Where Have All the Real Blogs Gone?

This is a rant about what passes for Blogs these days. I don’t know about you, but I am really disappointed in almost all the Blogs I try to read.

Blogs were created as a platform where a single author could write about his or her passion in life. Whether that passion was brewing what the author thinks is the best beer ever created by God or man, to writing about their dog and best Buddie Rex.

Perhaps someone wanted to write about the wonders of Linux, which I am rather fond of. Or maybe Bee Keeping, or making paper mache baskets and bowls from discarded office paper. Whatever the topic was, people enjoyed writing about their favorite subject, maybe even themselves.

How about trying to read about some trending trigger subjects these days? There will be several newly created, monetized blogs out there for you to read. Slick and pretty and advertising packed.  Can you even get through one paragraph before you are interrupted with a pop up window wanting you to register? All you need is provide your name and an email.

Then you could be alerted to new posts of which you may have an interest. That was a great idea! You no longer had to visit the blog itself to see whats new and may be of interest to you. You could wait for the email.

Some Blogs became popular and had any number of readers. Then came along marketing and the business world. Hey, did you know you can use your Blog to make money? Off to the races both Blogs and Bloggers went.

Passions became what the Internet wanted. Want to read about relationships and dating? We have it. Hope you don’t mind an advertisement in your face every ten seconds which needs to be clicked away. Trying to pay the bills you know.

Real Blogs are hard to find these days. They are relegated to the backwaters of the Internet. Most real Blogs are not making any money. If a real Blog doesn’t make money, it’s of little use to the machinery of the Internet. Like this artwork some street artist created for our pleasure, it was not seen by enough people to become important.

Is it worth less if it is free?

Free Street Art. Free and Internet rarely are seen in the same sentence.

That machinery starts with your favorite search engine. Look up a blog on any subject, and you will be sick of advertisements before you hit on a blog with no advertising. The Internet runs on money. If you don’t make money for someone and yourself, the Internet machinery doesn’t really care.

Good writing is such a rare thing these days. Many of us are into funny or striking pictures followed up by or including a thirty second read. Sometime this is all that needs to be done. Other times it is done to capture a market share. We readers forget a person on the other end took the time to write something that is important to them in some way or another.

This isn’t just my rant. This is an all inclusive rant of good people who have a message they want to get out to the world. The thing is, they can’t get their message out unless they become gloss and glitter and spend a lot of money monetizing their Blog. Even then they probably won’t make it.

If Bloggers choose not to generate income for the machine, they almost perish, sent to backwaters of the Internet when what they have to say is stumbled upon by accident. This is a shame, really.

I enjoy reading real posts by real people who have something they feel is important enough to share with the world. People who misspell words, have run on sentences, beat the horse to death. People who care about you, the Reader!

Manjaro Linux Brief Overview

I recently installed Manjaro Linux, wanting to see what was out there for the leading edge of Linux. There are only a few Linux distributions which are difficult to install these days. There are several Linux distributions aimed at new users. Manjaro is fairly straightforward, is simple to install and maintain.

I downloaded the ISO, and went through the install which is quite a simple task. Manjaro Linux installed smoothly and update Grub without any issues. One nice touch with Manjaro and Grub, is Manjaro defaults to the last boot option you picked. This is good if you are using more than one operating system on your computer.

My desktop flavor of Manjaro is XFCE. I enjoy the right click menu of XFCE. Manjaro itself comes with a complete set of programs already. Not too many and not too few. Unless you need to do something an ordinary user would not do, you will get along fine with Manjaro’s default programs.

Everything went smoothly with my time with Manjaro, In fact Manjaro is still one of the systems on my computer. There were a few silly things that happened after the first update, but they went away with the second update. Nothing show stopping by any means.

Leading edge and great performance too!

Leading edge and great performance too!

My only concern with Manjaro and an average user, is the amount of updating, and the time it takes. Frequent updates are to be expected using Manjaro Linux as Manjaro is a leading edge Distribution and updates arrive shortly after they are created. Updating takes time however, so time needs to be set aside to update Manjaro.

Is Manjaro right for you? If you have a high bandwidth connection such as cable and want to be on the leading edge with as little fuss as possible, and you do not mind frequent updates, Manjaro is for you.

If your bandwidth is metered or limited, you may want a smaller distribution with less updating. I use Manjaro from time to time, and for my needs Manjaro just the way it installs is fine for my needs. I am an ordinary user, and for me the frequent updates for me are a detractor.

As mentioned updates are the proce you pay for leading edge Linux. Manjaro’s Team ensures all updates are tested and checked before you will see them. Crashing has not been an issue with Manjaro with credit going to the Manjaro Team.

All in all except for the first update Manjaro has been a good performer. You can do worse than use Manjaro Linux.

Knee Jerk Gun Control

Freedom of speech is a constitutional right. Should freedom of speech come with any personal responsibility? Some forms of free speech are a criminal offense. Yelling, “Fire”, in a crowded theater is one of the oft used examples.

What about other forms of speech where meaning and links are not so clear? Do we have the right to claim free speech whenever we wish?

In the picture below for example. On the left side window of the SUV is what looks like a revolutionary war silhouette¬† bust. Below it are the words, “KEEP CALM, JOIN THE DARKSIDE”. The license plate identification starts with the letters, MAL. So what?

Humor, subtle suggestion, or an order to the insane?

Humor, subtle suggestion, or an order to the insane?

So what if you are driving along, hearing voices because you chose not to take your medication, or you can not afford to? Happens too often to too many people. Voices are telling them to do something violent. They just don’t know what to do. Then they pull up behind this vehicle and start reading whats on the window and the license plate.

The Revolutionary bust image. Why, that could be you. Keep calm, join the Darkside? What a great suggestion! The license plate with the letters MAL? If you live in the Southwest, you probably know one word for ‘bad’ in Spanish is Mal. Hey, is this a personal message for my eyes only?

Even trying to ignore the voices, one has to wonder the intent of the decor on the back of this vehicle represents? Are they trying to be funny, making a point, or offering a violent suggestion in a round about way?

Back to Freedom of Speech. If someone already unstable reads, and reads into the decor on the back of this vehicle, falls in the abyss, gets a weapon and goes on a killing spree, who’s fault is it?

In the moment, we want to blame Guns. Guns are bad, they are evil, they kill. If we didn’t have guns, most murders could be prevented. There is some truth to this train of thought.

However what about the rest of the circumstances surrounding the mentally ill murderer? Why are they out and about in public with an extremely unstable psyche? Why aren’t they monitored better, so they are not out driving, listening to voices telling them to kill? Maybe the doctor is at fault? The family, the person themselves? Kind of hard to blame the person, they were fine before they quit taking their medicine.

How about the owner of this vehicle? If someone stopped behind them at a stop light or traffic jam read this, and it put them over the edge, is the vehicle owner partially responsible?

We are so good at knee jerk reactions. People are in an uproar, how can these mass murders keep happening? I received a letter from my congressman telling me he demands more and better gun control so no measure of extreme violence can be taken again so easily.

No one wants to address the issue that we have people on the streets who should not be there. They are poor, unwanted, and horrible cared for medically. Taking them off the streets and treating their psyche is a fragile process wrought with problems.

Their civil rights may be violated. Their individual freedom may be infringed upon. Lots and lots of legal hassles involved in taking someone off the streets and putting them in a hospital or sanitarium where they may really belong.

If Civil Rights and Personal Freedoms were not an issue, Money is. Money is the deciding factor when it comes to eliminating mass murder by the mentally ill. So is Money the crux when it comes to treating and caring for the mentally ill and unstable.

Who is willing to pay for their care? Who is going to monitor and advocate for people taken off the streets or otherwise removed from their current way of life in the name of public safety? Perhaps a better question is: Who doesn’t share in the wave mass murders we are read about so frequently?

Let’s admit it. If the mass killings of School Children starting with Sandy Hook Elementary School did not open pocket books, and remove dangerous unstable people from the streets, the killing and wounding of several scores of LGBT people matters even less. Money is at stake. Money is the real issue.

Fear Monger No More

I think sharing a smile with a stranger is something most of us have been conditioned out of doing.

When we are little we had to watch out for the Man offering us candy.

As we grew older, we learned to be scared of looking at a stranger because they were probably crazy, a molester, a rapist, or a general purpose maniac.

As we get even older, we see robbers and murderers in every other person, even our neighbors.

We have been conditioned to fear strangers almost since we were old enough to talk.

Our world would be a much friendlier place, if we realize we do not need to live a fear based life.

Once each day smile at a stranger like you mean it, and say, “Good day”. You might even save someone with your smile. More has been done with less.

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be


Working With the Hill

Seen from the top, this path looks like a mild climb. Seen from the bottom, it is steeper than it looks. So how best do we climb the hill? We have three real choices.

1. We can run up the hill as fast as we can, and hope we don’t out of energy and breath before we make the top.

2. We can walk very slowly up the hill, which is not optimal, but it gets us to the top.

3. We can let the gill set the pace, moving faster and slower as the trail allows.

How we climb the hill is as important as getting to the top of the hill

How we climb the hill is as important as getting to the top of the hill

Life is the same as the hill. How we approach each day and the hills that come with each day is a measure of our personal success.

We don’t want to run as fast as we can, running out of energy before the day is done. We don’t wish to plod along wasting time on pointless tasks if we do not need to.

We want to speed up and slow down paying attention to the path up the hill, so we climb over the top with enough left to enjoy the view.

Letting yourself work with the hill, instead of fighting the hill and you will find the hills grow smaller and less frequent.