LiveJournal, Russia, and Reddit

Friends and Blasphemers is a pretty great episode from the podcast Reply All. They dive into what happened to LiveJournal when it got popular in Russia.

https://embed.radiopublic.com/e?if=reply-all-OWdvQ8&ge=s1!e601a84ab2126a49a088148a33a52436f5a8b910

One of the interesting parts was a breakdown of how much Russian trolls got paid to disrupt LJ:

PJ: Emails actually leaked out later that had the rates that these guys were getting paid to troll Alexey and his friends. It would be 85 rubles for a comment, and then a bonus: 200 rubles if you could trick somebody into arguing with you.

That part reminded me of some stats on /r/The_Donald:

It turns out that the biggest growth in subscribers happened roughly 3 days after Donald Jr.’s Russian meeting.

Anyway, the point is that I’m going to see if I can import all my old LiveJournal posts here to make it even cringier.

 

Liberals: Stop Whining

I have a few friends on Facebook who are asking something from the anti-Trump crowd: stop whining. Trump won, Hillary lost, so shut up for the next 4 years.

I disagree with Trump’s 100 day plan. I disagree with appointing a climate change denialist to the EPA, the agency leading the charge against the biggest refugee crisis of the 21st century. I disagree with taking health care coverage away from millions of Americans (something considered a right in most of the world). I disagree with a president-elect who thinks so little of the American people that he refuses to answer our questions. I could go on… (I didn’t even mention nuclear weapons)

You are right though, and I agree to stop whining.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up. I will still speak up when I disagree (after asking myself these three crucial questions). But I will also act. Action – that’s the difference between whining and change.

The Indivisible Guide has been a great place to start. It stresses organizing to hold your congressional reps accountable (which includes celebrating them when they do right), and making phone calls.

To that end I’ve also just signed up for Daily Action. I hear good things about it and am eager to see what kind of actions they offer. I think I can guess today’s action, since the new Republican Congress’ first order of business was to remove independent ethics oversight.

Finally, I’ll be taking care of myself. I remember the Bush years and outrage fatigue is real. That means working on myself, spending time with my family, friends, and hobbies, and remembering that politics is a means and not an end. We can still be friends even if we disagree.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Cyber roundup

The Cyber is big again. Huge. I think that Trump’s talk about The Cyber at this week’s debate got a bunch of people talking about cyberpunk. At least, that’s what it looked like in my feeds. I noticed a lot of posts about cyberpunk stuff which I’ve collected here:

Someone built an Ono Sendai Cyberspace 7 deck (the computer used by the protagonist in Neuromancer):

Cyberdeck64

//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

They replaced the keyboard on a Commodore 64 case and stuck a Raspberry Pi 3 in it, but the design is obviously the best thing about it.

Someone else is using the cyberpunk aesthetic for designing their computer space:

Cyberpunk VR Battlestation

And of course someone took the time to adapt the concept art from Cyberpunk 2077 for the Trump campaign:

Cyberdrumph 2016

I wonder if cyberpunk is going to have a kind of retro-futurism revival. It is a sad reminder of the unstoppable march of time to think that the thing that was futuristic in high school is now retro. Time to invest in trenchcoat and mirrored sunglasses.