A few mornings a week, I wake up to a comment on my blog that’s so outlandishly stupid or offensive that I think to myself, “This is obviously spam or trolling.” So I delete it.
Amazingly, nine times out of ten, the commenter publishes an identical comment almost immediately after I’ve deleted the original comment. This lets me know that it’s not spam, that somewhere out there is a veritable army of trolls with no appreciation for decency or the English language, and that these trolls are so accustomed to having their comments blocked that they copy their comments so they can just paste them back in after they’ve been deleted. I’ve learned that they’ll continue to do this until they’re banned from commenting because, apparently, this is what they do with their time.
The internet is an wondrous place.
You know who likes my blogging?
My first tweet, nearly six years ago, was remarkably prescient given how little I’ve slept in the years since I wrote it.
I don’t exactly know how spam email works, but ever since my university switched over to Microsoft to provide us with our email service, I’ve been getting something on the order of 100 spam messages each day.
They’re an interesting window, I suppose, into what my age, my browser history, or my .edu address mean to spammers. Here are the top subject lines from today:
Make clear Vision without contacts A reality Get lASIK.
Protect, your loved ones…for a low, monthly cost
Compare your Car Policy against these today
Use *cloud Storage for Global Efficiency.
WoodWorkingMadeEasy: Check out this unreal video
Fly On Your Own Time. Browse private-Jet* Flights.
Weird food-KILLED My *blood* pressure
Charter a Private Yacht*
Do not miss out! On the BitCoin craze
One Tip To A Tiny Belly - REVEALED by Dr. Oz.
Cut Your Prep Time in the Kitchen with a Few Taps.
Apparently, I’ve rich enough that I might need a private jet or yacht, but I’m also old enough that I might also be in the market for life insurance, LASIK, reducing my blood pressure, and Dr. Oz’s belly-reduction plan. Basically, the spammers know me perfectly.
My favorite was “Check out this unreal video” … which was about woodworking.
Three serious questions for young people, since I’m just a caveman and your world frightens and confuses me:
Why is this photo funny? Moreover, why is it funny to write things in broken English in conjunction with this photo? Lastly, how is it possible that people spend a decent chunk of their time on memes like this one?
I am impossibly old and do not understand anything. So thank you for your time.
(Source: Know Your Meme)
From the USA Today live blog of Monday’s Edward Snowden chat at South by Southwest:
We’re about 25 minutes away from the start of Snowden’s chat and lines are already forming.
But, according to USA TODAY’s Jon Swartz, reporting from SXSW, lines for a competing chat with Girls star Lena Dunham are 10 times longer than the the [sic] line for Snowden’s talk.
I was asked recently about the lasting impact of Snowden’s actions and I noted that, once you get outside the echo chamber that can sometimes be created on sites like Reddit, Twitter, or Tumblr, most Americans have long since forgotten about Snowden … if they ever thought of him at all.
This doesn’t mean that his actions weren’t impactful or that we’re not still seeing the impact of the revelations about the NSA; it means, though, that the individual who briefly stood at the center of the debate, and who was the subject of an intense discussion about whistle-blowing, narcissism, treachery, and heroism, has faded pretty quickly from the broader public consciousness if he was ever there to begin with.
Do you know how or why it is some articles get marked with a "special" blue politics tag? It's happened to my work a few times and when it does, they seem to get more visibility. I'm not sure how it works, though.thepoliticalbreakdown
A few years ago, Tumblr created a number of curated tags. Or, rather, they turned uncurated tags into curated ones and put people in charge of stocking them with featured posts. One of them is “Politics” and there are certain posts — usually at least ten each day, sometimes as many as fifty — that allow Tumblr users who follow the Politics tag to see a diversity of posts they might not ordinarily see; these tags are also a good way to find new blogs, by following the people whose posts are featured and by following the editors.
Some of the editors are employed in some way by Tumblr; some are volunteer editors who are asked by Tumblr to curate the tag. I’m one such volunteer. I’ve been doing it — shockingly — for two years now (which seems like a pretty long time, especially because I think I was asked to do it for six months or something like that). When I see an interesting post, I can click a button and “promote” the post to the Politics tag; this is how the post gets the highlighted blue Politics tag on it that people might see in their dashboard; it also sends the post over to the Politics tag and people who follow the tag might see a notification in their Search bar to let them know that there’s a new post to be seen at the tag’s page. That’s how the posts get more visibility.
Here’s a post I wrote back when I was first asked to be a volunteer editor; it’s about how I plan to use my powers for good and also some problems I have with the way the whole curated tag system works. I think it holds up pretty well.
It seems my blog turned 5 years old today!
Here’s what I wrote in my very first post five years ago:
I really don’t have the time to start blogging, but I’m being pushed in that direction. I’m not sure if this site will make things easier, more difficult, or something in the middle. More on that soon enough…
I didn’t end up posting a whole lot until November 2009; in fact, I think there are about as many posts in November 2009 as in all the previous months of 2009 combined.
Looking back at the archived posts from those first few months of blogging is a good bit of fun. If you’re a relatively new reader, I highly recommend browsing the archive; there are, at this point, nearly 4,000 posts of varying quality for your enjoyment.
Just for the next little while, I’ve changed the name of my blog from “Running Chicken” to “Ari Kohen’s Blog” … just to make it easier for people to figure out whose blog it is they’re reading and to then spell my name correctly when they quote me.
I’m thinking about possible subtitles now.
Maybe “The Blog of Ari Kohen” or “The Once and Future Chicken.” Some suggestions I’ve gotten already include “Chickens of Future Past,” “Kohen Blog,” and “The Kohen.”
Well, this has occasioned a whole lot more discussion than I’d anticipated (especially given how little anyone said about yesterday’s post on the very same topic) …
But, seriously, we all know the whole religious freedom argument is just an attempt at an end run around all manner of anti-discrimination laws and court cases, right?
Hey! I got Luxembourg, South Dakota, a handful of loose Milk Duds, and 2000s Plastic Surgery Paul McCartney!
But seriously why do people like Buzzfeed quizzes so much? Is this a sign of the impending apocalyspe? Do people in other countries like this ridiculously horrible nonsense as much as Americans? Or is this why we specifically can’t have nice things?