Would it be a good idea to have software put up postings from new people on the Discover tab throughout the day as they post them? Why stick Jean with having to put up everything there? It puts a burden on her and ensures that new stuff only goes up when she can afford some time.

A question for my readers. Have any of you heard of or read any books by James W. Loewen? I would really appreciate hearing your answers about this! To reveal my own bias in this regard, Jim is one of my friends and was my older brother’s best friend while growing up.

About Blogging Technical Advisers

I’ve sworn off micro.blog social media chatting, as I was wasting way too much time and had one especially bad experience with it. One of those goes a long way! But I still scan through my Timeline, because sometimes I find something useful. I do it as a form of binge reading. I follow over 400 people on the platform, but I can still scan through tons of postings pretty fast. That’s because I’m mostly looking for what I think of as real blog postings, not the twitter-like short ones, which on micro.blog are mostly about Apple devices, apps, and fiddling with Manton’s dozens of configurable features (for web engineers and experts). That is, I’m looking for the longer postings, where the writer knows something about a subject, has something to say and so she/he writes something informative and interesting about it. Being longer, a Manton hosted blog requires these postings to have a title and then the reader has to click on a link to read the article. Of course as Dave Winer pointed out a long time ago, people don’t click on links. I find this insanely ironic, because the key invention with the Internet was hypertext, meaning you could click on a link and go somewhere else entirely! This was a major turning point in my life when I discovered it. But I guess modern people these days like to scroll, rather than clicking links.

Anyway … in my blog scanning, one that I nearly always stop to read is Brad, another Midwesterner like me. His stuff nearly always requires a click, but I still remember how to do that from the old days. Brad is my Blogging Scout. He’s really good at finding & testing out all kinds of services for blogging, and he doesn’t focus on Apple stuff, so he might find something I could use. I don’t have the patience or technical chops to try out things for myself, like he does. And now after trying everything except the kitchen sink, he’s using a Manton hosted blog, which is how I started out here and never dared to change!

One day I’d like to have a Blogging Technical Adviser, someone I pay to setup my blog with Manton features I like, instead of just a Scout. Intuit set up a network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors in their early days, and that’s how they came to dominate the bookkeeping industry for small businesses.

I even sent a long email to Manton suggesting this could be another source of revenue for him. His robot immediately thanked me for sending my email to help. Then nothing at all from him, for weeks. I noticed others run into this problem, then send a public message to him on micro.blog, then he quickly responds and they get their question answered. I’m not gonna do that. Maybe I’m old and ornery. I’m a tax accountant and get lots of emails from clients. My policy is to respond to their emails within 24 hours. That’s a pretty universal standard used in the tax accounting business.

Google turned up a nice April 2018 article about John Fahey, which includes a one hour video of John playing his guitar in 1981. When I knew him, near the end of his life, he was never once cantankerous & spoke openly & with humor about his life & music. 🎸 🎶

Did you ever think about making Kindle public domain books as a side hustle? Well that’s the business model of a publisher in Russia. They make 30 to 50 cents per book sold. How much does Amazon make for each sale? Amazon colluding with the Russians? Call your Congressmen!

Why I Watch the Oscars

I was surprised that I saw no mention of the Oscars on my timeline today, other than from Jack. I rarely go to movies and don’t even know most of the actors anymore. I recognized a lot more people in the In Memorium segment than in the awards part of the broadcast!

So why do I even turn it on? It’s because I really really enjoy seeing people in their finest hour and how they respond to achieving such a difficult milestone. The show is bound to show people who are enthusiastic, exhilarated, super excited and genuinely grateful. I’ve had some marvelous high points in my own life and watching others experience major turning points in their lives is quite wonderful.

In every Oscars broadcast, there is at least one really brilliant speech by someone, sometimes several. Jack already linked to the glorious moment with Olivia Colman this year. I’ve never heard of her, had not heard of her film, could not understand a lot of what she said (she was speaking English and I’m from the Midwest) and yet, it was really marvelous. I usually feel really good at the end of these shows. The same kind of thing can happen while watching the Olympics, but with the latter, you can also see crushing defeats.

This year, I was also struck by what a huge range of diversity was present in that auditorium. It is not easy to make a movie, especially a really good one. It takes a major cooperative effort among a lot of people with a wide range of skills and abilities. It’s inspiring to see a community that is based upon excellence in such a wide range of talent and to see such a diverse range of people working together, men and women, old and young, from all over the world, many different races, cultures, languages and so on. Just looking out into the audience when the camera went that direction, you could see such great diversity.

Of course these people are the elite of a very elite industry. And theirs is a rare example for us to see. This is NOT the way things are in our country or the world overall. There is a LOT of work to be done to achieve even a small fraction of the positive impact from diversity demonstrated by this community. But watching the Oscar broadcast last night, I realized this industry is genuine about embracing diversity, they are not phonies about this. They have learned in their own work experience that people of all kinds have special talents and are capable of doing pretty awesome things. They are setting great examples for all of us to witness and to seek to emulate.

No Man Was More Hated Than Lincoln

During the Civil War, no man was more hated than Lincoln. He was called a gorilla, a beast, a blood-thirsty tyrant. In the South they sang derisive songs about him. “Jeff Davis rides a snow white horse; Abe Lincoln rides a mule. Jeff Davis is a gentleman; Abe Lincoln is a fool.” And that was one of the milder ones.

Lincoln did not return the feelings in kind. Hours before his assassination, Lincoln met with his cabinet to discuss what should be done to Confederate leaders. Should they be tried as traitors and hanged? Lincoln replied: “I hope there will be no persecution, no bloody work after the war is over. None need expect me to take part in hanging or killing them. Enough lives have been sacrificed. We must extinguish our resentment if we expect harmony and union.”

From Chapter six

Lincoln On Communication

I determined to be so clear that no honest man could misunderstand me and no dishonest man could successfully misrepresent me. - Abraham Lincoln (posted on his birthday)

Lincoln was a master communicator. He was effective with small and large groups, either one-on-one or from the platform. His strength lay in explaining complex ideas accurately and clearly. “Don’t shoot too high – aim lower and the common people will understand you,” he advised William Herndon. “They are the ones you want to reach – at least they are the ones you ought to reach. The educated and refined people will understand you any way. If you aim too high your ideas will go over the head of the masses, and only hit those who need no hitting.”

Examples and little stories became the hallmark of Lincoln’s communication style… It was a deliberately planned strategy. “Common people … are more easily influenced and informed through the medium of a broad illustration than in any other way,” he once commented. “As to what the hypercritical few may think, I don’t care.”

From Chapter 18

I saw a puffy pillow-cloud glide in over head. The weight inside too much, pin holes burst open along its bottom. Some flakes of snow slid out & floated down, then more, widening the gaps. Soon an avalanche turned the air bright & settled as a silent white blanket over it all. ❄

Monthly book sale at library today: hardbacks $1, paperbacks (which I rarely buy) 50 cents. So essentially free. Rare Lincoln stuff cost more, but worth every penny, as mostly unavailable any where else. My favorite is this marvelous book on Buddhism, with over 500 color images.

We got word yesterday that Izzy Young, the best friend folk music people ever had, passed away on Monday “surrounded by close friends and family and music” at the age of 90. He was one of the most honored guests when Dylan was awarded his Nobel Prize.

Howard Baker, was known as the “Great Conciliator.” He was one of the most successful senators in terms of maintaining civility and was the hero of the Watergate investigation, a statesman. Watch him talk about the defining moment.

“I have found that when one is embarrassed, usually the shortest way to get through with it is to quit talking about it or thinking about it, and go at something else.” Abraham Lincoln - Chapter 14

My wife has been taking English classes given by the local community college. Now they’ve added a Sat morning class at the high school I went to, a bit over 50 yrs ago. I’m so glad we returned to my hometown. My current life is now integrated with my early life. Very exciting!

Could I Use This Cartoon On My Blog?

I stole an image from Dave Winer’s website a few days ago. He didn’t give the source of the image, so I thought maybe I could use it without having to worry.

Drats, I DID worry. Okay, maybe I can find the source of the cartoon. I went back to Dave’s site, did a right click on the cartoon and selected “Search Google for image.” The result was a LOT of possibilities, but three of them near the top of the results were the cartoon we’re looking for! So I looked at those three, which belonged to a travel blogger, a potter and his pots, and Blog Writing Guidelines. Like Dave, the first two made no mention of the source of the cartoon. But in the third instance, along the right side of the image, standing vertically, it clearly says ©gapingvoid.com.

So off to that site I went, which is a website for a Culture Design Group. When I looked at examples of their work, it became obvious I had come to the right place. I soon found some examples with characters much like the ones in the cartoon we’re looking for. See this one. and this one.

All I have to do is look through their examples and I’ll find it. YIKES there are 640 pages, with a dozen examples on each page! But then I remembered our heroes, Google. Maybe I could do a search. I noticed there was a search box at the top of each page of results. I typed in “blog about it” and hit the blue search button. Bingo! There it was, the fifth example on the first page of results. It was the featured image on their blog posting of December 28, 2011, which said the cartoon was actually first published circa 2005. We got it!! And it has some interesting writing. Maybe even better than the Blog Writing Guidelines.

Did you notice that I never did use the image that I stole from Dave Winer? But if you’ve been following along, you’ve seen the image many times. Clever, huh? And legal!

If I wanted to pay some money to make one of my websites more well known, I would head to this gapingvoid place. It’s full of very creative work. It’s a famous website, as I’ve looked through it before. But could I afford it? Probably not, but it might still be cheaper than running a Superbowl ad.

A brilliant quote for the @JohnPhilpin quote page, by Simon, about the New Post page:

as somebody outside of the Apple bubble it’s nice to be reminded that Micro.blog itself recognises the wide world beyond the in-crowd culture prevalant amongst old-school Apple users.

"Delacroix" from a Great Song

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin’ for a while on a fishin’ boat
Right outside of Delacroix
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue

Bob Dylan, 1974, from Tangled Up in Blue

If you figure you know all about life in America, I encourage you to watch this new documentary. I think you’re gonna learn a lot. I know I did! About nutria, the Cajun culture, heard them talk, dance & make the environment better with their guns. Let me know, if I’m right.

I never use the Google Assistant that came with my Android phone. Today it linked to a phishing email that I’ve gotten dozens of times. It claims to be from my radio club prez, who asks me to wire big $$$ right away. I’ve reported it to Google many times as spam & phishing!