Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2017


What I write here is a rambling stream of thoughts about my time on Facebook. While I've missed contact with my many friends on the site, my thus far short break has been a relief, and I've felt better during the time away. I doubt I can return to FB on the same basis as previously. I was spending far too much there, and, in the end, I was suffering stress from overload. If I could post and pretty much ignore comments, that could work, but I can't. I want to monitor comments to make sure the discussions don't drift into attacks and name-calling on my page.

Also, when my friends take the trouble to read and comment, I feel obliged to return the compliment and read and comment on their pages. Thus, the time problem, and, in the end, Facebook became more of a burden than a pleasure.

Since I've always preferred blogging to Facebook, I'm thinking of taking my writing back to my blog and putting links to my blog posts on FB. A number of my friends will probably not read the posts, and that's okay. Unfortunately, people who have not joined Google tell me they can't leave comments on Blogger. It seems Google has taken over Blogger, and I don't know how to solve the problem. Still, I feel much more comfortable blogging than posting on FB.

I've pretty much made my decision because of the relief I already feel from spending less time and being less active on FB, but it's not set in stone. If I go back to my old ways of posting and commenting on FB, I'll probably soon suffer from stress overload again.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


In a sign of rising tensions over Common Core, state Superintendent of Education John White told Louisiana’s top school board Wednesday that he is being unfairly targeted personally for possible wrongdoing by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration and its allies.

“I am no stranger to politics, and I know that political rhetoric can be heated,” White said in a four-page letter to members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

White sent his letter on the same week that Smith said controversy over Common Core test contracts could spark charges of ethics violations by White and others in the state Department of Education.

Smith cast her concerns in general terms — a posting on Facebook and a telephone interview — and did not offer any documentation.

However, she said unnamed parties are investigating whether employees of the state Department of Education acted improperly.
How low will Governor Jindal sink in his vindictiveness toward his own appointee, Superintendent of Education John White, because of their disagreement over Common Core?

Are there any limits at all to what Kristy Nichols (Commissioner of Administration) will do and say to support her boss and his unbridled ambition? I guess not, or she'd quickly be out of a job, for Jindal brooks no dissent.

Jane Smith, a staunch supporter of the governor, lost her bid for election to a seat in the Louisiana Senate, so Jindal gave her the consolation prize of a seat on BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) to continue the march to destroy public education in Louisiana. Now, Jane Smith resorts to smearing John White by innuendo on Facebook.

Thanks Governor. You and your honchos are a real class act. 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Facebook asks, What's on your mind?"

What's on my mind? I've been reflecting on my Lent that was pretty much non-Lent, followed by a good Holy Week, which I've not yet got together in my head enough to write about.  For Lent, I did not give up anything, nor did I do anything positive that was any different from my daily life. Daily life seems to keep me pretty much occupied and out of trouble - most of the time.  During Holy Week, I attended services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, and it was all good.  We had a nice, quiet Easter Day, which was good, too.

And then there's the ongoing puzzle of prayers I say and hymns I sing, even as I don't really believe all that I pray and sing. What's even odder is that some of my favorite hymns include theology to which I do not subscribe.

That's what is on my mind, Facebook, as though you cared.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Well, there's the Papal Conclave now that distracts me a little from Facebook.

And further about Facebook:
Clicking those friendly blue "like" buttons strewn across the Web may be doing more than marking you as a fan of Coca-Cola or Lady Gaga.

It could out you as gay.

It might reveal how you vote.

It might even suggest that you're an unmarried introvert with a high IQ and a weakness for nicotine.

That's the conclusion of a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers reported analyzing the likes of more than 58,000 American Facebook users to make guesses about their personalities and behavior, and even whether they drank, smoked, or did drugs.

Cambridge University researcher David Stillwell, one of the study's authors, said the results may come as a surprise.

"Your likes may be saying more about you than you realize," he said.
OMG!  I am shocked, I tell ya, just shocked.  Seriously, I realize that by just having a presence on Facebook, I've yielded a huge amount of privacy.  Anyone who cares deeply about privacy should go away from the site and stay away.
Some likes were more revealing than others.

Men who liked TV song-and-dance sensation "Glee" were more likely to be gay. Men who liked professional wrestling were more likely to be straight. Drinking game aficionados were generally more outgoing than, say, fans of fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett. People who preferred pop diva Jennifer Lopez usually gathered more Facebook friends than those who favored the heavy metal sound of Iron Maiden.
Who would ever have expected...?  Heh heh.  So y'all take care out there in the Facebook jungle.

I will never again friend a person who is not at least a friend of a friend, someone with whom I have not one friend in common.  One time was enough to teach me a lesson, and I can't remember why I chose to do so that one time, but it was a mistake. 

Monday, May 21, 2012


Why did Facebook go public?

They couldn't figure out the privacy settings either.
(Don't blame me. Blame Doug.)

Friday, February 25, 2011


Lately, I've thought quite a bit about why I don't visit Facebook often. Many folks with whom I'd like to be in closer touch are there, so why not me? The plain answer is that I don't like the site. When I remember, I visit from time to time to see if major happenings are going on in the lives of people with whom I'd like to keep in touch. More often than not, I expect that I miss major events, because I venture to Facebook all too seldom. I'd actually be off the site were it not the easiest way to keep in touch with certain members of my family.

The reasons that people like Facebook are rather easy to understand. It's a one-stop online location to see what's going on the the lives of Facebook friends. I've thought about why I don't like Facebook, and my best explanation is a metaphor. Visiting Facebook gives me similar feelings to a suggestion for a meet-up in the food court of a shopping mall. I don't like shopping malls, and I like eating in the food court in a shopping mall even less. The place is too busy. There are too many choices, too much noise. The whole atmosphere is just too much. It's the same with Facebook, without the audible noise.

Now the food court in a shopping mall is my metaphor, and I expect that few, if any, will take hold of my metaphor and make it their own. When I walk into a shopping mall, my first impulse is to turn around and walk out. When I click over to Facebook, my first impulse is to click away.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


From the New York Times:
Millions of the moviegoers who made “The Social Network” the top box-office draw of the weekend saw an unflattering portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook.

To many viewers, Mr. Zuckerberg comes off as a callow, socially inept schemer who misled fellow students who had wanted to build an online social network at Harvard and who also pushed out a co-founder of the company. With only a few exceptions — girlfriends and a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm — the names have not been changed to mask identities.

The film’s truthfulness, however, has been strongly questioned in forums like Slate, the online magazine, and The New Republic.
According to the articles in Slate and The New Republic, the movie is inaccurate in its portrayal of Zuckerberg, Harvard, and the founding of Facebook. People who know Mark Zuckerberg personally agree.
And that raises a question: how can filmmakers take liberties with the story of a living person, and does that person have any recourse if the portrayal upsets him? After all, many movies run a legal disclaimer in the credits that says, “Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.”

When it comes to public figures, lawyers say, appropriating someone’s life story for a movie is not so different from telling such details in a news article or printed biography. Politicians have grown used to harsh onscreen treatment, having learned that there is a degree of latitude for inaccuracy and strong protection against libel suits.

Eugene Volokh, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, law school, said that if Mr. Zuckerberg sued and was declared a public figure, he would then “have to show that the filmmakers knew the statements were false, or were reckless about the possibility of falsehood.”

In the Slate article, Nathan Heller, who attended Harvard at the same as Zuckerberg and was acquainted with him, is disappointed in "The Social Network":
The Social Network I saw was a rote and deeply mediocre film, much weaker than the best work of its writer or director. How could I, who should have been sucked deep into that on-screen universe (Mark Zuckerberg was one of the first people I met in college; we lived a couple of rooms apart as freshmen), feel so impervious to the movie's "emblematic" pull?
Of Zuckerberg, Heller says:
There was a sense in 2002 and 2003, in other words, that as a group of people on the verge of cultural maturity, we had little of our own with which to lay claim to the moment—besides, maybe, the social bonds and shorthand that arose from all being in this place together. That is the real beginning of Facebook's rise and the useful measure of Mark Zuckerberg's brilliance. What's often overlooked in recent talk of the Facebook founder's "robot" stiffness or bizarre, officious ideas about online privacy is what a canny and receptive cultural reader he was.
Heller should know. And my concerns about online privacy at Facebook are antediluvian, if not worse. And here I thought I was one of the elders who was keeping up. Good-bye to all that.

Lawrence Lessig, at The New Republic says:
In 2009, Aaron Sorkin (“Sports Night,” “The West Wing”) got (yes, the same word) the idea to write a script for a movie about this new social network. Here’s the important point: He made it. As with every one of his extraordinary works, Sorkin crafted dialogue for an as-yet-not-evolved species of humans—ordinary people, here students, who talk perpetually with the wit and brilliance of George Bernard Shaw or Bertrand Russell. (I’m a Harvard professor. Trust me: The students don’t speak this language.) With that script, and with a massive hand from the film’s director, David Fincher, he helped steer an intelligent, beautiful, and compelling film through to completion. You will see this movie, and you should. As a film, visually and rhythmically, and as a story, dramatically, the work earns its place in the history of the field.

But as a story about Facebook, it is deeply, deeply flawed. As I watched the film, and considered what it missed, it struck me that there was more than a hint of self-congratulatory contempt in the motives behind how this story was told. Imagine a jester from King George III’s court, charged in 1790 with writing a comedy about the new American Republic. That comedy would show the new Republic through the eyes of the old. It would dress up the story with familiar figures—an aristocracy, or a wannabe aristocracy, with grand estates, but none remotely as grand as in England. The message would be, “Fear not, there’s no reason to go. The new world is silly at best, deeply degenerate, at worst.”
Was I so affected by the movie because I share somewhat in Sorkin's self-congratulatory contempt of Facebook? Because I view the website through the eyes of the old?

Why am I giving so much time and thought to the movie? Why do I continue to bang on about it on my blog? Am I obsessed? I confess that I don't know. I know one thing. I'm still a presence on Facebook, but I don't quite approve of my being there. The website is useful for keeping in touch with family members and friends, but there is something that I truly dislike about Facebook, and seeing the movie played into that antipathy.

And it's a little disturbing for me to find myself out of sync with 500 billion people, with 1/14 of the population of the entire world.

Photo of the real Mark Zuckerberg from Wikipedia.