Tuesday, June 20, 2017

To my dear readers, I'm slowly moving to Steemit

I know I haven't been posting much lately. I'm a father and I have one kid who likes to stay up late to read books and play chess. I have another that wakes up at the crack of dawn to find me in the basement, writing. I'm a father and being a father comes first, before this blog and before anything else. When they're awake and I'm not at my day job, I'm a dad first.

So I haven't had much time to read, to research articles and to write them. I've been looking for inspiration to write about and I can find it, but it's tempered by at least one little kid who wants to be with Daddy. Day and night. 

Now there is the realization that I'm obsolete and that everything I do everyday is so that they can have a better life than I have had. Fathers Day just passed. I spent the day working at my job with a rotating shift. No one, other than my Mom, sent me any kind of message wishing me a nice day.

While I do find time for subjects of interest, beyond my fascinating kids, writing is it. I write to live and I do what I can to make sure I find time to write ten things I'm grateful for every day. I write a morning page everyday (from The Artists Way) and often, ideas for my articles spring for there. I write more than a million characters to that morning page every year. I've been writing a morning page since 2008. That means I now have more than 9 million characters just for that alone.

I've learned a few things about promotion on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. I'm still not very good at it, and for awhile there, I got 78k pageviews in one month. It was nice, but it wasn't very profitable. My wife would surely like to see me make good money at it. But I still have a day job and am looking for a way to transition from that to being a well paid freelance writer. I have a feeling my days are numbered in IT just because of institutional age discrimination. I guess you could say that I'm an old fart in the realm of IT.

I'm a stickler for details, I probably don't do as much volume as they would like me to do. I like to document everything so that I can say, "I did that" when the procedure calls for me to do it. But I'm dedicated and I do find some enjoyment in my day job. I get to work with command line *NIX. I get to run that command line logic I've come to love in *NIX. I'm perpetually fascinated with the way the command relates to the output.

And so it is that I write. I love watching the thoughts come to the fore, and the characters flow onto the screen. I love engineering a sentence just so. To make it say exactly what I want it to say. I love making a point. I love spreading the ideals of peace that are so dear to me now.

For now I have come to a place where peace to me is the understanding that we are all doing the best we can. That personal criticism is to be left for those who are more qualified. I'm learning to discern that in politics, I criticize the idea, not the person. I want ideas that work for everyone, or at least, most of us, rather than a minority interest.

I have come to a place where I know that punishment teaches no skills. I've seen it all the time in social media. People bashing each other, saying hurtful things and thinking that somehow, that is "going to teach them a lesson". All that name calling really does is belie the strength of one's position in a debate. The words that people write are a window to their mind their thoughts. When I see someone trashing another, I see how that person might talk to himself.

When I see one person call another a really nasty pejorative, I think, "Oh, is that how you talk to yourself?" I see someone lost in the world of reward and punishment. The idea is that if we want to reinforce good behavior, we reward it. If we went less bad behavior, we punish it. The problem with this is that humans are far more complex than that.

Humans will take action that they believe to right, without regard to reward or punishment. They will work towards a goal that they have in mind without reward. They will give of themselves without regard to themselves, in order to make someone else better, or give them a better life. The same line of reasoning and experience shows that people will continue behaving badly no matter how awful the punishment may be. Perhaps that is because people who are punished for challenging behavior do not have compassion for themselves, and therefore believe that they "deserve" to be punished.

Regardless of reward and punishment, behavior will not improve unless the skills required to net the reward or curb the unwanted behavior are taught. This is what matters to me, more than anything right now. I've been thinking and writing and researching this for more than a year now, and I just don't see any other way that it could be. If humans want world peace, then teaching the skills to achieve that peace should be paramount.

So let me tell you why I will be slowly moving to Steemit. Steemit is the first social media and blogging site I've seen that takes social media and blogging activity and turns it into cash. Steemit converts every like, every comment, every story, into digital currency called Steem Dollars and Steem Power. Both of these can eventually converted into real money that we use every day to buy things. Steem Dollars are similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum. They are alternative mediums of exchange that are governed by the laws of mathematics, not men.

I have never put a single cent into Steemit. But I have grown my account from nothing to about $140 depending on exchange rates, and that is not with a great deal of effort. That is far more than I have earned with Google. I have squat to show for Twitter and Facebook. There are other sites like Steemit, but for now, I'm going to be there.

Going forward, when I write a new article, I will write it on Steemit and promote it on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. My blog will still be here and I'll post from there on a periodic basis to keep it alive and prevent it from being deleted. But my most current writing will be on Steemit.

Some of you may be asking, "Wait. What about Patreon?" Patreon is nice, but it just seems too complicated for me. I rather like the idea of converting social media action into digital currency that can later be used to buy things. It seems like a natural evolution of social media.

You can find my blog on Steemit here:

https://steemit.com/@digitalfirehose

You'll find familiar articles there as I've been copying those that I like the most there when I don't have the time to write. There are some that I will always treasure and they will find a new home there. The reason for this is that all Steemit activity is recorded to a blockchain, making it pretty close to permanent. Blockchain is an encrypted, distributed database for recording and verifying transactions. That distributed part means that there is no single point of failure. That's what makes Steemit so appealing to me.

I'll still be around, debating, posting, and commenting, but over time, I will be shifting my efforts to Steemit. I hope to see you there, too.
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