Site Features and Prophecies


New Technologies

Some time ago I implemented Coil on this site. If you have not heard of Coil, and odds are you have not, you will understand why I am not using it on the site now. The idea behind it, however, was good. Monetizing content creators or independent authors is what it is supposed to do, but requires a “buy-in” of five dollars monthly. Since I have had months where five dollars was the difference between making rent or missing it, and because there was not wide adoption of Coil, I stopped using it. Lightning, however, is a blockchain that does not require a “buy-in” and allows a set amount to “flow out to” websites a person wants to support at a given rate using website plugin crypto wallets like Alby. Since no one hardly used the previous donate link in a traditional sense to help support content that appears on this blog, I got rid of it. I added a webring link instead in a homage to “old school” blogging, where one kept track of others who wrote by belonging to groups where the notices of new posts and comments were “tight”. Both of these measures are in strong support of “The Independent Web”.

IndieAuth Blogs

Also, this blog has a lot more capability than I have previously utilized, because I am somewhat “less social” than most technology users are. I got rid of Facebook some time ago and never really enjoyed it or Myspace that much with which to start. Twitter was a non-starter for me at inception, since I prefer longer communications that require a person to focus.

I strongly feel and believe that authors and users should own their own information. Meta-data harvesting and selling ought to be a criminal enterprise. So, this blog has features that allow it to participate in the “indieweb” which means that it can act as something like a hub for any communication I decide to allow it to. A big part of that participation is called a “webmention” which is analogous to the “pingbacks” of yesteryear. Mostly, they notify you when someone has linked to your post, and they allow you to display whatever was linked on your page. So, if someone webmentions you in a Twitter post, suddenly you will receive a notification about it on the appropriate post. In academia this is a little like “citing the source” and is desirable when someone is quoting something you have said. That way, you can go on Twitter or wherever it was said, and have a “flame war” where nobody agrees and everybody leaves sad and upset. Yes, I jest, but remember, this IS the internet everybody made!

Geek Technical Stuff

In order to enable webmentions, I had to do some digging about as my site is statically generated. This great post over at Fundor 333’s helped me out although it left off the important part about including the partial in the webcontent thusly: {{ partial "webmentions.html" . }} I am not really sure if that small period is always required, but I know it was for my specific template in a file called single.html located in a _default folder. It is important to remember to copy this file and mirror it outside the theme file within a Hugo directory structure since anything outside of the theme that mimics its form will override the default. Also, the webmentions.min.js file had to go in the public directory for the sake of Gitlab. That took a little while to figure out.

Alby, on the other hand, was as simple as adding a header tag and enabling it. So that wasn’t too bad.

Technology Prophecy Stuff

Implementing all of this made me have to question what technology I think others are likely to use and how it might work with this little blog. Everything is always such a frothing sea of change in technology that it feels a little like going to Vegas and playing the slots. The goal, of course, is to be able to receive some kind of money for content that is all ready developed and that others believe is good enough to read. This enables future content to be generated on a “I can develop content and also make enough pocket change to continue to do so”. If that isn’t doable then at least being a part of some kind of community of people who are fighting for that future ought to provide some kind of emotional payoff. After all, altruism usually at least gives you that “warm, fuzzy, feeling” right?

In thinking about the technology and how I am never sure it is moving us toward a “better world” I was reminded of the Hopi Prophecy but especially of a couple of lines that talk about how an individual will be able to tell the end is near:

“This is the Fourth Sign: The land will be crossed by snakes of iron. (Railroad Tracks)

“This is the Fifth Sign: The land shall be crisscrossed by a giant spider’s web. (Electric power and telephone lines)


Helpful parenthetical to the contrary, the second clue could easily be referring to the internet as opposed to electric power and telephone lines alone. It is, after all, called a “web”.

Any of the above technologies can and all ready have been used to make the life of human beings worse. Bitcoin may seem great because it is not regulated, but if it did in fact become regulated, it could be something used as a Mark of the Beast in a way paper money never could. The same thing is true of the internet. It has been seen as a fun little playground of information for some time, but it also has been in the middle of election frauds and domestic surveillance. A technological savior in a moment is, at another moment, a cruel, tyrannical despot.

So I guess you could say, I am beyond the “I’m so excited for this technology and hopeful” and more at the “How are we also going to mess this up” stage of technology. However, I think it wise to prepare for things going better than one anticipates in addition to not being surprised at the worst case scenario. If there has been anything being in tech and humanity and around Prophetic utterances has taught me, it must be that people are mostly a bi-polar, suicidal lot that think that there is ultimately no consequence for their actions until it is far, far too late. By the point everyone is appropriately sorry, there is all ready enough trauma to keep therapists in luxury cars and boats for years. Of course, that assumes that whatever happens leaves some therapists around. The kind of trauma we appear to be moving toward is the kind that leaves a psychic, collective scar in the soul memory for eons. But hey, at least we had “digital money” and “Webrings” right?

JB Schirtzinger

Jacksonville, USA
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Conveniently this entire site is about me. I do some technology, and I do some astrology.

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