.

Turns out that faith, adherence to antiquated dictates, gullibility and a refusal or inability to link thoughts together independently is easily tracked on fb wall-by-wall and comment-by-comment, and the resulting lack of a grasp of satire … a word rooted in the Latin satira, meaning “poetic medley”, therefore having nothing to do with Satan … pretty much adds up to putting a person on the “toast” list.

No longer seeing a need for the confessional closet when a website will do, Literally Unbelievable came to be. Not that the omnipotent needs such a convenience, but it does make it easier for god’s representatives on Earth to work out which folks they’ll not have to be listening to in the hereafter. Click on the link for an idea of what we’ll be missing … sheesh ….

Harkening back to more a more traditional take, a read of the Book of Revelations makes the point:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev 20:11-12)

There it is, in black and white … IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO READ ALL THE WORDS, AND TO GET IT!

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Is connectivity making people smarter?

I’m not talking about those with the inclination to investigate every innovation, develop platforms for interaction or keep track of what humanity is up to, although I do wonder what Julian Assange might have done with his smarts if the Internet didn’t exist and how many other brilliant minds might have gone to seed in the days before sitting around in your bedroom in smelly sweats for days on end allowed one to reach into the guts of power of all sorts.

No, I’m thinking about the reasonably bright lot for whom ease of access to information, one-click research and breakfasting on RSS feeds just might be growing brain cells or teaching the ones already there to shake hands more often.

Historically, availability of info has been proven to do just that, and along with the process of getting smarter shit happens, as this WSJ article illustrates:

As Gutenberg’s press spread through Europe, the Bible was translated into local languages, enabling direct encounters with the text; this was accompanied by a flood of contemporary literature, most of it mediocre. Vulgar versions of the Bible and distracting secular writings fueled religious unrest and civic confusion, leading to claims that the printing press, if not controlled, would lead to chaos and the dismemberment of European intellectual life.

These claims were, of course, correct. Print fueled the Protestant Reformation, which did indeed destroy the Church’s pan-European hold on intellectual life. What the 16th-century foes of print didn’t imagine—couldn’t imagine—was what followed: We built new norms around newly abundant and contemporary literature. Novels, newspapers, scientific journals, the separation of fiction and non-fiction, all of these innovations were created during the collapse of the scribal system, and all had the effect of increasing, rather than decreasing, the intellectual range and output of society.

I started blogging back in 2003 on a professional site that eventually saw my posts getting over 100,000 hits a month. It was new to a lot of people then, all this Internet interaction, but the site was topic-specific … adoption … and many came to it looking for information tailored to their issues, questions and needs. Approaching what was to many a new way of gaining knowledge with an agenda encouraged participation, and a jump into one pool of info prompted leaps into others.

In pursuit of fodder, I joined a bunch of groups … Yahoo first, then Google offered forums for exchange, and the give-and-take was often lively after people overcame their original shyness.

Most new members announced themselves as such, apologizing in advance for any blunders as they tiptoed into discussions, but soon gained confidence not only with the technology, but also in their ability to convey meaning through writing their thoughts.

Unlike in the time when written material was often a one-side lecture and responses took days or weeks to lob the discussion ball back over the net, hot debates started happening in real time with only seconds passing between one point and the next.

People not only began to type faster, they learned to frame thoughts in ways that could be typed fast and understood. Without the benefit of vocal tone, eye contact and body language, words needed to be well chosen and presented if one had any hope of having meaning comprehended by the target audience.

Online groups led to social networking, and chatting and typing got even faster. People grew beyond the fear of putting thoughts in writing … an ‘engraving in stone’ idea that had some concerned for a while about the written word … and began to converse comfortably with their fingers.

The global scope gets people from widely-flung countries and cultures talking, an opportunity that serves to extend the range of thought at the same time it encourages us to consider people geographically distant to feel like neighbors chatting over the back fence. With online translators … as crap as they are … we can even communicate across language divides.

Sure, a lot of what goes back-and-forth is inconsequential bollocks … flirty bullshit, schmooze, schmaltz and preaching to the choir … but it is back-and-forth, active, so has more likelihood of developing into something of interest than sitting in front of the TV. For those who think inconsequential bollocks is what it’s all about ….

The decade the pessimists want to return us to is the 1980s, the last period before society had any significant digital freedoms. Despite frequent genuflection to European novels, we actually spent a lot more time watching “Diff’rent Strokes” than reading Proust, prior to the Internet’s spread. The Net, in fact, restores reading and writing as central activities in our culture.

On a personal level all this connectivity has made life on a tiny island vastly more interesting, and, yes, it has made me smarter. Friends from all over the world share ideas and information freely and easily, so my perspective is wider. I can read news from just about anywhere, from the Red Bluff Daily to Al Jazeera, and although I often feel the overload I can click from link to link to link and examine any issue. When I have a question about anything I can find an answer … or 1,000.

Sure, I can also watch Bullwinkle pull a rabbit out of a hat … oops, wrong hat … and read all the stupid shit that floats, but even that keeps my brain working.

There is no going back … I hope, although today’s news on the ramping up of what is rapidly evolving into a war has me worried that we’re sure to see serious attacks designed to rein in freedom of information.

Those of us with Internet access … even me with my fucking unreliable Kokonet connection … have grown accustomed the routine of getting a bit smarter, or at least better informed, every day, and as more people connect the world gets smaller and smarter, both through reference sources and personal contacts previously impossible.

For example, I have a facebook friend in Niger, so can not only Wiki the country for info, I can write to my pal with questions on day-to-day living, his take on politics and events and a weather report.

When news happens … the recent tragedy in Cambodia comes to mind … it’s not difficult to get a first-hand account from someone there.

The option we have now of removing or ignoring filters placed by those with an agenda we may not see makes it possible to get closer to the bottom of any issue of interest, and as we get better at learning how to use our ‘connections’ to plumb depths we expand the concept of our place in the world.

Of course, there is a downside …

It’s a lot harder to find an excuse to be stupid.

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Like night-dwelling lepidoptera to manufactured light sources, speculation on male fascination with and use of today’s version of porn … social networking sites … sparks often these days in camps both male and female.

Many shelves could fill the space from Mars to Venus and back again with tomes expounding on the vast distance between male and female perspective on the territorial imperative, base animal urges, the socialization processes that sees years of development drop faster than boxer shorts, but no matter how much reading goes into the study, we women just don’t get it.

The penis-bearing population tends to rhyme monogamy with monotony, with an added stanza involving mahogany … wood carrying the obvious gravitas.

Women, on the other hand, are more likely to bring numbers into play, as in “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways … “, considering the forest rather than focusing on that single bit of timber:

If two stand shoulder to shoulder against the gods,
Happy together, the gods themselves are helpless
Against them while they stand so.

Truth be told, though, men don’t get it either. Ask a man why in the world he would chance hurting the woman he loves, jeopardize a relationship he treasures, and perhaps a big chunk of worldly wealth, as well, over hours of bullshit conversation that just, perhaps, might lead to a video call gaze at the privates of a woman hundreds if not thousands of miles away who is pitiful … or bored … enough to comply with a request for a viewing and his answer is more than likely to sound something like: When you put it that way, it does sound pretty stupid.

Much like boys on the verge of manhood run home after school with the hope of spanking the monkey in every room of the house before Mom finishes work, grown men who should be well beyond amazement at their own erections are caging time alone to facebook themselves stiff.

One dear friend consults often with me, looking for clues to his own perfidy. Married for a decade to a woman he adores, he has, so far, been physically incapable of consummating … in the real world … any of the many trysts he perpetually pursues through the pathetic porthole of everyone’s favorite social network, but that hasn’t stopped him from trawling daily for new fodder for fictitious fucks. His wife, of course, twigged to prolonged chat sessions that sometimes resulted in sticky tissues littering the lounge, and was, not surprisingly, insulted.

He is as confused as his wife is concerned over what even he admits is an unreasonable compulsion for virtual versions of conquest, but insisting, when not pressed to justify honestly, that it’s innocent fun. The theory that it amounts to nothing less that a virtual version of cheating doesn’t sit well.

Many of the women discussing their mate’s online activities do so with an amusement often reserved for naughty boys.

“As long as he doesn’t cum all over my keyboard, I don’t care what he does,” says one sensible woman. “It’s cheaper than golf and not as embarrassing as him trying to look cool at the local disco.”

When asked about the idea that time spent with other women online shows little respect for the real life relationship, opinions differ. Some wives wax philosophical, suggesting that the women who make themselves available for such shallow interactions are no more than animated porn that can answer back … an interactive video game … and since men come complete with joystick, the temptation to play is just too strong for their little minds.

Others rail against their men spending time and energy on women not them, appalled by the subterfuge involved, disturbed about the apparent desperation for ego-boosting, perhaps resenting the sex they’re not getting from men sated by Rosie Palm and her five sisters.

Online retaliation is one tactic employed when enough proves to be enough. Lord knows how easy it is to reel in gullible fish, and women with a high threshold for tedium may take to the Net in their spare time, as well. Post a few photos and … voila! … sad gits the world over will pant over your chat status, beg you to add them to your Skype contacts and pour out carefully chosen tidbits of their life story in anguished longing for … well … for what is often sitting in the next room, but just a bit TOO real.

Perhaps because men are a bit slow and all this “social interaction” seems so new, so exciting, so challenging (in such an unchallenging way), self control that may eventually develop has yet to gain a foot hold.

Or …

Maybe providing the chance to cheat from a distance, pretend to be whoever and whatever the imagination can create and proclaim innocence since no physical interaction can yet happen virtually is a gift from the gods.

Is this why humans evolved big brains, opposable thumbs and pendulous penises? Probably.

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Shells are tough ...

Shells are tough ...

In an attempt to light a fire under the part of my ass I write from … and, yes, that’s throwing a bone to critics, so feel free to chew away … I’ve set up a fan page on facebook for my work .

Here’s the link where readers can fan me, if they so choose.

I am well aware that I could be prying the top off a tin of burrowing invertebrates with this rather bold (for me) move, since there are a few of you out there who have been nagging relentlessly for me to produce more words linking together in one form or another and I am possibly inviting more of that sort of thing, but I need prodding.

Lest anyone get the idea that promoting myself in what feels a bit like a whimpering plea for validation … I mean REALLY!!! Fans???? … comes easy to me, well … it doesn’t.

Although I do love the facebookese that turned “friend” into a verb, asking to be fanned without the aid of breeze-making devices runs against the deepest of my grains. Administering Ernesto’s various sites for a while now has helped a bit, as I do see the value of putting information where people can get to it, but blathering on about the talents of another is far different than leading a cheering section aimed at me.

I’m tempted to say that I’ve swallowed my pride, but that seems the exact opposite of what setting up a fan page conveys, so I’ll simply let it stand and see how it goes; the point being to get work … and I do need more of that.

So … continuing in the vein that is trying to steer blood into the heart of my career, I’ll drop a hint like a sledgehammer: I write for money, so if anyone needs words and wants to pay for them … speeches, articles, web content, onesheets, bios, fairy tales, etc. … I am available for work and fanning.

Whew …

That was tough …

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An Italian friend’s take on facebook …
by Fabio Mastrangelo

“un click….il buio improvviso…e tutto cessa….
il cuore rallenta i suoi battiti…..
tutto sembra morire ..piano… piano …
come goccia di rugiada che cade dalla sua foglia..
lentamente …un salto nel nulla…poi la noia….

l’anima si accartoccia su se stessa come una marionetta senza fili ..priva di vita apparente….
e tutto tace ..
esisitere diventa non esisitere….
come un ruscello privo del suo corso d’acqua
o rara perla dell’oceano senza rifugio …..

ed il giorno stanco si trascina …lento …lento…
e va a morire in un cupo tramonto …che mestamente si colora solo del tuo silenzio …..”

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Portia ... stong in many ways

Portia ... stong in many ways

Will admit right here and now that I’m a HUGE fan of facebook. Not only have I met some of the world’s most wonderful people through this somewhat strange, but strangely comfortable social network, it turns out to also be close to a lifesaver under certain circumstances.

Take yesterday, for an example …

A while back I was “friended” by a young woman in South Africa. She sent her “add” invite to me because I’m listed in the “Seychelles network”, and she was engaged to a man here, so was interested in meeting people living in the country.

We “poked” back and forth and followed each others lives as posted on our “walls”, so when I read that she was planning a trip over, I sent her my phone number and suggested she give a call so we could meet in person.

She had just returned to SA from the Commonwealth Games in Cyprus where she took the gold in her weightlifting class … an impressive achievement … and wanted to surprise her hubby-to-be.

Wish I’d had a chance to warn her about Seychellois men …

Upon finding out that it was her to be surprised … him, not so much … she was not only heartbroken, but stuck — nowhere to stay but his empty flat, knowing no one and with a ticket that had her here until the 11th of January.

I was very pleased to get her call, but less so to learn of her situation. Of course, my immediate reaction was: Get your butt down here, Sweetie.

I picked her up in town, brought her home and dropped her right into the fray that is Magnar packing and Calina and Kim doing a sleepover … a full house!

With “dumped” being a familiar word on my veranda, there was is no shortage of commiseration … or wine … so she settled in, vented, bonded and now feels like one of this fab little family I’ve grown over the past months.

And all because of an online social intro that led to a much-needed bolt hole and friendships that will go on for ages.

I won’t even go into the phone calls from Switzerland that had me sharing my moon in the wee hours of this morning …



Photo Credit: Magnar Mork

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Is it a part of the healing process when one suddenly decides to “be friends” with men all over the world and chat for hours? Ya got me, but that’s what I’m up to at the moment. I’ll admit it … I’m a FaceBook junkie all of a sudden, even though I’m still pretty clueless on most of the ins and outs of the site.

Am not completely a shut-in, though, as I did go to the movies last night. First time I’ve done that here in 8 years or so, but when Magnar the Magnificent insists he gets me out of the house, I go along willingly. Saw “Wanted” and totally enjoyed it and the whole evening.

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