May 24th, 2020

Green Kiki

I'm not dead, but Facebook's algorithm should be

Still alive, which meant less two months ago than now, but was still meaningful.

Like so many people, I've relied too heavily on FB. It's actually fine in a lot of ways (speaking from an end-user POV, not any ethical issues surrounding the company), and some of its evil is on the second half of a double-edged blade (like how it's become genuinely useful for organizing events and inviting people in a way that no other tool managed).

But it also has the fucking algorithm that decides to bury posts because they link to youtube, or have more than ten words, or because you posted too often, or because someone there got drunk. And there's something fundamentally wrong about not letting people read posts in fucking order, like god intended. Twitter's moving that way, but at least lets you override it in a meaningful way.

So I figure I'll post a few things here, where they'll get no engagement because 95% of DW/LJ has stopped reading, instead of getting no engagement because a computer decided the contents didn't matter.

I actually haven't updated since I got a job again, so I figure I should mention that, too. Started after Thanksgiving 2018, at a local college that pays way less, but which has one thing my previous job had -- a boss who's competent (my last one, to be fair, had one for years until the uberboss, who's from the Tr*mp school of management, axed him). Like anyone working in higher ed these days, I'm working from home and dealing with all the usual uncertainties.

Also of note (especially for longtime readers, which I guess is everyone, seeing as I can't recall adding a new LJ/DW sub in ages), our daughter is twenty-five, out of college for a year now, and working a fulltime job as a QA tester at a local software company. She loves it and it seems like a great fit for her. Of course, she's also working from home these days.

Anyway, based on the lack of engagement, some things FB has decided the world shouldn't know about.

1. Goldfinger's fantastic quarantine videos. These are new performances of some of their classic songs, done from 5-8 houses at once. Often featuring many doggos. They're up to seven songs so far, and I love watching them all.

2. Bad Cop/Bad Cop's new song, Pursuit of Liberty. So good. I'm listening to a LOT of punk these days, and we need more contemporary and angry feminist punk bands. I've preordered the new CD, and you should, too.

3. Will Leitch has a great piece about Terry Pendleton and the nature of the MLB MVP compared to other sports. FB doesn't like MLB links if they're not getting money for them, just like with Youtube.

4. I'm reading a TON of mystery/crime these days. The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths, won the Edgar, and while it wasn't my choice (Fake Like Me was sooo good), it's very solid, and has her taking a shot at her own misdeeds from her debut novel, calling out authors who call animals in crime books. The dog in this one, does, in fact, live (which shouldn't be a spoiler to anyone with an understanding of narrative). I've also enjoyed Peter Swanson's slight meta (but really not) Eight Perfect Murders and Elizabeth Little's Pretty as a Picture. I'm reading less SF/F (which has just gotten weaker as a field in recent years), but Jemisin's The City We Became is fantastic, triply so if you're a New Yorker of a fan of Lovecraft who also recognized the problems with his works. And I feel like everyone already knows about Gideon the Ninth, but if you don't, you should. Yes, it's lesbian necromancers in space (dayenu!), but it's also so much more.

Incidentally, FB buries book recs no matter what I do. Links? Dead. Long paragraph with no links? Dead? One sentence? Dead. Three sentences plus a picture of the cover (since they supposedly like pics)? Dead. It's almost impressive.

5. The piece from Outside Magazine (which produces a ton of really good articles and podcasts) on python hunting in Florida is well worth the read.

Will probably post a more life-updatey kind of post later, with the intent of making LJ/DW a real part of my routine. Of course, I may read these words in two years and rue them. Hope everyone -- whoever remains -- is well.