Aside from posting it has been many years since I’ve done any updates to this blog. But recently many thoughts have been accumulating in my mind and yesterday I acted on them. I put on my headphones and thought about making just a few changes but before I knew it I was “in the zone” and spent the next 6 hours updating.
The thought that got the ball rolling is that I’m off Facebook. The vileness of the Trump era has ruined friendships on that platform. There are times in my life when a switch just goes off and all that rancor flipped it. I went from a decade of being very enthusiastic and engaged with keeping old connections alive, even creating and administrating various group Facebook pages, to not only not wanting to anymore, but actually becoming mildly adverse to it. This applies principally to the Trumpers. There is no need for them to be in my life in any capacity and so I’m closing the door. Goodbye and have a nice life.
On the overall it is kind of refreshing not to be in constant contact with everyone I’ve ever met. I’m enjoying this hermit mindset immensely and find life is much more peaceful and relaxing without Facebook or a constant stream of messages. The flip-side however is that I’m actually very engaged with the internet. I just switched from a walled garden in Facebook with about 600 or so people I’ve known in real life to the seemingly infinite users on Reddit. And boy is it worth the change. Reddit has taught me incredible amounts of extremely useful information whereas Facebook gave me a headache.
And so where does this blog fit in? Well, for about 15 years I could be easily identified by it. I never shared it with anyone and used it basically just for my own personal journal. But now I think I’d like to share a bit more and since I’ll be interacting with the internet more, I should take some basic precautions. I am now applying precautions I’ve taken on the wider internet to this blog.
My internet name is Mateo de Colón. I started using it around 2009 or so when all of those privacy issues with Facebook really hit the news. Instead of trying to figure out the hundred or so different privacy settings the easier solution was to simply change from my real name to a “Nom de Plume,” or in the case with some of my posts, especially on my other blog Global Citizen, my “Nom de Guerre.” I didn’t stop with Facebook either, but it became my name for all internet services. There was comfort in knowing my real name wasn’t “out there” on the internet for who knows how many companies buying and selling my information.
Before I knew it I started getting credit card offers for Mateo de Colón!
So why Mateo de Colón? Well, Mateo is the name I’ve been called in high school Spanish. I was called the same when I lived in Spain and Mexico, two experiences that changed my entire life. And de Colón? Well this is something not even native Spanish speakers catch on to. Colón is “Columbus” and de is “from.” Therefore, it is simply “Matt from Columbus” when translated into English. As there are more Matts’ out there than probably stars in the sky and given that Columbus has 887,553 residents I think it is safe to say this name doesn’t give away too much. For this blog I also used 魔手 in the title. When pronounced it sounds like my real name and also means “evil influence.” I thought that was funny and so used it in the blog title.
I’m no longer a 20 or even 30 something and my kids are growing up! Given the fact I have about half of my life recorded in these pages it would do well to not make it too obvious this belongs to me. Reasonable deniability offers pretty good protection psychologically. Instead of my real name glaring across the top, all of this was written by someone named Mateo de Colón and Mateo may or may not be me. See how that works? Shoot, I often read some of these entries and wonder who this Mateo character is.
One thing I realized which is simply mind blowing to me is that I’m perfectly fine with sharing this with the anonymous internet but I will not share it with people I actually know on Facebook. I won’t even see 95% of those people ever again but still I do not feel good about sharing. It is very strange to think this way isn’t it?
So what did I update yesterday?
Well, I updated the URL but the old one still works for all those old Google links out there. I deleted a lot of old pages that weren’t used anymore. I made a new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also have been working on adding featured images to all of my old posts. I only want the blog to display a picture as well as a small summary of the post in the home and archive pages. What I learned is to get pictures to display in those summaries I need to add them as “featured images.” Furthermore, I like uploading and sharing pictures of mine to the internet. In the past the WordPress app was very buggy and uploading pictures to this blog didn’t work well. So I uploaded to Facebook and Instagram. Since I’m not using those anymore and WordPress has made a lot of improvement I’m back to my personal blog to share pictures. The thing is I have over 20 years of posts here and so adding a “featured image” is going to take some time. On top of that WordPress changed to a “block” format and I’d like to have all posts in that new format just for the sake of keeping this blog completely up to date.
Finally, the internet is changing and Internet 3.0 is being built on the blockchain. This goes hand in hand with cryptocurrency and so learning about all this new technology comes with the very exciting possibility of making a lot of money! For me however, this has made the internet exciting again and I feel like I did 20 years ago when building my first websites on Geocities! I’ve gone from the muck of Facebook to the universe of infinite possibilities in my online sessions. So of course I had to create a website on the blockchain and have done so.
I created it through Unstoppabledomains.com along with adding the capability to send me crypto through that same domain name. If you’re reading this and not into blockchain then that link probably isn’t going to work for you. It is built on the blockchain and doesn’t work like good old fashioned webpages. Old webpages work similarly to plugging an address into GPS and off you go easily finding your destination. With blockchain however, using a regular browser is like trying to enter hieroglyphics into your GPS. The GPS won’t know what to do. Browsers will catch up but for the moment you need a browser that has the capability already or a special extension.
So along with my updating yesterday I had to create another blockchain website but this time with mateodecolon. The good thing about blockchain is I don’t have to pay some service to host it, blockchain is *free*. The terrible part however is the cost of the transaction to get it on the blockchain. It is on Etereum and all transactions cost gwei also known as “gas.” Ethereum is hot, everyone is developing on it, and given the demand the gas fee is very high. So, don’t tell anyone but I had to pay $20 to put one page on the blockchain and $120 to tie about 10 cryptocurrency addresses to that domain as well. Damn!
Normally, that would have been out of my price range but crypto has been very good to me and this is all part of the learning experience. I’ll pay it because it is this very technology which I expect will continue to be very good to me in the future.
*Note – As of 5.22.21 crypto is crashing but I’ve never been so sure about the success of something on the internet as I am about this technology. It is the future and is right up my alley!
I should also say something about Dfinity, Internet Computer which launched last week. I picked up on it pretty quickly and have already staked coins in their network. They have a Reddit-esque social network at:
This is also built on the blockchain and takes some getting used to as login is done without passwords. So, if you make it there please find me as I’m mateo_de_colón of course! Actually it is only a week old so I don’t think following or even being able to find another user is an option yet. 🙂
Ok, the battery of my little laptop is dying and I need to go do other things this beautiful Saturday morning.