Archive for October 2022

The Bird is Free   6 comments

We can hope, at least.

And it’s kind of fun to watch the leftists meltdown because Elon Musk closed on his purchase of Twitter.

Bloomberg claims Musk’s stated purpose of recreating Twitter as a free speech site where permanent bans for misplaced pronouns won’t exist will “alienate” advertisers and the New York Times worries the site will devolve into open death threats.

Wow, just wow!

It’s tough to make up that level of hyperbole.

Being Banned

I was banned from Medium recently for stating a biological fact. The writing platform offers no appeal and they don’t let you remove the objectionable content (in my case, a comment on someone else’s article) while allowing unoffending articles to remain. It’s a permanent ban. You’re not allowed any pathway to redemption. You’re done!

Twitter does the same thing. At least they (usually) give you some warning before they block your account and they gave the Babylon Bee an opportunity to deplete their offending post (stating a biological fact), but for the most part there’s no redemption allowed and there have been some highly prolific voices deleted from Twitter and given no way to return.

What Musk Says He’ll Do

I don’t know Musk, so I’m only going on what he has said he plans to do. Of course, there will be content moderation, but he claims there won’t be permanent bans unless for repeated egregious acts encouraging violence toward specific individuals and groups. He wants to allow all voices to hold opinions in the defacto public square.

But to fix Twitter’s culture, he will need to fire a lot of Twitter employees. He started by removing the management team which has staunchly defended removing accounts for simply stating controversial viewpoints without encouraging violence. We all know they hold a deeply biased view. If a Twit is from a left viewpoint, they can post extremely abusive comments against people on the right without any sort of repercussions. Meanwhile, right-leaning Twits could be removed for stating biological facts and asking if we can please have a reasoned conversation about the implications of this. And then there is election interference. We all know NOW that the New York Post Hunter Biden laptop story was substantially correct and should have been a part of the news cycle ahead of the 2020 election, but because of the politics of the Twitter management team and their 7,500 censors, the article was essentially hidden from the view of most Americans.

This is what Musk says he hopes he can correct through his eventual goal of pruning the company down to about 2,000 employees.

Will the Advertisers Object?

I’ve worked in journalism, used to hang out with the ad team at my newspaper, and have helped with ad campaigns. What advertisers want is potential customers. How much of Twitter’s traffic in the last few years has been bots? We don’t know right now, but Musk has said his software engineers are investigating that right now. I rarely post anything but novel (book) information on my Twitter feed, but I do occasionally like and retweet the work of others. I’m a libertarian, but I appreciate some conservative thoughts. And when I do that, I get deluged by angry people. About a month ago, I received an actual death threat from someone whose profile says he lives in my community. Consequently, I don’t spend as much time on Twitter as I once did. I represent the millions of potential customers who Twitter was happy to push away. As some of the accounts I have followed have been removed from Twitter, I’ve also spent less time on Twitter.

It’s a dumb idea from an advertiser’s perspective to reduce the potential audience for their products.

Advertisers want an increasing audience.

What I Hope Musk Does

Of course, he doesn’t listen to me and I’m just chiming in my opinion, but this is what I would like to see in the revamped Twitter.

Look at all the banned accounts and review them for actual incitement of violence or ad hominem attacks. If they’re not guilty of either one, reinstate them.

Going forward, warn people who engage in this behavior and remove the content if it is egregious.

Don’t impose permanent bans unless someone repeatedly and egregiously displays this behavior and even then, allow a pathway of redemption.

The 1st Amendment is pretty absolute and we need to uphold that tenet while recognizing that there are limits and they also need to be acknowledged. Give us a few years of interacting on the level once more and society might actually remember how civility works.

Lela Markham is a novelist. Check out her books on Amazon.

Posted October 30, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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On Being Banned from Medium   6 comments

It was bound to happen. Medium is a far-left-wing writers’ platform that boosts the ad hominem attacks of leftists picking at Republicans, libertarians, Christians or the Conservative Party in England. I’ve been writing articles from a libertarian angle on a conservative publication for about a year and this last week, they suspended my account for “hate speech” and “incorrect categorization” (whatever that is). I was explaining to someone who had made a comment about what they supposed libertarians believe. They were entirely incorrect and I POLITELY explained why their ad hominem attack was incorrect. I addressed their ideas, not their persons. And the “hate speech” was addressing a biological fact — that biological women can’t compete against biological men in sports.

The truth is now hate speech. Men and women are biologically different from one another and that includes height and strength differences that affect our ability to compete against one another and these biological imperatives hold say even when we wear each other’s clothes.

With Medium, when they deem truth to be “hate speech”, there’s no appeal. You’re banned and that’s that. Go away and shut up now! But hey, we’ll allow people who routinely post incorrect statements that libertarians want to eat their neighbors and evangelical Christians are trying to create a theocracy. As long as you comply and say black is white, you’re good. Otherwise, you need to be silenced.

Welcome to the 21st Century

In our “enlightened” erra, we can’t agree to disagree. Those with “wrong think” must be silenced. Why? Because the leftists suspect their ideas won’t stand up to an honest examination and like all cultists, they must protect their faith at all costs. Since the tenets of their faith can’t stand up to close scrutiny, they have to eliminate anyone who points out their faith is as shallow as a hubcap. So platforms that support this ideology must purge writers who don’t comply with the desired zeitgeist.

Our alternative is to create our own similar writing platforms. I started this blog to promote my books and to discuss topics that matter to me. I’m returning to writing about more than writing here. I’m looking into federated blogging. In time, I hope to join a network of like-minded conservative/libertarian writers.

They can ban me off their echo chamber platform, but they aren’t going to silence me. They might just make me more determined to tell the truth.

And here’s a suggestion. Check out Amazon’s Prime Video program “Electric Dreams” and pay particular attention to the last episode of the anthology series – Kill All Others. It’s a hyperbolic representation of what might happen if our society continues in the direction we’re headed.

Posted October 28, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide

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Intellectual Exploration   1 comment

If you could take a free class at a university, what course would you take??

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Why Free?

I still take an occasional class at our local university as finances and time allow. I pay for those and am glad to do it, which is why I wonder why it would need to be a free class. Though, I admit, I mostly take classes through the University’s Community College these days because it’s much less expensive.

There’s also the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which you pay a membership – $35 for a year and $15 a class (up to 10 courses a year, which I couldn’t manage so there’s no use looking at the more expensive tier. So, I can get courses nearly for free. Pre-covid, I was going to teach a creative writing class, but I haven’t gotten around to setting that up again.

Art Class

I think if I was going to take a course through the University these days, I’d be torn between taking an art class or a course in video storytelling. The world we live in today seems to lend itself to video storytelling, but I’m almost entirely certain I want to be behind the camera, not in front of it. Then again, a digital art class would be useful for cover design. Or I could just take a drawing or painting class for fun. Since it’s about $900 a course at UAF, free sounds interesting, but I have low-cost options available already.

Posted October 24, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Great Alaska Pizza   10 comments

What toppings do you put on your pizza? Is pineapple a real pizza topping?

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Simply Pizza

Ah, Pizza, one of North America’s food groups!

My husband and I consume pizza about twice a month. There’s a great pizza company here in Fairbanks that does a once-a-month Customer Appreciation Day. You have to pick it up, they only have mediums on that day and it only comes in cheese and pepperoni and cheese. We usually pick up two. We consume one that night and he has lunches for the next two days.

Then the other night when we consume pizza, it’s usually a weird one that I made myself.

Either way, there’s always going to be pepperoni on it because it ain’t pizza without pepperoni.

When we customize our pizza, our favorite ingredients are pepperoni, extra cheese, black olive, and mushrooms.

Libertarian Pizza

I’m libertarian, which means I don’t technically care what you put on your pizza. You do you. I will eat pineapple pizza, but I don’t make pizzas with pineapple on them and I don’t order them that way. I think pineapple on pizza is a dodgy idea. People put a lot of dodgy ingredients on pizza. A friend from Australia says Vegemite pizza is quite good. Uh….

But what you want to do with your pie is entirely your business. Enjoy. It’ll leave more pepperoni for me.

Posted October 10, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Let the Character Speak   6 comments

Does your writing style change depending upon what you are writing?

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Characters are My Guide

My writing style changes with the character and so often changes not just from one genre to another, but even within a book, especially if I’m writing from the first-person perspective. This is less so in third-person. The narrative style often stays the same, though in Daermad Cycle where I’m switching between cultures, I do make some changes to reflect the differences. The narrative in the Celdryan sections has a decided Gaelic lilt while the narrative in the Kin sections sounds like an American voice. I do this to provide some distance between the two very different peoples. It turns out to be pretty hard to write that way, so it takes me a lot longer between books than Transformation Project or What If Wasn’t, but I’m glad I made that choice because it does add depth to the books they otherwise might not have.

Obviously, when I’m writing in first-person perspective, the narrative is driven by the character’s voice, so the style changes depending on the character.

And that makes sense, right? No two people think alike and when you’re writing stories from within the head of a character, the character ought to sound like themselves and not any other character in the book.

I wonder what my fellow blog-hoppers are saying.

Posted October 3, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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