View profile

Now We Are Cooking - Self.Newsletter - Issue #31

Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo
It is not about Thanksgiving, either…

Working the Network
Last week (the week of 15 November 2021) was a busy one, with my effort to get networking breakfasts moving (two meetings with Bootstrappers Breakfast, plus an actual breakfast meetup to talk about breakfast meetups here in Vegas, if that isn’t too meta), not to mention a startup.vegas meetup on Wednesday, plus Tech Alley for a chunk of the day on Saturday. Yipes that is a lot of talking to humans, which is not something I have been doing this much of in a good long time.
We all know that personal interaction is important, and if you are trying to accomplish something it usually makes sense to talk to others, whether they are colleagues, potential clients, future customers, or maybe none of those. Big events with many tens or hundreds (or tens of thousands?) of people milling around running into each other, or a few people sitting at a table with some coffee to kick off another day, or somewhere in between.
So the adventures begin. Again.
Speaking of Meta
While I was at a smaller networking gathering on Wednesday last week, the topic of the new Meta/metaverse notion came up. I asked the person asking for thoughts whether they had seen or read Ready Player One, and I was rather surprised that the answer was No. It is neither a good book nor a great movie (it is visually impressive in many respects, and a fun movie in general, but for this discussion it is purely illustrative of one side of the metaverse coin, if you will), but I was surprised that something this recent and this closely tied to the metaverse notion was not a matter of course at this point. Certainly the press has mentioned the origin of the term metaverse, which you can read up on here on Wikipedia:
Metaverse - Wikipedia
If I may place my thought bubble here for posterity, I think the Facebook (er, Meta) take on a metaverse is closer to the IOI view of The Oasis in RPO there than what Wade and his friends thought it might be under their stewardship. Either way, RPO and the sequel, Ready Player Two, are worth reading if only to consider that people like the author of those books, with that warped a view on social interaction and the human condition, might actually be concocting a real world virtual world. I’m looking at you, Zuck.
I am not going to link to the books or the movie, by the way, because the books are awful and the movie is only worth watching if you are already going down the metaverse path. That said, I would rather see the effort and hype go into solving real problems and concerns with technology (and focus) than this shiny object to distract from Facebook (er, Meta) and their many, many, many offenses.
Reading and Comedy
I am taking a break from posting book and stand-up links, though I am still consuming both. I am not quite certain whether those are interesting to the small population of folks taking this newsletter (or reading it online, which I will get to in a moment), but I do read some interesting stuff (especially lately) and I do enjoy stand-up comedy from a growing number of talented and funny people, so whether and how to publish references to these and other interesting things is up in the air at the moment.
So these sorts of things (the books and the comedians) will still come up for sharing along the way, but exactly how is the question, and I doubt very much it will be via a Revue newsletter. Why?
Owning My Stuff
I have been on a bit of a TikTok bender lately. Everything they say is true, you can very easily lose an hour or two to swiping through short videos about all manner of interesting, or mostly ridiculous clips of creativity. The Grace Kelly harmony challenge was interesting, the lip sync stuff is entertaining or silly or both, there are some how-to clips, some math and science clips, and some random stuff that defies simple classification.
If you have visited TikTok, or Insta, or many other platforms, you know that there is an entire creator segment aimed squarely at adult entertainment, which is fine. The problem, though, is that each platform determines what their community standards are, and what it means to violate those, which may include accounts being closed or suspended or limited in other ways for some period of time. So many mentions of accounts being closed and their owners losing 10s or 100s of thousands of followers, or lesser penalties that are almost as vexing and which are used to enforce limitations on what people say or do in their presentations.
I’m actually okay with this. The example I use is placement of signage on a lawn. You can place a sign on your lawn, whatever it might say, and you might offend or upset your neighbors or people passing by, but as the saying goes, “if you aren’t offending someone, you probably don’t really have freedom of speech.” The problem, though, is when someone else posts a sign on your lawn, the can of worms is opened, and this is where the platform on which you post your creativity gets to decide whether you can do that or not.
There is a lot of talk lately about a decentralized Web 3.0 effort, based on blockchains and some kind of cryptocurrency (because these are both critical, say investors in these things), to which I would say, the notion of publishing one’s stuff online goes back to the origins of the internet itself, with distribution methods like Usenet News going back to the early 1980s and the migration from publishing our stuff on a school server in our home directories to getting our own domain or some place to publish a blog, etc) into the 1990s, has been supplanted by the handing-over of that agency to commercial entities profiting from you on all sides of the transaction.
My publishing this newsletter here on this website/platform (and via Substack when I was sending out two each week) goes against the very notion that I have been espousing for the last few months, and with this platform being something of a disappointment for a few reasons (I am not looking to bash them too hard, though they do have Twitter money that is being spent on something else, perhaps), there really are zero remaining reasons to remain tied to Other People’s Platforms (yeah you know me).
When the internets were slowly but surely becoming accessible to the masses, internet connectivity was not great (still true for more people than you would think, which is ridiculous itself), computers were not so commonly in homes much less in pockets, and the ability publish to someplace in between so others could get to your stuff was weird magic. Today, there is essentially zero reason to hand over one’s brand and agency to platforms that care about their own bottom line with zero regard for yours (even if your bottom line is sharing your creativity without so much energy spent avoiding getting shut down).
So it really has become a moral imperative, to practice what I preach, so to speak, and if I put it off and put it off, it will never happen. Thus, for the week of Thanksgiving 2021, I am skipping dinner and staying in front of my computer to take back my online agency and put the internets and the embarrassment of riches that is the canyon-full of free tools and software available with cloud resources everywhere to work, for myself and the to take mostly-unfettered advantage of the internet in everybody’s pocket.
To be continued…
Thanks For Your Support
In a fit of irony, perhaps, I will link you to my out-of-band profile page on Buy Me a Coffee, which is useful to keep up with the various get-off-platforms efforts, podcasts, and other entrepreneurial endeavors regardless of the state of my own blog or my business website, etc. Really the notion of owning one’s presence (online or off) is about primary presence, with secondary and tertiary (and more) copies and links and shares and whatnot a part of the landscape at this point. Thus I point you to my BMaC profile, on which you shall find various links and various ways to add to the Caffeine Supply powering some of these efforts.
If you subscribe to this newsletter, or read it online, you could do me a solid when the time comes and share links to my new stuff, which will ultimately supersede this publication and will, ideally, be more interesting. Not to mention the other projects which are not so me-centric as, say, the personal (vanity?) site which will replace this newsletter.
Thanks for reading along this far (today and in previous weeks), and I look forward to seeing you down the path a bit when it forms from this one.
Artwork Attribution
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Did you enjoy this issue? Yes No
Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo @DanHugo

Various topics of the day, whichever day, from home or abroad, about this and that and the other thing.
Engineer in Las Vegas, working on a variety of cool projects; Maker of Friends, Friend of Makers. Answers to most pronouns, you can call me Al.

In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Created with Revue by Twitter.
Las Vegas, NV 89101