Quite possibly no one noticed but me, but this site has been down since August 2020, when my web hosting service altered the name of their database server. It should have been a quick fix, and eventually was, but 2020-2021 were such crazy times that I couldn’t set aside the approximate hour I estimated it would take, until yesterday.
The fix came just in time for the blog-aversary of The Mongrel Dogs Who Teach, whose first post was on 2006 June 12 — fifteen years ago, believe it or not!
originally posted on Facebook on 2018 March 25
Here’s the thing. This week we’ve learned about massive breaches of trust and the evils that the superconnected Internet can bring. But we’ve also seen truly inspiring and uplifting photos that speak to real change — and not only would we never have seen these pictures without social media, the protests and rallies would never have HAPPENED without social media.
Is social media going to save the world? Probably not. Is it going to destroy the world? Probably not.
A sense of history is in order here: After the fascist triumphs of the 1930s, there was a lot of ink spilled about the evils of radio, used by those fascists to whip up the populace. After imbroglios like the Spanish-American War, there was much angst over the power of newspapers. It didn’t take long for the printing press to be decried as the devil’s work.
You know what the common thread was? Some bad actor early adopters managed to grasp the potential of the new medium and used it to spike a fever in the body politic. Then, the body politic developed antibodies — the new and brazen became known and boring, and got worked into the usual order of things. I feel that’s where we are now. So #deleteFacebook if you think it’s important or if the bargain you’ve made with Zuckerberg no longer matches your priorities. But whether you give up or not, social media is now part of our ecosystems … and I honestly believe, that’s not in the end a bad thing.
Growing up gives you a perspective that can ruin all the good things of your childhood. I’m going to comment on Back to the Future here, so if that’s an integral pillar of /your/ childhood, you might want to skip.
As usual, I told myself all Spring Break that I should be writing more. Then I realized that I output a noticeable amount of musings, rants, and thoughts — not a flood, but at least a trickle — on Facebook and other social media. I’m going to go through and pull out the longer or (in my opinion) more noteworthy posts and repost them here on Mongrel Dogs. Because self-plagiarism is by far the best kind of plagiarism.
Paris at the End of the World
Bridge of Spies
The Secret Lives of the US Presidents
This is How You Lose the Time War
Cities: The First 6000 Years
World War Z
A Brightness Long Ago (re-read)
The Consuming Fire (re-read)
The Last Emperox
Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol 1: Vader (graphic novel)
The Diamond Age (re-read)
Murderbot 1: All Systems Read
Murderbot 2: Artificial Condition
A Memory Called Empire
The Invisible Hook
Target: Vader (graphic novel)
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
Spoilers for the final chapter in the Star Wars Saga.