tl;dr: anybody want to add me on Line or tell/remind me about other phone chat apps? betaveros as always.

Wow, talk about uninspired post titles.

I got a new phone today. Or, well, it’s second-hand, actually. I try to make electronics last a long time, but I think this was justified given the state of my last phone’s screen:

old phone screen, with a visibly malfunctioning black patch

Besides, I’m going off to college and all. Anyway, the phone is pretty cool. It’s a slick shade of red, it came with a cover and everything, and it has one of those fancy 3×3-grid locks. How secure are those again?

Well, we could just find the answer on StackOverflow, but that’s boring.

*ahem* Here we go, Literate Haskell. Plumbing:

> import Control.Applicative
> import Control.Arrow
> import Control.Monad
> import Control.Monad.Trans
> import Control.Monad.Trans.State
> import Text.Printf

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Here’s a guilty secret: I like getting feedback.

I’m not restricting myself to painstakingly thoughtful comments that attempt to build upon and transform the post to form an interesting conversation, the kind English teachers are hellbent on promoting. Sure, I get the most kicks out of those, but I’m not picky. Even single-digit pageview bars or a handful of Facebook “like”s give me buzzes of excitement.

It’s a guilty feeling, because I also think that that these are unimaginably cheap internet currencies and should not qualify as “meaningful” under a rational mindset. I strongly suspect visitors accidentally click on my blog and leave after five seconds without taking in anything, because I do that all the time to other people’s blogs and sites. Sometimes it is out of boredom, sometimes it is because I actually have something of higher priority to do than indiscriminate reading, sometimes it is simply because I cannot read the language. I’ve seen plenty of people like posts on Facebook based on the poster, only occasionally taking into consideration the first word of the post in question, before actually reading them.

Yes, the proliferation of “liking” on Facebook bothers me. I don’t expect everybody to reply meaningfully to everything when they just want to express approval lightly. However, when I see that tiny minority of people handing them out to people in their own threads like programs at a concert, I become indignant. Under their influence, what was originally a straightforward, meaningful badge of appreciation becomes a handwavy gesture that carries virtually no weight, and then I don’t know what to do when I see something I like seriously. Will clicking that button still express the feeling strongly enough?

I accept that, in our stressful world, a few instant effortless gags that take ten seconds to fully process and approve deserve a place. Nevertheless, the number of people who seem to want to make the “like” a completely passive and automatic action is almost physically painful:

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Twitter Bandwagon

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha look at all the services


So, if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last decade, Twitter is a platform for microblogging, i.e. blogging with very short posts, called tweets, which have to be under 140 characters after they shorten all the links for you for no reason, often after you’ve already shortened it once somehow-or-other. And yes, I hopped onto the bandwagon during procrastination. Everybody who matters on the technological edges of the internet seems to have one.

I’m not arrogant enough to imagine I could compare Twitter to anything else authoritatively… I only barely count myself as using it. But a brief set of first impressions should be okay. Twitter is very public: you can see everybody’s tweets, who everybody is following, and who everybody is being followed by; the single privacy setting is a simple binary choice to lock up your account, so that everybody who wants to see what you posted needs your explicit authorization.

My Facebook feed consists of entries such as:

  • photographs of people I barely recognize, which I scroll past quickly… unless my mom comes up and says “Who is that?” and spends ten minutes looking at more such photos while asking me questions like “How do you go to the next picture?” or “Why is this photo so blurry?”
  • context-less fragments of some larger conversation, e.g. “LOL!” or “linglinglinggg” (copied verbatim from a status)
  • alerts of J. Random Person having taken a Personality Test or scored too many lines in Tetris
  • Meta-Facebook infographics, like a cloud of your closest friends or number of status posts. I tend to… have an extraordinarily negative impression of the type of narcissistic achievement-reliant… people… who need rewards at every step, except that they seem to be everybody… *sigh*

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Web Service Envy

I discover things on the internet. That is, I think, a very large portion of what it’s for. I follow links and links to links and repeatedly refresh an RSS reader once every five minutes. But there are so many places to look, so many environments to feel out, so many services to pick from that I agonize forever over all of the choices.

Sometimes I wonder, why can’t we all just have one service for The Internet? Take a look at this wonderful array of icons I bumped into during geography research! (Images are an extremely important way of engaging one’s audience, but I’m not using a screenshot so you won’t be tricked into trying to click on them and because it looks cooler. Hence the awesome horizontal artifacts.)
[A badly taken picture of a box of icons for too many sharing services]
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