Author - Paul Schatzkin

Why I Got Off Facebook

It’s been almost a year since I deactivated my Facebook account (in June, 2021) – so I guess this is long overdue, but now that I have embarked on “My Dunbar Project I suppose a bit of retro-perspective is in order.

I stopped using Facebook for three reasons:

 1. Vanquishing the ‘Poke and Scroll.’  Anybody who has ever used social media recognizes the impulse:  you poke at the screen and scroll to the next thing, and the next thing, and all the things after that. Surely the next thing will satisfy the craving.  Sound familiar? This compulsive behavior is not a bug, it’s the whole fucking point of social media: to keep you on the platform.  Maybe others have better self-control, but it’s not a safe temptation for anybody who is even slightly OCD (and in the digital era, who is not?) – or recovering alcoholic types.

2. The environment is a toxic swamp.  Yes, services like Facebook have their merits, even if it’s often just an illusion of connection more than the real thing.  But much what passes for ‘conversation’ on Facebook quickly descends in to chaos and rage.  What’s the slogan, “if it enrages, it engages” (which brings us back to point #1 above).  The stated mission of Facebook is “a more open and connected world.”  But it’s actual purpose, it’s business model, is to keep people using the site and hoovering up as much personal data as possible and then capitalizing on that data.  Which brings us to reason #3:

3.  In the digital economy, we are all vassals and peasants: I’ve written about this before, and others have expressed it more eloquently than I ever will:

“when the service is free – then you are the product”

Every minute that we spend uploading ‘content’ – photos, posts, comments, replies – to social media, we are supplying our labor for free while unimaginable wealth rises to the top of the pyramid.  I suppose it was ever thus, wealth has always ascends in one form or another.  And sure, there are some who make their living plowing the digital fields of social media.  But as long as I’m one of the unpaid peasants, I’ll toil in my own non-remunerative fields, thank you very much.

That’s it in a nutshell.  And while I can say that I don’t miss the whole poke-and-scroll-enragement-feudal-environment, I do miss the occasional brush with people I actually care about.

If you might be one of those people, then please check out My Dunbar Project  and fill out the form.

And if you have any doubt about how pernicious this Neo Feudal Digital State is, then watch the entirety of this expose by John Oliver (April 10, 2022).  By all means keep posting and commenting, but don’t kid yourself what’s really going on:


 

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Hello…. What’s This?

And…. who are all you people?

For the past ten years or so, I have been using  MailChimp to send out an automated “Weekly Digest” of things I posted to my personal (i.e. vanity) website/blog, CohesionArts.com.

When I looked my MailChimp account recently, there were ~500 subscribers to the list.  I found about 150 obvious ‘bot’ subscribers.  After purging those I still have about 350 names on the list.

When I look through that list… I have no idea who most of the subscribers are.  And I suspect a lot of them are still bots.

I mention this for a couple of reasons.  First, I got off Facebook last year, and now I am making a genuine effort to find my tribe outside the feudal (and futile?) estates of ‘social’ media.

Hence the question… who are you people??

If you’re real, this might be a good time to identify yourself somehow.  Try sending message to this email address and I’ll make sure you’re added to the ‘Dunbar List‘ (no need to resubscribe if you’re already getting the automated emails).

The other thing that’s going on here is a rebranding.

I’ve dropped the “Cohesion Arts” domain and now everything has been relocated to IncorrigibleArts.com.

“CohesionArts” was something I came up with when I thought my then-future-ex-wife and I  were going to do photography projects together. Well, that never happened, and the marriage itself went the way of 50% of all marriages three years ago.

Besides, I’ve never been entirely coherent or cohesive (if you doubt that, read my second book).

But I’ve always been incorrigible.

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Signs of the Season 4

I took myself to Cheekwood yesterday…

… and aimed my macro lens into some tulips.

 

 

Signs of the Season

Looks like we’ve survived another winter.  It’s not entirely over yet, there is still a week until the Equinox and there is even snow in the forecast for the coming weekend, but one day it’s just buds, and the next day it’s leaves.  So something is still right in the universe, even if everything is going off the rails here on Earth.

Look Up Ahead…

…there’s a hole in the clouds!

I think this has been the coldest winter I can remember since moving to Nashville… ohmigod, 28 years ago.

There hasn’t been much snow to speak of.  We had our one annual ‘winter precipitation’ event back in January, a few inches of snow that stayed on the ground for a couple of days until the sun came out.

What’s notable about this winter is just the daily temperatures seem lower than I recall.  I’m sorta thinking daily temps during these months are in the 30s and 40s.  This year it seems like the 20s and 30s, and often in the teens when I go out for my 2-3 miles ‘morning constitutional.

And this past week has been just one cold, grey day after another.  And that’s just when it wasn’t raining buckets.

I guess the good news is it has stayed warm enough that there hasn’t been any snow.  I know a lot of people like it when it snows.  I like it too… until I have to go somewhere.  It’s the mix of snow and travel that I find un-tempting. Of course that hasn’t been much of a problem over the past month, since I haven’t really had any place to go

Anyway… I went out this morning around 7:30 for a three-miler, and as I was walking across Lone Oak Drive about a half mile from my house, I saw the strangest damn thing: an actual patch of blue in the sky!

And whenever that happens, I immediately start thinking of this song by John Smith:

Look up ahead… there’s hole in the clouds.

And, hallelujah, it looks like we’ve got some sunshine to look forward to in the week ahead.

I hope I can find some place to go, it’s been too long since I’ve had the top down…

 

A Sunny Saturday

I made this picture of the studio in the back of my house last Saturday, February 19, 2002.

That might have been the last time anybody in these parts saw the sun.  It has been cold and grey, wet and dreary ever since.  Winter.

All of my websites have been offline for a week, thanks to GoDaddy.  It’s a long story .  The TL;dr version is: we tried to upgrade our sight, GoDaddy botched the transition and it took them a week to figure out how badly they’d fucked it up and fix it.

It’s fixed, so enjoy this week old memory of sunshine.