March 27, 2018

Kicking That Shit To The Curb Where It Belongs...

by Chris Randall

Hey, kids! Long time no talk. And there's a reason for that. As my interaction on and with Facebook went up, my interaction with the real internet went down. That "service" -- and I use the term loosely, because they, like Google, are an advertising agency whose entire reason for having their platform at all is to sell ads -- sucks all the air out of the room, to the point where my creativity can't breath, and I'm not doing the things I normally like to do because I'm busy arguing with some fucking dolt in East Nowheresville about constitutional law.

So last week, I deleted my FB account and the Audio Damage and Sister Machine Gun pages I administer. Adam and I had a brief discussion about leaving the AD page up, but the ROI for a Facebook page is not great unless that's your entire means of dealing with your customer base. Also, the hypocrisy of leaving the AD page there when I personally won't use the site for mostly moral reasons was not lost on us. As I told some friends yesterday, we may take a financial hit for losing that promotional avenue, but on the other hand, my quality-of-life immediately increased, in a noticeable fashion, and what is money for if not to improve your quality of life? So net gain all around.

I've had to quit other addictions in the past, and literally as soon as I pressed the "delete account" button (it really is that simple) I felt the hole that I'm used to. But like most people with addictive personalities, I knew it for what it was, and am able to deal with it in the same way I've dealt with others. Weirdly, there's a physical habit associated with it that was somewhat harder to break than the mental one. I would normally open a browser, and blam-blam-blam Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. To have one of those missing is very strange at first. I found myself scrolling to the spot where the bookmark lived fairly frequently for the first couple days, and experienced actual, palpable disappointment when it wasn't there. But this passed quickly under the weight of my self-righteousness (which, I think we can agree, is the most powerful drug of all).

In any event, those of you that follow me on Twitter have no doubt noticed my activity there has increased noticeably, and I believe you can safely expect this site to get back to its previous grandeur, with the caveat that I can't really bag on other companies' gear any more (I know too many people in this business now). So the focus of AI will be creativity and trends in music tech, which were the other two points of the Conjoined Tripod Of Success, at least as far as blogs of this sort go. No, I didn't delete my Instagram account. I am, apparently, something of a hypocrite. One final note: I plan to put my non-music-tech meanderings on Steemit. While that "service" (does that word apply to a blockchain-based system?) is a fucking epic Level 9000 circle jerk when it comes to matters cryptological, it's actually a fairly good analog for a blog, and its theoretical permanence is a desirable trait. So if you want to see me write about the other things that interest me (travel, making shit, gardening, etc.) that's where I'll be doing it.



Mar.27.2018 @ 9:33 AM
dj empirical
I suspect I'm not far behind you. And anyway, the "page" thing is a joke, as you said regarding ROI; I've had page posts get fewer "views" than if I'd printed out the post and tacked it to the Whole Foods bulletin board, so there's not much I get out of those pages anyway.

Mar.27.2018 @ 2:22 PM
And here was I thinking I'd just failed to survive your most recent "friend cull"... :) (Which I guess in a sense is in fact what happened.) In other news, this page is rendering with all the text in Times Roman rather than Museo Slab (in Chrome on both Windows 10 and macOS).

Mar.27.2018 @ 4:43 PM
Chris Randall
You have something against Times New Roman, John?


Mar.27.2018 @ 7:54 PM
Fortunately, a facebook dependency never really took root for me. I was a late adopter as it was, quit once, reluctantly rejoined (ostensibly for API development) but I don't think I made it much more than a 6 months that time. This was probably, what?, 6, 8 years ago? It was less about the data I knew facebook was compiling about me (tho' I was pretty sketched out by it), and more the drama and superficiality that made it so decidedly unappealing. That first quitting, where I not only deleted my account, I went back through my history and untagged & unpublished *everything*, that was driven by sheer ennui & depression. An distant friend who I had only "reconnected with" had killed himself, and seeing how social media had resembled itself in his absence, how I didn't really know him at all despite being "connected", made me reassess what I was getting out of it. Plus there was all this gossipy shit that was all tied up with people I knew locally; all that passive aggressive non-verbal stuff that everyone is always trying to sort through. So many tales of interpersonal drama I've witnessed start with "I was on facebook..."

Being off it you really do see how pervasive it has been in flatting the web. Entire shows & events & parties blow by you because everyone just assumes that because they've created an event or calendar they've fully reached their full potential market. On the other hand, if you're old and cranky and don't particularly like going out all that much it's a great way to avoid having to say no.

Anyway, that's my stock anti-facebook rant. Also, I, too, am carving an exception for myself with instagram, but since it's the weird social aspect of facebook I find distasteful I don't care much that Zuckerberg can see my record collection.

Mar.27.2018 @ 9:15 PM
Chris Randall
Yeah, we're in accord. This is the second time I've deleted my account entirely. The first time was after maybe 8 months of use, and I saw it for what it really was. (And discovered that family members who I thought were pretty dope were, in fact, dopes.) After a couple years, my sister guilted me in to rejoining to keep in touch with my nieces. I stuck it out as long as I could, but it has always stuck in my craw. I had been talking about bailing before these latest revelations, but they really drove home what an awful situation that company has created. (And, like most technically literate people, it was no surprise to me; we learned about Cambridge and their finger on the scales in Sept. '16.)


Mar.28.2018 @ 7:45 AM
The blog post where I first learned about this:

link []

22 January 2017.

I honestly thought it was going to be buried in the deluge of shady shit from the new administration. So... yea?

Mar.28.2018 @ 8:35 AM
Chris Randall
If I had my Facebook feed (natch) I could find the exact article I first read about it, because I immediately shared and liked and sproinged or whatever. But the day of the election I got in a lengthy argument with one of my uncles about it (after he shared some "hard-hitting journalism" about Democrats and I did a quick bit of research and discovered the site and writer were in Venezuela). So I definitely knew about Cambridge and their ways before then.

In any event, let's not talk about them any more. Fuck those people.


Mar.29.2018 @ 6:08 AM

Looking forward to reading about the Rhodes restoration.

Mar.29.2018 @ 1:27 PM
I'm really happy you're doing posts on this blog again. Too bad about not slagging off other companies and their gear anymore but'll creep back in, I'm sure.

If not, well, I guess talking about creativity must be good, too (dunno about that though).




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