the internet is a tiring place…

We switched from (an increasingly evil carrier) to Credo Mobile, and replaced our 4-year-old phones with a couple of Galaxy S10e. I wish I could say the signal level at home and work are stronger but Just like setting up a new computer, it takes a few hours of poking at settings and looking up how to disable various stupid defaults to make it feel less like Samsung’s or Google’s phone (with some territorial pissing contests between them) and more like one’s own.

Something I never asked for and don’t want is Google parsing my email to pop up notifications to remind me when bills are due. (The bill in question is set to autopay anyhow, which GMail doesn’t know…) It’s a reminder than I kind of want to switch to ProtonMail, but updating my email address in 150 different online accounts doesn’t sound like a lot of fun either.


Something I read yesterday that disturbs me: That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It

My thoughts on this:

  • Enemies of the American state “undermining trust in American institutions” sounds bad, sure. But in many cases those institutions have betrayed that trust themselves. It wasn’t the Internet Research Agency that shot Mike Brown, tortured people in Gitmo, put children in cages, etc.
  • One should also wonder if this piece is itself some kind of psyop. Why wouldn’t both Russian and American agents work to influence American opinions by posting things that are at least partially true, including about each other? We know there are organizations dedicated to climate science denial, promoting anti-abortion or pro-police or pro-gun stances, etc. for some combination of voter manipulation and profit.
  • (And to be fair, no doubt progressive groups employing similar tactics. And plenty of companies targeting progressive values for profit reasons, with varying levels of honesty vs. hypocrisy.)
  • And in a similar vein, how many legitimate criticisms have, at this point, been blamed on Russia? Claiming that something is Russian propaganda is a form of propaganda. It’s the new “any criticism of Hilary Clinton, whether from the right or the left, is sexist.”
  • Outrage is how media companies sell ads. And it’s also how things that need changing get changed. And it’s exhausting… it’s why I gave up on Huffington Post and then MSNBC and then Facebook.

Paranoia aside, there sure are a lot of people out there who want to tweak your opinions and employ your sympathy for their own ends. I guess the main thing to do is be cautious of social media (and news articles/opinion pieces, including this one) and the ways it exploits and is exploited.

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