Hey, have you heard about Mastodon, the Hot New Twitter Alternative that All The Kids Are Using™! Perhaps you’re interested in giving it a try, either because Twitter’s recent product changes have you feeling grumpy, or you’ve heard about Mastodon’s low-tolerance towards Nazis and other troublemakers, or maybe you just want to secure a username for your brand on a new social platform before someone else does.

Well, if you have heard people talking about Mastodon, ignore it, save for Sarah Jeong’s excellent piece. And certainly don’t register an account for your brand to avoid username pollution — it won’t…


It’s no fun anymore.

I got into blogging because I had a lot to say, and it was fun to put words on the internet. It was also fun to make the sites to put words on the internet. When I graduated High School, I asked my parents for one gift: a domain, and a year of web hosting. That was almost fifteen years ago, and it’s the best gift I ever received — though I’ve changed web hosts and registrars since.

Of course, you’ll notice that there aren’t fifteen years worth of posts on here. That’s because I have…


This tweet has been circulating for a few years, but it remains relevant to technology discussion today, if not moreso.

Unlike so many people I follow online, I never came up on Cyberpunk. When it comes to Sci-Fi, I grew up on Star Trek — specifically The Next Generation. This might be why, when it comes to technology, there’s still some optimist under my cynical surface. You just need to scratch hard. Though later series and movies would muddy the waters (in a good way), Star Trek retains a utopian view of technology. Not one where technology undoes all…


Even before the election, I was angry at the tech industry for all the usual reasons. Here’s a short sampling of them:

The election flipped a switch for me, however, and I’ve gone from merely angry to outright furious. I’ve gone from concerned about how my data is being used to outright afraid of tech companies colluding with a government to create registries…


I’ve had debates online about the theory Apple needs to weaken their stance on privacy if they want to be a leader in consumer AI products. My stance on this is simple: no. If anything, Apple should strengthen their stance on user privacy, both as good practice and as a way to protect its customers against the incoming Presidential administration. And if this means Apple can’t compete in the AI and machine learning space with Google, Facebook, Amazon, or whoever, I am more than happy to accept that.

Why? For one, I’m skeptical that all of this data is actually…


I’ve been running an experiment with my last few longer-form pieces of crossposting them to Medium. I’ve done it on the occasional, ad-hoc basis when I write something that I feel needs to reach an audience outside of my circle. This includes the expanded, and revised version of “A View From Inside the Welfare System”, which went viral. I’ve also written at least one piece, explicitly for Medium, “Geek Culture and its Discontents”. So far, it’s not had much of an impact, but it might also be too early to tell.

But why Medium? I’ve been, and remain skeptical of…


In the wake of the election, I took some time to read a few pieces of conservative commentary, and came across an interesting essay by Rod Dreher in The American Conservative comparing modern America to Weimar Germany. I’m don’t agree with all of Dreher’s points, especially as a queer atheist Liberal socialist, but a part of it caught my attention, and it makes the essay worth your time. Namely, Dreher links to a piece in The New Yorker on a podcast called “Chapo Trap House” that describes a phenomenon the podcast hosts call “failsons.”

The Chapo Trap House hosts describe…


A while ago, I came across an interesting opinion piece on Lifelogging, and how interest is waning as people move towards more “forgetful” services like Snapchat. It’s certainly something I’ve thought a lot about, both in terms of the data I create, and who has access to it. It requires a lot of trust in the people who we share our data with. The essay’s author, Mike Elgan, has his own opinion:

I believe this apparent impulse to forget is not what it seems. In reality, people are just suffering from information overload and data anxiety. Collecting huge amounts of…


It sucks to be a Democrat right now. Make no mistake, this past Presidential election was ours to lose, and lose it we did. Under the circumstances, any left-leaning person who wants to jump ship and join a third party, well, I feel you. I’ve been a Democrat my entire life, and I feel the same way. I’m not a Democrat because my parents were, I’m a Democrat because of the two major political parties, they’re the ones who align most with my interests. …


A couple of years ago, in a fit of pique and a desire to clean up my data trails, I nuked my LinkedIn account. I wasn’t using it, I never liked the company, and it felt like another leech on my mind. I had recently started a new job after a year working for a Fintech startup that required a LinkedIn account — it was the major method we used for social sign-on — so that made me doubly interested in nuking it. …

Rachel Anderson

Arts and culture marketing by day. Competitive air guitarist during the summer.

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