Pfff …

At the beginning of the last week I received a letter – exactly speaking I got the letter on the Friday before the last weekend; I could figure out what it all was about and refused to open it: Why do people like attorneys or institutions send their mail with the unpleasant news towards the end of the week? “There, we kicked you in the groin – and have a rotten weekend ! BWUAHAA …” Must give extra pleasure. I spent my time mostly with writing job applications, searching for jobs and waiting.  Still no news from the bookmines, this waiting part slowly goes to my nerves.
So I had a look at my g+ account and finally deleted the whole thing: I de-googled me. It was a mix of things that made me do it. First of all I never could get warm with the software, the screen; I always found that circle-thing unhandy – but it’s a great idea nevertheless. Then it rolled down like an avalanche in the middle of my screen, tons of genealogical related posts and topics etc., some without doubt very interesting, some possibly not so. How to separate – without living in front of the screen ? After all I spent too much time online already. Many people simply republish their blog posts. I prefer the blog and can read this on a reader of my choice, without the google circus.
Basically it was wrong to mix the blog and the business thing. The serious historian and genealogist Mr. Mago will publicly appear on LinkedIn – and stay there.
When I clicked through the links and searched for the delete-all-option (it’s not hidden, it’s plain there – google changed this) I looked at all the “services” that are connected with the single innocent google account. It’s a lot, including geo-tagging and face recognition, covers your professional and private persona, and – if you use it – your money also. A long way from that humble new search machine years ago. We sat in a bureau and looked at the screen that was white and empty except for the input prompt. Yahoo, Lycos, webcrawler, the netscape search thing, altavista – all those pages were laden with stuff, advertisements, news: google was not. It was cool. And it was fast.
Today it is also a search engine. Basically its a money machine run by megalomaniacs: It does not show you the web via the search results “as is”, but “as we think you like it”. They call this better results. You can look at the google world via maps; look at google videos via youtube; put your texts / spreadsheets / calendar and whatnot in the google cloud; give them your rants dreams ideas and feelings via blogger; give away your pictures via picasa; allow your face to be recognized mechanically and your movement through space be monitored via google maps and your portable – of course we need this number for your own security; and finally read the google filtered news.
If their headhoncho says he dislikes what the NSA does, I can not help but feel a bit punked. Or to describe it with a word I know: verarscht. Sorry, this is rude. Don’t repeat it in civilised society please.
And since “the incident” some years ago we know what happens when your blog does not fit into the algorithm. It’s deleted, including all your comments on other blogs. A form of damnatio memoriae. That leads to the fact that some of the conversations on older posts of this blog (posts that were written when it was still a blogger blog) can look a bit awkward – simply because the comments of two people are missing, Leni Q. and Mistress MJ. This happened by accident, something with a spam fighting program or such – as I remember a proper explanation was never given. And both were restored because readers flooded this “help”-forum. If you have no loyal bunch of readers ?
Am I the only one who sees the possibilities of manipulation in this ? If a state or another authority would like to find something against a blogger, wouldn’t it be easy to produce something ? Am I kidding ? Do not forget that there are parts of the world where you can go to jail for blogging and expressing your ideas. And with all due respect: If I do not fully trust the gouvernement, why should I trust a company that wrings the last penny out of my online existence ?
Enough of that. I have to run errands now, play lotto, and wait.

26 thoughts on “Pfff …

  1. It’s all changed so much since I first started blogging… it used to feel like a happy stroll down a pleasant country lane…. now it feels like doing 100mph on an overcrowded motorway…
    I’m tired of Google too.

  2. I don’t recall the first search engines I used. The first good one I eventually found was Magellan, then Alta Vista was better for a while, then Google for several years until the NSA-related things hit the fan. I now use Duck Duck Go.

    PS: Vielen danke für die neue wort!

  3. A tough choice it is seeking out the best search engines. I would have to go with ALAup whilst I am in Espana, but trusty Google (but never the chrome version) for the UK. Are you aware that all search engines are actually linked in a virtual loop? Regardless of who you choose, they all share your information. A bit like a drunken Tibetan whore in a funny, tachydidactic type of way.

  4. Dear Mago,

    A new word to be added to my personal German dictionary. I understand your anger and I have the feeling that safety in the internet leaves a lot to be desired, as far as Mr Snowden has stated recently.

    I was one of the two affected persons by the mentioned “incident” and ever since then some of us knew what the consequences of owning a “powered-by-blogger” blog can be. Dominant position allows this and much more. I remember these days as a horrible nightmare. Only with the help of an extraordinary group of people (the Infomaniac Bitches -that literally filled the forums with complaints about the issue, insisting over and over until someone took notice of that) MJ and I had our blogs and comments back.

    My reaction was this: I exported my blog to WordPress and started using Bing. Incidents like that may happen in WordPress too, but it was my way to show how I felt and be consistent. Then I left Blogland for reasons that are beside the point. I’m now back again 2 years after and naively rebuilt my Blogger blog, but much to my regret I was shocked today by a “second incident” with MJ’s feeds. If she stops blogging it’s gonna be real sad for her followers all over the world. I’m not playing Google’s game again, so I’ll soon be on WordPress -dealing now with the techy stuff-. I’ll keep you abreast of events.

    As far as you’re concerned, Mago… I’m pretty sure that Linkedin will be a better profesional platform for your jobhunting purposes. Everybody’s there right now. And a website too.

    I’m going to delete the google account I opened as an experiment some time ago as well. There must be aceptable alternatives, as you said recently.

    In the meantime, let me tell you that I appreciate your commitment and loyalty. Never give up!

    Leni (soon-to-be your next-door neighbour).

  5. Yup, I’ve been thinking about deleting my g+ account too. Since nobody sends any personal letters anymore, the mail is a very up exciting event to unpleasant when bills arrive. Perhaps these lawyers received their own version of an unpleasant ‘we kicked you in the groin’ letter this past Friday. Well, one can hope, right?

  6. My dear Young man,

    It’s good to vent your anger *brings hot cup of tea*. Come sit beside me.
    Who said money, sex and power move the world? It’s gonna be 1984 again, only in a more subtle way? We knew this, but perhaps not that it was to such extent. But you’re doing fine: be a rebel, protest, let them know.

    Who said I should start a blog? Ms Scarlet and Leni, yes. I may give it a thought. But it won’t be in Blogger and I’ll follow via Bloglovin. HAHAHAHAHAHA *laughs with horrific laughter*

  7. Google is the Evil Empire. Data gathering and surveilance for the highest bidder.
    If people don’t think these miners are linked then why do the other systems icons appear as a way of sharing? I certainly didn’t choose to have them added to my blogger page. And I have consciously chosen not to have accounts with any of them or own a mobile phone. At present it is still Google but if they continue tokeep changing things constantly… I too may have to make a move or shut down completely. My future may purely consist of email and a landline telephone…
    I wish you progress on the job hunting Mr Mags. Things must get better… My condolences to your groin.. Might I give it a gentle rub for you?

  8. I prefer country roads, MsScarlet. BTW did you give this goodnoows-reader a try? I would like to know your opinion about it.

    Yes Altavista was it for a while, yahoo too. I’m happily using ixquick, Gehhilfe XL. I was mazaed to learn that WebCrawler is still around as meta-search, using google and bing. MetaGer is also still alive, while cuil quietly died.

    No Chef, I am not aware of that, in fact I did not know that there is a connection. Ixquick says that they do not register nothing. They want to come with an email service too.

    Yes I remember well when we were neighbours, Leni Qinan !

    Of course one can hope, dear Foam, and dream. I think lawyers need those letters like other lifeforms need air.

    I am everything else but a rebel, dear Hipster Yaya. In fact I’m a law-abiding slightly boring citizen who wants to stay friendly. I just do not want to get ver…, you know the word.

    Leni & Gehhilfe LX: Oh dear – is that Goldie Hawn, together with patty Labelle and Chaka Khan?
    [ducks and covers]
    You two want to have your own tomatina here? You’ll find me at the bar, talking to Ms. Mary.

  9. Sorry dear Princess, you snug in while I fought the language. But you’re up to the point – the only one who cares about my groin, an experienced touch would be nice, thank you dear.

  10. I just in the minute had a look at bloglovin’ MsScarlet – it looks nice and easy. Comes seemingly from Sweden and seems to be independent so far. If it simply works it may be the weapon of choice.

    Edit: I have not connected to it, but it may be easier to use than GoodNoows.

  11. But I think you were a little slower on the hunt for firsties at MJ’s lately, Gehhilfen LX.
    I will not change the browser, I’m happy with Iron. It just works and I can kill all and everything temporary etc. easily afterwards. I had a look at Midori, but it came with too much things I do not need and want. The plug-ins for Chrome should basically work, but I do not want them.
    For a long time I not used a feader / reader, did all via the blogroll, be it public or via bookmarks. But I find the reader generally comfortable now that I use one. And the news sites it brings are fine too. I had no difficulties adding sites: If it has a public accessible rss-thing it works, no mater if it’s a blog or the “Bäckerblume”.

  12. Dear Mago,
    Bloglovin’ is easy and friendly, so it’s my choice. I’m just having problems to add Looby’s and Princess’s blogs. Bloglovin’ says my search didn’t match any blogs. I don’t know how to solve it.
    In the meantime, finishing my removal to WordPress. Yaya wants to have her own blog, so I’m sorting things out. She’s now having her weekly ladies’ night with the Sandwichian Widows Association.

    Mr LX, the link in my first comment was posted by Jon in MJ’s next-to-last post. I mistakenly pasted it here (the video is too cheesy to be watched, so forget it). The street cleaners’ strike is just another one from a long list (tube, bus and train drivers, medical staff, air traffic controllers, school teachers, students, haulers etc).

    Take care and don’t step on a banana peel!

  13. Good evening (for it is evening here, at least, that lovelies type of evening when there is nothing to rush to do or plan for). The RSS feed for mine should be at

    I am truly grateful Herr Mago, to you for your continued good grace in letting us all chat together like this–although that sounds too passive–encouraging us, I should say. It’s been a long time since such a welcome and spontaneous flurry of introductions has invigorated my little fragment of this Venn diagrammed online world. On 2nd December, when I commence drinking again, I will raise a glass in a Frankonian direction.

  14. Hey, that’s the XML tree in its pure form ! I simply copied your url into the field and that was it Looby – the automated wizzards did the rest. It’s good to see people come by and talk, that’s what this thing is all about I guess. VENN-diagramm – oh Herr ! That is Mengenlehre I think, one dark memory of school ! Even worse than the chemist who made me stand in front of the class (could kill the bastard still today). I never understood mathematics, forget chemistry. When you’ll raise your glass towards Franconia in twentysomething days I will happily rise mine towards Albion ! Excuse me now, see you tomorrow.

  15. Mago, Looby,
    I tried,, -for me it’s .es/-) for the umpteenth time and it didn’t work :(

    Looby, Princess,
    No worries guys. I don’t know why on earth Bloglovin’ doesn’t love you, but I do. Therefore I’ll be following, visiting and commenting on your blogs. I’m not easily disappointed!

    All: if you fancy a tomatina, just click here to see how Sandwichians have fun in summer!

    Enjoy the sunday!

  16. Dear Mago, did I read properly? “I am everything else but a rebel”, “I’m a law-abiding slightly boring citizen…”. (You? A boring citizen? No way!). All I’m saying is that you should fight for something that actually means something to you, not just fight because you feel oppressed. Be your own person. Be that tenacious, persistent rebel, through and through.

    PS.- Looby is right: your blog has become a wonderful agora where everyone is invited to participate and it feels great ;)

  17. Yes, it’s a kismet, Leni Qinan – I think I told the filter now repeatedly to let some authors pass, I hope it learns. There were few sites GoodNoows did not accept (strangely this one), it simply did not find a public rss-source, so I go there via the bookmarks.

    The comments do it, Hipster Yaya, I do nothing.

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