What Are You Looking For?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Pierwalker Log: August 2, 2019

Writing start: 9:00 A.M.
Finish: 2:31 P.M.
Total new words (est.): 0
Edited (est.): 8600
Tasks

1. Failure: Off till 8/5

2. Book Three Melody: Off

3. Angel: Book Three: Off till 8/7

4. Random Chance Book Two: Off till 8/10

5. Port Story: Off till 8/8

6. Hidden Bookmarks: Fifth primary edit of chapter two

7. LOTR: First primary edit of chapter eight

8. T-Bag: Read-through of chapter five

Special Projects: Worked on "Looking Out Her Bedroom Window" (Melody BIII).

Extra notes: The Great Hack is a must-see documentary. I hope it gets tons of exposure and press.

Facebook is, like so many corporations, genuinely evil and hateful. After watching The Great Hack, I'm prepared to say that unless you absolutely need Facebook for business or because it keeps you in touch with people whose lives would be endangered without you there, or some other relevant, valid, and equally pressing reason, you should quit the site immediately.

"But my family is there, and so are all my friends!" you complain.

That's simply not good enough. Not by a light-year.

"But I like Farmville!"

Seriously?

"But I have a big following there!"

Again--not good enough. You need to watch this documentary right now and find some semblance of an actual conscience inside yourself, and wake up to the fact that Facebook is one of humanity's most mendacious, most malicious, most corrosive, most damaging corporations. Your continued presence there is complicity with that evil, and even your tacit blessing for Facebook to continue their nasty-ass ways.

The thing is--Twitter is just as bad. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is too. YouTube ... the stories about YouTube's hatefulness are legion.

I have an account at Reddit, which is very far from a good and decent social media platform. It's literally my only real-time advertising platform aside from this blog. Reddit doesn't have anywhere near Facebook's numbers, but I am certain that if they did, they would be just as nasty as Facebook.

Social media was supposed to connect us and bring us together. It was supposed to usher in a renaissance of art, and democratize it, level the playing field, and give light to the obscure and oppressed and suppressed. Instead, and in every single instance across the board (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), it has done the exact opposite. This was very much by design. By active, well-planned design; and by bad, very powerful actors, a tiny cross section of which were featured in the film.

The film's focus was on Cambridge Analytica, which helped Trump illegally and illegitimately "win" the 2016 general election by manipulating a hundred million American voters by means of their personal data. But the thing is, from an artistic standpoint, this shit has been going on forever. The normal distribution was supposed to be flattened, the playing field, as I mentioned, leveled, at least a little. Instead these giant platforms pushed and squeezed that distribution into an artificial power curve that brings attention only to a scant few at the very top. This too was by design. I'm sure there are a million "valid" reasons for them to do so; but the obvious result has been simple, massive profit for these platforms, as by doing so they can jack up their advertising rates through the roof.

And so people like me, way, way out here on the long tail of that power curve, can't survive by means of our art. It simply isn't possible.

The same malicious behavior that gave us Trump, in other words, also starved so many seeking simply to build a following that would aid them in making a living via their art.

Is it no wonder that I struggle with depression over this shit so much? That I cannot overcome so much rage roiling in my bowels day-in and day-out? That I feel so utterly helpless and hopeless so much of the time?

All of it was by fucking design, and there is not Thing One I can do about it.

I can hear you suburbans mumbling: "Well, then, stop bitching about it and quit! Go and get a job and move on!"

It's that attitude and that ignorance and that total lack of understanding, you know, that makes you a suburban. It's the cynicism and nihilism and materialism present underneath each and every syllable that makes you one. It's the shallowness of soul that makes you one; for only those without a soul, or with a dying, shallow one would say such a thing to someone like me.

Social media is no longer social. It's just not a true term. Antisocial media--that's much, much closer to the truth. That too was by design, because, as was pointed out in the film, anger, fear, and hate are far greater motivators for most people than connection, contentment, and trust.

I stay on Reddit in order to draw attention to this blog and my books. But the truth is, I really don't know if it's worth it. I question that decision every day, and have every day since I joined. Like I said in many previous posts, I'll never, ever go back to Facebook or Twitter; and I have never opened an Instagram account. I belong to YouTube, which I peruse nightly; but that's pretty much it. There is some stirring among developers about bringing online what are called "long-tail" social media platforms, which sound interesting, and if any show up, I'll take a serious look at them. But I hold no hope that this blog or my books will ever generate a following large enough for me to earn a living from them. The overseers of these huge platforms don't want that. And they are infinitely more powerful than I.

At the bottom of this blog is a poem titled "Enough." It's actually a stanza taken from a longer poem found, I believe, in Fractalverse: Volume Four. Should you be interested, scroll to the bottom of the page and read it. It's basically a prayer I know will never be answered, a wish that will never be fulfilled. I read it every day before I start work, and many nights before I go to bed. It's heartbreaking, because in just a few short words it illustrates perfectly an uncrossable chasm.

One that was created by design.

Watch The Great Hack. And then, as is usual for me to say at this point, wake the hell up.



~~*~~