Showing posts with the label social media

The Internet is the Dunning-Kruger effect in perpetual motion.

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."  --  Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park
The Dunning-Kruger effect can be summed up by saying that the less knowledgeable and skilled you are at something, the more likely you think you're pretty great at it.

Don't know what you're talking about? You're pretty sure you do.

Think you have a really smart comment to add? You really don't.

This cognitive bias in which someone who is ignorant thinks they are incredibly skilled and smart shows up on social media and in blog comments sections.

Perhaps the flip side of this is impostor syndrome, which I've seen crop up in a lot of writers and actual skilled people. In this, you feel pretty sure someone is going to find out that you're not that good and see you for who you really are, an impostor. No matter what you achieve, you're always waiting for the day when someone points to you and says "you…

You could drink from a toilet, but why would you?

You can drink your water from the faucet or from the toilet. Both will quench your thirst, but you might have some problems from the latter.

With this idea in your mind, let me tell you that it's OK to block people, refuse to visit certain websites or information sources, and even keep their comments from reaching you on social media or blogs.

I stumbled upon a brouhaha regarding a generally loathesome blog (located nearby, in Montana!), and a call to block the blog's social media accounts and stop visiting the blog. I knew for sure what I'd see in the the second and third generation comments (those that respond under an initial comment).

1. "By telling people to do X, aren't you doing X?" This is the equivalent of thinking logical superiority has been achieved by you when your teacher tells you and your classmates to be quiet, and you call her out for talking in order tell people to be quiet. Go claim your trophy, little buddy.

2. "It's not a good i…

ND xPlains and mansPlains and also, truthfulness in advertising.

I figured I'd borrow from the rant and rave femimob world, and use "mansplains" in a post!


I'd seen a post on Facebook about a new media company and I was intrigued. You can see why, if you visit the home page:

"Title is kind of arrogant," I thought, as if I needed someone to explain North Dakota to me, though I could get the play on the word "plains" because we can't be reminded enough that we're on the northern plains.

I'm interested in getting the real scoop on North Dakota politics from trusted sources--that's sources, plural, i.e. more than one--delivered right to me!

Oh, wait. The Facebook page only shows this one guy.

"Who's that dude?" I wondered. "I thought there would be multiple sources and views provided?"

Tyler Axness. You don't say.


I fully expect a "unique perspective" on "current topics" and "breaking news" and a chance to "elevate" my…

We welcome your opinion.

This is a day and age where everyone thinks having a strong emotion/opinion is justification for sharing. They think the First Amendment is somehow a guarantee that they get to share their opinion with anyone and that it must be given "due respect."

Due respect, indeed.

You may have the right to free speech, but I am not obligated to listen nor care.

There are only a few times I'm interested in someone's opinion. If you're an expert and you know what you're talking about and have solid information to share that you believe would be of helpful interest, OK. Or, if I came to you because you are an expert and you know what you're talking about and have solid information to share that I believe would be of help, OK. If you're a close friend or family member and you actually have some skin in the game of my life and care, OK.

But the shotgun approach to receiving unsolicited opinions from random strangers is of zero interest and curiosity, of zero value.

I hate this hacker crap.

It's been a long day at work. It's hot and I'm tired and overwhelmed. I'm weary on many levels and I've just paid for three expensive car repairs that have eaten through my savings like a flamethrower in butter. 
So what do I find in my email today when I get home?

"I'm going to send it to your nine contacts."

Wow, dude, seriously.

I'm no stranger to these kinds of threats from these kinds of losers; thanks to the protest a year back, I already have a cartoon ready to use for these pathetic excuses for humanity. I think we're dealing with someone who looks like panel #6 for sure.

So, first I headed to the FBI, reported the email, and then to other various law enforcement entities.

Then I responded back to this cretin.


The problem with online reviews, and a guide to not being a jerk customer.

"...most people tend to only use review systems to hurt businesses rather than help them. In other words, you might get a few 5-stars, but people are most passionate about what they do with a one-star." --  Me, to my sister, in an email.

Humans are vindictive and emotional, caring less about other people in favor of ourselves or circling the wagons around our own; the internet enables this quality, especially in reviews.

On Google, I am a "Local Guide." You get to that illustrious level of meaningless achievement based on how you participate with Google Maps in helping them build their product. I upload a lot of photos of places I visit, and I've left about 100 reviews for businesses all over the country and in other countries. I have a particular approach in how I leave reviews, which is based upon what I've learned about how people use reviews.

Understanding What Reviews Should Be, And End Up Being
Reviews are meant to help other customers make decisions …

My failed campaign to run for sheriff.

Holy cats, guys.

The county elections were on Tuesday, and I totally missed the boat. I did zero serious campaigning in my run for the Nazi party as county sheriff!

Those were the halcyon days of yesteryear, back in 2015 and 2016, when lots of losers often named Patrick Millette were fixated on a pipeline protest and endeavored to create a false Facebook profile of me to spam various North Dakota sheriff offices, and participated in various other forms of super-unique Hitler-themed harassment directed at me, often during the day when he was at work and on the company clock.

Good times, good times.

5 ways to be a safe driver in Hampden

Internet marketing is awful.

I worked in that world for several years; I know the tricks. Just thinking about how much I could tell you about what really goes on behind all of the Shiny Happy Marketing People is absolutely wearying. It's enough for a book.

One technique to garner traffic is to create some generic piece of content, and then email all over tarnation to see if someone will use it on their website. There are a variety of ways marketers find and choose their email targets, some more thoughtful than others. Regardless, this is one of many reasons why you see what seems to be the same content everywhere on the internet.

I actually save those emails that I receive (and I get a fair number, since my name is on a lot of marketing blog posts from back in the day and people think I am interested) labeled as "great email examples", because some are so badly done I can't keep myself from going back and cherishing them. Clearly, the word "great" in the la…

Fading into the background, with peanut butter.

Fading into the background is sorely underrated.

There's a great deal of freedom in between the vertical seams of the wallpaper. I've written about this concept in great masses of words elsewhere, never one to say a few words when I can write many.

The oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, which has lasted nearly a year, has made me sit in some kind of awe as I watch people from all angles jockeying for position as personal celebrities. Live feeds on Facebook, inflammatory posts of dubious truth, and other species of drama all served to gather a back-slapping chorus of fans who chime in with comments of true love and devotion no matter what the person is saying.

We're apparently a world desperate to be worshiped, or to worship. Social media abounds in golden calves as people are frantically searching for lives that seem significant and others are trying to latch onto their contrails to maybe get a whiff of relevance.

The protest, as ugly and tiring as it has been to have t…