when they go high (tech) we go low (tech)

December 1 of 31 December-ish posts.

Oh, how those billionaires-who-shall-not-be-named would factor into a good political-type post that I’m sure would attract all sorts of readers like wasps to a honeypot.

How would I… should I describe my 2022 in tech or tools?

As the year wraps up I’ve dabbled in what I’m (right now) calling the addict’s last puff on the drug known as corporate social media. I tried spinning up a Youtube channel over the summer. I posted with some frequency on Twitter and Reddit. Instagram was routinely at the top of my daily digital dosage. I even downloaded TikTok for a few weeks, though I couldn’t ever figure out why I would post there.

I grew up weaned on technology, but also I was part of that tech pioneer generation who co-opted the family phone line to connect to dial-up bulletin board systems over a 2400 baud modem hissing from beside my hulking CRT monitor.  We installed games from floppy diskettes and challenged copy protection with meticulously hand-copied versions of code sheets and game manuals.  My first website was coded by hand in a text editor and uploaded through an SSH command line to a server somewhere. I had multiple Geocities accounts and, for crying out loud, I had a paid subscription to Blogger.com before they got bought out by Google (and they actually mailed me a hoodie with both the Blogger and Google logos to thank me when that happened.)

This has never been a tech blog, but it is tech.

I use high tech to write and share about low tech.

I use bare metal and code to post about cast iron and food.

I had high hopes for social media’s role in the world. I was an early adopter of many of those platforms, bringing many people along and feeding them content on the near-daily for nearly a decade.

Is it unfair to say I feel a bit cheated by how things turned out? It is too much to feel that lots of low tech folks have used the high tech tools we helped build and refine for things that don’t jive with my worldview?

I’ve deleted many accounts and shuttered more. I’m reluctant to walk away completely if only because my usernames would get slurped up almost instantly and cause confusion to a few people I care about.

This site is not corporate. I’m just a guy who wants to write. I pay for my own hosting. I run my own technology stack and manage my own updates. I write. I post. I share. I do it all.  And I feel a nostalgia for that as I round out 2022 and consider the state of our online spaces and the chaos that is swirling inside them.  Perhaps stepping out of the “digital public square” will mean fewer people will read these words, but not caring as much about size of my audience versus writing for myself and few quality people, like you who has found this site in other ways, is where I am right now.

And as we creep into 2023 when I need to think less about the moral and ethical impact of my high technology use, I can spend more time thinking about and writing about my low tech fun, fire, food and cast iron cooking, right?