Parler Experiment

Goofy. Sign-up involved a couple errors, captchas, and SMS codes. Took a few minutes and was pretty aggravating.

So far, on my home page, the top bar looks exactly like the one on Facebook, except I can choose a color. Each post has options at the bottom that look exactly like those on Twitter, for reply, see replies, etc. All the recommendations of who I should follow are, predictably, conservative pundits, hosts, and government types.

And it randomly logs me out, which means another captcha and another SMS code, and it randomly refreshes or changes the page. So far, it’s kinda sucky.

Now, Facebook has 2.7 billion users; Parler has 2.7 million—not counting all those “attending” a Facebook event to drop their accounts and switch to Parler on, I believe, November 13th.

Speaking for myself, I joined Facebook in 2009 to reconnect with old friends, share pics with family, and then, a few years later, for promotion and sales and marketing. None of that has changed.

Does Facebook aggravate me? Yes. I hate those “improvements” that really aren’t helpful at all, “pokes” are super annoying, and I’m sick and tired of them reminding me about things—like voting, registering to vote, seeing election results, and so forth. And when it isn’t election season, they choose other things in which I have little interest.

I know a lot of folks who are switching over to Parler because of freedom of speech. I find that very interesting as I do, occasionally, post something controversial. However, I do so in my own words, not by copy/pasting someone else’s words or sharing links. If I do post someone else’s thoughts, I make sure it’s clear they aren’t mine.

I’ve never been in “Facebook jail.” Probably because I don’t post stupid stuff from QAnon or others of their ilk. I certainly don’t post opinion pieces as fact. And even though I see probably a dozen posts a day that include the words “Facebook doesn’t allow this to be shared,” I’ve seen no evidence of those posts being removed—or else Facebook is really, really bad at the removal part.

Today, I posted a query comparing the move to Parler to the supposed move to Canada four years ago. I got a lot of interesting answers, incorporating some of the reasons above. Mainly, some Facebook users believe that Facebook only censors conservative posts. Boy, if they do, they are purely bad at this censoring thing, because half my friends there are conservative and I see all their stuff.

I did a few searches on Parler. There are a fair number of both users and hashtags—this is how the search is set up—that are anti-Antifa, white supremacist-related, and plenty of QAnon. Any search on “Jew” or “Jewish” only turned up things like “Jewish Conservative” or “Jews for Trump,” in spite of someone’s claim that the site is for anti-Semites. But I didn’t look too closely. The whole thing is kind of icky.

Now, me, I could probably whittle down my core beliefs to maybe ten points, possibly with sub-points, but I have NEVER been censored by Facebook for any of my opinions—or links to articles that I’ve posted. Never. And I’ve been on Facebook for almost twelve years. Are there things that irritate me? Yes. That’s the way the world works.

I recently posted there and told people they should stop posting stupid shit—incorrect information, conspiracy theories, whacked-out stuff, things that aren’t even searchable because it’s pulled out of someone’s, well, you understand. Naturally, no one listened, instead, many are moving to Parler. Well, to be clear, they SAY they’re moving to Parler.

I used to know this guy that, for several years, claimed he was leaving Facebook and would periodically announce it, but it literally was FIVE YEARS before he left. Come on… I know several people who deactivate their Facebook accounts every couple months because—WHY?? If you don’t want to get on the site, just don’t; if you want to leave, just leave. I saw a cartoon this morning regarding a “dramatic exit.” Yep, that’s it.

So, I guess if you want to only be around people who think exactly like you, who will affirm your brand of bullshit, and if you want to leave behind friends and family, that’s your choice. I wish you the best, but I’m not sure you’ll get it with Parler—so far, it takes me ten minutes to even log on and I’ve heard of many people having the same issues. But for Pete’s sake, just do it if you’re going to—you don’t need to announce it or wait for a so-called event. Frankly, I’m curious as to how far my friends list is going to shrink…that will tell me a lot about you.


How NOT to Start Homesteading

Do NOT purchase only two acres. That’s 300 feet by 300 feet. You can do some things with that size acreage, but not much.

Do NOT purchase land in an HOA or community. Your neighbor’s house could potentially be within yards of your own.

Do NOT think you can move onto your land with no income, no savings, no money, and be successful.

Do NOT think you can homestead if you are physically unable to work.

Do NOT collect livestock willy-nilly. Each animal you add should have a purpose and a plan for its use.

Do NOT include animals on your homestead until you have feed, shelter, and water for them, as well as fencing.

Do NOT go overboard on the number of animals. Each animal needs to be fed and watered, twice a day, every day, no matter the season. They also need to be vetted and cared for.

Do NOT think that a small garden is enough to sustain you. Depending on how you plant, you might need up to an acre to feed your family.

Do NOT go crazy canning everything. Can enough to be used within the next year, until the next harvest, and can only things you actually like to eat. Plus a little more, just in case. Take the time to figure out how much you need.

Do NOT use scraps for all your building projects. Some things require sturdy foundations and walls and roofs.

Do NOT skimp on fencing materials. Perimeter, livestock, and garden all need good fencing. No, your squash won’t escape, but that’s only because, if you have no fence, the deer and rabbits will eat it all.

Do NOT think you’re going to get a vacation unless it’s in the dead of winter and you have someone reliable to take care of your animals.

Do NOT think you’ll have time to run to town every day. That’s probably at least an hour of driving time, plus wherever you think you need to go, and you can’t spare that every day.

Do NOT plan to sleep in, ever, unless you have a partner who’s willing to take up the slack. Do NOT expect to go out to dinner every weekend. Actually, we usually do lunch for special occasions, or just occasionally—it’s cheaper, and it doesn’t interfere with livestock feeding.

And finally, do NOT be discouraged when your Fitbit says you “only” took 7K steps today. You were likely working every one of those steps, and Fitbit doesn’t have a “homestead” category!