Tag Archives: Google

Sometimes You Just Know It’s Crazy

Sometimes, it’s so blatant that it’s obvious, that someone is talking out of their crazy ass and nothing they have to say has any validity, but sometimes, you just get this feeling in the back of your skull that this person has some serious issues, even though they start out sounding somewhat sane.

So anyhow, I was having this discussion over on Google+ on Obamacare and this one guy pops up and says that no matter what the law says, he can’t afford healthcare and he can’t get it for free because he doesn’t qualify, he’s self-employed and doesn’t make enough money to buy insurance.  Sure, I tried to be somewhat sympathetic, but I also said that, under the current system, you either paid for a policy or you paid a fine with your taxes every year.  It might not be fair, but that’s the law.

And this is where I should have gotten an inkling that something was wrong, when he started saying he wasn’t going to pay the fine.  Okay pal, whatever you say, that’s between you and the IRS and he’d have to take it up with them when they audited him for non-payment of taxes.  So he says:

I’m aware of that. It’s called standing up for your basic human rights in the face of tyrrany. I’ll always.do it. And I have plenty of ammo. So basically that nigger in the white house cam kiss my ass.

Yeah.  Sure.  So not only is this guy an idiot, he’s a racist idiot.  And I tell him so.

I already know that. Your a white guilt nigger loving cunt, you probably fuck Muslims… Now I’m a real asshole lol… I can do this all day

Yes, you can be an idiot all day.  But what he also did, as I pointed out, was entirely eliminate any credibility he had for any of his arguments.  He lost any sympathy that he had from anyone participating in the discussion with his racist outburst. Good job, asshole.

And to cap it all off, I had to go look at his profile and it left me rolling my eyes.  It was bad enough when it started off with “Marijuana Man”, but his whole description follows:

I am a descendent of Adamu the Genetically modified  Slave of the Anunaki. My religion is Baptist, I call on Jesus for salvation in ho0pes and faith that he is the son of the  omnipotent creator of the Universes, Anon-Ra. I seek the keys to the universe. Aliens from Nibiru are not gods, no matter what they think of themselves. They are here with us you know. The New World Order in the end is the Anunaki seeking all the gold, as usual. They are not gods they are addicts. Monotonic gold and telemere booster the chakra and the wings of Hermes. This is my quest, the search for god. I can’t stop.

Excuse me while I back away slowly.  Okay, check that, excuse me while I run as fast as I can.  In retrospect, I knew something was off and I’m glad it became obvious before I went down that particular rabbit hole.  Sometimes… wow.  Just wow.

Why I Still Don’t Like Facebook

FACEBOOK-sucksIt’s no secret that I don’t care for Facebook, for the longest time I refused to have an account and even after I got one, I realized almost immediately that it wasn’t for me. It’s not just the people, although come on, a lot of people on Facebook are stupid, to the point that a lot of joke memes out there are made about Facebook users, but that’s really not the point.  My use of Facebook is limited to auto-posting blog articles, pretty much the same as my usage of Twitter.  It’s just not for me.

So anyhow, recently I had someone who follows me on Facebook send me a message asking why I didn’t put up more Facebook-only content and, in general, why I don’t spend any time there.  So here’s my quick answer because if one person asks, there are almost certainly others who are curious.

I’m an old-school kind of guy.  I started online with the dial-up BBSes, when live chat was impossible and people accessed a BBS one person at a time.  All of them had forums, where people would post threads and we’d have a serial conversation, you’d make a post, someone else would respond, a third person would respond and so on.  And when the Internet came around, back before the web, there was Usenet, which operated exactly the same way, with hundreds of newsgroups with thousands of threads all talking a single post at a time.  It’s what I’m used to and really, what I want.  All of the online forums I participate in do exactly the same thing, so does Google+ which is why I use it, although they could certainly be a lot better.  Things like Twitter is just a bunch of people throwing shit at each other and you only see it if you’re following someone that is throwing some of the shit, unless you’re following a particular hashtag, but even there, it’s not organized, it’s just a billion monkeys banging on a billion keyboards.  I haven’t got a clue who I’m even following on Twitter anymore because I haven’t even looked there for a year or so and may never do so again.  Honestly, Tumblr is the same thing, just with pictures of shit being thrown around.  I pay virtually no attention to Tumblr either.

Facebook is the same way.  It’s made up of pages that you have to follow and then, consume the content of the individual writing the page.  There isn’t a big collaborative roundtable discussion, it’s all one-way, from the page-owner down.  Yes, that’s how things go with blogs too, it’s all top-down, people go to the page specifically to read what one person has to say and there are few conversations that ever start that way.  To be perfectly honest, and I went and looked it up so I had the numbers right, there are only four blogs I read every day, along with another nine that I might check once or twice a week.  To be on my daily list, you have to consistently produce content I want to read and not a lot of people do that.  To those four people, who I won’t name, good job.

But anyhow, back to Facebook, because Facebook has no communities like Google+ does, only pages, I really find no reason to pay attention to it.  I want to be talked to, not talked at.  I want to be part of the action, not part of the audience.  I watch enough passive television, I want my Internet to be active.  That’s not insulting people who just want to consume content and read things, I want to participate.  It’s what I’ve always done, it’s want I want to always do.  So long as Facebook doesn’t provide that kind of active experience, I’m never going to pay much, if any attention to it.  Apologies if that bothers anyone but Facebook just isn’t my thing.

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.11

Bitchspot Report New Icon 500x276What’s Wrong With the South?

An unplanned south-centric episode, this week we look at a Texas pastor willing to be burned to oppose gay marriage, Louisiana is allowing Bibles in the classroom to oppose evolution, the Confederate Flag is finally getting the boot and it’s about damn time, plus the Supreme Court rules on Americans born in Jerusalem and what they can put on their passports.  Then we example France’s “right to be forgotten” and how Google should tell them where to shove it.  Lots of craziness this week, stay tuned.

Questions About Facebook

facebook_like_logo_1I know I wrote a while back that I was thinking about simply deleting my Facebook presence, I’ve never done anything about it, mostly because I find very little about it that’s useful.  I find the format of Facebook relatively useless for intelligent discussion, which is what I really care about.  It’s more built for the short-attention-span crowd, not for holding an ongoing, rational conversation.

Over the weekend, I decided to spend a little time cleaning up my social media presence.  I went to Facebook and deleted the page for The Bitchspot Report.  I did it because, silly me, I had never published it anyhow, nobody had ever seen it, nobody had ever posted there and now that it’s officially dead, it seems silly to have a Facebook presence for a defunct podcast.  I need to do the same thing for the Google+ page.  I also fought Tumblr while trying to set up a Tumblr page for my Cephus’ Corner blog, you can’t actually do anything until you verify your e-mail and they simply refused to send out the confirmation e-mail.  I’ve read that this is a common problem, I just kept changing e-mail addresses until one of them got that confirmation, then changed it back to the e-mail address I wanted to use.  Fuck Tumblr.

So after wrestling with Tumblr, I swung by Facebook for the first time in months and just looked at the mess that is my Bitchspot Blog “community” and was at the point of looking up the instructions for deleting it all, when I ended up talking to a friend who actually advocates Facebook.  We talked for a while, he told me that it can be useful if I just take the time to optimize it, but there were some requirements that I have and he had no idea how to do it.  I ran over to a Facebook forum to ask some questions and was met by a lot of rude, obnoxious idiots.  See, my primary issue here is that I want my Bitchspot activities and my Cephus’ Corner activities to be completely and totally separate from my “real life” activities.  Facebook requires that you sign up with your real name.  You can create pages for other things, as I’ve done with Bitchspot and Cephus’ Corner and previously the Bitchspot Report, but if I try to friend anyone or follow anyone, it’s my real name that does the friending or following, not “Bitchspot” or “Cephus” or whatever.  This is a game breaker.  If I have to use my real name for any of this, if my real name is attached to any of this at all, I’m done.  There is no discussion here.  My way or the highway. The idiots at the forum were unbelievably rude, they said “hey, you use your real name or fuck off”.  Yeah, forget that.

So my first question that needs an answer before I go any further, can I actually use Facebook with a pseudonym or not? I can do that with Google+, I can join communities with my various pages, I can jump into Google Hangouts with my page names, my real name never comes into it at all.  If I cannot do that with Facebook, then Facebook goes away, no further questions necessary.  I tried to do it once, to follow someone from my Bitchspot Blog page and it immediately defaulted to my real name. I can find no instructions online how to do it otherwise.

Secondly, and I suppose I’ve asked this in the past but have never gotten a good answer, does Facebook actually give you anything unique that you can’t get without it?  As I’ve said before, the lion’s share of my online effort has been and will continue to be my blogs.  I am going to write new content almost exclusively right here on this blog.  I have neither the time nor the interest to write new content for Facebook and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter and all of that, my real purpose is to funnel people from these other forums back here to my blog.  Everything I write here gets automatically posted to Facebook and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter.  It just spreads the content outward, I don’t want to make more work for myself with the expectation that I’m going to go to each of these different social media sites and do extra things there.  So what is it that I’m getting from having a page of my blog postings on Facebook (or Google+ or Tumblr or Twitter for that matter)?  Sorry, I just don’t see it.

I’m sure there are other questions that I’ll come up with, but these two are the most important right now. It feels like I’ve been throwing crap at a fan and seeing where it splatters.  I have limited time and want to put my effort into things that are actually useful and so far, I’ve really been half-assing things across the Internet and I’m really tired of that.  If it isn’t really useful, I’d rather just get rid of it and focus my attention here.

Thanks for your help!

The Absurdity of Social Media

social-mediaIt’s funny but the more I look at social media and the more I partake in social media, the less impressed I am with it all.

Take Twitter, for example.  Of what use is Twitter?  All I see is people throwing insults, retweeting endless memes, tons of pictures with famous quotes but nothing else, etc.  What is the point of it all?  What does it accomplish?  Over this past weekend when I was listening to a podcast, I sat down and watched Twitter for a while and it was just appalling.  There’s nothing useful going on.  There was one point when the same meme was retweeted more than a dozen times in a row.  It’s short attention span theater!

I’m not trying to insult people, but honestly, I don’t see Twitter attracting the best and brightest people.  The majority of them seem to be, well, idiots.  That may very well be because of the way I use  Twitter, I don’t invade other people’s hashtags and make fun of their religions, I sit and wait for something intelligent to be posted to #atheism or #atheist or retweeted by one of the very few people I follow.  Maybe there’s a secret that smart Twitter users know, other than simply avoiding Twitter altogether, but I haven’t found it yet.

Then there’s Facebook and Google+.  Of the two, I like Google+ better, but none of these services are set up to allow intellectual discussions to occur.  They’re not threaded, it’s just an endless string of comments and following one particular conversation is next to impossible, especially when a couple of  discussions are going on at the same time.  You have to try to follow the links, when people actually use them, and it ends up being a pointless waste of time.

Plus the fact that there are so many different groups on both Facebook and Google+ that the message gets diluted.  I know that on Google+, I’m a member of 3 atheist groups, 2 skeptical groups, an atheist blogger group, several atheist podcasting groups and even though some of those groups have tens of thousands of members, very little is actually going on in the group.  Lurkers outnumber posters 1000-to-1 most of the time and of the content that actually does get posted, there is a very low signal to noise ratio.  It’s like watching 8 year olds post fart jokes.

I’ve written before about how pointless I find StumbleUpon and Reddit.  Their members are just content locusts, they swarm over linked websites, read the first dozen words and then move on.  This does nothing whatsoever for gaining large numbers of intelligent, dedicated, committed readers for a blog, it just gives a momentary blip on the radar as they descend on an article and then fly off to the next one.  I don’t find anything valuable in their community either, every time I’ve gone to read any of the subreddits, they’ve been filled with rude, stupid and obnoxious people and, of course, they’re not designed to facilitate intellectual long-term discussion or debate either.

So am I out of luck?  My New Year’s Resolution this year was to know when to get out of pointless debates. Originally it was aimed at religion, but I’ve taken all debates to task and so far, I haven’t engaged in any good debates this year.

I even went back to the IRC channel that I helped to found many years ago.  Sure, it was chaotic, but at least there were some good discussions to be had.  Apparently, that’s not even a thing anymore because in the hour or two that I sat and watched, people were making fart jokes and banning any theist that came into the channel because they might have to talk about religion or atheism!  Isn’t that what a channel named “#Atheism” is supposed to be about?  That’s why I left originally, because people in the #atheism channel didn’t want to talk about atheism, they wanted to talk about anything but, post memes and generally do what Twitter has turned into.

So where do the intelligent atheists go?  It can’t be to any of these social media sites, they feel like they appeal to the lowest conceivable common denominator.  Where do the intelligent theists go?  Semi-intelligent theists? People who have two brain cells to rub together?  I can’t find any of them.

Who Has Time?

Got another e-mail today asking me how they could follow me on Twitter.  I had to explain that I don’t do Twitter, nor do I have a Facebook page, nor Google+, nor do I do any other form of social media.

Seriously, who has time for all of that?  I barely have time to put out a single post every day, sometimes I can’t even do that!  I really don’t know how people have enough time in their day to maintain a dozen or more points of contact in cyberspace.  How is one supposed to balance a more-than-full-time job, a family, a house and other interests with pounding out meaningful content on a keyboard in a pile of different locations every single day?

Yet I see lots of other blogs doing it.  They’re on Twitter, they’re on Facebook, they’ve got YouTube channels and Google+ accounts and podcasts.  They closely track their SEO and respond to every comment.  They track everything anyone posts on Reddit.

Don’t you people have lives?  I’m not trying to be insulting, I just don’t see how I can spend any more time than I’m already spending already.  It’s not like these things take care of themselves.  I’ve tried some of these things before.  I had a Twitter account for about 6 months a while back, before I decided it just wasn’t worthwhile.  It took up a ton of time.  I had lots of followers, but you have to continually put out content if you want anyone to stick with you.  It was taking hours every day and every time the damn thing went *BEEP*, you had to go look what someone said.

So no, I’m sorry, I just don’t have time to maintain a whole network of social interaction with everyone here.  I love my readers, I value their input, I adore that people take time to visit my tiny corner of the Intertubes, but I’ve already got a full-time job, I don’t have time for another one.

Screw Google Rankings

I, along with pretty much every blogger I’m sure, get tons of comment spam.  Most of it is “increase your Google rankings!” and “make more money blogging!”  Just go to their web site and see their free video and you’ll soon be a millionaire!

Who cares?  If they think I cared at all about making money blogging, they’d have to just look at the complete and utter lack of advertising anywhere on the site.  There never has been any and there never will.  I have never made a penny blogging and I have no intention to.  As far as I’m concerned, the second I start worrying about making money off of what I write, I’ll be influenced by that desire and my writing will suffer.  I’m not here to make friends or influence people, I’m here to get things off my chest, nothing more, nothing less.  Anything that may influence me to be less confrontational or to speak less of my mind is a bad thing.

Nor do I care at all about my page rankings.  I’ve never looked.  I don’t care if I’m #1 or #10,000,000,000.  It’s entirely irrelevant to me.  I honestly couldn’t care less.  My blog is not now, nor will it ever be SEO optimized.  While I will admit that I did, for a while, submit articles to places like Stumbleupon, I no longer do because I frankly don’t care.  It doesn’t matter to me if 10 people or a million people read my blog every day, in fact, I don’t really care if anyone ever reads it, I’m not writing for others, I’m writing for myself.

While I realize these are just spambots that go from blog to blog posting identical garbage, it just strikes me as funny, or maybe a bit pathetic, how many people probably care about their rankings or want to make money.  I know there is one notable atheist blogger that I can think of off-hand who does post regularly about “new ways to increase readership and make money”.  So what?  I don’t want fame, I don’t want fortune, I don’t want notoriety, I have something that I want to say so I say it.  End of story.  Anyone who doesn’t like that can take a long walk off a short pier.  I answer to no one, I’m not trying to influence anyone and honestly, I don’t care if anyone likes me.  Read it or don’t, no skin off my ass.

That might sound a little harsh, like I don’t value my readers, which isn’t true, but isn’t the reason anyone reads this blog because they like what I’m writing?  If I have to change what I’m writing to appeal to a wider audience, am I not doing a disservice to those who already like it?  To those who like it, I’m glad you’re here.  I’m glad I have something to say that you want to read, or that I’m saying something that pisses you off enough to keep coming back.  In either case, I’m grateful for people who can make up their own mind and seek out their own enjoyment.  I like go-getters.  I don’t like sycophants.  I’ve never been one, I’m not trying to attract them.

In the end, this is all about saying what I want to say, not about trying to make friends and influence people.  While I have made some really good friends blogging, that’s been a consequence of my writing, not my goal.  I won’t pretend otherwise.  It’s why I will never go out and try to artificially attract readers, why I won’t resort to Facebook or Twitter or other media to get people to tune in.  Like what I say?  Tune in.  Don’t?  Then don’t.

Doesn’t bother me either way.