Recently I ran into some problems when I upgraded my server to PHP 7.4. The problems were solvable but I figured I’d revert to my installation pre-PHP 7.4 upgrade and then work the issues off-line. But when I tried to re-install my system from a backup, all hell broke loose.
My previous weblog theme featured a very large photo as header, taking up the entire page before you would get to the writing. When I got a 4k monitor, the graphic didn’t upgrade that well, which made me realize how having a graphic play such a prominent role just wasn’t going to work.
(It hasn’t helped that Google constantly nagged me about problems with the design.)
Time for a new theme. And if I’m going for a new theme, I’m going as minimal as I can, and here we are. This WordPress 2020 theme is very basic, but the focus is where it should be: on the writing. It’s plain, just like me.
Since I made a break with the past in the theme, I decided it was also time to start using WordPress’s new block editor, Gutenberg. The editor is definitely a major change, but workable. I especially like its ability to incorporate images that work with the text regardless of how you view the page.
New city. New state. New little neighbor. New weblog look. New weblog editor.
Same old me.
I had no idea when I moved to Georgia that I’d be moving to the center of the political universe. Nor that I would be spending my time deflecting vicious comments away from a Republican Secretary of State. But here I am.
I’m not surprised that Trump is spending his time crying “Fraud!” when the election didn’t go his way. I am surprised that Georgia’s senators, Perdue and Loeffler, would parrot him; especially considering they’re up for a special election come January 5.
Consider this: Perdue and Loeffler are spreading baseless rumors, attempting to discredit the votes of people they need in order to hold on to the Senate seats that have been such a lucrative bonus for them. They turned against Georgia state Republicans to do so, standing firmly behind Trump who lost by over 12,000 votes in our state.
Trash the voters you need in defense of a man the voters don’t want. It boggles the mind.
Perdue and Loeffler put themselves into this position because they’re terrified of the Trump supporters, such as the mental wizards displayed in the comments in the image at the start of this writing. I’d feel sorry for them if I weren’t enjoying watching them try to fancy foot their way off the ice of their own making.
I posted a comment to the Savannah Morning News Facebook page about the COVID virus. A person responded to my comment, saying only the “old and fat” die from the ‘hoax’ virus, and good riddance to them.
I responded that they were an ugly person to have such views. The comment was blocked, and now I’m banned for commenting or posting for 24 hours (I haven’t a clue what the June post was about*).
Facebook is failing. Facebook is failing badly. It looks at words, in isolation, rather than concepts or phrases, because it doesn’t want to hire people who can actually determine what is or is not acceptable. And it bends over backwards to protect the worst of the dregs of society that habituate the pages, because, frankly, they generate the most income for Zuckerberg.
There have been times when I’ve allowed my passion to run away with me, and I’ve been downright nasty to folks. In those cases, I would have understood a ban. But in those cases, I didn’t use a combination of words that triggered some obviously primitive filters. As someone who has worked with semantics on the web (RDF), and computational linguistics, I assume that the filters use some combination of “you” or “you’re” and then a number of adjectives like “ugly” in that order and that’s sufficient.
But think about the context. I was responding to a person who is saying “good riddance” to over 220,000 dead people** but I’m the one banned. What a profound fail.
The lesson from all of this kiddies is to verbally eviscerate people, but use big words and complex thoughts so you don’t trigger the ban filters. However, just be aware when it comes to people you’re responding to, big words and complex thoughts will most likely sail right over their heads.
So maybe the key takeaway is just to ignore the people. Ultimately, this is the response that will hurt them the most.
* I remembered. I was talking about ‘white racists’ and evidently that was a racist thing to say and the post was banned.
** And I will continue calling people who say good riddance to 220,000 people ‘ugly’. Because they are.
I had such good intentions at the start of the year. I was going to lose weight, get in shape, and most of all, return to writing on a regular basis. And then the rest of 2020 hit.
It started with COVID and it ends with COVID and a parade of masks and hand washes and furtive outdoor trips. We made it worse on ourselves by deciding come hell, high water, or pandemic, we were still going to follow through on our decision to sell our home in Missouri and move to Savannah. And we did make the thousand mile move, though it’s not something I would recommend to anyone else during a pandemic.