I intend to start publicly reflecting on the preceding year, at the beginning of the current. I did notice the opportunity to reflect on the entire preceding decade, with this first, and so I'll. The first half of this preceding decade led to some great changes in my life, along with containing some of the fondest memories and also the worst experiences of my life yet. I shouldn't be so optimistic to believe that the worst is passed, of course. I'll be keeping my life before recently vague here.
In some time in 2013 or so, I ceased drinking soda, not because of the beverage itself, but to avoid the corn syrup, preservatives, and other common poison within. I've in the following years cut many fast food restaraunts out of my life entirely, for petty reasons, and have continued further cutting certain foods, ingredients, or poisons out of my life; as of writing, I currently subsist on coffee, water, and tea for drink, in that order; I try and fail to eat mostly unprocessed produce, but it'll improve as time passes. I expect to mostly cut restaraunts out of my life from now on. I regularly try to fast and eat less in general, yet this easily leads to unpleasant feelings of weakness. I do keep mechanical records of my life, since late 2013, with the original intent to improve my usage of time, but I've found it has also made me structure my life in a way easier to record, but it's still generally in my favor, I believe.
In 2014, I started a Lisp group, which I've maintained since. It's been fun and I've enjoyed having a community which is, from my perspective, entirely separate from those others, which I also ignored entirely for years; in 2015 I joined the staff of a forum I'd used before, on its first anniversary.
In 2017, I founded my website and wrote seven articles, including those concerning my favorite ideas I'm still pursuing. In 2018, I wrote eleven articles, including successfully breathing life into my idea of an ideal machine code development tool and also concerning issues with machine text noticed.
In 2019, this last year, I wrote four dozen articles, with a goal of two dozen. Writing a review on a monthly cadence greatly helped this be my most productive writing year, yet. I installed a Gopher hole, allowing it to later shape the flow of my writing as a nice constraint; a Finger service, with the same constraint; and a comment system. I learned the Ada programming language starting in 2018, and wrote two fine libraries in it. Enough is never enough to distract me and so I want to do more, next year. The remainder of this article will be more general thoughts with a US viewpoint.
I know deeply, this society isn't a safe environment to form many relationships or have children in.
I've seen and read that others find it difficult to focus, with their attention so constantly phone-wise. I decided I wouldn't become a victim of this and so don't own a mobile phone nor carry one on my person, which is useful for avoiding constant surveillance. I occasionally fear my attention and ability to think critically and concentrate and whatnot have deteriorated in a similar way, but this seems unlikely. The major difference is I pull what I want, when I want, rather than have it pushed on me, whenever, with the latter being the prevailling model.
I vividly recall, some time in the last half of this preceding decade, the moment I noticed I use my computer a great deal on average and yet still seem to use one less than a normal person would, when I observed a man looking at his phone while pumping gas, whereas my laptop was closed in my vehicle. Not only do I use my machines for creation, but I also take breaks, to put it simply.
I've noticed a regression in English, mostly over 2019. The most apparent to me are the examples of needlessly using abbreviations in spoken conversation, such as ``af'', and the several variations on ``is a thing'', rather than ``exists'', the word dedicated to the concept. Over the decade, the use of ``like'' has also been harmed, to the point I prefer ``such as'' and other phrases to avoid this, exemplifying how idiots abusing language robs those capable of using it correctly. Journalism is in a poor state, it seems, as I occasionally partake, finding disconcertingly often articles containing basic spelling and grammar errors, along with unnecessary tangents and other ``cute'' additions; the authors clearly don't take their jobs seriously, and yet there's so many of them; this lack of being serious about oneself when in any position of power is a common theme; another disgusting occurrence is the pronoun insanity, in which fools seek to destroy a fundamental aspect of English, by claiming it doesn't encompass them properly; this denial of reality is sickening to watch unfold.
The 2010s were a bad decade for entertainment and, primarily, escapism, in my eyes. I'm not in-tune with ``popular culture'', but the Internet has brought a good change in that there have been several news articles written about the breakdown of this silly mechanism; perhaps the idea that millions of people, even in a single country, can have a singular culture is misguided and untenable, as I think it's. I won't mourn the loss of entertainment with country-wide or world-wide appeal. I'm quite an insulated observer, primarily partaking of ``indie'' art, and so I've rather not felt the shocks I'm seeing others bemoan: with how music is supposedly become ever more programmatic; with popular films and their degenerate messages weaseled in; and with an increasing amount of television series locked into a particular disservice, in an attempt to force one to pay a company to participate in culture. The films and other programs generally aren't worth watching, anyway, either being boring or sequels to previous work, if not merely a remake.
The interference with escapism has mostly been related to the ``culture war''. I can't quite recall offhand a single significant cartoon, say, which hasn't had homosexuality or other such filth placed into it, commonly at the very last episode. This is part of the subversive effect of this ``culture war'', as rampant homosexuals don't care whether characters are canonically like them or not, but if it's inserted even in the last episode, by a completely different team at that point, and even by an employee who wasn't told to do it, they will cheer this and mock others with it. They perhaps never cared about the show, and would do it anyway, but now they do it with a whiff of authority, cheering another show infiltrated with faggotry before continuing on to the next; this situation is untenable and another issue which can be related to copyright, as a story can be told for years, team changing over time, and yet others are prevented from telling their own stories in the same way; the solution is clearly to avoid any attachment with something not already finished, the traditional method, lest it be tainted before you in this manner, but for those already with attachment to such, the solution is to simply ignore what you dislike, as simple as that is.
Tying into entertainment in general, these people tend to disregard their responsibilities as story-tellers or entertainers, leading to even greater disgust; it's one thing to watch a beloved story be bastardized and it's another to be mocked by the very cretins responsible for caring so. Lacking of noblesse oblige is an increasing issue and this is but one example; the story-tellers have forgotten their task isn't necessary and they can be replaced, yet they mock their society.
The ``culture war'' has extended beyond cartoons: it has affected comics; videogames; public events; and, most recently, Free Software, in spite of the insistence that if one merely ignores it, it will go away. This preceding decade had Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, and many others attacked, with the intent to remove them from their own work. I find it obvious the usual subversive agents are at work here, but I'd rather not mention them and then have the weaponization of the DNS turned against me and my domain, as it's been turned towards others. The spooks this time are those trannies vying for control over the work of others', with a disconcerting amount of success; I suppose it's similar to colonialism in that a strong group must be beaten by itself, but instead of Great Britain and the United States, it's hackers and trannies. For the curious reader wanting to learn more of trannies, begin by learning about a man with the first name Magnus and the last name Hirschfeld, or first name John and last name Money.
I've also seen accounts of tranny cabals targeting young and depressed men for conversion, adding to the subversion these individuals foster; it would be wrong to decry trannies without also mentioning feminism, that other subversive element also decades old. Clearly, women also seek more control and there's a disconcerting trend there with retroactive rulings and clear lies ruling the day, but this is all obvious and written of in-depth elsewhere.
There are rather obvious attacks on Free Software which have persisted through the preceding decade. I'm glad to largely be an island in this; corporations have a clear benefit in reducing copyleft and it's believed by many that trannies and feminism are partially supported by them for the destruction of social movements they bring. Most Free Software seems to be hosted on a single website nowadays, and this is another issue I'm gladly free from.
A marker which seems unique to this decade is the metastasis of the cancer which is all advertising. There are ever more cameras in public locations and ever more advanced mobile phones on persons, and this has lead to a panopticon with a disconcerting focus on advertising. The government purpose for this is clear, with capitalism leading to greater surveillance than communism ever could. A foolish advocate for capitalism could claim this is proof of its superiority, in how it destroys life better than even communism, but this is all actually due to advances in computing. The private application of mobile phone surveillance is mostly concerned with tracking others to sell things they don't need or want, through placement of beacons in stores, sending inaudible signals so phones can establish a profile outside of phone usage, and also to tailor public advertisements to the surrounding persons, along with other disgusting and wasteful practices. There are gas stations with television screens, used solely to bombard the user until pumping is completed. Entire corporations exist to steal time from people through advertising, even when they take active measures against this. Anyone believing capitalism leads to the greatest efficiencies need merely look around to notice this isn't true. It should be noted this constant surveillance requires one's possessions to betray, and so is naturally participatory, showing the harms of proprietary software. The expansion of surveillance which needs no participation will catch those remaining, however. There even exist businesses which require the use of a mobile phone and are otherwise rather invisible and this is perhaps a taste of requirements to come for participating in society.
Another application of constant surveillance is going against the ostensible purpose of insurance by making some people pay more before anything even happens, due to their noticed habits. Buying candy or alcohol often may have you paying more; newer automobiles collect and transmit driving habit data which will probably also be purposed for this; there are also businesses based around collecting DNA and this will eventually be used to harm the people who paid to have this information collected, but also those merely related to them, unfortunately. The United States value automony when profitable; people have the freedom to give a corporation their DNA and so those of relatives, but teenagers are ofttimes jailed for taking photographs of themselves, if they're young enough.
Several murderers have been caught because of this growing DNA collection; perhaps odd, I'm inclined to believe if one gets away with murder for decades, one should be allowed to. I doubt this will be the case, however, and instead it will be another layer of the panopticon infrastructure.
A particularly insidious form of advertising is what I deem ``plausibly-deniable advertising''; this is when a corporation wants to create an association between a product and something the corporation doesn't have the rights to; rather than legally obtain the rights, a ``meme'' is created which makes the connection. The corporation then has an advertisement it need not pay for, and it can't be sued for copyright infringement, because it can't be proved it was responsible; this form of astroturfing is another way that copyright primarily benefits those in power.
Changes in common employment include putting up unreasonable job requirements so that foreigners who are essentially indentured servants can be considered necessary, not responding to an application at all if it's rejected, and circumventing minimum wage laws by claiming employees aren't. With ``AI'' being the current craze, there are armies of not-employees ready to step in when automation fails in a way which can be detected.
The word ``startup'' has become common in the preceding decade, to describe a particularly parasitic form of business which generally focus on evading laws, responsibility, and even profitability in an attempt to gain a monopoly. I agree with the thinking that part of the craze surrounding these such businesses are really surrounding their successful evasion of employment laws rather than profoundly stupid business ideas. These businesses have been responsible for eroding trust, law, and have even caused human deaths, but there's no shortage of fools to cheer for them and even proclaim the deaths aren't in vain, as they otherwise would be, because the automated systems improve from it; how truly disgusting.
Common with these ``startup'' and ``AI'' trends are companies which offer little customer support if any is offered at all. The common method for when the corporation locks one out, a common aspect of monopoly being the ease of discarding bothersome customers, is to publicly cry for help until notice is given and the issue is resolved easily. I've read of comparisons with this to the politburo, and so this is another way capitalism and communism are alike.
I can no longer look upon illusory good times broadcast on television when I deign to watch, without recognizing it as fake spectacle, ofttimes with a juxtaposition of degeneracy and happiness.
An amusing new occurrence is the attacking of local governments over the Internet leading to loss of data and interruption of operations; it's rather obvious that modern Western society is based around a certain level of trust which these local governments require. I similarly find it amusing when an infrastructure designed to harm the population and yet which remains unguarded is destroyed, such as parking meters or camera systems, which reveal that power isn't entirely lost.
I've been called a psychopath recently, for arguing the only purpose of employment is to gain money. There's seemingly been an increase in vapid people with no purpose to live. Perhaps souls do exist, and such people lack them. Interacting becomes easier when one decides many of these people aren't. We're constantly told about the horrors of dehumanization, but it works rather well.
I won't mourn the WWW when it dies. It's been advantageous for there to be few implementations, for those who control those left, but a protocol can be judged by the number and quality of such. Maybe it will die soon, and ports eighty and four hundred and forty-three can return to the minority. The WWW also makes ``A/B testing'' simple, which is when users are gaslit with minor changes; encryption has been forced heavily not for security reasons, which the security certificate model doesn't give, but to protect the integrity of online advertisements. It's common for websites to be inaccessible, because some manner of encryption has failed or a previous algorithm is no longer permitted, leaving many systems unable to use them.
Russia has been vilified lately, as if it were a Cold War, but I don't believe many truly do believe Russia has been an issue. China, however, has actively sought to control foreign corporations along with other questionable acts and even I wouldn't have an argument against my country seeking to harm the nation; perhaps Russia has been a red herring, in that people won't believe it has caused issue, and once that ends will find themselves exhausted towards China, once it's made a proper target; the canonical populations of the United States and Russia are reasonably similar, but not so with China, making this more palatable to many.
Surveillance isn't limited to government or large corporations, as there are organized groups making fun through targeting individuals and mocking them over years; it's easy to see how some deserve it, yet there's the implicit threat that oneself can become the target, and if not of them then of those in more common society and for different reasons. This is another aspect of life which is secure in a certain level of trust which no longer reasonably exists.
An article on the preceding decade would perhaps be incomplete without mentioning the profound waste of money in the F-35. The Ada language, designed for the US Department of Defense, was rather left, in favor of C++, apparently, in part because those programmers are cheaper. I've read great things, concerning the many employed for the supply chain for this waste, though.
This article is clearly not representative and many ideas presented receive entire articles in other venues. I've tried and failed to make this brief; many complex thoughts have been reduced to single sentences and warrant their own articles, which I may later provide.