I have just completed driving the entirety of Route 66. It is almost 2,500 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Double this for the return trip, of course.
Living one block away from Route 66 here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we started our journey to California and back in February 2019 for one week. After a few months, we were able to again, start from the center here in Tulsa and complete the final leg to Chicago and back.
The United States is a beautiful country and I am extremely grateful to have experienced this journey. I’ll provide a photo tour after I’m done processing all the images and notes.
Cyberspace- A long time ago, before we allowed ourselves to bottlenecked into a few social platforms, fed into massive surveillance machines, mined for our attention, and controlled by algorithms, there was an idea about internet freedom. Cyberspace.
We allowed cyberspace to become dominated by a few large companies. It was unregulated, free. We created things and shared ideas and we didn’t need anyone to do it for us. We just did it.
Web 2.0- We became lazy and enticed by centralized/connected web applications. Back in 2005, I became hooked into the Google platform thanks to Gmail. Flickr was new and exciting way to share photos. In 2006, I was one of the first users of TWTTR (now Twitter) and I even had a MySpace account and then Facebook. We then coined the phrase “social media” and it was good. The internet became a cesspool of ads, trolls, marketing and algorithms after that.
Social Media- No Google, no Facebook, no Twitter. Thanks to the massive digital footprints I’ve left behind, you can still find some references to my usage but I am off of social media. The Flickr account I subscribe to is not social. It is an online repository and cloud backup to my photo archives. I have an Outlook account from Microsoft but that is residual and for using their services (which I am weaning off of.) No more. Most of us rely on those corporate platforms that decide what they think you need to know. Facebook news feeds anyone? Google search, anyone? Controlled by algorithms designed to keep you hooked and sedentary inside their apps.
I’ve spent the past year winding the clock backwards and starting over again. I have fully reclaimed my little hub here in Cyberspace. My domains are secured again. The website is self-hosted. Email domains are mine.
Since the early 2000’s most of us have used and since then forgotten two brilliant tools to consume information; E-mail and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds.
With E-mail and RSS we control what we want to focus our attention on. For either information or for pleasure. I’ve slowly re-introduced E-mail subscriptions to informative websites I trust. They use it as communicating ideas, just like we did in cyberspace a long time ago. They won’t sell my information and they won’t spam me. When/if they do I’ll simply unsubscribe.
Since I first discovered RSS back in the early 2000’s, I was hooked. I’ve relied on it almost daily as an information resource. Here’s why: every website or blog has a feed attached to it. Once you set up or subscribe to these feeds in a feed aggregator like Feedly (free), you could read articles from your favorite websites without visiting them all. No ads, no tracking, no algorithms and in one central location.
I am in control of what I see. No one else. Now, that does not mean I won’t visit the web, far from it. I still use it for research purposes like everyone else but those websites are prevented from tracking me thanks to ad and content blockers. I use a secure browser called Firefox Focus which blocks them. I use Duck Duck Go to perform searches on the web. They don’t track or sell you anything. Pretty soon I will purchase a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that masks my internet provider’s information.
There is a lot of cyberspace out there still. The corporate platforms and strict governments haven’t completely taken over it, even if they do fancy themselves as masters of the universal internet.
I do not advertise and will never have advertisements here. I will never spam or sell anyone’s information. Ever. If you’d like to add my website to your feed aggregator it is [https://chrisdenbow.com/rss].
Date a girl who travels. Date a girl who would rather save up for out of town trips, or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes. She may not look fashionable, but behind that tanned and freckle face from all the days out in the sun, lies a mind that can take you places and an open heart that will take you for what you are, not for what you can be.
Previously I mentioned I was in the process of dropping all products made by Google but it was half-hearted. The amount of data they have on me for the past thirteen is overwhelming. I recently requested my data delivered to me via their own data freedom tool called Google Takeout.
It took all day to archive and send me my request and I saw why. 124GB worth of data compressed into 56 downloads of 2GB each(!!). And this was for my main account. I haven’t even started on my backup account I created just this past year yet.
Long-form writing is overwhelming so I’m trying short stories. Guess what? There are even shorter stories out there called micro-fiction. 100-word stories. Believe it or not there are even 50-word stories. I’m not ready for that, especially since they read like Haiku. Anywho, here’s my take on micro fiction. To be developed into a proper story in the future.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public works program developed in 1933. It was created so poor and unskilled younger men would have the chance to earn a wage while helping to re-build the country. Sonny Fisher just saw it as his meal ticket.
If it wasn’t for the CCC he’d likely starve or be shot. Either way, he’d be dead if he stayed back home in Ohio. Here he was in Texas bustin’ his ass for pennies a day and good food.
While digging he struck an iron pot. Sealed with worn leather and covered in mildew. Gold coins?