Thursday, July 30, 2020


Would you consider posting this on your website on blogger? 
You have readers all over the world - some may not yet have realised they need to email you ? 

On Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 22:45 Mary Scriver, <> wrote:
Dear friends,

This is a sort of letter to those who would like to be on an email group mailing list.  You already know that I want out of Blogger because I can’t read their pale thin font and because I’ve lost trust.  I had thought they were more permanent, which turns out to be a universal human misapprehension.  NOTHING is forever.

I started looking at Medium by watching YouTube interviews with Ev Williams, who founded Blogger, Twitter and Medium.  I like the way he thought.  It was a good place to start.

Most of the things that frustrate me are true of all the social media.  They demonstrated a structural social prejudice, pretty much like that on many levels across the USA.  Everything is predicated on readers who are coastal, urban, educated, young, prosperous and up for tech.  In fact, they seem to be more educated on tech stuff than on content.  Yet Ev Williams had wanted good content.

He says, and I agree, that Facebook is much better able to serve people whose values are family rather than education or sophistication.  This entirely neglects the evil aspect of Facebook, which I will ignore here.  I think it is true, but also if some platform for video operated in the way Twitter does — short bits and images — meant for family even not English speakers and non-print people could be very successful.  A sort of YouTube for individuals.  You Tube is great for dummies like me, because I learn so much about fixit technique and so on.  I see that much of it — esp. cooking — is already ethnic.

This idea of going oral also solves some of my problem with fonts, which is mostly that they are too thin and pale for my old eyes.  In fact, I’ve read essays about how this is a mistaken aesthetic — that increased imperceptibility is somehow higher class.  It reminds me of my mother’s conviction that anything narrow is more aristocratic, notably her shoe size and the width of her ear eustacian tubes.

Parallel to creating websites that accommodate different demographies, awareness of which is always increasing as the pressure of the people who need them mounts, is the problem of the intermediary instruments that “play” them.  Already I am prevented from signing up for the Medium Partner program that shares payment with writers because I don’t have a cell phone.  All pay transactions have to go through cell phones.

My carefully saved 8 tracks can only be seen as long as I keep the 8-track player.  Already my CD’s are out of date.  I’m being pushed to the Cloud, which is totally misnamed and vulnerable, being a massive warehoused datebase near a river for cooling.
I wonder how practical it might be to permit parallel simpler platforms on Medium or Blogger.  I don’t need graphs and computations.  Just clean print.  But techies love to elaborate.  Content to them is like those babbles for making examples of forms.   Could there be platforms like WriteNow once was, simple and ideal for people who work with print, literary, no emoticons.

As everywhere in this culture, the quality of content is dictated solely by what sells.  This means that what is purported to be the decisions and subjects of the writer is really the taste of the overlord, whether called publisher or curator.  And that, in turn, is really the taste of the culture — as though it were one taste, one definition of quality.

Ev Williams talks about feedback loops.  What he’s really talking about is forces for conformity from the larger culture who express what they want through looking and clicking.

Feedback loops do not respond to morality or progression into the future.  

This is what I know so far.

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