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I quit social media and now I want a cigarette (hadalin.me)
101 points by supr_strudl on Sept 24, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 179 comments

I’ve always found these articles fascinating on HN, because while anecdotal, hacker news is easily the social media that has wasted the most of my time and been the source of the most stress and anxiety (aren’t you using this new tech yet?).

The privacy issue doesn’t exist here, at least not unless you decide to share, but if you do, you actually won’t be able to delete your posts unless you contact the admins.

Facebook actually adds a lot more value to my life than HN does because Facebook is the place one of my friend groups arrange our 4-6 yearly weekend retreats. This is the only thing I use Facebook for though, I don’t have any of their apps and I only log on a couple of times a month. Don’t get me wrong, I wish we could do it on some other medium exactly because of facebooks evil history, but unfortunately Facebook is the only place everyone is.

I used to use Facebook differently, I used to follow things and interests, but one I removed all my likes and follows it became a pretty harmless address book that sells my information to advertising. Hacker news on the other hand is where I waste the most of my online time, and mostly it’s on feeling inferior because I’m not learning X and Y or starting some side project company. This is anecdotal like I said, but I don’t think HN is any better than FB from a purely psychological point of view. Facebook is obviously still more evil due to the privacy issues, but this article is about the cigarette side of social media.

The time wasting aspect was never really the issue with social media. It's the way it warps peoples' view of reality without their understanding of that fact. Humans are really really good at being social. We have these skills from millions of years of evolution and existence in social groups. We're really good at filtering out bad actors and building strong communities. But when those communities are algorithmically mediated, chopped up, and repackaged for each individual, it atomizes people and has the effect of replacing actual human interaction with an artificially created situation whose purpose is to profit a single entity. It short circuits all of those safeguards we have to protect our selves and our minds. I refuse now to take part in any form of online social discourse that isn't completely unfiltered, because I understand the dangers. But most people don't, or don't care, and I fear that these behemoth walled garden "curated" experiences will turn out to be the most harmful thing ever done to human civilization.

Could you also view this through the lens of all social bubbles, especially online ones with weighted ranking of popular opinion, being detrimental to one’s concept of truth?

In real life we have very different inputs and outputs and sense for anonymity. All of the internet has turned us into a different creature. All technology seems to. We make tools that change us.

Seems like the best we can do is understand as many social spheres as possible.

we need a legacynews where people discuss how they're not transitioning to java8 but keep java7 for now

"How Perl 5 is basically fine and gets the job done"

"If node is so fast why does my PHP site feel way faster than this React+Redux+Node thingy? An inquiry into what 'fast' means."

"Why GUIs in things other than webtech are actually not hard at all and work way better."

> "If node is so fast why does my PHP site feel way faster than this React+Redux+Node thingy? An inquiry into what 'fast' means."

this actually a true statement.

I probably spent a thousand hours deeply mocking PHP, but everytime I use their website I'm shocked how lean everything is.

Given the infinte amount of brilliant work done on js VMs and HTTP2 or whatever, I think there's something to be learned there.

PHP is, at its core (i.e. after in-engine precompilation), a hand-coded-in-C virtual machine with its ISA purpose-designed for efficiently generating dynamic HTML from the results of backend network service requests.

Honestly, that’s not a bad idea. It’s a lot like how many old game consoles have ISAs that specifically make game software efficient to run compared to generic application software. Purpose-built architectures can be exploited to achieve incredible efficiencies in CPU/memory usage for a given effect—as any demoscene programmer could tell you. Even emulators running this CISC code often outperform the same code written idiomatically for the host arch (see: one of the reasons that z/OS FORTRAN programs stick around.)

So far as I know, we haven’t recapitulated this approach in any other modern stack. Sure, we “compile” templates, but only to the bytecode ISA of the scripting language hosting the MVC framework, which has none of these dynamic-HTML-oriented CISC opcodes (other than maybe the Erlang VM’s vectorized write of “IO lists” using writev(2).)

A web MVC framework for another language (e.g. Ruby, Node, Elixir, whichever!) would actually likely do well in performance terms by having its “view” component be a static PHP (or Zend microcode) generator, feeding the web frontend (e.g. Nginx) a directory of PHP to expose to the world, which would only call into the server backend (and so the MVC controller) through API-subdomain subrequests. The static-generated PHP “app” would serve the same purpose as a JavaScript SPA... but would exist on the server together with the backend, so there’d be much less point in persisting state there (since you’re not patching over a latency boundary by doing so.)

There’d probably be even more efficiencies to uncover if you designed an ISA from the ground up to be used solely for this purpose (i.e. being “edge-worker logic” spat out during a backend’s compilation phase), though, compared to PHP which must be Turing-complete for those that want to use it as a full-stack solution. I imagine the resulting ISA would look like some weird bytecode hybrid of eBPF, Server-Side Includes, and Nginx’s in-memory representation of loaded location{} entries. (I also imagine that some Cloudflare engineer already has a design for such an ISA in a notebook somewhere, as a more-efficient-through-constraints Cloudflare Workers target—but they haven’t bothered going further because it’s kind of an arcane idea and they’d need buy-in from framework devs before it’d be useful to build.)

I could argue that all 3 are true statements.

"But is it web scale?"

"How to Use Apache and Postgres to Serve a High Traffic Website on a 1U Server and Use the Leftover Resources to Host an NFS Server with All Your Pirated Music On It"

If it can handle 100k billion connections simultaneously I will never need, I am sold!

Can we also talk about supporting google web toolkit with no budget to get off it?

A forum for the curmudgeonly old Senior Engineers of the world, regardless of where they work. I imagine this is what the IETF mailing lists look like.

I hope you meant "not transitioning to java 11 but keeping java 8 for now"

that's not tru legacy man

>Facebook actually adds a lot more value to my life than HN does because Facebook is the place one of my friend groups arrange our 4-6 yearly weekend retreats.


This is how we find out about events in the strength athlete community, it's how we can best follow our friends and their victories at competitions in their area, it's how we can see how training is going for other people and be an umpteenth set of eyes on their form or training issues and be able to go "hey, I had that same problem and this is what worked for me" or even find new programming ideas for ourselves.

Similarly, we use it multiple times a week for my local congregation. We have a private Facebook group where we post so and so needs help, the young men are meeting at so and so, we need volunteers for this still, etc.

And of course I can see what is going on in the lives of my friends that either distance or adulthood prevents me from interacting with regularly. "Wow, Meg is pregnant again!" "Hey, their wedding looked awesome!" "Oh, your mom died, she didn't even tell me she was sick, I'm so sorry Aaron".

I don't get this whole "Facebook is the devil, it makes me wish I too had a private jet and 6 lambos and had all the sex with all the women with my champagne parties!" thing. Uh, hi, unfriend people you don't actually care about or barely know... you don't need to be friends with 2173 "cool" people and you certainly don't need to compare yourself to them.

For me Facebook is a constant source of laughs and "hey I'm happy for them, they won their division/got married/are having a baby/are doing so great with their weight loss/passed the bar exam!"

"I don't get this whole "Facebook is the devil,"

If you don't get it then that line of thinking is not for you. Different people like different things. I left FB a few years ago now and do not miss it one bit, whatsapp groups became more important for social stuff at some point and FB loss significance. This is not for everyone, not everyone is the same.

You could literally replace most comments here, yours included, with "different things for different people". What's the point in bitching about how I DONT GET PEOPLE THAT THINK X!!! well I don't understand how you think either mate.

>, whatsapp groups became more important for social stuff at some point and FB loss significance.

I don't know a single person that uses Whatsapp and the only time I ever used was me and my former podcast partner (who was in Australia, 12 time zones away) and I used it to text each other. In average America Whatsapp is just not a thing, at least not for adults, nearly everyone has Facebook though.

Cultural difference - most of my friends in the UK and Australia (I have lived in both) use whatsapp as a primary way to talk to groups of friends. FB is more of an attention seeking thing and a place for your mum to see what you're doing.

You could move yourselves to email lists.

My non-tech parents still organize their meetups over email, it works more than fine for them.

I don't get why people have abandoned email for Facebook. Is it because of Spam, or poorly managed inboxes? Everyone has email.

I think it's mostly due to the difficulty of managing reply threads with large groups of people. Most don't have the patience to deal with it.

And while I quit Facebook a year or so ago, I do think they serve different purposes. It's more like a webforum or something in the Reddit/HN vein. You can have one-on-one or small group discussions, but you can also post things out to your larger friend/fam/acquaintance network or to more public groups.

There's definitely something to be said for that, and as someone who spent my college through adult life on IRC and message boards, I get the appeal. I just wish it didn't have to be a winner-take-all situation where the "winner" happens to be a really shitty company I don't want to do business with.

The UI, mostly. Email threads are harder to read than the same thing almost anywhere else. And yeah, spam doesn't help—most people don't know how to set up filters and automatic categorization and such, even in programs that make it fairly easy.

Facebook feeds have more spam than hosted email with default spam protection.

Facebook's great use case is in maintaining casual communication with large groups of friends and family, friction-free, without having to fuss with mailing lists or spamming people with Reply All.

same reason why people with emails organized on places like meetup.com back in the day. A central location for information is ideal for gatherings.

Deletion of posts and comments is a thorny issue. Why does HN not allow deletion of individual comments? It seems like a perfectly valid use case - you don't want to delete your entire account, just a few comments that contain PII or or any other reason.

Facebook allows this. So does twitter, reddit and every single other website that allows posts and comments from users. Why doesn't HN?

In fact, how do I delete my HN account at all? This isn't visible in the settings page, as far as I can tell.

Someone might quote your comment as well upon replying. Should we delete the comment after yours which may or may not contain something you wanted to delete? Should we delete the entire thread? If not, would it not get confusing quickly, as in many cases we would have no idea to what the comments are responding?

HN is a chitchat site, not StackExchange. It doesn't need permanent archival of full-fidelity conversations.

If you email the mods politely, they will remove a post of your own if you request it. I’ve done it. It’s not spelled out in the rules but that’s apparently how you can do it.

I’ve always wondered if they’d cooperate if I asked them to mass-delete all of my posts, in case I ever became a politician.

YC collects as much data about you as any other social network would via its website.

We have gotten to a point where people are set off by the information a standard http request sends to the server because it’s common practice to log each http request.

It sadly all has become a unproductive privacy extremist conversation

My concern are the one sided conversations. There are conversations I've seen mods participate in by flagging opposition.

I don't trust the opinions here anymore. The most I can hope is to see a range of opinions.

Is there any evidence of this?

I have partially removed all my social networks except Twitter. I want to find out about things in real time, and from various sources, therefore Twitter is still a valid medium for this purpose. Although I interact little in the discussions.

Leaving Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and other networks gave me automatic anxiety relief. I no longer care what anyone close to me thinks and I don't get into discussions with close relatives.

My life as a conservative is much better without social networks where they censor me non-stop, just Twitter and being very careful with what I write and how I write it I can more or less start conversations. Sooner or later I will leave Twitter too, it is a matter of finding another social network, free and open and nurtured by people.

I kept Instagram to follow just some athletes I like, but I am increasingly thinking about killing Twitter too. I follow a very small group of people, mostly C# developers, but keeping a restricted pool of people alone does not warrant immunity from the incessant political battage of somebody's agenda, fough retweet after retweet, of which I want none.

I do really think Twitter is the most stressful of all. Nowadays there's no longer a sane discussion without this or that party injecting politics into even the most meaningless of debates.

Not at all - I get the same problems. Most people at companies I have worked at are very liberal / left leaning which means I just get a stream of things I don't care about and don't agree with and if I seek out more conservative views I just end up going down the rabbit hole of extremist opinions.

Quitting social media and focusing more on the literature (books) that I want to read has gotten rid of my daily anger issues.

The right seem to be mostly bigots that can't think critically whereas the left mainly seem to be a bunch of idiots that can't think critically.

Maybe I'm the asshole because I think everyone else around me is?? Not sure.

> Focusing more on the literature (books) that I want to read has gotten rid of my daily anger issues

Exactly this. Perhaps I'm a little more productive after quitting Twitter, but the huge takeaway for me was not raging every day. I'm no longer in a fake argument in my head with a stranger 1000 miles away. I'm now reading more and thinking more deeply for longer periods of time on more complex topics, which feels healthier.

Yes. For example, I like Twitter for following some fellow engineers I value for their professional work or work in the community, but many of them inject a lot of leftist politics there, so my timeline is not what I want it to be.

On the other hand though, it's not anyone's duty to filter their worldview out of their speech. I have the same issue the other way around, where I follow a lot of young technical people and they just _love_ to be quoting and reposting young conservative voices, but it doesn't really make a difference to me to be scrolling past them.

> it's not anyone's duty to filter their worldview out of their speech.

Based on the former comments its sad because that is what seems to be happening. The SJW thought police will come for your heart and soul. I notice most conservatives are... Highly conservative about their world views being shared these days.

The amount of blind and not willing to ever listen hatred I see and hear these days is astonishing. I listen to both sides and I find it dumb we fall into the illusion that there is only a red or blue pill and that whatever we choose is right and everyone else is in the Matrix. That is so wrong it hurts. Theres no way to squeeze the needs and beliefs of 300m people into 1 political party.

On the other hand I accepted these truths long ago and realize its not my responsibility to stress too harshly over them. This is why I can survive social media. My views are my right. People used to say I may not agree with you but I will fight for your right to say it to the death. I am sure most people wouldnt nowadays till its too late and the government controls speech again.

See I get the exact opposite, conservatives I know constantly talk about their worldview, in the very annoying "facts don't care about your feelings" fashion, have you considered you might just be overlooking things that match your worldview as "not political", as people do.

Twitter is a whole universe and not all edges are the same. It’s possible you both are right.

I even addressed that in my comment:

> I find it dumb we fall into the illusion that there is only a red or blue pill and that whatever we choose is right and everyone else is in the Matrix. That is so wrong it hurts. Theres no way to squeeze the needs and beliefs of 300m people into 1 political party.

People are complex beings, and they even change their mind over time.

Lots of "conversatives" were banned. Lots. Many progressive still post trash and they still can be online. It's not new. Some conservatives are still up because their popularity, but they're shadowbanned 100% and demonitezed everywhere.

In my experience conservatives learn quick to not talk about it ever in public. Liberals feel safe to shout out their opinions.

Yeah, I learnt this the hard way.

Same happens to me.

There's probably a lot of right wing politics being spewed as well, but it's easy to tune out that which you agree with already. For me, social media seems to be a firehose of right wing propaganda. I guess that makes me progressive.

Well, for me is the opposite. I never saw right wing propaganda. Just everything left-wing. Even following suggestions in Twitter, Facebook or Instagram all i see are left wing personalities.

Interesting take...

> Leaving Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and other networks gave me automatic anxiety relief. I no longer care what anyone close to me thinks and I don't get into discussions with close relatives.

Do you still value face to face discussions/interactions with friends/close relatives? I think the medium (limited means of expression) and the disconnected nature can impact discussions negatively.

> My life as a conservative is much better without social networks where they censor me non-stop, just Twitter and being very careful with what I write and how I write it I can more or less start conversations. Sooner or later I will leave Twitter too, it is a matter of finding another social network, free and open and nurtured by people.

Mmm...is it just conservative leaning posts that are shot down? The other camp might possibly say the same thing. Although from I'm inclined to agree with you. The problem I see with this approach is that we begin to censor ourselves to ensure we don't say anything that might accept anybody. Given the range of people one finds on social media and the modern sensitivities it seems to be very difficult to say anything of note without someone getting upset. Back to your point...should we not welcome people challenging our ideas? Do all interactions have to be nurturing? Could there be some value in locking horns (figuratively) with people who hold different views?

Locking horns is useful if the nature of discourse were better. If you are going to be called sexist or racist (insert choice moralising label) every time you remotely resemble an outlier group strawman, with possibly real implication on your career (esp with the current progressive political tech climate), it's better to leave the platform. It's the same as leaving any other messaging board because of the toxicity.

I wouldn't say that's the current climate so much as the nature of publicly discussing politics under your real name. The number of people who've been fired from their jobs for advocating unions for example is terrifying.

I'd agree with you if you could show me when someone in the valley was fired for professing identity politics. I can show you examples the other way around, from FAANG companies nevertheless.

It's a change of times, go back a couple of decades and all the firings were in the opposite direction. If you want one example, look at Lynn Conway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Conway

People have always been fired for publicly going against whatever is at the time politically correct, all that's changed is what's politically correct.

What really amuses me about this is that the people complaining about firings over political correctness don't seem (to me at least) to actually want to stop firings for political correctness, but just to change the definition of political correctness back to what suited them.

> The number of people who've been fired from their jobs for advocating unions for example is terrifying.


Has this word lost its real meaning? Terrifying is having an angry mob show up at your house chanting "we know where you sleep" [1] or a group of Antifa terrorists physically attacking people like Brownshirts. [2]

Terrifying is having your life literally put at risk because you don't go along with the gospel of the day.

Terrifying is academics who are framing climate skepticism as some kind of criminal act worthy of prosecution.

> Denial is profoundly ideological in nature; how it is conveyed and transmitted is of importance to those who wish to reorient collective thinking to not only recognizing the urgency and seriousness of the problem but also recasting it in criminal terms. [3]

"Reorient collective thinking...recasting it in criminal terms"

Now that's terrifying: Academics advocating that skepticism of the orthodoxy should be quite literally criminalized! Now that should terrify people in the most Orwellian of ways.

Being fired for unionization is quite different than advocating Thought Police as actual police. One of the few cases I could find for Silicon Valley employees being fired for union activities, resulted in a nice pay-day from the lawsuit. [4]

If you're a left-wing person, a socialist, a Democrat, a purveyor of identity politics, you'll have no problems working in Silicon Valley assuming you have the relevant skills for the job. However, if you espouse any sort of ideas that even hint of conservatism or, (gasp!) free market capitalism, or even consider other viewpoints on something like climate -- your job security is far less than someone of the opposite political persuasion. In Silicon Valley, being a conservative is not unlike being part of a secret society. [5]

As far as people getting fired for "advocating unions," -- while I haven't actually seen many cases of that among tech companies, getting fired for organizing what amounts to a worker mutiny doesn't seem like a surprising outcome. However, there are definitely conservatives that have been fired for nothing more than their beliefs. [6]

Getting fired for opinions is far more "terrifying" than getting fired for actively trying to disrupt the workplace by telling people to essentially rebel/organize against the company. Getting fired for what you believe is a vastly different story than getting fired for what you actually do. Kevin Cernekee got fired from Google because of a viewpoint, not because of any action he took (such as encouraging people to walk out or "organize.") How about getting blacklisted because of political beliefs? [7]

However, getting fired isn't "terrifying" -- especially if you're a software engineer where one can literally find a new job in less than a week, assuming a modicum of recent experience.

Calling things terrifying has become such a cliché [8] that it diminishes the seriousness of things that are actually terrifying -- such as being subjected to violence, a threat of violence, or people advocating the arrest of dissidents by Thought Police and being sent to the Ministry of Love.

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/08/mob-... [2] https://quillette.com/2019/06/30/antifas-brutal-assault-on-a... [3] https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-3640-9_... [4] https://www.salon.com/2019/04/30/software-engineers-at-promi... [5] https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/10/technology/culture/divided-... [6] https://nypost.com/2019/08/01/google-engineer-claims-he-was-... [7] https://www.businessinsider.com/conservative-google-employee... [8] http://survivetvnewsjobs.com/so-cliche-overused-phrase-list/...

Put it this way. James Damore was fired and shamed for having the wrong ideas on how to make the workplace more equitable. I challenge you to find someone who got fired from a FAANG company after publicly announcing that men are trash.

On various google internal comms you can declare that men are trash and not get sacked. I think Damore had a few screenshots of similar.

The Google leaks shown many employees calling "hitler" to many public figures and inciting banning and shadowbanning is one of the examples of the bias they have.

> Do you still value face to face discussions/interactions with friends/close relatives? I think the medium (limited means of expression) and the disconnected nature can impact discussions negatively.

Face to face, yes. It's different. But when I did it online, close relatives and friends get outraged easily and they called me all kind of things, just because it's easier to do it through facebook or instagram, than face to face. The ideal place to show everyone you can insult others.

> My life as a conservative is much better without social networks where they censor me non-stop

I doubt you have high enough conservative clout to be targeted for censorship. What examples do you have of Facebook, Google and Instagram specifically censoring you for your views?

> Sooner or later I will leave Twitter too, it is a matter of finding another social network, free and open and nurtured by people.

"Free and open" means a place where people of all views can have civilized conversations.

Yeah, I left Facebook altogether because the stream of right-wing vitriol was overpowering. Just couldn't take it anymore. I'm not angry by nature, but I felt myself getting drawn in by it and I needed to escape for my own health. I am pretty sure that I will never be able to talk someone that angry down from their soapbox, so ... I just let it go.

I wish you luck finding that bubble you're looking for. It probably does exist somewhere, just have to locate it.

>My life as a conservative is much better without social networks where they censor me non-stop

I would have thought that it's the best time ever to be a conservative.

Seems to me that we are awash in conservative views, and that conservatives have had much more success in framing the debate than 'liberals' have.

As evidence I'd cite the fact that we are debating each and every issue that keep social conservatives up at night.

I would say that conservative views are beginning to gain more traction because of censorship. There's nothing people want to read more than a banned book.

I got my post deleted from Facebook. I just cheered my country banned abortion.

Liberals are crushing it. Hillary Clinton opposed gay marriage in 2008. Think about that, how fast liberals are changing society. Liberals are absolutely crushing it.

I’m curious why you’re being censored. Are you a fiscal conservative, or a social conservative?

Because I have a bunch of fiscal conservatives on my Facebook and the only thing they post about is monetary policy. Nothing about abortions, marriage, immigration, or policing - the things social conservatives tend to drive themselves red in the face with.

It might be worth examining your own discourse to understand why you were being censored (or felt you were being censored). I’m not saying you’re doing anything wrong, I’m just wondering if you’ve ever reflected on what you post and how people react to it.

And what's the difference? What makes being a social conservative less valid? You're coming from a very high-and-mighty standpoint here, when the simple truth is that he should not be censored.

I don't want to get into the mud on social conservatism. These people want to undo abortion and marriage rights, among a lot of other social progress we have made. Do I really need to explain the difference between someone who likes to debate interest rate hikes with someone who wants to remove rights for women and LGBT people?

I'm not being high and mighty. I simply asked if he had reflected on why he felt censored. If he was sharing fake news about Hillary being a lizard person, then yeah, I understand why people would remove him from their newsfeed.

And there you go. Check your bias, because it's making you sound remarkably like you have an excellent elbow-pad-and-fedora collection,

It's not just conservatives. I'm an old school, anti-identity politics leftist and feminist, and the modern "left" is more concerned with using the right language than having the correct analysis or actually defending basic rights.

Suggestion: Read Foucault.

Foucault and other post modernists defended pedophilia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_petition_against_age_of...

I'll stick with Marx and dialectical materialism, which offer actual tools to fight systemic oppression, rather than moral relativism.

We're seeing an awful lot of high profile conservatives, noted for politely expressing widespread views, being censored for stating something the dominant ideology objects to - something for which there is reasonable, if irritating, disagreement over.

I don't know what a high profile conservative is, can you reinforce your point with specific examples?

Just casually considered...

James Woods, famous actor and outspoken conservative, was repeatedly suspended on Twitter for posting reasonable comments. He finally quit Twitter in frustration.

Scott Adams, major cartoonist and popular Trump-observing pundit, is regularly demonetized on YouTube for no apparent reason. Some videos are removed entirely if he says certain words perfectly sensible for polite political discourse. Fortunately he has "F U money" and continues producing political content.

Popular conservative show "Louder With Crowder" (of the "...change my mind" meme) has been functionally demonized by YouTube and is struggling to stay afloat on their own servers. Crowder simply expresses views conservatives think reasonable.

There are many such cases.

I don't go on Twitter much anymore, but last I saw of James Woods he was saying something about hanging people and I remember Crowder getting heat for using homophoic slurs. It wasn't a smear job - I watched the videos myself.

I don't know much about Scott Adams, so I can't comment on that. But your examples so far are not reasonable people.

And yet Leftist calls to metaphorically/actually "kill whitey", depictions of Trump's head severed, advocacy/support of Antifa violence, vicious takedowns of anything resembling white or straight "pride" (no different than any other "pride" movement), dismantling of "safe spaces" in favor of others, and a host of other overt assaults on conservatism for simply existing/disagreeing remain in public with no equivalent censorship.

When one side is smacked down for the slightest transgression as perceived by the other, yet the other gets a pass for all but the most overt calls to violence against the former, we have a problem.

Crowder is a poor example as his troubles come mainly from the fact that he keeps specifically targeting people with harassment campaigns. It probably doesn't help that his go to insults are all homophobic.

Well, to give you an example (I'm conservative both in the social and economics), and when I posted that I was happy the abortion law was banned in my country, cheering up, Facebook flagged my post, and deleted it. On another ocasion i got banned for posting a political opinion that was pro-Trump (nothing fanatical, to be honest) and I got flagged and delete the post bymyself.

I lost 10 Twitter accounts because I argued with facts, without ad hominem. It's hard to state the truth if it goes agaisn't their bias. It's ok, it's their business.

> I lost 10 Twitter accounts because I argued with facts, without ad hominem. It's hard to state the truth if it goes agaisn't their bias. It's ok, it's their business.

You either have way too much free time or seriously need to reconsider your hobbies.

I can't help but feel that people that become addicted to social media should really be looking for underlying issues they need to address e.g. the need to compare themselves to others, the need for validation from likes/upvotes. If the underlying issue is still there, quitting social media isn't addressing the cause.

I use social media to keep in contact with friends and can't relate to posts like this at all. I don't check often, rarely see the point in posting and generally feel bad for people that boast all the time about how great their life is.

In my experience with addiction (drugs), there's always an underlying cause. The problem is, there are lots and lots of people with unaddressed issues that aren't seeking or can't obtain the proper solution/advice/help/whatever and end up self-medicating with drugs, video games, social media, etc.

This is a refreshing article to see on HN because it’s not the typical clickbait “I did X and my life is changed forever” nor is it “I quit X and I’m better than you for it”.

It echoes my personal experience. I’ve gone without social media for extended periods - years. But I’ve always filled the boredom void with something else: HN, work, other websites.

Now I have a Facebook account but I have a very small number of friends and family I keep up with and I follow a small number of interests. I run out of things to scroll often and that’s okay.

Same here. Worse, I thought I would be able to channel my time into something at least productive whether that be side projects or getting my life together, but I still can't

Using your downtime in a way that you don't regret is non-trivial. I totally get what you say about something else filling up the boredom void.

I quit social media and after a while I couldn't even make sense of why I was there to begin with. "There was no value lost... what the hell was I doing on there all this time?" I never had any "glowing" experience on social media, no memories, yet so much time wasted. People just aren't that interesting. It's all the same stuff over and over again. And if you do get into something interesting, you end up with an exchange of 20+ comments which just seems out of place... especially on FB.

I quit Facebook and Alcohol at the same time, cold turkey. Facebook I didn't even notice. I looked back after a few months and thought, "oh yeah, I did also quit Facebook". I didn't delete it. I just stopped using it.

Quitting Facebook changed basically nothing. Now I don't get done with a Facebook binge and feel like I just wasted 10-30 minutes of life. Alcohol was a totally different experience.

The one thing that I regret about not having Facebook is organizing events. I've missed a couple with good friends, because I simply don't have Facebook. As a software developer, I wonder if this is something I can change. Perhaps couple Facebook's API with Twilio's API and convert events into text messages. Perhaps a completely separate system that I have to urge my friends to adopt, simply for my inclusion.

Not sure what the solution is, but the problem itself isn't worthy of luring me back into Facebook.

Events are truly the only thing keeping me on facebook, honestly, and it's been such a pain in the ass to get friends and family to move away from it, but right now it's central to a lot of things unfortunately.

Toying with facebook's api like you mentioned seems like an interesting idea though. I might play around with that when I get some free time.

Do you care to share more about how quitting alcohol was? How much were you drinking before you quit? How do you curb cravings? I'm in a similar boat and I've honestly found LaCroix to be one of the best substitutes for the urge to open a drink.

If you've not already, I recommend reading "This Naked Mind" by Annie Grace

I agree. I decided to dramatically cut back on Facebook.

A few weeks after, I got a call from my mom asking why I wasn't going to a party at my sister's. Turns out my sister only sent out invites to her party via Facebook.

Let’s be honest: Mom is the number one source of stress because of Facebook.

Maybe you can just call or send a message to your friends. Talking helps.

Social media is addictive in roughly the same sense that not punching yourself in the face is addictive. The "dopamine hit" aspect is grossly oversold. Social media is distraction from suffering. Most addictive behavior is, but social media is almost entirely distraction from suffering.

If you don't do something about the background suffering that's leading you to the distraction, you'll just fill that void with something else.

Dozens of studies show the opposite of what you're saying. Social media companies do every tick in the book, and then some, to get people addicted. In certain cases what you're saying is true, but it might as well be the other way around for the rest.

Let's say for the sake of argument that I was being hyperbolic with my "punching yourself in the face" statement. Let's say you are addicted to social media, and you use it for 5 hours a day. Let's say I take away your phone. For a week. You will probably feel gradually diminishing impulses to look at your phone, which will eventually subside almost entirely within a handful of days. You will not experience withdrawals. You will not lose sleep. You will (probably) not try to scam somebody else out of their phone. If I hand you your phone back after a week, there's a good chance you might just delete the social media apps off the phone yourself, having realized how much time you were wasting.

In other words, if the social media companies are doing every trick in the book, it's not really amounting to much. If you were spending 5 hours a day on Facebook, it probably had a lot more to do with the general shape of your life and opportunities for actualization and socialization, than it had to do with intermittent reinforcement schedules.

And fundamentally what I'm saying is correct: it is mundane daily suffering that creates the void filled by social media and other distractive addictions, giving them a foothold in your life. This is orthogonal to any claims about whether social media is "actually" "addictive".

I think you're still generalizing based on how you feel, instead of analysing this objectively. I quit a few years ago and for the most part I didn't even notice after a month. But I've seen friends get offended and get into arguments over likes, and teens online cry and go through withdrawal-like symptoms over losing followers. The full effects of this stuff is yet to come with young gen.

And no, it's not like anything physically addictive of course, but it still has a hold on some, and the patterns are similar to other non-physical addictions.

Edit: And how can you even say conclusively that it's mundane daily suffering that creates the void filled by social media, and not that social media is causing the creation of this void that is leading to mundane daily suffering?

> I absolutely cannot understand people who have 153 unread notifications. They're probably the same people who sleep with a blanket turned the other way around — zipper facing the head.

a) What kind of blanket has a zipper? I don’t think I have encountered any.

b) As the kind of person with several thousand unread emails, I don’t know why people bother? I can easily search for the important stuff, and visually scan the new pile a few times a day. I have better things to do with my life than manage my inbox, I don’t need that stress. Family, video games, basically anything else. It’s way more work than reward. I know a number of people this drives absolutely nuts, but I don’t get it.

> a) What kind of blanket has a zipper? I don’t think I have encountered any.

This most probably refers to the "hole" which is used to insert the insert of the blanket, which, for most people at least, means that it should be at the "feet" end of the bed. It's just some blankets have zippers to cover the hole, others have buttons etc.

This is what I meant yes. I'm not a native English speaker, so I might've screwed that one up.

Oh, I think we’re taking about a duvet cover? I believe that’s distinct from a blanket, which is usually sealed fully or a single ply.

I have certainly never been duvet levels of fancy.

One doesn't need to be fancy for duvet covers - merely live in a country where the duvet is standard and the blanket is secondary.

United States: Duvets are fancy. Norway: Common, everyday stuff.

Today I learned: the word "blanket" also refers to duvets. I always thought the word means the single-layered sheet you of material you e.g. wrap yourself in when it's cold, or put on top of a duvet for extra warmth.

I read that and immediately thought of sleeping bags.

We used sleeping bags as blankets growing up because we were weird I guess.

We used sleeping bags sometimes during winters growing up because we were poor, and that was a cheaper solution to apartment heating. I actually liked it sometimes because it felt like we were camping...another thing that i hadn't done when i was younger due to lack of funds.

....By the way, you're not weird for using sleeping bags; you're fun! :-)

>It's just some blankets have zippers to cover the hole, others have buttons etc.

... I've never seen a blanket with a zipper or buttons...

Both mines have buttons. What stops your duvet falling out?

A blanket is a blanket, sounds like you are talking about a duvet cover. I've never even seen a duvet or duvet cover in real life, they're not common in America (at least not in my part). In fact, I didn't even know duvet/duvet covers existed until I started this job because I occasionally see them being imported and had to look them up in a dictionary.

Usually a bed here is a blanket or comforter, then a top sheet, then a fitted sheet on the mattress. In hotels/motels you'll sometimes see a comforter AND a blanket with the two sheets.

(Based on photos of duvets) I think a comforter is somewhat like a thinner duvet with a non-removable cover.

As someone else said in this thread, when I heard 'blanket' and 'zipper' together the only thing that came to mind was a sleeping bag.

My favorite blankets ends are the one which ends up as a 30cm funnel you can tuck under the mattress.

I worked with a guy once that was perfectly happy to let his OSX Mail.app icon "bounce" with new message notifications all day long. He was 10 feet away from me and that bouncing icon caught my eye all the time. I just don't understand how he could work with that thing bouncing at the bottom of his screen all day long.

Some folks just aren't bothered by such things.

Or have better focus than I do.

> Social media is like smoking. It takes a while to get addicted. You do it because everyone is doing it

I would add: Besides, it tastes awful when you start, but you do it anyway until you get familiar with it.

Just like the first days when discovering a social media without understanding it and doing dumb things such as posting the wrong stuff etc.

PSA for anyone who does this, regarding the friends part. Hell, works well if you happen to move to a new place too.

Go join a hobby club of some sort. Even if you're introverted. A structured "social" activity makes it super easy, approachable and everyone (in my experience) is welcoming.

Meetup.com is a pretty good place to start. Even the generic social groups are fun too. Try your local library and rec center too for get togethers near you. Or if you do have a decent friend circle already, do the leg work to coordinate something. Doing a structured social activity helps a lot. Even everyone bringing a random bottle of whiskey and watching a movie while you all try different whiskeys is better than being home alone.

Having a real social network you meetup with, makes it real easy to cut back on the addiction of social media.

in my experience (4 years without "friend"-based social media), becoming disconnected from friends is temporary. during the first year after quitting social media, you will have to work hard to maintain relationships; you will have to instigate social time with your friends through other channels. but after a while, it will start to work in your favor. when those same friends are setting up events on facebook, they'll start to remember that you can only be reached through other channels and they'll start reaching out to you even when they might not have thought to invite you via facebook. and when they want to have a conversation with somebody but don't feel like opening the facebook app, who will they reach out to? you.

my approach was to keep my facebook account, but strip it of everything except my name and a profile picture that says "i don't use fb, please text me". that way, people can still be reminded that i exist and they know i'm always a text message away.

> I would pay a monthly subscription for an ad-free version of Facebook.

I think we're on the cusp of an explosion of ad-free subscription sites. An ad-free subscription Facebook could provide all of the actual benefits of Facebook at a fraction of the cost. No need to employ hundreds of PhD machine-learning experts to analyze mouse movements if you're not trying to hyper-optimize ads.

The paradox is: people with the disposable income to pay for ad-free social media are the most desirable advertising targets.

The reality is that a subscription Facebook would take your money and sell a profile of you for ads on other sites.

an ad-free version of Facebook

Are ads the problem, or is mining and selling your personal information? I'm more afraid of the latter, and even if you're paying to remove display ads, your data is still going to be mined.

Except that most people won't pay, causing this new social network to be much less useful to everyone, causing it to fail.

I'd like it to work, but I really don't see how it will.

My wife and I have taken opposite approaches, kinda, to curtailing social media.

She removed the FB app from her phone, so she only takes a stroll through that feed at night, while we're watching TV or whatever. She left Twitter entirely (well, her account is there, but she neither reads nor posts anymore).

I still participate in Twitter, though I've moved some of the prolific accounts I enjoy to Feedbin so my feed isn't impossible. It's about evenly split between "people I actually know" and "entertainers / writers I like who are clever." I don't go in for rage-Twitter or whatever.

I wish I could abandon FB entirely, but the network effects keep me there. The biggest one is cycling. I'm an avid road rider, and in my city pretty much ALL the coordination for cycling events (group rides, out of town trips, even happy hours) is on FB. If you leave FB, you're out of the loop.

So in a real sense, FB is both healthy AND unhealthy for me.

I did the same thing your Wife did with Twitter. I found myself checking it at work whenever I was stuck on a problem or basically whenever I was slightly bored. It's great on keeping up on things and getting some good laughs, but it was also draining in many ways as well (politics, being up to date on every terrible thing in the world, etc).

I still check it every other night on my computer/ipad at home, or I'll login from my phone if something big is happening. But not having the app on my phone has made a huge difference.

A minor aside, but it was almost pathetic how the first day after I deleted the app, without thinking, I would open my phone and click where the Twitter app used to be. It took me about 2 days to get over that habit. It truly is an addiction.

The funny thing is the people the most adamant about quiting social media are usually the ones oversharing the most on it.

Selection bias. You don't find out about the ones that don't share.

I also quit social media and told no one (oops, it seems I just did).

I guess that makes sense, because those people are the ones noticing the most negative effects due to overuse/oversharing.

Apropos of LinkedIn: I run my own business. I deleted my LinkedIn last year (having nuked everything else a year before) and the only thing that changed is I get fewer mass mails from recruiters. My overall deal throughput is not large enough make any statistically significant conclusions.

(edit: speling)

I'm in the same boat. Recently quit LinkedIn too and am working on my github.io page for people to contact me for potential opportunities. Have no idea if it'll work out or not, in the long run but tbh, I feel a lot better not being on these sites than vice-versa. Just my 2c :)

My (early career, not notable - hang on why am I doing this to myself :)) CV is hosted on GitHub, FWIW I have had a few people contact me as a result.

Sample size is small and it's anecdotal anyway, etc., but I do think the quality (of all of them) is much higher than the average I get through LinkedIn. I think it's certainly worth doing.

(And if you want to or have already written it in LaTeX, feel free to use the Docker image & CircleCI config I created for the purpose.)

I left Twitter (where I was very, very active since ~2008) and FB (which didn't use much anyway) 2.5 years ago. For me, the typical listed benefits are mostly true. I have a lot more time to spend mainly on side projects and books, I stopped caring about futile arguments (-> less anxiety) and also realized how little real connections most of us have. Overall, it made me focus on the important stuff and never looked back.

Granted I do have other distractions and I'm not aiming to be a perfect productive robot but social networks do affect us in at least some negative ways.

Nevertheless there are cases where balanced usage is possible and you can reap many benefits while experiencing fewer drawbacks. I couldn't use it in a smart way though.

> Social media is like smoking. It takes a while to get addicted.

It only takes about a pack of cigarettes to get addicted; but it takes awhile to realize you're addicted.

I'd say the same thing is true with Facebook. It took me about a decade to realize I was addicted.

> For every “good” post I had to consume thirty “bad” ones. 30/1 is just not that good of a ratio.

It'd be interesting to see the writer expound on his expectations for "good" and "bad". Speaking for myself, I go into social media with much different (i.e. lowered) standards than I do for other media, because the energy of consumption/opportunity cost is so low. I couldn't stand consuming 10 bad books/movies for every good one, but for tweets it's no problem. And of course there are ways to increase the signal-noise ratio (trimming the list of users you follow), but I generally like the serendipity of seeing what people are randomly tweeting. I don't feel the pressure to consume my timeline feed more than just a few swipes. And I find the Twitter default non-chronological sort does a decent job of surfacing interesting content for me.

I can't work out if I should flag these articles or not. They seem off topic and are almost invariably uninteresting and uninsightful. This one has the added flaw of being written in an obnoxious way.

Why are these articles so popular here?

Why not balance the usage with moderation that works for you? I would always catch myself picking up the phone randomly and checking Facebook even if I didn't plan to. I decided this was bad and it was distracting me from experiencing the world and spending time with my family in the evening. So I removed FB from my phone. I check FB once or twice a day for a few minutes on my laptop during work and that's all. It works for me. I stay in touch with some friends and at the same time, I am not addicted to checking it over and over again on my phone throughout the day. Has anyone else tried the same?

I quit for a year. Then figured I’d just use facebook for the bits that work for me: local sales, peloton and fitness groups. My deal is no friends, not even my wife. No posting about me, just the group, just helping/commenting where it feels healthy for both me and the group.

I've always reflected on the idea of deleting my social media accounts, especially after studying media in University. The more I learn about social media, and other forms of media the more aware I am with regards to what I post and share online. At the same time, I have friends all across the globe and use social media to stay in contact with my friends. I have a question though, would you consider Whatsapp to be social media? Especially because users can share stories on the platform.

Don’t think of it as “I have to quit all Social Media. What is the exact definition of Social Media so I include it in my quitting?”

If you think something you are doing is harmful, just stop doing it and don’t worry if it counts as Social Media. It is highly personal and will be different for everyone. For some people their WhatsApp usage is a net negative and they should stop. For other people it might not be.

I have a slightly similar experience - I got off all social media, felt good but not life-changing. My guess is this is due to not being an extremely addicted user in the first place.

Don't you consider HN social media?

Why would you? I see it as more like a news site with a comments section.

I don't consider those to be social media either.

> Why would you? I see it as more like a news site with a comments section.

A news site isn't social media necessarily, but the comment section pretty clearly is.

Aren't we socializing right now?

We have different definitions of socializing. Commenting on a piece of news or opinions to enhance our thinking and gain knowledge/motivation/ideas, I don't call that socializing. I haven't made any connections through this platform and if I don't check the HNews for a week, I don't feel sad or missing anyone. But that's me. Someone else may be more (in)vested in here and consider HN as an integral part of their social life. I won't judge them.

I suppose there's a subtle viewpoint difference. You see yourself "commenting on a piece of news". I (and presumably GP) see you socializing with the GP, the way you could casually socialize with a stranger on a bus stop.

I'd miss Temporals grumpy assertions. I learned I'm even older than him, that's disconcerting.

HN does not maintain a social graph and push notifications to you.

I'd say that's what makes a site 'social media.'

FWIW, meatspace doesn't maintain social graphs and push notifications - in physical-world social interactions, you're responsible for holding the social graph in your head. Just like on HN :).

Yes, but there are no push notifications/ads being crammed down your throat/autoplaying video

Still it is social media nontheless.

What about keeping in touch with your loved ones via carrier pigeon in the 19th century?

Almost spilled out my breakfast with this. Made me lol.

Find it weird that more people don't just consider Twitter a forum, if you break it down to what you're actually doing it's pretty much the same as reading reddit threads.

Yet many people have convinced themselves that no, twitter is the real world.

While social media impact on mental health is important, I have to confess it's mostly self inflicted.

Once I realized the unfollow/mute button was there (not knowing it was, realizing it was there), it was a no-brainer to just unfollow toxic people.

And while there's FOMO, sorry, don't turn your social posts into a political propaganda piece/disgrace curating panel and I wouldn't have muted you

Follow the right people and it will be a much more smoother experience.

I don't get that people want notifications for basic stuff. I always turn off notifications and only leave the really important ones. Also no blinking lights or sounds or vibrations, I check my phone often enough and if it is really important those people can call me. Then social media is just a thing to scroll through while on the toilet .

I had Myspace for a short period of time and hated it. When Facebook came out I had it for about 2 weeks before deleting it, hated it as well. Even back then people would love to get in stupid arguments for stupid reasons and display a fabricated life. I've always felt like the weird one for not being into these forms of social media.

According to Hinduism, we are all here in this world because our jiva (souls) want to be the enjoyer, so we get the opporunity to enjoy. Hence the dopamine, on anything, video games, cigs, social media etc. However self realisation is when we realise we are but a tiny spec and not the true enjoyer at all.

I've never had any issues with social media, and they key is making sure your feeds are pleasent. I make sure that the people I follow on twitter are people I like and people who post nice things, like fan art of franchises I like or jokes. I never follow people who post stuff about politics.

I stopped posting pictures to social media since I realized I was just using it to share them with friends and family. Instead, I just send them to group chats or people individually. It feels a lot more personal that way.

I mostly use social media to follow artists and DJs I like. It's my prime source of finding new music and almost everything I see is relevant. I can never relate to these posts and I feel like I'm in total minority.

Nah, you only might be a minority maybe on HN, but the numbers are clear that social media absolutely dominates these decades.

Also don't forget that it's not that interesting to blog about "I use social media moderately every day and I'm fine". Posts like this however are not the norm and thus they grab some attention.

Very similar experience here, plus I find that Facebook is good at suggesting and planning events, seeing who's going. Pretty much the only useful function for me. I follow a bunch of music venues and galleries and occasionally invite FB friends to attend if there's anything interesting. Works just brilliant.

Twitter is more for following music makers, labels and things like Boiler Room. Just for a daily doze of music and music news. I guess that's another form of addiction though...

Everything else, I just don't understand what people are complaining about and why it would require such an effort to quit. Don't like what you see, or don't find it useful? Just unfollow!

Guess I'm also in this boat. Facebook is my main way of keeping track of gigs in and around town.

Some people scroll social media, some watch the Khardashians, Some play World of Warcraft, and some smoke cigarettes

Most of the people are addicted to something and it might not be the worst thing in the world if you somehow keep it balanced

Just because you spend a large amount of time on something that doesn't mean you're addicted to it. We shouldn't really throw that around willy-nilly. If your hobby isn't detrimental to your life, you're fine.

forget social network, join a local group that do whatever is nice for neighbors or the area

it's probably widely healthier on every metrics

Many local groups use Facebook to organize/communicate though.

Via private groups: our local Atari group does and we similarly have one for regional vintage computer gatherings, my Church does, one of my Lodges does, one of my gyms does and I know of several others in the area that do.

Via pages/events: some local tattoo shops that regularly have events, several local venues, numerous gyms and their various strength competitions will have all communication/announcements through an event page associated with the page of the gym hosting the event, etc.

It's effective because people know to go check Facebook for an update about the group/event, you don't have to worry about an email ending up in a spam filter or someone not seeing a flyer posted, you can post real-time updates like when our meeting place for the local Atari group was closed due to the weather instead of needing to text 2 dozen people, or when snow/ice necessitates a Church event being cancelled or when there are storms in the area and we can post what members need help.

Then cut facebook usage as a tool too. #radical

How trendy. Next up hipster PDA making a comeback?

Another "I quit social media" post? Haven't we had enough of this? How are these interesting?

All of them are about how awesome life is after quitting. This one is not.

the good side about social media is you can totally ignore it, cigarettes on the other side it's not easy as soon as you're among other people

Well, social media, and smartphones in general, make people around you ignore their immediate environment--including you--, so there's that.

That Joe Rogan video linked in the article has some super questionable statistics and misleading graphs (which are then described badly for the podcast listeners leaving out "details" such as "there are only three data points but they still drew a line through them").

Not that the thing they're talking about might not be a real effect, but holy hell

Joe Rogan is fantastically meat headed about so many things, but really he's a jack of all trades, master of none, and he majors in cardio kickboxing.

The thing is, he often operates pretty engaging interviews, and the Murray Gell-Mann amnesia is in full effect for all of them. He's basically talk radio, and despite the subject matter, he refrains from sophomoric shock jock goofing off, unlike Howard Stern.

He is willing to meet most guests in the middle, and he's got the gift of gab, but infrequently waxing blow hard, with a few exceptions. Most notably: gender identity politics. But other than that, he's plays pretty fair with everyone across the political spectrum (he's had more than a few gay/lesbian gender bending guests on), even if head count favors hypermasculine tropes, and satellite ideologies.

But while having serious pop-science guests on the show, fringe UFO theories are bread and butter among pro-wrestling enthusiasts that enjoy the art of kayfabe. And if you think it's all in good fun, hey that's fine, but Joe Rogan certainly seems to eat up junk science all the time.

His recent show with Bob Lazar, discussing Area 51 was filled with "what-if" tales of anti-gravity and synthetic Element 115, which was futuristic when it emerged in the 1980's but hasn't withstood the test of time. He talks of cyclotrons shooting anti-matter at government synthetsized Moscovium fuel pellets to produce free energy and, then by turns, anti-gravity, concluding in time travel and teleportation. Joe just gobbles it up like a wide-eyed Joe The Plumber, and the rest of the bullshit artistry piles up. Now, faster than light travel across megaparsecs is an open, probable reality, and so too, alien races from Zeta Reticuli. The Grays are really androids. They're at war with The Reptilians, which is why an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. Riiiiight...

But it's all faces and heels in an MMA match, nothing more. Unless you're not in on the joke.

Most people don't grok particle physics enough to be dismissive of the premise of magical (or rather, unstable) element 115. They don't get that it's just another blob of the usual nucleons that we're all so familiar with, no free gravity, no free lunch. That lights in the sky do not, a spaceship, make. Oh well...

There’s no question that Rogan’s style is to make every interview as “warm” as possible, rarely challenging any guest on any extraordinary claim.

There’s also an argument to be made about his “platforming” of arguable kooks and so on, though it’s clearly preferable to entertain unconventional ideas than to dismiss them out of hand, the cumulative payoff of an unconventional idea being so very great.

Flying saucers are always good entertainment, though not good enough to paper over the fact that half of that Bob Lazar “documentary” was footage of a tattooed guy shouting into his smartphone for the benefit of like three different GoPros.

The open secret of physics is that nobody really knows WTF is going on. Particle theory is obviously a rough approximation, and string theory and quantum theory have been effectively stalled for long enough that it’s increasingly apparent that the complexity of the Universe has more moving parts than the working memory of the human brain. Humility is called for. “We know” ... yeah, okay.

Malboro red long or die

You mean Marlboro Red Long and die?

I smoke 'cause I'm hoping for an Early death And I need to cling to something

I wonder if the endless edit-compile-run and "see if it works" cycle is as addictive and harmful as social media. At least with social media I'm interacting with other people.

It probably isn't, given that social media is intentionally designed to be addictive, while tinkering with things (code in your case) isn't.

I was thinking, perhaps it helps to make the edit-compile-run cycle as long as possible.

E.g. coding until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and only then running code and testing.

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