Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, January 02, 2017

Wringing In The New Year (My Best Posts and Tweets of 2016, I Guess)

The following are the posts from 2016 that people liked most and which, for the most part, I liked as well:

Politics Is, November 16, 2016
William Burroughs on Peter Thiel, August 2, 2016
Robot Cultist Eliezer Yudkowsky's Ugly Celebration of Plutocracy, January 1, 2016
Reactionary Futurology in the Democratic Party, August 27, 2016
Did Democrats Lose the Election Because the Left Won the Culture Wars? November 12, 2016
Techniques of Futurity Against "Future" Technologies, April 24, 2016
Star Trek Suspicions, June 4, 2016
You know I'm a queergeek and so you may be unsurprised to know that Star Trek comes up fairly regularly here. I must say I think these two pithy less-read Star Trek posts deserved as much or more attention as that one throwaway post did, so I'm including them as well.
Now That's What I Call Techno-Color!
Next Trek Wish List
Futurist Authority and the Toppling of the Ivory Tower, August 7, 2016
Anti-Partisan Party People, May 28, 2016
Tech Destiny! December 22, 2016
Look, Ma, I'm A Capitalist! January 8, 2016
The Usual Suspects: Ben from Ben & Jerry's, Susan Sarandon, Cornel West, and Tim Robbins for Nader in 2000, May 22, 2016
Bre-Entry, June 25, 2016
Trump Talk Future Talk, October 14, 2016
A Lesson Learned, November 9, 2016

A truly terrible year has ended and a truly terrifying year now begins. I know that this is the year we elected the worst president in our history and destroyed the world and also this is the year your favorite popstar died -- but for me this year is also the worst because I spent two weeks in the hospital after nearly bleeding to death from the eyes ears nose and mouth for reasons that nobody could explain even after I returned home. The diagnosis on which the doctors finally settled was "idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura," which means nobody knows exactly why you may just start bleeding to death from every orifice at any moment (preferably while stuck on a super crowded train in a long tunnel under the Bay during rush-hour, which is my new regularly recurring living nightmare as I commute to teach), a diagnosis that is not in fact any more reassuring when it is described by the acronym "ITP" delivered in highly confident tones by a doctor about to tell you, yet again, that, my my these blood levels just want to stay at the bottom range of normal don't they every time you go back in for monitoring. Yes, a terrible, terrible year.

Now then, selecting "best of" posts has been especially daunting this time around, and I will admit that I simply ignored the dozen or so posts from last year that actually got the most hits (something I have never done before), because thousands of people clicked on posts in which I simply re-posted Clinton campaign ad content under a catchy headline or re-posted a tweet or posted information about poll-closing times that were readily available elsewhere -- and in these posts I honestly didn't do or say anything myself that merits note, let alone a second note now. For years now I have been grappling with the interaction of this longform blog -- a labor of love now in its thirteenth year -- and my (marginally) more popular microblogging... On my twitter profile I used to describe my practice there as "I mostly just tweet my blog," but for a long time now the reverse has been the case, I have been blogging my tweets. As a general matter I think this has made my writing more concise but less thoughtful, which is to say less useful and satisfying for me. And so I mean to return to more traditional essaylets in the coming year and to eschew pseudo-storified tweetstorms or at any rate translate these into essaylets as well. I think I have promised this before.


jimf said...

> I spent two weeks in the hospital. . .

I'd seen a vague reference to this episode -- in the comments --
but I hadn't known the details before.

Well, make sure you get plenty of vitamin C -- keeps
the capillaries strong, or something. :-/

Dale Carrico said...

Yeah, I didn't talk about it a lot. I didn't really even know how to talk about it. I found it easier to rage-blog about the election.