FINAL POST  2021/12/30

As matters stand now, this will be my last post using Blogger, and I will remove all sixteen Blogger blogs on Monday, January 3, 2022. Including this one, there were 26556 posts starting on January 19, 2006, over 16 years.

The four Wordpress blogs externally hosted will remain available until May3, 2022 (two of them may remain until June 19m 2022). Active posting on them should stop around April 15.

The tiny experimental site will be removed Jan. 7.  Generally, I will use only the formal legal name "John W Boushka" to brand my presence as I go forward;  The "Bill" is based on my middlename and is a nickname (part of the same identity) rather than a true separate pseudonym. This could actually matter in the future when we get into the world of NFT's.

The legacy site, which comprises flat html files with no content management will remain, but starting early January will contain only business” content only.  That is, materials supporting sale and use of my four self-published books, along with materials supporting screenwriting based on the books and the completion and performance of music projects.

The eponymous site will comprise (1) flat file directories with selected reposts from blogs that have been removed (2) a Wordpress directory for new blog posts on selected topics.

The Youtube channel jboushka will be culled with removal of old or now irrelevant or trivial posts.  Om 2022 video skill will be upgraded for making fewer but higher quality posts on special problems.

My work online from about 1997 through today, with flat file sites, and then multiple blogs, amounted to a kind of online news consolidation or newspaper, although not intended for mobile use (Smart News) and well adapted to the old Web 1.0 world predicated on how search engines could propagate one’s reputation, but less effective once conventional social media and algorithms took over.

So there is a “good news, downside” to this whole activity.  I can’t sustain it and move forward.  Scaling back and stopping the “pretense” of “citizen journalism”. With downsizing,  I can focus on my screenwriting (as there seems to be definite interest in the books) , making my music performable, and even finally finishing the novel “Angel’s Brother” (the plot of which contains a pandemic that overlaps coronavirus, and means the whole thing has to be reset – but some of this I had thought of over 15 years ago).

The idea of individually owned and branded citizen journalism and commentary, as a way of connecting the dots among more common adversarial partisan and organizational or corporate speech and keeping it honest – has deteriorated in the past few years, especially since Trump’s election and especially since Charlottesville in August 2017.  In early 2018 Congress eroded Section 230 with FOSTA (sex trafficking) but threaten further erosions now as some (especially the Left) question whether individual user generated content without gatekeeper qualification is sustainable without undermining an increasingly inequitable society. Now social media companies and even web hosts or other infrastructure companies realize that abetting some individual speech can turn around and be dangerous  (not just it if is driven by algorithms on social media, but if its funding seems obscure and gratuitous, as mentioned below).   That’s partly the result of increasing inequity, which is partly but by no means completely explained by systemic racism  -- and the reciprocal and diverging backlashes as well as rather childish tribalism that oscillates between left and right.  Now we could face a future where to be heard people will have to work only through established partisan organizations and will no longer own their own personal agency in political speech,

I’ve covered some of these concerns in previous Wordpress posts, such as here in 2019 and then 2020.

Much of this concern was already well established by censorship and de-platformings before the start of 2020 (it started to accelerate in late 2018).  But then the coronavirus pandemic starting in 2020 further polarized things. (An improbable event sequence connected to the pandemic led me to cancel a flight [first time ever] and other reservations at my own cost in late Fen. 2020, just before the dam burst on everyone else, a happening I don't take lightly.)  Since my own speech activity provides largely free content and is funded by my own resources and does not provide a living, it could well be seen as “gratuitous” in otherwise hard times for everybody (thinking of the pandemic as creating wartime). Specifically, I could find that, in the future, to express my views as my own under my own brand, I would have to show backup support from others, make the speech pay for itself, and actively and publicly support mandatory social justice initiatives like anti-racism.  "Private" or covert voluntarism would not be enough. So we have a logical contradiction and I would not own my own brand anyway. Everything would be about "others".  

Posted by John W. Boushka at 8:24 PM