Monday, January 29, 2018

ETC Pod #1: He Is Risen!

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Stitcher: Coming soon
The rebranded X-Pod returns! Toddstradamus discusses his return to podcasting, social media, misguided consistency, fires his opening salvo at political religions and bilateral extremism, synapse pruning and The Useless Shit Epiphany, and establishing a solid signal to noise ratio. He also lays the foundation for exposing The Talking Dead and creating a more sophisticated media consumer while weeding his garden of that pesky Green Tea.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Archive (2014) - The X-Pod 007: Slithering Fascism & Tribal Warfare

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Stitcher: Coming soon

Recorded in 2014 shortly before the first podcast ended, this episode discusses my initial Facebook purges, Trumpism (before Trump), the social damage inflicted by echo chambered disinformation (fake news) on facebook as well as the human inclination toward delusional tribalism. Not recommended for those looking for Sausage Party Hope! Definitely recommended for those wanting to reflect back on the not-so-distant past and reminisce on how we got here. And how things not only haven't changed, but gotten worse.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Avatars, Cyborgs, and Intellectual Imposters

Social Media Disease #3

A Billion Neos?

In The Matrix, before he takes his waking pill Mr. Anderson assumes his known existence is real; that what he perceives as “he” is, in fact, him. Once so rudely extracted from his Duracell pod, however, Neo learns that he was in fact experiencing life inside a virtual reality; a digital projection of himself inside a computer simulated world: the Matrix. His entire existence was as a digital avatar; a rendition of of himself where everything, his hair, clothes, all of it, was a virtual manifestation how he wanted to appear in his world.

This isn’t far from the character hundreds of millions have created to represent themselves online. From OK Cupid to, of course, Facebook, our digital “brand” all too often has little connection to the physical existence; the flesh and blood human being securely encased, hidden, and safely protected from prying judgmental eyes inside the Pod of Reality.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

On The Hobgoblin

I can’t believe I feel required to type much of this. Yet I know I must. The internet has become the place where reactionary farts reign supreme and, despite being the greatest informational tool the world has ever seen, where thought goes to die.

I was recently pondering “consistency” with friends and we discussed the unshackling benefits of throwing old ideas and beliefs out the window in favor of nurturing your own growth. As Emerson put it in Self-Reliance:

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Mea Culpa

I’ve known exactly what I was going to call this post for several years. Obviously what follows wasn’t delivered by an unexpected lightning bolt from clear blue skies. It’s been simmering for years. Some weeks hotter than others.

As I've said maybe a dozen times by now, something was very, very wrong as far back as 2010. That May, I took an abrupt cyber-sabbatical when the splinter gnawing my core became acutely painful. It didn’t last. The avatar fought back. He won. That’s too bad. I couldn’t understand it then, but have a very good idea why now. For a man who talks about it so often, the ego is strong in this one! Again to be fair, while that was written in 2010 for the blog, the effects stemmed from and were intensified largely (though not exclusively) by Facebook. Aside from toothless stalking threats, I had little idea of what else I was dealing with: my avatar and the Dopamine Drip.  In retrospect this was the first significant twitch in what’s become social media grand mals.

Cyber Space Monkeys

Social Media Disease #2

We are the 21st century's Cyber Space Monkeys. We have to understand and remember this. When social media first hit us a decade ago, there was no manual. No blueprint. No book of social media etiquette. Nothing to warn us of side effects and consequences. That’s because we are collectively writing it. Right now. They'll be studying us in 100-years but while our descendants will have the benefit of hindsight, we’ve been stumbling along blind making predictably ignorant mistakes along the way. God knows I was. And in some cases I was remedially slow, almost clinically retarded, in seeing it.

Facebook exhumes skeletons from the friendship boneyard and obliterates the natural order of things. Over the course of several thousand years, we instinctively figured out that everyone isn't entitled to accompany us thru every part of our lives. People change. We evolve. Grow apart. There's nothing wrong with that! Old friends and acquaintances would once silently fall out of our lives out of neglect. We'd lose touch. Why? It was no mystery. Friendship actually required effort to be maintained. And for many of life’s bit players the effort outweighed the reward. It was an inevitable bump in the road. We knew and accepted it.