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    • I've considered it and still do. What is the value it brings me or anyone else, nothing. At the end of the day we are all strangers. What our senses let us live is the only slice of reality. The rest, it's so sad, all fake! Then, we have these preferential choices of how we want our reality, and get all bent over when it's different.

      With that said, I know I'll miss few here, but would like to know the steps to delete my account. Thank you in advance.

    • I hope you change your mind, I've enjoyed many of your posts here on Cake.

      Go for a ride on the Guzzi, helmet time is good time to think and where a lot of us do our clearest thinking.


    • Ugh, I'm so sorry. We will miss your insights and Guzzi pics terribly if you go. I'm afraid I know what got you thinking about this because it got to me too. Talk on the phone?

    • At the end of the day we are all strangers. What our senses let us live is the only slice of reality. The rest, it's so sad, all fake!

      @apm and I have also had similar thoughts, and have talked just a little bit about this. I agree with you to an extent.

      However, I have genuinely been influenced for the good by thoughts, conversations, and photos here, so even if the people are “fake,” there is an impact I feel. I have been changed by the experiences I’ve opened myself up to here. You have been part of that.

      I agree that it is a big challenge to figure out where and how social media should fit into one’s life. Its significance waxes and wanes in my experience. There was a time in my life when I literally lived from post to post on SBR (South Bay Riders) to keep my sanity. It helped me at that time *because* it was a bunch of “fake people” who carried on with normal living while I went through hell, and they usually did it in a friendly banter. I would have gone completely bonkers if I hadn’t had that distraction and window into normalcy at the time.

      I’ve resigned myself to the fact that social media is an odd one-dimensional (maybe one-and-a-half dimensional?) window on the world. It cannot replace fleshy realities, but it works for me cerebrally. There are ideas here I can contemplate on my own terms, and that perhaps change my perspective. And I can disengage periodically when I need time to process.

      I am very glad Cake is not too littered with the usual distractions one finds on social media. In fact, I think *you* were the one that made me really think about that with a comment you posted a few days ago...


    • Hi folks, after reading all your heart warming, sincere words and seeing the reactions, I am still letting it all sink in. But wanted to say how much they impress me, beyond words. And helped change my decision.

      @Chris , after all these years I've been admiring ADV as your brainchild, and benefiting from the amazing human interactions on it, today it was such a pleasure and privilege to have my first, amazing telephone conversation with you! I feel moved by your gracious attention and sharing the thoughts we did. Needless to say I will remain longer and hope to maybe contribute make this feel like a "home" for others, because many of you have already been doing that for me.

    • I’m glad that you changed your mind, Drac. You often share thoughts that make me stop and think. I really enjoyed your contributions to the vaccine thread: you definitely sparked me and others to continue what turned into an amazing conversation.

      I have had a love-hate relationship with social media: I rejoined Twitter last May after a three year absence from any forum and then left Cake for good in January only to come back three weeks later. When it works, it’s awesome. And when it doesn’t I ask myself why am I wasting my limited time on this?

      As @lidja mentioned, we have had some “What’s the meaning of life?” conversations in regards to the value of a forum like Cake, or any forum for that matter. For me, part of the reason I stay is brain candy. I have two degrees in separate fields, read voraciously, qualified for Mensa, and am bored out of my skull in a dead-end job. Being able to discuss and debate with people like @Factotum @yaypie @jpop and @Chris this past November and December made a stressful time for me a little easier.

      The other reason why I deal with the frustrations of social media is that I’ve made some amazing connections both here and Twitter with people from around the world.

      I wish Cake had the private message functionality in place from day one for that very reason: when I got trolled in December, I reached out to several friends via DM on Twitter and their advice and positive words helped in dealing with it effectively.

      Anyway, I’m glad that you reached out to the community and that you’re continuing to hang out here.

    • Thank you, and everyone else for the kindness and also the unique shared gift of perseverance at mentally communicating, to try to "connect". I like to think that's what it really is what we are doing here on Cake, beyond nice flower pictures and other mundane topics we share, hahahaaa. Just a thought, @Chris ! I always look for the subdued "meaning" of life, because I know for few perhaps there really isn't any except for the one we give it. And I am at peace with "no meaning" as long as I understand why and how my own mind and body work together to process what is called life, and where you all other human beings like to be in it.

      It's what brings me back and also what keeps me away from huge sites like twitter et al, where I'd (maybe wrongfully?) feel like a wasted anonymous fish in an ocean.

    • @Chris I thought about our conversation, regarding panels. It's a coin with two (or maybe more) faces, in my mind now. On one hand they create civilized place to discuss, on the other I'd not want the panelists appear as if some demigods on pedestals. They must be open to being vulnerable, as the case may be. So while panels appear the perfect way to sort the signal/noise ratio, too much isolation without liberty of audience expressing themselves, may also detract from capturing audience. Also, for what is worth, albeit quite a good logical exercise, and practice of the site features, to my mind it appears a bit funny doing panels when the audience is low in numbers. But I see your vision and agree, that their real value is/will be when large audiences are involved.

    • Thank you, everyone. Dracula, I'm sorry you had to see the post from a troll I should have suspended a few posts sooner. He faked me out with a couple of reasonable posts before that.

      Sometimes I wonder if what I like in social media represents a large enough fraction of people to make Cake into what we dream of. I do like talking to people online and I usually want to know the people are behind the names, but I like to focus the talk in the subjects where we share a mutual interest. I do genuinely make friends with them often and I love it when, on forums like ADVrider, they end up becoming besties or even sometimes get married.

      So it was great talking on the phone and hearing where you grew up and what has shaped you. I think that's what makes the best communities  — when you can meet and become friends for at least some topics like motorcycles, climbing, or photography. At ADV and Flickr, you get to meet in real life and I think that helps cement the bonds online.

      So I end up thinking Renee is one of my photography friends, DangerDave is one of my motorcycle friends,Martha & Vin are great to watch documentaries with, etc. I like seeing them in conversations about those topics, but I don't know quite what to do on Facebook when my friends have such diverse interests. What do you post that won't bore some of them?

      Can we all agree this is a fine piece of machinery tho?

    • Glad to see you stick around.

      You may have a point. Social media is to socialization what reality TV is to reality. Mostly a performance. The point then is to make sure you enjoy the performance. If not, change the channel (block offenders, change follows, sites, whatever). And don't expect to be the star of the show. That mostly never works, and from the looks of it, ends up not being that enjoyable anyway.

      And don't forget what Vonnegut said: There's only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you've got to be kind.”

    • Long before the internet, I recall how folks used to socialize in my grand mother's village. On holy days, they'd put on their nicest clothes, and go out on the main street (which wasn't even paved) to meet and talk about each other's family life, the agriculture work, crops, fishing, etc.

      I recall my grand mother nudging me to get cleaned up and properly dressed and get out on the front porch, to meet passers by. Everyone who passed either knew each other for ever or knew someone who knew them, so there was always a connection to be made eventually. People didn't know each other by their family names, no, there was an alias for each family. This was an archaic custom, aliases were based on trades that families held form generations, but not always, sometimes even purely on some ridiculous personal attributes! Say.. .you're from the "Sword family?!" I know your uncle! Or .. "few weeks ago I spoke to John from the "one handed" or "mouse" family". My grand mother always knew the story behind each of the names.. That's how it was.

      Some men would form an ad-hoc group and start games with small colored pebbles they'd throw from a distance, aiming to fit as many possible in the target hole. Amazing to think how captivating and refreshing all that atmosphere actually felt to live it, how real. I tried googling some references or images, but alas even mighty google has no idea what life and "socializing" was like back then, hahaha..

      By contrast, in the city where I grew up there were nearly no such socializing events whatsoever, everyone went to the factories they worked in, came right back home in their apartments and "watched" the sole TV channel available!

      Where are we today, I wonder.. or maybe I should ask where am I?

    • Yes, I understand what you're getting at, but personally I've never felt nostalgic for 'the good old days'. On the contrary, I find having the random happenstance of geography determining 'here, these people are your friends' to be terribly limiting. I want to spend time and socialize with people because I find them interesting, because we enjoy similar things. They may live down the street, or on the other side of the world, I don;t care. Games we play and things we do may be facilitated by computers, game consoles or mobile phones, but that doesn't make them any less enjoyable.

      Just today I was with my kid out on Pokemon Go Community Day, with dozens of other people from my town. Some I knew, some I didn't. We still had fun (got me three shiny Bagon!). In the last 4-5 years I went with my Ingress friends to Vienna, Munich, Ljubljana, Bratislava for weekend outings, usually with a busload of other players from my city to meet up and play with hundreds, sometimes thousands of other players.

      It's not just games. I got my first Neil Young bootleg tapes from a guy in the US I knew only over a mailing list (that was some 20-odd years ago). I had a wonderful weekend in Budapest in 1996. with Sophie and her friends, who I knew only through Pearl Jam mailing list. Socialized with a granny from Lisbon. Portugal, who I never did meet or see, but regularly chatted and exchanged music for years through Soulseek, one of the early file sharing programs.

      And here we are, too, on Cake. A bunch of people from all over the world. And still, I have a mental image and model for many of you here. You are becoming part of 'people in my life'. And if this weird and wonderful thing keeps going, I pretty sure some of you will count towards my Dunbar's number.

      Times change, relationships change, socializing changes too. I say roll with it.

    • Thank you for this. I am not actually melancholic for the old times, nor a very sociable person, and your post made me think about this aspect. I prefer one one one interactions, or should say used to, when few of my friends were closer physically. I don't establish connections easily and now very carefully try and stay away from the "noise" that is usually all fluff.

      I love it when people are genuine, and that's when I truly enjoy to feel in touch with the world. But that changes every day, every moment. We change. There is a saying that once reached a certain age, a man has already had experienced the most he could, in his life. It's neither sad nor cynical, but perhaps true.

    • I totally get this! I belong to a couple of social media groups for introverts (on meet-up and fb), and have noticed that introverts and social media don’t seem to work together very easily. Ha!

      It’s a challenge to be an introvert who is adventurous and curious. Online, I can shed my introvert personality knowing that those I talk to can’t really get too close. And when things get to be too much, I can easily sit it out when I need to.

      I pursue topics that I’m curious about here without getting sucked up into others’ noise and fluff. To me, this is the genius of Cake! I hope I never run out of new stuff to learn and experience (even though it may take me a lot longer to do it as I get older...)

    • Sadly, I fear social media as we know it today may become the best means to censor or just twist free speech. Whatever will be left, has to be fit to serve advertising industry. Too bad they are killing short wave radio.

    • This isn't intuitive until you try and run a forum, but I believe the quickest way to kill free speech is to allow unrestricted speech. Once people can freely threaten, publicly shame, get nastier than you are willing to get — all in the name of free speech — it locks people out of the conversation.

      I think everyone knows this at work. You have to create a safe environment for people to be willing to say what's on their minds without someone shutting them down or it hurting their careers. Often the quiet listener in a junior position has the best things to say, but you have to draw them out and to do that you have to protect them from the screamers.

    • Too bad they are killing short wave radio.

      I got a short wave radio when I was in high school. Big radio with a huge dial for fine tuning in to signals. I remember listening to other countries stations, from German rock stations to Radio Free Europe to Russian propaganda. It gave you a much broader sense of the world. It was just a receiver, but it felt like I was being exposed to more of the world than my little suburban community. But I suppose the internet has eliminated most short wave broadcast stations. What was your experience growing up with shortwave radio, Drac?

    • I loved short wave radio, between using old vacuum tube radios to passionately search and listen for hours on end every night, to later being a HAM, building my first few receivers. The warm feeling one got when tubes were warmed up and signals started being heard in the speaker. Twisting the tune dial and looking at the "magic eye" for perfect tune not only had an aura of mystery but the element of surprise was real, because based on atmospheric conditions and wavelength propagation, most unique sometimes very far off stations were heard, but it required dedication and time spent until peak hourly radio activity was reached.

      As an activity, you can imagine it was generally frowned upon and even condemned and watched/surveilled by the authorities, because you weren't supposed to tap into a stream of consciousness they weren't able to censor.

      I still don't think internet could replace radio, in many aspects. There is too much "manufactured" as if scripted - channels of communication like twitter for example. It's funny now to remember ow when in the 80's I was working on building VT 100 terminals; and with a workplace friend we we linked two between floors with a serial RS232 cable and were chatting! Not much has really changed, except now we get emoji and nice graphics and videos. And frankly I don't know how much I like the idea of a non volatile web, it loses some of it's appeal to me when it tries to capture every slice of our lives for eternity.

    • If the information posted online would have expiration, I think it would help speech online become more like real life speech. The natural ways our brain works is that we need to remember what people said to us, but our brain protects us from bad memories with forgetting. Online anything can become a chastising game for generations to come. And I try to remember how verbal speech has been traditionally controlled, but as far I remember not much existed in terms of surgically targeted moderation. My view about moderation is that when it's subjective and at times biased, when that's misunderstood or misdirected, the effect can be depressing. If the system is designed in such way to need less policing, to my mind that's the way to go. (I am not saying I know a solution)