random nonsense

Mastodon is Not Nicoderm

It’s Monday, the Monday after a full week of Elon Musk owning Twitter. I deactivated my Twitter account on a whim after just kind of being done with it. Not my account, per se, but the vibe of Twitter in general. It’s just off. It’s bad. The sociological decay rate of social media seems to put the Best By date around 10-15 years after its inception. So, I once again signed up to Mastodon, after deleting my previous two attempts and then realizing that I can’t get my old usernames back. Oh well, who cares.

A lot of Mastodon now is reactive: people reacting to Twitter, mostly. It’s not really a society as it is a shared trauma experience, one where we’ve all collectively escaped from our abuser and are now qualifying ourselves in reaction to that. It’s annoying, is what I’m saying.

This Monday, I feel the itch. The itch to tweet. To say something dumb on Twitter. I’ve tried on Mastodon:

This is what I would call a Quintessential Josh Tweet. A QJT. Something dumb that would pop up in my head and that I’d type out on Twitter as fast as humanly possible. This is Weird Twitter. My type of people are people who would see this tweet and appreciate the humor. They don’t have to laugh, just appreciate.

But Mastodon doesn’t scratch that itch, for two reasons: one, I don’t know enough people there. That’s fair, I just started up again. And two, this is not what I’m seeing on my timeline. This one’s a little more difficult to fix. You have to find the right people. But in a way, I don’t want to find the right people. I don’t want to join a “comedy” instance because then it’s all people trying to be comedians. Plus, as Mastodonians continue to remind us, instances don’t even matter because you can see other people’s posts1I refuse to call them toots. across all instances. Fans and friends, that’s all I want. And not even “fans” necessarily, more like … appreciaters.

Mastodon is a poor nicotine patch for Twitter, despite all the tech folks trying to convince us that it is. Decentralization is good perhaps but for social media? The concept of “decentralizing” a thing where the point is for people to come together doesn’t make much sense to me. I read a post from someone saying that they should rename “instances” to “communities” … like Google+, which failed. I think Google+ failed in part because a social media concept like Twitter–fast paced, short messages–wants to relate to people in a general sense, rather than a specific, community sense. In other words, you don’t want to have to negotiate a bunch of community “threads” to find things that you want to read. Plus, you can already create your community on Twitter by curating who you follow. Now you want me to split that again into communities?

There’s a vast, vast difference between what people in tech think social media should look like, and how the general populace operates social media. Tech wants to bring in features, but most people want the app to be as simple as possible. People don’t want to know about instances. They just want to post things and read things, and they want to know how to block people. Mastodon is pretty much this simple, it’s just that the users are making things confusing by constantly elaborating on stuff that I don’t care about. I don’t really care about instances; I do care about Mastodon being able to quickly and effectively “sever the limb” of alt-right/extremist instances. But I want no part of that. I just want to read and post things, and I want the things I read to be things I like, not people constantly telling me how great Mastodon is and all the multitudinous things I can do with it.

Thankfully, Elon Musk is absolutely fucking up when it comes to running Twitter, which is delightfully hilarious in a way. Guy’s like a five year old who got handed a $1,000 camera and thinks he’s going to take Pulitzer Prize winning photographs with it, but then the first photo we see is just a blurry dog’s anus. “I did it!” he cries. “Give me my Pulitzer now.”

Something makes me think this is one big misguided attempt to try and get Grimes back. “Look, Grimes, I bought Twitter!” he types into his phone. Sends text. Is left on read.

I think Mastodon will mellow out over the next few weeks as the adrenaline of leaving Twitter wears off and everyone realizes it’s just another app. They’re all just apps. Meaningless, ultimately. Get food, get sleep, procreate to extend the life of the species. Then very far down the list: check social media accounts.

  • 1
    I refuse to call them toots.
personal random nonsense

Detaching Writing from Content Creation

I’m in the hobby of making stuff. Not the business. I’m terrible at the business stuff. I don’t know how people do it. “You built that entire chair? And somebody bought it? That’s a goddamn miracle.”

No, I make things and then haphazardly try to get people to check them out. The things are various levels of “good”; some of the things could be better, some of the things could be worse. But I’m always making something. I can’t help it. It’s kind of a burden, honestly. I can’t not create things. “Ohhh, such a probleeemm” you sarcastically say to me. But it’s true. I wish I could just not make stuff, but my brain doesn’t work that way. It’s like Michelangelo1A man who is just like me in terms of creativity, not in the “gay and possibly asexual” way. staring at a big chunk of marble and being like, “I can make David out of that.” Except for me, the chunk of marble is “A foggy void inside my brain” and the David is “A podcast” or “A song” or “Some poetry.”

The problem is that I have no discipline. Creations slough off of my brain like old skin, festering on the ground, waiting for a vacuum. I could be using a skin care routine, but no, I just let the dry stuff waft away on the winter breeze. Twitter does not help this! Twitter is the place where you say whatever you want into a void that their PR team has convinced you is actually reading your dumb shit. It’s the textual equivalent of your grandmother sitting you down to watch blurry slides of her trip to Italy from 1952, except instead of the beautiful Tuscan landscape, it’s every single thing everyone has ever thought, ever, times 20.

Can you tell this is a blog about me convincing myself to delete my Twitter account?

Every Reddit thread about social media has like five guys who are like, “I deleted all my social media ten years ago and I’ve never felt better.” They type that on Was life better before social media? No, and if anyone tells you different they’re lying. Life has always been the same. The same amount of bullshit, the same amount of joy. It’s a bell curve. It’s this:

Some people are slightly left of the bell curve, some people are slightly right, but everybody’s gotta shit, you know what I mean?

So the question is: does social media make life worse? Or does life make life worse?

Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion dollars. In comparison, 44 billion seconds is 1,394 years. You know what happened in 1394 AD? Richard II started giving Geoffrey Chaucer 20 pounds a year for the rest of his life for being a diplomat. You know how much those 20 pounds are now? £19,924, or $22,694 US dollars. What does that have to do with any of this. Nothing! I just thought it was neat.2It’s also amazing that the Bank of England has inflation values from all the way back to 1209. I’m getting distracted! Anyway, Elon, this guy, this fuckin’ guy, likely bought Twitter for way more than it was worth. And now he’s going to charge $8/month for Twitter Blue, which he knocked down from $20 because Stephen King complained. It makes me realize that businesses don’t always tank because people want them to–sometimes they tank because the guy who bought the business is a fucking idiot.

So here’s the thing: Twitter is content creation. It is meant for you to churn out content, so that people will read it, so you will see more advertising, so the advertisers and Twitter will make more money. Content creation is a farm meant to grow food for rich people. And you’re the lowly serf who thinks your TikTok carrot will make a difference in the pile of billions of carrots. Art is not an assembly line. Content creation dilutes good art. The necessity for people to constantly make TikTok videos or YouTube videos or podcasts, etc, ruins the lot of it. Imagine is Michelangelo made a new statue every day. You think the quality of those statues would go down?

This is an argument toward me deleting Twitter. And I think it’s winning. People need time to think, to grow, to write and edit and delete. And then release. We’re too inundated with content creation, and younger generations are indoctrinated to believe that the internet is content creation. But it’s not. It’s content consumption. It’s the snake eating its own tail. And it’s all ultimately meaningless. It’s jokes and cats falling off TVs and it’s the most important thing and the least important thing at the exact same time. Social superposition. Quantum physics in macro.

So what is it? Do we continue feeding the content creation monster? Or do we divest ourselves of these apps and go outside and look at a tree?

  • 1
    A man who is just like me in terms of creativity, not in the “gay and possibly asexual” way.
  • 2
    It’s also amazing that the Bank of England has inflation values from all the way back to 1209. I’m getting distracted!
news & updates personal

Josh Writes a Blog (Again)



A … are you starting a blog again?

Yeah, I am.

Don’t you have a newsletter already?

I do.

So … what’s this for?

Well, I was thinking about it, you know —

Oh no.

— and I thought — what do you mean, “Oh no”?

I just don’t like to see you thinking about stuff, is all.

What is that supposed to mean?

Well, you start to think about something, and then that thing turns into two things, and then those two things turn into four things, and —

I’m just thinking about —

It’s exponential, you know.

Right, right. I get it.

This is all about Twitter, isn’t it?

… Sort of.

Alright, explain.

I signed up for Twitter back in 2008 and have more or less enjoyed the hell out of it until about 2015. Or whenever Trump started being more of an issue on it. Really, I could say that it was when news and politics became a thing in general on that site, but it really stopped being a fun site during the Trump presidency. My interest in it has waxed and waned since then.

I’ve written some type of blog since forever. 1998? But when Twitter took over, instead of blogging, I tweeted. If I didn’t start auto-deleting my tweets a few years ago, I’m sure I’d have around 30,000 tweets by now. That’s a lot. Most of it dumb jokes that were topical and wouldn’t make sense now.

Anyway, Elon Musk bought Twitter and that guy is a real dumb piece of shit, so I’ve been thinking about leaving Twitter for good. It’s hard because I like writing and I like the microblogging that Twitter offers. But I’ve also noticed over the years that I’ve become less introspective and honest in my writing, which I miss. So I thought I would start up a blog again, to keep that going.

How’s that sound?

Eh, it’s fine I guess. You’re talking to yourself, though, so you’re already worried that you won’t ever update and nobody will ever read it and everybody hates you forever.

Damn, you really know me, me.

So what about the newsletter?

It’s still going to happen. I might copy blogs from here into it though, spruce them up for the newsletter crowd. I don’t know if that’s a good idea or a bad idea, but who cares.


Blogs for the blog crowd, newsletters for the newsletter crowd.

Alright. Well, good luck.

Thanks, me.