How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flown.
How did it get so late so soon?
– Dr. Seuss
It has been a few weeks since I sent one of these updates. I thought I would write one last month. Like all writers, I, too, have developed a penchant for procrastination. It is a deadly affliction, especially if your think in words and write to bring order to your inner self. So this morning, when a 4.0 Earthquake woke me up, I knew I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I took it as a cue to sit down and write this quick note.
Over the past few weeks, I have been busy playing with new technologies and jotting down ideas for future (longer) pieces. It is a much better use of time and a good distraction from the shit show around us. Twitter, in particular, is a dumpster fire. And while I am not on Mastodon (yet,), I might set up a personal instance and tinker with it over the holidays.
Mastodon, in itself, isn’t novel, as it mimics Twitter. The idea of Fediverse and, by extension, ActivityPub, are interesting because they hark back to an early vision of the web, one that wasn’t dominated by the “centralized attention” economy. I feel there is a big opportunity for WordPress (my blog publishing system) to give a push to Fediverse and ActivityPub. More on that in a future communique.
In case you missed some of the recent writing, here are a few links.
- Fusion is here, and it is, and it isn’t a big deal. Here is why.
- As Trevor Noah explains, Context Matters.
- Big media is stuck in the past & can’t embrace the future. And we, the customers, suffer—my misadventures with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN.
- And I make a case for leaving Spotify.
December is almost half done, though I am just getting started. Winter months are my favorite time of the year — when I take my camera and head out wherever there is snow.
And now for some recommendations:
- If you are looking for a nice, calm (cozy) crime series to view this holiday season, I highly recommend Three Pines, which is based on a novel by Louise Penny and stars Alfred Molina. Molina is just such a great pick for the role of Chief Inspector Armand Ganache. It is spectacular viewing and free to watch for Amazon Prime members.
- If you are in London and are looking for a modernist twist on Indian cuisine, I highly recommend Bibi. Great ambiance, a fresh take on food and flavors I am familiar with, without pandering or diluting the originals.
- Closer to home in San Francisco, check out El Rey Taquiza Artesanal, which has a fresh (and I mean really fresh) take on Mexican food. I have been there a dozen times already and have never been disappointed.
- If you are on Mac, you should check out Arc, a new, simpler, modern take on the Chrome browser. It is kinder to your computers than the junk Google puts on the market. There is a waiting list.
- I got rid of Google search and replaced it with Neeva. It is a new search engine built by Google Search team members. For me, it has been worth switching.
PS: Please visit the website more often and catch up on my short posts, recommendations, and photos. You can leave comments and start a conversation now that we are avoiding Twitter.
Updated on May 27, 2022: In December 2022, I recommended trying out El Rey Taquiza Artesanal. Fast forward five months, I take it back. The quality has gone down drastically enough for me to stop visiting. It is easy to do things right the first time around. It is much harder to keep the quality consistent for long periods of time.
December 17, 2022
8 thoughts on “A December Note”
I’m all in on Post.News. Mastodon not user friendly enough.
I have been on Post but I find the whole idea of replicating Twitter a bit tedious 😂
Come on over to Mastodon, we’ll all be waiting for you there! In the meantime, keep the 📰 newsletter going… 👍👍👍📰📰📰
In time 🙂 For now the newsletter keeps me sane.
Season’s greetings, Om.
I’ve poked around with Mastodon and the Fediverse in the past, and can see the potential in both, but for now I’m focusing on getting back into a regular blogging habit over on my own site. I share your hope that WordPress can play a part in growing both the Fediverse and ActivityPub — while the WordPress platform is not without faults, it remains something that I enjoy working with and writing in, particularly so with the Gutenberg editor and full-site editing becoming more mature.
Your comment about Arc reminded me of the recent NYT article about the ‘teen Luddites’ forsaking social media and smartphones, and responses I’ve read from various bloggers. Changing your browser, or moving to another social network, or swapping your smartphone for a flip-phone, may seem to be easy & quick fixes for the problems we see, but lasting change comes from confronting and changing our own behaviour, recognising bad habits and working to replace them with better ones.
I see way too many people going all-in on some new app or service in hope it’ll improve their life, only to give up after a while, or worse get lured by yet another app or service. This past year, I’ve been learning how to get the best use out of the tools I already have, and only getting new ones if they’ll be genuinely beneficial.
I don’t disagree with making changes to our behaviors. Sadly, it is easier said than done. I think just trying to be a good blogger — aka writing regularly is a big thing and a habit/behavior. I find myself not doing it, because I lost the habit. Anyway, for me, ARC is great when having to use “Chrome,” but I am fairly comfortable with Safari. Not the best, but good enough. I do think ARC has some good product features and is pushing the browser experience forward. It is definitely a welcome addition to the browser landscape and, thus worth recommending.
Love to hear from you, and some interesting tech changes by you. I also love three pines and am now getting my wife hooked on it.
Have a great Christmas and New Year.
I think we are in the middle of a shift for the Internet itself, and we are going to start to see some changes in how the “older” Internet evolves and how a “newer” internet emerges. Recent emphasis has been on reigniting the older Internet paradigms. I am more keen on how the kids in the future will be using the “network” and adapting to a different information reality that goes beyond the keyboard and static screens.
PS: So good to learn that you like Three Pines. What a delightful little show it is 🙂
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