Is he a dot or is he a speck?

I'm running an experiment.

I think that large-scale social networking is inherently harmful.  That is, I don't think that the bad things Facebook has been doing of late (well, actually all along, but it's in the news now) are things that can be mitigated.  I think that concentrating large numbers of peoples' identity and attention in a single online environment is far too tempting and accessible a target for the world's many bad actors.

I'm going to try to put my money where my mouth is here, and say, "Death to Facebook."  I mean, for me.  I'd like you to stop using Facebook too, because I think your participation in it is only going to hurt us all in the long run.  But I don't expect many people to believe me about that, at least not yet.

Part of my experiment involves doing it myself.  Some of my friends have already gotten invitations to the private, small-scale social network that I just spent the last few days setting up.  This "network" doesn't belong to anyone but me.  It's running on a machine that I pay for, using software that I set up, storing its information in a database that I control.  It's all mine.  It costs me about $20 a month to run.

Part of this experiment is returning to blogging.  Posting public things publicly, instead of posting them on Facebook and selecting "Public." If you know who I am, and you care about what I'm saying, you'll find me.  My posts won't show up in a feed full of ads and memes and "content" of unknown provenance and morons arguing about their guns.

I'll write more about the specifics of what I've done so far when I have better data to report than I do right now.  In the meantime, I'm going to repost some stuff here that I wrote last week on Facebook, which will give newcomers (should there be any) some context.

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