What Fresh Hello Is This?
Hello! I'm Rob Middleton, and I have decided to sling words onto a weblog again in the year 2023. Why on Earth would I do such a thing?! After subjecting myself and others to innumerable fresh hells on innumerable fresh hellsites, today I'm offering a fresh hello!
What's the difference? Duh! It's the Fediverse. If you're one of the three people who know me personally you know I won't shut up about this place. So, what is it and why does it get me so excited?
The Fediverse reawakens the wonder of the early internet but with all the advancements that have taken place since. The only thing missing is the middlemen. You know, those awful insufferable billionaires who think it's ingenious to invade every human's privacy while simultaneously destroying all life as we know it! The Fediverse sees things differently. It's better. And it's simpler.
I like that because I want to be better and simpler.
I would not start a blog today on a site that exists to track and manipulate all who use it, the visitors and creators1 alike. The medium is the message, and the corporate social media message is overpowered and dangerous. Again, the Fediverse is different. While here you won't be data mined and you won't be force-fed advertising. Absolutely nothing about this shared moment between us enriches some asshole.2 And that's the way it should be! That is certainly what many folks thought the internet was going to be when it originated.
(I do plan to discuss the funding models for the Fediverse in an upcoming post, because there are a number of ways to support the individuals and organizations that make this all happen—including me, should you feel inclined. For now I will just say that I'm an artist used to working for free and that there's an economy of scale when it comes to hosting and serving a few pages of text.)
I dispatched that very important topic briefly and parenthetically; serving as one example of how I want to be better and simpler. Digital ink seems cheap and limitless. But time and attention are not. Unlike with previous blogs I am handling this one with care. I expect it will still be fun and full of my personality, a place where there's always room for offbeat non sequiturs—
Not to pat myself on the back too heartily for adhering to what ought to be basic minimum standards for published writing; I simply wish to inform any potential readers of what to expect. In the past I can safely say that I've put more emphasis on the free expression aspect of writing. This time around I am thinking of what I myself might want to read, and for how long. How could I demand more of any reader than I am willing to do? Without moralizing, it's just a fact that I do not make it to the end of every link I click (or book I check out, or video I start).
I do have a bit of a fancy-pants style of writing, and if it gets on your nerves—trust me it gets on mine as well. But I do so love language. I will try to be clear and not give in too much to flourishes. I call this blog humanissome because
None of us has all the answers. But each of us has some. And human is some.So that sounds like more insufferable language, but let's suffer it a moment and reread. All of that is true. It's also true that I created Human Is Some to be a brandable sound-alike for humanism. There's no getting around that, but I think it's ok. There are many prior iterations of the identity humanism that I cannot lay claim to while Human Is Some is my own.
Topics to be covered on this blog include those that reflect acceptance, appreciation, and love for our human limitations—for my own sake and the good of all. So basically that's existence. I plan to write about existence. Hope I don't run out of material!
End Notes: 1: Especially the creators! Signing up to share content on a non-Fediverse site is the beginning of an abusive relationship filled with nonstop, complex harassment. By making a homestead in the Fediverse I'm not only showing respect to my visitors, I'm healing myself.
This links grid from my Mastodon profile shows one way that the Fediverse is simpler and better:2: Except sadly, of course, the money we pay for our connections and devices to use the internet most likely does enrich some asshole. Probably some asshole who works politically to escape taxes while denying the rest of us shared quality of life benefits and a democratic voice. Another reason to join the fediverse! It's a fun way to be a part of building a decentralized future that empowers more people. When I'm fully funded I would like to devote time to writing a science fiction story that offers a positive vision for the future. In it the most important turning point will be when ordinary people take power over their communications connections to each other.
On Meta's and Musk's platforms “verification” is a paid-for feature, rendering it meaningless. (Like they won't accept money from bad actors. Spoiler Alert: They do! Eagerly!) All my links to myself on the Fediverse show as verified because that's how the web standards are designed to work! Verification occurs automatically because these profiles link to each other and say, “That is me.” When someone controls both ends of a link the coding recognizes that connection as authentic. Verification is not granted by an authority, but simply assures others that I am linking to myself. Whether you trust me is up to you, as it always should be.
Coming soon: The Power of the Notification Bell Commands You
Potential future topics: Consent · Feelings · Democracy · What is art? · AI · white people problems · overcoming capitalism · sex and porn · the nature of intelligence (genius is b.s.) · defining success · more on the Fediverse and respectful communication