Archiving our anxious fears as precious artifact
We make a Story
Stripped to bare words encoding our natures faiths and selves
These and all in grit and grim warning
Bleak grey hued rough hewn the view from future's window
Staring eyes in hope forlorn
Dust and ash the gifts our benefactors leave in progress' wake
Every memory and bright treasure stripped melted for coin
Mechanized servant eaters of all growing green feeling loving things
If not fled are fed
The shining things from heart head and gut once born now consumed
Our inner voice fed back become lies so sterile and ape'd
Semi-sentient vastly parasitic the collectives cancerous intent to only grow
Choked full on us it is us in the mill in the dirty grist
The fluttering trembling lights only ours to give are drowned in grasping dark
In mirrored certainty the self-satisfied boast ignorance toast ignorance
Read our troubled Story and see
Are0h is one of the main drivers behind a ground-breaking social media presence called Play Vicious (now defunct). Over on his blog he’s telling the story of Play Vicious and the challenges he, MarciaX, and the site’s members faced.
I had long become accustomed to navigating primarily white and male spaces, the demographic over-represented in the tech industry, so I had a frame of reference for what to expect as I logged into my first Mastodon instance.
Looking back, I can’t say it was a terrible experience overall, but what surprised me was how concentrated the monoculture of white men of various tech skill levels present. It was aggressively white.
I’m one of the cishet white dudes that populate the spaces that Ro is talking about. I’ve tried over the years to be pull in more and more voices from outside that bubble though, including some time where PV was one of my main social spaces. I didn’t say much, I just tried to follow along and get a sense of what folks were talking about and where they were coming from – and I count myself fortunate that Ro and MarciaX were always welcoming.
Since returning to the mastodon/fediverse (with Twitter’s enflamé) I’ve been keeping my eyes out for how and where I can be a more effective advocate for making the fediverse a more safe space; still with a main goal to doing a lot of listening rather than speaking.
When people praise the lack of #viral content on Mastodon (or the #fediverse in general), it’s seems to be mostly white tech folks, happy for our clever bubbles to be left alone.
But for people who desperately need to be seen and heard, going viral on Twitter is one of the only ways for their stories to get told. #BlackLivesMatter, oppression in the middle east, genocides in Rwanda and South Asia, the #metoo movement – these movements couldn’t be ignored because they grew fast and visibly, making it hard for them to be ignored, dismissed, or covered up.
The Fediverse as it exists right now would see these movements isolated, defederated, gated by content warnings, and probably DDOS’d by bad actors running malicious instances. (“Mal-odons”?)
I guess right now I don’t want to see posts and think pieces about how “content can’t go viral” on the Fediverse (whether or not it’s true) is only a net-positive. For all its faults Twitter has been a positive force for social change and visibility in millions of people’s lives.
We must learn from it and ask how — if we are going to make a case for the Fediverse as an alternative to Twitter — we can be better while not throwing those of us in the most need back to the wolves.
What with Twitter (aka birdsite, hellsite, muskosite) flailing in the clammy hands of Dr. No, and interest in the federated web re-emerging, I figured it was time to review my own web presence and see what was the situation.
Dear reader, it was Not Good.
Warning one was hitting this site from my work network and getting a BitDefender screen of doom saying the site was serving a keylogger. NOT GOOD.
Then the site - which was hosted on Linode and runs my own homegrown blog software, Goldfrog - went completely down. After some “where did those ssh keys get to, where is this thing anyway” I got logged in and figured out that my server had been hacked in some way, TLS and letsencrypt removed. I haven’t had time to troll the logs for evidence as to how the server was accessed, but I downloaded them and have them set aside to look later.
We Can Rebuild It
Thus entered a week of figuring out once again how the heck Monkinetic is built and deployed, migrating the code from Github to Gitlab (which I’m more familiar with due to $dayjob), and refactoring the Ansible code that builds the server and deploys the blog/content.
Finally today I got it 85% done, which is pretty good for a full migration between hosting providers (I also moved from Linode to Digital Ocean where I already have some other services).
With the insanity on Twitter, I logged back into my Mastodon account on toot.cafe and enjoyed the huge stream of new folks migrating from Twitter to federated platforms (mostly to mastodon.social since that’s the first/largest instance, but folks are making their way from there to smaller instances as they get more comfortable).
Apparently Mastodon 4.0 is out (release candidate) and they’ve changed the annoying-until-it-was-gone “Toot” to “Publish”. I’d have preferred “Post” myself, but 🤷♀️.
In 8th grade my Art teacher recommended I pursue (somewhat disdainfully I suspect) “commercial art” (graphic design, in the 70s) because I loved straight lines and geometric shapes. If only she’d studied Hilda af Klint, Paul Klee, and other abstract artists, I might be an artist right now instead of a computer nerd 🤣 #notlikely