Fool Me Twice We Don’t Get Fooled Again

There’s a crucial difference between federatable and federated.

A pair of fake screenshots, one from Threads, the other from Bluesky. The top one is from a verified account called “gwb1946” whose avatar is George W Bush’s flightsuit-clad crotch. The post reads, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you.” The second post is from an account whose handle is “Regimechange,” and whose userid is @missionaccomplished.failson. It reads “Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

“Are you on Bluesky?”

Friends, colleagues and strangers have emailed me to ask whether I’ve set up on the new, federatable social media incubated at Twitter and spun out, which many view as a viable Twitter successor.

“Are you on Threads?”

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Let the Platforms Burn

The Opposite of Good Fires is Wildfires.

A forest wildfire. Peeking through the darks in the stark image are hints of the green Matrix 'waterfall' effect.

Cameron Strandberg/CC BY 2.0 (modified)

California needs to burn. For millennia, First Nations people oversaw controlled burns in the forests they lived, played and worked in. These burns cleared out underbrush, saw off sick trees, and created canopy openings that admitted sunlight to help quicken new growth. The importance of fire to healthy renewal is testified to by the regional trees that can only reproduce through fire, including the state’s iconic giant redwood.

Centuries ago, European settlers dispossessed the state’s First Nations of their ancestral lands and banned “cultural burning,” declaring war on both indigenous people and fire. This was the start of a long period of firelessness, during which time ever-more-heroic measures have been deployed to keep fire at bay.

This is a vicious cycle: massive fire suppression efforts creates the illusion that people can safely live at the wildland–urban interface. Taken in by this illusion, more people move to this combustible zone. The presence of these people in the danger zone militates for more extreme fire-suppression, which makes the illusion all the more tempting. Yielding to temptation, more people move to the fire zone.

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How To Make the Least-Worst Mastodon Threads

(An opinionated guide) (for the perplexed).

The mastodon mascot tangled in a snarl of thread. Rotchko, AGPL, modified Apr 15 2023

Everyone Can Change Mastodon

Mastodon is great. I love it. I love that it’s based on an open protocol, ActivityPub, which is designed to prevent lock-in and thus enshittification.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I agree with every decision that went into Mastodon’s design, and that’s okay. Unlike, say, Twitter, if I don’t like Mastodon’s design, I can change it, by creating a new client or a server extension, or by convincing someone else to do so. Mastodon is an open, generative platform, built on software that is free-as-in-freedom —everyone can modify it.
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