A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • The Big Picture shares shocking photos of the Portuguese forest fires.
  • blogTO notes that, happily, Seaton Village’s Fiesta Farms is apparently not at risk of being turned into a condo development site.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a new starship discussion group in Delft. Shades of the British Interplanetary Society and the Daedalus?
  • D-Brief considers a new theory explaining why different birds’ eggs have different shapes.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas commits himself to a new regimen of blogging about technology and its imports. (There is a Patreon.)
  • Language Hat notes the current Turkish government’s interest in purging Turkish of Western loanwords.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair sums up the evidence for the diffusion of Indo-European languages, and their speakers, into India.
  • The LRB Blog notes the Theresa May government’s inability post-Grenfell to communicate with any sense of emotion.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen wonders if the alt-right more prominent in the Anglophone world because it is more prone to the appeal of the new.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw wonders if Brexit will result in a stronger European Union and a weaker United Kingdom.
  • Seriously Science reports a study suggesting that shiny new headphones are not better than less flashy brands.
  • Torontoist reports on the anti-Muslim hate groups set to march in Toronto Pride.
  • Understanding Society considers the subject of critical realism in sociological analyses.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia’s call to promote Cyrillic across the former Soviet Union has gone badly in Armenia, with its own script.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO describes the changing designs of TTC maps over the past generations.
  • Cody Delistraty links to an article of his contrasting and comparing Donald Trump to Louis XIV.
  • Marginal Revolution shares facts about Qatar in this time of its issues.
  • Peter Rukavina describes the latest innovations in his homebrew blogging.
  • Towleroad notes the sad anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, particularly for queers of colour.
  • Window on Eurasia argues for the potential of Idel-Ural, a coalition of non-Russian minorities by the Volga.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell examines how Labour and the Tories used Big Data, and how Labour did much better.

[WRITING] On losing things, and finding new things

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Back one day in March, I accidentally and irretrievably deleted the private entry on Dreamwidth that had contained links to URLs and details on sources that I had been saving for future posts for perhaps a couple of years. I was a bit upset by this, but, I soon realized, I was more upset by my accidental deletion of the entry than by the loss. This private document, full of links pointing to possible future writings, had become baggage, something to be periodically updated and then consistently forgotten.

This realization prompted me to a rethinking of what I am doing, as a writer and a blogger and a person active on social media. What, exactly, am I doing? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing?

I am still thinking. Suffice it to say that something different will be coming. If I don’t decide to make sure this difference will arrive thanks to my effort, well, who will do that?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Meta, Non Blog, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • D-Brief notes the first-ever use of Einsteinian gravitational bending to examine the mass of a star.
  • Language Log announces the start of an investigation into the evolving rhetoric of Donald Trump. Something is up.
  • The LRB Blog reports from Tuareg Agadez in Niger, about rebellions and migrant-smuggling.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders what is the rationale for the extreme cut-off imposed on Qatar.
  • Maximos62 wonders about the impact of Indonesia’s fires on not just wildlife but indigenous peoples.
  • Personal Reflections notes the irrelevance of the United States’ withdrawal from Paris, at least from an Australian position.
  • Savage Minds points to a new anthropology podcast.
  • Window on Eurasia notes anti-immigrant sentiment in Moscow and reports on the use of Russia’s anti-extremism laws against Protestants.

[┼┤RITING] On the end of my LiveJournal experiences

Goodbye, rfmcdpei

Almost two hours ago, I deleted my LiveJournal. User rfmcdpei is no longer active on this site.

I do allow for the possibility that I might change my mind. Maybe I will bring it back temporarily, so as to convert it to some kind of personal docment via BlogBooker, or perhaps I will restore it in the name of minimizing link rot on the Internet and to continue to be able to read what few (ever fewer) people still write only on LiveJournal. This post, however, is the first post that I will not be crossposting from Dreamwidth over to LiveJournal, and no other post shall follow.

I did join the rush on account of the new user agreement unleashed earlier this week, of course.

Any number of news sources, like the Daily Dot and Boing Boing and Gizmodo and Charlie Stross at Autopope, have written at great length about the new terms of service agreement. That this agreement is not available, not in a legally binding form and not in a well-translated form, in the English language made the exodus inevitable.

Russia, as a classical dictatorship, wants to be able to restrict what people write about within its sphere, to do away with anonymity and to limit the range of permissible subject matter. LiveJournal, which happens to be based in Russia as a consequence of a long series of business decisions (bad decisions, I would argue, ones which kept LiveJournal from emerging as a lasting social network of worldwide scope), is subject. Therefore, anyone who is not dependent on LiveJournal is leaving a social network that appears to be fatally compromised.

(What is the opposite of soft power?)

I have long had alternatives ready. Back in October 2012, I blogged about how I had moved away from LiveJournal as a primary blog, towards Dreamwidth for LiveJournal-like social networking and to WordPress for the more blog-like functions. I am losing nothing as a consequence of this. My regrets about this are not especially profound ones, characterized much more by wistfulness and nostalgia than by serious regret.

rfmcdpei has been around for a month short of fifteen years. It’s amazing.

LiveJournal was always been there for me. I remember reading Tom’s LiveJournal, and the LiveJournals of others, back in early 2002 when I was so desperate to connect with anyone. I remember how excited I was when I got an invite code from Darren back in June of 2002. I remember writing an online diary of my life there, and then, first slowly then with speed, transforming this diary into a blog. I know that I met all sorts of people who I know nd like even know there, came to learn all kinds of things there, helped other people learn through LiveJournal. In my life, LiveJournal was a huge net positive.

And now it’s over. It’s an era that was bound to end, I know, and what an era it was. Thank you, LiveJournalers and LiveJournal founders, too, for making this so good and fun.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm

[META] On one impending good reason to move from Livejournal

Dwight on Facebook linked to a Metafilter feature noting that the servers of Livejournal–the social networking and blogging platform I got started on, the social networking and blogging platform that I still use–has moved to Russia. In light of that country’s issues with basic freedoms, it’s probably worth considering ending blogging on this platform.

As of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users — especially those who do not trust the Russian government — are leaving the platform and advising others to leave.

For years, the online blogging community LiveJournal — popular in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine — has served as a key communications platform for Russian dissidents (the Committee to Protect Journalists earlier this month called on Russian authorities to release a LiveJournal user who has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for a critical blog post). Even after Russian company SUP bought it from California-based Six Apart in 2007 (previously), the fact that SUP continued to run the servers in the US meant that users felt relatively safe; a 2009 press release specifically said that LiveJournal, Inc.* would continue to run technical operations and servers in the United States (and claimed that 5.7 million LiveJournal users were Russia-based).

[. . .]

Tracerouting livejournal.com now points to a Moscow location and an ISP operated by Rambler Internet Holding LLC, the company that also owns SUP. (Former LiveJournal user Gary McGath says that a few days ago, he checked the IP location of livejournal.com, and it was in San Francisco.) LiveJournal’s official news posts do not mention the change; users have begun to ask questions there and on their own journals.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm

[META] More blogroll and news links

The start of a new year is a good time to add links to my blogroll, bloggish and otherwise.

Enjoy!

Written by Randy McDonald

January 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm