Thought bubbles

I’ve been doing my tax return. It’s difficult because it’s all in bits – some of my books are under Leg Iron Books, some are still on my own self-publishing account, I have to account for small amounts paid out to authors because the world is full of illiterate sods who never read books, there are hangovers from microbiology days, incredibly tiny interest payments on small savings, pathetic returns on the few shares I still hold, there’s a pension…

It’s more difficult because I really don’t want to give any money to the wasters in power. In previous years I’ve had refunds but this time I have cut back my expenditure, mostly by giving up the microbiology lab (I still have to motivate myself to sell the equipment) so I might actually be in profit for the first time in years. Probably not, the book income isn’t likely to exceed expenditure, but the chance is there and it’s, well, irritating.

I might have to give 70, 80… maybe as much as a pound to the wasters! I could have wasted that money myself.

Politics has become completely silly in recent years. I have seen people on Twatter say that they cannot understand how the Tories did so well in the election after they had seen almost total support for Mad Corbyn in the run-up to the election. They now think the Tories rigged it.

They did see total support. They really did. Because they had blocked anyone who didn’t totally support Labour. They built a little online thought bubble and ignored everything outside it – including the real world.The same happened on Farcebok and all other online timewasting sites.

I try to stay out of politics, mostly, on Twitface and more so on Farcebok. Because I have paid attention, unlike many who think themselves superior because they have some kind of celebrity status. Pick a side and you lose half your market. Go woke and go broke is a real thing, and so is the opposite.

JK Rowling put up a perfectly innocent tweet that was declared ‘transphobic’ by her leftie bubble and now they want to burn her books. Well, that’s how she rose to fame in the first place. It was the American Bible belt declaring her an emissary of the devil and having book burnings that brought her Harry Potter stuff to the world’s attention.

No author cares at all if you burn their books. You buy, them, you can do what you like with them. I wish someone would get outraged at mine, buy a thousand copies and have a bonfire. I’d get the royalties anyway and those books aren’t on the second hand market. It’s perfect.

Maybe they will with Panoptica. It now includes a reason for wiping out the white race. And that reason is going to cause outrage. Absolute, uncontrolled outrage. Assuming anyone reads it, of course. That’s the first hurdle.

I’ve been working on that book this month. Gastradamus has decided to hold back on publication, which is a good thing. Rushing ‘The Silence of the Elves’ resulted in me having to replace the cover within a week. I don’t want that to happen again. So I have Christmas time to work on Panoptica. If I can just stay ahead of the real life madness.

I’ve never put up a poll on Twitter. Certainly not a political poll. It would be pointless – most of the people following me are doing so because they broadly agree with me so I know what answer I’d get before I started. The poll would have no meaning.

Just as any kind of roundup on any social media has no meaning – especially for those who block dissenting voices. You just end up hearing what you want to hear. So all your prejudices are reinforced.

Blocking people on social media is not a ‘win’. You don’t deplatform them or silence them. They just can’t see your comments any more. You silence yourself. Those people who disagree with you now will never see your arguments. So how do you expect them to change their minds?

The other thing to realise about Twatter, Farcebok and all the rest is… it’s not the real world. Apart from CStM (who I met through Twitter) I don’t know anyone in real life who uses it. Neither of my children are on Farcebok nor Twatter. My brother works for some government agency thing (yeah, he’s my version of Mycroft) so he doesn’t use social media. My father will have nothing to do with the internet at all, ‘new fangled bollocks’. Heck, he doesn’t even like landline phones in the house.

I have friends my age who use mobile phones for speaking but will not, under any circumstances, use text messaging. None of them have the slightest interest in social media. None of them have blogs. They are not the anomaly. I am.

What is on social media is not representative of the real world. And a lot of what is on there is invented crap and photoshopped imagery. It’s a hoaxer’s paradise and I have to admit to playing with it too, just a little bit πŸ˜‰

It’s a game. It’s not real life. Real life is not the internet. This place is a playground. Most people use it to buy things or look up information, it is not their pub or club.

The very last works Christmas party I went to, must have been about 15 years ago, everyone sat in departments. Seriously. It was like having ten separate Christmas parties in one room. Bubble formation is not new, it wasn’t created by the internet, but back then you couldn’t simply block all the other departments. Now you can – and many people do.

The bubbles that form on social media are impenetrable, and those inside think they are in the real world. A limited reality of their own creation, and they believe that is all there is.

Panoptica just takes that into real life.

I have to finish the book before it happens.

22 thoughts on “Thought bubbles

  1. Peculiarly enough, I do have quite a few ardent lefties associated with my social media accounts, despite my being a rather fluffy Tory. As far as I can tell, a large amount of political decision making was down to personality stuff. Nobody seemed to have read the manifesto of any party, despite the Labour one being quite interesting in a psychological way.

    Labour this time round have gone full on leftie. Doctrine had taken over from thinking, possibly because thinking rapidly shows up what a complete load of tosh the manifesto is. Labour wanted to nationalise pretty much everything, with some mythical group called “the rich” paying for it all. Labour also proposed only paying how much they thought a company was worth, not market price for it, and finally had some sort of share confiscation thing set to run as well.

    All basically economic lunacy.

    It didn’t actually matter, because almost nobody read it. And now, because the Labour Party has no mechanism for booting out failed leaders, Corbyn the Calamitous can stay and ruin their hopes for as long as he likes.

    It was all really rather puzzling to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Labour’s economic plan seemed to boil down to ‘steal all the money and spend it’. Which is fine in year one, but what do they steal in year two?

      Nobody reads manifestos though. There’s no point. They’ve all proved, time and again, they have no intention of delivering on them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I resisted Farcebook for nearly a decade. It’s useful for advertising businesses, which was why I was persuaded. The idiot quotient is pretty high, though and a bit of an eye opener. That bubble thing works both ways. On the blogs, even when discussing stuff with people who disagree – there is a general level of intelligence, of people thinking through their positions. On Farcebook it’s all emotional incontinence. Facts are meaningless if they are inconvenient facts. Everything I have seen this past week tells me that the losers it eh election have learned nothing and will learn nothing.

    It’s all a bit depressing really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Leg Iron Books page I set up on farcebook (at your suggestion) is slowly building a following. It would be so much easier if they still allowed auto-posting of blog entries (not from here! From the LI Books site) but they not only disallowed it, they later marked all those blog links as spam. Now, you can putup a blog post as long as you include a line of commentary. The link alone risks getting booted.

      As I said, the LIbooks stuff stays away from politics. It’s all knee-jerk now, as JK Rowling has just discovered πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find that these farcebox lefties all subscribe to the maxim that if you aren’t left , you’re far right.. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been accused of being a tory. Not so: I find it so much more satisfying to hold them all in contempt but with particular emphasis on the Liebour and Schottische Nazionalische Partei. EU communists.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I had just such a discussion yesterday. I disagreed with her that Johnson is an ignorant buffoon. Pointing out that the man is highly intelligent and failing to recognise that is to not only underestimate him, but perpetuates the likelihood of Labour losing elections. This means that I am a Tory, apparently. I was, apparently defending the Tories. The lack of intellect was pretty staggering – the inability to engage honestly in a simple conversation without resorting to strawmen and ad homs. I was subjected to a series of increasingly emotive ad hominems, yet not once did this vacuous woman engage with my original point.

      Meh. If they don’t get it, then the will continue to lose. But the idiocy. Jeebus!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same issue when discussing Trump. They want to think he’s a bumbling idiot even though his manipulations are clear if you just watch him. He wants them to impeach him on these trivial charges. He knows it’s a gamble but the odds are in his favour – and if he wins he’ll get an extra term as President. He’s outsmarted those who call him stupid at every turn.

        However, his anti-vaping stance and his raising the smoking age to 21 are bad moves, I think. His ‘Freedom!’ followers aren’t going to like that. Especially those who can be sent to war at 19 and killed before they are legally able to buy a beer or a smoke.

        I suspect the one to take down Trump will be… Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t trust any of them, but the Tories are the least bad at the moment. I don’t see Labour, Lib Dems or SNP even attempting to change in the near future. Boriswise the Clown does at least seem to be trying to make his party do something useful. We’ll have to wait and see.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Where I am at the moment staff are not encouraged to speak on their phones, so they text… a lot. Mainly it’s family members for the locals, while with the imports it’ll be their entire network back home.

    Facebook’s big for recipes, fashion, special offers or discounts. There’s one who spends ages on high value items, like trainers. They and Crocs are awful big in this place.

    There’s me and another expat from Lebanon who read online newspapers – he for obvious reasons, me cos I’m a tightwad, but that and politics hold little interest for any of the staff.

    So I can’t quite agree about social media. It is what you make of it, though watching them zip out a message on a phone, using just their thumbs, I can understand why so many have issues with their hands. And putting a smartphone in hip pockets of tight jeans guarantees the screen will crack, though the idea is to look cool, turn off the ringtone and rely only on vibration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it’s my generation – grew up with the nearest phone in a box on the street corner, no TV, then a tiny monochrome one, no central heating etc… or maybe I just tend to associate with Luddites πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 30-Day Song Challenge: LOUD! – Library of Libraries

  6. I abhor doing my accounts. Talking of Mycroft, I sometimes pretend I’m carrying out an investigation, like Sherlock, to make the exercise seem less banal: hunt the invoice; stalk the bank statement (thankfully online now). I used to have an accountant, but he couldn’t cope with my unpreparedness.

    But – but – he did introduce me to the joys of claiming part of the rent, council tax and gas & electric as business expenses. I used quite a few rooms in the house for office and storage space, but you should be able to claim for at least one room (perhaps you already are). You might be able to claim more because the big old house provides inspiration? Explain to the tax man that you muse in one room and ponder in another; when you feel wistful, you are drawn to yet another room and gladness drives you to yet another room. It’s the artist in you. A smoking jacket and cravat might help him visualise you wandering from room to room, deep in thought. Just say you are ‘roominating.’

    Actually, forget all that. I can feel a lynch mob a-coming to avenge for that joke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t bother with the home office allowances. A big part of the heating here is from a log fire that’s fed by free logs. The water supply is free, from a well, sewage is a septic tank and council tax is therefore pretty cheap anyway. The amount of electricity etc I use on work is not worth calculating, and neither is the rest.

      However, if an auditor ever shows up (God help him, the accounts are on lots of bits of scribbled paper!) I’ll certainly get a nice velvet smoking jacket from the charity shop, and I already have a few pipes.

      Maybe a monocle…

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve had two visits from Mrs Queen’s Revenue & Customs (circa 2003 and 2010). The first time the ‘officer’ thought it was a good idea of mine that I put half the home telephone bills down as business expenses (it was an internet/mail order business, mind). I had expected him to chide me for it, but just the opposite happened. Other inspectors would probably have different interpretations, such as not putting half the line rental as a business expense.

        The second visit went fine – the woman successfully cross-referenced some entries, but she asked for me to produce something or other and send it to her. Whatever it was I was supposed to do, I ran out of time and was fined Β£400. Today, I would appeal it, but back then I paid up without a fight.

        Maybe a monocle…

        Well, maybe. I wouldn’t recommend looking too eccentric, though. Choosing clothes that are a bit threadbare might be a good idea (wish I’d thought of it last time), especially as they are probably aware that most writers are poor (like most internet traders).

        Liked by 1 person

        • That first chap was very helpful, now that I think about it more. I had been doing double entry bookkeeping and he told me it wasn’t necessary, just simple records of money in and money out was sufficient.

          My problem had been that when I started in business I knew nothing about keeping books, so I bought a book called “Bookkeeping Made Simple” which taught double entry and I assumed for years that this was what I had to do.

          Just a tip for anyone else wasting their time unnecessarily.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Quora, despite some annoying aspects of over-moderation and their “Question/Answer” structure, is FAR AND AWAY SUPERIOR to facebook for anything serious. People are booted for simply name-calling. “Real Names” are at least moderately enforced. It’s common for people to use citations for their “facts” and for people to challenge stuff that’s not supported.

    AND… what you write has a feeling of “permanence” and “organization” to it that you simply don’t see on FBook. If someone wants to know “How did Brexit start?” they’ll find the appropriate question threads pretty quickly with the answers and comment discussions on each aspect stretching back for the ten years Quora’s been there… with the better written and supported answers displayed at the tops of the answer threads.

    If you DO want to dive in over there at just remember it ain’t the wild-west internet: BNBR (Be Nice, Be Respectful) is one of their hallmark themes and name-calling can get you booted pretty fast and permanently. If you get involved there and have questions about it just email me or send me a PM through their messaging option. I’m Michael J. McFadden there.


    Liked by 1 person

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