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so. i tweeted earlier that nothing on twitter is going to just change in a convenient fashion just because how twitter is run pisses us off. not without taking some kind of action, like taking a coordinated week off twitter.

 

from that a few of us are into the idea, with the initial idea being provide time to build a momentum and raise awareness, before taking that step. because otherwise half the folk that might have participated are all "hey, wait, where did that come from? why did no one warn me?". so, aye, september 3rd, start of a one week break.

 

does it do anything? possibly not. i'm sure there are various arguments. and certainly at the moment there are only a handful of us talking about it, trivial at that level. but perhaps it builds, perhaps it means something. and in that case then perhaps it makes an impression, and perhaps people pay attention. fuck know.

 

but certainly many of us feel the need to at least take some action. and it is one action. no doubt we're open to others. like every reporting "jack" as being in violation of twitter rules in his promotion of hate, as some folk were doing today.

 

i think goals/desires are clear - we don't want twitter to be a shit hole anymore. so fuck off nazis. fuck off folk that organize hate/attacks against anyone who isn't sniveling white male piece of shit, or a gun toting brain washed fuck stain. expressing those in helpful ways and coming up with a snappy tweet that can be promoted to back action is potentially the next step and part of the point of this discussion.

 

feel free to provide ideas, tell me i'm wrong, whatever, this is an easy option, but it sure is an option that starts a conversation. go.

 

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Also, while Plurk or diaspora or ello or wherever may be a good way for us chickens to chat, twitter has taken 10 years or whatever it is to get to this mass, and another place's ecosystem won't be able to provide the same stuff--interesting strangers/twitter pals, news media (a huge part of who I follow), and so on--certainly not right away.

 

I am an admitted news/politics junkie and whatever other system would not be able to fill that need for me, most likely. Certainly not for a while.

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If we were to decamp to anywhere, I strongly suggest it be Mastadon. It's the only one that doesn't thoroughly and utterly suck IMHO. Plus, there is the option to run our own Mastadon instance if we so desired, thereby keeping all the associated data in-house. (Take this advice with a grain of salt since I haven't looked at how hard it is to stand up Mastadon recently; last I looked it involved a bunch of weird Docker stuff.)

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i didn't say leave, arkan was taking that route. i'm saying protest break. i'm saying an organised pointed period that says we are not using and this is the impact it has (or not)

bill's comments about the election are a different thing. and still with that, i'm not saying leave. i agree the platform is too established and interwoven for that. and certainly a week break is perhaps too long, that is open to discussion. and certainly a half dozen WGB folk taking a week off makes little difference in the scheme of things.

the idea of weakening the countervailing voice, yes, that is a bigger concern. but again, we're not talking about leaving, it is an outage, a strike, an exercise in seeing whether it makes a difference and whether our voices are heard by their absence. i have no doubt there are good and real arguments against taking action, but also money talks and removing a portion of the audience that is being advertisted/productised must have some impact?

 

again, not about leaving, not about moving to other platforms en masse. though, certainly, if there was a viable escape route then great, and perhaps as part of that we should be making more effort to cultivate mastadon (or equivalent). mastadon seemed to have potential and i was happy to use it, but clearly it wasn't getting the traction. and when i  last logged in to check up on it, half of what had been there before had vanished, which wasn't reassuring.

plurk i'd never heard of prior to arkan's comments today. and his follow up posts did not suggest that his exploration was going well. i think ello seemed to have potential, but was kinda up its own arse. and there was that other one, vero, but it quickly seemed to be shady as fuck. but then, at moment there seems to be something inherently shady as fuck about folk building social media platforms - the old if you aren't being exploited outrageously by a shower of fucking bastards then it isn't a social experience...

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addendum. the daily chorus of how fucked and corrupted and vile twitter is becomes a pointless form of self harm, we are abusing ourselves unless we take action or walk away and let the fucking piece of shit burn to the ground.*

 

*swearing and vitriol for dramatic effect, even if the point still stands. it is all talk and no action, and we might as well shut the fuck up and quit our bitching, or do something about it.

 

and i'm off to sleep now :D

good night all.

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I am a big fan and proponent of Mastodon.

 

This, my welcome message to the large influx of new Mastodon folks in the wake of Jack Dorsey refusing to ban Alex Jones pretty well sums up my opinion on the matter:

 

Quote

 

Welcome to Mastodon, new folks.

Here, fascist garbage-juice people get banned. Their painful and disastrous dumpster fires are not stoked to serve as a twisted attention-economy engine for a handful of too-rich parasitic capitalist dudes' to acquire more blood-stained money.

Also, if you are looking for community, I am a professional game developer and indie game enthusiast / supporter, if you are into that stuff. Especially like sci-fi, cyberpunk, solarpunk.

 

 

I get Bill's concern that abandoning Twitter may mean a loss of opposing voices to the Jones' side. On the other hand, I kind of feel like debating with fascists paradoxically propagates and legitimizes them, and gives them a bigger megaphone. This view is well-elucidated in this video: 

 

 

 

In this sense, boycotting, organized abstaining, or just using Twitter less and another platform more isn't necessarily the equivalent of not steering the plane, but more like moving people off the doomed plane into an adjacent one with working engines. Another analogy is the fascists are like flaming shit-demons, and people arguing with them are well-meaning people made out of wood-soaked gasoline. You might get in some shots, but at the end of the day, the more public, performative discussion and audience boosting you give by replying, "@"ing, quote-tweeting, naming, etc. ultimately spreads the fire. Nazis want you to debate them, that is how they propagate.

 

Alex Jones and Donald Trump *feed* off of larger, established media giving rational, evidenced-based reasons why they're wrong -- that is perfect fuel for them to call 'fake news', 'lying liberal media', 'SJW beta cuck bla bla bla', and further infllame and grow their followers. That is how a nobody loser like Trump got elected -- because established corporate ethics-free media kept platforming him to make money selling ensure and overpriced subprime college education refinancing. Fascists need human interaction kind of like Syphilis needs human interaction to spread. You need to deplatform them. You can't actually punch Nazis on the internet, and the equivalent online (banning) obviously isn't happening due to the fucked up Twitter leadership. So maybe try another site where they digitally punch the Nazis.

 

At the same time, I need to use certain platforms to make money to get people to buy Neofeud so I can have a roof and food for the kids and not die. I have like almost 6000 Twitter followers, and that would be tough to get again anywhere else. Mostly I just post business material on Twitter nowadays. At the least, I definitely do not interact with the dumpster fire folks, @ them, quote tweet them, or anything like that. And I try to socialize and actually discuss things on Mastodon, which is a much smarter-on-average, more progressive crowd, as opposed to a dumpster fire.

 

I like Mastodon for a lot of reasons, some practical, some more ideological/moral.

 

1.) There is no rich corporate sociopath(s) making money by manipulating people for profit and auctioning off their data to nefarious parties. Mastodon is ad-free, commercial free, open source, and if that ever changes,

2.) Mastodon is decentralized and you can start your own instance. If you feel that calling for the elimination of an entire class of people based on color, gender, orientation, etc. is a fucked up cancer that will destroy civilization / start WWIII or worse, then you can run your own cyber-town and set those rules.

3.) I like the Mastodon crowd. Fully Automated Queer Space Communism or bust, motherfuckers.

 

Here's another toot that more succinctly boils this down my larger point of view:

Quote

Tech platforms need human curation. Facebook, et. al. profit by addicting people to the platform, often using AI. Rage-mongering, hate, and violent radicalizing content have proven addictive, & therefore profitable. Search a random news story & often you got Infowars' conspiracy-take on Youtube at #1.

 

AI is not a Singularity Savior or a Skynet Exterminator or even a free-will-in-exchange-for-happiness Nanny.

 

AI we have is a heroin druglord, peddling fascism, working for billionaire sociopaths

 

 

Edited by TwiliteMinotaur
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As a very occasional user of Twitter, I enthusiastically volunteer to abstain for a week, month or year. Whenever I do have a quick browse, I find 3000 or more tweets/retweets from the few dozen folk I follow, and this Alex Jones thing has passed me by entirely. This forum is what I think of as social media. Twitter has clearly got out of hand. But I suspect the majority of the hate traffickers are talking to each other, and more and more people will abandon the platform.

 

Moving to another platform is of limited value. Only half a dozen of us adopted diaspora, as far as I remember, though I haven't checked for a couple of years.

 

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Oh, and I'm beginning to resent the label of Rich White Guys being bandied about. I am a rich white guy, and most of my rich white guy friends are as repulsed by Trump as everyone else is. Rich white guys contribute greatly to social justice through taxation and charities. Rich White Guys with guns are something else, I grant you.

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I am currently off twitter, and never could stomach it for more than a few weeks at one go. So I cannot really discuss this, as I opted out (checks...) five years ago. But this is a seminar proposal I received, and a clear example of why I am actually out of social media except as an occasional stalker, and Linked In for professional reasons.

 

Quote

With social monitoring you don’t have to ask people what they want, as that can lead to skewed answers, misinformation, and potentially failed products or campaigns. If you want to know what clients want - just listen to their conversations, understand what that means to you and use these insights to figure out what the clients need.

This intensive course is designed specifically to recognise and interpret both analytical data and organic trends on social media, to understand the true value of the social media activity, and the return on investment it presents to the company.

 

As Gil pointed out, this forum is a clear example why moving seldom is a good idea. You lose people and content when you switch and also it does not have the same baggage, the same references, the same insider complicity, so it lacks information density, And that is what we shaved apes want, meaningful interactions that fit into our self-image. In a circular way, I understand the lack of that is why people are fed up with Twitter. Unfortunately, paraphrasing WC, after all this years, Twitter is the worst platform except for all those others people try from time to time.

 

On the other hand this is the liveliest thread like, ever. I will probably check Mastodon because I am curious, but I doubt it will draw me in, as no others have managed it except message boards and a few moderated fora. It is me and my expectatives, not the medium.

 

 

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15 hours ago, db said:

Also, while Plurk or diaspora or ello or wherever may be a good way for us chickens to chat, twitter has taken 10 years or whatever it is to get to this mass, and another place's ecosystem won't be able to provide the same stuff--interesting strangers/twitter pals, news media (a huge part of who I follow), and so on--certainly not right away.

 

I am an admitted news/politics junkie and whatever other system would not be able to fill that need for me, most likely. Certainly not for a while.

A few of quick thoughts about this before I miss my bus:

 

1. I'm in favour of leaving for a week at first, if only to send a message.

 

2. Eventually, we'll all need to move. For-profit social media platforms are pretty much guaranteed to introduce biases that affect your social connections. This is not a good thing.

 

3. OTOH, I'll always have some level of Twitter presence. Too much of the professional marketing is necessary, there. Personal sphere, though. That's mine.

 

4. It will take time to build up the next platform, but that cycle is much quicker now than it was previously. The first thing we did when we joined Twitter was find other WGBers (and other friends, for those that have some). As we move from platform to platform, the first thing we do is find and connect with those we're already connected to on the previous platforms.

 

5. On the news junky thing, I (and some of my archaeo-nerd friends) have gone back to RSS feeds this year. The quality and volume of news is so much better than it had been when I relied on SM to provide it.

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i've advocated for twitter in other threads in the past, so i'll not overly repeat myself. but it does bring together nodes in a way that no other platform to date has, so that i mix with people from all my boards there, and that i know that various folk from those places follow and interact with some of you. which they wouldn't do based solely on the WGB node.

 

i agree with much of what twilite and marsh say. a lot of sense on the nature of the big picture and the drift factor. we don't build kingdoms over night, twitter took time, a replacement will take time. perhaps we can fix the issues before then? who knows.

 

again i've seen bill's caution against exodus pop up a few times. but i've not seen anything that addresses a targeted break. and i know there were targeted breaks in the past, and those got into a kaffufle of intersectionality, the whole why now and not when we wanted it, and the pulling things at 24 hours notice and expecting 100% back up bullshit.

 

i'm a news junkie to an extent. i'm not a fake news/bullshit propaganda junkie, i can quite happily do without the critical mass generating rage machine. i don't see the fake/hate shit in my time line, i see the rage and despair it generates. and certainly at the moment i'm having to quieten some of that, putting some accounts on mute, switching off the retweet function on others. (i know RT a lot of shite, but it is mad/random shite, and i fully encourage anyone to switch off my RTs if they feel like that)(and i know there are moves for people to switch off all RTs, to reduce twitter to just the people you know like it used to be, and that there are plug ins for that, and i absolutely see the merit in that).

 

but, i think we all agree there are problems and jack is a fucking nazi, lining his pockets with his ongoing tolerance of the rancid attack dogs. so yeah, i still think a break has some merit.

as per my original tweet, i'm on holiday from today, so my internet presence should hopefully be light, i plan to read, to relax, and to festival. i may dip a toe in here or there.

 

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On 8/9/2018 at 2:27 AM, gil said:

Oh, and I'm beginning to resent the label of Rich White Guys being bandied about. I am a rich white guy, and most of my rich white guy friends are as repulsed by Trump as everyone else is. Rich white guys contribute greatly to social justice through taxation and charities. Rich White Guys with guns are something else, I grant you.

 

Mind if I repost this, with attribution?

 

 

Cheers,

Patrick.

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This post is going to go a little off-topic, but I think it's relevant to understanding this wave of fascism sweeping everywhere from the US to the UK to Austria and even Germany. 

 

Building the alternative is a necessary part of the strategy, I think. I possibly have a more extreme view than some, but I am not betting on our already extent neofeudal capitalism-dominated cyberpunk dystopia getting any better of its own accord. To me that's like hoping that megabanks would "self-regulate" in the early noughties. That's why GR and the kids and I no longer live in an American City (tm), and are no longer even thinking of moving to one, ever. I was teaching fulltime, and a one bedroom in the ghetto part of the city was about 70% of my salary. Healthcare for a family of four was 100% of my salary. We lived in my parents closet. I finished Neofeud, working on a 6 year-old laptop, sleeping in the back of a rusting Mazda Tribute, eating spoonfuls of peanut butter with GR and the minibots. That's reality. Again, not sitting on my ass, not playing video games all day, not eating any fucking avocado toast: teaching full time and working with homeless/immigrant/non-white kids, and still homeless. Because nobody gives a fuck about people who do anything useful in our society. They payed me shit, then the rich guys with cufflinks come down for some photo-ops with me teaching some brown kids how to do indigenous gardening / robotics, and then use that fake-philanthropy to fence more money into their yacht-funds, or get themselves re-elected, while paying me enough to starve. Most of the people my age were in basically a similar situation. 

 

There was no hope for any future for GR and our family, there, which is why we moved on top of an active volcano spouting 3000 degree lava a few miles from the house where the rich people dare not do their vulture capitalism bullshit, in a condemned house with brown tap water that smells like dog piss (I managed to fix that up finally). Everyone I know back in the city is either homeless and working one job, living in a parents closet at 37 working three jobs (wife and grandma grampa all working too), or has enough money for a flat and hates themselves cause they're selling empty multi-million-dollar condos to Chinese billionaires driving up real estate and making more homeless people, is a corporate lawyer making sure Apple has more money it doesn't spend, or is running the infrastructure for a Surveillance Capitalism shithole like Jack Dorsey's site, Facebook et. al..

 

That pre-WWII inequality, more than anything else, is what's driving everyone to either fascism or socialism/communism (resulting in street fights between swastika-wearing white dudes and hammer-and-sickle antifa across the country from Portland to Charleston. It's also leading to worker cooperatization, democratization of workplaces -- ideally more of that will happen as it's another form of building the capitalism-alternative).

 

Two of my friends, about my age or younger, have already committed suicide, after trying for a decade to get any kind of gainful job, in multiple careers, but only finding gig-economy serfdom. One of them is the voice actor for King Warren in Neofeud (yes, the voice actor who played King Warren is dead. Took his own life).

 

I've got a guy who drops into my streams often, super smart, is in like the top 10% of machine-learning programmers -- couldn't find a job after a year cause they only hire the top 1%, and is now super into Incel / Redpill culture instead (I try to tell him to get off that proto-Nazi misogynist bullshit, but hey). 

 

One of GR's brothers got married -- him and the wife both work full time, they live in a tiny studio above a barn, drive a crap Toyota. They probably want kids, but affording that is nowhere on the horizon. He's getting real into some alt-right stuff. 

 

Most of the people my age and younger that I know are either becoming Nazis, pseudo-Nazis, or are full communist, pro-antifa, or even further left. IMHO, there isn't any hope to just muddle through in the middle, certainly not in the medium term. For most millennials and Gen-Z, there is no 'sell out' option. Capital is failing to buy complicity with the promise of a roof, car, food, and healthcare, and the result is just more depression, more rage, more seeking alternatives. Twitter and Facebook etc. are just making bank on fomenting mostly the Nazi end, and selling their eyeballs to water filter companies, political actors, or whoever else will pay them money to manipulate people. The current president is just an opportunist who rode the wave of rage.

 

Half the country is at or near poverty, can't find $400 when the car breaks, and more than half of US families can't afford, or *qualify for a loan* for the cheapest new car. 37 cities have poison drinking water. There's a fucking hookworm epidemic in much of the country because infrastructure is falling apart.

 

It's telling that this is the most liked and re-shared toot I have ever posted, basically anywhere (Mastodon or Twitter):

 

Quote

 

The paradox of productivity in 2018 is even if you're writing a quantum tech article whilst simultaneously dogwalking, podcasting your fourth Ph. D, & inventing the next revolutionary drudge-work-automating app (that will be consumed by a tech giant), you'll always be making not-enough per hour for a dignified existence.

 

No amount of neurohack pills, 180-hour crunches and AI assistants will ever free us, because neofeudal capitalism will consume all abundance.

 

The wheel must break.

 

 

I had so many people tell me personally that this was their literal experience, it was depressing. But also affirming of what I know to be true, as hard as they try to paper over with some fucking 4% horseshit unemployment number.

 

Anyway, who the fuck knows how all this plays out, but what I do know is that it wasn't any candidate(s) or even Twitter itself that is the root of the growing Nazi waves. You could get Trump gone, Twitter implode, and all that other shit would still be true. Nazis are the bacterial infection in the wound. Incels, suicide rash of young people cause the future is hopeless? Another infection. I honestly am terrified for the world the minibots are going to inherit, and can see why young people would think its crazy to bring children into this fucked up world -- if they could afford it at all, which they mostly can't unless rich parents. You could even 'cleanse' the Nazis, but if you leave that giant fucking inequality gash wide open in your leg, growing bigger by the day, sooner or later, you're going to get another infection, one that possibly kills you. 

 

(I feel like I've been saying this sort of stuff for like more than a decade, like back on the old board, but now I just sound less insane, lol)

 

Anyway, what can we do? Nazis have to be punched, deplatformed. Jack Dorsey needs to be called out for a Nazi fuck he is. But that's just a temporary splash of hydrogen peroxide. Then comes the real work.

 

Cooperatives (companies run democratically, as opposed to by a handful of rich shareholders) i.e. Mondragon, credit unions, coop stores etc. need to be supported. If you're in a capitalist corporation or business, see if there's any way to push for collectivization. Silver Spook Games has no employees currently, but if I ever grow the team, I intend to make sure everyone gets a fair cut. (As opposed to Amazon, where Jeff Bezos gets 2.5 MILLION times the lowest paid worker -- Mondragon's CEO *cannot* make more than 8 times the lowest paid worker, and employee happiness is leagues above Amazon, whose workers are paid starvation wages and die in their sweatshops cause Bezos won't open the door). Support collectivization of Amazon. And Google, Microsoft, etc.. (I actually have a couple friends working at Google (one is a Neofeud fan) who has come around to getting on board with this.) Join and use Mastodon, a decentralized platform with no capitalist interest pumping out Nazis for $. Support strikes, worker organization, and other actions. Support socialist candidates - like Ocasio Cortez. Support anything that will close the inequality gap, but more importantly IMHO, accelerate the demise of capitalism as the dominant force (cause it's doing a pretty good job of destroying itself already, but that may not be enough). Because if AI/Automation really hits, and near-full automation of military tech arrives *before* that, removing all humans from the pulling of triggers and dropping of hellfire missiles... It's sociopaths with Terminators, and then we're all fucking dead. Or living in The Peripheral, Gaza Planet, or worse. 

 

But let's just hope that doesn't happen by trying to stop it! Which is why I am with all the furry queer catgirl communists nowadays.

Edited by TwiliteMinotaur
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It's unlikely that my @mastodon contributions will have any more impact than my wgb contribs have been since Twitter, but I'm there, now.  I've always been more of a random thoughts type, shallow and self-centered as I am, and I confess to migrating to platforms where my lack of engagement isn't as obvious (to me).

 

But quality interactions are key, and this community is the foundation.  Let's see how it goes.

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Christian, a guy I met through my candidate's campaign, Maciej Ceglowski, has a large tech following and encourages the Googlers et al. to use their power and unionize, or at least stop their employers from contributing to evil GOP politicians. He has a website, Pinboard, that provides a bookmarking service, and founded an organization, Tech Solidarity, that tries to get workers to see the benefits of unionizing. Tech Solidarity leveraged tech workers in safe blue districts' dollars to swingy progressives in red-purple districts to try to make a difference and get the country at least back to having some kind of checks and balances as intended. They have donated nearly $3 million to help get Dems elected, and have really made a difference.

 

Anyway, you might encourage your Silicon Valley tech friends to check Tech Solidarity out.

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Ok, thanks Deb!

 

Yeah, those friends at Google I mentioned were part of the group of employees who signed the petition demanding Google stop developing artificial intelligence for the Pentagon to help drones better target people (including American citizens, ultimately), and many just quit outright. In that sense it was the collective action of the Google employees against the executive class at Google -- the suits actually wanted to go *further* into helping the military develop automated killer robots for more $$$ -- that was what made the difference, and Google ended the contract. 

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the other night i caught cory doctorow at the book festival in edinburgh. there was a variety of questions, but some of touched on technology, surveillance, social media platforms and bubbles. to a degree the specific questions were about facebook, but the answer extrapolates to twitter:

- if the answer is allowed to be that [company] spends a billion dollars of money to moderate and clean up its act, then the entry level for any new platform becomes a billion dollars.

-making it really, really, fucking hard for any new company to be able to compete on the same playing field: the entry level being a billion dollars.

-creating and encouraging more platforms fights against monopoly and reduces the power of [company] , if new platforms can be better/cleaner without that billion dollars, then they can become more attractive.

 

he expressed it better, but hopefully that gets the basic idea.

 

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It is clear that the current situation is unsustainable. In a way Trump is helping in Europe, as he shows what is the position of Neofeudal capitalism, which as a reaction is bringing an increase of support for social democracy rather than Alt-Right. SD has been under siege the last 20 years. Brexit is also helping, as the UK is the most vocal supporter for neocapitalism, even if many other EU countries are riding the inequality wave. 

 

Any change to the social media situation needs an alternative to the existing monopolies. They exist, but they tend to be geographically localized, and often language specific, so limiting to a cosmopolitan group. Here Twitter is actually losing ground to Whatsapp groups as a way for young people to keep in touch, Though that may be a local effect due to the fake news linked to Catalonia and the Russian manipulation. We cannot forget that each country has different triggers and sensitive subjects.

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Oh hi. :)

I'm back.

 

I'm seriously going to phase out of twitter over the next couple of months. Last week's break proved to me that I can absolutely live without it, and that I will be rewarded by hours of extra free time every day.

I'm giving Plurk a chance, and will probably end up using it for all my micro-blogging needs. When there's something I want to share with the world.

I tried Mastodon back when it came out and I was very disappointed. As far as I can tell, Plurk has everything I need, even a solid user base, a business model and longevity.

 

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