Dallin Crump


Someone in a Discord server I'm on forced me to look in a metaphorical mirror and made me realize how news and social media have negatively impacted my objectivity and mental health in recent weeks.

It was an uncomfortable moment, but a welcome one. I have gotten way too worked up over Elon Musk and his Twitter antics because that situation is at the intersection of a lot of issues I'm passionate about like #tech, #SocialMedia, #politics, #FOSS, #privacy, and others.

When I get too worked up over issues like this, my emotions get the best of me and I don't think clearly. I'm not as articulate or persuasive in my arguments. I get upset, argumentative, contentious. I feel anxious, agitated, frustrated. I lose control. And I don't feel good about myself or others when I'm like this.

Over the years, I've made some changes to keep from slipping into this state of mind and continue to participate on social media in productive ways, but it still happens and I don't like it.

It's time for another news and social media fast. So here are the changes I'm making starting today and continuing through the end of the year:

  • Log out of Discord, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mastodon on all devices (these are the only social media platforms I use)
  • Refrain from checking news sources. I will block specific news websites on my devices if force of habit gets the better of me.
  • Strengthen real-world relationships
  • Pray and meditate more
  • Read more
  • Write (blog) more
  • Enjoy holiday festivities
  • Focus on being present and living in the moment

When the status quo isn't working, it's time to change things up. So here goes!


#100DaysToOffload (No. 84)

Warning: Andor spoilers ahead!

My favorite TV show of 2022 – and probably my favorite TV show ever – is the Star Wars series Andor. I have been watching its debut season again and loving it even more the second time around. In Episode 5: The Axe Forgets we learn a little more about the beloved character Nemik – a young Rebel idealist who is in it all for the cause – so much so that he creates a Manifesto which is referenced prominently later in the season.

In Ep. 5 we get a taste of Nemik's brilliance in a little exchange he has with Andor:

Nemik tinkers with old navigational device.

Andor: That's an old one.

Nemik: Old and true. And sturdy. One of the best navigational tools ever built. Can't be jammed or intercepted. Something breaks, you can fix it yourself.

Andor: Hard to learn.

Nemik: Yes, but once you've mastered it, you're free. We've grown reliant on Imperial tech, and we've made ourselves vulnerable. There's a growing list of things we've known and forgotten, things they've pushed us to forget. Things like freedom.

This got me thinking: what is the equivalent of “Imperial tech” in our world? And then my mind flashed back to a line from Episode 3:

Luthen: Rule number one, never carry anything you don't control.

If you don't have 100% complete control the computer technology you use – software, hardware, firmware, everything – it's “Imperial tech”. And these days, you have to be very intentional – and give up some conveniences – to completely avoid using Imperial tech.

My iPhone? Textbook definition of Imperial tech. I can't install whatever software I want on it, and I'm completely dependent on Apple for updates and support. Apple (or whoever has the power to influence Apple) have it within their power to render my iPhone completely useless, or worse, use it for nefarious purposes without my knowledge.

My laptop and desktop? They're not Apple products and can run the software of my choosing, but they still have some proprietary (not free-as-in-freedom and open source) firmware. Also, I'm currently running Microsoft Windows 10 on the desktop, which is definitely Imperial tech. My laptop is running Linux (Pop!_OS). Overall they're both still much better than my iPhone, but still technically Imperial tech.

And what about the other computer-related tech in my house? Roku? Amazon Fire TV? Google WiFi mesh routers? Brother laser printer? My car's infotainment system? All Imperial tech.

Just like the protagonists in Andor, we can't completely avoid using Imperial tech. It has become too pervasive and integrated into too many aspects of our lives.

So what can we do? A big step in the right direction is just becoming aware that we're using Imperial tech and how it has made us vulnerable. We can be more intentional about how we use it. And we can seek out and use non-Imperial alternatives whenever possible. Sometimes that means using older tech.

Like Andor said, non-Imperial tech can be hard to learn. It can be less convenient. But like Nemik said, it's usually sturdier, easier to repair, and once you've mastered it, you're free.


#100DaysToOffload (No. 70) #tech #TV #FOSS

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Topics of Focus

#faith – thoughts related to my religion #tech – self explanatory

Other Topics

#100DaysToOffload #accessories #automobiles #books #business #charity #Christianity #Christmas #ChurchOfJesusChrist #climate #COVID19 #DigitalMinimalism #EveryDayCarry #eWaste #family #FOSS (free-as-in-freedom and open source software) #gratitude #haiku #health #hobbies #HomeOffice #humor #intentionism #LessConvenient #life #media #misc #movies #music #nostalgia #planning #poetry #politics #privacy #prophets #retro #smartphones #SocialMedia #travel #TV #unity (not the game engine) #Utah #writing