Tag Archives: Social media

CUTE ANIMALS ONLINE: MY TOP 5

As a fun thing heading into the weekend, I thought I’d share five of my favorite cute animal accounts online. I’m a big animal person, rodents especially, and really enjoy spending time with them. The next best thing is checking out adorable animal content online, and these are my favorites!

Number 5: Goodable

More than just cute animals, but some wonderful cute animal content. Check out this adorable abandoned kitten that was found and saved by some very kind people:

Number 4: My Little 4 Rodents

Wonderful Instagram account with some very cute gerbils, along with other fine rodents!

Number 3: Hummingbird Returns to Man Every Year

A man who rescued an injured hummingbird and nursed it back to health. He later let it go, but it returns every year and sits in his hand during its migration! Wonderful story.

Number 2: Chi Channel

Adorable chinchilla and degu videos! It’s all in Japanese, but even if you don’t speak the language, the cuteness translates!

Number 1: Cat saves little boy from falling from balcony!

Just do what kitty says! 🙂 What an amazing cat!

Have a great weekend everyone!

More on entertainment:

THE AWESOME VIDEO SERIES THAT’S SWEEPING JAPAN NOW

THIS IS SATRIALE’S FROM THE SOPRANOS

MY FAMILY IN JAPAN SAW ME ON TV!

Photo: “Cute Rodent” by SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent) is licensed under CC BY 2.0. This is an elephant shrew.

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

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Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Bitcoin Is Now Bigger Than Facebook

As you cruise down the tree-lined road, the first thing you see is a giant thumbs up. You pull into the winding driveway and an endless panorama of multicolor buildings appears. This is the headquarters of the one of the most powerful companies on earth: Facebook, Inc.

1.8 billion people use Facebook every day, and its profits last year totaled nearly $30 billion. It controls news and social relations across the globe.

But all this is worth over $100 billion less than bitcoin. The total value of all bitcoin is $1 trillion. The total value of all Facebook stock trails far behind at $892 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, but no one really knows who invented bitcoin. Its creator called himself Satoshi Nakamoto, but he has never appeared in public and may not exist. “He” could even be several people working together.

I find it interesting that despite all his entrepreneurial genius, what Zuckerberg has built is worth less than what was built by an extremely obscure man who may not even exist. There is no monument like the palatial Facebook headquarters to mark bitcoin’s ascendance, but ascended it has.

I don’t invest in cryptocurrencies. Still, I can’t help but be impressed at what bitcoin has achieved. It reminds me of a quote from Godfather II:

“Michael, we’re bigger than US Steel.”

Hyman Roth

Dig into these posts for more on bitcoin:

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Behind Clubhouse’s Meteoric Rise: User Obsession and Timing

Everyone at once seems to be talking about Clubhouse, the 11 month old social media app that has attracted the likes of Elon Musk, along with a $1 billion valuation. I found myself wondering, why is this app so popular?

The basic architecture seems pretty simple: Zoom without the video, plus the ability to see which discussions are happening now. But this seemingly simple product has grown from zero to 10 million users at warp speed.

The timing of the launch, along with the user obsession of Clubhouse’s founders, seems to have driven this incredible growth.

Clubhouse launched in April 2020, just weeks after the lockdowns began. What better time to debut an app that connects people? And Clubhouse connected us in a live, personal, and serendipitous way. Unlike Twitter or Instagram, you never knew who would show up. These chance interactions were precisely what we were missing while stuck in our houses.

…Hoover said he believed the ephemerality makes the app special. “It better reflects how we communicate in the real world and encourages a more authentic conversation,” he said.

More from Wired:

Clubhouse arrived at a perfect moment. It delivered spontaneous conversations and chance meetings to people stuck at home.

Clubhouse’s founders have also eagerly sought feedback from day one:

Every Sunday, thousands of Clubhousers attend a town hall with the app’s two cofounders, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth.

This strikes me as brilliant and perhaps comes from their history of having built social products before, some of which didn’t make it.

Since I use Android rather than iOS, I actually haven’t tried Clubhouse yet, but I look forward to checking out their forthcoming Android app.

What do you like or dislike about Clubhouse? Let us know in the comments below!

For more on technology, check out these posts:

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Photo:

What If Social Networks Were Run on the Blockchain by…Us?

Google owns YouTube. Facebook owns Facebook and Instagram. Who owns e-mail?

Trick question: the answer is, no one! It’s an open protocol anyone can use. So are RSS feeds used to distribute podcasts and the Domain Name System that tells your browser where to go when you type in google.com.

Many are concerned about the power that social media companies have, but what if social media were open and governed by the public at large? Blockchain technology may provide the means to do that, per a new article by top-flight venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz:

How do social networks decide which users to verify or ban? How do search engines decide how to rank websites? One minute social networks court media organizations and small businesses, the next minute they de-prioritize their content or change the revenue split. The power of these platforms has created widespread societal tensions, as seen in debates over fake news, state-sponsored bots, privacy laws, and algorithmic biases.

That’s why the pendulum is swinging back to an internet governed by open, community-controlled services. This has only recently become possible, thanks to technologies arising from the blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

If users collectively hosted a social network on their computers using blockchain-style distributed computing, they could govern the network outside any tech company. Algorithm changes and deplatforming would be their decision.

I find this future intriguing and suspect it’s only a matter of time until such a tool arises. Perhaps you will build one!

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Photo: “Bitcoin ‘Blockchain’ Necklace” by btckeychain is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What Do Conspiracy Theories Have To Do With Ant Farms?

I notice a significant increase in the popularity of conspiracy theories recently. Some are byzantine, with such outrageous claims it’s a wonder they ever gained currency. And they seem to be gaining new adherents by the day.

Conspiracy theories are nothing new. But why do they seem particularly salient today? Being a part of a group of believers, either in a religion or a conspiracy, provides connection to others and affirmation from a community. In a time of isolation, those are particularly valuable.

But I think the biggest reason for the popularity of conspiracy theories today is that there is something happening to our world that we don’t understand and can’t control. An invisible illness is spreading globally and mutating steathily. Its origin is unknown. The date it all ends is unknown. Any control we have over it is partial at best. And it’s affecting nearly every person on earth in one way or another.

As ghoulish as it is, believing that some group of evil humans unleashed this on us intentionally is more comforting than believing that COVID arose purely randomly. At least we could find those evildoers and punish them, and then maybe it stops! Believing the sickness isn’t serious provides an even greater comfort…the terrible things that seem to be happening around us aren’t real! Everything is fine!

It is hard to accept someone is doing something awful to us on purpose, but at least it would preserve the illusion of human control. That we have no control and are being buffeted by random chance and a natural world that is indifferent to us is even scarier.

Someone is shaking our ant farm!

Or so we think. But in reality we are subject to an earthquake, this time of the biological variety. We don’t fully understand what’s happening, but we know something is.

Conspiracies also gained currency after 9/11. I suspect this is because people found it more comforting to imagine our government was in control, even in a malevolent way, than to believe that a small group of unknowns from the other side of the world could strike at the heart of our nation at any time.

What’s the solution? I’m not sure there is one, other than time. Distance from the events will give us perspective. But in the mean time, let’s remember that we are affected by randomness every day. Not everything has a pattern, a discernible cause, or a smoke filled room filled with evil, cigar chomping men behind it. Sometimes things just happen, and we have to respond the best we know how.