“Dark Social” is the notion that people share “content” via private/secure messaging apps, one-to-one or one-to-select-group. That social sharing activity can’t be measured in any useful way. There is no freely-available prosumer tool to quantify the sharing of a link. Hence, they call it “dark social.” When you hear someone say “dark social,” they’re bemoaning the inability to get click reports off of actual conversation. Because when you see someone on the street head-down in their phone and dabbing away at the screen, they’re not cut off from the outside world. They’re talking to people. Fuck your Black Mirror narrative – they’re just more interested in a window to their friends and family than they are in you peering at them in judgement. And all that action of being engaged in a life of having your loved ones in your hand all the time and being able to show them things and talk about it? That’s Dark Social now.
In this week’s edition of his newsletter, Orbital Operations, writer of all trades and legendary Internet Jesus Warren Ellis offered the following bits of sage advice for us all to perform our own lifehack in these unprecedented times. Take heed, if you want to survive.
“If you’re on social media, make your account private, and use it to be social. Use it with your friends.
If you rely on social media for news, do this. 1) Don’t use Facebook for news. I mean, just don’t. Facebook’s values are not your own, and they have their own rules for what you get to see. So just don’t. 2) Twitter has a function called Lists. So go to a Twitter account, press the little cog icon on the right, and select Add Or Remove From Lists. Create a list, and you can add people to it without actually following them.
The term “attention economy” seems to be making a comeback in 2017. Your attention is valuable. Also, the confusing and scattering of your attention is valuable. Overwhelming you into making bad or unfocused choices is valuable. Take back your attention.
And for god’s sake, stick a passcode on your phone this week. Six is okay, I’m told eleven is better. And turn off Touch ID before you go through an airport – that’s a thing I keep hearing.
(Addition to last week’s notes: favcleaner will wipe out your entire Twitter likes history, slowly. It will post to your account once – just delete the tweet.)
Find your news. I read The Guardian, BBC News and Foreign Policy every morning, as well as Politico and Axios daily newsletters, and I recently bought access to The Washington Post and put Reuters on my home screen.
Find your people. Do it offline. If you’re worried, turn your phone off before you leave the house to go to a meeting, and don’t turn it back on until you’re well away from the meeting place. Or leave it at home entirely, and carry a burner with a removeable battery.
Change your goddamn passwords and don’t buy any of that IoT shit.
“Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry”
This isn’t unexpected, and the ground has already been laid for it, in the updated ESTA and in the questioning of journalists at customs in the US over their LinkedIn accounts last year.
Sorry to be such a huge downer, but these are times for protection.
Come and sit by me. I have whisky, and I like fires.”
Do yourself a favor and subscribe to the Orbital Operations newsletter here.
Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE and the “underground classic” novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, as well as the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR. His newest book is the novella NORMAL, from FSG Originals.
The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. IRON MAN 3 is based on his Marvel Comics graphic novel IRON MAN: EXTREMIS. He is currently developing his graphic novel sequence with Jason Howard, TREES, for television, in concert with HardySonBaker and NBCU, and continues to work as a screenwriter and producer in film and television, represented by Angela Cheng Caplan and Cheng Caplan Company.
He’s written extensively for VICE, WIRED UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters, and given keynote speeches and lectures at events like dConstruct, ThingsCon, Improving Reality, SxSW, How The Light Gets In and Cognitive Cities.
Warren Ellis is currently working on a non-fiction book about the future of the city for FSG Originals, serialising new graphic novel works like TREES and INJECTION at Image Comics, and developing and curating the revival of the Wildstorm creative library for DC Entertainment.
A documentary about his work, CAPTURED GHOSTS, was released in 2012.
Recognitions include the NUIG Literary and Debating Society’s President’s Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative. He is a Patron of the British Humanist Association, an Associate of the Institute of Atemporal Studies, and the literary editor of EDICT magazine.
Warren Ellis lives outside London, on the south-east coast of England, in case he needs to make a quick getaway.
~ This is a #thinkbook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker returns with new brainjuice after a two-week break ~
The last couple of weeks have not been optimal for regular blogging, due in part to my being busy creatively on a couple of projects. That’s a good thing. In that span there’s been so much on my mind I’ve wanted to lay out here in the form of brainjuice leakage that there’s no way to condense (nor remember) it all here for a single entry. I usually don’t do this particular series with much pre-planning or forethought, instead going for a more spontaneous approach, digging back into the deep pockets of my mind to squeeze out the past week’s high or deep thoughts. What usually occurs is a scattershot cranial explosion. Or something.
This week I’ll start by pulling a thought or two that I shared during the week on my Facebook page. First, some bad news.
Local/National News Story of the Week
In reaction to this news story about a deadly new synthetic drug scourging the streets of America, claiming 50 lives nationwide, two from my native state, I wrote:
++ The inventiveness of this kind of stuff seems boundless. It highlights that one of the saddest aspects of the human condition is the inability to cope without chemical assistance. My heart goes out to those who face any kind of existential crisis that leads them down this path. Stay above ground and keep breathing, y’all.
Legacy News of the Week
++ Where so many of us writers, editors and small press publishers cut our teeth back in the late 90s and early 00s. Not only did we learn so much about writing, editing and publishing from and with our peers, but the workshop/virtual studio was essentially the forerunner of social media. It’s where we learned how to (and how not to) act online. Big thanks to FFC, of course and a huge shout out to sysop Tom Edgar. Commence the renaissance.
Political Thought of the Week
++ None of these things that people try to sling at Hillary Clinton can effectively negate the positives about her, especially all her years of public service benefitting women and children. I’d stack up her service record against any of the candidates we had going this cycle NOT named Bernard Sanders.
Now let the brainjuice tap drip for . . .
Three Random Thoughts
++ A disturbing thing I’ve had to grudgingly but consciously admit to myself is that some days, often many days, I just don’t have the desire to wordsmith. As stated in yesterday’s Notebook 7, I’m always in a creative state. However, productivity surges and wanes to an imperceptible rhythm that a mere mortal writer like myself (i.e. not currently paid to do so) has not yet mastered the ability to perceive and ward off. Nonfiction stuff like social media or blogging, is rarely ever effected, but the kind of creative writing that fiction requires has always arrived from a mysterious well of unknown depth and unknown quantities of resources. Usually, this can be assisted by simply reading a diverse array of things, which I do regularly. But even this past week I slacked on that. #Writer’sPlight
++ Still, due to the inspiration of one of my favorite writers Warren Ellis, whose weekly newsletter Orbital Operations and an online journaling have been one of my primary inspirations here, I want to try to write something here every day without fail, as he is attempting to do for two uninterrupted months on his semi-daily blog Morning.Computer. Ideally this would be the month of September, leading up to and through my birthday weekend holiday. We’ll see if that happens.
++ I am a notorious tinkerer. I tinker and tweak everything. I’m a fine-tuner who believes in continuous improvement. So it’s very possible I may tinker with things here yet again, such as the theme, colors (though I love the stark monochrome), menu layout, etc. So don’t be surprised if you see things looking different around here (if you, ya know, even pay that much attention to that sort of thing).
I’m going to have to stop it there and continue things later in Lifebook 11 where I focus on something equally communal and personal that happened last night. Right now I have to get ready for a wedding.
Be mindful and good to each other, m’kay?
So I stumbled across this Warren Ellis video interview, looks like it was conducted and subsequently posted midsummer of last year. When I started blogging about five years or so ago it was totally inspired by Warren Ellis’ old website
In novels you have to just suggest the image for the reader to allow the image to live in their own minds. The more specific you make the image, sometimes the harder it is for it to really resonate with the reader. It’s the difference between painting in detail and painting in broad strokes. — Warren Ellis
“…a writer is always working as long as they’re awake. The mind is always spinning and looking for things to grab on to that it can make a story with. It spins and jumps and glares and claws. No peace for you, host creature.”
From a post on his blog: Morning, Computer
I am a proud and eager subscriber of writer Warren Ellis’ weekly newsletter Oribital Operations. On a weekly basis (or therabouts) I can expect him to touch upon various topics that run the gamut of intelligent, thought-provoking, humorous and enlightening. A couple of weeks ago he stated something that really stopped me in my tracks, something I feel I must share with other writers.
“. . .thoughts about how commercial storytelling is changing. Look at the ructions television has gone through in the last fifteen years. The “endless” run (and the end brought by economics as much as anything) looks like an aged form now, and novels for television are where the important stuff is done. TRUE DETECTIVE, and the even more innovative AMERICAN HORROR STORY (and now AMERICAN CRIME) where the cast are a stable putting on a new play every season.
I think Jeff VanderMeer’s interlocking SOUTHERN REACH novels, all three released in the same 12 months, might prove to be a very interesting model for prose.
But it’s also a set of thoughts — and I haven’t nailed this down, I’m going to come back to it — about how narrative forms need to keep moving at the pace of the world to some extent, need to keep looking for new sounds. Also, going back to earlier scenes and digging through their rubble for something that can be mutated and gene-edited in a lab and bolted on to something else in order to make something modern. It’s not looking backward when you’re constructing something new out of the parts. Frankenstein wasn’t an archaeologist.
Keep building. Keep shooting lightning into things to see what happens. That’s what the narrative enterprise needs. That’s been my constant aspiration.”
“You forget that the MAD MAX films are a narrative continuum, from the brink of societal collapse all the way through to the petrol- and water-cults after the end of the world. Max himself goes from tightly-wound cop to broken man to the Max of FURY ROAD, who, for the first half of the film, is pretty much a grunting animal on his hind legs and then reduced down to a bag of blood. From husband and father to medical object.
Someone said to me the other day that MAD MAX is “his Star Wars.” His modern myth. A myth of the time of steel and petrol, that’s about collapsing back into dark history. Viewed as a continuum, the film cycle almost plays as a warning sent ahead to us from 1980. A time capsule that’s still telling itself stories from inside its box. FURY ROAD doesn’t feel like a modern film. It’s a throwback to classical filmmaking. A scream from the nightmares of the last century.”