When Things Become Bizarre

Welcome to August.

As you could see from my last post, there have been changes afoot. We're effectively in a state of freefall at my job right now. The normal progression of events would have me place on seasonal release otherwise known as furlough about now already. Due to a wide-ranging set of factors beyond my control, we barely know week-to-week what is going on. It is considered to be a bad economic situation to "live paycheck to paycheck" in US life but it is even worse when you have no idea about the status of your job week to week. Being unable to plan means I can't even pursue an off-season job or look for freelance work yet. My proficiency in LaTeX is improving, at least, as evidence by the maintenance of my main static website at http://erielookingproductions.info.

There have been some stressors at work. Our enterprise WAN almost collapsed outright last week. Due to legislative changes, we're having to fit in massive retraining with very little time available and no ability to totally down tools for such training. We have difficult days ahead potentially. If appropriations go haywire, none of this may matter. The countdown clock is running on what the Senate and House of Representatives may manage.

Partial OggCamp website screenshot

This also means I cannot travel to OggCamp. Essentially I have to stay within close range of my Post of Duty right now. Leave grants may be getting revoked soon. Getting shifted over to mandatory training status shortly makes that happen when the stakes are becoming as high as they are right now. Nobody has said this yet at work: "Failure Is Not An Option." With senior ranks in the chain of command coming to the Post of Duty in less than a week, we'll be learning how close things are to running aground. What makes me feel worse is that this was the year I specifically made provision to travel to England. Moving up the ranks at work means I can't escape responsible roles because I'm slowly becoming one of the persons others look up to because everybody else at my rank has either retired or left.

I have been working on an article. It has been a while since I pitched anywhere. I have to check the clock to see if it has run out on the pitch. Once upon a time I had been a working journalist in print. There are four days left on the clock before I try other options. With a link to an old effort from 2012 that brings back some memories, I offer some of the citations I'm working from to write the article:

Amatulli, Jenna. “Spotify Pulls Radio Show Episodes By InfoWars’ Alex Jones After Widespread Complaints.” Huffington Post, August 1, 2018, sec. Media. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/spotify-infowars-alex-jones_us_5b61c4d2e4b0b15aba9ec86e.

Badawy, Adam, Kristina Lerman, and Emilio Ferrara. “Who Falls for Online Political Manipulation?” ArXiv:1808.03281 [Physics], August 9, 2018. http://arxiv.org/abs/1808.03281.

Beschizza, Rob. “Tech Platforms Quit Alex Jones and InfoWars.” Boing Boing, August 6, 2018. https://boingboing.net/2018/08/06/tech-platforms-quit-alex-jones.html.

Brown, Elizabeth Nolan. “Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet.” Reason.com, July 31, 2018. https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/31/democrats-tech-policy-plans-leaked.

Cellan-Jones, Rory. “Facebook, ITunes and Spotify Drop InfoWars.” BBC News, August 6, 2018, sec. Technology. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45083684.

Crowe, Jack. “Facebook Deletes Infowars Page, Apple Deletes All Alex Jones Podcasts.” National Review (blog), August 6, 2018. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/facebook-deletes-infowars-page-apple-deletes-all-alex-jones-podcasts/.

“Enforcing Our Community Standards | Facebook Newsroom.” Accessed August 6, 2018. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/08/enforcing-our-community-standards/.

Gilmer, Marcus. “Facebook Deletes 4 Pages Belonging to Alex Jones and InfoWars.” Mashable, August 6, 2018. https://mashable.com/2018/08/06/facebook-bans-alex-jones-pages/.

Glaser, April. “Apple and Spotify Just Did to Alex Jones What Facebook Wouldn’t.” Slate Magazine, August 6, 2018. https://slate.com/technology/2018/08/apple-and-spotify-are-now-both-blocking-infowars-and-alex-jones-podcasts.html.

Gold, Ashley. “Facebook Removes 4 Pages Owned by InfoWars’ Alex Jones.” POLITICO, August 6, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/06/facebook-removes-infowars-pages-alex-jones-764590.

Gore, Leada. “Alex Jones Infowars: Facebook, Apple Remove Podcasts, Pages from Controversial Host.” AL.com, August 6, 2018. https://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/08/alex_jones_infowars_facebook_a.html.

Hern, Alex. “Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify Ban Infowars’ Alex Jones.” The Guardian, August 6, 2018, sec. Technology. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/aug/06/apple-removes-podcasts-infowars-alex-jones.

Hernandez. “The War Against InfoWars and Free Speech.” Victory Girls Blog (blog), August 6, 2018. http://victorygirlsblog.com/the-war-against-infowars-and-free-speech/.

Johnson, Bridget. “Homeland Security Officials: White Supremacist Extremists Skirting Social Media Bans.” Homeland Security (blog), August 7, 2018. https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/homeland-security-officials-white-supremacist-extremists-skirting-social-media-bans/.

Kreps, Daniel. “Apple Removes Alex Jones, ‘Infowars’ Podcasts From Apps.” Rolling Stone (blog), August 6, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/apple-removes-alex-jones-infowars-podcasts-from-apps-706764/.

Legaspi, Althea. “Spotify Pulls Episodes of Infowars’ ‘Alex Jones Show’ Podcast.” Rolling Stone (blog), August 2, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/spotify-pulls-episodes-of-infowars-alex-jones-show-podcast-705812/.

McKay, Rich. “Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify Take down Alex Jones Content.” Reuters, August 6, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-infowars/apple-removes-most-of-u-s-conspiracy-theorists-podcasts-from-itunes-idUSKBN1KR0MZ.

Meza, Summer. “Facebook Finally Cracks down on Alex Jones and Infowars.” The Week, August 6, 2018. http://theweek.com/speedreads/788787/facebook-finally-cracks-down-alex-jones-infowars.

Morris, Chris. “Facebook Bans Several Pages From Alex Jones and Infowars.” Fortune, August 6, 2018. http://fortune.com/2018/08/06/facebook-bans-alex-jones-infowars-hate-speech/.

Neidig, Harper. “Facebook Deletes InfoWars Pages.” TheHill, August 6, 2018. http://thehill.com/policy/technology/400512-facebook-deletes-infowars-pages.

Paczkowski, John, and Charlie Warzel. “Apple Kicked Alex Jones Off Its Platform Then YouTube And Facebook Rushed To Do The Same.” BuzzFeed News, August 6, 2018. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/johnpaczkowski/apple-is-removing-alex-jones-and-infowars-podcasts-from.

Palladino, Valentina. “Alex Jones Hit with Bans from Facebook and Apple.” Ars Technica, August 6, 2018. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/08/alex-jones-hit-with-bans-from-facebook-and-apple/.

Russell, Jon. “Apple Has Removed Infowars Podcasts from ITunes.” TechCrunch (blog), August 6, 2018. http://social.techcrunch.com/2018/08/05/apple-has-removed-infowars-podcasts-from-itunes/.

Ryan, Jackson. “Apple Drops Alex Jones and Infowars from ITunes, Podcast App.” CNET, August 6, 2018. https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-has-dropped-alex-jones-and-infowars-from-itunes-podcasts/.

Simon, Roger L. “InfoWars and the Rise of the Tech Fascists.” Roger L. Simon (blog), August 6, 2018. https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/infowars-and-the-rise-of-the-tech-fascists/.

Watson, Paul Joseph. “Facebook Bans Infowars. Permanently. Infowars Was Widely Credited with Playing a Key Role in Getting Trump Elected. This Is a Co-Ordinated Move Ahead of the Mid-Terms to Help Democrats. This Is Political Censorship.  This Is Culture War.Https://Www.Infowars.Com/Purged-Facebook-Permanently-Bans-Infowars-for-Hate-Speech/ ….” Tweet. @PrisonPlanet (blog), August 6, 2018. https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/1026433061469257733.

Yilek, Caitlin. “‘Survival of Our Democracy’ Depends on Banning Sites like InfoWars, Dem Senator Says.” Washington Examiner, August 7, 2018. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/survival-of-our-democracy-depends-on-banning-sites-like-infowars-democratic-senator-says.

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Social Media Presences Terminated So Far Today

Some people have been wondering where I've been online. In conformance to some "employee protection" orders at work, I've had to begin terminating various & sundry bits of online presence. These sorts of orders are such that I do eventually have to obey them.

My Twitter account is gone. I currently have no active presence there.

My Flickr account is gone. I currently have no active presence there.

My account on the Mastodon network via SDF.org has been gone for some time. If you've been looking for me there that account isn't being restored any time soon.

My account on Quitter.se is as good as gone considering I can't even get a ping response back from that system. After all, this is what I get from attempting a ping:

 $ ping quitter.se
 PING quitter.se (193.180.164.105) 56(84) bytes of data.
 ^C
 --- quitter.se ping statistics ---
 811 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 829416ms

My pump.io account on Identica is locked in "Hotel California" mode and cannot be terminated by me at this time. That's probably a good thing. The pump.io network still exists, ya know.

Additionally, I've been getting tired of seeing things spill over on various social networks about how the current President of the United States (my 11th-line supervisor) is the embodiment of evil walking this planet. It is bad enough spending eight hours per day being paid by the federal government to hear that garbage while protecting the nation's financial interests. Coming home to hear that too is just a step too far. There just comes a point where I can't handle it anymore & have to cut something back.

This blog remains. I'm not going totally dark. Trying to be a light and to spread light is just not as easy as it sounds in this crazy world. Thankfully there is F/LOSS like the many flavours of Ubuntu to at least ensure that I don't have to include computer issues among my many worries right now. Worst comes to worst, you can give me a call on Telegram perhaps if you are so moved.

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