Year Of The Living Dead

Dan Sinker on what we're all feeling about Twitter these days. The diaspora of our friends to pastures green, and posting less.

Year Of The Living Dead

I'm on all of them (because of course I am) and ultimately they're all fine but, over the course of the last year, I've found that I post to them less and less.

Yes! And this hits the nail on the head for me.

For years Twitter was just the place you could dump your thoughts. You didn't have to think about it, you just dumped. I dumped a lot of thoughts into Twitter. I made lots of friends along the way. But now? Now those friends are spread across multiple sites, if they've landed anywhere. And any thought you want to dump now? You've got to decide where to dump it. Nowadays I find myself asking, "Is this a Mastodon thought?" "A Bluesky thought?" "A Threads thought?" Do I post it to all three? (And what does that mean?) By the time I've run through this particular flowchart, the thought is usually gone.

Elon Musk everyone. Great job.

Update: the link to Dan's blog post was hilariously busted. Be careful with curly quotes on mobile.



Today marks the end of an era. Pour one out for the old Movable Type install I still had laying around. I kept it up purely for Action Streams support. Which, at the time, was a kinda cool aggregator of "the things you do elsewhere on the internets". Not something I've had on the site for a while now so decided it was time for MT to retire up state.

I had a pang of nostalgia for the good old days of blogging as I typed cd cgi-bin && rm -rf mt 🥲

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What happened was, I had a fully stable 16" M1 Macbook Pro, bricked it, and ended up with an OS I didn't want.

A tale as old as time, you're now older and less enthusiastic about tinkering. Stability replaces the urge to upgrade to bleeding edge. There's something to be said about "just works".

True to form in fine risk aversion mode, there I was still on Monterey. With Sonoma just coming out thought it was safe to be "Captain 12 months ago" and install the latest Ventura with all the kinks worked out. Made a Time Machine backup of current, started the upgrade, and walked away.

Came back 20 mins later to see how much time was left. Completely black screen. Weird. Hit a few keys and used the trackpad to wake it up. Nothing, system had powered off. Hitting the power button displayed the apple logo as expected, but then it powered itself off again.

Had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Made the decision to just restore from the backup I'd just made. Nervously powered it back on holding down the power key to boot into recovery mode. No recovery mode.


A spot of light googling commenced and the internets told me that I was indeed fucked. But there was a path back to glory if you have another Mac.

Connect two Macs together via USB-C. On the working Mac, install Apple Configurator. Power cycle the bricked Mac and do the "hold down various keys for various amounts of seconds" dance to force it into DFU mode. Inside Apple Configurator on the working Mac, choose 'Revive Mac'. This will download and reinstall the recovery toolset on the bricked Mac.

That worked. Which now allowed me to boot into the recovery options on the "no longer bricked but still hosed" Mac. Yay, there's now an option to restore from backup. Chose that. Nope. Wouldn't let me do that. Instead, Apple sayeth reinstall MacOS from scratch and migrate your apps and user data from your backup using Migration Assistant. Ugh, sure, I guess?

And which OS was the only option? Of course, Sonoma. Which I had no intention of installing and absolutely did not want. But, when you're already dead in the water, just pull the trigger. So I did, let that churn for a bit. Booted into Sonoma, and assumed it would be the vanilla OS and I'd have to now try to recover all my actual stuff. But no, oh look happy day, everything is already there. And it all just works.

I saw that Sunday afternoon going differently in my mind. And no, I'm never upgrading OS again.


Home By The Sea

Genesis. Often unjustly maligned in the British press over the years. They've sold eleventy billion albums, and yet remain the most uncool of bands. But I like them, no I love them.

Their evolution from the Peter Gabriel led progressive rock band of the late 60s to the Phil Collins hit singles era is well documented. With Collins taking over vocal duties in 1976, they underwent a transformation, embracing a more streamlined and accessible sound. The 1980s saw Genesis reach new heights of commercial success with albums like "Abacab" and "Invisible Touch." Collins' distinct voice and the band's knack for catchy melodies resulted in chart-topping singles and sold-out stadium tours.

Their self-titled album from 1983 is often overlooked, which is a shame, because it contains quite possibly the best song they ever wrote. Home By The Sea is, quite frankly, a masterpiece. I love the atmosphere, the delivery, the production, and even the subject matter. A burglar breaks into a house, only to find it haunted, he's captured by the spirits who force him to sit and listen to their stories for the rest of his life.

I can't think of a better vocal performance by Collins in his career. I could listen to this song every day for the rest of my life and it would never fail to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

'Cause you won't get away
No, with us you will stay
For the rest of your days


As we relive our lives in what we tell you
Let us relive our lives in what we tell you

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Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again

Can you believe that Depeche's Construction Time Again turned 40 this week?

The first Depeche album I ever owned was "The Singles 81->85" on vinyl. It's not an exaggeration to say that it changed my life forever. Every single song on that album is fantastic. But one song stood out head and shoulders from the others: Everything Counts. A song, to this day, that never fails to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. So, naturally, I wanted more of that and went looking for whatever album had that song.

You can make a solid case that Depeche Mode are one of the most influential bands electronic music has ever seen. They've left an indelible mark on the music industry with their innovative sound and thought-provoking lyrics. They've left a mark on me personally; they wrote the soundtrack to my youth. Among their impressive discography Construction stands out as a pivotal album that marked a real shift in their musical direction.

When you listen to their studio albums in order, you can hear this album is where everything changed. Construction marked a significant departure from Depeche Mode's earlier synth-pop sound, introducing a more industrial and experimental edge. The album's distinctive sound was partly influenced by the band's collaboration with producer Gareth Jones, who brought a fresh perspective to their creative process. Incorporating unconventional sounds like clanging metal and sampled industrial noises.

The great Synth Britannia documentary has a behind the scenes look at their use of samplers. I love that scene of Martin rolling the pebble along the track of a patio door. A sound that would be sampled and included on the song Pipeline.

The album paved the way for Depeche Mode's evolution into a band that was unafraid to tackle complex subject matter. The album's fusion of synth-pop sensibilities with industrial undertones influenced numerous artists and helped shape the trajectory of electronic music. When you listen to Ministry's Twitch, or even Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails you can't help but think they listened to Construction Time Again. A lot.

So Happy Birthday Construction Time Again, you hold a near and dear place in my heart. I'm going to listen to you again now. Loud.

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The Sun And The Rainfall

A thunderstorm rolled through last night. A few flashes of lighting to begin with, followed by thunder and wind. The heavens absolutely opened shortly thereafter and we got ALL the rain as far as I could tell.

It was just delightful. We're having some extreme heat this summer. A couple of our trees are having a hard time even with deep root watering. Thankful the lemon tree got a nice extra long drink. The desert just smells so great after a thunderstorm. Savored every minute standing outside taking in deep breaths.

Of course our back yard is a neighborhood debris magnet. So it was a different story this morning once I could see how much I was going to have to clear up. But we'll take it.

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British Sandwiches And Walking

Craig Mod pens quite wonderful walking stories. You should check them out. His most recent tale of the Lake District was a delight. I do miss sandwiches from the old country.

I ate a cheese sandwich. I ate a cheese sandwich with Branston Pickle. I got crisps. I put the crisps in the sandwich. I ate a cheddar cheese sandwich with Branston Pickle and salt and vinegar crisps on brown bread while looking out over Lakeland. I got more daring with my sandwich orders. To the consternation and confusion of various surly-yet-kind proprietresses, I ordered Madness: brown bread tuna no mayo, French mustard, cheddar cheese, Branston Pickle. That knocked 'em back on their heels. Alright, love, they said. Within that "love" lived a universe of judgement. But I am not British, and so that judgement rolls off me like water on a duck.

Cheese sandwiches with Branston Pickle are just a joy.


Have We Reached the 1000th Cut?

Last December I wrote a thing about Twitter. And then in January another thing because it seemed like Elon was determined to make Twitter a slow death by a thousand cuts.

Today they rebranded it as 'X'. blink

A choice quote from CEO Linda Yaccarino

X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we're just beginning to imagine.

The pinnacle of corporate word salad. No one fucking wants this. You're taking the one remaining thing Twitter had going for it, the brand, and flushing it down the toilet.

M.G. Siegler's take

Twitter, as we knew it, is dead.

All of this sucks. I loved Twitter. But the bird is dead. In its place is some weird, spiraling viral network where the content pushed to you has no unifying principle beyond maybe just having the opposite ideological bent of the content that proliferated before it. This is basically Bizzaro Twitter. It's so fucking weird. It's like a literal version of the scene in The Dark Knight where The Joker lights the massive pile of money on fire and walks away. Except that amount of money clearly wasn't $45 billion. This is.

You know what, this does suck. Twitter the service was so very good. Until it wasn't. Elon fucking Musk everyone.

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Consciousness Catch-up

Things that should have been Tweets, yet weren't, but stayed in my head nonetheless.

• Man those early Simple Minds albums are so good. Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call just sublime.

• Apple TV+ has some pretty great shows you should watch. Severance, The Shrink Next Door, Ted Lasso, Silo, Foundation, The Essex Serpent, Slow Horses, Shrinking.

• A round up of other TV shows worth your time. The Peripheral, Wednesday, 1899, The Last Of Us, Black Sails, Beef, Hunters, Outer Range, From, Night Sky.

• I'm suffering from Marvel fatigue. It's the only thing I can think of why all of a sudden the thought of watching the TV shows or movies makes me go meh. I might be missing out on some gems by not watching anything since Loki. But I just can't bring myself to watch them.

• I found my old Dr Martens boots the other day. Nostalgia of the olden goth years. I mean, I still have a thousand black t-shirts, that's never changing but they're the grown up ones.

• After trying both Mastodon and Bluesky, I keep getting drawn back to Twitter. A cesspool of a service undoubtedly made worse by Musk certainly, but everyone I like following is still there. And lo, you go (or stay) where the people are.