Here are the facts of the situation:Unbound is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. It was early last summer. My wife was at an airport. The weather was hot and her shuttle bus was late. She was texting with a family member who had come down with a cough. The family member had taken a COVID test and reported to my wife that it was negative. My wife, returning to the topic of her stressful day, typed the words “I need a,” intending to write “I need a drink.” But the autocomplete feature on her phone, interceding at the speed of thought – of artificial, digital thought -- offered another suggestion: “I need a booster.”
Yesterday's 10TyposGame was a 'news' article bashing Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter. Not sure how long this game has been around but it got a big plug from Waxy's Links recently. Want to sell some agitprop? Make people read it closely for typos!
Gmail now routinely blocks my emails if they contain Yandex Translation links to Russian sites. Sites about music, not politics, and the translated pages have dead links and I guarantee they do not have malware or viruses. They're just in Russian and they were translated by Google's new Russian competitor, Yandex.
Linking to sites about politics (and the war in Ukraine) got me soft-blocked from Twitter (on appeal, ten months and counting) but hard to care when my traffic was suppressed (going back to before Twitter actually; word to the wise: do not write about Israeli Apartheid!).
If George Carlin was still with us, we'd be hearing him tell us about the 7 News Stories You Can Never Mention On Television. Or Radio. Or the Internet.
Anyhow, enjoying my new subscription. Just left a comment because my phone asked me to remind you to get a booster.
Predictive text is such an interesting thing. I’ve learned it can be trained. Imagine at one and the same time trying to train it to be religious (using the language of theology) and also to curse [I’m not overly pious in the traditional moral sense (not pietistic)]. In other words, try training your predictive text to say things like “Fuck these leftist bastards who want to take away my rights to state explicitly and unequivocally what the Church has believed for the last two thousand years.” It’s not impossible. Trust me. I’ve tried it. Predictive text may be a child of the “current thing,” but it is trainable.
"Catastrophizing" - sheesh! Here I thought it was just the work of a creative mind, triangulating and analyzing events over time. We're supposed to need treatment?
Next time people say I'm paranoid, I'll just respond with "it's cautionary creative inference" (how do you come up with these things?) At the risk of sounding too fanboy, you're the most entertaining and insightful American writer alive today. So pleased to see this article on your substack where I can enjoy it.
I am glad to see that you are as top notch in your writing style as you are in your conversations with Matt Taibbi. Of course, you are not "paranoid". It is nice to have some affirmation of what I have noticed with respect to my Yahoo home page, and Microsoft Edge over the past several years. Yahoo, routinely, runs politically inspired headlines specifically bashing anything Trump (after all these years, LET IT REST FOR GOD'S SAKE!), and any thought somehow deemed by Yahoo Central of being even a remotely conservative nature. It is like having a direct pipeline from the DNC's Spin Control Headquarters into my brain. Likewise for Microsoft Edge which, in the guise of a helpful (and, hopefully, 'security update) has now plastered a useless box over the right-hand quarter of my screen telling me what the weather is like outside my window, as well as flogging (wait for it) the latest anti-Trump, anti-DeSantis, or just plain anti-conservative headline direct from . . . DNC Spin Control Central. One, of course, cannot conduct much commercial or personal business at all these days without using a computer. So, clearly, we are all now viewed as captive 'sheep' fed, sheared, instructed, lectured and eventually (I dare say) 'culled' by those very sources behind the hidden doors to which you refer in your article. This has GOT to stop.
Just wait til Rob Wipond's book arrives. He did some amazing research into things like the intersection of government surveillance and coercive psychiatry. The publisher said it should be at your PO box by now... Let me know what you think. I'm pages 60-68 in the book. "Your consent is not required". I don't know if I agree with all the conclusions the author makes, but he does paint a damning picture of the current state of psychiatry. Let me know when it arrives? Just so it's one less thing to worry about. Thanks Walter! You're a peach!
On Facebook I try to walk a narrow path and keep my comments confined to art, animals, flowers, and the weather. But occasionally I lash out a bit at biased posts that appear in my feed. In response to a post about book banning (aimed at conservatives who want to control school libraries), I suggested that ideology--social, religious, or political--should not be infused in public school curricula or school libraries. Public school should be neutral and unbiased and enable students to master skills and think critically. It should provide its graduates a level and balanced base to build upon. Ideology is fine for private schools where parents pay to have their children shaped in certain ways, I wrote. I loathe censorship, but school libraries have always been limited and controlled.
No one piled on me, but I sustain a creeping paranoia that I will be punished somehow when I least expect it. You are right, paranoia is a duty! Situational awareness.
My way of thinking since as long as I can remember is this, if you plan for the best, all you can be is satisfied or disappointed. I plan for the worst, look for the worst, and think of the worst. All I can be is happily surprised or right.
Walter, I was a paid subscriber for your "Walter Kirn" Substack. But as there was not much posted for a long time, I paused my subscription. I am so glad for these latest pieces, and my subscription is now unpaused. Please do continue with this work!
I have been having a lot of trouble with autocorrect. Are there any better versions one can install?
De omnibus dubitandum.