In the month of January, WordPress is showing us writing prompts, and I have been keen to participate. The fourth of January WordPress prompt was something we wish we knew how to do. I thought of turning back time, inspired by the conclusion of the 1978 movie Superman, starring Christopher Reeve as Superman and Marlon Brandon as Superman’s father, on their home planet, Krypton.
I think that my dream superpower is to be able to turn back time. Margot Kidder plays Lois Lane. In the film, Superman flies around the entire world, going back in time a few minutes to save her from catastrophe. When Superman learned he was from Krypton, his father told him to live a disguise, helping humans only and not interfering. I don’t think, it is clear, that Superman can live without Lois, so he makes the difficult decision to turn back time and get her clear of danger and save her life. There have been difficult times in my life that I might have put this power into effect to change, but you can only live life one way in reality, and this is the way I’ve had to live mine.
Filmmaker Richard Donner directed Superman, whose claim to fame was previously The Omen, in 1976. He was lucky to have the privilege to direct Superman, whom I don’t think had received a screen treatment for a very long time. The character came to life marvellously under the direction of Donner and, of course, with the portrayal by Reeve. It is a funny and strange film that turned out quite well.
If I could turn back time, I might, but I know it would have consequences on the events in my life, and so it would have to be done with care.
For January, I am blogging with the WordPress Bloganuary prompts in mind. These are writing prompts, one a day, for the entire month of January 2022, which I am pleased to respond to.
If I could have a word with my teenage self, if this were, say, the year 1990, like the advice my godfather Rick gave to me, I would counsel myself to get as much schooling as possible. My godparents taught me quite a bit in 1991 and 1992. My godfather was in the process of adding writer credits to his career as a professor, and I had access to quite a lot of information about the coming “information superhighway,” the Internet. I think I was lucky that I had any comprehension of what was on its way, Big Tech.
Compared to everything else in life, money, relationships, leisure, travel, I would have implored myself to stay in academics and to gain as much knowledge as possible, with the guidelines of sanctioned academia.
In high school, I took in a lot of learning, including insight into how computers were becoming a powerful tool.
I keep an eye on the keyword “participatory media.” If I were better qualified academically to make better judgements about the world as I potentially understand it, I would be more astute when examining social constraints. Participatory media, if I do understand that, refers in part to social, and to creators on social. The world as Big Tech unfolded has been exciting.
MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube–all these services were blessings compared to the uncertainties about the free world before Big Tech began to realize its ambitions.
I would also tell myself to dress a bit better–enough of the dated pullovers and denim!
“Most of us really aren’t horribly unique. There are 6 billion of us.
“Put ’em all in one room and very few would stand out as individuals. So maybe we ought to think of worth in terms of our ability to get along as a part of nature, rather than being the lords over nature.”
–Herbert Simon, 1916–2001, market analyst
Simon was an American financial expert who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1978 for his commitments to financial matters. Simon set the “bottleneck,” which limits both what we can see, and what we can do. Current financial matters are generally founded on Simon’s thoughts.
Simon was granted the prize in financial matters for his examination into the interaction inside monetary associations. Fast forward to 2021, and the Internet is sometimes summed up as a whole with the phrase attention economy, and the expression arguably was begotten by therapist, market analyst, and Nobel Laureate, Herbert Simon. In a compelling book, Administrative Behavior (1947), Simon tried to supplant tradition, demonstrating—in an idea—a methodology that perceived different components.
As I understand the industry of Big Tech, in 2021, web designers often work on websites that advertise banners for revenue.
A phone call this week, the two of us in a small Canadian town, surprised me with the news that a downtown building, closed since 2018, had burned to street-level. An active Internet user, who has a blog that shows ads to readers, recounted what happened in his blog.
I am sorry that the building burned down, but that I was quickly clued up by social media, I am happy to indulge in feeling is the bee’s knees.
If you don’t know a lot about data privacy, and you wonder how your web searches seem to translate into similar ads on websites you use, it is because you have been observed searching, and advertisers wish to help you spend your money. There are steps you can take to reclaim data privacy, but you should be aware of where and what you do on the Internet, so that you can own your progress, if you liken browsing the Internet to, say, an adventure game.
I’ve thought about data privacy before. Facebook has had a scandalous history of data privacy betrayals, as when they employed Cambridge Analytica to help them unfairly sway the result of the 2016 run for the White House. The effort to cheat didn’t succeed, but the vote was a very narrow divide.
The deceit delivered by Cambridge Analytica led a giant blow to Facebook’s reputation, and was very hard on Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica had been trying to manipulate voters into thinking as the manipulative computer firm was paid to lead people to think.
Many computer users, you probably know, use VPN technology to disguise their location, by relaying their decisions on the Internet through a route that presents a fake location that an uninformed spy might take as your actual physical location (and not the location that you have).
Another retrofitting solution is to use a software scan, like Superantispyware, to detect tracking cookies, which show you ads that have targetted your behaviour on the Internet. Superantispyware deletes those cookies and shakes that control the advertisers have on you.
⦁ Getting personal
Something as simple as resolving to speak honestly can have profound and upbeat results. Herbert Simon was a therapist–I spoke with more than one caseworker when I was living out my twenties, and what guidance they provided, I still remember things they said to me, to this day, years later.
Inspired by those, like Rick and Tony and Pam, I am for this post listing what might help “counsel” individuals who are perhaps new to the attention economy, so they are not shorted by their own expectations.
⦁ Observations about the world (propelled by Herbert Simon)
Nature is flourishing
We have enhancements in medication
Significant development is happening all the time
Expanded digitalization is happening just as fast
Distant, working, is a clear reality
Enhancements in instruction abound
Another gander, at the powerless and oppressed individuals from our general public, needn’t give us pause
Promising circumstances favour us
Co-operation and social support enable us
Co-activity and social help assist us
Picking who is imperative to us is a potential reality
Working on psychological wellness through helping other people is good for your wellbeing
Collaborations between regular citizens (not government nor police) is becoming a mainstay
Feeling of appreciation might be a new unique norm
Discovering delight has never been more possible
Having an effect is, straight up, a reality
The world is a strange and wonderful place. When you consider, for example, co-activity, you might reflect that every person is truly an individual, and many people have talents that really help highlight other people’s strengths. While there are of course powerless and oppressed individuals, if you can get a smartphone and learn how to effectively use it, you are as powerful an individual as ever walked the Earth, in some regards.
Even with only a few social accounts, your potential is rather excellent. A philosophy of industry isn’t always discussed with words you could charactertize as “holistic,” but someone with an adequate command of many many realities about life, and how to do right, for both themselves and others, can be completely excellent.
Check out Canadian musician and recording artist Rick White’s new album Where it’s fine
⦁ Contrarily bound by confusion (to contrast)
My pinned tweet describes how AI has become an excellent tool, in many applications, for providing useful content recommendations. AI can look at what you’ve done before, on a specific service, and can guide you to more good content, to be enjoyed, and that you want to share.
My aim in circling data is to be helpful, to arrive at information relevant to what you might be searching for now, and I am additionally marginally important for my dad’s business, the Maple Lawn burial ground he focuses on all year, with some assistance from family and friends.
Good hobbies should be cultivated. I feel the attention economy is awesome. In particular, video, both big-budget presentations and little user videos, is widely available. A little music can help, too.
When AI is employed for reasons that include helping to provide good content recommendations, as, for example, when you are on YouTube, quality YouTube videos, though controlled with measures that can feel extreme, are recommended to viewers, by an AI algorithm.
YouTube launched in February 2005.
…”In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
–‘Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World’ in Martin Greenberger (ed.) Computers, Communications, and the Public Interest (1971), 315 pages, index, sources
For April 2020, owing to the health crisis, Ben Huberman at WordPress has reopened the WordPress Discover challenges, to help out bloggers who like to blog about the same thing as other interested bloggers. Today’s theme is “song,” and I thought of one particular piece of music that had me silly when I was a child.
I have the good fortune that my parents are passingly interested in film, and it was actually cool that they showed me many films when I was a child. In the nineteen-eighties, home video was a goliath, and movies went from the cinema to the home in a matter of no time. Although I think my parents had more of a problem with me as the years went by, during my teen years, while I was a young adolescent, they kind of gave me the “PG” treatment by watching Hollywood fare with me, as they’d done for years.
I remember particularly the sort of inappropriate film fare of rock star Hollywood director Tim Burton that my parents seemed to understand, in their way, that was cool for film viewers. The scene in Tim Burton’s 1988 comedy Beetlejuice, when Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis haunt the dinner party of the people who have moved into the house where the couple lived while they were alive, got me pretty silly, being only a little guy at the time. I’ve found it on YouTube.
Thank you to WordPress, and Ben Huberman, for bringing back the Discover challenges. If you enjoy film comedy, you may well have seen Beetlejuice, and I believe it’s the favourite film of my cousin Caryl. She’s a few years younger than me, but as for pieces of music that affected me as a child, I would admit that did.
Seeking ideas for this small blog of mine, I began last month to refer to the weekly newsletter Publishous. Publishous is a little more than a year old, with about 5800 supporters. The newsletter is a collection of semi-connected ideas about content and the like and includes a writing prompt.
Formerly I would refer to WordPress’ own daily prompts before that came to an end, owing, I presume, to WordPress no longer wishing to organize their once-a-day prompts.
The prompt for the current newsletter is Resolutions. I am late because I did less work between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
As you know, the custom among many New Year’s revelers is to identify resolutions for the coming year that mark a life change. Resolutions can be in the spirit of fun, or they can be difficult to declare if a resolution requires the kind of change that is hard to make.
I kind of hate resolutions because I cannot think of useful ones. I do have a few tactics ready, for better productivity in 2019.
I was inspired in 2018 to read Robert Greene’s book The 48 Laws of Power. This book was a difficult read, but rich enough with great ideas to benefit from having read the book. Even though 2019 was far off, I thought to resolve to make some attempt to apply the book to my strategy in the year ahead.
I was not confident that I could apply much of The 48 Laws of Power until I came across a Twitter account that helps by mentioning ideas from Greene’s book– https://twitter.com/48tweetsofpower
I want to apply more commitment to the areas of work for which I am already present.
My digital social interactions are largely confined to Facebook and Twitter.
At the cemetery, we have been working together since 2011, and we soon thought that a page for the work we do would be useful.
On Twitter, I don’t specifically refer to details of the work I do with my dad. Instead, I tweet a few articles, generally about tech, and some about charity and a few other concepts. I have the idea that, if I do this, it could prove useful.
On Facebook, real “real estate” is hard to market, because of the competition among business users, to make ads which are interesting. I wish my dad and I had a marketing budget, but we don’t.
Most of the work I do for my dad’s little business is done on a volunteer basis, and I rarely include a call-to-action that deliberately invites business (you could say I leave money on the table). It’s just not my responsibility.
That’s all part of why I struggle with effective New Year’s resolutions. It is frustrating to think that life improvement could be worked out without a yin and yang down-side, that depletes the benefit of strategy in business, and in life. I want to check the work in case there is a down-side, that I am blind to, that could defeat me.
I want to blog at approximately the same pace at which the newsletter prompts are e-mailed, in Publishous. You may wish to check it out for yourself.
The spirit of the blog is to put out an “ask” identifying that I’m interested in taking “real world” work online and also that I’m capable as a creator, to use the buzzword, to keep active in a role which for now is valuable to my dad’s business in terms of the results I effect. I’m an optimist.
Thank you for reading my post here, and good luck with your own blogging in 2019. Take care, and all the best.
Often, I do digital Botox on my blog–I update an old post.
This achieves a couple of things–it helps with the SEO ranking, I understand, as a search engine will probably believe it’s new information. What I’m really doing is curating blog posts which I wrote in the past.
Blogs are commonplace. If you do any writing, a blog is a helpful way to establish one’s name as a writer. (Don’t convince yourself otherwise!)
Sometimes it goes with a change of direction. For instance, a fact came to light of which you were unaware.
If you have fears about becoming known to the public, a blog may not be the best way to talk on the Internet. Or, perhaps, if you have run out of time, and have new responsibilities in your life, or simply new interests, making a blog has become less a priority than you thought it would be.
When you develop your blog for the Internet, choosing to blog from a unique angle may work to your advantage. You can get the result you desire.
My head these days is busy, all the more so with social media. There is a wealth of information on social media, long in the running. Even though blogging is popular, try to keep your distance while injecting yourself into the conversation.
For some time, I took advantage of the prompts WordPress offered, both their daily prompts and their weekly challenges. It would be unkind not to share the wonders of the Internet. It is often a convenient part of day-to-day life.
Taking a look into digital communications pays off in various ways, which I will leave to you.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to, “like,” comment, and/or follow my blog. All the best to you.
A very important realization to have is that time waits for no man. (That’s Chaucer).
I don’t need to tell you twice. You have a finite number of years left in your life, so make the most of them. I am reasonably confident that if you are reading this, you already are. My WordPress strategy is currently to draw inspiration from the WordPress Daily Prompts, and if you understand that I am a blogger doing this for personal reasons, then you are my kind of reader.
I feel I am as capable as I can be with this kind of hobby underway: it must be clear, it must be readable, and it must give me an opportunity to reach fellow bloggers so that I know who might be thinking along the same lines as myself.
I implore you to act. You don’t have an endless supply of the day known as tomorrow, and you should be exploring your own identity with the aim to be both effective and distinct. The aim of bringing it to the digital page should be providing you with both momentum and motivation. It comes but once, and you should have the benefit of some kind of calendar schedule that reminds you when to act, and how.
I want to be known to those with similar paths in life to my own. It is not glory that I want, or riches, but only to gain skill at a craft. I want to see the world with the eyes of one who has learned something he desired to know. That is all I can do now, but I will be learning each and every day, a pursuit of knowledge.
If you are seeing this, perhaps your own goals are in full swing. You are in charge of your own fate, and what brings you here is sympathy for another, one apart from yourself. You never know when a spark will ignite, and however you have found your way to this tidy page outside yourself, feel free to enjoy as you see fit and to do as one does with a blogger: you “like” and you “follow.”
Sometimes you can’t help but wonder what the bloggers of today go through when they reach a certain point in their lives. At some point, life as an adult becomes more about taking care of others than actually raising your children (or at least learning to be OK with finally being an adult yourself). This can make family holidays fraught, and expanding on your own brood extraordinarily difficult.
Losing ten years in the wink of an eye would be a dramatic life change. If I were ten years older than I am now, I would be forty-seven years old. If my life hadn’t changed in all that time, I wonder if I would be able to steer my life.
If all of a sudden I were forty-seven, what would I do? Maybe I’d sign up for online dating, filling out my profile with such designations as:
Seeking: a woman
My occupation: cemetery volunteer and social media addict. Facebook would be as much interesting as it is in my thirties!
Interests: Watching the EastEnders serial
Enjoying the wisdom of getting old
Hopes for the future: Keeping aware of changes and developments in the world
And so on.
I’d be aware of the shorter length of time left in my life. I’d want to pay more attention to what’s printed in the Saturday paper, instead of hurrying through it. My astrology chart designation would seem all the more pressing, I think.
Try this and try that–I would try to be more aware that there is only so much time in the day and it goes in the wink of an eye.
Other than looking for love, I’d be all the more set on my vocation. There would be fewer opportunities, I believe, so getting additional education would be all the more remote a possibility.
Upgrading a skill set would be all the more unfathomable as well. But I think I’d be satisfied with what I’ve managed to do so far. I’d be all the more persistent.
Maybe something like that would go on my dating profile!
I don’t think I’d be any keener than I am on the ongoing changes in technology; I’d be all the more typical growing old, putting my faith in the past instead of the future. I know I would write on my profile that I want to stay informed about what’s new, but I think as a guy I’d be saying that in order to demonstrate a certain character of the rube in my personality, seasoned by the years but not necessarily completely astute.
I think I would want to devote some time to reading good literature. I am sure there are many fascinating books, and in my late forties, I would want to delve into more than I have.
I wouldn’t be optimistic that I would learn much more than I have, because time spent in a book can go in the wink of an eye. That being said, there’s an illumination that goes with looking at the pages of important books and fun books, and strange books.
Coach and trainer Carthage Buckley reminded me this year on the Internet that Wayne Dyer wrote in Dyer’s book Your Erroneous Zones that guilt and worry are useless emotions. Carthage writes this in a Coaching Positive Performance post discussing goals. Carthage argues in the post there is no goal worth too much sacrifice.
Even if I’d missed the last ten years of my life, at the age of only forty-seven, I would still find happiness in what remained to be lived.
Of course, at this time, I’m still only 37. If the next ten years disappear somehow, I will try not to be too disappointed. At later stages of life, there are still many joys to experience.
You might know more about those joys than I do! Ten years is a long time, but in human life, it can go all too quickly: in the wink of an eye.