December 11th, 2013


Is This Thing On?

A Vast Echo Of Empty

Most of the time my posts get no response. That's fine -- most aren't intended to troll for comments. Nor is my ego deficient in a way that craves attention.

Still, one wonders if anyone is reading my blog posts. If that's all I cared about, I would wonder why I am doing this and wonder if I should continue.

But that's not why I blog.

I Am Not A Big Name

I don't have carreer or fan base of a John Scalzi or a Patrick Rothfuss or a Jim Wright. And why should I? This is still early in my SF writing career and I minimize the number of political rants to go off on. Hell, we don't even have any cats right now. It's all I can do to keep from being thrown off the Internet without cat updates and pictures.

I don't even do a lot of reposting of material.

So I know my reader base is limited. Geesh, since the Presto Printing Mailbox died, even my mother isn't reading my blog!

The Game Is Changed

Social media is not only the newfangled buzzword we use today, the system is in constant flux. "Nobody" blogs anymore when you can Facebook. Why Facebook when you can Twitter. In five years it may be that no one is using Facebook -- the MySpace of the 10s. Eight years ago I jumped directly from blog to blog that I wanted to read. Now I've got feeds on LiveJournal and Blogger, and links on Facebook, plus Twitter rehashed on LJ and FB.

So times have changed.

Plus, there's the simple fact that you never get 100% response in anything online. So while I may not see the responses to my posts on LiveJournal or especially Dreamwidth, I know there are people reading me. Other than spammers, I mean. And putting links on Facebook -- same thing. A few Likes or comments here or there should equal a larger small audience.

And anyway, there are flaws in the system. The Dreamwidth user base is smaller, LiveJournal isn't what it used to be and anyway, since LiveJournal Release 88 the other Christmas season, many have found the Friends page feeds ugly, unusable or annoying. And Facebook. You hit a link in FB and jump to my blog and when you go back to Facebook, it reloads from the top. You may never scroll down far enough to make a Like or comment to my post -- or it never shows up again because FB knows better than you do what you want to see. (snort)

So it's not a problem. I am aware that no response doesn't by itself mean anything.

I Say I Don't Care...

That even if no one reads my blog I'd still do it. And that's true. Since I have been feeling better and gotten the Kindle Fire HD in hospital, I've been going through all my blog posts. On the one hand, that only takes me back to April 2005. On the other, that's a good chunk of my modern life. It includes the acquisition of the current 4WD fleet, the upgrades to the house inside and out, the rebirth of my Nikon photography and most certainly most of my writing career and cons. And on the third hand, a slim documentation of This Year Without A Summer.

You see, there's good therapy in reliving my life to get my life back. When you've been stuck in a bed for two months, hospitalized for 5½ months and restricted at home for nearly two months, you need to be reminded of what you need to do to go back to work. To remind yourself of the good and the bad. And plan for things in the future.

Sure, I missed Windycon this year and will miss ConFusion in January. But I am not retired and homebound forever and I will be getting out of town, including Detcon 1 in Detroit in July -- no way am I missing a NASFiC in Michigan. But rather than sit and veg, my old blog entries rekindle the old fires. Gives me directions to look for future plans.

Because I am not sick and depressed. Wounded, perhaps. Gimpy in a new way which has required serious thought in what I need to do and what obstacles there are left to conquer. But in the immortal words of song...

I shall survive...

And rest assured my blog will continue. You can't get rid of me that easy. (grin)

Dr. Phil

PS -- Don't forget about the Dr. Phil "Under Suspicion" Giveaway. (DW)

Capitalist Welfare Queens

Scrambling After Crumbs

Had the news on at noon today and an ad ran from New York State. Besides touting all the great features of New York, then also wanted to let companies know that if they come to New York, they might be able to be tax free for up to ten years.

Now New York is certainly not the first state to offer incentives to attract jobs. Far from it. And while one worries that this has been going on long enough to start a merry-go-round of the same jobs moving from state to state, collecting incentive checks and enjoying tax holidays -- until the terms and conditions expire. Let's face it, New York doesn't give a damn whether they're creating new jobs or stealing jobs from Illinois or Alabama, and vice versa. It's only the other states that suffer the losses.

It's the same kind of short range and short foresight thinking which drives corporate boards to lose their minds and focus on only the short term balance sheets and damn the consequences to either the customers or even the survival of the company.

And states like Michigan have governments which think it's okay to try to strangle the unions and promote Right To Work For Less laws and compete for those jobs.

The Sweepstakes

I don't know if the New York ad is aimed at Boeing, but that company is looking for a place to assemble the Boeing 777x jetliner. And not in Washington state, because their own employee unions wouldn't agree to making the 777x employees third-class citizens.

And so Boeing has become the Big new prize to go after, following big pursuits of auto companies -- VW, BMW, Toyota -- and others. Just read an editorial about hoping Michigan didn't join the parade of states offering the world to Boeing.

And I like Boeing aircraft!

Just Once

I wish some state had the guts to run an ad...

We have a great state -- filled with parks and forests and lakes and streams filled with trout. A land of pleasant communities with good neighbors and strong schools, of an enthusiastic work force willing and able to do good work at a good job.

We don't need companies to mooch off our taxpayers and demand tax rollbacks and amenities -- We want good neighbor company partners who want to be an active, useful, paying and positive part of our community.

We don't need companies to restrict our workers and demand an end to over a century of progress in working conditions, compensation and safety -- We want to improve our economy and quality of life, and enjoy a middle class who might actually be able to afford to fuel a successful capitalist and consumer system. And perhaps buy what you're making. And have income, vacation time and retirements to take advantage of all our state has to offer.

We don't need companies to come in and demand variances in our hard fought for environmental regulations -- We want good neighbor companies who want to live where it's beautiful and clean.

So come to our little piece of heaven and help us make it even better.

The State That Cares

Yeah, you'd lose some of the Big projects run by greedy graspy bean counters.

But I bet you'd also find a host of companies that are willing to come and build a great place to live and retire, and not just a factory.

I can dream, can't I?

Dr. Phil