Category Archives: General

My Personalized Plan to Distance Myself from Social Media

In my program at least to distance myself from social media (and trash my Facebook account on October 1), I have identified a number of things I should do. These are not necessarily presented here in the sequence in which they are going to be executed, particularly because some are predicated on others happening first. Some of these are currently underway or have already been achieved. Because I have set the date for trashing my Facebook account as October 1, this original list has become extremely short. Never post anything to my Facebook timeline except links to blog articles until October 1. Start selecting websites of creditable news outlets to … Continue reading

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Jaron Lanier’s Reasons for Our Leaving Social Media

I have just finished reading Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” and find that Lanier’s revelations about what social media platforms are doing pretty much match my apprehensions about social media. In fact, in some areas, particularly regarding the automatic fine tuning of and learning by algorithms, Lanier reveals ways that opaque social media algorithms operate that I had not imagined. Lanier refers to what social media platforms do as BUMMER (Behaviors of Users Modified and Made into an Empire for Rent), although he appropriately replaces modified with manipulated where appropriate, and it is clear that the term manipulation is often appropriate. He lists the … Continue reading

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Tendaikai Members Performing at a Nearby Shinto Shrine

The other day we visited a local shrine (Himonya Hachimangu) to see the Tendaikai people perform. The group is headed by Fukui Tendai, who is the teacher of the wakaokami at Oiwake in Asakusa, a place I have been visiting for decades. 先日、近くの碑文谷八幡宮の演芸会開演直前の福居典大先生。小生の行き付けの店、浅草追分の若女将(Akiyo Hattori)の師匠です。

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Meet Me Under a Bridge for Some Exciting News

Executive summary: Anonymity in cyberspace should be eliminated. There has been lots of talk lately about the responsibility of social media companies for removing content that promotes terrorism. I agree that they should do that. But complaints about terrorist hatred and recruiting people to implement their ideas completely ignore the root problem, which is that social media companies (and the internet in general) virtually assure their customers that they can remain anonymous, even to the social media companies themselves. It becomes easier to be irresponsible or criminal if you are assured of your anonymity. For example, you can establish any number of fake accounts and anonymous pages on Facebook without … Continue reading

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The Dumbing Down of America: Someone Got it Right

In 1996, concerned about Americans losing the ability to understand, think, and question, someone wrote: I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time–when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical facilities in decline, unable to distinguish what … Continue reading

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A Plea for Responsible Engagement in the Lawless Land of Facebook

I wonder whether people stop to think before they knee-jerk share or like.  Think about what? Well, for starters: Most Facebook pages (not user accounts, although tens of millions of those are also faked) are anonymous and therefore not credible. And many Facebook pages list a URL, but that is almost never any help in discovering who is posting their content and operating the Facebook page and website, because they are masked. How in the world can such a masked website purporting to operate a Facebook page have (1) a privacy policy and (2) a terms of service page if they hide the identity of the owner of the website … Continue reading

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