Blocked


Americans in particular are quick to froth constitutional freedom of speech. Trouble being it’s become increasingly evident they only want to hear themselves or their miniscule gang of devotees speak. In the past week I’ve had comments deleted, access blocked and content reported over a dozen times. My transgression? To dare contradict, however polite or reasonable the manifesto of opinionated closed minds. Geez, what was I thinking?

It’s alarming, consider the magnitude of free speech silenced by the click of a block icon.  Reasonable attempts to initiate dialogue muzzled by knee jerk block bravado. Typically I’m chastised for ignorance. Ridiculed, mocked, sworn at or warned to mind my own business before the block hammer strikes. WTF? It’s fascinating. These are the same people who spew constitutional freedom of speech. Silly me, free speech is their right, anyone taking exception will be blocked.

Not once have I blocked a site. Last week I reported a particularly venomous wing-nut for promoting home remedy coronavirus cures, a first in 8 years of blogging. In my mind deleting comments, censoring content, including dialogue out of context excluding verbal abuse prompting such dialogue and aggressively blocking those who dare take issue is cowardly. Blocking doesn’t prove anything other than spineless ignorance. We can ignore content, mark it as spam, read it for perspective or choose not to follow the author, but the moment we block it is the moment we surrender the right to free speech.

See the source image

29 Cents And Counting


Drove home at 2 am, couldn’t say what day it was and didn’t care, work wasn’t expecting me back for 11 luxurious hours. Eleven hours reminded exhaustion there’s more to life than work. Noticeable layers of dust cloaked my laptop, all I wanted was time to catch up on WordPress. Forcing hindsight to explain how I let work topple my love for daily ponders could wait, I had eleven hours – two at my laptop, one to wind down and fall asleep, seven at rest, another to wake, shower and get myself back to work.

I didn’t need hindsight wagging her finger to know I’d stretched myself too thin. I might have happily opened WordPress and left it at that, but no, I had to open Quora and ruin my life.

For perspective, WordPress is my first love, Quora a dangerous affair. WordPress feeds my soul, Quora delivers esteem building strokes, strokes in the form of Top Writer affirmation and more views in a day than WordPress musters in a month. I hate myself but can’t stop. Trouble is, there aren’t enough hours for WordPress let alone Quora.

Back to eleven hours and a dusty laptop. I wanted to ponder October meteor showers on WordPress. Opening my laptop for the first time in days created a maelstrom of conflicted direction. Best guess being checking Quora stats before settling into WordPress stemmed from innocent desire to get it out of the way, who knew a private message would ruin my life.

Quora moderation invited me to enroll in the Partners Program. What Partners Program? I only have eleven hours and you’re choosing tonight to personally invite me to enroll for paid content? Register a PayPal account, keep asking great questions, blah, blah, blah. What fresh hell is this? I don’t have time!

Cosmic ponders went unspoken, my laptop slammed shut, I crawled into bed. One week and 72 work hours later I dusted off the screen, what choice did I have but to play along with Quora? Enrollment took a few minutes, my first question took a few more. As of tonight I’ve earned 29 cents, 29 convoluted cents awarded to an overworked caterer who only wants to ponder the cosmos. I need my head examined! Sigh.

First Page, Second Result


Mine is a predictable blog world. Daily views hover within expected constants. Every few weeks views spike sharply, an anomaly driven by a random viewer browsing hundreds of posts in one go. Followers, views and statistical analysis mean nothing, but search term directed traffic is fascinating. Specifically – why “core 7” generates more traffic than all other search terms combined.

This afternoon blog views went crazy, hourly visits grew in hundreds rather than familiar dozens. “Hey, cool” I remarked to my husband, “looks like someone is blitzing my blog again”, then promptly forgot about it until a few hours ago.

Usually rogue view spikes subside within a few hours, this one was anything but normal. For the first time in Notes history a investigation took shape.

Looking for anything abnormal, Reddit leapt off the list of search referral engines. Not now or ever a Reddit member, I watched as referrals jumped from 10, 20, 30… A click on Reddit took me to “What is Core 7?”, followed by an answer comment with nothing but a link to this blog. Wow, OK, curious but explains a lot. On a whim I Googled “core 7” – there I was, first page, second result – https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/tag/core-no-7-ancient-egypt/

I don’t know what it takes to appear on the first page of a Google search, but there I am courtesy Reddit and my top traffic generating search term. Go figure.

Image result for core 7 egypt

 

 

2018 Top Writer Nod


Fired up the laptop after work, a message from Quora politely delivered news I had been named a Top Question Writer 2018. Aw shucks Quora, you just made my day. Top Question Writer 2 years in a row? Yep, a click on my profile page confirmed the distinction.

Image result for quora top question writer 2018

Most people haven’t heard of Quora, obscurity of being named a top writer isn’t lost on me. Personal satisfaction stems from recognition of content, not followers or views. Tomorrow I’ll forget about another top writer nod, tonight I’ll grin like a mad fool

Gavrinis And Core No. 7


Gavrinis and Core No. 7 have more in common than 4,000 BC archeological mysteries – after five years and over 1,300 posts, Core No. 7 and Gavrinis rank first and second in search terms generating Notes traffic.

Core No. 7 – In 1881 British archeologist Flinders Petrie picked up a smooth rock near the pyramids at Giza, a seemingly impossible plug of granite construction debris. Science doesn’t know how, but think they know where No. 7 came from. A plug of red granite drilled to form a door pivot – not chiseled, drilled with precision accuracy. Drills leave markings behind – a road map of rate and pressure. This is when 4000 year old granite cores get freaky – the markings on Core No. 7 are so perfectly spaced, engineers don’t believe a modern diamond tip mechanized drill could duplicate them.

Click to access 1503.0182v1.pdf

Gavrinis – Worlds away from mysteries of Egypt, a tiny rock off the coast of Brittany in France harbours the wonder of Gavrinis.In 1835 French archeologists poked about a sunken burial chamber entrance on uninhabited Gavrinis, full excavation took place in the 1930s. Waiting inside, over 50 stone slabs, more than half adorned with intricate carvings resembling fingerprints. Mathematicians believe it a code of sorts. Computer analysis dropped a bombshell – patterns represent the number of days in a year, references to solstice and equinoxes, an exact longitude and latitude of the island, and the “mathematical constant Pi”.

ACHAMAN GUAÑOC: Cairn de Gavrinis

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/gavrinis/

1,000


When I  “publish” tonight, Notes celebrates 1,000 ponders. Agonizing all day over how that feels, what I’ve learned, how I’ve grown and people I’ve met, struck me as cheesy. Then it hit me – 1,000 doesn’t want a parade, 1,000 feels like pondering Lego videos.

800


This is my 800th post – re-posting favorites, linking to most viewed, blowing off steam, polite reflection  – all pondered with equal consideration. 800 expressions of life according to Notes is no small feat. Each one from a place of concern, astonishment, wonder, exuberance, caution, personal experience and honesty. Learning to temper outrage, listen with respect, accept opposing perspectives, admit when I’m wrong, stand my ground, remain optimistic, unapologetic outbursts of cosmic delight, obsession with ancient civilizations – reasons 800 posts led me to where I am today. A better person, a woman who found her voice and friends along the way. People I respect, admire and credit with expanding my horizons.

Ultimately pondering 800 led to Playing For Change. In honour of 800 Notes, listen to PFC- ask yourself what matters, why we should care, and how you can make a difference. What’s Up epitomizes notestoponder.

 

Crazy Button


I need my head examined. Quora obsession – call it my dark side,finds me lurking in places I’m not proud of. What began as a “phase”, has become an embarrassing testament to powers of indignant outrage, astonishment, and mind blowing realization. Polite reminders to behave myself deliver tepid results, best intentions fall victim to uncontrollable curiosity. Convincing myself of “curious” intentions, eases excruciating reality – I need my head examined.

On a good day, I’ll post questions like “What is the greatest archeological treasure lost to war or conflict?” or “Will cursive writing become obsolete?”. Genuine queries resulting in thoughtful exchanges.

Bad days (the crux of my bat shit addiction to Quora) go something like this – following are two questions asked this evening under the topic “Religion”.

“If you’re an Atheist, is it better to raise your children as Theist so he/she can find strength in difficult times?”

“Is it true that Atheists don’t really believe in God, but that they really just want to be God?”

This is when it gets tricky. Reasonable Notes would guffaw and move on, possessed Notes shakes hands with futility. Something about preposterous questions void of frivolous explanation or reason pushes my crazy button. Every sinew of my being, taut and helpless as propriety skips out the door.

“Crazy button” deserves clarification, crazy suggests ranting tirades – the reality of my “crazy” doesn’t even come close. Crazy resides in the fact I respond. Crazy shame lurks in not logging out or moving on once “are you serious”, holy freaking crap and WTF? settle down. Crazy is my fascination with absurdly brief ridiculous questions – particularly those intended for morally corrupt heathens. As I’m writing another question surfaced…

“Do some people just pretend to be Atheists, and try to convince others God doesn’t exist because they believe God doesn’t want mankind to know of or believe in his existence?”

I’m having second thoughts about my plea for help – that question was too good. Perhaps I could temper obsessively poor judgement with strict resolve to look, keeping snide remarks and opinions to myself.

 

Help, WordPress is Crashing


Rushed home tonight earlier than expected, fired up the laptop before my coat hit the stand. Anxious anticipation of all things WordPress, met with blank, unfamiliar exasperation. Site stats page – blue header, above utter blankness. Clicked on Reader – nothing. Notifications – zippo, nobody home.

Instinctively searched WordPress Help and forums – found similar complaints, and a few “fixes” (without exception, all beyond my pathetic computer knowledge). Not about to uninstall wordpress after backing it up, systematically uninstall plugins until finding one that might be the culprit, or re-name files (all described in language or references making about as much sense as reading Gaelic) I found myself pacing like a caged beast.

Abandoned WordPress, delved into Google with rabid determination. How hard could this be – it worked two days ago, I hadn’t inadvertently changed settings or downloaded a fictional last straw. Who was I kidding – why can’t people who know what they’re talking about remember I’m an idiot? Why was Adobe Flash Player blamed for the fall of western civilization? How hard is it to answer a straight forward question?

Went back to WordPress hoping it was all a bad dream – nope, WordPress was evaporating before my eyes. Blank tease followed blank screen into oblivion. Like a spectator at my own funeral, wanting to scream “here I am, I have so much more to say” – not an ear perking to inaudible splutters.

Exhausted, disillusioned, battling hordes of invasive emotion – a thought tip toed cautiously towards desperation’s siege. Close all programs – restart your computer. Initially cautious little thought appeared useless – it watched me storm away in a huff of blustery resignation. Ever the optimist, one last try before bed. Holy crap – WordPress was back.

Exhilaration is fading – I can’t imagine a restart fixed the dilemma. Consider this a plea – a request for insight from anyone with patience to “dumb down” tech speak and enlighten a hopelessly lost notes.

Things I’ve Learned on Quora


Almost a month ago Quora became somewhat of an obsession. I wrote of Quora with the giddy, naive and glowingly childish enthusiasm of an optimistic fool. First glance promised instant gratification delivered via an untapped source of critical thinkers. Oh man – not so fast notes.

It isn’t Quora’s fault – allowing myself to dabble in places fraught with the perils of unbending logic was an obvious exercise in futility. As with anything we reap what we sow – 3 1/2 weeks, and 100,000 views later – some things I learned on Quora….

First – I’m only human, I like stats, views, and upvotes. Hardly a surprising admission although one that never matters in my wordpress world. Allowing my “knee jerk” rantings to froth corners of better judgement was captivating. WordPress epitomized polite reason – Dr. Jekyll to Quora’s Mr. Hyde. Jeckyll knew better, Mr. Hyde threw caution to the wind.

A week or so in, I posed a question asking why Americans considered freedom of speech license to speak hate. Yikes – I’m either stupid, delusional, or hopelessly Canadian. I knew the answer, fully grasped America’s perspective, understood the fundamental stance of free speech in America, yet couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t understand it would bring 40,000 views, complete with a litany of arguably the most venomous personal attacks imaginable. Bottom line – 99.9% of respondents reacted without an iota of comprehension other cultures might see distribution of hateful propaganda as harmful.

Answering questions proved satisfactory. My answers to why Petra was a wonder of the ancient world, and contribution to a question on the most astounding “tricks” by armies or nations at war kept me out of trouble for a while. This was a place reserved for positive exchange of ideas – a place void of accusations, yet I wasn’t content to behave myself.

I knew better than to respond to preposterous religious stupidity, or ask those same people why they thought Atheists lacked morals or committed more crimes. Several weeks of hating myself for spouting sarcastic jabs finally ended with a self imposed intervention – it’s out of my system, along with sincere vows to be a better person.

A few minutes ago I asked (with http://geneticfractals.wordpress.com/ in mind) how someone would explain the 4th dimension. That was 15 minutes ago and with nearly 500 views, 6 followers, and 3 answers on the record – I’m back to seeing Quora as it was intended. For anyone curious, the first few “answers”…..

Jens Adler NielsenJens Adler Nielsen, PhD in solid state physicsSuggest Bio

We have 3 spatial dimensions, typically revert to as height, width and depth.The 4th dimension is time.Basically in order to meet somebody you need 4 coordinates or you will miss each other.On earth, these 4 coordinates are typically longitude, latitude, floor and date, but it could be another set of coordinates, however there will always be at least 4 and if there are more, you can reduce them to 4. Hence the universe is 4-dimensional.

Brenton MilneBrenton Milne, electrical engineer

If you want to visualize it, you can try imagining a fourth dimension as colour or brightness, like how you might present four dimensional data in a graph.Think of a point in 3D with x,y,z coordinates, now give it a brightness as the fourth dimension. Extend this to straight lines (interpolate x,y,z,brightness between two points). Imagine how other primitives work, like continuous curvy lines etc.Note that one you try to imagine solids you will find that there are multiple values of the fourth dimension present at each x,y,z location. For solids the movie analogy in the other answers may be more helpful (and more reflective of our universe where our fourth dimension is time)