Wednesday What’s Up

Let’s try something new.

What I’m Drinking

  • Tried the beer Kapuziner Hefe-Weißbier at Hand + Foot on June 01 2017. Gave it a rating of 4. Great lunchtime beer; refreshing and rich. Hand + Foot is a cool little bistro in the market district in Corning, NY. We were in the area to do some grocery shopping.
  • Julie and I purchased a “beer share” (!) at Steuben Brewing Company which is just up the hill from us here at Keuka Lake. For $36 we get 6 fills of a 750 ml wine bottle style growler, which is a good size for the two of us. Unfortunately the only way we get notified about new beers that are ready is on Facebook, which…
  • In honor of the passing of Roger Moore, I made a martini last weekend using his recipe. I used a different vermouth, but it didn’t matter – tasted awesome. Putting the drink back in the freezer is a good way to make sure it is ice cold. I’m going to test to see if keeping the gin in the freezer to start with is just as good.

What I’m Playing

  • I’m still mildly obsessed with Advanced Squad Leader and am looking to play at least once per week on VASL while I’m here at the lake. Played with a new online friend last week and got destroyed playing the Strayer’s Strays scenario. I have a lot to learn but it is very useful playing experienced players. Want a game? Just drop me a line.
  • Julie and I are getting in almost nightly two-player gaming. Lately it has been mostly 7 Wonders Duel which Julie dominates in. We also mix in Five Crowns.
  • We are off to Maine for five days, but on return we plan to play Tzolk’in.

What I’m Watching

Keuka Lake in May/June means lots of catching up on TV series that Julie and I watch together. So far this is Silicon Valley, House of Cards and Halt and Catch Fire. We just started watching The Leftovers. Four episodes in and we have no idea what is going on, but the journey is fun.

I also watched a few single shot Netflix exclusives:

  • War Machine (2017) – Not a great film as I couldn’t figure out whether to love Brad Pitt’s performance or laugh at it. Still, a worthwhile satire and statement on the USA approach to counter-insurgency over the past 50 years. Hint: it doesn’t seem to be working.
  • Sarah Silverman A Speck of Dust – Julie and I watched this last weekend and enjoyed it. Plenty of laugh-out-loud humor. Sarah is brilliant. She also looks the same today as she did when she was in School of Rock.

What I’m Reading

I read and recommend a ton of long- and short-form articles every week. Follow me on Pocket to track what I’m reading there. For those of you interested in leadership and tech industry articles, you might want to see my weekly Sunday links posting.

Why I’m Leaving Facebook

Goodbye Facebook!

I’ve been pondering this decision for about two or three years. I think I almost left in 2014 but there was still enough pull, probably from immediate family and my sons going of to college, to keep me around. I’m going to articulate my personal reasons why. I won’t judge those who stay, I promise! There’s real value in Facebook, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed for nine years and they wouldn’t have almost 2 billion users.

Facebook brings on distress

I’m sure this escalated during the last election season, but more often than not when I look at my Facebook feed I come away distressed or frustrated. The political debate is so polarized. It drains me emotionally. People on all sides of the debate are primarily focused with sharing links and pithy commentary to support their own views. I get annoyed by all sides of the debate, though I tend to only get angry with the Trump supporters.

This isn’t truly Facebook’s fault, and I take ownership for the feelings I have when I’m there. I can also take ownership for the actions I take to resolve this issue.

Facebook is about connections, but the relationships don’t feel real

Facebook is a surface-level connection, allowing all of us to share just what we want the world to see. Some are very good at being open and honest, but most of us relish in only showing our best selves. This is human nature.

I enjoy seeing happiness unfold in my Facebook friend network. There’s nothing wrong with photos of travel adventures, accomplishments of offspring, the latest cocktail someone crafted. I also appreciate the ability to keep up with friends and family that are remote. This is probably what I’ll miss the most.

What I usually don’t see is the struggles that these friends and family are going through. Relying on Facebook as a way to stay in contact is a big mistake, and I plan to change my approach to engaging with my extended family and close friends.

Facebook breaks the Internet

I’m approaching 50+ year old gray hair dude status (get off my lawn!), but part of the cred that comes with that age is a clear remembering of what the world was like before and after the Internet (and the web). It should be an open network. We should be able to search for interesting content, share it at the level of privacy we care about, without a business standing in the middle. This was reinforced while Julie and I were in Cambodia and Vietnam sharing what amounted to photo blogs of our adventures on Facebook which I think our social network enjoyed. I’d like to be able to easily share those with other people, but the process is difficult. This is my own fault, I admit. I bought my own domain and started this blog almost 15 years ago for the very reason that I knew I could own the content, the URLs, regardless of who I chose to host. I think I’ve used 4 or 5 different hosting providers and blogging platforms during that time, mostly invisible to you the reader. This post is a re-commitment to using this platform to share.

Facebook does not fit with this model. They own the content. They deny search engines from searching deep into their platform. Others have explained this better than I can. Dave Winer said it well. So did John Gruber. Then Dave even gave some suggestions for how Facebook could get back in his good graces.

One thing I’ll miss – the communities I’ve joined in Facebook, mostly revolving around my hobbies and interests, have been fun to be a part of. Still, Facebook very much gets in the way of what I see from these communities, deciding what I will and won’t see. I’d rather be more intentional seeing what I want to see, when I want to see it, and Facebook should have no part of that.

Where This Leaves Me, How to Find Me

I think I’ll stick around on Instagram for a while. The content there seems to remain mostly apolitical, and I love seeing the photos and experiences others are having.

If you want to follow what I write here on this blog, you have a few choices: