February 2020

Here’s what I was doing in February, 2020, two years ago this month.

Two years ago at about this time I was in discussion to work on a freelance project in early March that would have required overnight business travel.

Soon after agreeing to take the gig, I remember thinking maybe travel wouldn’t be a good idea. But I didn’t want to alienate a first-time client by saying “yes” and then “no.”

Soon after that, I didn’t have to worry about alienating the client. The event was canceled, and I did the work remotely.

The last business trip I went on was Dec. 2019. I went up to San Francisco for a Cisco event. The business part was a big success, and I got a little free time to walk around that beautiful city, as I like to do.

Business travel was a big part of my life for 30 years. Now that I’ve switched careers, I do expect the occasional trip but not like it was before.

Very few of us realized Feb. 2020 was going to be the last normal month for a while.

Mapping the celebrity NFT complex

Max Read created a corkboard diagram mapping the relationship between celebrities—Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, Reese Witherspoon—and NFT grifters. (Read Max)

One of the funny things that the world of web3 seems intent on revealing is the extent to which the boundaries between concepts like “Ponzi scam,” “pyramid scheme,” “multi-level marketing,” “conspiracy,” and “just regular old financial capitalism working as intended” are not really as clear as we might like or hope.

Furries bare their claws against censorship

Furries Are Leading the War Against a Book-Banning Mississippi Mayor (Vice):

Last week, a Mississippi mayor tried to strong-arm a local library into banning some books. … A group of furries got on Twitter to do something about it.

The first tweet came on Friday, from Soatok, a furry with an avatar of a sparkling, blue, wolf-like creature: “We interrupt your usual program of shitposts, memes, and cute fursuits to bring you something with real-world impact.”

Soatok, who asked to be identified by his online handle, was referring to the news that Mayor Gene McGee of Ridgeland, Mississippi, was withholding $110,000 of funding from the Madison Country Library System. Library officials told the Mississippi Free Press that the mayor had demanded they purge their collection of LGBTQ+ books, which he called “homosexual materials,” before his office would release the money.