Hi there. If you're reading this, it's either because you know me or you spend way too much time hitting "I'm feeling lucky" on Google. Either way, welcome.

Illumination is a perpetual work in progress, so please pardon our dust. The intent of the place is to provide space where I can lay down my thoughts and observations about the world around me and the things I do. That means it could be filled with nearly anything, from silly accounts of my gaming antics to thoughtful political discussion and anything in-between.

Whatever it turns out to be, please have a look around. It's only a few minutes of your day and you might find something worth your time. If you see something you like, leave a comment and let me know.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

LAWS (on the Migratory Patterns of Modern Man)

I’m destined to become one of those crazy, wild-eyed extreme survivalist the-government-is-out-to-get-me types. I’m sure of it. One of these days, something is going to become the last straw and I’m going to calmly shut down my computer(s), turn off all the lights, grab by pre-prepared kit, sling a rifle over my shoulder and disappear into the mountains.

That, of course, is assuming the dam doesn’t go, or the mountain doesn’t pop, or the zompocalypse doesn’t spur it on a little earlier.

I avoid social networking sites.  A blog is about as far as I’ll dive into the bizarro-world that is that particular aspect of the Wired. I’m well aware of what Facebook can do, and that somebody on Twitter scooped that 737 that went down in the Hudson a while back, and I respect the capabilities of these networks… I just want nothing to do with them.

I’m pleased with the fact that Google doesn’t know my real name, and that knowing my various handles simply leads one around in a recursive series of links that ultimately take you back to the beginning of your search. I don’t want people to be able to do to me what I’ve done in the past and, taking only a name and a city of residence, find the phone number and home address of a man whose kneecaps I’d not mind removing.[1]

Call it paranoid, call it groundless, call it whatever you like, but that’s how I feel on the matter. That’s part of why I’m here: apart from my little rant above about the “scene,” I’m also rather strongly against many of the other little things companies try in the course of their marketing schemes. Things like the mandatory ads that Livejournal implemented a few weeks back.

Okay; I get that advertising dollars is what allows sites to offer free services. I’m fine with that. But I can’t help but wonder how much more effective an undismissible, unskippable banner or video in the center of the screen really is compared to a simple banner across the top or down the side of the page. That’s what LJ started doing and it’s a large contribution to why I chose now to migrate to Blogger which, for the moment, has no such nonsense.

I understand I’m ranting for the sake of ranting on this one and breaking one of the core tenets I set before myself in using this space, but it’s frakking annoying.

It’s damaging, too. I know more than a few people who’ve flunked out of school or gotten in trouble at or fired from their jobs because of too much time spent obsessively playing Farmville and not enough time, y’know, working. It’s as bad as the doomsayers would have you believe WoW is.

I just don’t get the appeal. So, if you’re plodding along one day in the future and think to yourself hey, whatever happened to that Straylight guy? He just kinda up and vanished… well, all you’ll need to do is think back to this post, and you’ll know.

Of course, by then we could be in the middle of a nightmarish invasion of the living dead[2], so your mileage may vary on that one. C’est la vie!

[1] – despite how that sounds, I did actually have a legitimate reason for looking the man up. Come to think of it, n of you still owe me a favor for that one, where n is an integer greater than one. You know who you are, you know what I want, you know how to get it to me. Pay up, kids.

[2] – Rule #2 is my favorite. Teehee.

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