The United States Department of State

Referred to as the State Department, State, and DOS, the U.S. Department of State has recently been called by an unfitting new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing it called “deep state department” glances off as a meaningless jab. I’ve long inured myself against the public bluster. What concerns me more is the … Continue reading The United States Department of State

The Great Iskander!

Favored by Alexander the Great, named for its inventor Iskender Efendi, five simple ingredients make this dish go POP. The flavor prunes the back of your tongue and sends it down your throat. Such creamy tang! The Chicken Iskender, my favorite dish, it must be shared with family. But, they are vegetarian…. What to do? Make … Continue reading The Great Iskander!

A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Will sustained isolation lead to a baby boom or a novel boom? Long before COVID-19, the most recent novel coronavirus to come along, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel called A Novel. As is usually the case in the life of a novelist, however, I ran into a few problems right off … Continue reading A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Phenomenal Women

On International Women’s Day, I’m thinking about all the phenomenal women I admire around the world, including the nameless, faceless, toiling women who sow and reap the corn they’ll dry and grind into the flour they’ll pound and cook to feed their families in between their hours at the river beating clothes against the stones … Continue reading Phenomenal Women

COVID, or Covfefe?

Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?

When I’m Not Writing

This is what I write about when I'm not writing: Stuff I read The ice in my drink vs the bell around my cat's neck Titles of books I'd like to write The news Rage at the universe when the universe applies its whims inexorably against my wishes Politics Things I think are funny but … Continue reading When I’m Not Writing

Facebook vs Google in the Bubble

The Google self and the Facebook self, in other words, are pretty different people. There’s a big difference between “you are what you click” and “you are what you share.” The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser (2009) looks at how personalization on the Internet transforms the Internet itself, creating a different user experience for everyone. Through … Continue reading Facebook vs Google in the Bubble

Blogging in the Filter Bubble

The new Internet doesn’t just know you’re a dog; it knows your breed and wants to sell you a bowl of premium kibble. Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble is a call to self-reflection on how we represent ourselves—consciously and unconsciously—in the digital age. “You click on a link, which signals an interest in something, … Continue reading Blogging in the Filter Bubble

Coronavirus: the Culprit

Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections was followed by an endless litany of contorted efforts to pin the hack elsewhere, including on the Democratic National Committee,  a 14-year-old hacker, and the Chinese government. Most consistent among the alleged offenders was an unnamed Jersey tuba-lard. “...It could be Russia. And it could be China. And … Continue reading Coronavirus: the Culprit

Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

The FBI needs a warrant from a judge to search your laptop. But if you use Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail for your e-mail, you ‘lose your constitutional protections immediately…’ Ideas worth re-visiting from Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble. This third installment looks at how governments might abuse Internet personalization. “The FBI needs a … Continue reading Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble