The Social Internet

Typography, as Postman describes, is in essence much more capable of communicating complex messages that provoke thinking. This means we should write and read more, link more often, and watch less television and fewer videos—and spend less time on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. — Hossein Derakhshan, Social Media Is Killing Discourse Because It’s Too Much Like TV

While I pulled out this specific quote about writing and typography referencing Neil Postman’s work because it resonated with me as a designer and someone who blogs, Derakhshan’s entire piece is a valuable critique of social media and the current state of the internet. Derakhshan’s online activism and his blog landed him in an Iranian prison for six years. A notable early blogger, he found the internet after his release a radically different place from the internet he knew before incarceration. He wrote about this (ironically) on Medium in 2014. I remember reading his post then and finding myself tentatively nodding along with with a lot of what he wrote. I’ve just reread it and I find it all the more relevant in a post-2016-election America. Take, for example: “Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object — the same as a photo, or a piece of text — instead of seeing it as a way to make that text richer. You’re encouraged to post one single hyperlink and expose it to a quasi-democratic process of liking and plussing and hearting: Adding several links to a piece of text is usually not allowed. Hyperlinks are objectivized, isolated, stripped of their powers.” Reading that reminds me of the Verge’s recent article, “Facebook and Google make lies as pretty as truth.” All embedded content, for good and increasingly for ill, is treated with the same amount of weight. It’s easy to game. It’s becoming increasingly harder to tell truth from lies, high from low quality, and ads from, for a lack of better words, real content. This is a design problem that as an industry we need to be cognizant of. We need to work towards some sort of solution. Reading both of these pieces again, it also reinforces the importance of owning your own content. Just look at Vine. As our freedoms start to wane, the open web becomes all the more important. Start your own blog rather than relying solely on someone else’s platform. Backup regularly. Write frequently. I’ll try to write more this year as well. H/T John Maeda for sharing. The post The Social Internet appeared first on Mel Choyce.

My Cancer Journey: 2 Month Tests

Chemo has been done for 2 months already. Can you believe that?
Sometimes this journey feels so long, other times it feels like it is flying by.
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Brunch at Ricky’s. Peach Fuzz is growing in!

Physically I feel really good, except for some side effects like the neuropathy that has been really bothering me lately, likely because it is so cold out. My hair is coming in fuzzy like a peach.  My facial hair is growing out of control. I may not have much strength, but I have regained much of my energy.

On Dec 29, we moved to smaller home.
I could not lift much, but I was able to carry some things, and it felt good to be able to do that (even if I had to swallow my pride and let others do the heavy lifting). We also received so much help with the move. It was overwhelming.
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Action shot! Ping Pong at the manse. Yes, we are letting the ball go by.

Speaking of energy, I was able to play ping pong at Pastor Ben’s on New Year’s eve. It was the most active I have been in months. Now ping pong may not sound like a physically demanding sport, but by the end of the night I was so sore that I could no longer bend over to pick up the ball! I was even more sore the next day… I could hardly walk.  
And my hands hurt, the neuropathy caused a really painful sensation…  
And my arms…
And my feet…
And…it felt great ….kinda…except for the hands 🙂
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Go canucks go!

The worst part of this recovery period is the waiting. Right now we feel like are in limbo.  My sickness benefits ended mid December, and I want to start working part time to help with the finances. I also want to get back to school. But we have to wait till we know the results of the chemo to see if I need more treatment. Although, being in recovery has its benefits, like being able to spend the days with Noah, and getting to go out for lunch with Teresa on her day off…

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Lunch at Cactus Club courtesy of a friend who gave us a gift…I had a grilled tuna sandwich.

But the waiting is almost over.
Tomorrow, January 6, I go for the medical tests. The ones that seemed so far away when chemo finished.  On January 13, we will meet with my oncologist to find out those results, whether the Chemotherapy has had the desired effect, or if I require further treatment.
Needless to say, your prayers are coveted.

The post My Cancer Journey: 2 Month Tests appeared first on One Christian Dad.