Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Neo-Luddite Snit, an Apology and a Manifesto

I sort of noticed a few weeks ago that good old Haloscan -- the free comment system I've used here for the duration -- looked a little different. Sure, sure, I thought, transiently annoyed when it failed to recognize me, but, you know, whatever, things change and all that.

When, today, I received 3 spam comments here from Twitter from 3 strangers -- one in japanese -- all shilling "js-kit" which, on closer look, seemed to have something to do with the entity into which haloscan has transmogrified, I decided I'd better look into what was going on.

So I ended up at a site of unsurpassed un-navigability and graphical chaos, only to learn that Haloscan has been snarfed up something called "js-kit/ECHO" and -- for a fee, now -- would somehow integrate blog comments with all sorts of other social media such as twitter, facebook, google, yahoo & blogger in a tangled web of cyber-interrelating that, frankly, has given me an attack of cyber-agoraphobia.

So I did what any short-fused cheapskate neo-luddite would do, a template code-ectomy, and turned on blogger's own comment system.

Sorry, friends.

That's seven years worth of wonderful and generous comments vaporized. Comments I have often been woefully remiss in acknowledging and reciprocating. Sorry, sorry and more sorry.

Am I too asocial for social media ? I thought the internets were a place where nerdy recluses like me were supposed to flourish ! Have the facebooking hordes invaded and installed 24/7 live-action simulacra of their gloriously gregarious and richly connected social lives, about which they blog and tweet and yelp and digg and ping and plurk and flickr and facebook (as loathsome a verb as "to scrapbook," I apologize for it) creating a huge confluence of "streams" of -- of what ? Soliloquoy ? Conversation ? Dialogue ? Networking ? Working the room ? Shilling, hawking, branding, buying, selling, promoting ? Beneath which sits the ECHO comment box in which we can merrily decline to cease to cherish opinions on every modality available simultaneously.

Yes. I am too asocial for this scene, as I am for most aspects of my life, both sacred and profane. It is the way I am, it is a part my neurobiology, my code, and I am tired of swimming upstream against it.

My manifesto ?

So be it. And move over, Dr Bouville & Morose Curate, I'm joining you at the charterhouse.

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