Social Media in the Age of the Shadow Ban

A discussion in the comments reminded me why I set up this website in the way it currently exists, namely a multi-subject blog.  Full disclosure, I’ve never had a Facebook or Twitter account.  I have a Gab account but I’ve never noticed much if any activity there, so I’ll generalize by saying that my presence on line has been mostly a matter of membership on various websites.  And this is an artifact of my generational identity.  My children are members of the cohort that interacts on Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.  I never got around to all that.  So, for that reason, shadow banning isn’t something I have experienced.  But I do know what regular banning is about.  I have been on websites (specifically photography websites) that obviously took sides in the culture wars and allowed the lefties to bait the non-lefties.  And when these non-lefties responded in kind they got censored and eventually banned.  This is a demoralizing state of affairs.  Eventually I decided that if I wanted to have a place on-line where I could talk about photography or movies or books I would have to make a space of my own where conservatives could interact on a level playing field with the Left.

I was tempted to separate my political and non-political subjects onto separate web addresses but on further consideration I decided to keep them all under one roof.  I did this for a couple of reasons.  The first was, let’s call it, truth in advertising.  I wouldn’t want photography or science fiction enthusiasts to come to my site and not know up front that I sat on the right side of the fence.  Otherwise they might get comfortable but then one day discover that they had been tricked into associating with the unclean.  That would be a source of irritation for both parties.

The second reason was because I shouldn’t have to separate them.  Photographers assume that all photo websites are automatically politically leftist.  Almost all literary websites are rabidly leftist.  Trying to separate my subjects from my philosophical/political identity seems like an apology for what I believe.  And I don’t want to do that.

So, the interesting aspect of having a multi-subject website is the way it is handled by search engines.  What I’ve noticed is that Google will never link to any of my political stuff, period.  But I’ll get a substantial amount of organic search linkage for my photography content.  Interestingly, a good amount of that is from Europe and East Asia.  I’d love to know what these folks think of my political content.  The science fiction stuff is somewhere in the middle.  Because I review mostly non-leftist sf content I probably don’t get as much search activity as I could if I were more politically correct in my coverage.  But so be it.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is that I am using this site as an avenue for pursuing my interests on-line without sacrificing my right to be myself.  I also hope to attract a readership that is interested in the subjects that I provide regardless of their political persuasion.  I think that discussing photography should be possible for both left- and right-wing individuals without resorting to character assassination.  Of course, on the political topics I assume there would be much more occasion for debate and even argument but I still contend that people can argue in a rational manner or at least agree to disagree and move on.  But most importantly, my point of view isn’t one that can be stifled by the powers that be.  I’ll get my say.

Interestingly, with the recent acceleration of social media acting as the ideological gatekeeper of the internet maybe it’s time for right-wing websites to once again become meeting places for those on the right who are tired of being threatened, brow-beaten and banned from the electronic town square.  Vox Day says we must build our own institutions and infrastructure.  This is my experiment in that direction.  We’ll see how the experiment works.

30SEP2018 – OCF Update

So, for the regular readers I’ll explain why some of the features like the photos and the quotes were a little bit different this week.  I’m running some intensive advertising this week and last, so I wanted to provide enough content for the new readers to get the idea, right away, what I do here.

For the new readers from Drudge, News Busters, CNS News, Rasmussen, The Political Insider, MRC TV, TMN Today, Trend Chase, Wayne Dupree and anyone else I missed, welcome.  I run a site that features my take on social and political happenings from a right-wing perspective (my location on the political spectrum is probably best described here).  I also write on photography and science fiction and do reviews of various books, country music, movies and anything else that interests me.  And I put up my humble work as an amateur photographer.  I encourage comments and also provide forums for those who wan to discuss any of the relevant topics.  I allow folks to speak their opinions as long as it’s kept reasonable.  I have readers from pretty far across the political spectrum and don’t have a problem with that.  In fact, I think that can be a plus as long as the discussion can be kept reasonably respectful.

Anyway, welcome and I hope you can find something interesting to read and maybe discuss.

photog

post script – Oh, I forgot, I also do outlandish Trump humor where I fondly portray him as a cartoonish version of himself.  Very juvenile of me but I must have my fun.

Where Do I Stand in the Political Spectrum

For the newer readers of Orion’s Cold Fire this article I wrote for American Greatness sums up my position in the Great Revolt

https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/25/defining-the-space-between-nevertrump-and-the-alt-right/

I consider myself fully aware of the tremendous obstacles to preserving what’s left of the remarkable experiment that is the United States of America but I can’t quite give up on it yet.

 

 

14SEP2018 – OCF Update

Today and tomorrow I’ll be attending an out of town occasion.  Posting will be limited.  Looking ahead I’m reading Salena Zito’s “The Great Revolt, Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” and I’m working on some other reviews, including some sci-fi and movie stuff.  And of course, we must see how Trump will reshape America’s love life in part three of my little comic sketch.  Stay tuned.

03JUL2018 – OCF Update – July, The Greatest Month of the Year

The earth revolves around the sun.  Well actually they both move around the common center of gravity of the whole solar system.  But since the sun is monstrously heavier than the rest of the solar system combined, this center of gravity is within the spheroid of the sun so I won’t quibble about it (starting now!).  So, the year is based on the Earth’s orbit around the sun which takes 365 days and a fraction.  A month is supposed to correspond to the revolution of Luna around Earth.  This is about 28 days.  If you try and divide 365 and a fraction by 28 and a fraction you are not going to get a whole number.  And this makes perfect sense.  The revolutional periods are completely unrelated.  And so, we end up with months with lengths varying from 28 days to 31 days and even one that varies every four years to try and make up for the fractions.   What a silly system.  Days, weeks, months (if we even need them at all) and years should be decoupled and allowed to do their own thing.  And don’t even get me started about daylight savings time.  So, you can see I have no particular respect for the calendar and its divisions.

But there is one exception.  Every year I wax poetic about my quasi-religious devotion to one particular example of the imperfect lunar division to the solar year, namely the month of July.  July is the greatest human invention that I know of.  In the northern hemisphere, which is the only hemisphere that I probably will ever encounter, July represents the quintessence of earthly delight.  The days are long, the weather is hot and sunny, and the human spirit cries out for leisure and fun.  And every year I answer that call.  I make sure to take time off and commune with nature and with my friends and family, read books and watch movies, engage in various silly recreational activities, eat all kinds of delicious poisons and commit all manner of misdemeanors against the work ethic.  It’s as close to heaven on earth as I know of.  Now here in New England, where the inhabitants take irrational pride in their ability to withstand horrific climatic extremes of cold and sunless gloom there are many who find July too “hot.”  I guess to each his own.  Maybe my Mediterranean blood is irrational in preferring extreme heat and light to more hyperborean conditions.  But based on my observation of the rest of the New England persona I think humanity would confirm my bias over theirs.  So I’ll take it as a given that July rules.

And the beauty of this month is that everyone else is more or less doing the same thing.  Business productivity goes to hell, television is taken over by boring reruns and truly unwatchable replacement series that no one bothers with and the only people really working are amusement park and hotel employees.  Even website traffic hits its low point in July.  And that is good.  Bloggers need time to recharge their batteries and readers need a break from blather.

Now, don’t panic.  I do not intend to abandon the faithful readers of Orion’s Cold Fire.  After all, writing this blog is one of the high points of my week (and we’ll talk about the origin of the week another time) and not something to be abandoned just because fun is to be had.  I will be providing quotes and photos on my usual daily basis and I will comment on the unfolding Trumpocalypse on a fairly regular basis and I will provide Trump parodies and movie and book reviews as I produce them.  But I might not be as punctual as I usually am and I may have a short hiatus here and there.  After all, July is also my birth month and I like to be lazy right around that blessed date.  So, bear with me and we’ll get through this together.

photog

07JUN2018 – OCF Update

The summer is now an actual thing and get-togethers and parties are happening.   But things will continue unabated here on OCF, the pulse of the spite filled, unforgiving, vindictive vengeful right.  I’m starting to read David Reich’s book “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.”  It goes over a lot of the same ground as Gregory Cochran’s book “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution,” but from a very apologetic, politically correct, “diversity is our strength” point of view.  But from of the small parts I’ve read it’s still very interesting to see the pushback he experienced.  Should be instructive.  I’ve got the last Majipoor book to read and the next Galaxy’s edge installment and some other sf and I’ve got some photo projects lined up.  But the elephant in the room should be the DOJ IG’s report coming out this week.  I’m hoping that will trigger a lot of stuff.  Maybe even the end of the Mueller investigation or at least a counter-attack to take him out.  So good stuff coming up.

On a more local note I’ve been intrigued by the general dearth of comments.  Now this is my first blog so maybe it’s how it works but I’m curious, so I have a survey poll on it.  I’ll leave it on the next few posts and I look forward to the info I get.

26MAY2018 – OCF Update

The thirty degree mornings have relented.  There is a break in the seemingly endless succession of torrential rain and wind storms.  I have a non-work day where I can cut the grass and put the yard in post-winter order.So today may be a bit slow.  What’s on tap and coming up soon:

  1. Photos from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  2. Photo essay on the Sigma 150-600 Sports lens on the A7 III.
  3. Book Review on Robert Silverberg’s “Valentine Pontifex.”
  4. Book Review on “Kill Team (Galaxy’s Edge Book 3).”
  5. Book Review on “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.”
  6. Review of the Vanguard Alta GH-300T Grip Head for heavy lens shooting.
  7. Review of Deadpool 2.
  8. Review of Capture One 11 Photo Editing Software.
  9. President Trump’s summary firing of the intelligence agency conspirators.  Wait I’m not supposed to write that.  Let’s call that Trump Humor.

And some of these may not be in this order.  I am human after all and sometimes the mood strikes me to switch stuff up.  So stay tuned.

06MAY2018 – OCF Update

This week I’ll finish up reading Larry Correia’s “Monster Hunter Seige” and post a review.  The hard cover version came out back in July but I buy the paperback for convenience and that version just got issued.  The site has been a little slow because I’m putting together a sort of “best of” post on my southwest landscape trip for a link that Captain Capitalism is providing me and it’s a time-consuming endeavor.  It’s like eleven hundred files and I’m still learning how to use Capture One.  So bear with me.  That post should be pretty interesting for the photo enthusiasts.  As I mentioned earlier I’ll get those rental lenses on Friday the 11th and that will spawn some interesting posts on the viability of using Sigma lenses with Canon mount on the Sony A7 cameras.  That may be interesting to Canon shooters with Sigma glass who have been interested in switching to Sony and anyone who is still constrained by Sony’s telephoto and macro lens choices.

The other thing I am interested in writing about is the direction of right wing movement.  I am trying to formulate my own particular spin on what makes sense going forward.  There is a lot of confusion and undirected anger that doesn’t seem to be producing much in the way of results.  And there seems to be a certain amount of opportunism and charlatanism that makes it difficult to know what is solid and worthwhile.  Sometimes it seems that several people have each latched onto a different piece of the puzzle needed to reform the current situation but like the blind men and the elephant they only “see” a small part of the reality and are missing the big picture.  And because of that, they diagnose that small part of the problem and their solution doesn’t address the broader situation.  And some of the “wise men” are too extreme.  They would throw out the baby with the bath water.  The more I think about solutions for the social disintegration the more I think that restoring the common-sense institutions we used to have is the solution.  Stopping unlimited immigration is neither impossible nor radical.  Restoring respect for the traditions and institutions of our forefathers is important and relatively straight forward.  And replacing social justice and reverse discrimination with actual justice is so rational that it shouldn’t even require explanation.  I think some of the emphasis on race reality is a response to the absurdity that occurs when racial and sexual protectionism and intersectionality tactics are used to attack the American white middle and working classes.  If you eliminate these irritants then the rules of American society should be competent to allow different types of people to function relatively harmoniously.  Anyway, that is what I’m starting to think.  I’m definitely interested in other opinions.  And I read around to hear what other people are coming up with.  For instance I’m going to read Gregory Cochran’s “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution” and David Reich’s “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past” to see if there’s anything in biology that rules out my optimism for a functional multi-ethnic America.

And finally, I’d love to get more feedback from the readers.  Even if it’s negative.  It’s useful to know what you like and what you don’t.  Or even to just say hi.  It’s definitely appreciated and part of why I made this site.  I am interested in hearing other points of view.  And if you find something interesting on-line pass along the link.