Scribbles, &c.

Be Local

I’ve kicked Twitter to the curb for the most part. I deactivated my main presence there and set up a new one which follows exactly 30 accounts in my local area which focus on severe weather, emergency response, or public information on the same. When bad weather rolls in (as it did last night and will again this weekend), I’ll turn it on to read (and contribute) weather spotting information as needed. The only other thing I was using it for was DM’ing my brother, and we’ve since moved to SMS. To the curb, then. Or halfway to the curb anyhow. The mobile app still has way too many sponsored posts. If I’m sitting at my desk, though, I can use oystyyer to keep an ad-free, 100% text experience.

As for the rest: I’m trying (with variable success) to limit my Reddit intake to the amateur radio-related sub(s). I switch between newsbeuter and liferea for RSS feed-reading. I use Firefox as my main browser, and have installed uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger. For many things, elinks still works fine. I also run a pi-hole on our local network.

Much of this – including renewing subscriptions to the two (!) local newspapers – has been part of a slowly growing focus on the local; that which is still arguably within our ken. I was for a long time “engaged” with way too many things. I know many people who still are, but can’t tell you what the city council decided last night about the big road projects or annexations, both of which have arguably more immediate impact on day-to-day life than a policy fight in Washington. This goes equally for church politics, by the way. The latest pronouncements in Rome are interesting and certainly deserving of attention, but certainly not more attention than the goings-on at our local parish (or diocese). This sounds like a suggestion for complete withdrawal from issues beyond the county line. I’m not sure that’s possible, or even desirable. Recalibrating how much attention is paid or calories burnt in response is possible and worth a go.

And this is all very Benedictine - the focus on the particular people in the particular place you find yourself. Even beyond the walls of the monastery, we can strive for stabilio. In the face of the “engagement” colossus of the connected “social” world, we can’t focus long enough on our own feet. The world longs to see us uprooted - physically, mentally, spiritually.