GreyBeard Jack's Circuits of Thought.

A mostly harmless site about geeky and artsy stuff

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Welcome to this small corner of the internet! I'm GreyBeard (not affiliated with any pirates, that I know of..). This site is something of a dumping ground for all my hobbies and interests. If you happen upon this site, I hope you enjoy poking around the various content.

You may have noticed my website is currently light on actual content. That's because I just started building it in March 2024. It'll start filling up soon..

Building Websites Should Be Fun

A Case For Building Personal HTML Websites

April 2024

Building websites has slowly become an exercise in banality, where every keystroke is determined by how well the site will perform, create leads, track users, which is all centered around Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Rinse and repeat while using an annoyingly limiting CMS (content management system) that removes the joy of building a website in the name of convenience and speed. I know this process well, because I do this for a living.

Continue Reading..

Slowly Giving a Middle Finger to Manipulative Corporations

March 2024

Initially, this was an incredibly long post about all the different steps I’m taking to reduce my use of manipulative corporate technology and online services. It had become a bloated four-page mess with way too many bullet points. I had to say “Woah, there, GreyBeard, let’s hit the brakes and rethink this!” This version of the post is a much shorter and still gets the general point across.

Why Am I Ditching Many Corporate Platforms?

The simple answer: I can no longer sit back while these businesses actively sell our private information, use personal data to manipulate users, promote misinformation, facilitate toxic online environments, blatantly dodge taxes, and any number of other criticisms I could leverage at them. Not a day goes by where we don’t hear about shitty behavior from large corporations and their owners.

I don’t want to participate in this shit any longer.

But I Still Love and Use Technology

I’ve always been a geek at heart. I’ve had an online presence since my first computer, circa 1992. I remember the days of modems, IRC and webrings (apparently those are making a slight comeback), and I miss the internet of yesteryear. Yes, it also had it’s problems, but nothing like the dumpster fire we’re dealing with today.

For several years now, the question of how I continue to use technology while reducing my participation in the more toxic areas of the internet. My solution, take it in steps. This isn’t an “all or nothing” goal. I realized I had to approach this goal realistically. It’s nearly impossible to use the internet in any capacity and not interact with shitty companies. That’s the hard truth. You have to pick your battles. Therefore, I’m doing as much as I can, one platform at a time.

Here are a few ways I’m doing this.

  1. Reducing my use of certain platforms one at a time and replacing them with more ethical platforms where I can.
  2. Focusing more on open-source solutions that are privacy focused.
  3. Financially supporting (through purchases or donations) organizations that are doing work that aligns more with my ideals.
  4. Promoting ethical alternatives where I can.

It’s been a bit of slog and I still have a ton to do, but I’m happy with the progress I’m making. I thought I would have to give up a lot of my online use, but I’m discovering a plethora of alternative platforms that at times are actually better than the evil megacorps. Perhaps, in later posts I’ll get into the specific platforms I’m using, but until I do, here are two resources that have been incredibly helpful.

If you’re someone who is doing the same, best of luck with your efforts! Thanks for reading!