Guardian Angels: As we approach our 12th anniversary, practically all readers know that we have gotten help from seemingly out of nowhere as we have been subjected to protests and cowardly shutdowns. In last month’s address, I expressed some concern that we may be coming to the end of our rope, but I have been assured that our arrangement right now is quite solid so long as your Editor-in-Chief continues to use good judgment regarding standards of content. To some, this may seem like a veiled warning but I see it as a vote of confidence that we have been dealing with such a tricky subject with due dignity and purpose.
Random AI: After the introduction of an AI-generated image on this site, a few readers have submitted their own attempts. If I published them all, it would dramatically change the appearance of this blog so I have decided to publish only one per month with a distinct theme based on my own impressions. In addition, spacing these out will mean we can get some perspective on how this technology is evolving over a relatively short time period. For instance, one reader sent a YouTube link that is a pretty good overview of the issue as it stands right now. And I just heard an excellent letter sent by listener Kevyn to Things They Don’t Want You to Know (The relevant letter begins at the 21-minute mark). Clearly, the implications of this technology ranges all over the place covering freedom of expression, commerce, the law and ethics.
The Joy of Fandom: Dr. Laurie Santos of The Happiness Lab podcast had an interesting episode recently about the happiness gleaned from being a fan of something, even if it seems a little silly. I am sure our biggest fans can relate!
More Social Media Gems: I continue to get leads about Instagram and other social media accounts. Here is one from Pinterest.
“Cute” Stats: As most people who have not been living under a rock realize, most media personalities are worried about their stats. These are important in attracting advertising and other forms of revenue so they can stay in business and make a living. There is a site CuteStat.com which is, “a web service for Website Owners, Webmasters and General Internet Users to retrieve information related with Domain Name, IP Address, Web Server and Search Engine Optimization”. One of our contributors looked up this website and shared some details. As of January 18th, Pigtails is 5 years 11 months old [sic], has a global traffic rank of #637,405 in the world, has an estimated worth of $2,400 and a daily income of around $10. There were no active threats reported recently by users and is considered safe to browse. Don’t worry, there is no risk of selling out even if the stats were much better! It is interesting to see a volunteer site analyzed from the perspective of commercial interests. Of course the age is wrong because earlier incarnations of this site were not taken into account and the algorithm generating this data is clearly automated. As all of you reading this surely understand, such a narrow perspective leaves out the deep intangible value of this site evidenced by the wonderful messages I receive on a regular basis.